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

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On Cancer and Sin

I have friends who, just this past 2 months, have family members who died of cancer. I hate cancer! My grandmother died from one, and it is not something you would wish even to your enemies. Hearing stories how the medical field have created, and still creating, treatments and medicines against cancer is amazing. Also, many organizations are formed to support cancer patients and their families, giving donations and other support is awesome beyond words. So, this is how it goes, we kill the cancer and we save the patient. Not only save them from the imminent death but also to give that person the love and support he/she needs. Right?

How I wish it goes the same on how we treat sin and sinners. We kill the sin and we save the sinners. Not only that, but we also give them the love and support they need. Instead, we judge them, ridicule them, and we drive them out of the church. We became too religious and we forgot why we are in the church in the first place. Jesus, puts it this way . . .

And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:30-32

 

image from pinterest.com

 
The hospital is a place for sick people who wants to be well, as well as a church a place for sinners who wants to be forgiven. Jesus came not to call the righteous but the sinners to repent. If we, the church, treat the sin and the sinner the way the hospital treat the disease and the patient, then more and more people will come to the church to receive forgiveness and spiritual healing. We do not justify sin; we kill sin; we welcome sinners because they need help. We all need help because we are all sinners in need of a Savior. We are not holy because we are in the church; we are holy because Jesus forgave us and made us holy. Who are we, then, to deny people of that benefit?

160  Current mood: I’m alive!

Outrageous Love: Part 2

Over the past centuries lot of individuals, movement, religion, and whatnot have misrepresented Jesus. They do their plans “in the name of Jesus” hurting and killing so many lives. Sad thing about it is that Jesus’ name is still being used for their own personal gain.

I’m not writing this to defend His divinity, I am writing this to somehow tell you, my beloved readers, why Jesus came and did what He did when He was here on earth, and the WHY behind WHAT He did is far more important to me. But before anything else, I do not claim to be a theologian, I am though, a Christian who’s been smitten by this outrageous love that only He (Jesus) can give.

One day when I went home to visit my mom, one of our cute dogs, Coleen, approached me with her tail wagging like crazy, then she dropped something on my foot like a gift from her to me. To my surprise horror it’s not a toy but a cockroach, barely alive twitching and turning trying to escape his uh . . . death. So I shook my leg horrendously wanting to get that thing off my foot. But my dog was just so happy, she offered her gift of love and who am I to complai? But I don’t need her gift, I don’t need her pet cockroach, I just want to play with her.

photo credit: pinterest.com

We humans are somehow like Coleen, we come to God and we offer our gifts of love, our sacrifices, our good works trying to please Him — our Master. But God doesn’t need our gifts for He owns everything, He doesn’t need our talents nor our good works, He just wants you and me. All this sacrifices and good deeds are like filthy rags to Him (or like that cockroach). God is not an insecure God that if you don’t do certain religious stuff He’ll be sad or mad at us. In reality, He was the One who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy Him forever. I’m not talking about hyper grace here, but I am presenting this outrageous, lavish love He wants to give us.

Now about good works and obedience to His word and commands, we still have to obey that. Not to show how much you love Him but for us to know how much He loves us, so that we may understand His will and know, by obeying, His will is good, pleasing and perfect for us.

How then do we receive this “outrageous love”? By simply admitting that, by your own good works, you cannot merit His love. We can only get it if we receive it by faith. Acknowledge that it is only through Jesus that we can go to God — nothing more, nothing less. Some may be offended by its simplicity, some may not even accept Jesus. But Jesus is not moved to love you more if you love him back or not, because even before He went to that cross He had already decided to love you and me extravagantly. And now the question remains, will you accept that love? If you do then I want you to pray and tell God that you want to receive that love and acknowledge that it is only through Jesus you can receive that eternal love from the Him, our Father.

46  Current mood: loved.

The Teacher With the Multi-colored Notebook

Teacher Joel, my Sunday school teacher, was not my favorite. He “sprays” when he speaks (if you know what I mean) and I don’t like his hair. I was five years old at that time and I have no choice but to listen to him (and dodge his “sprays” if I’m lucky. Please forgive me teacher Joel).

One Sunday, it was his duty to teach in kids church, the only students he had was me and my sister. I don’t know if he remembers it but I do. In his hand he held this little multi-colored notebook; no words just colors. Using that, he told us a story that changed my life.

He opened the notebook.

Page 1: Black
He explained that my heart is dirty. It is filthy, dark, and evil. There is no way that I can make it clean–not even my good works nor good intentions.

Page 2: Red
But because God wants my heart to be clean, He sent His Son Jesus to be the ultimate sacrifice. Meaning, He has to die on the cross in order for me to live. His blood washed my sins away.

Page 3: White
Now, because of what Jesus did my heart is now clean, pure, free from all sins.

Page 4: Green
We can now enjoy our new life in God. Not to live in sin but to obey Him and enjoy Him.

Page 5: Gold
We are now brought in His Kingdom. We are now part of His family. Through Jesus, we can call God, our Father.

He closed the notebook and asked us if we believe on what Jesus did on the cross for us and if we welcome Him as His Lord and Savior. We said “yes” and we prayed.

I was 5 years old at that time. But because of that simple explanation of the Gospel it led me to live my life under Jesus’ Lordship. I was spared to make stupid decisions that would ruin my life. My King saved and protected me.

The Gospel is not that complicated, a person who is really changed by it can share it to anyone, in any occasion, in any way possible. If a person is ashamed to share the Gospel then probably he/she is not really convinced of what Jesus did on the cross.

If we all understand that the greatest problem of this world is sin and the only solution is God, then will we not bring the solution to this world by sharing the Gospel?

I thank people like teacher Joel who’s willing to share the Gospel to five year-old kids, or those people who risk their reputation, most importantly, their lives just to share the Gospel.

I tell you, great is their reward in heaven.

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Current mood: In awe

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!

Status: Engaged

Wala akong plano na magsulat ng sequel sa aking blog na “Status: In a relationship” pero sadyang kakaiba lang talaga itong araw na ito. At kahit galing akong overtime pinilit kong isulat ang blog na ito bago siya lumipad sa aking isipan.

Nagsimula ang lahat nung napansin ko sa facebook na madaming nagpopost tungkol sa mga wedding proposals. Hindi ko alam kung anung meron, at anung nakain nila, na parang ginanahan ata sila magbasa at manood ng mga wedding proposal sa internet (at ishare sa facebook). Baka dahil malamig ang panahon? Ewan.

Greatest wedding proposal

Paano mo nga bang masasabi na ang isang wedding proposal ay “the best?” Dahil ba ito sa gimik? Sa background music? Sa venue? Sa presyo ng singsing? O sa script ng lalaki bago siya lumuhod at tanungin ang mga katagang “will you marry me?”

Hindi ko alam.

Image from pinterest.com

Image: pinterest.com

Meron akong alam na wedding proposal na, hindi lang ako pinakilig, pinaiyak pa ako. Walang singsing, walang musika, walang magarang venue pero dahil sa ginawa niya nasabi ko ang matamis kong “Oo.”

Ano ang binigay niya? Ang kanyang buhay.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” (1 John 3:16)

Jesus referred to the Church (the people not the building) as His bride and He Himself the Bridegroom. Jesus didn’t just kneel down in front of His bride-to-be, instead He offered up His life to be crucified on the cross. As sad as it may seem, this, I believe, is the most beautiful wedding proposal in history. You see, we are not a beautiful bride; we are ugly sinners and we do not deserve the love of the King. But He loves us–oh so crazy in love with us.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

But of course, this is a wedding proposal. Jesus, the Bridegroom, is inviting us to be with Him; to experience His love; to honor Him, and of course, to love Him. Now the question is, are you going to say yes?

Now if you do, I just want you to pray this short prayer. Nothing fancy, just you and God. You don’t need to say it out loud, just say it in your heart and talk to Him.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus to die on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin. Jesus, I thank you that you have laid down your life for me—a sinner. I’m sorry for all my sins. I ask that you cleanse me. Today, I receive you as my bridegroom, my Lord, and my Saviour for the rest of my life. Amen.

By the way, don’t worry the Bridegroom is not dead. He is alive and reigning. And we will all see Him in His glory. 🙂

160  Current mood: Blessed