She’s a good friend from high school, and I can never forget her because apart from being our batch valedictorian, she was my classmate since high school time immemorial. Who can? We had our memorable share of experiences, whether good or bad, together with our classmates.
We used to compete with each other’s prowess especially when school politics came across our friendship. It was, for the lack of better terms, pathetic. I never knew wisdom after high school. I was so arrogant, egocentric and demented.
Not until I met God and experienced an encounter with Him like never before. It changed my idealism and shifted my paradigm. All became history. I’m not perfect but I’m definitely God’s perfect work in progress.
Anyway. Just this morning, this good friend of mine chatted with me, and as she conferred her last-night-unforgettably-frightening experience to me, I was moved. After reading her messages as if listening live, it prompted me to just blog about it instead. Here’s her verbatim post:
Every day is truly another chance from God, we do not know if we’ll surely wake up after sleep, so I immensely thank the Lord I had another. I woke up from a nightmare and in it, I saw an evil spirit rested fixed on my chest that I can’t move and breathe. Its face was staring straight at me with its horrifying eyes. It looked like just one in Asian horror movies and from that sight, I started to panic and my legs and arms felt numb, while I struggled calling my mother subconsciously hoping she wakes me up. In the duration of my struggle, no voice came out from my mouth, not one slight sound even with all the effort I made..I didn’t stop mouthing ‘Mama’ though while I talked to God in my mind asking Him to save me and not death come upon me yet..I surely thought I was about to die. I felt it. I twitched my toes remembering what my mother always tells me that I should do when I have nightmares, while I continued calming myself from panic so as not to give in to the struggle and went on speaking to God. The duration of it was quite a while, really, it was a suffering, but after some time, I can no longer see the demon on my chest but the setting of the room with outside’s light piercing through the window. Slowly and with that clear setting I still see, my chest felt lighter and my eyes then opened. I woke up, panting heavily and with goosebumps then prayed. It’s morning now, and I had another chance. God saved me, He did not allow it, so He delivered me from evil. I amazingly felt His power, His mercy and His pure love for me, and I know my faith in Him saved me because had I not called Him and asked that I be spared again after almost 5 times of this similar situation (this was the worst struggle), my soul might be in hell now burning in the fire of agony. Thank you most merciful Father. I am your child and I will follow You. Let me follow You, Lord Jesus. You gave me this life and it is Yours. I will live only for You. – I was worldly, I’ve committed several of the mortal sins before, I cursed a lot, and I know there is a God but I didn’t care that much before, and I think you, my friends, definitely know that. I knew what was right from wrong, but I loved sin too much before to acknowledge God’s words, but some circumstances happened that led me to the right path. I was lost but I never want to be again. I am going home to where I truly belong. This life on earth is fleeting, let us not dwell in it so much, what we must prepare for is our second life – the eternal life. ♥
This didn’t just move me. Having “Empathy” as one of my key themes in my roster of strengths (Strengths Finder 2.0), it almost brought me to tears. I am just so overwhelmed and simply glad that she also encountered God.
Sometimes, we are so used to our situation that we miss out the fact of the real essence of our being. Live life as how it’s supposed to be lived. There must be no time wasted. Go back to the core of our existence. That is, to love God by worshiping Him in spirit and in truth. In other words, honor Him with what you do.
Try it and you’ll never be the same again. Experience absolute freedom in Jesus Christ today.
The most famous verse that some people take for granted but is actually the core of the Bible is John 3:16.
Can you imagine a life without anyone who could guide you in your daily walk? I can’t. Whether we like it or not, we do things because we have a drive. We have a motivation. That motivation is our driving force that maneuvers us to be excellent in what we do.
However reckless, man became new because of a verse. It maybe a simple verse to look at but experiencing it first hand as life rather than mere words will make a whole lot of difference.
Love is a heavy word. Imperfect beings cannot love. Only the perfect One. He displayed His love for us by giving His only Son in order for us to live a life of grace and mercy. What more can we ask for?
The story of Moses is not just a story to be told in Sunday schools or for bedtime stories. It’s not even a mythology similar to those of the Greek and Roman folk tale. It is truth.
During my solitary time, I read through Exodus on how God delivered the Israelites under the wrath of the Egyptians. Even though catastrophic plagues struck down Egypt, the king kept on insisting that he can still conquer and dominate the people of God. I can never imagine how Egypt looked like during that time.
Here are the 10 plagues that literally razed the country to the ground:
1. Water to Blood
7:19 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.
8:4 And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.
3. Gnats or Lice
8:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
8:21 Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.
5. Livestock Diseased
9:8 And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh.9:9 And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.
7. Thunder and Hail
9:18 Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.
10:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.
10:22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.
10. Death of the Firstborn
With all these happening, the king of Egypt stubbornly disobeyed the Lord’s command through Moses and Aaron. God allowed it. He even orchestrated to even harden the heart of the king for a single purpose. In order for God to display His power and glory not only to the people in Egypt but most especially to His people who were delivered from bondage and slavery.
When the Israelites broke free from the chains of Egypt, they were still deeply troubled. They were insecure of what to do afterwards. They lacked faith. While they were on their way to freedom, the king of Egypt summoned his army to attack the Israelites. This was the time when Moses split the red sea into two.
While the Egyptians were on their way to furiously seize the Israelites, the people of God’s response was baffling. They were taken aback. They didn’t know what to do.
They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.”
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Sometimes we think that life is becoming impossible that everything is going backwards. When hope is getting thinner, remember that God will fight for you. When He says He will do it, He will do it no matter what. That’s the awesome thing about our God.
If God will fight for us, our only response is just to be still. And know that He is God and nothing is definitely impossible for Him to do.
Just a simple thought for the day. Happy Sunday! God bless you!
(Source: 10 Plagues)
God is more concerned about your direction; not about your perfection.
Apart from the overwhelming worship experience, this line swiftly struck me with absolute precision. It cleared and lead me out from a clouded path that aren’t supposed to be existing. Roadblocks as we may tag it, we are sadly succumbed to some cynical belief systems that certainly corrupt God’s will in our lives.
I attended the afternoon service in VCF Malate and here are the three things that I learned while paying attention to the pastor’s message. By the way, the series was entitled, FAQ (frequently asked questions). It is so because the church wants to know the “frequently asked question” in Christianity. And what they statistically got, which was at the top of the chart, was the question of God’s will.
What is God’s will? How will we know that it is God’s will and not our own feeble will? What would be our action plan in knowing God’s will?
The youth pastor shared three compasses that would effectively help us in knowing God’s will for our lives:
1. God’s Spirit
2. God’s Word
3. God’s People
The first one is worship and stirring up the Holy Spirit in our lives as we live it out with God’s moral will. The second reminds us that God is a creative God but He is not always mystical. He can speak through simple and common circumstance. We can only do that if we read the bible. Lastly, if the first two cultivates the personal benefits of a person, the third one shows the effectivity of our Barnabas’s or partners in faith in knowing the will of God. Yes. They may be imperfect but they are, too, Spirit-led.
Above all, here’s the point of the matter:
Knowing God’s will means knowing God.
How to know God? Read your Bible. Pray everyday.
Professor : You are a Christian, aren’t you, son ?
Student : Yes, sir.
Professor: So, you believe in GOD ?
Student : Absolutely, sir.
Professor : Is GOD good ?
Student : Sure.
Professor: Is GOD all powerful ?
Student : Yes.
Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to GOD to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But GOD didn’t. How is this GOD good then? Hmm?
(Student was silent.)
Professor: You can’t answer, can you ? Let’s start again, young fella. Is GOD good?
Student : Yes.
Professor: Is satan good ?
Student : No.
Professor: Where does satan come from ?
Student : From … GOD …
Professor: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Student : Yes.
Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it ? And GOD did make everything. Correct?
Student : Yes.
Professor: So who created evil ?
(Student did not answer.)
Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?
Student : Yes, sir.
Professor: So, who created them ?
(Student had no answer.)
Professor: Science says you have 5 Senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen GOD?
Student : No, sir.
Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your GOD?
Student : No , sir.
Professor: Have you ever felt your GOD, tasted your GOD, smelt your GOD? Have you ever had any sensory perception of GOD for that matter?
Student : No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.
Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?
Student : Yes.
Professor : According to Empirical, Testable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says your GOD doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student : Nothing. I only have my faith.
Professor: Yes, faith. And that is the problem Science has.
Student : Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Student : And is there such a thing as cold?
Student : No, sir. There isn’t.
(The lecture theater became very quiet with this turn of events.)
Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.
(There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)
Student : What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?
Student : You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it is, well you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?
Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man ?
Student : Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Professor: Flawed ? Can you explain how?
Student : Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good GOD and a bad GOD. You are viewing the concept of GOD as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.
Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
(The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)
Student : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?
(The class was in uproar.)
Student : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?
(The class broke out into laughter. )
Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?
(The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face unfathomable.)
Professor: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.
Student : That is it sir … Exactly ! The link between man & GOD is FAITH. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.
I believe you have enjoyed the conversation. And if so, you’ll probably want your friends / colleagues to enjoy the same, won’t you?
Forward this to increase their knowledge … or FAITH.
By the way, that student was EINSTEIN.
Truly, it is such a promising and inspiring thought that this blog post is the mark of a milestone. Thank you all for taking time to read, comment, like, or simply dropping by in all of my published thoughts and insights about life, for all its worth.
I continually express my deep gratitude to God who taught me the discipline in this challenging yet fulfilling habit of blogging. Also, thanks to my inspirations who fueled my perceptions of life, especially in the aspects of marketing, music, movies, travel, or just being random at any point of the day.
Yesterday, I got my 104 hits and it definitely motivated me to push myself even further than ever before.
Taking one step at a time, I hope to encourage you all with profound viewpoints and indelible random ideas along the journey of sentience.
Once again, merci beaucoup!
Faith is this.
“Believe even if you can’t see. Obey even if you don’t understand. Persevere even if it’s hard.”
Sometimes, you may think that every single thing doesn’t make any sense at all. But remember that God intrudes. When you feel that you are in a deep, hopeless situation, God will pull you out from that mess and turn it into a message.
As long as you are fervently living the life of pure grace from God, you’re fine.
Relax. You are just okay.
Just wanna share a typography art I made from work. From work because I got the concept in one of our company collateral materials.
God didn’t just forgive us for our transgressions. He gave Jesus Christ to take our place on the cross. We don’t deserve it but He still did it. That’s called, “Grace”. You can add that too.
Spread love. Peace. And gratitude.
After practicing for tomorrow’s PM service, we gathered in groups and shared lives together. The women gathered in a pack while the men where divided into two: musicians and singers.
The worship pastor then lit the conversation with this simple verse from Romans 12:1-2:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
It felt so refreshing to grasp the power of God’s mercy in our lives. There are a few keywords that were expounded while we were sharing. Urge, God’s mercy, transformed, and God’s will.
First of all, it was Paul who expressed his thoughts and deep revelation of what God’s will is when he urged the people to live a life of sacrifice, or selflessness. When he told the people this, he was not just babbling or jabbering about worship. He urged. Urge means, “to try earnestly or persistently to persuade (someone) to do something”. In other words, Paul believes that when the people does this, the result is sure. That there is already a proof of what it is to offer our lives as living sacrifices.
Before we renew our mind, we should also remember God’s mercy. Mercy for security, that is. As a worshiper, we live our lives with pure security that no insecurity will try to hold on to us. That no matter what, we are secured in Him.
When we acknowledge that we already have that security, we will be able to smoothly go against the flow of what the world dictates in all circumstances. If the world says, do; God says don’t. It won’t be that hard for us because we are secured that God is the ultimate basis of confidence. Ergo, transforming in the likeness of Jesus Christ is not going to be so hard, yet challenging.
The result of this, of course, is receiving God’s good, pleasing and perfect will. How’s that? Good. Pleasing. And perfect.
What more can we ask for?
With all things that are being said and done, we are still left the moment to decide. Life is truly about decisions. One wrong decision could create a dejected shift of your life’s excursion. One plain choice could hamper your personal growth. One easy pick could turn your life upside down.
Thankfully, there is also Someone who could turn a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph and a victim into a victory.
All thanks to Jesus Christ.
As we remember Him in this Holy Week, may we live a life in accordance with His will. God’s will, which is good, pleasing and perfect. What else could we ask for?
“Happy holy week and may God be ever in your favor!”