Tag Archives: god

God’s Rebuke

Sometimes God uses other blessings to test how well we would do when exercising our freewill in decision making. Do this or that? Stay or go? Most of the time, it is not easy to choose which to accept and which to turn down.

It was one of these hard moments that I was presented with two choices. I chose what I thought would make me happy. Later that day, I became uneasy, almost as if my decision made me guilty. Then I realized it was God’s rebuke. For a moment, I felt ashamed. For how could I truthfully say that I follow Christ when I cannot let him Lord over ALL of my time?

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. —Luke 9:23-24

What was I thinking? Immediately thereafter, I lost no time in making things right. God gave me a change of heart. Another chance. I would’ve failed that test, but God—most gracious and loving God—gave me a second chance.

Soon after, I had a good night’s sleep and woke up this morning with vigor renewed. I thank God for rebuking me when I was about to make a decision that I would soon regret. Small voice. We have to listen hard to hear it. We have to listen hard.

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Faith

I choose to believe that there is a God.
A God who cares for me despite my iniquities and transgressions.
A God who loves me in times when I could not even love myself.
A God who willingly gave his only son to spare me.
A God who is faithful and true to every promise.
A God who has a plan for me–to prosper me, not to harm me; to give me hope and a future.
A God who gives one blessing after another from the fullness of his grace.
A God who will never leave me nor forsake me.
A God who is compassionate, slow to anger, and rich in love.
A God who disciplines me, as a father disciplines his child.
A God who directs my steps that I may never go astray again.
A God who is above all gods.
I choose to believe.
And I am overjoyed.
#livebyfaithnotbysight #faith

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April 21, 2014 · 3:20 PM

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I am weak, Lord.

Rebuke me when I am tempted to talk back, complain, or criticize.

These do not glorify you.

 

I tend to forget, Lord.

Remind me that I live for you alone–not for the people around me.

They do not have the slightest hint of my relationship with you.

 

I am easily troubled, Lord.

Teach me to give it all to you every day, without ceasing.

This makes you smile.

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Struck Down but Not Destroyed

Two days ago, a little before noontime on a fair Friday, a menacing fire broke out in a nearby barangay, which spread into ours, devouring houses and business establishments along the way. The conflagration was fueled by a strong wind that, as fate would have it, was going our house’s direction. That day, I had one of the most emotional conversations I had with God.

I lost no time and ran out to help some relatives whose house was only in front of the alleged source of the fire. All of them were able to get out in time, but the things were beyond saving. The fire was so furious it dove and bypassed the firewall. When my aunt and her dog were put to safety, I came back to offer more help, only to find out that the fire already consumed the house from ground up. It was hungry for more. By the time it crossed the street, I was certain it would come for us.

Nearly only six houses away, my family decided to gather as many things as we could out of the house in an effort to salvage as much possessions. It was a fair day, the sun shone brightly, but the overcast cloud of smoke hung above us. Little pieces of gray ashes and charred wood fell from the sky. Smoke from the fire stung our eyes. I had watched that scene many times in the movies, but last Friday was my first full-view, first-row encounter with such grotesque fiend.

Miraculously, I was able to singlehandedly carry a large TV through one and a half flights of stairs. And as I was stowing law books, clothes, and anything I thought important into a sack, as everybody was panicking, as others were screaming for help, as hysteria reached higher level, I stopped on my tracks and had a hands-on epiphany: Everything we think we own through years of labor—books, gadgets, appliances, wardrobe—can be gone in an instant. All that we have are merely borrowed, and the owner can take them away anytime. ANYTIME. Ready or not, God can take everything away from us anytime he pleases. Because it is only by his grace and mercy that we have things to call our “own.”

Only four houses away and I was almost certain the fire would have our house and everything left in it for lunch. We were not able to get everything out—either because they were too difficult to carry or we were too physically drained already to carry any more. Minutes later, I saw the only fire truck leaving the fire scene. The people around me said it could no longer spray water because its tank had been dried out. Without a fire truck to combat the furious fire, our house and many other houses’ chance of surviving was dim. I began to expect the worst, but I refused to let go of God’s hand. I knew he was in control.

More moments of hysteria passed by, and I saw God’s first answer. A fire truck from Buenavista passed by the house and went straight to combat the fire, which was still consuming more and more structures. A few minutes and another fire truck came. (I am still crying as I type this. God is amazing. His test is never easy, but if we only hold on to him and trust him fully, whatever happens, he can get us out of any seemingly hopeless situation.)

There and then, the fire was snuffed out. I could imagine God putting his palm on the raging fire, covering it with his mighty hand until it was no more, saying, “This far you may come and no farther.” (Job 38:11, NIV)

I have never had a chance to update my blog since I started law school last year, but God gave me a new beginning—or, shall I say, an awakening. The least I could do is offer a blog entry for his glory. I will never tire praising you, Lord. You are my king, my lord, and my loving savior. I love you always. And I will do everything I can to make you smile.

 

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People Need People

While absolute dependence on other people is not good, having people around to share your ups and downs is a sweet blessing any man could have.

I’ve been poring over some ditsy things in my mind lately that I sometimes find myself staring into space. Mostly rationalizing whether my decisions have been right and whether the hopes I have for tomorrow would come to fruition. While analyzing things is generally good, there’s a thin line that separates it from worrying. Too much thinking about things leads to worrying, which, as we know, is unhealthy. So to avoid crossing over, God created people to hold us and keep us from dire straits. They often come in threes–family, friends, and, in rare occasions, strangers.

Just now, I found my blessing in having people in my life. While I’ve been losing my mind into space thinking about mundane stuff and whatnot, the husband deliberately interrupted my train of thought with a song and silly dance moves to go with it. In he came right in my full view and sang an action song while flapping imaginary wings and strutting invisible bird tail. I couldn’t help but titter at his silly antics. He’s such a clown! 😉

Ang mga ibon, na lumilipad

Ay mahal ng Diyos, ‘di kumukupas

Ang mga ibon na lumilipad

Ay mahal ng Diyos, ‘di kumukupas

‘Wag ka nang malungkot.

Oh, praise the Lord!

No man is an island. When God created the earth, he did not make one but two people–Adam and Eve. Which means God wants us to live with one another. He wants us to have relationships to cherish and keep in good times and in bad. Our troubles should not diminish our faith, for they give God the opportunity to demonstrate his power. And you know what I discovered? Our god is a happy god. In times when we feel downcast, he taps other humans to entertain us while he’s busy working on our prayer request. Our god is an awesome god. And he has the awesomest customer service in the world!

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Why Worry?

I refuse to work today. I refuse to click that file with the book ID I have just been assigned. I refuse to worry about the fifteen-page backlog that I now have because I spent a little too much time on the Internet yesterday. Today is Sunday. Today is No Work Day. I refuse to relinquish my right to a day off.

So I blog.

I’ve spent a large slice of my time worrying. I’ve worried about work deadlines. I’ve worried about burgeoning bills and shrinking budget. I’ve worried about what other people might think about me. When all along I knew worrying doesn’t bring any good, I still worry.

But when you take a step back and think about it, what’s the point? What’s the worst that could happen if I don’t meet my deadline? If I can’t pay my bills? It’s not as if I’d be doomed and can no longer be happy anymore because of a potential failure. There’s always another chance. Another try. If I fail today, all I have to do is seize another day and carry out better results. No point in punishing myself by working on a Sunday just because I chose to have a good time yesterday. Just because I chose to enjoy the blessings God gifted me. Or just because, as they say, I stopped and smelled the flowers.

There are times when we think too much about tomorrow. We worry about the future to the point that we forget to live in the present. Happens to me all the time. I’m not proud of it, but I’m thankful for people who remind me of life and how to live it. Number 1 is my husband who is also my best friend. Life is insanely short. And as if that’s not reason enough to celebrate life, time also flies so fast. And the time we spend worrying is nothing but wasted time, which we can never retrieve. As Gandhi said, “There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.”

Now which movie to watch?

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God Answers Knee-mails

In waking up each morning, I connect to the Internet with unfailing promptness. The homepage greets me with the reading of the day through my daily Bible reading plan. Something I started around middle of January. After getting the gist of the verse and marking that chore complete, I click Twitter open. While that’s loading, Hotmail, Gmail, and Facebook are opening on different tabs. Throw in various Web sites that come up in more tabs when I click random links from those I follow in Twitter, and it’s a jump start.

Skimming through the pages, closing tabs and then opening new ones, Meebo occasionally draws my eyes to the lower right-hand of the screen where it shows who’s online. I only chat when I really need to, so I usually just shrug at the notifications. A little over thirty minutes, when all the Web sites have been screened, the work for the day starts. But not without breaks in between very short intervals. Every day is like 40 percent work and 60 percent play. But that will change. Perhaps I should turn a cold shoulder to play altogether until my other master (work) has been served. Sounds like a sloshing idea but hard to do considering my fingers have been used to involuntarily pressing Alt + Tab every once in a while. The Internet is a tough temptation.

For the entire day, every day, I’m on the Internet (with few exceptions like when I need to answer a call of nature or take a power nap). That’s fifteen hours a day, seven days a week. In this modern age, I cannot say my case is rare. Most jobs today require the use of the Internet. Today’s people have the urge of wanting to know and wanting to be part of something while also giving little portions of themselves to the world–uploading pictures, updating profiles, sending e-mails. With these many people online, you never feel alone even though there’s nobody else in your dark, cold room. You have company.

But having company and having a companion are not the same. When you have company, it could be anyone. A physical presence that only stays on the surface. When you’re with a stranger, you have company. On the other hand, when you have a companion, you feel a presence that not only resides in the outer core of your being but something that permeates the soul. When you’re with your best friend, that’s companion.

When I stop and think about it, the fifteen hours I spend online consume most of my day that only a pint size is left in spending time with a companion. I used to save the first and last ten minutes of my day to praying, sending short knee-mails to God. Then a lot of things started to keep me busy that the ten minutes plummeted to five. Sometimes, when I get so sleepy, the minutes even become seconds. The most important conversation of the day just went down the drain.

But he is god. Undaunted. Every day, he pokes us with his awesomeness either through a whiff of fresh morning air or through a stupendous rainbow after the rain. Although we are none the wiser, he constantly sends these messages because he loves to converse with us. But conversation is a two-way street. We talk, but at one point in the conversation, we also must listen.

We tend to throw all requests for supplication to God when we pray. We ask for answers.

When is the rain going to stop?

When will the flood subside?

But when he’s about to give us the answers, we already ended the conversation. We forget to listen. To meditate. We forget that we are not talking to a wall but to an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent being. I am guilty.

He listens to our knee-mails and is never too busy to answer them. In times when we are plagued with heartwrenching catastrophes and terror, we can have a companion. God’s mailbox is never full.

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