Of Reckless Abandonment and Breaking My Alabaster Box

“God is setting you up in a place where you can be used by Him.”

It’s been 8 months now since I did what you may call a “reckless abandonment.”

I left the comforts and the happiness of one school and exchanged it with the present hodge-podge of sacrifices, fulfillment, and happiness of the present school where I am working.

It may seemed like I haven’t moved on yet with the happy memories of the former school because they are still part of my happy thoughts–the people and events I like to think of when I’m feeling down.

I, however, believe that it is with the present school that my faith is being geared up to another level and my maturity towards my career life is being developed.

I’d say the act of leaving the former school to be with this new school is a reckless abandonment on my part since I made a critical decision to turn my back on the little angles I sincerely love and who’d been my babies since I started teaching, and all the comforts of that school–the good pay, the facilities, the security.

Just like what the Bible character Ruth did during her time, she decided to leave her people, her country, and even her gods to follow the Lord wherever He would lead her.

 I broke my alabaster box before Jesus Christ and I received His     assignment for me. I am still in the process, though, of making myself comfortable in this new field that God has called me to plow since there are really a lot of  things I need to forego and difficulties I need to experience for this. But that faith and hope that its is God who has called me to do this and I know that He is the one who’s going to bless me on this is what’s keeping me steadfast on this mission.

As what Pastor Nixon said last Sunday during the preaching, most people do what God calls them to do and go where He leads them, but it’s the STAYING that’s quite challenging. In my experience, it is during the times when I feel inefficient as a teacher, when the school has bills to pay but the parents haven’t paid the monthly tuition yet, when I’m feeling inferior with other preschools in our area–that I feel like staying to this place where God has called me is very difficult. But time and time again every time I feel like giving up,  there is that small voice of God that’s telling me to hold on for better things have yet to come. I just have to believe and hold on to His sovereignty and release all my worries to Him.

Before this opportunity to spearhead a preschool was offered to me, I kept asking God to use me to share His message to other people and spread the Word. Perhaps the very reason why I am in this present school now is because God already answered my prayer. He is now using me.

He is using me to let the little angels in our school get to know who Jesus is and make Him the superhero of their young hearts. That’s one thing I wasn’t able to really completely do when I was with the former school. Since I am now in-charge of the school’s curriculum, I could always integrate the teachings of Jesus Christ in our daily activities and speak more about Him during our circle time:-)

And yes, I am smiling while I am weaving these words together. I know that despite the difficulties I am experiencing with this new school, God is with me and He is never going to forsake me. Just like Ruth, I chose to forsake the familiar and the comfortable because I am believing God’s best for my life. This decision may be costly but I just know that in His appointed time, I am going to reap the good harvest of this decision.

This difficult season will just be another powerful testimony in the future.

*inspired to write because of the book: Lady in Waiting by Debbie Jones and Jackie Kendall and last Sunday’s preaching on the UNLIMITED series at VCF-Malate 🙂 

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☺


“You are not forgotten…”

Take me back to the day when I first met You.”

A good friend once articulated this statement during the time she was having personal struggles and felt so much in need of the Father’s comfort. Though I wasn’t having any serious spiritual or emotional battle that time, that statement already overwhelmed me and made an impact to my wondering mind and intrigued heart. It was like something’s telling me that one day, I’m going to use that statement as I go through this journey with God.

Perhaps that one day is now. Well, not literally now as in today, but it’s actually the season I am in at the very moment. To be honest, I’m not quite sure what season God has placed me right now. I am still in the state of confusion.

Would God want me to do this or that? Would He want me to get involve or just be eagle-eyed on what’s happening?

I haven’t been hearing from Him of late. No, I don’t blame Him or feel ill towards Him for being silent. In fact, I’m not even sure if God’s really silent or I’m just being too preoccupied with the things of this world that I can’t seem to hear His small voice.

Perhaps, it’s the latter….

I’m pinning it on myself why the once aflamed me suddenly became impassive.

God’s been wanting to put that fire back and fortify our relationship but I’m the one always looking at other things to make and do instead of just following Him. I am no longer focusing on Him and setting my sight straight to Him, and worst, I am even allowing the enemy to distract me by acknowledging his lies.

I have become tired of this world. I am slowly becoming exhausted of this walk. Even my writings’ becoming a crap.

I have been feeling on a rush about most of the things in my life these days. Maybe it’s the I-am-hitting-30-in-a-few-years syndrome that’s making me feel like I need to accomplish this and that before I hit that age. I am putting pressures on myself. It’s as if I’m in major panic over what I should do with my life.

The result of that panic and pressure: failing to enjoy the journey.

I was reminded of God’s perfect timing again in the Bible verse shared in the church this afternoon:

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

A Time for Everything

 1 There is a time for everything, 
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 2 a time to be born and a time to die, 
   a time to plant and a time to uproot, 
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, 
   a time to tear down and a time to build, 
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, 
   a time to mourn and a time to dance, 
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, 
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 
 6 a time to search and a time to give up, 
   a time to keep and a time to throw away, 
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, 
   a time to be silent and a time to speak, 
 8 a time to love and a time to hate, 
   a time for war and a time for peace.

I know God wouldn’t want me to continue moving in this kind of rotten thoughts and emotions. No. No. No. God said I am too precious for Him to let the enemy captivate my thoughts and emotions and overpower His sovereignty in my life. I am sure that God wants me to just stay calm and be secured in the truth that He has a greater purpose for me than what I have for myself. I can only see up to this point in my life but God is looking way way farther, even beyond my imaginations.

I don’t have a clear vision of what’s in store for me and I’m not quite sure what’s the purpose of this season of my life. I am not even sure when this period will pass. I am just certain that God is in the works and He knows what’s perfect for me. Whatever His plans are, be it involving spiritual and emotional battles like what I’m going through right now, one thing holds true to the very end: GOD’S LOVE NEVER FAILS. His plans for us are always to our best because they are propelled with unconditional love that only God can shower us.

As I was writing this post, this particular song keeps playing in my head, and because of that, I’m making it the official soundtrack of my current season:-)

You Are Not Forgetten – Israel Houghton

People walking by, very seldom they say “hi”
they don’t know how wonderful you are
If they only knew all the things you’ve been through,
if only they could see your heart
I hear you crying for help, please don’t blame yourself..
You are not forgotten, you are not forgotten

When it’s time to go to sleep and you try your best to keep..yourself from falling apart.
There’s no need to fear, because I’m already here, and I’m the one who sees your heart..
I hear you crying for help, please don’t blame yourself..
You are not forgotten, you are not forgotten

You are not just a face in the crowd, you are not a forgotten child
Let Me whisper it loud, I love you, oh, I love you

You can hold your head up high, ’cause I’ll make everything alright, I’m committed to you smiling again
And eventually you’ll see people’s similarities, everyone just needs a friend..
And when they’re crying for help, you’ll be able to tell them, please tell them for Me
You are not forgotten, you are not forgotten
You are not forgotten, you are not forgotten

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:-)

Chocolate Fire with The Ladies In Waiting:-)

Just because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean we have to avoid restaurants and the  sights of lovey-dovey couples everywhere. Nope, we are an empowered women of God so we’ve got to celebrate this hearts day even if we are still waiting for our Adams to wake up:-)

And for this special date, we head on to Chocolate Fire which is located in Rufino corner Leviste Street in Makati City. I’ve been hearing much rave about this place but I haven’t been here yet so imagine my excitement when I finally stepped my feet inside this chocolatey resto.

Even if you are not a chocolate fanatic, you still wouldn’t help but be fascinated with the allure of the resto. The color palette of  Chocolate Fire’s interiors are very warm plus the feel is very warm and cozy. They’ve got mostly red and white chairs with wooden tables in the first floor and a nice combi of black couches, red and white chairs, wood installations, plus a dining area setup in one area on the second floor. Their second floor actually looks like a condo unit with the wash room, living room, dining area in there. The office of the manager could be the bedroom.

I won’t deny the fact that Chocolate Fire is really a nice place for lovers who would like to have sweet moments together while indulging in yummy chocolates. However, it is also perfect for friends who want to bond over chocolate milkshakes  or hot coffee while talking about life, love, career, and definitely anything under the sun. Busy people who are always on the go could also find solace in this place as Chocolate Fire could also pass for a piece of sanctuary especially for writers or those people who need to excrete their creative juices for a certain project.

And of course, how can we ever forget the reason why the resto is called Chocolate Fire? CHOCOLATES! I really went kooky upon seeing a wide array of chocolate selections by the counter. Man! That’s really a haven for chocolate lovers like me. The prices are not actually too costly as compared to other chocolate stores since you can get a small half-egg chocolate for only P15. They also have rich, imported strawberries dipped with good Belgian stuff as well as Pringles, blocks, and truffles.

Chocolate Fire also serve sandwiches and pasta  among other entrees so you really have a wide array of yummy selections that you can indulge yourelf on.

The only drawback? The calories!!!

But the best thing about this place and this first-time experience was that I could get to spend it with some of my most favorite people in the world:-)

One of the wonderful gifts that God is essentially blessing me with are the people surrounding my life now–be it with my family, or my old friends, or my colleagues, my classmates, or even with the people in the church. The latest inclusions in my bottle of happy pills are my Victory Group in VCF Malate. I feel really blessed to have found and be part of this group of ladies who are not only passionate with their crafts, but are also highly passionate about their love for God. They never fail to inspire me with their wonderful stories about Him and the things that God has been revealing or has revealed to them. Each and everyone of them has a really captivating story of how they found God and submitted their lives to Him. These ladies are one of the reasons why I believe that I am special to the Almighty Father:-)

Here’s to more delectable moments with these ladies I call my ‘sisters in Christ.’

Happy Heart’s Day lovely ladies!

Credits: Thanks cone for the fotos and wildaboutretail.com