The Thankful Thirty Project. DAY 1

March 1.

Today, I’m thankful for the God I’m worshiping and praying to.

I’m thankful that the God I’m praising and putting my faith in to is the only God who made the heaven and the earth. I couldn’t imagine my life without HIM.

I’m thankful that He rescued me from darkness and He blessed me with this new life I am now enjoying.

I’m thankful that He is my one and only Savior.

Following Him and surrendering my life to Him was the most wonderful decision I’ve made in my life. It might have caused rifts and unending questionings from my family and friends but I never feel regretful for doing that. I didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, I strongly believe that what I did was the the single, most right thing to do. I didn’t do drugs or even caused anyone to die. I just surrendered my life to the one God who’s deserving of all the praises and adoration. I surrendered my life to Christ.

I’m thankful that God didn’t let me wander through life without a clear picture of what He is in my life. Year 2007 will always be a special year for me because that’s when I finally let God come into my heart. Year 2009 was an even more special and remarkable year because that was the time I finally let go of my fears and just surrendered my whole life to Christ. That year, I was born again. I was born into a new relationship with my Savior and my life was never the same again.

What is my part in the mission?

Since the start of the year, I kept asking myself if world missions is really for me. A year ago, I signed up for Nepal mission. Haplessly, I wasn’t included in the team that left for Nepal. I think that’s because God saw that I was still not wholehearted with the mission thing that time–that it’s 50% for the purpose of the ‘real mission’ and 50% is for travelling purposes. I didn’t feel bad at all because I know that God has His own reasons and He knows exactly when’s the right time for me to go out (if ever).

During the mid part of this year, my heart for missions gradually tapered off. While more and more people from our church are going out of the country to do missions, I suddenly found myself on a retreat from this particular field.

I must admit, there’s still a bigger part of me who still wants to go to far-flung places where they know less or nothing about Christ, but maybe, just maybe, going out of the country to join the world missions isn’t really for me this time.

My sister signed up for missions for next year. Honestly, I asked God why can’t I do that. I kept asking God what He wants me to do right now and why do I have a feeling like I was suddenly put on a halt in terms of my growth in my Christian life. Why is He not sending me out like what He’s doing with the others?

In His own majestic way, God answered me through this daily inspirational thought which I’m subscribed to:

While the way people do missions has varied throughout the years, the idea of “goers” and “senders” has not.  God continues to call people to go and preach His message to people throughout the world, and He continues to call others to help send people on their way.

The Apostle Paul talked about this idea in his letter to the Christians in Rome, written almost 2,000 years ago.  Paul wrote:

“…for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” (Romans 10:13-15).

In the past, these verses have conjured up in my mind a vision of missionaries climbing over the top of a mountain in some remote jungle, bringing the good news of Christ to the people in the valley below.  As the villagers would hear this good news being proclaimed to them—news that they had been longing to hear for years—they would exclaim, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Today I read that passage with a different vision in mind.  Why?  Because, in many ways, I’m now a missionary myself, writing to people all over the world to encourage them to put their faith in Christ for everything in their lives.  The scenery has changed, but the principle is the same.  

Instead of climbing a misty mountaintop, I’m sitting at my desk in my bedroom, looking out over miles and miles of wide open spaces.  I’m on the second floor of a two-story, traditional American farmhouse in the heart of the great midwest.  There are no mountains to block my view, and only a few other farmhouses dotting the ground in the distance.  The corn and soybean fields have been harvested for the year, so all that’s left is a clear view of the horizon in every direction.  

Yet when I push the “send” button on my computer, I realize that this message I’m writing will make its way over the plains, across the country, under oceans, into the sky and back down to the earth again.  

Within an a instant, this message will show up in places like Papua New Guinea, an island half-way around the world in the South Pacific, where someone just signed up to receive these messages on Monday, saying, 

Missions is changing, but the message stays the same.  When Jesus told His disciples to “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation,” (Mark 16:15) He didn’t put any limits on where to go, how to go, or who to go to.  He just said to, “Go!”  He wanted them to take the message as far as they could, starting in Jerusalem, spreading out to Judea and finally to the ends of the earth.    


I was then reminded of my previous post about insignificance when God told me that He called me out for a different mission. I don’t have to feel insignificant or any less at all because there’s a very special task that He called me out to do.

Through this article, I was blessed to realize my role in the missions. I may not be included in the courageous soldiers of God going out into the international battlefield to spread the Good News but I know I have played and I’m still playing a great part in those missions. I may not be one of the ‘goers’ but at least I’m part of the ‘senders’ and that alone already made a difference.

God placed a different passion in my heart and I have a different role to play. Perhaps it’s through my writing, through this medium, this piece of sanctuary I call my own on the web, that I could pursue this part that God called me for. I have received really touching messages from people I know and some I don’t who told me they’re blessed with my posts about God and that those posts helped them realized God’s importance in their lives in one way or another. Maybe that’s why God blessed me with this talent to write and express my thoughts through writing–this is my part of the Great Commission and this is how God wants me to share great things about Him.

“For some of you, this may be a reminder of what God has already called you to do.  For others of  you this may be a confirmation of what God has been stirring in your heart in recent weeks or months.  And for some of you, this may be a totally new thought—a totally new direction that God wants you to take in your life.  Whatever the case, I want to encourage each of you to get involved in whatever mission God has put in front of you.”

 

Each one of us has a part to play in spreading the Good News and all of those roles are of equal significance. Seek God with all your heart and ask Him what role He wants you to play. Once you receive His answer, do your part with all your strength and with joyfulness of the heart☺

 

“Am I Insignificant?”

It’s really been a while since I last heard Jesus’ whispers. I know I am in a particular episode in my life when He is stretching my patience and perseverance and at the same time, letting me use the wisdom He blessed me with to understand what He’s been trying to teach me since the start of this season. I’ve been praying to Him, asking Him to make me understand what He’s up to and what I should do next. But He’s been so silent, as if letting me figure it out on my own or maybe telling me to just wait some more and just relax.

Until yesterday when Jesus finally let me hear His sweet whisper again.

The entire Victory Malate family was at the PICC yesterday to celebrate the church’s 15 years of honoring God and making disciples. At one point during the celebration, actually after the preaching of Pastor Steve Murrell, Pastor Nixon went up the stage, showed a video of what the church is expecting to happen by faith in the coming years which is to make Jesus known all over the nations and the world, and asked everyone afterwards to talk to Jesus on our own on whoever He wants us to disciple and share the good news about Him to.

In my prayer, I actually asked Him  what He wants me to do. I’m not really good in discipling people. I do share the good news about Jesus when my friends or any people who come to me to share their problems. Some of them would tell me that they’re blessed with the words I share to them, but when I invite them to come to church, they would always beg off. In my shallow state I would often feel that I am so insignificant when it comes to following the Great Commission of Christ which is to go and make disciples just because I can’t even invite my friends to attend the church.

During the course of my short prayer, Jesus comforted my weary heart by assuring me that I am not of less value and importance as that of His other sons and daughters going to missions or are so proactive in fishing for people. Jesus actually told me that I am in fact doing a very special role in His Great Commission. He told me He actually chose to place me to the field, to a particular group of people where He knows I could do excellently in sharing the good news about Him—WITH THE CHILDREN. Jesus told me that He sees my strength with the kids and that’s one of the reasons why He took me out of my previous professional field and put me into the world of teaching.

Tears fell down while I was praying to Jesus that time. I kept thanking Him for letting me hear His voice again and for assuring me that I am not insignificant at all. Then I was reminded of that time when I heard His voice for the second time when He told me that I am not invisible in His eyes through directing me to the story of Gideon in the Bible. It’s been the second time that Jesus talked to me to reassure that I am His dear daughter and that He is concerned and pleased about me just as He’s also pleased with the other church leaders who are actively doing their part in Christ’s commission.

Perhaps I am in a season when Christ is teaching me to find security in Him alone, that I should not be reminded time and again of His love for me because even if I don’t hear His voice as often as I would want to, the constant TRUTH of His unconditional love for me never changes. This has been one of the toughest seasons of my life since I started my walk with Jesus but I know that this season is going to bring a lot of understandings, realizations, and great awakenings in my life.

I know this season isn’t bound to end sooner but I am more faithfully excited now to what it’s going to bring to my life. Bring it on God! I am just amazed at how He could make you feel His presence even at times when you feel so far from Him☺

One of the big differences in knowing Christ and living a life according to the world is that with Christ, you know that when you experience struggles, you consider it as a season of understanding what Christ wants you to do or He is teaching you on some points of your life. If you live a life according to the terms of this world, you view these struggles as burdens,curses, or even punishments because of the bad things you’ve done. It’s better to live a life of teachings than to live a life full of punishments☺


Cheer Up!

Exactly what Jesus told me last Sunday when the always-walking-on-dreamland-me lost my sister’s Lego watch.

We were on our way to the church to attend the afternoon service. When we got off the jeepney, I knew the watch was still chic-ly strapped around my left wrist. Few walks and some la-la-la-la-la, and voila! When I tried to check the time, the Lego watch’s already gone! The lock must have been accidentally opened.

Few nags from my ‘younger’ sister and then we decided to just order asap a new one of the same style online. Of course I’ll be the one to pay for that! Remind me again that ‘those who love money never have money enough.’ I guess I’ve got to post that Bible passage in all my stuff so I’ll be reminded every now and then, especially when my mental money calculator starts striking again.

Okay, so I was still in a bit low spirit when we got inside the church. Worship started. I was trying to feel God’s presence so I closed my eyes–feeling the beautiful rhythm and lyrics of the praise song we were singing. Then one of the church leaders went up the stage and shared a Bible verse from the Book of Mark:

Mark 6:50 “for they all saw him, and were troubled. But he immediately spoke with them, and said to them, “Cheer up! It is I! Don’t be afraid.”

But I couldn’t grasp every bit of the word from that verse. Then he offered a prayer so I again closed my eyes. When I opened my eyes again, I looked straight to the LCD screen and the first two words that I saw was “CHEER UP.” Right there and then, I knew that it was God’s way of comforting me for what had just happened. In an instant, I felt even better. I just witnessed and felt God’s wonderful way of comforting His saddened child. That was a wonderful, wonderful feeling! God is indeed an amazing and comforting Father:-)

The Day I Found My Solitude

(repost from my Multiply site–written 4 years ago)

“Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive you as my Saviour and Lord. Thank you for forgiving for my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.”

To be perfectly frank and honest, this prayer was not really a big deal to me before. I remember my former boss recited this prayer while putting her hand on top of my head (you pictured it right–she’s doing some sort of praying over) during the time when i dropped by SSCC’s office in Meycauayan to get my things since that was my last day of work there. She walked me through the small conference room where we talked about the tragedy that happened to me, which was also one of the main reasons why i decided to leave them. That time, she made me understand God’s love and feel His presence in my life. Haplessly, since that time i was on the verge of emotions and i was in the middle of whether to decide to go on living or taking my own life, i wasn’t able to completely absorb her words. I was confused that time and i must admit that a part of my heart wanted to hate God for the tragic occurrence in my life, so talking about God’s love and his ultimate concern for us was something that I find very hard to believe in.

That incident happened almost three years ago. Now, if you’re going to ask me what is the weight of that prayer for me this moment, I would be very proud and glad to say that no amount of tear-jerking movies or sad love songs, or sad love stories could make me cry like how that simple prayer made me whimper in tears.

I was with Vannah and her Christian friend last night for our TGI Friday schedule, which is Bible study and sharing. In one of my questions, this guy put out a mini booklet and read to me the 4 Laws of Salvation. When we came across that prayer in the booklet, I was asked to pray and follow the words he says. At first, I was doing it with eyes wide open. But then, something inside of me seemed to advise me to close my eyes and feel the power of every word in that prayer. Honestly, I felt something inside. It’s like I was being presented to God and being welcomed in His kingdom. The feeling was truly wonderful. Now, I believe I’m already a different person–different in the sense that I already know and understand the true meaning of God in my life.

I know saying these stuff is so not me. Perhaps, some of my friends and acquaintances who hadwitnessed my ka-toxic-an and kawalangyaan plus kamalditahan and ka-war-freak-an in highschool and college might even comment that I’m one of the last people who they think would utter those words. In that, I could only say that, people grow and people change as they grow old. I believe there will surely come a time when you’ll feel a need to develop your relationship with God. You will eventually feel unsatisfied with your current creator-man connection with Him, and thus, would make you yearn for a more intimate one.

That basically what happened to me. I never planned for this change of heart to happen in my life. It just came naturally. It’s like I woke up one day realizing the need to get to be more close to Him. Conceivably, I could give credit to the tragedy that I’d experienced since I believe it’s one of the biggest factors why I seek refuge from God. Maybe, it’s God’s way of calling me to be of service to Him. And with that, I am very willing to oblige.

In between the years when my former boss prayed me over with that prayer and now, I believe God is slowly preparing me for a big change of heart and mind. I believe that He is gradually making me feel understand His true meaning in my life. If before i feel a little gauche whenever i think of those prayer meetings, Bible studies, and etc., now I’m sincerely excited about it, for I know that in every session that we have, I’m developing and discovering more of the wonders of God’s love and His goodness.

I’d like to credit Vannah for this change in me, too. She was really a great inspiration for this. If not for her patience and determination to bring me closer to God, I would have not felt that wonderful feeling I felt when I completely and wholeheartedly accepted Jesus Christ in my life.

Now, if I happen to bump through you one of these days and you see that I’m still the old Apple you used to gag and laugh with before, don’t think that I’m just trying to make a press release of that changes in me. No, my dear friends. the change is inside of me. Too deep that you may never understand easily. When i say change, it doesn’t mean that I’m already the all-good girl. i could still blab about any stuff or rant just about everything because I’m still human, and humans are bound to sin. However, i know that i already developed a more personal and intimate relationship with God and I know that time will come when my overflowing love for Him would eventually direct my heart to do good things according to His will.

I hope and pray you’ll find Him, too, one of these days. God Bless.