My Testimony

“And you were left behind…” – a line of a song that I could  never forget. I saw the film, “Left Behind” (2000) and even tried to read the book many years ago. I was so afraid of the rapture and the devil’s number which led me to my very first time of intentionally surrendering my life to God. Yes, I wanted Jesus to be my Lord and Savior because of fear of the end times.

From Catholic, our family started attending fellowship services with born-again Christians some 20 years ago. But my spiritual growth did not happen at once. Even when I already accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, I still had doubts if my life after this one here on earth would be in heaven. I was still confused about good works or if there were ways to kind of earn my way up to heaven’s gates. And so unfortunately – when I went to college and still kept on attending  church services, joined a small group, let myself be discipled, started to disciple and lead my own small group – I slid back. I quit meeting with my mentors and younger believers.

For a time, my leaders persistently looked for me and encouraged me to keep on honoring God through discipleship. My guess was God made them focus on those ones who were newly born-again so the supposedly mature born-again Christians who slid back (like me) would learn their lessons. And to summarize the hurtful consequences of years of being a “lukewarm” believer… I wasted a lot of time and energy on the wrong things and relationships. I continuously rejected Jesus’ call for a pure, blameless, honorable, and praiseworthy way of life.

Because of my failures in my spiritual life, I felt that I did not appreciate and love Jesus the way that I should. Even when I already underwent water baptism and baptism in the Spirit, months after that weekend, I turned out to be an unfit “soil” (Mark 4:1-20) for God’s truth did not remain planted in me. Then, God made me realize that my shaky walk with Christ was due to wrong foundations.

The fear of end times should not be the reason why I wanted Jesus to be my Savior and Lord and fear is not even from God (2 Timothy 1:7). Psalm 27:1 says God is our light and our salvation, so there’s really nothing to be scared of. And if I should have any fear in me, that should be the holy fear of the Lord as it is the beginning of wisdom and understanding follows from knowing Him (Proverbs 9:10). It is extremely important to know Him to understand how much He loves us. Getting even just a glimpse of how much we truly mean to Him is freedom from fear (1 John 4:18).

I was inspired to share my story because of the things that are happening all around the world now. But God’s love is what I want to share. God’s generosity and loving kindness in giving new beginnings is what I want to testify about.

God did not give up on me. He did not give up encouraging my mother to pray for me. I might have lost connection with my discipler, but God made my mother take that place. God continuously surrounds me with relatives who serve at our church. Our family continues to hear the Word of God and through it, God nourishes my faith (Romans 10:17). And let me tell you this: it really helps big time when we read His Word, the Bible. It was made clear to me that I have been saved by His grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). I have been saved through believing and confessing that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9-10). And there is nothing more to be done because our God was the One to make a way for us to be reconciled to Him! That is how much He loves us (John 3:16-17)!

When I was in my mid twenties, I thought that I would grow old alone without a family to call my own because of some poor decisions (and my drama queen tendencies). But through all those years, God continued to shower me with His love… even during those times I thought I did not deserve any good thing from Him because of some lordship issues. To give you a hint, I had a colleague who said, “Christian ka pala?” She said that because I was kind of a bully in the office. I put people with curvy body down. I was disrespectful toward security personnel and housekeeping staff. I was impatient with anybody who made me repeat whatever I said. I was arrogant and looked down on the younger millenials because I could not understand their work ethics. And so on and so forth.

But you know why I can really testify that He is generous with giving new beginnings? There came a time I wholeheartedly gave up my ways for His will for my life. I told Him, “Lord, You are so good to me. I know that You are changing me through the way I think and act and that You will not give up until I live my life according to your purposes. Your will and not mine.” And I thought that even if I had to break up my with my then boyfriend, Eric, I would do it as proof that I surrender or submit EVERYTHING to Him. I was really ready to let go but God had in mind a different plan. It is  true that He works everything for the good of those who love Him, for the ones who are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). Before I turned 30, He gave me Eric to be my husband and our son, Zach! HE IS GOOOOOD!!!!

Thanks for reading my testimony. It really means a lot to me that I get to share this. I know my write-up is a bit incoherent and my sentences, unnecessary long, but this is me. I’m still a work in progress just like my writing skills. I know now that God let me kind of wander before so I could somehow be of help to some people who are going through what I already went through – wrong foundations and lordship issues. So, if you are reading this and can relate, please pray this prayer with me…

Father God, we thank and praise You for who You are. You are magnificent and merciful. You are wonderful and we don’t deserve You but You love us anyway. You are faithful. You keep your promises. Your good plans for us prevail even if sometimes we didn’t choose your way. You keep on bringing us back into your embrace. Oh, Lord, You are good!

Father, we are tired… so tired of running away from You. Please make us stop choosing the wrong things. Please help us acknowledge You in all we do. Please give us spiritual growth. We don’t want to be lukewarm anymore. We want to fully surrender every aspect of our lives to your lordship. We want our actions, our thoughts, the words that we say reflect the fact that we are your children. You say we are righteous and holy and that’s what we believe to be true. Help us truly repent and proclaim daily that our old selfish, sinful selves are gone. Help us read the Bible everyday and really seek You and your will and remain soaked in your presence. You are our everything. 

One last thing, Lord, if we still have incorrect ideas on salvation or reconciliation to You, reveal it to us, Lord. We hold on to your truth. We need you so much!

In Jesus’ name, we ask all these. AMEN!

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My Testimony

Dreams Regrets and Gratefulness

I frequently dreamed about things in my past – the old version of our house and being in college. More often than not, the dreams about being in college were enrollment scenes, or me missing classes, or having a hard time looking for a classroom. I don’t remember though, if in those dreams, I looked younger, or if I was wearing my old clothes. But I am sure that they didn’t​ happen in real life. My guess for the dreams is the unresolved feelings I have about my past. 

I prayed to the Lord about it. I said sorry that I didn’t​ give my best when I was still studying. I was sorry for my wrong priorities. I was sorry for not listening to my parents when they told me to focus on my studies. I could have graduated with flying colors. I could have done more productive things on my spare time. I could have developed more meaningful friendships.

To live with no regrets is easier said than done. Regretting is good if it gets us praying like what happened to me. It’s always a very nice feeling to be able to release our burdens to our God. As I was broken before the Lord, He comforted me and opened my mind. He led me past my regrets and let me see where He was all the while when I was being a mediocre college student swearing by cramming was the best way to go. He let me realize the many times He was my Strength, my Redeemer, my Holy God who showed me mercy, and my loving Father who gave me so much grace. 

So my prayer didn’t just end in my list of could-haves. He lifted my spirit up, and I began thanking Him for: the opportunity to study in and graduate from a great university, enabling me to complete my program even though my focus was amiss, the considerate professors, the friends who helped me get good internships, His protection during the many late night walking around campus, the church mates I got to know and who still inspire me up to this day, and the joy I saw in my parents eyes on my graduation day. 

Oh Lord, there are many things to thank You for. Help us lift everything up to You. 😘

Dreams Regrets and Gratefulness

God through the number 911

I was suddenly interested why 911 was the number chosen for emergency cases. I then Googled and read some answers from quora.com and people.howstuffworks.com. It was said that it began in North America in 1968. 3 digit numbers ending in 11 were set aside for quick-access local services such as 411 for directory assistance. A number that was short and easy to remember was needed, hence, 911. 

Then thinking of God, the giver of wisdom, I looked up 9:11 verses in the Bible. I thought that I would know Him better especially as a Savior and our Omnipotent Loving Father through this seemingly random set of numbers. Let’s look at some of them first in the Old Testament (NIV):

Genesis 9:11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.

Deuteronomy 9:11 At the end of the forty days and forty nights, the Lord gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant.

Nehemiah 9:11 You divided the sea before them, so that they passed through it on dry ground, but you hurled their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters.

Psalm 9:11 Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done.

Psalm 91:1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Proverbs 9:11 For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.

Amos 9:11 “In that day

“I will restore David’s fallen shelter—

I will repair its broken walls

and restore its ruins—

and will rebuild it as it used to be,

These Words of His are great reminders for us that He is our Almighty God. My prayer is that when we face an emergency or something that can make us panic, despair, or be afraid for our lives, we would call on Him first. 

He is our Creator, the One who established a Covenant with His people, the One who promised His people that the earth will never be destroyed by flood again. He gave the Ten Commandments for His people’s sake. Only He can part a sea! He can handle our enemies and save us so we can live and tell of his wonderful miraculous deeds! And amidst the many terrifying news we hear around the world, He says that we can find rest in Him. And also a good news for some of us who had been stolen from, our God is also our Restorer!

Now, if we appreciate God because of the things mentioned above, wait till we see what’s in the New Testament (NIV):

Matthew 9:11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Luke 9:11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.

John 9:11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

Acts 9:11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

Hebrews 9:11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went thrugh the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation.

That’s how Jesus is as our Savior. He doesn’t play favorites or be picky about whom to save or whom to have a relationship with. He loves all of us sinners. He even loves the people who persecute His disciples. He doesn’t push away anyone who needs to hear from Him or be healed by Him. In Luke 9, Jesus sent His disciples out to do His works. Afterwards, they regrouped and probably wanted to spend some quality time alone with Jesus. But the people found out where Jesus was and Jesus welcomed them even though He probably planned to do something else when He brought His disciples with Him to Bethsaida. 

Then in John 9:11, we can see that Jesus is not just someone who answers our emergency call. He’s not even just a first responder. He’s not even just a doctor who can heal us. He is one with the Creator, one with His Father! That’s the meaning behind the use of the mud. Hebrews 9 explains it further that Jesus was not part of the creation because He is the Son of God and like our Papa God, Jesus has no beginning nor ending. 

Papa God loves us so much that He gave us His only Son Jesus (John 3:16) so that we would have a way back to His loving arms equipped and protected from the schemes of the enemy. He is always available to hear us when we call. He is our healer. He can do the impossible. And even when we think we are so deep in our sins, there’s no one whom Jesus can’t reach (Isaiah 59:1-2). Let’s call on to Him for anything and everything.

And for some of us who might be experiencing something that’s very humbling (like when Jesus took Saul’s eyesight temporarily), know that it’s God calling us or making a point. We only need to believe in His Son Jesus so that we can be saved and our sins, forgotten (Romans 10:9-10, Ephesians 2:8-9, Ephesians 1:7).

One final good news for today – we can rest assured that when we call on our Lord, He’s unlike an operator who doesn’t know us. He knows everything and still longs to hear from us because He desires a relationship with us. 

I pray that this entry helps your interest in knowing our God through reading His Word and talking with Him. May we all have an intimate relationship with our one true Savior and Lord.

God bless us all! 

God through the number 911

A mother’s success from a daughter’s perspective

Whenever I came home to my parent’s house, there was not an early morning nor evening that I did not see my mother on bended knees before the Lord. She was in need of His presence and did not want to go on campaigning without the Lord’s leading. Politics, she said, was not one of her strong suits.

She wanted to go back in her last company which she had already served for almost 38 years. And after all that time, she still wanted to dedicate her life contributing to its development and success. She was not sure if she could make it because she knew that her opponents were way more popular (to the company’s members) than she. But her trust was in the Lord and for that He did not let her down.

Truly, success comes in different forms. My mom did not get the total votes needed to become a member of the board. But here’s a list of why I think she won/ has been winning in key areas in her life today:

  1.  Throughout the campaign season, Mom and Pops got to spend more time together toward one goal. I would not be surprised if along the way, they remembered why they fell for each other, why they chose to commit to love and support each other for better or worse. 
  2. When the election results were shown, I still saw peace and joy in her eyes. She even thanked and praised God for the people who voted for her. And up until today, she still is in awe that a first timer like her got a substantial number of votes. She was in charge of her emotions and just looked to God for her fulfillment.
  3. She was used by God for the members to have more candidates to choose from disallowing the chance to just elect or re-elect people whom they did not really have faith in.
  4. She is and will always be an inspiration to her family and friends because of her faith and obedience to God. To go out and meet people, to ask them to vote for her was not her comfort zone. But she stepped out of it and shook a lot of hands believing that God is at work in her life and He will make her a stewardess over more for His Kingdom’s advancement.
  5. This experience enabled her to check on her intentions and dreams, to realize that she still is learning about her strengths and weaknesses, to rejoice and not worry about anything she thinks she lacks and instead focus on what God did, is doing, and will do through her imperfections. 

I am proud of her and Pops and my siblings. I am thankful for all of our relatives and friends.

Momsie, you are inspiring because even you are at recovery stage right now, resting after that long exhausting day of election last February 10, you still submit yourself to God’s will of perfecting you through trials declaring that His faithfulness will show to draw people closer to Him. L.U. 

    A mother’s success from a daughter’s perspective

    Celebral Palsy 

    I was nine when he came into our lives. He got that fair complexion that we, the older siblings, wished for ourselves. We thought he was the most good looking among us and our emotions were mixed. Gadiel never understood that we were sort of envious that he got genes mostly from Mom (peace, Pops). He never had the chance to brag and kid us that our skin was darker or that our noses were the common ones among Pinoys. 

    Celebral? Cerebral? It was a struggle to get the word right everytime I tried to mention it to my friends. I found it confusing in my teen years and letters L and R make me stammer. Friends came over our house and I was hesitant to introduce Gadiel to them not because I was ashamed of my brother’s condition. I was ashamed that they would see that I was not a very good sister.

    I thank God that our parents made sure that we siblings took our turns caring for Gadiel when he was still a baby. Somehow, I feel vindicated that I did some of my responsibilities. But it pains me knowing that when we got older, I should still have taken good care of him. Fed him, gave him water to drink, helped him sit for a short while and probably sat next to him while he tried to enjoy whatever TV show was on. I should have tried to communicate with him even when he could not say a word or move his facial muscles or his arms and hands. I do not remember having told him, “I love you, baby brother.” I HOPE I DID.

    When I learned the news of his going home to heaven, one of my first reactions was to ask God for his forgiveness. I felt guilty and beyond sad as a sibling and as a daughter to parents who lost another child. God has a good reason why He took Gadiel back in 2016. Same as, He had a good reason for giving Gadiel to our family in 1996. And just like what Pastor Don said in one of the services, through Gadiel’s life, we learned how to say thank you to God for each moment that he smiled and laughed. We learned to pray and believe for healing. And, we learned to be compassionate with children or families who have the same situation.  

    ***

    Lord, I believe that Gadiel is up there in the heavens with You. And now, he lacks nothing. He doesn’t need to ask You for anything. He sits, stands, walks, jumps for joy, overwhelmed in Your glorious presence. He praises and worships you with his words and songs. He is mindful of You as You are of him. Thank you, Lord. We choose to glorify You even in mourning. Thank You for healing our hearts and souls. In Jesus’ name we believe. Amen. 

    Celebral Palsy