Good Good Father!

There are some songs that allows us to reflect and makes us sit in amazement of who our Father in heaven is. One good song is “Good,good Father” penned by Pat Barrett and Tony Brown of Housefires. Their song is the best expression of what Romans 8:15 talks about “we did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’”

Another good verse is from Galatians 4:7 which shares that we “…are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.”

This is how I felt and received while I reflected and pondered for these past few days. And it allowed me to understand that life is a mixture of different things and yet my father in heaven remains the same – yesterday, today and forever. This is the assurance I have in Him and for him alone.

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I hope you will experience the acceptance and love from our heavenly father as it resonates in this beautiful song of a son engrossed with the goodness of God:

Here’s the interview clip of Chris Tomlin about the song and how it brought impact to many of those who have heard this song.

Here are additional trivia of the songs taken from Songfacts:

  • The original composer and singers were  Pat Barrett and Tony Brown
  • Released as a single, Tomlin’s version debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Christian Digital Songs chart, the worship singer’s fourth leader on the tally
  • Local Atlanta act Housefires originally recorded “Good Good Father” on their 2014 Housefires II album
  • Other artists that have recorded the song include Casting Crowns, Big Daddy Weave and Zealand Worship.
  • This won Song of the Year at the 2016 Dove Awards.
  • Pat Barrett was originally inspired by his own role as a father to write the song and was quoted in CBN “When I started having kids and I’m looking at my daughter Harper Gray, and I’m like, ‘How am I going to explain God to you?'”

If you are also want to know more about the band Housefires, click here – Housefires.

What about you? How is your heart doing? Any good songs to recommend for reflections and just maybe, help someone with their experiences by encouraging them through a song. 🙂

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The Writing About My Melancholy Continues

I am still melancholic but also trying to not think most of the time. To battle my melancholy, I started to write stuff through my instagram posts and found out, I’m not ending with just two posts but a continuous effort to bring out the reason why I’m feeling sad.

A good friend and co-worker asked me why am I being melancholic and asked me “What or who did you remember recently?”

And I blurted out aloud “a lot”. Here’s another melancholic mode instagram post below:

One of the bad side of being melancholic is that you keep thinking even when all the lights are off. I ended up sleeping past 2AM because even when the phone is turned off and my aircon is in full blast, I still keep thinking stuff about work, life, plans and even the past.

There are certain things that is so hard to understand . It ends us with the reality that certain decisions and actions from long ago can have a ripple effect all along, not to mention, consequences. And so does current decisions in life, it will impact my entire life one way or another.

But if in any consolation, the past is past and we can no longer hold dear to what has been done.

The good thing is, God in His loving nature as a Father, redeemed us from our past and reminds us that even in our darkest, He became the light and hope for us through His son.

How then should I act with my #melancholy and #liveout the best in me?

Still, in #melancholic mode and yet, hopeful that by writing what is in my head, helps me jump boat from this #temperament to my #choleric side once again.

When Melancholy Hits You Hard

You probably think that I’ve been neglecting this blog for quite some time but that’s not the case, or probably the entire scenario…

All of us sometimes needs space to reflect, look back and tries to clear things out. For whatever reasons, it can and helpfully get us back on track.

Since this is a blog about being melancholic, I’ll start by posting what I placed in my instagram account awhile ago. Here it goes:

I woke up with a very heavy feeling today. And yet, my mind wants to remind me that even King David encouraged himself in times of his own despair.

In 1 Samuel 30:6 the author shared “And David was greatly distressed…but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” Life as we know it will always have its ups and downs. We look at it differently and sometimes jokingly. But in the end, it is up to us whether we want to stay where we are or we rise above the situation, continue to pursue the things we love, leave behind the things we fear or start back to step zero.

But it all starts and ends with God.

This is a long post but believe me, I’ll be back to post more #melancholic #musings because #melancholicmode is on and #reflections would jump up here and there.

So,there it is. After trying to overcome the sad melancholic mode for about 6 months, it hit me hard on my birthday that I’ll be forever be “melancholic” and a few days after, got rebuked that when life hits you hard – I don’t need to roll down with it, I need to rise-up, believe in the good things in life, encourage myself and get my act together because I am not yet done.

Grow up, Mom!

Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”

Paul challenges the Ephesian church to stand firm in all their duties as believers, focusing on having the right mindset,actions and responses to the family of believers and our community.

Having to share about honoring Christ through honoring our parents at the start of the chapter seems to imply that sometimes it is just so hard to give honor to them.

One young man chatted with me through Facebook last night about his struggles with his parents. They just had one of those big fights again and he couldn’t bear the guilt and the frustrations after it. He even ranted for almost thirty minutes about his mom not understanding him and what he has been doing.

I knew in my heart that this kid wanted me to confirm his frustrations and will side with him on what he feels is correct and right. After awhile, he realized that I am not against or in anyone’s side. He slowly understood what needs to be done and decided pray for his parents.

The struggle of this young man was my struggle before and I don’t want him to make the same mistake as I did.

By any means and of no regard of age range, when we talk back and go against their wishes, it dishonors God as we disrespect them. This is not an implied truth but a plain, clear and cut to the heart reminder of Paul.

How many times have we hurt their feelings? Our sense of knowledge against their inadequacy is a sign that we are rebelling against them. Rebellion in the heart, even not showing it to them, is still rebellion.

We honor Christ by honoring their desires for us. In all the layers of hard talks, demands to excel and even to a point, nagging at us showcases three simple truths:

1.) They want what they believe is best for us – hard as it can be, they really do. The wisdom and advise (or sometimes, commands) our parents give is for our own good. This is to instill discipline in us. No matter how harsh the words was given or how strong their emotions are is the reality that they are doing this to make sure we are on the right path.

2.) When we talk back at them, it hurts them – often times we blurt out the famous words “you just don’t understand me…” statement that often leads to an argument. They do understand us, it’s just that when we reason out to them, they already know where this talk will lead. Our parents are there to guide us so that just in case they are gone, they no longer fear of what might happen to us.

3.) When we talk back, it hurts us more – the sense of guilt, shame and condemnation is the spirit’s indication that we did something wrong. The Holy Spirit will bring our consciousness back to what He says in the written word. To honor our parents is to respect them, and especially if we still live with them. The conscience in us will bring into light the hurts and pain we feel when we fought back but also the remorse and sin that grieves God by disobeying the command of Ephesians 6:1-3.

My greatest struggle came when my parents decided to separate. My twin brother and I just got home from an event and found out that all our plates and glasses are broken and they were fighting (again). It was our decision to let them part ways because we felt at that time that there was no use in living in a place where fights are the new norm.

Looking back at what happened then made me realize that out of our own wisdom, we thought that was the right and mature counsel we can give them. Sad to say,it wasn’t the wisest decision at all. It led to a lot complications that the four of us siblings are experiencing until now.

We no longer dwell on our past mistakes but we do, for the longest time, are praying for divine intervention. I’m praying for my father and younger brother to come back to the Lord. This was one of the consequences of the decision we’ve made. I am starting to pray for my parents to get back together and a lot of other things.

Anyway, back to the topic….

Why share it here? Because you probably feel that we are more mature and wiser than our parents, but we are not. There are things that they have experienced in life that we haven’t experience yet. Their advice comes from the hard decisions in their struggles in life and the result it brought to them. Our decisions and argument sometimes comes from the convenience we want to get or to a point, as a way of escape of disobeying them. We reason out because know we were caught in the act.

How then should we respond? How do we show love to them? How can we stay silent when all hell breaks loose?

We start to love them as who they are. To love them is to honor them. And the best way to do it is to respect their decisions for us. Doing this not on our own accord but only through His strength (relating to the gift of grace which gives us the supernatural capacity) to pray for our enemies if we see them as one.

We start by praying for them. We hide in our prayer closet and ask God to change them and in the end, God changes how we sees them. They are also broken vessels that needs our love and acceptance. We P.U.S.H. until we no longer sees them as an enemy but as our love ones.

We honor them by saying “yes”. We often feel that every command needs a rebuttal but looking at it, almost 90% of the time, we feel guilty on why we did what we did. It will be hard at the start but in the long rung, you will see the fruit of your labor.

How is your relationship with your parents? Please do share your own experiences and hopefully, someone out there probably had the same struggles we can help them out with.

Waiting Determines The True Nature of The Heart

I woke up today with a lot of things in mind. It made me think of a lot of stuff, some mundane while the other stuff makes me think that today is going to be a very long and bad day.

Even with the frustrations I am feeling, I still started with my devotional and it spoke about waiting in the Lord.

Hhhm, God’s word is reminding me to wait on a couple of things. To wait, to wait…to wait. I can’t seem to wait patiently for Him to move.

There are a couple of things that I want to rush into doing things but I am asked to wait. Actually, I feel like I am placed in a tight bottle, locked up and zipped while I see what’s going on outside.

This is how I am waiting.

This is how bored waiting is sometimes.

This can be a gruesome battle to be still.

This is not good for me.

This is irritating.

This is my waiting time.

This is how I’ll wait.

How we wait determines our heart’s true intentions. God intentionally make us wait to clear some rough edges of our decisions and sometimes allows the bad stuff to come out to the open.

I often feel bored,irritated and even wanting to take control. But wanting to take control is raging war against the will of Abba Father and disobedience can lead to more frustrations in the “what if’s”.

I guess that’s one thing that I feel right now, I am frustrated. Not sure of what but pretty sure I am feeling the nagging feeling of wanting to take control. The idea that I can do more,be more and can do better but I am also taken aback on certain issues,concerns and questions that will rise up if ever.

Caught in between my waiting time and frustrations, I pray. It eases me up, it makes me calm and relax. It allows me to remind myself that although I am in control in my life, there is someone much more in control of my being that needs to be acknowledged – my Father in Heaven.

“Father, it amazes me how you remind me of things early in the morning.

I feel frustrated writing this note but in the long run, the wisdom and reminder seems to take away the feeling of frustations away.

Let your word remain true today. I will wait for you, be in control, take control of both my will and emotions. In you, there will always be waiting time but also an opportunity to see your grace, to see your plans unfolding, to see your love for me and to see your shield of protection over me.

Indeed, life is better when you are in control because I find peace that you will never do anything that will hurt me. Amen.”

Promotion, Interviews and Some Other Things In Mind

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I had my interview with the senior manager for recruitment operations in another company last night. The interview lasted for 40 minutes and it was focused on how I handle my team, juggling both recruitment and sourcing initiatives and how I’m well adept with recruitment operations and its process.

The only part that I was not sure of is that at the end of the interview, the interviewer mentioned that I’ll take on the lead for the Site Recruitment and Sourcing for the company if identified. This update caught me off guard because what was mentioned on the last interview was that I’ll be focusing on recruiting operations and not sourcing but nevertheless, I know I can handle both efficiently if given the chance.

Although I am still have to wait until Friday this week for the result if I’ll be endorsed to the associate vice-president for another interview, I think I did good with the talk I had with her during the video conference. I know that this may sound weird but I’m actually at peace even when I am uncertain if the interviewer failed me or not.

If given the chance, this is a promotion from being a team supervisor to a lead role. I am excited of the role and I am expectant that if I am the best fit, there will be no hindrances in my application. Not only do I believe this, I am assured that if this is part of God’s plan, it will be given with the best offer they can give to me.

Today, I am assured that if this job is for me – God has a good intention about why I have to wait. I remember praying to Daddy God last Friday that if this is something you want me to do, you’ll move heaven and earth for me to get the next interview done smoothly.

I also had a good talk with my colleague and friend, Salvo, who happens to be my counterpart in Recruitment. Setting his expectations that if I get the role, he has to take the role for both sourcing and recruitment for the mean time. It might be a challenge at first but I know he can do it. But I also said that if I don’t get this job, I am fine in staying put where I am for now.

Lastly, you might probably think what’s got into me that I decided to jump ship from one established role to a new arena. It’s all about leaving my comfort zone. I’ve been doing sourcing and branding for more than 9 years and focusing on recruitment tasks was done on the side line. I want to fully take charge in a recruitment lead role, doing recruitment and process improvement.

Do I have regrets in doing sourcing and marketing? Nope, to be honest, I don’t have one. The interviewer even asked me why I decided to get this role, was it because I was not recognized or if I have any grudges with the management and I told her I don’t have anything against the company or the management. This is more about my desire to grow as a manager and take on a new challenge. I know she was convinced about my answer because she went on to set expectations to what will happen next.

If you have reached this part on reading this blog updates, thank you for taking time. 🙂 I do hope you’ll pray with me about this new opportunity. If I get the job or even if I don’t get it, I’ll be posting it here. This time, this is just a long melancholic post about the things I wanted to share without hesitation or fear.

If you also are in need of advise or just something to share, feel free to post a comment or send me a message. I’ll be glad to be of help and pray with you about it. 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

Spiritual Gifts, Promotion and His Timing

When God allows opportunities for us, he will also give us the giftings to be effective to whatever he has for us. This is the basic truth for any christian leaders – be it in corporate or at any church functions.

But there are also roles in the church wherein we also have to consider if this is the best for us. A very good question will be to ask ourselves if these tasks can fully support the vision and mission of the church as a whole.

Like any church responsibilities, these roles are either given based on election by the leadership team or by appointment by the senior pastors. Either way, such roles will play an important role in building the kingdom work of God and is beneficial for the body of believers.

The reason why I am sharing this here is because I was asked to pray about a certain role my senior pastors are eyeing for me to take on. There are a couple of people in the church that they have identified also for the role but this is something that they both feel I will be effective in doing.

The role is being a church administrator. It caught me off guard with this new update and although I’m the kind of person who loves challenges, the role is something I am not sure I can handle.

According to one of LinkedIn’s article about church administration, it is defined as a role that “helps pastors and church staff become effective and efficient leaders, managers, and administrators.”

On the said article, the author Isaac Malemelo gave a thorough and brief definition on the task and how we should see this responsibility:

The bible presents the concept of church administration as a gift from God. When we look at the letter of Paul to the Corinthians, we read that “And in the church God has appointed…those with gifts of administration” (1 Cor. 12:28, NIV).

Richards (1952:48) alludes that Apostle Paul was of the view that a church administration personnel is supposed to be driven by the Spirit of God in all the things they do. He calls that an administrator represents the church to the general public as he qualifies his statement in contrast to the 21st century church paradigm.

I agree with Richards because most churches will find themselves dealing with politicians, city council members and outside institutions. The church administrator should be well versed in these areas so that he or she can properly represent the church and the Bible being the master manual and source of the administration ethics. Richards (1952:48

It may come to a surprise that this specific “know-how” is actually what I shared in the leadership meeting yesterday. I haven’t read the article or even researched about the role but when asked what the role is, the key points I shared was that this person knows the “ins and outs” of the ministry, effectively communicating the responsibilities and activities in any medium and on a given time, present it accurately to the congregation.

My only challenge, if I may say, is that I am in Dumaguete City for my work while the task may require me to be at church in certain days if needed. Of course, these can be done over the phone or through text message. The main goal is that, when the pastors and leaders are out, I take charge of some major decisions in alignment to the needs and vision of the senior leaders.

To also confirm if I am fit for the role, I tried a spiritual gifts test to check on it and this is what I got after answering more than a hundred questions. Here’s what I got from http://www.spiritualgiftstest.com below:

spiritual gifts

Am I assured on the answer above?

I believe that the top 3 are accurate. It is not only my passion but it has been confirmed by my pastors and the rest of the group of people I know. I move in these three very openly. All of my books (more than 100 of them) are based on how to move in the prophetic, works and miracles to gifts of knowledge and wisdom.

Now interestingly, take note that the result on the left is also considered my strongest points if this is above 30 on each area and administration, leadership and apostleship are also my key drivers.

So, what do I do now? I am reminded of this verse below as an ending and may it also be yours also when God places you in a situation wherein you are to pray about it and ask if you are on the right track:

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Be blessed tonight and get to comment on your thoughts about spiritual gifts and how we can learn to grow in these giftings for God’s greater glory!

Here By Choice

I have this crazy idea of writing a reflection book about my journey and learning through a devotional I want to entitle as “Here By Choice”. It will speak about the lessons in my christian journey, of being melancholic, reflecting on God and what I have encountered so far. This will also speak about who He is, based on the scriptures and what I can understand through my situation.

The Wilderness journey is an encounter we all must take

Hopefully, I get to finish the devotionals in less than 3 months time. It may take longer for me to finish and have some people edit and proofread some of the devotionals. 😉

Christ Is Our Light

Spending my quiet time to understand darkness and light. Here are a few thoughts:

1.) A small light can illuminate the darkest place on earth. It symbolizes hope in our desperation, a glimmer of hope makes us jump in enthusiasm that something BETTER IS IN STORE.

2.) Light can overcome the darkness but not the other way around. Christ is symbolized as the light of the world. And because He is the light, darkness will submit to his power and authority.

3.) The break of dawn symbolizes a new day to ponder, to fight for, to live and enjoy. Hope is renewed, it rejuvenates and it allows us to give our best for the day once again.

Mark today as a new day filled with hope and positivity. It may be challenging to venture out but like darkness, it will not last.

If we are to change “light” with Christ’s name on it. It simply says that “Christ shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome Him.”

The Process Of Restoration

Isaiah 61:7 “Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land, they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.”

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I’ve been meeting with my mentors for the past weekends since January as part of the process of restoration. During these opportunities, I get to see them not as pastors but as parents. It was a season of renewing, one on one mentoring and having to sit down and listen to both of them.

If you are not aware of what happened, please click here to know why I am on disciplinary action. I still believe that confessing it in public was the most powerful experience I have been in to but meeting with both of them every weekend makes it more appealing, relating their love for me as a son. In the past few weeks, I haven’t heard anything bad about me, never ridiculed my wrongdoings or even condemned me for my past sins. It was more of a time of good food and a whole lot of time of loving!

For the last 6 weeks, here’s what I have done alone or together with them:

  1. I’ve spent almost every Saturday and Sunday with them, either by eating with them or doing activities at their home, mostly resting and eating snacks or lunch together, sometimes watching tv and a couple of hours of sincere talks about spiritual things, releasing of emotional baggages and the testimony of a love that conquers all (their love story!).
  2. A drive going to Bais with Uncle Lem, talking about life decisions, protecting myself from the cares of the world and encouraging me that there have been changes they have noticed on how I am, even when I am not talking. The importance of accountability and people who will protect and cover for me in prayer and encouragement.
  3. The opportunity to pray with both of them, listen to them and humbly submitting to their authority. To be covered in prayer, the laying of hands and the hugs (almost all the time) from them makes it real to me that they love me, even in the past that I have, they do love me.
  4. The blessing of having to eat with them during meal time. Auntie Tessie being my spiritual mom, will let me sit and wait for the food to be prepared. To eat what Uncle Lem and she will have is one of the best experience in this season.
  5. Praying, meditating, reading articles about redemption, restoration and renewal of the covenant with the Lord in my room.
  6. Writing blogs and tweets that reflects my experiences, lessons I am learning and even the struggles I’ve encountered so far.
  7. Listening to sermons about purity, one on one talk with Uncle Lemuel and with my personal quiet time with the Lord.
  8. Personal daily worship with the Lord, praying daily and journaling my thoughts.
  9. The changes in how I worship in the congregation, I no longer care how others may look or think of me except on how God sees me as I am.
  10. A time spent with my spiritual sisters and brothers ( Yhem and Micah, Kuya Dan and Christian, Viz and Lutzine) and how they have received my imperfections, my struggles and the encouragement to pursue godliness and purity.

Lastly, when Auntie Tessie spoke these very words last night “You are now restored fully in the ministry God has placed you…”. I answered back with “Yes, I am restored from the time we talked up to tonight…” She interrupted me this time by saying  “No, you are now fully restored in the ministry and in the leadership God has placed you.”

I was jumping for joy not because I can do the stuff I’ve been doing but because in their eyes, I have fully accomplished what I needed to learn in this season. In this season, God was relentless in making sure I am restored in the fullness of who I am in Christ Jesus.

Why do I need to share these things here? You probably needed to hear from someone who came from the pit of sin and how God helped me in the season I am in. I believe that restoration is a process of fine-tuning, and it will hurt you, break you, kill your selfish desires and even rebuke you. But there is also another side of the process wherein love is shown in simple ways, kindness, and grace bestowed in the small ways and in all of these, restoration and forgiveness.

Does it mean I can do whatever I want to do from this point forward? No, it will not work that way. I will continue to spend time with Uncle Lem and Auntie Tessie, not as part of the process but because I want to spend my days with them – to support, protect and minister with them. I also have a lot of people covering me, protecting me, checking on me and help me along the way. Freedom in Christ is not a one time experience, it is a process that we need to go through in a season.

What do I do now? I want to serve the church, the best way I can, with the very same words of Isaiah I am now receiving the double portion, a lot where I can grow and minister and the joy of the Lord to be my strength to pursue destiny. I want to use all of my experiences, lessons I have learned and God’s power of restoration to minister to the broken, the prodigals and the self-righteous like me.

I hope you are blessed with what I have shared and please do comment and share this post!

True Love Waits, err… what?

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I just got back to the office after facilitating “True Love Waits” workshop in one of the churches here in Dumaguete City. It is difficult to squeeze in 3 topics with 3-4 points to discuss, bible verses to share and questions to ask for understanding in just 20 minutes per session!

It requires both talking slowly in sharing the stuff, reiterating the important points and conclude each session with grace. I am pleased to what the outcome was, actually, blessed that they responded positively to what I shared about purity, true love and deciding today to do the right thing. Yes friends, true love is a choice!

Some might probably think that sharing such topic is as easy as A,B,C…but it is not. Presenting the truth in love, much grace and wisdom exerts us to give more than what we know we think about love. And I thank God for His wisdom in making it as plain as it can be, getting examples that relates to our daily life and making sure they can retain what they have learned!

So, here are some of my takes on our topic and discussion earlier:

  • True love is a decision – it is not based on feelings or emotions, it is not based on what the world thinks about it or even our own definition of the word “love”. It is defined to how the word of God says it is so. It is defined through Christ’s actions that led him to the cross, an action word that 1 Corinthians 13 speaks about. If defined correctly, it speaks about God’s love, loving ourselves, loving others (family and friends), loving our future mate and kids.
  • The way we look at Eros love is influenced by the outside world – the media, society’s view of it and even how we personally look at it. It is influenced by how we feel, think and even hear. When we listen to the world, we will be misguided and misinformed of what love can be. When we align it to the word of God, we are guided intentionally to the truth. When we speak the truth in love, people responds to God’s love graciously.
  • Even when we know what is right, we make mistakes – being honest about it allows us to open the doors for people to not make the mistakes we did. We make our mess into a message, our testings of temptation to a testimony of victory. That is one of the best lesson I can give to someone reading right now! If we believe we are no longer sinning, no longer into temptation, we are fooling ourselves. As long as we are in this world, sin will also tempt us to go back. But the good thing is that we have a way of escape. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 is states that “no temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” We can always say NO and turn away, it is not because we are tempted that we succumb into it, we ran away from it because God has given us the will to choose what is right and pleasing to His sight. Our way of escape is to run away from it, not stand still!
  • Grace is evident when we look in Christ’s example for what LOVE IS – it is often misunderstood that when we speak about Christ, we only speak about agape love. He speaks about love towards one another. It is a love that is different from the world, it talks about doing what is best for the other person because we want to protect her. We want to not cause her into sin, we want to not be pressured with what others say and not do what others are doing. We look into grace because it is not just the unmerited favor, it is the capacity to do what is right for God and through Christ.

How about you? What have you learned lately about love and relationships?

In the past few weeks, I have talked about confession and freedom in Christ. Today, I am speaking the truth about love, because in the context of the body of believers, we must make sexual purity and the sacredness of true love an important topic for the church, not a taboo or a once in a year discussion.

It should be the main focal point of our message because love is the foundation of the gospel!

If true love exists, then we should wait, God is writing the best story for you, and if you happen to experience love the wrong way, like I did, grace is available for us. It is evident to the very message of Christ for us – confession brings freedom in Christ. And freedom in Christ is the very message of what true love is, not was, but true love that waits. He is waiting for us to understand, to believe in Him and to get right with Him. 

Thank you for reading and God bless!

A Testimony Talk

“The moment we make our mess into a message of hope and the testings our testimony, we celebrate the victory we have in Christ Jesus.”

I had the opportunity to talk last night in a youth group about 1 Corinthians 13. By God’s grace, I hope I was able to present a very good and thorough explaination of what true love is, basing it in the written word of God, the bible.

Amazing things happen when you know God walks through the door and makes you tell your testimony to a group of youngsters.

Perhaps, I’ll share it here one time but for now, be praying to God about it. 😉

The Power Of Confession

Today is one of the most powerful day at church. I have seen the Lord move in the congregation without any songs at the background but just Him and from a person who has given his testimony and how God has changed him from the inside out.

It has been a challenging and hard step for me to lay it all down before the Lord and to my church family with my struggle with sin.

Indeed, the past few days has been a meaningful journey of finding true freedom in Christ Jesus.

Starting today, I have set myself in the next step of my journey of healing, restoration and redemption.

I’d like to share the process I’ve been through and how the Lord has used a lot of people in my life to be bold enough to speak in front in truth, in love and in full of humility for the next few blog posts.

Today, I will share about how the Lord prepared my heart for the times ahead.

The Preparation of The Heart

For the last two weeks, I’ve been confronted with the deception that I am unloved, unaccepted and condemned. The enemy has instilled in my mind that no matter what I do right, I am still broken,incomplete and rejected.

All of the statements I’ve mentioned came from the enemy. And all of them are lies.

Our mind may tell us all these things but God looks at the heart and not on how we think of ourselves. We have people around us who will protect and rebuke us.

God has placed in my life people to let me see the other side of me that needs to change.

In my preparation, the Lord has brought me to scriptures and statements that speaks about my identity in Him, not of myself but of what He has done for me. It took me hours of heart to heart talk with my mentors to deal with the sin and me.

My spiritual parents have ministered and rebuked me with all the reasons I can give to them why I am afraid to confess it.

My Uncle Lemuel (my senior pastor) has been a powerful voice in my life to rebuke my stubborness. He reminded me that recognizing myself and my pride, the fear of rejection and discrimination is a sign that I have not died to self.

It is only when i recognize the importance of confession will I be able to be truly experience the freedom I have always longed for.

Indeed, as a believer, the words of Jesus rings true to all of us who wants to follow him.

Luke 9:23-24 “And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.

The battle was all in the mind and I am blessed to say that receiving forgiveness from my brother, my mom and my spiritual family was not an easy task. It took all of my pride and laid it aside and be open to criticism, rebuke and condemnation.

But because of the boldness to confront my pride, my fears and the sins I have done that I was able to step-out from the darkness and receive the life Christ has promised.

Today at church, I have opened myself to all of those who were present about my struggles and have asked for forgiveness. I was crying in front as I shared the innermost secret of my life.

As I was pouring out my heart to the congregation, I knew the lord has started to release a mantle of forgiveness in my life. I know that being bold on what I shared will either put me in the spotlight of condemnation and rejection but I no longer cared because I felt the love from my Father in heaven, tangible and real.

I also received forgiveness and grace from the people in church I recognize as family. I know that it was not easy for all of them to see me in front but I also know that God has also ministered to them through what I have done as an act of worship.

We all cried in knowing that we have all received the love of the Father and mercy for our misgivings. And in all of these, to Him be all the glory and honor alone!

I may never know what you are going through right now and I know that in all the struggles and sin that you have, you have longed for the freedom that Christ has promised.

Let me be the first one to say this “He loves you no matter what” and accepts you for who you are. And He is ready to forgive you if you will just lay down your guard and be truthful about it.

He will not leave you until the broken pieces of your life are brought back together. I am the very evidence of a “work in progress” and I have received grace and a renewed mind because I stood in front to almost a hundred people in my church today and openly confess my sins to be forgiven.

God will give you a new heart, a heart of flesh that will feel the love, grace and acceptance from our Abba Father. Just receive it as you read the prayer below:

“Father, I speak life to those who are reading this message. May the same love, kindness and grace you have showered me today be evident in their situation.

You have a purpose in all of our struggles but we have to make a bold step to forgive ourselves and make your way in our lives once again.

In your name, we speak life and blessing that you who have called us is faithful and true. May we find our resting place in the security of who we are in You, not with what we have but of what you have done for us.

We renounce the spirit of deception, the sinful nature and receive your love and forgiveness. That no matter what we have done so far, you will take away. Your love is near and you can remove our sins.

Amen.”

Suicide is NOT Your Option!

I usually get messages late at night about work, inquiries about stuff or some young people at church. I often read them early the next morning if I’m too tired the night before.

But last night was different.

I got a message from someone I know who has been struggling about depression for so long. The last chat I had with the person ended well a few months ago, assuring her that the momentary trouble we all experience will lead to something better.

The sad thing is, like any other challenges, it recurs from time to time. Although our chat through Instagram ended with me sharing a video about a testimony from someone sharing about her battle against depression and the spirit of suicide, I often wonder why someone would want to end their life as easy as 1,2,3…

If you are having the same dillemma right now, here are some stuff to think about.

1.) We have been paid with an extravagant price.

Hebrews 9:22 “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

We all have our struggles, failures and stubbornness towards what is right but this does not diminish the reality that Christ died for our sins and made himself the ransom from our stubborn self will.

Galatians 3:13-14 “Christ paid the price to free us from the curse that the laws in Moses’ Teachings bring by becoming cursed instead of us. Scripture says, “Everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed.” Christ paid the price so that the blessing promised to Abraham would come to all the people of the world through Jesus Christ and we would receive the promised Spirit through faith.”

Life is precious and if we deny the existence of what Christ did, specially as a believer, we deny ourselves with the assurance of the eternal gift of living in His presence forever.

You have been given the gift of life, don’t ruin it just because life seems to be unfair or not as what you’ve wanted it to be!

2.) Our troubles does not outweigh the grace that is ever present in our situation.

2 Corinthians 4:17 “We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory that is much greater than the troubles.”

We always hear the quote our God is bigger than our problems and even as we want to believe it as a cliche, He is.

We have not experienced the agony of sin and death like Jesus did for us! No matter how deep the pit is, he can pull us out of it because of His love for us.

He will provide for all our needs. He will keep his promises. We just have to learn to wait for His perfect timing.

Sometimes we feel that we have experienced the worst of the things man can experience but God’s grace is not just the unmerited favor available but also the power to pursue.

We have this grace in us that allows us to fight the battle head on and win.

Romans 8:37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

3. Death is not the answer or the end of our problems.

Will death be the end of our troubles?

I don’t believe it will be. In the very words of Hebrew, we are to die once and then judgment will come to all of us.

Hebrews 9:27 “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment”

Not only do we need to understand these things in the light of the scriptures but to our own present situations as well.

If we believe that it is wrong to kill someone, how much more to kill ourselves!

In the story of creation itself shares that God has made us in His own image, in the likeness and nature of who he is. We are precious in the sight of our heavenly father and because we are His.

We should not dare to hurt ourselves because of the trouble we face. Keep in mind Paul’s advice to the Roman believers about persecution and hardships.

He reminded them to press on, to continue, to remind themselves of God’s love for us.

Romans 8:35,37-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I hope that whatever I shared in this blog post enlightens anyone who is thinking of ending his life for some reason, any reason at all. And just one final promise I will leave you with.

The assurance that something better is in store, you just have to hang in there.

Jeremiah 29:11 “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.”

We have a future and even when things fall apart today, His love for us will not let us go to the pit without Christ fighting for us.

If you still don’t believe me, send me a message or a comment and I’ll prove it all the more that you have not gone the worst in life not to experience the best of times with Christ!

Acceptance Is The Key

I just got a call from someone and told me some stuff that needs to be done. In essence, I was expecting for it to happen anytime soon. In reality, the tingling and uneasy feeling that the challenge has now been set and it is up to me how I will go about this.

Whether I like it or not, it has to be done. Even if I have hesitations, it is the command set in scriptures. It is not about my own opinion or how people will respond, it is a command and there is no option but to obey. And it is for free.

A real disciple obeys, even when he disagrees. It is the assurance that we recognize the gift of authority that has been placed above us. Even if it hurts, it shakens our stand and even rip us apart from what we think should or could have been.

I often read about the story of Mary Magdalene in the gospel. It often reminds me that for me to pass judgement, I must at first recognize the things I have that is also not in accordance with God’s will. But in reality, it is hard, in the aspect of acceptance, we cannot accept our own sinful acts.

It is not about accepting who we are but accepting the fact that we have fallen in sin, the same as everybody else. And how we respond and act on it determines the heart inside of us.

This blog post is not about making excuses or making my point, it is just an avenue to express that in accepting the reality of the things I have done, many will not accept it the way I will extend grace to others.

Many will demean what I will say, sometimes pinpointing the sin with the man, instead of recognizing the grace that is sufficient for all of us.

How do we go about such situations? Will we capitalize on the sin we see in others or the grace to accept the fault of who we are? Are we to deny the existence of the sinful nature and not deny the love that needs to be given for the rest of us?

Grace will always be our way of escape but not the key to sin some more. Acceptance is one of the keys to freedom but does not apply to how others may see it. Love surpasses all the multitude of sin but does not guarantee that others will release the same love of our Abba Father.

If you are in the same scenario as I am today, always remember that the perfect love of the Abba Father casts away all fears – the fear of rejection, pain and anger. The love in Christ is absolute, beyond measure and in control.

I know it is a process but it is crucial. I know it is hurtful but is needed. I know it is worthwhile but is hard. I know these stuff but I don’t want to give it a try.

A lot of “I know’s” and it is in knowing that I can first make the first step I know best.

MMK: #TheProdigalDaughter Story

I just finished watching Maalaala Mo Kaya, a weekend television show in ABS-CBN sharing real life stories for drama purposes. Tonight seems to give a very good story of what we all call new beginnings.

Here are a few realizations I can share with you after watching it:

1. Sin is a choice and living rightly is also a choice. Our life is filled with choices and so does doing what is right.

2. Grace is always available but we deny its existence. The very evidence that we still live in this world showcases God’s plans for us. He will never end our story unless we allow it. And so does His grace, we can never experience His love unless we acknowledge it.

3. God is not done with me yet. Yes, the stories we hear always tells of a perfect creator with a good storyline. Just be ready to know the truth. It will reshape our mindset, it will redefine our story, it can also renew our endings.

4. The power of change starts in us. The first step to change is to recognize that it starts on the inside. As what I always say, it is a matter of choice and choosing to change doesn’t start outside but inside of us.

5. Fear of the outcome allows us to rely in the hope we profess. Our hope is anchored in Christ, his promises and love for us. It may sound weird at first but it doesn’t change the fact that He died that we may live in Him.

How about you? What story and learnings have unfolded at the start of the new year? May each story we share reflect His love, grace and plans for all of us.

2018: New Year, New Pages To Write

Some stories sometimes doesn’t start right. There are also things in our life that we can no longer change or wish had a different set-up.

People will react, they will comment and sometimes hates us for what we have done. But if there is one truth I am dwelling now is the sufficiency of knowing God has accepted my faults, my mistakes and my limitations.

In the very words of Paul, “His power is made known in our weakness…” I may never change the settings of my story but I know God still has a few good pages left to write, may this be true this new year as I go back to writing in my personal blog.

As I continue to see 2018 unfold, may I look at it with a renewed hope that all will work well with my work, ministry and life.

It may not started well this year for me, I know the pages are still unfolding and good stories are yet to be written down by the Master Writer. With the new year means new beginnings and new stories for me to write and share!

Thank you for reading!

Bringing The Spirit Of Excellence In The House

I had the opportunity to share in one of our Sunday service at church a couple of weeks ago. The Lord gave me a challenging yet insightful learning about “Bringing the Spirit of Excellence In The House” based on Daniel’s life in Babylon. Learning through the life of Daniel and his friends was a humbling experience. I am blessed also to see our elders and the rest of the leadership team to respond to the call for excellence in our life as  believers and as leaders in the kingdom of God.

Here are some of my talking points I’d like to share and hopefully will help all of us check ourselves in the very best or least we can do to be excellent in all that we do for God’s greater glory.

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Bringing The Spirit of Excellence In The House

God desires for us to bring ourselves in His perfect will, which includes becoming excellent vessels for His purpose. I hope and pray that what I have shared to our church will not only be for a season but it will cause us to move forward, desiring nothing less than doing the best we can for His glory!

To God be all the glory!

Crazy Book Ideas!

Got a crazy idea? I had one (again!) and this time, I had the guts to ask a close friend working in a christian publishing company if they can have a book about stories of pastors who were led astray using drugs and how they turned that mess into a message.

With some little chat over Facebook and going through some Q & A portion from her, I ended up asking her to send me the “Book Proposal Submission Guidelines” that needed to be filled-out.

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After browsing through the guidelines and questions to answer, I was shock that it takes not only guts to write a book but a lot of reflecting and rewriting to let the message through. Here’s one of my answer below that needed a lot of time to rewrite:

“The main theme of the book is about how God rescued individuals from drug dependence and made it a message for others to be set free as well. It was very evident that God made it possible for these pastors to have a way of escape and their lives were never the same….”

I’m honest enough to share that this is something that thrills me and will entail much time and research! With the issues and concerns of the drug epidemic today, their stories can personally bring a positive impact to our church community in the Philippines. And hopefully, we as the church, to see the importance of taking part of God’s redemptive move for those enslaved by drug dependence. I hope that through this project, we can give light to the real issue and bring a different perspective with love and acceptance.

As a preview, here’s a chapter synopsis / abstract I’ve forwarded to my friend:

“Living in the limelight as an actor has its privileges but when everything turns awry by falsely being convicted of homicide, everything fell apart. His wife left him, his kids were misguided and yet he continued using drugs inside the city jail.

But one encounter inside the City Jail led him to meet Jesus at the crossroad but it didn’t just end there, he was set free from drug dependence immediately and the Lord paved the way for his parole after two decades in prison.

He now shares his testimony to different conferences and activities, giving hope that God can change our situation in the blink of an eye….”

Pray with me on this project and if you happen to know someone who has a story to tell, please share them to me by sending it through email at virsilva@gmail.com. God bless and thank you for reading! 😉

 

Work Rants and Some Other Stuff…

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I’ve been dreaming of applying for an online job. Although this may entail me to work on the wee hours of the night, at least I can have some spare time doing something else. Working for some time in the corporate world makes you see things differently. In a span of 15 days, I’ve noticed that I am spending more than 10 hours regularly ( averaging to 12 to 16 hours every other day for the last 3 weeks) to meet deadlines and joining meetings.

I also noticed a decrease in my sleeping habit and although there are good amenities in my room, I usually spend my days or nights on my bed rather than enjoying the perks of being single.

Recently, I’ve been asking my self what I really want to do in life. The crazy feeling of wanting to work online spurs me to look for some online job. The search seems to be as easy as 1,2 and 3 but getting feedback is definitely entails a lot of patience. I want to be in a work wherein I can be my own boss or should I have one, a client who is miles away from me. I love to work alone, finish projects and spend time researching and learning new stuff online. This is what drives me right now to be online most of the time.

But seriously, I will miss talking to co-workers on important stuff, spending time doing reports and spearheading coaching sessions as well. These are also important to make me sane from time to time.

Simply put, this rant is just to make me vent out on some stuff on my mind and get to understand the feeling of being free to do stuff, earn while doing the things you love most and grow in another level of maturity outside the four walls of the office.

How about you, how are you doing today?