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. 😉

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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.”

Butuan City, Youth Camp and A Lot of Other Stuff

It’s the last day of April and I am excited to what’s in store for next month. For one, I’m going for the first time in 7 years back to the National Youth Camp, only this time, as a kuya. 

Butuan City, according to wikipedia:

Butuan (pronounced /bˈtwɑːn/), officially the City of Butuan (ButuanonDakbayan hong ButuanCebuanoDakbayan sa ButuanTagalogLungsod ng Butuan) and often referred to as Butuan City, is a highly urbanized city in the Philippines and the regional center of Caraga. It is located at the northeastern part of the Agusan Valley, Mindanao, sprawling across the Agusan River. It is bounded to the north, west and south by Agusan del Norte, to the east by Agusan del Sur and to the northwest by Butuan Bay. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 337,063 people.[4]

I believe God is doing something in the city and we are all excited what He will reveal through this season. 

Please pray also for our youth group of twenty something as we travel from Negros Oriental to Cebu by bus and barge and by boat overnight all the way to Nasipit. 

Also,since it will be on a weekday, I’ll be out of the office for the entire week and my boss approved of it. Wohoo!

And oh, I’m also helping with some church stuff with NIHOP’s Negros Youth Convergence 2017:

So,it is going to be a hectic month on top of work so please pray for the following:

  • Provision for travel, the activities and for my family as well
  • Protection in all the travels, promotional stints for the events
  • Good health as I do stuff because you know how I become workaholic

I appreciate your reading and send me a comment if you agree with me in prayer! Salamat!

Being A Kuya and some other stuff

I am just exhausted and amazed about so many things today. Surely being a kuya in the group makes you exhausted from leading worship, facilitating sessions and of course, giving encouragement and counsel to many young people.

But with all these things, I find it joy about how each and every words that we share to these young people, God uses it to change their perspectives and outlook in life. And I’m always excited everytime they open up to us after we open up something personal. Like what happened this afternoon.

Our youth group gathered around to have a worship practice for tomorrow but our pastor ended up asking everyone about what they personally learned during the youth retreat which started last night and ended at 3:00pm today.

Opportunities like this usually pops up at unexpected times and yet, becoming a mentor needs to be ready at all times. After so much talk about challenges, weaknesses and grace, we gathered all boys and same with the girls and prayed for one another. You cant stop the tears from falling from the guys when I prayed for each of them much more for me to continue without taking a deep breath to control myself. Hehehe…

After much counseling ang praying, I realized that in every dillema that they have, it seems to relate to CHANGE. Although change is believed to be the only constant thing in this world, it definitely is also a hard long process that takes eternity.

Change doesn’t take overnight (and it’s true!) – Teens today has a lot of challenges in their lives. With these challenges is the opportunity to respond postively or negatively. And this response affects their outlook in life, much more how they respond and interact to other people. And yes, It takes time for a teen to be patient, to be honest, to say “NO” to many things in life and many more. But like any of us who has gone through that stage, changes needs effort and prayers of others because it really is hard to say “NO”!

Another lesson learned is the reality that it takes patience, grace and mercy to accept them, and accept them wholeheartedly as WHO THEY ARE. I can’t imagine how these young people would think of me after they shared to me their secrets just by saying, you’re not worth my time and you dont change. It will surely grieve their hearts,much more – lose their hopes.

I’m excited how GOD will start to work in their lives and much more excited on how themselves will be able to change other people because of their lives. ( Domino Effect…Yup!)

Lastly, I thank God for those people who were there for me through the years, for without them, I surely will be a fool dealing with these delicate ones. And of course, I thank the LORD of Grace, Mercy and Peace that is in my heart to listen to them and give wise counsel to what they are going through.