The Hero Story

What’s happening, Lord?

A prayer I uttered as I watch another news about terrorism. I squeezed my hands together placed it gently on my lips as I uttered another prayer. My words were so simple mostly crying out for peace.

What’s happening? What can I do?

I know after this prayer one day I will hear another news about terrorism, and another, and another. More lives will be killed maybe someone I love dearly or maybe my very own life. I felt very helpless about the situation, but am I really helpless? Is there really nothing I can do?

I went home bearing the heaviness of the situation. Sure I’ve heard news about terrorism before but that day was different. That day I needed to cry. So I did, I went inside my room closed the door and sat on my bed, I faced the world map I placed on my wall and cried again. Asked the same question,

What’s happening? What can I do?

Then I noticed something. Two verses I placed on my world map to remind me of what I should be doing.

“. . . my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” – Isaiah 56:7

“Perhaps this is the moment for which you were created.” -Esther 4:14

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I am called to pray at this very moment. Yes, just pray. I know about this already, so why am I still asking God? The method is not the problem, and the Holy Spirit revealed something in my heart that I did not expect. I wanted to be the hero.

He placed my focus back to Jesus and the Holy Spirit said, “He is the real Hero in this story.” I stepped back and acknowledged His presence.

Jesus, at that moment, lifted the burden off my shoulders placed it on His and said, “it is finished.” God has already given the solution to this problem, and His name is Jesus.

Some people may say I am too naive and too simplistic. Granted. But one thing I know and I will hold on to this—we do not need another political leader to change the world, we need a Saviour and a King who loved us and forgave us of our sins and who will teach us to do the same to the people we both love and hate. And until the whole world knows Him, my job is not yet done.

tuzki-bunny-emoticon-021  Current mood: Meditating

One Important Lesson Traveling has Taught me

I’ve been traveling a lot lately and there is one important lesson that stuck and changed my life completely. Now, there are a lot of lessons I’ve learned while going to different places and meeting different people but I just want to share this one simple yet life changing lesson.

I’ve learned to number my days. Yes, it is a simple as that. You see, traveling with people or alone taught me how to manage my time well, keep a calendar, and fulfill every single task on time. Traveling forces me to think about the travel time and strategize how to go from one place to the next in the shortest amount of time. Why? Because time is precious. My reasoning, if I miss my plane, if I miss my bus, if miss my boat, I don’t just miss my mode of transportation but I miss my opportunity to meet amazing people, miss an experience, miss the sunset, miss the sunrise, and so much more. Every minute counts.

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Photo from: pinterest.com

A day is composed of 24 hours and it is so easy to spend one day until you realize one week have passed and you have done nothing to move forward. Traveling has taught me that a day wasted means I will be left behind.

The Bible also teaches us the same thing, Proverbs 90:12 tells us,

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

You don’t have to be a traveler to apply this lesson. If we learn to number our days, we learn to live a better life; we make better decisions; we make every moment count. So I ask God to teach me to number my days because everyday is His gift to us, and how I spend every moment is my act of worship to Him.

  Current mood: Busy but happy

The Hipster Christian

Paumanhin kung matagal akong hindi nakapagblog. Naglakbay uli ang inyong lingkod sa isang lugar na hindi ko lubos maisip na mapupuntahan—ang bansang Israel. Napakagandang lugar, pramis! Pero pagbalik ko sinalubong na ako ng mag trabaho at ngayon palang uli ako nakakaahon. Na miss ko rin magsulat. Kaya . . .

Welcome back!!! 😀

Habang nag-iisip akong magandang return-of-the-comeback blog, yung tipong mapapatumbling kayo sa tuwa, naisip ko maging simple nalang muna. Simple lang pero madalas kong napapansin sa karamihan ng mga “Christians.” Hindi lahat, pero madami. At tulad ko, naging guilty din ako dito—ang pagiging Hipster Christian.

Ipaliwanag ko muna kung ano ang hipster, actually, madami itong kahulugan. Isa sa mga description ng pagiging Hipster ay ang pagsalungat nila sa mga “mainstream societal conventions” (Naks! Big words). In short, basta “masa” ayaw nila or hindi sila nakikiuso. They consider themselves cool because they don’t go with the flow and they have their own identity. Wala naman masama dun diba? Wala naman, pero sa akin sariling opinion, masama na ito kapag nagiging elite group na. Maslalo na kapag Christian ka.

So ano naman ang hipster Christian? Hindi ko alam kung nag-eexist na ang phrase na ito pero para sa akin sila yung mga naging “cool” na Christian because they say the right Christian terms, hang out with the “right people,” prays everyday, knows their bible pretty much, but shuns the sinners.

Hipster Christians are so religious they forget to love the sinners, like you and me. They forgot that they too are sinners and needs Jesus, just like very one else. They’ve kept the knowledge of Christ to themselves and created their own little club. No wonder there’s a growing number of people who abhors Christians.

Jesus came here on earth to reach down to the people, to love us and bring us back to God. When he saw the crowd he had compassion on them. He went where they are and healed them, fed them, taught them how to live. But more than all of these, He came down from heaven to earth to die for us and pay the penalty of our sins.

Our sins.

You and me—the mainstream and the hipsters.

Let’s be like Jesus. Let’s step out of our little hipster club and dive into the world where God’s love is most needed. It’s not going to be a comfortable life but I assure you it’s going to be worth it. 🙂

 

  Current mood: Busy. Very.

 

 

A Broken Alabaster Jar

I cannot look people straight into their eyes because I know they’re disgusted when they see me.

“She’s a harlot!” That’s what they say. Scorned by the public, despised by my family.

Unloved.
Unworthy.

I cannot look at myself in the mirror, because what I see is an ugly woman hiding underneath the layers of her make-up.

Braided hair, beautiful clothes, fragrant smell; if only I can be like this alabaster jar—beautiful and precious. People will pay huge amount for this.

But not me.

For I am not worth your year’s wage. Scorned by the public, despised by my family.

Unloved.
Unworthy.

But You looked at me. You looked at me with compassion in Your eyes. What do You see that people can’t see? What do You see that I can’t see?

I know some men look at me with lust. I know some men look at me with disgust. But You see me differently. You don’t see me as a harlot; You saw what’s inside of me; You saw something so precious.

Now I understand, it’s not the beautiful alabaster jar that’s precious, it’s what it holds that has more value. But who am I? I am scorned by the public, despised by my family.

Unloved.
Unworthy.

I rushed to see this man. They say His name is Jesus. I grabbed my alabaster jar filled with pure nard.

Bowed down at His feet, I wept like child. For the first time I felt love, real love. My Lord, what can I offer except this jar of perfume? I am broken—a broken vessel like this jar of alabaster. My contents are all spilled out but I don’t care. I am loved. I will pour out my all, my everything at your feet. You are more precious to me.

Then He said these loving words to me, “your sins are forgiven. Go in peace.” I anointed Him but He also anointed me. Though scorned by the public and despised by my family, but in Him . . .

I am loved.
I am worthy.

A narrative inspired by a character in the bible in Luke 7:36-50.

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  Current mood: So many things to do, so little time.

May nagsabi na ba sayo na maganda ka?

Isang araw tinanong ko ito . . .

“Lord, ako lang ba at ikaw ang nakakaalam na maganda ako?”

Tinawanan ko nalang ang sarili ko, at sa totoo lang hindi ko kailangan ng sagot dun. Pero kayo ba, (lalo na ang mga babae) natanong ninyo rin ba yun? O kaya yung tanong na “maganda ba ako?”

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It's ok Natalie, you're still pretty, and hair grows. 😀

We humans celebrate beauty. Gusto natin magkaroon ng artistahing mukha, katawan na pwedeng ipagmalaki sa beach, magkaroon ng “perfect” hair (kung anuman yung elusive “perfect” hair na yun; straight ba o kulot? Hindi ko alam). We spend so much on clothes, shoes, hair, and make-up. We have fallen in love on the idea of beauty and, for some, would die for it. But what about inner beauty?

Physical beauty vs. Inner beauty

Q: Maganda ba siya?
A: Sobrang Mabait.
Q: Gwapo ba siya?
A: Masipag naman.

Physical beauty will always be the first thing that people will notice, but inner beauty will the the last thing that they will forget. Physical beauty will attract the eyes, but inner beauty enchants the soul. I don’t know if you’ve realized this–inner beauty does not seek the praises of men.

We, humans, are created to deteriorate; mapapanis tayo, mga kaibigan. It means that physical beauty will fade but inner beauty will not. Though it is important to take good care of our bodies but it is more important to cultivate our souls.

Dress to impress

And lastly, try to answer this question: Who am I trying to impress?

I hope this verse will help you narrow down your answer to just one:

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1Peter 3:3, 4)

Check your motives. Yes, we dress to impress but who is your target audience? We can dress right and do the right things because we want to be noticed by people OR do these things because we know it is of great worth in God’s eyes. I hope our motives should always be directed to God.

Personally, I came in to a conclusion that it’s ok for me if no one notice that I am beautiful. As long as I know that I am made beautiful in Christ, and in God’s sight I am of great value.

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  Current mood: Pretty-ness!

The Second Choice, the Forgotten, the Last Option

I remember someone said this, “People will always remember the first, not the second.” Here are some questions to prove his point:

Who’s second person to climb Mt. Everest?
What’s the second fastest animal?
What’s the name of the second highest tower?
What’s the second largest continent?

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Photo: pinterest.com

Most, if not all, will remember the first, and not the second (or the succeeding). Well, except for king David—the famous second king of Israel.

David was, most of the time, the second or the last choice: He was the second king of Israel (1 Samuel 16:1); the second husband of Abigail (1 Samuel 25); the last option to be anointed among his brothers, if not the forgotten one (1 Samuel 16:10-13). And the last option to, unthinkably, defeat Goliath.

We remember David. A lot of books were written about him. His psalms are sung in churches. His stories are being preached countless times, and almost everybody wants to be like him—an ordinary boy doing an ordinary job, defeating the giant, and becoming the second king of Israel.

The second choice, forgotten, the last option—we all can relate with David. But unlike most of us, the ranking didn’t bother him. Why? Because his heart was set on God, his mind on Him. His identity was with God. Did he complain because he was the second king? No. Was he mad because he was almost forgotten when the prophet came? No. Was he intimidated because no one trusted his skills to fight Goliath? Not even.

I hope we can all be like David, that even if we are not the first choice or the first in line, we will still give our best to God—our first love.

 

——-
Answers:
Ernst Schmied
Pronghorn antelope
One World Trade Center
Africa

  Current mood: Daming work *bow*

Status: In a Relationship

Sa simula ng bawat taon madaming bloggers ang nagsusulat ng kanilang “Things I want to do this New Year.” Madaming gusto maging positive at forward looking, hopeful at punong-puno ng possibilities. Nothing wrong with that, pero trip ko lang ngayon magpakasenti at magsulat (at ishare) ang natutunan ko last year. At dahil madami akong natutunan, ifocus ko nalang ang topic na madaming hits sa aking blog—ang pagiging single.

Ewan ko kung bakit madaming hits ang mga tags ko about relationship, single, love life, and whatnots. Sadya atang nakakaintriga ang buhay ng artistang single.

Chos!

1) Being single is not a disease
Do I need to explain? LOL! Sige na nga.

Marahil nung family reunion madalas mong marinig ang tanong na “O, may boyfriend/girlfriend ka na ba?” at kapag sinagot mo ng “Wala pa po eh.” Manlalaki ang kanilang mga mata at sasabihin “Bakit??!!” na parang may ginawa kang kasalanan. The society treats singleness like a disease as if something’s wrong with you, and the only remedy is for you to get married. As a result, we tend to think that there is something wrong. Nope, you’re fine. It’s our perspective about being single that’s perverted.

Singleness is a gift, like being married is a gift. It’s a season in life that we need to celebrate. Instead of loathing and envying people, be productive. I know it’s easier said than done especially when you’re all alone during holidays (believe me, I’ve been there). So let’s continue, shall we?

2) Prioritize
Simula ng 2013 hindi ko binigyan ng halaga ang love life, hindi ko manlang ito sinulat sa aking faith goals. Hindi naman sa dahil ayaw ko nang umasa, may masbinigyan lang akong priority at ito ang aking relationship kay God.

Ang dasal ko nagbago, instead na “Lord, sana may manligaw na sa akin” naging “Lord, ligawan mo ako.” Instead na “Lord, nas’an na siya?” naging “Lord, nas’an Ka na?” At dahil dun, binihag Niya uli ang aking puso; ang dating nanlalamig na pag-ibig ko sa Kanya ay biglang nag-alab muli.

3) Wait, and wait some more
Madami akong naririnig na mga single women na nagrereklamo na “bakit hindi pa siya magsabi sa akin?” and “bakit ang bagal niya?” Ladies, ito lang masasabi ko, masmainam na pinag-pray ka nung guy at pareho kayong mag-antay kay Lord, kesa ligawan ka kagad ng hindi manlang pinag-iisipan ang ginagawa niya—not praying or not seeking help/advice, in short, he’s not doing his homework.

Better wait. Kung gwapo siya, hindi na siya magmumukhang gwapo kapag nag-aaway na kayo. Pramis, hindi siya kawalan. I’m not a man hater, but ladies we have to know our worth.

benefits of dating me

And lastly,

4) Delight
To all my beautiful single readers I want to remind you that God delights in you.

As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. (Isaiah 62:5b)

Your beauty enthralls the King; you are always in His mind. He gives you only the best. He lavishes you with His love everyday. Are you not convinced?

No boyfriend can make you completely happy; no fiancé can fulfill all his promises; no husband can save you.

Delight in God. No equally sinful man, like us, will ever satisfy what we truly need. Unless we are convinced that He alone satisfies us, we will never be completely contented.

Be in love with Him first.

 

46  Current mood: Chill lang.