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!

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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. 😉

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!

I Have A Brother Who Keeps

I’ve punched my brother five times in less than a minute. It was out of frustration and hate of the words he said through text. I felt relieved knowing that he didn’t actually hit back.

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Guess who’s who on the picture?

The funny thing about our incident last Sunday was that the young people at church was shock why I punched my brother, Kuya Viz and that he didn’t fight back. They kept bugging me why their Kuya Viz didn’t do anything after my actions and I told them that it is how we cope up with our misunderstandings.

My brother is over-protective and he shows “tough love” because he knew for a fact I’m stubborn most of the time. But in the end, we figure things out and after punching him hard, hugged him and everything was fine. Yep, we don’t say “sorry” to each other but deep down inside, we both know how to work things out and keep each other’s back.

Our senior pastor shared about “brother’s keeper” a couple of weeks ago and I totally agree with how she reiterated the story of Cain and Abel. It was to instill in us the idea that regardless of what is happening, at the end of the day, we value and protect each other. That’s how it is with me and my siblings. I thank the Lord for the renewing of my mindset that Viz, tough as he is, has his pure intentions to keep me safe as always.

On that same day, I shared my frustrations and the testimony of how a brotherly love kept me aligned with the things in my life. Viz, on the other hand, shared about why he did it. I know, both of us, at the end of the day, realized that he kept me safe from harm and I kept him in-tuned to the things he is saying.

Why am I sharing it here? Because like me, I know someone out there is reading this who has a sister or a brother that tends to do their own way, even when we correct them. I know it will hurt them but rebuking them in love keeps them safe from harm. Remember Proverbs 27:5 is our basis in doing this – Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 

If you need help on how to bridge back that relationship with your siblings, send me a comment or a private message! I’d love to help out as much as I can! 

Thanks for reading!