Understanding a Young Professional

 

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Indeed, August is understanding – understanding the will of God, understanding yourself and others. ๐Ÿ™‚

At my age of 31, I can say I have been through all seasons when it comes to job opportunities in search for the one that God says as “the right one.” These decisions aren’t easy to make because I also need to value what my spouse thinks on what is best for us both.

These seasons brought me to short term employments, some even lasted for just a week, some brought me to a standstill for a long while and some lasted for a couple of years. I always seek God’s counsel on these matters because let’s admit it, giving up a job and hopping on to the next is crucial.

We all need money to survive. Getting rich, however, is a different story and something I do not fully support. Money is the root of all evil if it becomes your god and your life revolves around it. This includes anything that makes you “great” as well. It will destroy this hierarchy of priorities mandated by God:

  1. GOD
  2. Spouse
  3. Children/Family
  4. Career
  5. Ministry

How? When we don’t find the right answers to these questions:

  • When was the last time you opened and read your bible consistently?
  • When was the last time you took a quiet time, prayed, and made it a habit?
  • Do you have enough time for your spouse on a regular basis?
  • How about for your children?
  • When did you last visit your parents or talked to them?
  • How about your siblings? When did you last check up on them?
  • When was the last time you attended church? 

We’ve always been reminded to never place any idols before God and that anyone who disobeys will face the consequences:

“You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,โ€ฆ” – Exodus 20:3-5

Are our possessions our god? Are our finances our god? Are our careers our god? Are our achievements our god? Are our children our god? Is our ministry our god?

If we fail in even one of the things I have mentioned above, we know that we are guilty. We always have to be on our guard because the enemy is always in the corner prowling around looking for that next victim to deceive. Everything may seem to be smooth sailing but little did we know that we are already heading towards destruction. If everything is going smoothly in our lives, we should already wonder.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

There may not be any external atrocities happening on the outside but the enemy is already going for the most vulnerable spot inside you – your heart and your soul.

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” – Proverbs 4:23

As the adage goes, “A river that is quiet usually has looming falls at the end of it.”

Your heart and your soul may have remained placid but they were not given the opportunity to build a shield which is the armor of God and strengthen your faith.

The Whole Armor of God

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.

16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” – Ephesians 6:10-18

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5

Don’t be tempted to get that next promotion or for that next “big thing” to add to your resume or attach at the end of your name right away. Don’t be tempted to sign that 6-digit salary or the millions that you’re being asked to take without confirming the responsibilities attached to it. Don’t be tempted to say “yes” to any promise of a better life other than the gift of salvation.

No, don’t be tempted with these things. That next promotion might be a temptation to spend less time with your spouse and family or a temptation to sacrifice your own health and wellness. That 6-digit salary might tempt you to drown yourself in the physical pleasures of this world which equate to even more worldly temptation. That promise of a better life might be masked in the form of easy money and the black market.

Review your priorities instead (single or married), ask for God’s leading, seek His counsel, and pray for discernment towards the right path.

If you will ask me why, then consider the following:

  1. Why is quality time with God important? The Scripture will guard your heart against any temptation. This will prepare you for any trial you’ll go through. Thus, it is the #1 priority.
  2. Why is quality time with the spouse important? Marriage is a holy matrimony, it is also a room for the enemy to attack you or your spouse with temptations. Communication is important between a married couple. If you are too tired to even ask what went on in your spouse’s day, it might be too late when you realize your spouse is drifting away from you and eventually leads to a divorce.
  3. Why is it important to spend time with your kids? Your kids will only be young once. They will appreciate the time you’ve spent with them more than the toys or gadgets you gifted them when they grow older. The percentage of depressed teens are getting higher every year. You don’t want them to end up growing up a teenage rebel or being with the wrong group of friends just because their parents are always “absent.” It is as important to your child that you become his/her first best friend other than just being a parent.
  4. Why should you not place money as the top priority? Money is the root of all evil. It sparks jealousy, greed, selfishness, death, among all other negative things.

I am not a licensed counselor but I have learned these nuggets of wisdom from mentors who went through the same thing and shared their experiences, combined with my own personal experience as well as knowledge lifted from my graduate study which is special education.

You might add that they are all a case-to-case basis but consider this verse:

“What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.” -Ecclesiastes 3:15

If you are to ask me why, this might suffice as an answer:

“And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear Him.” – Ecclesiastes 3:14

Going back to all those career shifts, I can say that I have met wonderful people who have touched my life. I’ve learned a great deal of wisdom from them and formed a special bond through the memories and experiences we’ve shared which I am forever grateful.

On the one hand, I have touched their lives as well one way or the other and continue to influence as they add me on social media, check out my profiles or read my blog articles (oh, it’s you). ๐Ÿ˜€

I never viewed it as a waste of time, this shifting of careers, though it brought me to a slight and temporary instability in my priorities, marriage, finances, etc. as seasons change.

But no, I remained steadfast because I am clinging to a Rock and I know I have a God who is forever faithful. I viewed these instead as a time of GREAT TESTING.

How? It is only in times of drought and famine that your faith in God is truly tested. It will answer the question “how far are you willing to trust God with your whole life?”

So much of this testing didn’t test my character alone but it also built the foundations of my marriage and refined the characters of the people around me too. They, too, have learned to rely on God along the way.

I have always relied in the TRUTH that God is the ONLY ONE who provides for all our needs from finances to material things; who gives us a career; who provides our salaries; who closes one door of opportunity and opens another; who keeps things steady though everything may be shaky; who keeps my marriage intact; who binds the relationships I have with others; and who reminds me of my priorities.

What matters is we stayed obedient to His instructions, obeyed His laws, and pursued His will and plans for our lives all throughout.

As I write this journal entry, all I can ever see are the lives of those great people recounted in the bible who withstood all trials because of their unwavering faith even to the point of death: Daniel; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; David; Joseph; Job; among many others.

They say it takes fire to yield a beautiful sword ready for battle. Without fire, the sword will be blunt – ineffective and of no use. Yet it also takes the time to forge a sword. It takes effort and a great force to yield it. On the other hand, too much heat will cause it to melt.

As a young professional, you’ll receive so much of this fire which could either destroy you or mold you. Choose, however, to consult God’s plans over your life more than being dissuaded by what this world expects and wants from you.

Do not break away from the vine, cling to it. Let God use the fire to mold you for a better purpose. But never let the enemy use it to consume you and head for destruction.

In the end, it is important to keep in mind that even when you have to close a hundred doors and open a thousand, it still is God who decides what is the best door to keep open. You’ll never really know in which seasons will God forge you to become one of His mightiest swords. But, learn to trust Him instead. ๐Ÿ™‚

Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

As my spiritual mentor and Victory group leader said with her life verse and God’s promise:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

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For this article, here’s a video from Hillsong that’s one of my all-time favorite Christian songs:

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The Truth vs. The Lie

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Photo credit:ย meada.net

After overcoming a tough situation with my husband, I am just grateful that God protected our marriage. Praise God for this. ๐Ÿ™‚

Through the course of events, there was one instance wherein I told my husband this,

โ€œHoney, when there comes a point that you did something wrong, people found out and asked me about it, I will not deny and lie but I will tell them the truth. I ask you to do the same because I am not perfect either and I will be committing mistakes too.

I know we should protect each other and this marriage but I value the truth more than committing a sin such as lying because I know the truth will set both of us free. I know it is only God who can and will protect this marriage as long as we choose to stick together and always obey Him and His commands.โ€

TRUTH.

The truth is something that is heavy to bear especially if we are not yet ready to say it or hear it. Most of the time it causes us to feel guilt, to be ashamed, to deny it and to cover it up with excuses or lies. Letโ€™s consider the fact that a lie is still a lie regardless if you did it out of a good or a bad intention.

Yet for cases such as what I have mentioned above, part of telling the truth is taking the risk of getting hurt and hurting the people you love. But consider the idea that taking that risk will never fall for nothing. God will reward you for telling the truth and upholding it. It has been written in the bible that โ€œThen you will know the Truth and the truth will set you freeโ€ (John 8:32)ย  and it does.

The truth will set you free from all the guilt, all the shame and all the condemnation. It is the truth that will combat the enemyโ€™s weapons of deception and lies. These are the lies and deception that you are filthy, you are most sinful, unworthy of forgiveness, that people will regard you lowly as a person when they found out who you were and what you have done and that you have no hope and chances in becoming better.

It has been said in the bible that โ€œFor all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of Godโ€ (Romans 3:23)ย  and yet this is exactly the reason why we have the Cross and why God sent His Son to suffer, pay for our sins and die for us so we could be saved. It is the Truth that prevailed on the Cross when everybody and the enemies believed He will die and that He is not the Son of God.

In the same way, telling the truth will relinquish us from any emotional burden or stronghold that ties us to the enemy through acceptance of the mistake committed, repentance and finally receiving Godโ€™s forgiveness through His Son.

Godโ€™s gift is FREE for all. Jesus Christ was that gift being the Way towards salvation, the Truth that He is the Son of God and the Life towards eternity. He was the ultimate sacrifice meaning He didnโ€™t just die for the sins committed by the people of the past generation, our ancestors, but He died once and for all for all of us and for all our sins committed in the past, present and future. This is Godโ€™s forgiveness, His free gift, but it should not be taken for granted.

For though we have been forgiven of our future sins which God already knew beforehand that we will commit, we still have made a covenant with the Lord to say โ€œnoโ€ย  to sin and live a righteous life when we surrendered our lives to Him. As it is written, โ€œRepent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lordโ€ (Acts 3:19).

This is not so we could earn and work our own way towards salvation for it has already been done by Jesusโ€™ sacrifice, but out of our love and honor to God who gave us the way to receive His gift of experiencing a life without pain and trouble. This is the free gift of eternal salvation or eternity in heaven EVEN THOUGH we do not deserve it.

As a loved one, it hurts to see your loved one get hurt because of sin. But as a Christian, we know that experiencing pain because of doing the right thing never gets away from Godโ€™s attention. Everything that you do in Godโ€™s way, you are doing for the honor and the glory of God. As a believer and as a Christian, that is all that God has called us to do โ€“ everybodyโ€™s mission.

I took the risk to feel pain. I took the risk to hurt people. I took the risk to let the Truth be known. For this is the will of God.

But if you are to ask me how should we believe this Truth, then my answer is through faith. For it has been said:

โ€œNow faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not seeโ€ฆโ€ (Hebrews 11:1)ย  and โ€œBlessed are those who believe without seeing me” (John 20:29).

Are we believing a lie or a truth? Are we going to tell the lie or the truth? Are we ready for the Truth? ๐Ÿ™‚

I Had To

I have to protect my rights as a wife and my children’s rights from being ย verbally and physically abused…

I have to defend myself, my faith and my rights as a woman from persecution…

I have to ensure me and my children will have a life of peace…

I have to remember I also have a life outside being a wife…

I HAVE TO…

But I HAD TO…

I had to remember these verses:

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” Proverbs 15: 1-3

“In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the Word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,ย as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.” 1 Peter 3:1-2

“However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.” John 6:37

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

Yes, I had to. I had to accept, repent and turn back from my selfish ways and I had to accept trials and challenges for it is how I will carry my own cross.

Because I had to do the will of God, not mine, if indeed I consider myself a follower of Christ – Christine.

The ANOINTING OIL and More Memories

It was after our family vacation with my husband’s family last weekend that I got hold of something interesting. We went to Baguio City in the upper north of the Philippines where the weather is particularly colder than in any part of the country.

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A portrait at the Baguio Botanical Garden c/o Brian Rome Photography.

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Brian Rome Photography

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My aunt-in-law, Tita Bebe, in an Ibaloi/Kankanaey native, traditional costume. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I never could get this husband of mine to do a serious pose. Like never. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It was a well-spent vacation full of laughter, travels and food ventures. One adventure that we didn’t miss was a visit to the famous haunted house in Baguio City and the bamboo art exhibit.

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My bro-in-law, Buds, and the facade of the haunted house. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Spacious living room.

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Bamboo art work and handicraft.

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The living room.

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It was Bud’s idea to visit the haunted house.

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Up we went to uncover the house’s mystery.

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The Master’s Bed

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The Fireplace

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The staircase of the haunted house.

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It was his idea to reenact our wedding day.

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Unfortunately, I can only do the “real kiss” of the newlywed couple once. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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No serious pose indeed. Oh wells. ๐Ÿ˜€

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His signature pose.

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Baguio Escapade 2015

We also stayed at Hotel Veniz which is located near the heart of the city popularly known for its night flea markets. My husband and I pretty much enjoyed buying stuff at such an affordable price – it was a hassle though packing them up as it added to our already bulky baggage. But it still was fun haggling for lower prices and yes, eating street food. Now this last part I must definitely say THE highlight of our last night there.

We were all tired after the vacation and it was during the last day at my in laws’ house where I got hold of one of the most interesting pieces of memorabilia that I didn’t quite expect after receiving my first memorabilia from the Holy Land which is the Spikenard Magdalena perfume thru my husband’s Dad.

My mother-in-law gave me Bible Land Treasures’ย ย The Anointing Oil as one of their presents which I am very grateful for. A good God we indeed have. ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Anointing Oil

If you haven’t read my article on the Spikenard Magdalena perfume, you can read it up here and itย also explains a little bit about the Anointing Oil:

The Holy Perfume: Spikenard Magdalena

As of right now, I haven’t had the slightest idea as to what God’s purposes are why I have to get hold of these two important elements in the bible which is significant in our history on how Christianity started – particularly that of Jesus and the Cross. It is very humbling though that God gave me this privilege to be able to know these elements for real, have an idea how they smelled, what they look like and where and how they were used.

The Anointing Oil smelled more delicate and milder than the Spikenard Magdalena perfume which is a combination of frankincense, myrrh and spikenard. It also has a lighter color as compared to the perfume and less concentrated. I have used the perfume twice already but I haven’t used the anointing oil yet.

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Having shared this, I am now in need of your heartfelt prayers for the Spirit’s leading where these elements can be put into good use, not just for me, but for others as well – that in serving God’s will and purpose. ๐Ÿ™‚