It all began on the fourth day of September.
I officially sang for the praise and worship team in my church. I felt a greater sense of fulfillment than anything else that I did in my fourth month existence in Davao. It was HOME. ‘Twas like I was transported back in time during my peak season of my walk in Christ. Yes. Whether we like it or not, there are some ups and downs or even drastic drawbacks that we experience along the way.
Sometimes it’ll be like a roller coaster ride although I never tried to ride one (acrophobia) that we tend to have a heightened moment that we find ourselves reaching to the top.. and eventually, “woooooaaahhhh!!!” We go down. Then, we bounce back up and go down. Go up; then go down. As how Judah Smith would say it, “No wonder why many Christians are exhausted.” True enough.
Going back to that peak season, in my hometown, I lead worship: church services, youth gatherings, prayer meetings, etc.. It was pure comfort. Knowing that you’re using your talents for God gives you that complete purpose of a greater calling.
Suddenly, something happened. For some reason, I disobeyed the rules of the worship team. Being in a traditional Christian institution is hard. It was difficult.. for me. It was ultimately because I started a profitable gig outside the church for the purpose of earning money in order to be economically independent from my mom. Still, in the team, we had a rule not perform outside the four corners of the church. I failed. I failed the team. I failed the worship leader.
But I did not fail God.
Even when I was singing in the open, I still took a tight grip on my faith and the conviction God has placed in my heart. As I sang my heart out, I made sure that the songs that I sing produce positive music and pure inspiration. My music was filtered. No vices involved — no cigarette smoking, alcoholic drinking, or illegal drugs. Parental guidance: Check (this means that my mom sent a “go” signal on my decision. She even supported me all throughout).
Note: I’m not trying to bring anyone or anything down. I’m not against anything: traditional Christians or churches. This is merely my personal testimony that, I hope and believe that many can learn from this experience.
04 September 2011. Sunday.
The message was all about being ALL IN—All in Christ by His grace. Then, it struck me. It was all about grace, and grace alone. We don’t deserve it but God still gives it. What’s more, grace is not just a thing to be cherished.. it’s more of a person who is in the name of Christ Jesus. We don’t deserve salvation, but He still died for us.
Knowing that we have this, we should not take it for granted.
Truly, God’s word is not just timely but it’s indeed timeless. As I lead worship as a back-up singer, epiphany swept me off my feet. I realized that it was definitely by grace that I was able to be back on track for His glory. It was never about any rule of what is and what’s not. It was always by grace. Following the rules will just be a crammed-full outflow of grace. Redundancy may be so annoying but I can’t help but repeat it over and over again — all by His sufficient GRACE.
11 September 2011. Next Sunday. 9/11.
Another day to sing out emphatically for His glory.
Getting ready for the afternoon service.
About thirty minutes before three in the afternoon, we ran through the line-up: Time Has Come, Greatness of Our God, All For Love, and Your Love is Deep. We finished practicing at about thirty minutes before four o’clock. All of the sudden, my worship leader summoned me and told me that I will be leading the first song. Believing that God will help me, I agreed. Ten minutes before the dot, he told me in addition that I will also be singing the third song (All for Love). Thinking that it was still my second time with the team, I was stirred up. Despite the mixed sensation, I took the leap of faith.
Kicking off with the first song, it was totally a deep revelation that “The Time Has Come.” The time has come to escape the detour and press on. The time has come to embrace all of what happened in the past and move on.
After the service, friends—especially my small group—were patting me on the back for my so-called, “music team debut.” The dilemma on how to respond tried to penetrate, but I was again reminded by the divine accreditation. It was all for Him. All for Christ. All for Love.
This was indeed one of the most unforgettable days of my stay here in Davao.. so far, in four months. I’m getting excited each day on the promises He has for me that I am continually venturing and living out loud. I believe that there’ll be more and I’m psyched up more than ever.
As I end the first part of this blog, I acknowledge God as the primary source of everything that has happened in my life. Indeed, all things work together for good. Amen.
(Posted: September 14, 2011)