Storm and Our Hearts

Bagyong Ompong

Storm Ompong landfalls around 1:30AM in Northern Luzon. It is signal number 1 here in Manila as I write but signal number 4 in Ilocos region. Many were sleepless because of the gust winds of 150KPH to 200KPH striking roofs and houses of Luzon. 

They say storm can strengthen us — I say no. 

Storms only exposes the conditions of our hearts. It exposes the fears and the worries of our minds. But storms can be an opportunity to practice our values and faith. In the midst of fear and worries, who do we really trust? What do we really hold on to? Where do we get help when we are down? What are we supposed to do while in the storm and after it has passed? 

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

Mark 4:39

Our faith and values should dictate our response through the storm, not the other way around. When storm and our practice of faith come together they produce character and strength. 
Pray, encourage one another, help those who are needy. 

I speak strength to you in the midst of this stormy day. 

Advertisements

Hiding Place

Hiding Place
We all have our hiding place.
Men have their man-cave.
Women have their me-time.
People play games or go to clubs because we try to hide something. Our hurts and brokenness.
We call it diversion, we call it recharging or we call it as it is. But these are all our hiding place.
Psalms 32:7
You are my hiding place. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
The limitation with our self-made hiding place is that it only comforts our physical bodies but not really satisfies our soul. Our soul is not fully satisfied and secured until it rests on the One who made. it. That’s why David sang this song.
Where is your hiding place?

Dear World

Dear World

You tried. Yes you did.

You tried finding your true happiness.

You tried finding pleasure that will satisfy.

You tried giving yourself to many things but found yourself empty.

You tried healing yourself but find yourself still in pain.

You tried understanding yourself and found nothing.

You tried looking for meaning. But after looking for it, it didn’t mean anything to you. You tried.

You tried everything to fix you. But you said it is much better to die than try. You choose death over life, why?

The world is grappling for answers. It is time that the Church Jesus began, speak about His love and show the world the value that God sees for everyone.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

Don’t Kill Yourself because It’s Valentines Day

Don’t Kill Yourself because It’s Valentines Day

Valentines day. Many are rushing to buy gifts for their loved ones or for the person they admire (whether the other party knows it or not). This day elicits a lot of emotions to all, from feeling fully loved to despair or depression.

For those who are experiencing a great feeling of being loved by someone today, remember that God is the author of love. In fact, God is love and love is more than just feelings and passion. For God, it is a decision to make every single day to love the unlovable and extend mercy and grace to those who are far away from Him. I hope you’ll extend that genuine and pure love that God has given you through Jesus Christ.

For those who are feeling lonely because of the fact that someone left you hanging or maybe you feel hopeless and depressed to the point of taking your life, please read further. I want you to know that there is a kind of love that is better than the love that we know here on earth — and it is always available for you. It always extends to you, and it always desires to fill you and make you whole.

Please don’t kill yourself because you feel hopeless today. Think about these things:

Receive. God has shown his love for you. The kind of love that will complete you is the love that only God can give. Don’t be deceived by the flowers, love letters floating around, love songs being played and all the temporary things about romantic love. The love that you really need is not based on a yearly occasion, it is based on the passion of one person — Jesus, the one who entered the history of man to reach to you. He died a gruesome death to reconcile us to a loving relationship with Him. Receive his everlasting love.

Jeremiah 31:3

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Forgive. Forgiveness is really difficult. I know because I also feel that people who wronged you should pay. But I realized that it’s also true to myself. I also have to pay. I also commit sin and make mistakes. Yet, God extended his mercy upon us so that there will be a reality of having a relationship with God. Forgive because God has extended his forgiveness to us. Do not be fooled with the idea that unforgiveness will make your enemy pay. The reality of unforgiveness is that we ultimately pay for not letting go of the person who wronged us and not allowing God to do his justice to all. Forgive so that you may live a life that is free from bitterness and offense.

Isaiah 1:18

“Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

Believe. God has a plan for you. A plan takes time to unfold. We have to wait and trust that our God who leads us by the hand is faithful and true to His promise, purpose and plans for our lives. He has the best choice for us and He will not lead us into destruction but into the construction of our character. He is the lover of your soul, that’s why you don’t have to sell yourself short to someone because he/she promised a good “moment” with you. Don’t settle for good. Don’t settle for momentary pleasure. Believe for the best that God has for you. You will wait, but the arrival of the promise that God has for you will overshadow the pains and struggles of the waiting. Believe that God is good to you, not just on Valentines day but every single day of your life.

Jeremiah 29:11

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.

Don’t kill yourself to sadness or loneliness or just don’t kill yourself (if you’re planning to do so). God loves you, now and forever. No man or woman can top that.

How Can You be Certain that It’s God’s voice?

How Can You be Certain that It’s God’s voice?

A lot of questions surround the certainty of hearing God’s voice. Some people find it mystical whenever they hear someone, “I believe God is telling me…” Some find it really difficult to understand how does it really happen. I heard some Christians telling that “when you hear it, you’ll be sure that it’s God.” Sadly, some Christians abuse that phrase and use it to manipulate people which lead other people to shun away from these things.

But how can we be certain that we hear God’s voice?

I believe even in this day and age, God desires to communicate to his people. He can use a lot of means of doing it, but I know God wants to communicate to us in a manner that we will understand and will build trust in him.
In my life, I have learned that hearing God’s voice is not a one time deal and then you get it right afterwards. It’s a journey of learning to hear and obey God’s voice (maybe audibly or thru circumstances). Hearing is one thing, obeying it sets you to get familiar with it.

I found 3 disciplines that can sharpen your faith to hear his voice and be certain that it’s God who is speaking to you.

Reading the Bible
God’s word gives us direction of God’s heart, His desires and will for our lives.

Obedience
Obedience to his moral laws is a pathway to understanding and knowing his personal will for your life.

Getting wise and Godly counsel
This examines our motives, and gives balance in our perception of things. Our heart is deceitful. We need people to tell us if we are still aligned with what God has for us. We need people who will tell us the truth. This is one of the best ways God uses to sharpen our faith and test our humility.

May these 3 disciplines guide you on how you can be certain of God’s voice in your life.

Election and What Not to Do About it.

Election and What Not to Do About it.
It’s the season in the Philippines were we choose our leaders and people pick their sides. I’ve heard lots of information and comments about who to vote and who not to vote. But I am not that concern about who to choose in this coming election, I know we have our own opinion and choice of why we pick a leader for a government seat. I am more concern on how we as Filipinos are willing to divide ourselves from our close relationships for the sake of our choice of vote. I believe there is something fundamentally wrong with that attitude in this election.
We take it too personal what is only meant to be political.
Think about this:
  • Your political bet will not be with you in your deathbed.
  • Your political view should not be an excuse to demean and divide relationships.
  • Your relationships are more important than your political view.
Aside from how we pick our leaders, let’s be mindful of what is more important in the midst of a critical season of our country.

5 Questions Jesus Asked and How Our Answers Can Change the Way We Walk with Him

5 Questions Jesus Asked and How Our Answers Can Change the Way We Walk with Him

We usually have questions when we approach God. Our questions can come out of curiosity, or it can come out because we are in pain or we are experiencing challenges and we are looking for explanation why things are happening. God listens to our cries and questions. He is willing to comfort us in our pain.

But what if the scenario is reversed and Jesus had a few questions for us? As we are eager to hear answers from Him, God is also eager to hear the answer to His questions. I believe Jesus asks questions not because we lack information. I believe He asked these questions because the people He’s asking needs direction and change of heart.

I encourage everyone to read the whole chapter where I got the questions of Jesus. These questions were directed to specific people but I believe these still have significance for us today.

  1. Why did you doubt? (Matt 14:31)
  2. But who do you say that I am? (Matt 16:15)
  3. Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I command? (Luke 6:46)
  4. Do you love me? (John 21:16)
  5. Do you believe I can do this? (Matt 9:28)

Hope these questions challenge our hearts and grow our relationship with Jesus. Enjoy reading the Bible!