Two Zero One Four

As we are counting the days to the new year, to new hopes, to new beginnings and new things to look forward to, I would like to encourage you to sit in a moment of silence and watch your 2014 life roll by. This activity can bring about some sad, happy, exciting and devastating memories all together but trust me, Its worth the watch.

The reason why I encourage you to do so, as you will realize how much stronger, bolder, smarter and brighter you have become. As we know, everyday brings some lessons for us to learn and brings in new hope to motivate us somehow. This year was a year I would like to share with my readers today.

This year was a roller coaster ride for me in particular, yet one of the best. While I welcomed 2014 with high hopes and spirit, I also felt a serious change in my season that this year will be something different, I felt nervous and scared but the same time assured that whatever will happen will happen for the best. So why best?.. Here is why..

My top 5 things I am grateful of 2014.

1. I am thankful that God continually showed his presence in my life. This year was a year of so many problems, having somewhat like a snowball or a domino effect, yet I survived this year able to battle those problems not my my strength but by the Grace of God.

“Having God in your life does not make you storm free, but storm proof!”

2. I am thankful of being able to forgive my past, reunite with old friends and meet some new friends.

3. I am thankful that in this year I had experience being in drought a season of dessert as every dark night comes with a brighter morning.

4. I am thankful of how God continually taught me new things. Things I thought I never could do nor think of, such as fashion, designing my own dress, experiencing on meeting new business owners and developers.

5. Lastly I am thankful that despite everything this year had to offer, I am here, standing stronger, smarter, bolder and brighter knowing God is with me all the way.

Last year around this time (Dec 2013) My mind and heart was full of hopes, dreams and promises that I hoped God will fulfill one way or another. I had so much to look forward too but see, God had other plans somehow I was blinded with my dreams I totally forgot what God wanted me to experience. There is nothing wrong with planning or dreaming or even looking forward to what your hearts desires are however it is also important to consider or make room for Gods plans for you as well otherwise you may be up for some serious disappointments.

So this year, I have a few prayer points to welcome 2015. New hopes and dreams; new things to look forward to but this time having Gods plans in mind as well.

I pray that you all will be happy despite how 2014 treated you, and excited as I am to welcome the new years with Gods provision and blessings that this coming year would be of a greater one.

Until next year everyone, I look forward to writing more and sharing more on how God has continually worked in my life. Have a blessed and happy new year! 🙂

Advertisements

Celebrate Life!

Birthdays, Anniversaries and Graduation have all one thing in common.. to celebrate life’s milestones.

Recently I was blessed to witness I friends birthday party which is not the ordinary way of celebrating birthdays. Usually when people throw birthday parties it is all about their friends, fancy places and activities and wish list catering to them. I am not saying that this is bad or wrong, but that’s just how everyone celebrates birthday.

My friend Riva on the other hand celebrates birthday with the street children or the less privileged. She increases the count of her attendees with her age. She celebrates with them in a restaurant which they can only dream of entering. Plays games and does unique activities with her special invited guests and friends. On top of that she asks her friends to not give her gifts but cater to her wish list of giving certain things to her special guests, such as educational materials, slippers or shoes, clothes and utilities like toothbrush and soap.

20141220_215900 20141220_221607 20141220_221616 20141220_221624 20141220_221629 20141220_221635 20141220_221646

Riva started this when she was 18, ten years later she has now invited 28 kids and made it extra special by bringing them to a science museum. After which they had story telling then celebrated in the local Filipino fast food chain restaurant. I was so blessed to even simply witness the happiness in the faces of the kids of having a new slipper or a new toothbrush! Somethings we simply take in for granted.

While seeing the smile on their faces, I was reminded of the birth of Jesus Christ and why we celebrate Christmas. That baby Jesus was born so that one day he can bridge the gap between our relationship with our God the Father. A sense of Hope and renewal a reason for us to celebrate life.

Let us not forget the reason why we celebrate Christmas or why we simply celebrate life, the reason why we are here, the purpose and the gift.

20141224_190019[1]

Joy and enjoyment are available just as misery. Righteousness and peace are available just as condemnation and turmoil. There are blessings and curses now its up to you what you would like to choose. Deuteronomy 30:19 tells us to choose life and blessings! – new day by Joyce Meyer

Luke 2:6-7 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her first born, a son. She wrapped him in clothes and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Isaiah 9:6 For us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting father and Prince of Peace.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas! 🙂

WHERE CAN I FIND PEACE?

If I were to ask you, draw me a picture on what is peace for you? I’m sure most of you will have a picture in your head of a beach, calm waves crashing the shore, birds flying and kids building a sand castle in the side, for others it can be in your living room in from of a fire place nice soothing music playing while you sip your hot chocolate, or maybe for others doing yoga, massage, or as simple as having no war or death because of unresolved issues.

From this season of Christmas, we all experience back to back parties and get together’s. Not just this season, but in life in general, from a stressful day at work or school, heavy traffic, unfigured life plans, marital issues, unresolved and conflicting situations, we all strive to find peace, peace in mind, heart and within ourselves. Which leaves us begging with the question of “Where can I find peace?”

This weekend, I had a pleasure of listening to pastor Christian preach about peace. The true definition and what the Bible had to say about peace. While listening to the Pastor preach, I was reminded of my recent past of who I was before Christ in my life. Of how I spent money like a leaking faucet just to fill the part of my life where peace lacked. I went to countless beach trips, out of town trips, spent time with friends and did things which the world defines peace. Which was nothing wrong, apparently, for some strange reason that particular bucket remained empty despite those countless efforts.

We all know our heart, by default, has a vault where only God has the key, A space where only God can fill. And this space – yes! is where the peace of God lies. Believe me after all this years of trying to fill this space, I failed. Mainly because I failed to understand that unique design of how God created us to be.

This empty space was now getting filled every time I heard Gods word, seeked him and followed His will for me. The moment God came in to picture of my blurry life now started to make sense, the purpose became more clear and my life became more beautiful everyday. This started to reflect in my character, my beauty and my relationships with everyone.

Blog-Banners.0015

A story is told of a painting contest. The artists were asked to render their perspective on subject of peace. There was one who painted calm waters of a brook. Another painted a man under a tree resting. But one submitted his artwork that didn’t seem to make sense at first. It was a picture of raging waters coming from the top of a mountain. The weather gloomy and it looked like the wind was strong.

But when you zoom into one part of the painting, you will see a bird with her young lings in a cleft of a rock, nestling. In the midst of the raging waters, gloomy weather and strong winds, they peacefully rest.

The Bible says that Jesus is our Prince of Peace and He is with us every moment.

So what does it mean to have the Peace of God? There are three points to consider:

1. Peace with God.

We have peace with God through Jesus. We were at war with Him. The Bible says that, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.” (Romans 5:10)

Jesus came so that our relationship with God could be restored.

2. Peace of God.

The result of peace with God is the peace of God. Life is now lived before an audience of One. The Apostle Paul says that he lives to please only One – only his Savior Jesus.

We are told in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

3. Peace with others.

Because we have peace with God which brings about the peace of God, it is now possible to be at peace with others. If we have been forgiven of our gravest of offense, we are now empowered by His grace to forgive others.

Romans 12:18 tells us to “do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”

My Prayer for all of you reading this, just like God had turned my life for the best, I pray same for you. May you have the peace of God to know Him better, to restore relationships and most importantly to set you free.

Remember that Peace is not the absence of storms but the assurance of God’s presence in the midst of it.

Have a good week everyone 🙂

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.

Parable of the Sower.001

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.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 11.21.26 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 11.35.50 PM

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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