Posted in Psalm, On Sufferings

Psalm 88

:1 – …I have cried out to you day and night
:2 – …for my life is full of troubles and death draws near
:3 – …I am in a trap with no way of escape
:9 – My eyes are blinded by my tears.  Each day I beg for your help , O Lord.
:18 – Only darkness remains.

 

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Posted in Psalm, On Sufferings

Foreword

This morning I was doing my daily devotion. Part of that is reading a chapter each day on the book of Psalms.  As I read through it, I noticed that there’s a lot of sufferings and human anguish. Similar to our time. This suffering is what I’d like to share as I read through it.  It is not meant to discourage or to remind you of your failures rather to encourage you that nothing is new under the sun like the book Ecclesiastes say.  The enemy want to remind us that what we’re going is something new. We get beat down by voices that we are no good, that we are not even comparable to the giants of faith in the Bible. If you put an effort to read your Bible you’ll know that what the enemy is telling you is a complete lie.

As I share this events on the book of Psalm. I’d like to remind you that David is one of them.  The man after God’s own heart, crying on his pillow every night. Remember this is for your edification, I highly encourage you to read the whole chapter.   You are not alone in this fight of life. Keep on praying, keep on crying to Him. He will come. I wouldn’t tell you this if I didn’t have a first hand account.

All verses are from New Living Translation unless it noted.

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Posted in Book Reviews

Why Singles are not Married and the Married are Single

I stumbled on this accidentally on my local library.  It’s author is by Mike Marra. Sometimes, I wonder why God shows me such things, given the fact that I just got divorced and I’m pushing toward 40. I ask Him, isn’t this kind of late?  But hey, what do I know. The God of the Bible is the God of second chances and new beginnings. This is not the only book that I have read in which I wish I would’ve read when I was still in my 20’s. I like to share this not because of financial gain. I don’t know the author neither. I want to share this so that my dear audience, especially you young adults, that you won’t make the same mistake that I did when it comes to choosing your lifetime partner.

Here are some excerpts and I quote:

“When problems exist in a relationship, most people try to fix the problem.  But they focus on the issue. The issue might be money, promiscuity, careers, kids or many other things. What needs understanding is that the issue is not the problem!  We (the problem) stand in front of the mirror and do not know how to deal with the issue. The issue exist because of unresolved internal conflict. The internal conflict needs healing. The issue will resolve..once the problem (us) deals with the conflict (emotions.)”

“Being single is all about personal goals and desires. Dating is the learning stage of sharing interests, doing nice things for honey, and adjusting to their needs out of love. Engagement is a step toward building a life together, sharing our dreams, and letting the other person know we are willing to love them unconditionally. Marriage is the ultimate commitment: working as team in our proper roles and making sacrifices to help secure our spouse’s world with us. When parenthood arrives, things should become less important to self, while making bigger sacrifices for the children.”

“We are taught to seek out our “soul-mates.”  Actually, God created “helpmates” for us to seek out. If our souls are composed of our mind, will, and emotions, how do we find our “mind, will and emotions-mate?” I don’t think we can. Maybe it’s why they’re hard to find! Ideally, we need to find a godly man or woman who will help us to enjoy the good times and help us to get through the bad times in life.”

“We must realize that there is an intense spiritual battle going on. Satan blinds men and women in order to build his army while God builds His. However, Satan’s side is more attractive and fun for immediate pleasure. He knows how to attack and destroy which is his purpose. God’s purpose is to attack back, through prayer, worship and warfare. It’s accomplished with the indwelt power of the Holy Spirit we’ve asked for. But this requires faith and tenacity.”

“Satan knows the power of sex. He involves women at a level to distract men because man’s innate desire is sex.”

“We have a conclusion! Men are the reason men are tainted! Men are tainted because they haven’t been pulled aside o learn relationship! The ones teaching this should be women. But, women can’t be teaching men how to have a relationship with any respect toward them by removing their clothes at the drop of a hat!”

I encourage you to get this book.  Even though you decide to stay single. You’ll never know when love come’s knocking at your door.

 

 

 

Posted in Living

42

I guess you could say this somewhat a movie review. Spoiler alert ahead. I’m not really a sports guy per say. Rarely we see a good sports movie, less alone something that has a profound message, a good message. It’s a nice break from other movies that are filled with violence, sex and cgi’s.

I have a coworker and a friend of mine that suggested to watch 42 on netflix. I’m not really into sports movies but being he is a good friend of mine I took his recommendation. It’s a movie about Jackie Robinson, the first African-American baseball player in the MLB. I love movies that convey some truths to it. There’s a scene where Mr.Rickey, played by Harrison Ford and Jackie Robinson are having a conversation in the field. Mr. Rickey was asking him what he believes, in which he replied back and I quote, “I don’t think what I believe matters only what I do.”

It struck me that it rings so true when someone says I am a Christian but they’re actions say otherwise.We could say all we want. We could declare it in every roof top. We could carry a bible. Wear a cross in our necklace. Put a fish emblem in the back of our car. People wouldn’t care what they only care is what we do. Once an atheist said that the reason he doesn’t believe is the lack of action by a believer. He said they claim to be Christian but he doesn’t see it in their lives, they still living like everybody in the world does. “So why should I believe?” Those were his words.

I am not here to judge nor I am saying that I am perfect. But every time you say you’re a Christian and you’re still living like the world. Know this for sure that it is not you who is losing respect, but Christ in you. Once they know that you’re a Christian by you professing it is no longer the you they see instead what they see is Christ. Remember words mean nothing only action does. Aside from that it’s only emotions and feelings which are very deceiving because they’re not facts.

Maybe you’re thinking you’re under grace. True to that. Let me ask you this, most of us work for someone. Regardless of the size of the organization or company we work for, there’s a standard we have to follow because we represent it. Why wouldn’t it be any different for being a Christian. The only difference is the first makes you money, the latter eternity, which I would think matter more. Like me, writing this blog. I could put all kinds of persuasive words in here for you to believe. But if my actions doesn’t match to what I’m writing would you still believe?

So next time you do something, it doesn’t matter what you say only what you do.

Posted in Lift up your head

The Hero

I’ve always been fascinated by superheroes. With the majority of them dominating all the movies that has come out even until now and to the future. Who wouldn’t like to have super powers. Think of all the good things you can do. You probably could even use it to impress that special someone.

Then it came to me, given the propensity of our hearts succumbing to pride and power. It could do a great damage too. Majority of us once we are in the pinnacle of success we often tend to forget God. Instead we fall into diverse temptations. Forgetting how we begged and ask God to give us all this material blessings, promising Him to use it for His kingdom and glory, to be a blessing to other people. But we all know how that turns out. This power only relates to material wealth. How much more if you have an actual physical power. Giving you a status to be like a god. I often joke with my friends that maybe this is the reason why God never bestowed such things to mankind. Because even Adam and Eve couldn’t even obey a very simple command. How hard could that be not to eat from the forbidden tree.

There’s a passage in the bible in Luke 9:51-56 where Jesus and the disciples went to a village but they weren’t welcoming towards Jesus. James and John asked Him if they should rain down fire on them. Imagine what would have happen if it’s not because of Him intervening.

This is one of the reason why Christ teaches humility like no one else. Unknown to most people there is power in the kingdom of God. There is power in God. Jesus Christ himself declared for every believer that they have authority over all the works of the enemy (Luke 10:19), whether it be healing, or deliverance. The bible is inundated with supernatural events. From the deliverance of the Israelites from Pharaoh, the parting of the Red Sea to Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Sadly, most believers have forgotten that they serve the mighty God.

It is not easy being a Christian. In fact, it is the hardest thing to do. Denying yourselves, being a servant to all, forgive even those who don’t deserve it. Taking up your own cross, lose everything for the sake of the gospel. Forsake the ways of this world. And we all do this not solely of the rewards of being a believer. We are willing to do all these to bring the gospel, to show to you by our actions, that there is a God that cares for you. If Christ went to such great lengths dying for all of us why shouldn’t we be any different. We never deserve nor could earn it, but He did so because God is love.

If you are an obedient believer in Christ. In His eyes, you are the true hero. It takes a lot of will power to conquer yourself whenever prides set in, or the pressures that is put upon by this world. You’d rather suffer for His sake than to suffer from the temporal pleasures of sins.

Posted in Lift up your head

The Beauty Of Adversity

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You might be thinking, how crazy I am to see beauty in adversity. How am I able to see through the darkness. To survive through the storms. No one like trials. Specially, trials that involves your faith. A lot of people ask me and wonder how was I able to survive my divorced, going through and the aftermath.

To tell you honestly, I still look my self, how I was able to survive that.  The lies, deceptions, and watching fourteen years of marriage, of hard work, compromises, heart aches and sacrifices, down the drain, gone in the blink of eye. I remember, telling myself. One more day, survive one more day, live one more day. Trying to make sense of everything. Asking God why? And it’s just silence. An eerie silence of abandonment covered with darkness. The weight of the world coming down on you. God must have His own reasons, I said with a doubt while wiping the tears off my eyes.

When someone ask me, how am I able to survive it. I smile and say, “My faith in God and His promises.” Not my strength nor my effort, but in Him alone and no one else. Because no matter how many times I fail, I know that He loves me no matter what. That there’s nothing or no one in this world that could surpass His unconditional love for me.

Past forward to present, I see things differently. Before I used to cower in fear. Fear of abandonment, failure. All the what ifs of things that could go wrong. Everything is all about perception. If you see trials as a way of being defeated then you’ll always be defeated, you’ll never gain victory. If you see it as an opportunity to grow, to improve yourself, to learn from it, and evolve from it. Then you will have an upper hand. Victory will surely be yours. A lot of us ask God why is this happening? Why is it that He put us in certain place? To suffer a particular circumstance. It would be better if we ask Him, to show us the reasons. I believe God allow such things to happen. I believe that He put us in a certain place. Not to punish us, but so that He could show His power and might through us. So that the people around us will see that we serve the mighty God. So that He could show His glory through us. I could not think of a better method to be a witness to this fallen world but by our actions. How we react through all the craziness in our daily lives.

I guess you could say I’m out of my mind. But when I see adversity coming, I ask God to lead the way. I think of it now as  opportunity to grow and learn. To show this world, that greater is He the one that lives in me than the one who is in the world. In order to come to this level of spiritual maturity, God had broken me down, now I see. Before I always ask Him why. Now, I couldn’t thank Him enough. Like the verse above, I am indeed perfect and complete lacking nothing. Because in Christ alone I found true joy. Not the things of this world or anything that comes with it. It is my prayer that you will too.

Posted in Lift up your head

King David

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Who would’ve have thought that a man after God’s own heart suffered such grief.  Before, I always think that the people in the Bible are perfect.  As I delve and study them, they are broken and lost like we are today in some cases even worse.  As I read Psalm 6:6, it reminded me what I’ve been through a few months back.  I thought I was abandoned by God and being punished.  Little did I know that it’s a lie being put in my mind by the enemy.

When I read through this passage, I was in awe and still am.  Knowing that David, the anointed king of Israel, who’s called after God’s own heart. He’s been through what I went through, though not for the same exact reasons.  The outcome after that, we were both delivered by God, only by putting our complete trust and hope in Him. And by obeying Him even though a lot of it doesn’t make sense.

If you’re being hated and tried look no further on David’s faith.  The fact that he has numerous opportunities to do harm on King Saul, he never did. He waited on God instead to act on His behalf. God never failed him.  We might think that God will be late, He is never late and I can testify to that.  It is when we rely on our own understanding and strength that things wouldn’t go well, it is when we rely on our own human perception that things would turn to bad to worse.  God sees things differently from us.  He sees and control everything, we don’t.  Our job is to obey Him no matter what the consequences.  In the end everything will work our for your good and His glory.  God can always turn dire things into blessings.  You won’t realize at the present but as you go on everything will fall into its place.

Stop being scared, stop doubting. Start trusting in Him.  I know it’s hard to do.  I felt the same thing, deep in my heart I know He will never abandon me nor forsake me. It is one of His promises in the book of Hebrews.  Things would’ve turn for the worse if I took action by myself.  I’m grateful for all the trials and heart aches I went through because if it’s not because of them I wouldn’t be able to develop this closeness to God.  I was crushed to pieces, I thought it was the end of me. And yet God picks me up and put me back up. Better, bolder, kinder and tougher.  As time went by, I become to see clearly, having this spiritual insight. Now I know everything makes sense.  That He doesn’t hate nor punish me. That He loves me and cares for me.

Stop turning back to the solutions the world has to offer. You know it’s a beaten path. Don’t give up on yourself because God never gives up on you.

Give God a chance.

 

Posted in Lift up your head

God’s Promises

I’ve discuss before from my earlier post what God makes who He is and that is His unfailing love for us. Couple days ago, I felt down due to the effects of my recent divorce. Praise be to God, that He’s always there to catch me and lift my head up. As I spent my quiet time with Him, I was reading the book of Hebrews 6:17-20(NLT), “God also bound himself with an oath, so those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. God has given us both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can take courage, for we can hold on to his promise with confidence.”

As a society in whole we thrive in promises. You promise to your children, to your spouse, parents, siblings, friends and co-workers. However, given the propensity of us being humans, we make mistakes and end up not fulfilling such promises. Some of these promises have dire consequences if they don’t get fulfilled, leaving individuals with emotional distress and heart aches.

This is what set God apart from us, because He always is faithful. No matter how much we’ve failed and disobeyed Him, His promises never change. So long as we have a repentant heart. I really like those words on the verses above, unchangeable and hold on to his promise with confidence. For me, this promise is another evidence how much God loves us. It trumps all the promises out there. The fact also that He bound himself with an oath as an assurance that He would never change His mind, despite of Him being the God. Isn’t that amazing.

How do we received God’s promise? In the same chapter on verse 15, “Then Abraham waited patiently and He received what God promised.” Note the keyword is to wait patiently. I think for all of us this is the hardest part, waiting patiently. We all know what the consequences are whenever we try to over step God’s timing, especially in a society which is saturated for instant gratification.

In closing, I hope you continue in trusting the Lord no matter how dire the consequences are, no matter how rough we’re going through. Because rest assured, our home is not here, it is in heaven. I’ll leave a song down below, and I hope it’ll encourage you like the way it encourage me.

Posted in Be a Berean

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

We all know that not all who preach the gospel do so to serve the Lord. They don’t do it because they care for the lost but to enrich themselves or boost their ego. Such individuals existed during Paul’s time. Nothing is new under the sun.

“It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry…” (Phil. 1:15 NLT)

Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely…”(Phil. 1:17 NLT)

Posted in Lift up your head

First Step

There’s nothing like teaching your child learning how to ride a bike. It is one of memorable moments of child hood. Being a father I feel proud of seeing my daughter finally learn how to ride a bike. I thought she’ll never learn it due to her lack of interest. Her bike has been sitting in the storage for a while. With a little push and encouragement she finally did it. The hardest part is the first step, learning to balance. When you master that everything falls into place.

I know it’s not easy riding on two wheels. It scares us. The fear envelops us. We don’t want to get hurt . Who wants to be? But it is necessary to take that first step. You have to pass through it. My daughter struggled to balance as she keep her other foot down to ride. Sometimes she would crash and hurt herself. I felt the pain too. I want to hold her but I know if I do that she’ll never be able to learn. So many times she told me that she couldn’t do it, “Too scary,” she said. She wanted me to hold her bike for her. I replied, “You have to learn to balance it yourself, do not give up, you have to conquer your fears and doubts. You can do it.” But how? You just have to do it over and over again until you get better. Then that day finally came, she done it.

It reminds me when I was learning to drive a manual transmission, the first gear is always the hardest ,same thing with motorcycles. The faster you go, the easier it’ll be, but only if you are willing to take that first step. I never rode a motorcycle before. It freak me out even more when I have to ride through a series of cones both straight and zig zag. I was trying to go slow for fear of falling. In motorcycles, the faster you go, the bike will balance itself. All the people in my class kept yelling, “Go faster, go faster.” I was too afraid and then it dawned on me I better listen to them since they have more experience than I am. Oh boy, I just can’t describe the feeling. The wind hitting your face. The smell getting trap in your nose. All the elements hitting your body. The adrenaline pumping through your blood. It was fun and I used fear as a reason to not to crash and always have a situational awareness.

Like in life, there’s a lot of challenges that we go through. In order to overcome them changes has to be implemented. It could be going to college. Getting out of bad relationships. A change in career. Or God choosing you to serve Him. Day in, night out you tell yourself you’ll do it next time. As seasons pass nothing change. The fact is aside from you having doubt and fear, the most troubling is you don’t want to step out of you comfort zone. You’re use to it and you like to be comfortable. Little did you know that if you only take that first step, things will get better. In the end, a plethora of opportunities awaits you. Then you ask, “What If I fail?” So what, learn from it and be better. Now, go and take the first step or you’re going to end up in regret.