The Steadfast Love of A Good, Good Father

When Elijah got depressed, he went to God. When we wanted to inquire about something we are not assured of or we feel uncertain about it, we should inquire the Lord, instead of wrestling with God. During those times, he asked God to take away his life because of the fear of being killed by his enemies. Elijah ran directly to God.

In this long journey on earth, we should remember we are just foreigners. We are in a long exile. Sometimes in the wilderness. Sometimes in a mountain. Sometimes in a dessert. Sometimes in the brook, river or running water. Wherever we are, we must understood, that God is always after us, not against us.

Elijah, desperately wanted to hear God’s voice and wanted to earnestly seek Him, traveled from Bersheeba to Horeb in forty days and forty nights. In reality of life, we got too busy on doing many things, meeting deadlines, were discouraged sometimes, felt physically weak and so much determined to get up early expecting not to be late. I personally experienced those things. Like Elijah, I also experienced that I became so restless. I need to  have personal encounter of God’s presence, because I am limited and nothing without Him. Truly, nothing more that can sustain and satisfy a weary soul, than going to God alone. I was in a distressing moment this week. I was so desperate to quit on my job. I was so desperate to let God take away my life, too.

During that moment, God spoke to me in my weary soul and cast down spirit through a vision. It happened to me afternoon while I was sitting on a chair at home. The radiant sun which lighted up the whole vast sky stood behind the holy mountain hill planted with some green trees. I saw a white man, and believed it was God Himself, standing at the left side of the mountain waiting for His child with His open arms. On the other side of the mountain hill, I saw a little girl with white long dress, weeping with tears yet exuberantly running towards His Lord and Master. I saw the vision twice, with both eyes open. I supposed to close my eyes when I first saw the vision which lasted only two to three seconds. Then, it showed up again. My heart broke that I was nearly to cry.

Then, minutes after, I ran immediately to my room, knelt down in prayer, wept so desperately to Him and asked God to comfort me. There was feeling of too much despair. I’ve realized, I was the little girl desperately running towards God in the vision I saw that afternoon. I was crying several times to God that day and began pouring my heart to Him alone. And, that was the very first time I experienced that after my water baptism in August 2019.

God made me realized, I really need to submit to Him and to rely on Him alone. That my heart, must be totally submitted, committed to Him and must be totally dependent on God alone.

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

This afternoon, the rain poured heavily. I was to do my school stuffs yet I felt that God was directing me to stay in my former room. I saw the rain pouring out in the window. I gazed some parts of the room which I missed for several months. After praying, the rain stopped. While watching the live podcast of a Saturday church service in my laptop, I saw the birds which freely  flew in sky. They could go freely wherever they wanted to. Suddenly, I was reminded by a verse in the bible, which says, Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26). I stared the sky and felt some peace in my heart. When I looked afar, I saw the radiance of the sun, which reminded me of the vision I saw few days ago. It reminded me of God’s unfailing love and mercy which gave me peace that transcends all understanding while sitting down in my former bed.

I’ve realized that I missed out some of His creations and gazing out the beauty of the sun and its light because of the busyness of this world. It was the very first time I stared the sun again and watched the sky with awe.

But, what made me more realized at this very moment, is, we sometimes missed out the beauty of the “Son”  and amazed by His light because we are too focused and pressured in doing things just to satisfy our restless souls. Later, we would realize that His burden is really light. That we can run towards of our Father in heaven anytime, most especially in times of need.

“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”  Psalm 27:4

God wants us to be like the heart of David which desired to spend time with the Lord everyday, to give our full attention to Him, to cast and to surrender all our anxieties to Him and to let the Lord ministers and works in our lives. We are not God, but we have God who can amaze us everyday on how He turns around our own circumstances, how He transforms our hearts and directly works in our own lives.

Sometimes, we need to pause like Elijah. We need to have personal genuine encounter with God and wait for His voice that will calm our hearts so that we will have clear redirection.

We can not simply turn away from the amazing grace of the Lord each day. We can not out run God’s steadfast love and unfailing mercy in our own lives. In other words, we can never ever run away from God’s true love for us each day. Because, each day, His mercy are new every morning.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

Today, let’s take a break and be reminded of God’s love and the blood He shed for me and you.

Indeed, He is always willing to wait for us with his open arms and that is the steadfast love of a good, good Father we can never out run to.

 

 

Hello, Love Month

I’ve been consistent talking about love these past few weeks and I couldn’t imagine how time flies because it’s month of February now. All glory to God!

Second month. Month of love. Here we go!

Feels excited. Much likely, I’ve been realistically absorbing a lot of well-loved ideas and experiences from a book I am currently reading which make me so-kilig bringing me into real life thoughts and heart-felt reflections that gave me so much impact that I want to sink in deeper of God’s love every single day. Hopefully, I would make an article or a post about this book (so excited, yet I just started reading few sentences in Chapter 4).

So, here we go, February.

I just remember how crazy I was ten or eleven years ago, when I dedicated my first handwritten poem to my first high school crush. I wrote that at the back part of my letter for him two days or a day before we met on August 22, 2009 (a day after my real birthday). He gave me his selfie photo and I gave him my handwritten letter for him. Reminiscing those silly moments made me laugh because I just realized how admiration blinded me before I met my greatest love, Jesus Christ.

Actually, I realized, we don’t need to celebrate love month in a common way because everyday we experience God’s love for us. We don’t need to give bunch of flowers or letters to someone we admire most, but sometimes, sharing the Jesus Christ to him or her would make an impact in someone’s life. Yes, we have to celebrate love month, perhaps in another way around.

Love month, for me, is very special, not for kilig hand-written letters or bunch of flowers that I might be receiving this month, but it’s go deeper, wide and meaningful month I waited for so long.

I was thinking and planning to rededicate my life to Jesus Christ this February, perhaps a day after Valentine’s day. I hope you will pray for me as I go to Prayer Mountain on that day.

Rededicating myself to Him and going to the Prayer Mountain with three purposes:

  1. Rededicate myself to Jesus Christ and seek Him above else before I finally meet the One He prepared for me;
  2. Rededicate my life to Him before I become the right person for someone; and
  3. Commit all my plans for Him most especially the Tala Project, and before I do my commitment on serving the Lord regarding His great calling for me

This time, it’s about the heart of the cross I would always cherish, his unmerited grace and His great great love for me and for all of us.

 

 

The Author of Stories

He was wearing black, standing beside Janella while sharing the same microphone with her.

Someone was watching them from yonder. A person typing with his notes while the program was on going. A little bit confused, Josh entered in, asking the man a question he never asked anyone since he met Janella.

“Will I pursue her?” Josh asked.

“It seems you’re good look together. She’s tall, smart and very beautiful.”

“Really?”

“Why not pursue her? She seems like you too,”

“I don’t know how to pursue her. I mean, she seems so perfect. Her life was painted beautifully. And I never want to ruin that beautiful picture of her while singing with her on stage awhile ago.”

“What do you mean?”

“She’s ahhhhhh—actually, actually…”

Then, Janella surprised Josh with a quick hug while standing at his back for nearly two to three seconds and stepped back realizing that somebody was watching how they naturally treated each other.

He paused. For a moment.

“Yes, actually, I want to pursue film directing too, Sir.” Josh smiled.

“Really? I am ready to write scripts for your own animated films!” Janella exclaimed, laughing terribly with the man she secretly praying for.

“Oh someone’s calling me. Sorry, Josh and Janella, I have to go. See you in your wedding? I mean, wedding film!” the man with a black hat on his head suddenly grabbed his phone and returned to the caller.

Josh smiled, brimming with such joy and happiness. Janella became so silent afterwards, looking profoundly into his rounded eyes. Josh moved one step backward and placed his hands on her waist.

“I want to pursue doing a wedding film with you sooner.”

Janella immediately put his hands off. Josh became a little bit panic. Janella turned her back.

The man with a black hat was so surprised because people inside the hall room that night became so silent. The music suddenly stopped. Some couples and some groups of friends started to move their bodies in slow motions on the floor. People were starting to stare at them.

Janella walked across the hall area and towards the stage. She held the microphone. Josh was deeply embarrassed and almost cried in tears. He took some inhales and exhales. The man with the black hat stared at him in a distant with sympathetic look.

“I was a-actually waiting for it, Josh.” teary-eyed Janella said with her mellifluous voice.

The people were amazed. Josh who was walking towards the portal of the room, suddenly stopped.

“In my entire life, I was waiting a man to sing with me in this stage, sharing the same microphone together in front of many people. And for several years after my heart was been broken, I later realized that God’s mercy was so unfailing that He fixed and healed my heart. He allowed those pains for me to pray for a faithful man. I was praying for a faithful man who will share the microphone with me and says his vows in front of me. I was waiting a man who will say, “I wanted to pursue you, Janella”. God was so amazing He allowed this very memorable night to happen. And, I can’t believe that those silent prayers, Josh, you would be the answer.” tears slowly dropped from Janella’s pinkish cheekbones.

“Oh!” the audience screamed surprisingly.

Janella gave her most wonderful smile to the audience. She went down from the stage, walked towards her man and said her, “I love yous”. Janella held his hands while facing Josh who was crying with unstoppable tears of joy. She hugged him so tight.

“I love you.” Janella said softly looking deeply in his rounded black eyes.

Suddenly, the romanticized cinematic view trended just after a few seconds.

This was so amazing God-given dream that finally come true even just in my blog. So grateful how God guided me on every word for this fictional story.

I just realized that God is sometimes the man wearing the black hat. He seems silent as He watches our own stories He penned for us being unfolded. We sometimes feel confused on what direction to take that we seek Him diligently. And these past few weeks God amazed me how He constantly changing my heart and make it very patient and obedient to His calling. Those “Lord, I want this, I need this,” turns amazingly into “Lord, which direction to take?”. How amazing God is on how he changed me from being a dramatic risk taker into an absolute follower. I am learning to wait for His voice and to be intimate with Him and to be intentional in seeking Him. In whatever situation, in whatever season I am, whether I am in a dessert, wilderness or in a mountain, I learned how to wait to hear His voice. Like Elisha who waited for His voice for so long. The wind came, but Elisha wasn’t able to hear His voice. There was an earthquake, but He was not in the earthquake. After an earthquake a fire, but He was not there also. He spoke to Him after those events happened.

9 There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.a 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  1 Kings 19:9-13

Maybe, God is just preparing our hearts like Elisha. He’s preparing our hearts as we seek Him diligently, as we surrender our own plans to Him and submit to His plans. Like Elisha, He set our hearts for the things He planned ahead of us. So, tell your heart, “be ready for God’s appointments and blessings!”

I am in the waiting season now. Literally, waiting for Him to answer me.

My prayer before was, “Lord, bring me there. Provide me this. I need Your favors for that.” But now, it is, “Lord, what will be the most honoring for you this season?” In my area of my career, I was waiting for His answer. Most of the times, He was so silent. Sometimes, He said, “No” and mostly, “Not yet.” There are still unanswered. Yet, I was loving the idea of patience and obedience to Him, because it means that the Holy Spirit is evident in my life now.

“When I go there, or take this, will it be the most honoring to You?” I said, trembling with awe.

It’s the hardest part also for me, because when He says no, my heart became sad too, but later on, it made me more realized God will provide me something better.

He also made me realized, like those two main characters in the story, that they are not really the focus of their story, but God alone. He must be glorified. Yes, He may be silent in our crucial moments sometimes, but He also helps figure out that life-changing story that from the beginning until the end. He always, always want to remind us that He was the author so He must be given all the glory and honor. He may be standing behind-the-scene of our most valuable parts of our lives and sometimes gave us the chance to whether to take actions and do our own will, but still, His plans prevail. Moreover, He ended a happily ever after for us when He died on the cross. (That was the most amazing story I ever heard and read in the entire period of my life.) His plans are perfect. He can turn around our circumstances even we do not see it yet. He is silent, but He’s definitely watching over us. God loves each one of us. He will never forsake or leave us. He is willing to attend all our needs. Just seek Him diligently. Wait for His direction. Take heart. Clear your thoughts. Hold on to His promises. He can give you what you need now, not in the right moment you’d think of, but now.

Just learn to listen and wait patiently to the author of our stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Amazing Love Story

Nearly, almost, crying with tears.

How exciting and beautiful it will be to tell a story of one man and one woman and paused for a moment to think very profoundly how amazingly and vividly it was orchestrated, when you see a woman standing on stage while singing ardently in front of the audience while the man romantically walks in towards her while holding three pinkish white roses to give to the person he was praying for a very long time. And, how romantic to see a young lady visiting their future place while the man silently sneaked in to their soon-to-be kitchen to see his future wife, took a photo of her and afterwards stood up in front of the enormous glass window of their future home overlooking the vast green lawn with their hands intertwined with each other, then stared with each other and laughed together after a second and ended up embracing each other while saying, “God is good”.

How futuristic it seems. (cries)

I was busy these past weeks but I was glad how I was impressed and grew more excited seeing a picturesque daydream-like snippet about my future mate. Yet, God amazed me and reminded me that while I am in the waiting season of my life today, my hearts should beat for Him forever.

It doesn’t matter how chubby he may be or if he is taller than me in few inches while he stands near at my back while I am very busy staring at the beautiful sun flowers in the flower fields at Amsterdam. It doesn’t matter how confidently he clings to me, holding me tighter and wants to spend most of his times with me, and even the rest of his life while walking for hours in a park. It doesn’t matter how romantic it might be if he renders me a song that night in front of the audience and who repeatedly says his “I love yous” and tells me he doesn’t want me to disappear on his sight that very moment. I doesn’t matter how long he drives while we are inside his car and how eager I am listening to his sweet soft voice while he is telling me what he did and what happened to him the whole day. It doesn’t matter too how long we spend time with each other and talk about his favorite books he recently reads and have that getting-to-know-more random things related to life and about ourselves in our favorite fast food restaurant or in Starbucks and do not mind so much how cold that night we have in Baguio. How interesting those stories will be, my love!

But, wait, more than 2, 000 years ago, a man who loves me unconditionally showed his love for me which I even didn’t deserve so much. It is sweeter than the sun flowers in the flower fields of Amsterdam, chocolates with a sweet long hand written letter inserted in the bouquet of peach colored flowers with Kermit green button poms, or with the viral will-you-marry proposals in the social media sites today. Because I believe that even there will be one person in the earth, He would still willingly sacrifice His life for that person. His death on the cross will always be the most amazing and the sweetest love story I would like to impart even in my grand grand children and to the future generation. That amazing love, amazing grace, which made me so kilig until this very moment.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

That sweetest grandest love which overwhelms me more than watching the girl who confidently places her face on the top of her boyfriend’s head and a guy who silently smiles whenever he puts his two sweet arms across his girlfriend’s chest while holding her hands softly with his body tight to hers. It’s more than the kilig moments you could ever have with someone else, I promise.

 

 

Amazing Love

I thanked God today because I was able to breathe again. I woke up in my bed, without being aware that I slept for almost three hours. I just remembered that I slept with the window closed this afternoon because of the windy air that almost breathed me in. Then, six o’clock today when I woke up seeing the sun while setting down from a distant. How amazing God’s love for me that I was not able to notice how He changed the surrounding atmosphere and how He gave me that long peaceful sleep. I just wished that the next time I will wake up, I would still able to see the sun, whether it is rising or setting down, standing still from afar, with no filter.

As I gazed at the beautiful sunset this afternoon, I thanked God because of His amazing love and grace. I do not deserve to see the glaring sun or to feel the air I am breathing now, but He gave it fully, with no questions required or Starbucks promo period.

I am almost in tears for being grateful for God’s amazing love for me and for us.

 

Love takes Time

The experience of being at rest for almost five days this week got me chance to read random blogs here and there. Well, I’m actually loving it. The idea of being single, without expecting any day-to-day sweet-filled text messages that would make your stomach full every time you receive and read such “Good Morning, love”, “I am enjoying my lunch here now. How about you?”, “I’m going to grandpa’s house later, would you join me?” “I’ll drop by in your workplace later. Let’s have dinner by 7 p.m.” “On my way home, love.”  “I got two movie passes. I’ll arrive at 8 p.m. to fetch you. See you later.” “Can’t wait to see you in the airport in a moment for our first trip together!” “I’m going to church later. See you.” “Good night, love”, because you should not expect anyone to text you that way, is okay. I’m totally okay with that. I’m actually wanted to ask myself, “what if he comes unexpectedly and you suddenly commit into a relationship, how will you adjust in the idea of having daily communication?” But, I rather shrug my shoulders off and focus on the idea of taking time.

“Love…takes time.” which  occasionally echoed to my ears with Kathryn Bernardo’s soft sweet voice as she delivered that with Daniel Padilla in their film, Can’t Help Falling in Love.

That take-away line encompasses that you do not need to rush looking for a particular partner.

“Love is patient.” 1 Corinthians 13:4

I love how the Holy Spirit reminds me of that particular bible verse. Reminding me that I do not need to worry on finding “the one” He has prepared for me. Perhaps God is still preparing me and my future husband for marriage He planned for us. Maybe he is currently striving on his business or career because I was praying for a hardworking man. I sometimes think that he is too caring for his parents also because he wants to honor them for the rest of his life. Or, perhaps, he is too busy ministering the youth or next generation in church because he has good leadership skills. Maybe he is just workaholic like me so he is working hard for our future. (Naks!) But, most of the times, I think he is still being molded by God while he is ministering, doing church activities, participating and involving himself in volunteering in church ministries, sharing the gospel to other places, reaching out to many more students in campuses, attending speaking engagements and biblical conferences, reading books to share to his young disciples and investing businesses for the future with other great leaders. May he continually be empowered by the Holy Spirit.

I love how God makes me excited every time He reminds me of “the one” He prepared for me. But this morning, while watching random interviews in YouTube, I came across with one of the interviews of Bela Padilla and Jodi Sta. Maria with Tito Boy. I was surprised when Jodi Sta. Maria said these inspiring words to Bela:

“The things that are meant for you will always be for you, regardless of what age, it will come.”

The words actually speak to my heart. It reminded me of how vast and deep God’s love is for all of us, His endless power and abounding mercy that can change somebody’s heart, how great God is and how unfathomable His desires are for each one of us.

“However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” —the things God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways.” Isaiah 55:8-9

His ways are different. The sweet way of meeting “the one” while being offered a cup of coffee which I do not drink at all or surprisingly participating in the same church event, or meeting him across in one of the streets in BGC might be very different from how God wanted it to be. It might turn out to be going to many places together until God speaks to our hearts to desire for each other. Those ideas got me crazier, sometimes, that I could not really imagine how God would write our love story.

I am just reminded of how the “jar of water” provided a way for Isaac and Rebekah’s love story blossomed, how amazingly Ruth met Boaz and how God gave Adan a helper through Eve. I am just excited how God would write my own love story and let it be unfolded.

For now, I will let each day pass, praying for Him while delighting and pleasing the Lord, the author of my life.

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will.” Psalm 37:4-6

In His appointed time, he will finally show up and will confess his genuine desire to pursue me while we are busy working for the Lord and pursuing the One who wrote our love story and while God is preparing the two of us to be “as one”.

 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

And that, that will be unimaginative, seems unpredictable than we could ever thought, but it will be a great and most sincere love story that no one has never told in history. But most of all, it will be the most unique unfabricated surprising love story ever made in history, if we just allow God to pen it for us.

 

 

 

 

How I Wish

How I wish, I would be in an airport someday, not because I am waiting for my grandmother’s arrival but because of my own flight number to be called. I wanted to have that moment where I would feel how overwhelming it is to be seated in an airplane where strangers will not notice how ignorant I am while taking pictures of the unfiltered pinkish clouds while riding an airplane. How I wish, there would be twice in a month that I would just travel all alone in an unknown place where people don’t exactly know me or my name and that they will just pass by on me while walking around the streets in Japan, at Dotonbori Market (Osaka, Japan) perhaps. How I wish, I am just walking across in Shibuya crossing, meeting across various people in that street while wearing a long brown cardigan with black boots. How I wish, I would just sit on a park and take a deep breathe while watching the cherry blossoms in a full bloom during Spring. How I wish, I would sit on a coffee shop in Japan and write down my notes or even write blogs about my travel experiences and upload my pictures taken from the airplane and from different places in Japan while sipping a Mango fruit jelly yogurt Frappucino. And then, have a shower in a hotel where I stay in, eat my dinner with vegetable salad in a small plate as side dish and warm water and read comments from my unfiltered photos in my blog before I sleep. How I wish that during my last day in Japan, while sitting inside the train from a hotel in Shibuya, I would pray and wish that my heart would always desire to go back in that place. How I wish to stay there while living my dreams.

As I travel back to Manila, how I wish, I would smile and be inspired to write more than my experiences in Japan and would finally say, “Next stop, Korea!” Then, laughs with myself because I finally arrive at the NAIA Airport.