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.”

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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!

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.”

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.