Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.  But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.

- Acts 5:38-39

God is unstoppable! And if God sends men for the task, these men are unstoppable, too.  No man can stop God's plans.  No enemy can stop God's agenda.  Nothing and no one, not even Satan can thwart God's plans.  His purposes will ALL THE TIME prevail.

As God said in Isaiah, "When I act? Who can reverse it?"

No one, God! No one can stop or destroy Your plans. If there is anyone who goes against Your plans, they are fighting against You and not against Your people.

[Journal entry: November 3, 2011]

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Throwing Stones

"Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment."
- John 7:24

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

- John 8:7

Oftentimes, we are quick to pass judgment on others by their appearances and by what they do.  We judge or condemn as if we are sinless and as if we are all the time right.  Jesus emphasized the importance of right judgment, compassion, and forgiveness.

I, if not all the time, am sometimes guilty of it -- passing judgment on others when they sin as if I'm the only righteous one.  But the truth is, I and the others are on the same boat:  someone who also sinned and is only a recipient of God's grace.

Even Jesus did not condemn the adulterous woman.  But instead He declared, "Go now and leave your life of sin." (John 8:11)

So what right do I have to pass judgment on others? None. Not even an inch.  It is only God who can judge others and myself.  Jesus, our model, set an example on how to show compassion and forgiveness to others who sinned.

Father God, forgive me for at times I am quick to judge others of their faults.  Forgive me, I sometimes think I'm righteous and sinless.  Thank You, for reminding me that I am also the same with others: a person who sinned and saved by grace.

Lord, teach me to show compassion and to release forgiveness to those who need them just as You have shown compassion and forgiveness to me.  Thank You for Your love and forgiveness. And thank You for teaching me Your ways through Your Son, Jesus.  Amen!

[Journal entry: October 26, 2011]

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

As God Requires of Us

He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with Your God.
- Micah 6:8

Three points to remember:
[NIV Footnotes]
In your efforts to please God, examine these areas on a regular basis.
  • Are you fair in your dealings with people?
  • Do you show mercy to those who wrong you?
  • Are you keeping humility?
God has made his wishes clear: He wants His people to be just, merciful, and to walk humbly with Him.

Father God, as I examine my heart, reveal to me areas that are not pleasing to You.  By Your grace, Oh Lord, will I be able to do what is right in Your sight.  Father, You love justice, mercy, and humility.  What You love I also want to love.

Increase my love for justice, mercy, and humility, oh God.  Teach me Your ways, Father. I acknowledge that I need polishing in these areas. Thank You for I am a work in progress.  I pray and I ask You, Father, to keep me genuine with my walk with You, and to also be genuine with my treatment with others.  Thank You, Father God, for Your unfailing love and for setting me free from the slavery of sin through Your Son, Jesus. This I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

[Journal entry: October 27, 2011]

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Faithful Husband

I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.  I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.
- Hosea 2:19-20

I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called 'Not my loved one.' I will say to those who called 'Not my people,' 'You are my people.'; and they will say, 'You are my God.'
- Hosea 2:23

The book of Hosea tells a love story of a man with a wayward wife.  God told Hosea to marry an adulterous wife.  He married Gomer in obedience to God.  This depicts God's love for His people that though what He called His own pursued other loves. God in His infinite mercy, faithfulness, and love offered hope and reconciliation to His people.

I have had these moments in my life I became an adulteress. I left my First Love, my "husband" and pursued other loves (selfish desires, selfish ambitions, entertainment).  I am guilty of it.  I was a spiritual adulteress.

But God is faithful to His commitment though I have been unfaithful to Him. When I repented and turned back to Him, He welcomed me back and loved me still.  He is the One who pursued me. He gave me a new heart that I would love Him and show faithfulness to Him.  His love is great and His faithfulness is unfailing!

Father God, though there were moments I have lusted on other loves, You showed tenderness and love to bring me back to Your arms.  Forgive me for the things that broke Your heart, and I unceasingly thank You for the unconditional love You have lavished on me.  Your love I cannot exhaust. It is infinite! I love You, God! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

[Journal entry: October 20, 2011]

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Quiet Confidence in God

My hope is in the Lord and my help comes from Him.  He fails not to rescue those who love Him. Today, I am encouraged with these verses:

Psalm 46

1God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7The Lord Almighty is with us,
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8Come and see the works of the Lord,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
He burns the shields with fire.
10Be still, and know that I am God,
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.

11The Lord Almighty is with us,
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

[Journal entry: November 16, 2011]

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A New Day to Give Thanks

I will fill my day with thanksgiving to the One who gives me new beginnings every morning.  Thank You, God for a beautiful, cold morning.  Thank You, God for a good night sleep last night.  Thank You, God for preserving my life for another day.  Thank You, God for I am able to breathe today.  Thank You, God for I am able to give thanks to You.

Today is another day to worship and praise You for who You are.  Today is another day to listen to You through Your Word.  Today is the day that I anticipate mighty things that You will be doing.  Today is a new day to meditate on Your Word. Today is a new day to receive Your love, Your faithfulness, and Your mercy.  Today is another day to be filled with Your Holy Spirit.

This is a new day to do the work You have assigned me to do...all for Your glory O Lord...all for You alone!  In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

[Journal entry: November 16, 2011]

Standing Firm, Unwavered

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace,the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, o king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
- Daniel 3: 17-18

The king commanded to the people to bow down and worship the gold image he built.  But these three friends of Daniel stood up to their conviction not to.  They would worship only one God and that is the God of Heaven.  They made a bold statement that whether God would rescue them or not, they will never bow down to other gods except to God.  Wow! That's integrity.  An indestructible one.  Fully tested into the blazing fire. Literally!

What if it were to happen to me?  What if I were one of those who will be put into fire for not following the king's instructions? I'm thinking if I were one of those men, I'd probably be afraid.  But God's mercy and power would be displayed for I believe He would strengthen me and give me courage to stand up to my conviction: to worship God alone.

These men showed incredible faith in God that He is able to save them from fire.  And if not, these men would never change their minds from worshiping the Lord.  These men are worthy of respect and honor for they have shown great faith and total dependence on God.

Father God, You are real and alive and You are able to save Your people from danger, even from death.  I pray Lord that You would strengthen my faith in You so that when my faith is put to test like this, I will stand on my unwavering conviction to worship only You.  Great is Your name!  Mighty is Your name! You alone deserve worship and honor!  In Jesus' name. Amen.

[Journal entry: June 2, 2011]

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Promise is a Promise

Dear Father God,

I am counting on Your promises.

Your expectant child

Now I am about to go the way of all the earth.  You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed.  Every promise has been fulfilled: not one has failed.
- Joshua 23:14

Father God, Thank You that I can depend on You -- on Your promises.  Thank You Lord for Your Word is the Truth.  Even when things may seem senseless, I can rely on You for You are in control, and that what You have promised will be fulfilled.  Thank You that I am Your child and You are my Father -- trustworthy and dependable. This I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

[Journal entry: May 5, 2011]

Friday, December 2, 2011

Just Plainly

After he said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going to wake him up." His disciples  replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better." Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.  So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.  But let us go to him."
- John 11:11-14

As I read these lines, I can't help but to giggle.  In my thoughts, "The disciples are funny.  Sometimes, they are just plain stupid.  They could not read between the lines." But the Lord is so patient in dealing with them.  Jesus handpicked these twelve apostles; for three years, they followed Jesus.  They were with Him wherever He went.  They were firsthand witnesses of Jesus' powers and miracles.  They were recipients, immediate, that is, of Jesus' teachings.  The secrets of God's kingdom were revealed to them.

But in spite of these, they struggled with doubt, unbelief, fear, and not to forget, "dull moments."  They just could not understand Jesus' figure of speech, and most of the time, He would tell them what He meant on simple terms.  I could just imagine that Jesus would again and again reconstruct His statements so that His "elementary students" could understand (hehehe).

I commend Jesus for His patience in putting up with His disciples.  After all, they were a work in progress. Just like me.  I can totally relate to these disciples.  Dumb and stubborn as I am, most of the time, Jesus has been patient with me.  Lotsa moments, Jesus would have told me what He meant plainly.  Good thing, Jesus is so patient with me and with us all.  Good thing, too, no matter how dumb sometimes I could be, He still chooses to reveal the things of God to me.

Father God, I depend on You for Your Holy Spirit to give me wisdom and understanding of Your Word and of the things that You reveal to me.  Thank You, God, for despite Your people's "sheepness" You still chose to reveal Yourself and of the marvelous things about You and about Your Son, Jesus.  Thank You, Jesus, for giving us a Counselor to guide us, to instruct, to enlighten, and to empower us.  Thank You for the gift of wisdom, understanding, and discernment.  Every good gift comes from You, Lord.  This I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

[Journal entry: October 28, 2011]

It's Definite

Whenever I hear heartbreaking news and there's nothing I could do about it, I plead, "Come now, Jesus. Maranatha!"

The days are evil.  It has become more evil and it worsens everyday.  Things unimaginable are happening.  These heartbreaking news...rape, incest, war, kidnapping, torture, mass murders, burning people to death, people dying from hunger, sex trafficking, drugs, blood brothers killing each other, etc.  It pains me... It breaks my heart...I mourn.

Sometimes, I could hear me asking, "Where is justice in this world?  Why do You allow these things to happen, Lord?"  In my distress I reach to a point of questioning God about it.

If my heart aches for what's happening today in this world, how much more with God?  Definitely justice will prevail in the end.  God will not let evildoers go unpunished.  Never!  I am confident of that. I know God is the God of justice!

At these times, it is evident that I am living in the last days.  You can tell by the events happening around the world.  Definitely, Jesus would come back again! Maranatha! Maranatha! Maranatha, Lord Jesus!  You bring justice into this world as well as You give mercy unto us. Even if it seems unfair and unjust, I will not lose heart for in due time justice will be served.  Come, Lord Jesus! Maranatha!

The Holy Spirit led me to read the book of Habakkuk and Micah.  I found myself with the same thinking as Habakkuk's.

Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me, there is strife and conflicts abounds. (Habakkuk 1:3)
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong.  Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? (Habakkuk 1:13)
The Lord's answer:
For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.  Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. (Habakkuk 2:3)
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14)
 But the Lord is in his holy temple;  let all the earth be silent before him. (Habakkuk 2:20)

And in Malachi, the Holy Spirit led me to these verses:

But who can endure the day of his coming?  Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap.  He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver (Malachi 3:2-3)
 "So I will come near to you for judgment.  I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers, and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice; but do not fear me," says the Lord Almighty. (Malachi 3:5)

[Journal entry: October 25, 2011]

Monday, November 28, 2011

Is This Fair and Just?

For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against us.  We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us.  God was being entirely fair and just when he did not punish those who sinned in former times.  And He is entirely fair and just in this present time when He declares sinners to be right in His sight because they believe in Jesus.
- Romans 3:25-26

Is this what you call fair and just?  God must have a totally different meaning of fairness and justice.  He sent Jesus to be punished of OUR sins and not us.  Jesus' blood paid for our sins -- for my sins.  Through the blood shed of Jesus I was declared righteous in God's sight.  Jesus who is sinless took the penalty of my sins and of your sins.  He died for us...for me...for you!

What all men have to do is to believe in the name of Jesus; to believe that Christ died for the sins of men and was resurrected by the power of God.  Now this is something!  This is being fair and just of God.  There's nothing we can do to earn acquittal but only to believe in His Son, Jesus.  If God were really fair, mankind has long before been annihilated on earth.

This is Good News!  This news is so good not to be shared to others.  Jesus took away the sins of the world in order for us to be right and to be reconciled with God.  Praise God that He has opened the hearts and minds of people for this to understand the truth about His love.  Praise God that He has chosen to reveal to me this truth about Him.  And because of this, it is also fair and just for me to share to others of what He has done for me.

Father God, thank You for being fair and just.  Thank You for You Son, Jesus because through Him, I am cleansed of my sins and I am reconciled with You.  Your love is great and so deep and so wide that You are willing to sacrifice Your only Son to die in place of me.  Your Son, Jesus, who is without sin became a sin for the world.

Oh how magnificent is Your love!  I can boast of nothing to deserve Your love or merit. It is not because I'm good You saved me, but because of Your great love for me!  All I have to do is to believe that Jesus died for my sins.  Now I'm dead to sin and I'm alive in Christ Jesus!

Father God, I pray that You anoint my mind, my mouth, and my hands for the work of Your Kingdom -- that I may be able to share to others of Your awesomeness and of Your great love especially to those who don't know You and who haven't heard of Jesus yet.  This I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

[Journal entry: April 13, 2011]

Sunday, November 27, 2011

God is For Me

People will either be for me or against me. Regardless of it, God is always for me, and that is unchanging.

People will always have to say something about me whether positive or negative.  What matters is what God says about me and approves of me.

People at some point will frustrate me or disappoint me. But God never will.

Encouragement for the soul:
Psalm 119:23
Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.

1 Samuel 30:6
And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

2 Timothy 4:17
But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.

Psalm 27:1
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life;  of whom shall I be afraid?

[Journal entry: August 9, 2011]

I Do Not Have a Religion

I do not have a religion.
I have a relationship with GOD
empowered by the HOLY SPIRIT.

If people asked me what my religion is, I usually answer, "I'm a Christian."  But as I gradually understand deeper what Christianity is, it is not a religion.  It never is.  Rather, it is a relationship.  After all, God is not after religion.  He is into relationship.  He desires a relationship with us through His Son, Jesus.

Maybe next time if someone asks me of my religion, I'd respond like this:
I do not have a religion.  I have a relationship with my Father God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, and am empowered by His Holy Spirit.

[Journal entry: June 15, 2011]

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Winning Attitude

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross!
- Philippians 2:5-8

An attitude that Jesus Christ Himself lived out for us to follow -- a servant's attitude.  Jesus Christ humbled Himself despite Him being God.  He gave up His rights in order to obey God and serve people. He did this out of love, and He did this for with God it is possible. Paul wrote this for us to follow what Jesus did: He is a leader by example.

Father God, I thanks You for sending Jesus to the world.  I thank You for saving mankind through Your Son, Jesus.  And I thank You that Jesus willingly gave up His rights and power in heaven to come down here in order to serve and to save.  Jesus is the perfect example of how we should live our lives.  He set His standards and established Your Kingdom on earth.

Thank You, Jesus, for showing us the kind of attitude we should have -- a servant's attitude.

Father God, I ask You that by Your grace, I may be able to follow what Jesus did, and that I would live out a humble life willing to serve You and others out of love.  Lord, I cannot do this on my own.  I need Your grace to be able to do this.  And Father God, let it be that I may become more and more like Jesus and that whatever I do would give back all the glory unto You.

This I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

[Journal entry: October 18, 2011]

Nothing is Impossible

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." - Mark 10:27

Yes, Father God, all things are possible with You.  Nothing is impossible with You. Nothing is too hard for You.  There is no illness so incurable that You cannot heal. There is no relationship so broken that You cannot restore.  There is no debt so big that You cannot pay.  There is no need so big that You cannot provide.  There is no person so sinful and dirty that You cannot forgive.  There is no problem so big that You cannot solve.  When everything seems impossible and when everything seems endless, YOU lift a finger of Your hand and do what is impossible to us!  You are the God of impossibility! Nothing and no one can stop YOU!

Not even death could stop you, God! Not even death! Death is not a dead end.  And You have proven it 2,000 years ago on the cross!  Thank You, God for You have sent Your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross.  Through His death and resurrection we gained life in Him.  See, not even death could stop You. Not ever! You are the God who says who You are!

We were once dead, but through Your Son, Jesus, You offered us new life! Who in this universe could ever do that? Nobody.  It is only YOU!

Praise You, Father God!  I exalt Your name! You are worthy of our praises! You deserve all glory and honor!

[Journal entry: September 26, 2011]

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm Ending the Day by Claiming Promises

The Bible has hundreds of written promises.  God has promised His children and not one of them has ever failed.  God is faithful in keeping His promises.  So tonight, I will start and I will end this day in claiming His promises for my life.

I claim these promises in Jesus' name:

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Acts 16:31
"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved - you and your household."

Psalm 32:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.

Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Isaiah 40:29-31
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.

1 Corinthians 2:9
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him."

Philippians 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Jude 1:24
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.

Habakkuk 3:19
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.

Revelation 3:11
I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

Philippians 1:6
Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Matthew 5:8
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

John 14:2
In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Psalm 28:8
The Lord is the strength of His people, a fortress of salvation for His anointed one.

Jeremiah 30:17
But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declared the Lord, because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.

Proverbs 8:17
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.

1 John 2:25
And this is what He promised us - even eternal life.

[Journal entry: October 6, 2011]


Two days of heavy rain here in Negros while there's a typhoon in Luzon.  While I was having my lunch break, I looked out the window of my room. I said, "It's raining. Again."

A thought passed by...
"Rain.  It reminds me of countless blessings."
 Who could ever count every drop of rain? Imagine how many raindrops are there every time it rains. Countless.  Just like the blessings of God in our lives, His blessings are indeed countless. He is generous when He gives; so generous that we could not count them all.

[Journal entry: September 27, 2011]

A Piece of Paper

It's 1:00 in the morning and I was in bed pondering about things in life. Suddenly, I got up and grabbed a piece of paper; nothing on it.  Then, I wrote "For God to do in my life" on top and signed it at the bottom.

Father God,
As I place my trust in You, fill this empty paper with what You have prepared for me.  You are in charge of my life.  My times are in Your hands.  I submit to You my plans, my desires, and my future.  I'm looking forward to Your surprises, Father! Amen.

Claiming these verses:
  • "For I know the plans I have for you", says the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11 
  • No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him. - 1 Cor 2:9
  • As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. - Isaiah 55:9

[Journal entry: October 9, 2010]

Peaks and Valleys

Today I learned that not only the peaks I should be thankful for, but also for the valleys. The peaks and valleys in my life are but necessary. God has been preparing a wondrous landscape far better than I ever imagined or hoped for.

I, who's foolish, had not understood then. Now, I am in awe of Him.

Another season in my life has started. I trust You, Father, for the plans You have for me. Thank You, Lord, for more peaks and valleys to come. It will be worth it!

Encouragement for the soul:
  • And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28
  • Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. -  Psalm 34:8
  • No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. - 1 Corinthians 2:9

Thursday, November 24, 2011

No Reason to Complain

According to Global Issues, at least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation. Number in poverty: 1 billion (every second child). For the 1.9 billion children from the developing world, there are 640 million without adequate shelter, and 270 million with no access to health services. 121 million children are out of education worldwide. 2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized. 15 million children orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. In 2005, one out of three urban dwellers (approx. 1 billion people) was living in slum conditions. 706 million people in South Asia live without electricity.

For every figure listed, I am not counted in. So what right do I have to complain about my life? Nothing! I have every reason to be thankful for. :)

November Christmas Tree

I was decorating our Christmas tree (Yes. A Christmas tree in November) this morning in our living room. Everybody in the house has their own chore, so I decided to finish up decorating our tree which daddy and Nang Nisa left the undone work last night. While I was putting on candy canes and balls on to the tree, thoughts came into my mind. And yes, while I was decorating, I was also praying and talking to God as well.

Thoughts came into my mind. I said to myself, "The reason for celebrating Christmas is JESUS. But how often most people miss out the main reason for celebrating this season?" The reason for celebrating Christmas is because a Savior has to come into the world to die for our sins. Christmas has even the name of Jesus in it -- CHRIST Jesus. Christmas is the beginning of the birth of our Savior, Jesus, into which the main purpose is to save and redeem mankind. Christmas is the start of victory!

More often than not the world has missed out the reason for celebrating CHRISTmas. It has become commercialized, don't you think? People are busy giving gifts, organizing parties and reunions, and even putting up extravagant displays around town. Santa Claus has been the icon of Christmas rather than Jesus. "X'mas" is written on greeting cards rather than "Christ-mas." The word "Christ" is blotted out, sad to say. Jesus is kicked out of His own "birthday party."

I said to myself, "How ironic it is that the Celebrant is not being celebrated on His own celebration." Funny how the enemy [Satan] is using Christmas season as one of his tools to deceive, to blind, to steal, and to distort people. He will do whatever it takes to take the spotlight off Jesus. It's not funny actually. It is alarming. Very alarming.

How wonderful and amazing it would be if people knew the real reason for celebrating Christmas. It would definitely change how we celebrate the season. It would not only change the way we celebrate Christmas, but also it would change how we see Jesus Christ.

As I was busying myself with the Christmas tree, I asked myself (again), "Why am I decorating this? It's not like Christmas tree is biblical. Why should we even put up a Christmas tree in our living room?" If I would put it simply, bare truth that is, there is a "Christmas tree." Really, there is one -- the cross! Jesus Christ was crucified on a tree. His hands were pierced on this tree. He came down to earth and was born to die on the cross for one reason -- to save mankind from the wages of sin which is death!

It just so happens that people "exaggerated" the tree and made it look beautiful and attractive with all the decos hanged on it...Christmas tree was born. And again, the enemy has succeeded to fool the minds of the people all over the world. Good news though, it wouldn't be for long and he is doomed to destruction in his appointed time.

Again, Christmas is about Jesus. Nothing more that could be added to it. Nothing more to accessorize. Just bare truth: Christmas is about JESUS. And the Christmas tree? It's the cross. Jesus has come to save the world; to save mankind. That is His sole purpose for His birth on earth.

And here I go again telling myself and God (while decorating the Christmas tree), "How amazing and wonderful it would be if people knew the Truth." It is amazing to realize that when angels sinned, they went down from heaven and became enemies of God. But when mankind sinned, God provided a Savior for them. For you. For me. God is the Redeemer of mankind through His Son, Jesus! Whenever I think of this, I am humbled of the truth that frail as we, a weakling race, are still God made a way for Him and us to be reconciled, to be saved from eternal death, and to have an abundant life in Jesus.

Let me reiterate. Christmas is all about JESUS. History is all about His Story. The real spotlight must be on Jesus!

Father God,

Thank You for You have chosen to save us. Thank You for You have chosen to provide a Savior for us. Thank You for there is a season of Christmas. Thank You for Your Son, Jesus, for in Him and through Him I have eternal life. Thank You, God, for another revelation today. Thank You, God, for Your love and because of Your love I am alive today. Thank You, Jesus, for Your selfless act of love. Because of You I am free and am living in truth. This I pray in Jesus' name. Amen!

[My journal entry: November 7, 2011]

Not Bound by Time

There is just a slice or two out of twenty-four hours I spend sitting in front of my desk, looking out the window, and then pondering. I just love doing it. Pondering and asking gazillion questions to myself and to God.

TIME as defined by is [1] the length of all existence, past, present, and future; [2] limited or particular period of time; [3] era.

A moment ago, thoughts came to me, "Why did God put me in this era? Why was I born in this time and not during 1800's or during Jesus' time? Why am I alive now? In this century?"  It's those questions I ask myself that only God could answer. And why should I even question God with those?  It is His prerogative. Well, a number of my questions (mostly out of curiosity or ignorance) are left unanswered. But what amazes me is that every question I have in mind points out to Him. It's not about me after all. It's about Him.

God is not bound by time.  To Him, time is nothing.  Before time began He already existed.  We cannot limit God with time. He knows the past, the present, and the future.  Even the psalmist said that a thousand years is like a day to God.

When Jesus died, He died once and for all.  His death had the lifesaving power during the era when He was here on earth, AND it has the same lifesaving power even in this generation. Why? Because God is not bound by time.

I also wonder, "How could God listen to millions of people praying to Him at a time?" For Him, it is possible for He is God. He is not bound by time, and  He exists beyond space and time. To God, a day is like a thousand years in His sight indeed. We move and live in accordance with time.  We are bound by a finite time. God is not.  And it is awesome to know that God works beyond time, and He concurrently works in us according to His timetable.

How does God's timetable look like?  The answer? We have a glimpse of it in the Bible.  His timetable is spread throughout His Word.

God never fails to give me a jaw-dropping expression on my face of His glory and majesty.  This is God -- Timeless. Not bound by anything.

Glory to You, God!

[Journal entry: October 15, 2011]

The Best Lover I Have

I have the best Lover of all.  My lover cannot be matched by any other lovers. He is incomparable!

He delights in me. He claims me as His own. He bought me for a price. He never fails me. He never leaves me nor forsakes me.  He washed away my sins. He rejoices over me. He is with me all the time. He cares for me. He gives me rest. He sets me free. He seals His ownership over me.

Nothing could ever separate me from His love. He rescues me. He saves me. He comforts me. He strengthens me in my distress. He gave up His life for me. He encourages me. He upholds me. He sustains me. He helps me in times of trouble. He guards me. he covers me under His mighty arms.  He never tires nor sleeps. He stands beside me. He stands before me. He stands behind me. He encamps His angel around me. He directs my steps. He hold my hand.

He surrounds me with a shield of His love. He is for me so nothing and nobody can ever be against me. He lavishes His attention on me. He thinks of me and His thoughts of me outnumber the grains of sand. He know me too well more than I know myself. He takes care of me.

And there's nothing I can do that will make Him love me less nor make Him love me more.  He loves me with His everlasting love. His unfailing love will never disappoint me. His love endures forever.

He loves me for being me.  His love will never change for eternity.  He gives His best. He has chosen to love me even when I was at my worst.  He has handpicked me for Him to love.  He satisfies me with His undying love.

I may never fully understand how high, how deep, how wide, or how long His love really is for me, but one thing I'm certain of: that He loves me unconditionally and His love is perfect.

This is the kind of Lover I have. His sweet words ring in my ears, "You are Mine."

I will not trade my Lover for any other love. I love Him with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul. He has captivated me. And my heart belongs to no one else but Him.

My Lover's name is Jesus.

He is More Than Enough

Yesterday was a very good and intimate day for me with Tita Annie and Tita Ging. We had a lunch date and with it we talked a lot of things about our experiences, about others’ experiences, about the things that God has done in our lives, and so much more.

Tita Ging, my small group leader, asked me, “In what way you could say that God loves you?” I pondered for a while and answered, “The thought itself that God sent His Son to die for me. Of all people He chose me. He chose to die for me simply because He loves me.”

And another way I could say that God really loves me is because of mama. God gave me a wonderful mama. She was my back support, my emotional support, my mediator (between daddy and me), my encourager, my intercessor, my listener (to both of my meaningful and senseless ideas), and a lot more.

Photo courtesy: Orange Parents
I continued my reasoning and told Tita Ging that God took mama away because He wants me to know that He is enough. He is more than enough.  My dependency must not be on my mama, but on Him.  I remembered a month before mama passed away on September 2007, I prayed intensely to God declaring that he is more than enough in my life.  Yes. Those were the exact words I uttered – “He is more than enough! You are more than enough, Lord.”

I saw a piece of paper inserted in my Bible, which I wrote on Aug. 18, 2007:

"When everything in my life is stripped away and God is the only one left in me, I have more than enough!"

Call that a bold statement. I call it an impulsive (almost foolish) statement at that time.  Never in my thoughts came that more than a month after, God took my only ally away.  It was sudden. And yes, my bold declaration was put into test which I imagined it differently than what was happening.  God’s thoughts are indeed higher than my thoughts.  His ways are higher than my ways. When He took mama away, I didn’t question Him why He took her or why it had to happen.  My only question was, “Why so soon?”

This morning as I was brushing my hair, the question of Tita Ging ran through my mind again. “In what way you could say that God really loves you?”

My answer would still be the same: He gave me a wonderful mom for 23 years of my life.  Then I pondered, “Now that mama is gone does that mean God doesn’t love me anymore?”

I stand for the unwavering truth that God loves me.  Yes, He loves me and He is indeed more than enough.  He loves me and that’s final.  He loves me too much that He took mama away. And yes, I got that early morning answer from Him:

“I love you for you are My child.  I love you too much not to take your mother away.  If I hadn’t taken your mom that soon, would you hunger and thirst for more of Me?  If I hadn’t taken your mama away that soon, would  you grow? You would grow but not exponentially.  If I hadn’t taken your mama away that soon, would You experience the comfort I have for you during your deepest sorrow?  Would you know how sufficient My grace is for you?  Would you long for Me that much if I hadn’t taken your mama away?  Would you have known your real condition, your real heart, and your wall you have built against your daddy?  If I hadn’t taken your mama away that soon would you know what ‘I am more than enough’ really means?

You desire that I take captive of your heart. This is the way I choose to captivate you.  Remember, I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  I love you that much!”

I could not forget what Os Hillman, author of The Upside of Adversity, wrote, “We must get beyond the immature notion that God is only interested in making us healthy, wealthy, and happy.  God wants so much for us than that.  He wants us to be wise, mature, obedient, bold, and committed.”

I praise the Lord for what He has done and for what He has revealed to me.  I praise God for His love is so wide, so long, so high, and so deep for me to really comprehend.  Yes Lord, You are more than enough! Glory to You alone!

[Jounal entry April 24, 2011]

100 Things I'm Thankful to God

100 Things I'm Thankful to God for (in no particular order):

[1] I'm thankful for His gift of salvation.
[2] I'm thankful that God's grace and mercy are new every morning.
[3] I'm thankful that I am His child and that nothing could separate me from His love.
[4] I'm thankful that in my 23 years, He gave me a loving, God-fearing, and faithful mother.
[5] I'm thankful for my father who is always providing for my needs.
[6] I'm thankful for my friends, from acquaintances to closest friends. I don't have the quantity but I do have the quality friends.
[7] I'm thankful for Manang Nisa, our every loyal helper in the house. Bless her, Lord.
[8] I'm thankful for His Life Ministries, the congregation where I belong.
[9] I'm thankful for my small group leader and small group fellow members.
[10] I'm thankful that I have gone to college. Not everyone have the privilege to education.
[11] I'm thankful for the house I go home to.
[12] I'm thankful for the car I drive.
[13] I'm thankful for the ever-increasing fuel price. That means, I have a car that I drive.
[14] I'm thankful for the expensive Ceneco bill. That means we have electricity at home.
[15] I'm thankful that I've lived 6 1/2 years in Cebu. Those years contributed much in my maturity.
[16] I'm thankful for the privilege of traveling to foreign countries.
[17] I'm thankful for backpacks. I could stuff inside my things when traveling.
[18] I'm thankful for the clouds in the sky. Looking up to it is also my therapy.
[19] I'm thankful for my thick hair. That means I have hair to comb every morning.
[20] I'm thankful for my extra fats. That means God provides me food to eat and more than enough to eat.
[21] I'm thankful for our small farm. That means we have something to plant and to harvest.
[22] I'm thankful for our laborers in the farm. Their hardwork are so much appreciated.
[23] I'm thankful for my job. That means I have the ability to work.
[24] I'm thankful that there are busy times at work. That means I'm employed.
[25] I'm thankful that currently I'm employed. That means I have an expected salary every month.
[26] I'm thankful for my good health. There was not a time I was ever admitted to the hospital.
[27] I'm thankful for my laptop. That means I have access to the internet.
[28] I'm thankful for the internet. I could connect with my friends fast and learn various things through it.
[29] I'm thankful to God for difficult people for He is able to give me an opportunity to pray for them.
[30] I'm thankful for 450/600 vision. I don't have a perfect eyesight, but I am not blind either.
[31] I'm thankful for my dogs, Yuki and Mochi. Their greetings and hugs when they see me come home are my therapy.

[32] I'm thankful for my fishes. I enjoy looking at them swimming.
[33] I'm thankful for the rain.
[34] I'm thankful for the sun.
[35] I'm thankful for the seasons in the country. Rainy or summer I love them.
[36] I'm thankful for our government. Not the ideal government, but at least we have a governmental system.
[37] I'm thankful that at times I could hear rallies and protests. We are free to shout out our complaints against the government. That means we are living in a democratic country.
[38] I'm thankful for eating chocolates.
[39] I'm thankful for my bed. That means I am able to rest and sleep.
[40] I'm thankful I'm being able to laugh.
[41] I'm thankful I'm being able to cry.
[42] I'm thankful for my shoes. That means I am able to walk.
[43] I'm thankful for drinking coffee every morning.
[44] I'm thankful for good people who is able and willing to help.
[45] I'm thankful for accomplished goals.
[46] I'm thankful for big and small dreams that are yet to happen.
[47] I'm thankful for people who have less. God gives me the opportunity to give to the needy.
[48] I'm thankful for Facebook and Twitter.
[49] I'm thankful for the loud noises. That means I am able to hear.
[50] I'm thankful for strangers.
[51] I'm thankful for smiley people.
[52] I'm thankful for SkyFlakes on hand.
[53] I'm thankful for digital cameras. Best for capturing moments.
[54] I'm thankful for the good times.
[55] I'm thankful for the hard times.
[56] I'm thankful for art. Though I'm not an artist, I could appreciate art.
[57] I'm thankful for going in and out of the bathroom many times. That means I'm well hydrated.
[58] I'm thankful for my closet. I have more than enough.
[59] I'm thankful for heartbreaks and heartaches. That means I am able to love.
[60] I'm thankful for my zits. That means I have a normal face.
[61] I'm thankful for Kpop, Jpop, Kdrama, and Jdrama. These are my favorite entertainment.
[62] I'm thankful for English subjects. I am able to speak, write, and communicate globally.
[63] I'm thankful for Math.
[64] I'm thankful for Science.
[65] I'm thankful for gravity.
[66] I'm thankful for iPods.
[67] I'm thankful for cellphones.
[68] I'm thankful for the little things and big things.
[69] I'm thankful for a good harvest this year.
[70] I'm thankful for unexpected things.
[71] I'm thankful for today.
[72] I'm thankful for being me.
[73] I'm thankful for the volunteers.
[74] I'm thankful for the soldiers.
[75] I'm thankful for charities.
[76] I'm thankful for the ants. It teaches me to prepare for rainy days.
[77] I'm thankful for eagles. Eagles soar high above the storm. When lifestorm hits, I am reminded of eagles.
[78] I'm thankful for the plants. It teaches me about sowing and reaping.
[79] I'm thankful for social workers.

[80] I'm thankful for OFWs.
[81] I'm thankful for sanitation workers.
[82] I'm thankful for missionaries all over the world.
[83] I'm thankful for firefighters.
[84] I'm thankful that I am able to sit down and stand up.
[85] I'm thankful that I am able to walk and run.
[86] I'm thankful that I am able to think.
[87] I'm thankful that I am debt-free.
[88] I'm thankful for having sweet dreams and nightmares.
[89] I'm thankful for airfare promos.
[90] I'm thankful for sunrise and sunset.
[91] I'm thankful for praises and criticisms.
[92] I'm thankful that I am able to say thanks.
[93] I'm thankful for times of joy and hope.
[94] I'm thankful for times of pain and crisis.
[95] I'm thankful for advanced technology and modern conveniences.
[96] I'm thankful for being able to see a rainbow.
[97] I'm thankful for successes and failures.
[98] I'm thankful for today.
[99] I'm thankful for the ordinary and extraordinary.
[100] I'm thankful for this is a borrowed life.

And the list could go on, but all I can say is...

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. - Psalm 106:1

[November 2010 Thanksgiving]