Train Wreck

Good afternoon to all my readers from a bright lazy sunny Sunday afternoon from Manila.

Today I write about of a vision I was reminded of by the Lord while a friend prayed for me last night.

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To rewind a little, My heart was troubled hurt and pained for the last week because of a recent event which lead me to be deceived and made me feel so foolish.

On a side note: do not isolate yourself rather go out meet friends and keep yourself busy, seek advise from role models choose friends wisely to share ur condition with so they can understand sympathize guide and most importantly pray for you and with you.

On Friday, after enduring almost a week worths of pain and distraction I decided to finally forgive myself (because that is the first step to acknowledge that yes you have to embrace the situation and move on). After I forgave myself and embraced reality I actually felt the complete peace flushed from my head to toe. I wont lie it was such a beautiful feeling that I went to my bed to rest and praise God for just being finally at peace.

Of couse its not an overnight thing that the pain is gone, actually I felt more drained on Saturday the whole day that I didnt feel like getting out of bed. But then I decided to go out and meet friends and guess what it was actually a good decision as a friend helped me to get out of it by sharing her experience and how she seeked God to be her comfort.

So why train wreck? I realized while I was going with life and followed Gods will, there was one particular thing which I choose to do on my own, hence yes the first part of the train fell ( result of not listening or following or staying on track). It stopped everything, it needed help badly to bring everything back on track. To start moving to get where God wanted me to be.

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The only help needed was me seeking God because I cant do it alone, I did seek a friend who pointed me back to God and believe in his mercy strength and grace to snap out of the pain and get ur head and heart back on track to start moving to workfor God and to believe in Gods promises for you to come true and come in the right time.

I pray for you what ever your situation is like now, things that you have not surrendered to God or feel like a train wreck things are at a standstill or that your heart is broken from the worldly wounds may I remind you that the Lord we serve is a God that is worthy of all praise as he is faithful lover of our soul. He conforts the broken hearted and he guides the lost sheep. Most of all he is not just a promise giver but a promise keeper. Hold on have faith greater things are yet to come.

God bless 🙂

THE FRUITFUL LIFE

Hello followers and readers,

I know its been a while since I wrote, But today what I will share with you is not my work, rather its Pastor Joseph Bonifacio’s blog.

http://www.josephbonifacio.com/2014/11/26/the-fruitful-life/

I’ve recently gone back to school. I’m taking a Graduate Diploma in Theology from Asian Theological Seminary, with the intention of adding more units to get higher degrees later on. Since I’m only doing this part-time – having a full-time job in our campus ministry, volunteer preaching around 3-5 times a month, and being a family man – I’m only taking two classes this semester.

It all feels like a muscle I haven’t used in a while – the enrollment process, choosing your classes, the sharing-about-yourself portion in the first day of class. And obviously, there’s the readings and assignments that bring me back to my college years ten years ago.

I learned something new while doing my homework the other night. We were asked to make an Analytical Chart of Matthew 13:1-23. That’s the section of Scripture that contains the Parable of the Sower. In it, Jesus describes how different people respond to hearing the message of Christ.

Here’s part of my homework summarizing the parable.

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For the first time I noticed the difference between the Rocky soil and the Thorny one. I used to think they were just the same thing.

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Until I realized that while the seed on Rocky soil falls away, i.e. leaves the faith. The one on Thorny soil doesn’t die. It just becomes unfruitful.

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So the lesson for us is there are many ways people can respond to God’s word. Everyone in the parable heard the message. (Which was so meta because Jesus was talking about people hearing the message to a great crowd of people listening to His message.) But hearing isn’t enough. How we respond to it determines the result of our lives.

Some people are like the Rocky soil. They are passionate and “on fire” for a short time, but when the difficult times and challenging decisions come they disappear. Their faith doesn’t last.

But I feel many people are like the ones on Thorny soil. They grow up and have all the semblance of being a fine plant, except for one thing – they have no fruit. There’s no evidence of a changed life. There isn’t what the Bible calls the fruit of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Because of this there is no fruitfulness in their discipleship as well – they aren’t reproducing themselves in others.

What causes this unfruitfulness? The worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth. It’s when we worry too much about things that aren’t eternal. What are you concerned about right now? What occupies your thoughts, your schedule, and your budget? Now, how much of that will matter in eternity and how much of it is temporary?

If we want our hearing the Word to not be in vain, if we want our lives to count and not be unfruitful, we cannot let the worries of this world and the deceitfulness control us.

Have a good day!

🙂

My way or Gods way

I write this blog based on my personal experience, my current season and lesson to share with you readers.

Recently, I found myself twisting Gods hands to follow my will. But that doesn’t or should I say will never happen. And I was reminded of this story:

This is based on an actual radio conversation between a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier (U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln) and Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995. (The radio conversation was released by the Chief of Naval Operations on 10/10/95 authorized by the Freedom of Information Act.)

Canadians:  Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid collision.

Americans:  Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.

Canadians:  Negative.  You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans:  This is the Captain of a US Navy ship.  I say again, divert YOUR course.

Canadians:  No, I say again, you divert YOUR course.

Americans:  THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES’ ATLANTIC FLEET.  WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE  DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT  VESSELS.  I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15  DEGREES NORTH–I SAY AGAIN, THAT’S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH–OR COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.

Canadians:  This is a lighthouse.  Your call.

Often times we pray “Lord, may your will be done.” Yet under the same breath we utter saying please let it be this week, month or year. – this, im very guilty of.

This is why pastors or mentors are so important as they not only help you grow but also help you mature in your faith and walk with God.

we are very much like the navy ship. Stubborn and know-it-all humans who think we can be in control of the situation,   dare i say, we can tell Him what He should do, reality check : God is very much like the light house that directs the light, yet cant be moved. He knows whats best for us ..

And this we very well know of in verse:
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Have a blessed week ahead 🙂

Radical

We all know what Radical means but lets put Radical in a new context like how the love of God defines Radical in a whole new sense.

Last Sunday, I heard a story that not only pierced my heart but also led me to think can I project this radical love to others?

The story goes something like this:
Tommy carried his new boat to the edge of the river. He carefully placed it in the water and slowly let out the string. How smoothly the boat sailed! Tommy sat in the warm sunshine, admiring the little boat that he had built. Suddenly a strong current caught the boat. Tommy tried to pull it back to shore, but the string broke. The little boat raced downstream.

Tommy ran along the sandy shore as fast as he could. But his little boat soon slipped out of sight. All afternoon he searched for the boat. Finally, when it was too dark to look any longer, Tom mysadly went home.

The next day, on the way home from school, Tommy spotted a boat just like his in a store window. When he got closer, he could see — sure enough — it was his!

Tommy hurried to the store manager: “Sir, that’s my boat in your window! I made it!”
“Sorry, son, but someone else brought it in this morning. If you want it, you’ll have to buy it for one dollar.”

Tommy ran home and counted all his money. Exactly one dollar! When he reached the store, he rushed to the counter. “Here’s the money for my boat.”

As he left the store, Tommy hugged his boat and said, “Now you’re twice mine. First, I made you and now I bought you.”

Think about what Tommy said. It’s exactly what God is saying to you and to me.

Now you’re twice mine. First I made you and now I bought you.

God made us in His image and likeness. But it wasn’t He who broke the string. We deliberately, intentionally and rebelliously broke that string through Sin.But in spite of that, He was the One who pursued and made an all out search for us.We are twice His. First He made us, now He bought us… a price we couldn’t cough up.We owed a debt we couldn’t pay. And He paid a debt He didn’t owe.
Now. That my friends. That’s radical love.

4 seasons

Hello everyone! Today in Facebook God’s word for me was: a new beginning is always possible. Let the greening of the Earth in springtime be a sign for you that a new beginning is always possible, even after the longest, coldest, darkest winter.

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This reminded me of 4 seasons no not the drink nor the weather but the 4 seasons of life and Yes there is such a thing called as this.. Here let me explain:

I was reminded of a verse in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NLT) A Time for Everything For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.

I live in a tropical country where we only have 2 seasons either hot or cold if you convert to 4 seasons its hot and very hot cold and very cold. Jokes aside. despite of experiencing only 2 weathers I believe we at some point experience 4 seasons in our life. Just as mentioned that There is a time for everything in short a season of everything. Let me explain this further.

What is it like in the summer season: Here your all out in the Sun and enjoying the freedom making new friends, meeting new people and seeing new opportunities. As for Faith its really enjoying your love and life with God just celebrating with Him. Enjoy and write this moments capture the memories and remember them as you will use them to heat up the cold dark winter.

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Fall where leaves turn yellow and fall to the ground here you see yourself in a situation where friendships begin to fade and you find yourself being hurt upset disappointed and at some point broken. Fall basically teaches us to let go of things people and even dreams we thought were ours to hold. Here you see that the gems remain and most especially when everything has left you, you see the faithful one remains who is God.

Winter is where everything is cold hard and frozen in other words Nothingness. This is the time when you remind yourself of the warm days of summer. Do not let the silence and waiting build up so thick that you don’t know what to do, as in this season breakthrough of a new found faith happens. Here the test of Faith and trust for God happens especially when you don’t see your prayers answered or even hear from God. Here you use the weapons of the summer heat to battle the numbness of the cold.

Lastly the beautiful season of Spring where flowers bloom and bees fly. A season of answered prayers and a season of simply giving everything back to God. Here we are reminded that sadness is only temporary and after every sad night follows a happy morning.

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So what this mean exactly, we all know there is a time for everything but I what I want you to understand is that continue to keep faith and stand strong on your love for God as what you may be going thru is part of the teaching that God wants you to learn in a particular season. Just like the song.. “winter spring summer or fall.. all you have to do is call – call on God my friends as he is the only reliable source to help you in any season or situation”

Enjoy your season and praise God for every breakthrough. I pray this is Jesus name. Amen

The eye for good things

8.6 ratings 4.5 stars and quite an intriguing trailer I was all set to watch the Wolf of Wall street. In the first 5 mins of the movie I regretted to even entertain the thought of watching the movie but sadly once I started I had to finish. It honestly took me 5 days to finish watching the movie approx 30 – 45 mins everyday watching it online. Dealing with nightmares and paranoia I managed to finish the movie on a Friday evening and slept right after.

I am not putting the movie down or saying it was horrible, It was honestly good if you see it from a lens or perspective of the goodness in it. I simply felt was it was just too hard for me to absorb such negativity. Being the most R rated movie with countless sex, drugs and unethical scenes, not to mention it also topped the list with about 569 times mentioning the F word. With all honesty there is nothing wrong with watching such movies but it is very essential for the viewers to watch from a different perspective or even see the goodness in it with all the bad.

 

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What was good in the movie you ask? Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort we just had so much to learn:

1. Jordan Belfort had a very strong determination to achieve his goal.

There is nothing wrong with having goals but we should always align and define them to Gods will.

2. Jordan Belfort teaches us that there may be short cut ways to achieve our goal but not all short cuts are right roads to success.

Ever heard the story of the race between the rabbit and turtle? Lesson: slow and steady wins the race.

3. Jordan Belfort teaches us that learn to have an eye for an opportunity, make right decisions and avoid temptations.

He was bombarded with countless opportunities, decisions and temptations but not learning from mistakes, be befriending the wrong people, not following mentors or even allowing temptations to work on you are all recipies to slide down the downward spiral of ultimate doomness.

4. As a business minded individual. I was simply amazed and honestly learned a lot from Jordan Belfort’s selling strategy! It was unique and it was also inspiring to learn and motivate others to challenge oneself and be confident in what you are selling. But be grounded – do what is right and ethical.

5. Last but certainly not the least important of all – Jordan Belfort teaches us that we always are given second chances.

Jordan Belfort realized he made a mistake and knew his future was dark, he later was aware that God sent him a sign to fix up and he did. Here we see that when we are given second chances we first accept our mistakes. Respond to it by being sorry and changing for the better, try to put a stop to the bad habit and change our lives for the good hoping we will be spared. It was never easy for Jordan to stop drugs and live a simple life but he did – Here it is important for us to Pray for the transformation, for we cant do it alone. We need guidance of right friends, good mentors and word of God to turn away from sin and say Yes to God or being Godly. 

I loved the ending of the movie only because he decided to stick by his skills and use it to glorify God by empowering others to unleash the talent of real selling and empowering their self confidence to do something they never feel they can do or achieve.

Transformation beings by accepting our mistakes and repenting. After that we start working on fixing ourselves by doing or choosing the right over the wrong next we put space for Gods love and mercy to cover us in our transformation. Lastly we give back, we use our skills to be a blessing to others.

For those who already have watched the movie I hope this lens inspired you a spark on seeing the goodness despite the darkness 🙂

 

Resolutions or Revolutions

New Year’s New beginnings. Doesn’t that sound familiar?

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I know it’s a little too late to write about this – most especially if you are one of those who just broke most of your resolutions by now. Well I apologize if this came in a little late than expected but I was finishing off my final exams and papers (discipline) before I get to my next blog. I agree it may be late as January is almost over but I would like to reiterate that it’s never too late weather it is to start something or even finishing off something. (In line to my previous blog Plant that seed and nourish it well https://itsoniasblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/plant-that-seed-and-nourish-it-well-2/)

I remember last year January 2013 I decided that I will not buy a planner because I felt I did not need one. (ha-ha! silly for me to think such as I am a very OC person) and you must be like.. hmm why? Well I just bought an IPhone that time and I felt I can manage without buying a planner.. Well.. WRONG! By April of 2013 I was held up and there went my IPhone. Yes my planner. My details and my everything and eventually by June i was all messy with my schedule and yes in June I decided it was time to buy a planner. As silly as it sounds half of the year passed and it was only that time I felt to buy a planner even the woman at the cashier giggled and I simply smiled and said it’s never too late to start anything” but wait that’s not my point.
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SO going back to resolutions Yes I was one of those waaaay back decided to have a top 5 resolution list and by Jan 1 or 2 I broke most of them well I am sure I am not alone.

It is only now I realized why I never got passed the first week of Jan.

1. Because my resolutions were just too high and hard to achieve
2. It was not realistic
3. Because I did not have a plan on how to execute those resolutions

bottom line: never got it.

But you must be thinking what now. I am sure we all read a million articles about dos and don’ts of resolutions and new lifestyle hmm … here..

How about if I propose a new way?

Revolution – A revolution (from the Latin revolutio, “a turn around”)

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Revolution that’s the word I want to dwell with and encourage you to open your minds and accept that revolution is not all about negativity. Revolution is all it takes is a letter to change the word the concept and the meaning.

Revolution is about starting something new, which has not been done before it’s about fighting for what you believe in its about challenging oneself in doing and most importantly standing by in what you believe in and keeping strong or being determined for change. Brave and strong words huh? But it all boils down to one thing. Taking action.

January 1 2014. I had some quiet time and just opened up the bible. After reading for a bit, this one really jumped out and spoke to me strongly and I believe I need to share this with all of you  Romans 12 9-16 NIV
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

After reading this the whole concept of resolutions changed to that one letter – yes! Revolution. Fight for the good and fight for the right. At the end of the day all that matters is were u a good person? Did you touch lives for the good?

The verses above yes they seem to sound too good to be true and yes they also sound too overwhelming but I want you to understand that it is not you alone who can do it but if you have a plan – a plan to execute and make this come into actions then yes this will all become achievable. How u ask?

Simple in having a plan you make steps achievable steps weather that’s sharing your food or giving someone the time and advise or support yes it will all make a difference, you don’t have to make it seem a yearly thing but more on a daily thing something to develop into a habit and eventually becomes natural.

I would like to encourage you that I do practice what I preach – practical example where I evidently applied the verse 14 – Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. With all honesty it was real hard. But it somehow begins to develop as a habit. This year started off with some broken friendships where I was misunderstood, mislead, and even deceived honestly it’s so easy to just fight back say foul words but why? Why will I do that when I can choose my thoughts and choose to simply pray for that the person to be guided to do what is right and may he or she be forgiven. Never easy but very rewarding, I have witness definitely no less than a miracle I have not only restored friendships over time but also developed an even stronger bond so to speak. I have seen those friends change over time and on top of that I simply had the blanket of peace in my heart. With this being said I encourage you not to just make resolutions this year but start a revolution in your heart to generally be a good person.

God bless

Photo credit: Google images