Church Hopper?

Church hopper? With the kind of job that I have, I can’t be settling in one local church every Sunday due to flight schedules. But God has tremendously blessed me with the opportunity to visit His church everywhere I go. What I ultimately look for in a church is gospel centeredness & expository preaching, because that’s where my spiritual growth depends. The Word of God is the foundation of my faith & a church that preaches His Word, preaches Christ. Word = Christ.

For the past two years of flying, it has not been easy. I’ve struggled with my desire for a church community. I’ve seen self serving-heretic churches, anything that points to self & earthly prosperity isn’t true gospel, right? But I’ve also been graciously given the opportunity to visit faithful churches. Thanks to 9marks.org for helping me find them! I’ve been to one in LA, Alabama, Washington DC, Atlanta, and the one on the photo above — Metropolitan Tabernacle in London.

Of course, my goal isn’t church hopping. Though I am grateful for my Universal Church visits during my layovers and vacations, I would still pray for a local church where I can grow in loving Christ & others.

I don’t know where He would lead me in the years to come, I could still be living in the desert, or finally migrate to the USA. Perhaps, He’d surprise me with something else. I have no accurate understanding on what the future holds. All I’m sure of is that God holds my future. I’ve laid down my desires to Him, whether He grants it or not, He knows exactly what He’s doing!

I’m grateful for this season in my life as I learn to understand that the Universal Church definitely cannot boast on their independence, for Christ’s true church is solely dependent on Him & must entirely be after His Glory. We truly are nothing apart from Jesus. We need His Word to constantly guide us, & we need one another (the church) to grow in love.

For the past two years of flying, it has not been easy. I’ve struggled with my desire for a church community. I’ve seen self serving-heretic churches, anything that points to self & earthly prosperity isn’t true gospel, right? But I’ve also been graciously given the opportunity to visit faithful churches. Thanks to 9marks.org for helping me find them! I’ve been to one in LA, Alabama, Washington DC, Atlanta, and the one on the photo above — Metropolitan Tabernacle in London.

Of course, my goal isn’t church hopping. Though I am grateful for my Universal Church visits during my layovers and vacations, I would still pray for a local church where I can grow in loving Christ & others.

I don’t know where He would lead me in the years to come, I could still be living in the desert, or finally migrate to the USA. Perhaps, He’d surprise me with something else. I have no accurate understanding on what the future holds. All I’m sure of is that God holds my future. I’ve laid down my desires to Him, whether He grants it or not, He knows exactly what He’s doing!

I’m grateful for this season in my life as I learn to understand that the Universal Church definitely cannot boast on their independence, for Christ’s true church is solely dependent on Him & must entirely be after His Glory. We truly are nothing apart from Jesus. We need His Word to constantly guide us, & we need one another (the church) to grow in love.

(Ria – Flight Attendant)

Theology, Chocolates & Tea

January 25, 2020

Harvest, Alabama

0104H

THEOLOGY, CHOCOLATES & TEA are the perfect combo!

Though this isn’t how expected spend the rest of my vacation, studying & being immersed daily in Biblical Truths, I’m blessed to literally & Spiritually be home. I pray, by faith, that this year will be even more fruitful & productive than 2019. I pray to be able to mortify the lingering sins in me, to revere the Word more & delight in pursuing righteousness. May I not languish in a stagnant spiritual life & pursue sanctification for selfish purposes. May my ultimate goal for my maturity, the knowledge & wisdom gained, the works I do, & all my joys be done for Christ’s glory alone. I pray for courage, for strength, for a constantly repentant heart, even for breaking, for spiritual discipline, integrity & faith that is authentically & evidently loyal to Jesus.

I believe this is the exact rest I needed, to be refreshed in the Word. My enticement with entertainment and earthly passions were very high last year. I would rather do my Hollywood research & neglect my time for Scripture. I don’t want to be that girl anymore who would base my life decisions on signs, feelings & emotional highs. Dragging & drugging myself to my emotions would always lead me to frustrations, perhaps this is my sanctification. Praise God, because I am now more aware that this time, I really do want the Word of God to be the one to lead my life. As a believer, I can only progress in this walk if Scripture becomes the very core & purpose of my existence. God has clearly spoken through the Bible, I’ve just been so lazy & stubborn in meditating it. If my faith is not anchored in Scripture, p’ano na? May the Lord have mercy on me.

I was crying to a Korean-American sister in Christ a couple of days ago. Her name is Jennifer, we met here in Alabama over a year ago when my family & I attended their church, Grace Community Church – Huntsville. We became good friends since then. I’d tell her how scared I’ve been & that I feel clueless of the Lord’s will for me lately. Like what if the things that I wanna do won’t really have an eternal value? What if I’m just being selfish? Why can’t God just totally remove certain desires in my heart so I can finally not be torn? I just wanted everything to be crystal clear. Then it was finally her turn to speak. “Ria, you’re not called to be perfect, but faithful,” she uttered. She reminded me to learn to trust Christ and live moment by moment. She puts it simply by asking me, what are you called to be right now? A flight attendant, I said. She responded, yes you are, but at this moment, you are on vacation, you’re not a flight attendant. And then it dawned in me, right now, I’m a daughter, a sister & an aunt. It’s illogical to be thinking too much about my future plans & not see the opportunities of today as I allow the enemy to steal the time I should be spending with family.

But not anymore. I still have about a week here in Alabama. I pray to spend it fruitfully and wisely. I pray for Christ’s love to shine through me, for my family to see, & for Him alone to be glorified through me. I shall learn how to number my days. I also pray to finish this current book I’m reading before the month ends. It is called Expository Sanctification by Paul Shirley.

So this is all for today. Soli Deo Gloria! Laters! Xx

#KeepReforming

Where Are You Now?

Discipleship requires discipline, and that is one thing I desperately need. I can get consistently inconsistent with my walk. For a season, you’d find me so excited learning about Theology & sharing the Gospel, a few months later, I’d be so drawn at Netflix or some drama-series that distracts me from studying the Word & loving people, and then here comes social media luring me to jump into things that would make me want Christ less; stuff that lead me to “self” instead of being drawn to Him. I’m like an infant at times, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching. My attention span on my interests won’t grow, because the foundation of why I want to do or pursue something, may also be shallow, may not be rooted in Christ, may only have birthed from selfish desires.

I told my mentor-discipler-sister-friend the other week that I do struggle at the same embarrassing things lately. I can’t seem to balance life well. I’d feel lonely and sad. I feel like I’m dragging myself to do what I ought to do for God, connecting with people, but what I truly (desperately) need is a strong connection with Him. I seriously just need Jesus. I must remain in Him, cause I obviously cannot live this life apart from His guidance. I need His Word to teach me, encourage and rebuke me. The Bible has been guiding me for almost 8 years now, and there’s no other way my life would go on a fruitful path if it weren’t for His wisdom and grace. Jesus said “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:10-11) The consistency of my progress depends on my gracious dependency in Christ. I’d feel sad and lonely when I don’t anchor my joy in Jesus, and my joy may only be satisfied and completed in Him. He’s just always the answer to my dilemmas. Oh how consistent my God is! It’s hard, but I want to consciously not conform to the patterns of the world, to consciously be transformed by the renewing of my mind, to be able always see that His plans are all good, all pleasing, all perfect.

Resurrection Sunday went by, and it is always a beautiful reminder to me of Christ’s glory & my existence. I’m not talking about my purpose, the books/blogs I’ve read, nor the people I shared Christ to. Those are actually filthy rags in His eyes. I’m talking solely about why I’m a Christian, that’s because Jesus came to die for my sins, and since the day I learned about it and embraced Him not only as my Saviour but also my Lord, I also learned that I will only grow deeper in my love and adoration for Him, by grace, through faith. I learned and believed that He resurrected & He’s coming back, that cannot be thwarted, that’s consistent.

A good friend just shared this quote from Steve Lawson to our group: “A life of resolve comes with a price tag. You will be tested by the lure of the world. But you must turn a deaf ear to the crowd and live instead for the approbation of Christ. There will always be a cross before a crown, sacrifice before success, and reproach before a reward. The call of discipleship will cost you popularity, possessions, and position. But God will use your commitment. The grace of God will be multiplied in you if you cultivate a fixed resolution to live for the glory of God.” -Steven Lawson

I feel blessed that God still constantly pulls me out from my stubbornness each time I’m about to deliberately rebel as if I can hide my thoughts and intentions from Him. He consistently works in me despite my inconsistency in following Him. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans’ 5:8

I’ve wasted so much seasons in my life, especially back in my high school and college years, when I didn’t know Jesus yet. But actually, in Christ, there isn’t a wasted season. He can turn bad, displeasing and ugly things into something beautiful. Though I’ve felt deep regret for the wrong decisions I’ve made, it doesn’t get to a point where I’d be condemned about it, but doesn’t meant too that I can take my salvation for granted. Bible says work out my salvation with fear and trembling. I know life on Earth is never meant to be perfect, but in Christ, I believe it is possible to live in joy, peace and freedom from sin’s slavery. I want that. And I want to continue to pass that on and share with my family & whoever I encounter along the way, perhaps to my own family in the future too. At this point in time, I pray that I won’t have any regrets as I look back to where I am now. I sincerely pray to live out this life for Christ’s glory. If not, my gosh, I’d be fooling no one but myself.

I love Jesus, I’m very public about this. My identity is solely tied on this reality, cause I know deep down that I truly am nothing apart from Him. But I want this to be evident not for people to see, but for me to sincerely know it in my heart. That even if I don’t say a word, that even without the world noticing it, I’d be so confident with my love for Him. I just want to love Him right. I want to grow in this faith. I want to find delight & satisfaction in Him everyday. I pray I’d constantly be disgusted at sin that it would always lead to true repentance. I want to continue to serve Him until I grow old, and still find joy in it. I want to be used only for His glory. I don’t want to take my salvation for granted. I pray for all these in Jesus’ most powerful, merciful, gracious and loving Name.

“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:1-5

Here you go, this has been my walk lately. May the Lord have mercy on me and refresh me. May I find joy and satisfaction in Him.

“He must increase, I must decrease.” John 3:30

23 Notes To Ponder On

In random order.

1. May we not be narcissistic in reading the Bible. May we have Christ centred hermeneutics. – The American Gospel (https://youtu.be/ocHm18wUAGU)

2. Catechism is something I want to teach my nieces and nephews and my future children. https://reformed.org/documents/index.html?mainframe=https://reformed.org/documents/cat_for_young_children.html

3. No matter how strong or clever you are, you are not your own saviour. You are not your own redeemer. That’s a dead end if you’re going to depend on your own strength and your own wisdom. -Dr. Bryan Chapell

4. What is the only reason that sin has any power in your life? The answer is… because you love it. – The American Gospel

5. The goal of a lecture is that you leave with information. The goal of a motivational speech is that you leave with action steps. The goal of a GOSPEL SERMON, teaching the Bible is that you leave worshipping. – J.D. GREEAR

6. The feeling of pleasure that comes after retail therapy is always short-lived. Ego always looks for something else and wants something more. -Pick Up Limes (YouTube)

7. To everyone who wants a safe, carefree life, away from danger, stay away from Jesus and His great commission. – G3 Conference 2019

8. Right where you are could be your possible mission field atm. Some, are called to go, others would have to stay, and go where they stay. Bible says go to the unreached, how sure are you that your colleague, your neighbour, you brother already heard the Gospel? – Just me.

9. “Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes.” “Instead, it should consist of what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes.” 1Peter 3:3-4 — GRACE, PLEASE.

10. Better to be single for the rest of your life & obeying God in the gleaning of the fields than disobey God and have what has been forbidden to you. – probably heard this from Voddie Baucham

11. This is so beautiful but I forgot where I read it from. So sorry. But here it goes: It’s through the deepest suffering that God has taught me the deepest lessons. If we trust Him for it, we can come into an unshakable assurance that He’s in charge, He has a loving purpose, and He can transform something terrible into something wonderful.

“Father,

I love You. I lay down all that I am before you, my Lord. Every regret, pain, joy, I lift them all to you. Enable me through Your Holy Spirit to offer all of me to You. I want to be living my life for Your glory. I want to love selflessly and find delight in doing so. I pray to not lose track of Your Grace. You have brought me this far, and You will take me further and deeper in this Christian faith. I am rededicating myself to You. Help me, Almighty Father. Comfort me, sustain me, strengthen me, heal me. Enable me to move forward with joy and gladness. Enable me to act upon every lesson you have taught and are yet to teach me. Keep my eyes on You, the author and perfecter of my faith. Protect and guide and save all my loved ones. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.”

12. You are not a piece of meat to satisfy the sinful, fleshly desires of a man. -Voddie Baucham

13. If you are so committed to feeling safe, how will you ever risk your life for Jesus? If you are so fragile and cowardly, that you will shut down those who love you by speaking hard truth to you, how will you speak love to those who hate you? – John Piper

14. The consumption of social media, movies, entertainment, demands of career, the quest to consume more and more entertainment, toys, money, travel — DO NOT SATISFY. A life devoted to consumption consumes life. – J. Piper

15. With boldness therefore at the throne, Let us make all our sorrows known, And ask the aid of heavenly power, To help us in the evil hour. – Hymn from Hebrews

16. “The mercy of God is an ocean divine, a boundless and fathomless flood.” Let us plunge out into the mercy of God and come to know it. I hope you believe this, because you’re going to need this mercy desperately if you don’t already have it. The mercy of God in Christ Jesus — amen and amen! -A.W. Tozer

17. “Self-chosen silence is the new expression of social empowerment in the digital age. Silence is freedom.” https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/why-we-should-escape-social-media

18. Question: What’s your fear? Me, to live in a place where my sins aren’t confronted and my false decisions are tolerated. I think one of the reasons why I evidently see why my faith is ALL GRACE is because God surrounded me with people who truly cared to tell me what was wrong & told me that I was sinning.

19. For the greatest way to achieve social and cultural transformation is not by focusing on social and cultural transformation, but by giving our lives to gospel proclamation — to telling others the good news of all God has done in Christ and calling them to follow Him. The fruit of such salvation will be inevitable transformation — of lives, families, communities and even of nations. -Marshall Segal

20. If Christian dating—the intentional, selfless, and prayerful process of pursuing marriage—sounds like slavery, we don’t get it. If low-commitment sexual promiscuity sounds like freedom, we don’t get it. Jesus may ask more of us, but he does so to secure something far better for us. -Marshall Segal “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him” (Phil. 3:8–9)

21. This was from NextGen KIDS CHURCH! : Truth that hurts is always better than lie that conceals, that will stress you out, won’t put you to sleep & destroy your relationships. To live in a lie is to lead one to eternal destruction.

22. Our total depravity means we are in need of a perfect Savior who is able to do what we cannot do for ourselves – and the good news of the Gospel is that such salvation is available to us in the Son, Jesus Christ, who is the holy God incarnate. We may be wretched, but we can still rejoice and be sanctified. Paul affirms this in the latter part of Romans 7: “Who will save me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!” I couldn’t put it any better myself. Total depravity is a doctrine of grace because the abounding grace of God Himself is the only hope that we have. -Whole Magazine Devotion

23. AKALA KO

Napakarami, napakaraming bagay na aking inangkin na inakala ko’y nakalaan para sa akin. Napakalawak ng kasakiman at kasamaang nananalaytay sa aking pagkatao. Napakalalim ng sugat na pilit na pinapagaling sa oras na hindi pa nararapat ang paghilom. Napakadaming pagkakataon na aking pinalagpas sa bawat segundong ako’y Kanyang hinahabol, habang ako ay patuloy na nagpupumiglas sa Kanyang gracia’t kabutihan.

Rebelde lamang noong umpisa, hanggang sa nalulon na sa sistema ng mundo, nagpakaputa, nagpakawala, nagpa-alipin sa dimonyo. Napakamakasalanan ko, tanging alikabok at lugmok ang nararapat sa aking marupok na pagkatao.

Wala na akong pag-asa, wala ng magandang kinabukasan ang nag-aabang. Wala ng mukhang maihaharap sa Kanya, wala ng hininga, tanging maiaalay ay ang pagod na katawan, matang namumugto sa bigat ng luha na humagod sa mukhang hindi na maipinta. Wala na akong pag-asa. Wala ng saysay ang aking buhay. Yan, yan ang akala ko.

Akala ko’y walang kapatawaran ang aking mga kasalanan. Ako’y nagkamali. Sa gitna ng aking pagkakadapa, sa lalim ng pighati, sa bigat ng pagsisisi sa aking puso, Siya’y nagpakilala. Ako’y ibinangon sa pagkakadapa, sinagip, iniligtas. Ang kabayaran ng kasalanan ay kamayayan, ngunit ang biyaya ng Panginpon ay walang hanggang buhay sa pamamagitan ni Hesu Kristo, aking Diyos at Tagapagligtas.

•••

Mapagpala at Maaawaing Ama, maraming salamat sa kapatawaran ng aking mga kasalanan. Maraming salamat sa bagong buhay na akin ng tinatamasan simula ng ako’y nagsisi sa aking mga kasalanan at inihandog sa Iyo ang aking buhay. Lahat yan ay dahil sa Iyong Garcia. Hindi ko kailanman matutumbasan ang Kabutihan mo, at mababayaran ang lahat ng pagkukulang ko. Ngunit sadyang napakabuti Mo, sapagkat Ikaw mismo ang gumawa ng paraan upang ako’y hindi manatili sa imprerno.

Espiritu Santo, ako’y Iyong patuloy na tulungan at gabayan, palalimin ang kaalaman sa Iyong salita at piliin lagi ang Iyong gawa. Sa pamamagitan mo lamang aking magagampanan ang tungkulin na bigyang pugay ang Iyong pangalan, palaganapin ang mabuting balita, mahalin ang mga taong kagaya ko. Makasalanan, na nailigtas dalawang libong taon ang nakakalipas ni Hesu Kristo, na inialay ang Kanyang dugo’t katawan, ipinako sa Krus upang pagbayaran ang kasalanan ng sanlibutan, nabuhay muli pagkalaan ng tatlong araw, bumalik sa Ama, at muling bababa sa lupa balang araw, para husgahan ang mundo.

Ako’y umaasa, wala ng pagaakala, tanging kasiguraduhan at pananampalaya ang kinakapitan ng aking buong diwa. Ang bawat luha ay mawawala, ang bawat sakit ay mapapawi, balang araw ay habang buhay kong makakasama ang aking Diyos.

May pag-asa. Sa ngalan ng Ama, ni Hesu Kristo, at ng Espiritu Santo. Amen.

What I’ve learned from losing Ate Tas

It’s all brand new to me. I’ve experienced losing my grand parents, a cousin, some friends, they were painful, but not as painful as this one. Ate Tas was the best nanny/yaya/2nd mother to me and my 6 siblings. She served my family for 36 years, that’s the age of my eldest sister is. She already is family to us. She was my guardian for the past 15years I wasn’t with my parents. Among all the Rabajante’s, Kuya JP & I were the ones who spent the most years with her.

Ate Tas was present at the peak of my sinfulness, she witnessed most of it, & yet still loved and took care of me despite all the bad things I would do. Before I came to know Christ, I would disrespect her, shout at her, be very impatient with her, I’d take her for granted. When I knew the love of Jesus, I’d tell my discipleship group how I’d still struggle in loving her though I already know what to do. When I learned from my brother, a year ago, that she was diagnosed with depression and she was beginning to be forgetful (she had dementia), that became my turning point. I remember I was at a training when I found out about it, I couldn’t concentrate in class, went to the bathroom, and begged God to give me a chance to show her how much I love her. He answered my prayers. I began to develop deeper love and care for her, which I thank God for so much. I am only truly able to love Ate Tas because of the love of Christ Jesus.

I like how we spent the last 2 quarters of 2018 together. We’d go to different malls, I’d take her to most of my meetings, go to church, eat & eat & eat everywhere. I am also grateful that I would sleep next to her when I visit home. But my favourite moment with her were our one on one conversations about Jesus. I remember telling her that I love her and I told her too that I’m sorry for all the bad things I did to her in the past. I asked her if she’s afraid of death and told her not to be afraid because if she belongs to Jesus, she will spend eternity in Heaven, where there will no longer be pains and sufferings. I asked if she’s sorry for all her sins, she said yes. I asked if she believes in Christ as her Lord and Savior, she said yes. I asked who is her God, she uttered, Jesus. She prayed a short yet very heartfelt prayer. We cried, we hugged. And to me, that was the most important moment I had with her.

I thank Jesus for allowing it to happen. Truly, to live is Christ, to die is gain. Ate Tas may not have read the Bible as much as other Christians would, but her life exemplified Christlikeness in so many ways. Many people could attest to that. I still find it unbelievably amazing that while I have so many desires and dreams in life, there’s this one person who has no other desire but to serve my family, take care of us & be such a joyful helper to everyone around her. God wrote her such a wonderful story & left such beautiful lessons to me, our family & hers.

Losing her inspires me to value my family even more. To make time & truly spend time with them. Losing her inspires me to give generously, Ate Tas is one of the most generous people I know. Losing her makes me want to draw even more closer to Jesus, the only One who can help me through the process of grieving and healing. I haven’t had a broken heart in a while now, and I am sure that this is a beautiful brokenness that I am going through. Losing her taught me empathy, for people who lose their loved ones. Ang sakit pala talaga. Most importantly, it is making me understand that I didn’t really lose her. It would be very selfish of me if I’d still want her to stay, my God is sovereign, He gives and takes away, and His timing is always perfect, I trust God that even the very moment of Ate Tas’ death was meant to be the way it happened. Losing her makes me pray more, trust and glorify Him more. I trust in Jesus, one day, I’ll come see Ate Tas face to face again and thank her for everything she’s done for me. One day, our whole family will be giving Jesus glory and worship Him together. That’s my faith, and it’s not a dead faith, for it is anchored to the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Ate Tas, mahal na mahal na mahal kita, but nothing compares to Christ’s love for you. Rest in Jesus Christ’s everlasting love now! See you one day, Tazic!

Father Almighty, pilot me.

Guide me.

Help me.

I trust in You.

Pre Flight (Heart) Check

Mga dalawang buwan din akong hindi nagsulat, ngayon ay paalis ako sa desiyerto, para magbakasyon ng isang linggo kasama ang mga mahal ko sa buhay. Tapos sa January, one month din with my loved ones in the USA.

Lately, I’d always ask God to give me wisdom on what to write, pero pakiramdam ko parang nasabi ko na lahat, parang wala ng bago. Yung mga bagay that I stand for in life, parang sobrang wala na akong mapigang wisdom, feeling ko stagnant water ako, yung knowledge ko parang walang nangyayari. Feelingera nanaman ako. Buti nalang hindi emotion ang basis ng salvation, mabuti nalang hindi nirerequire ni Lord ang eloquence at mataas na IQ & knowledge sa theology sa pagbigay Nya ng opportunity to know Him more. Kasi nga lahat naman Grace lang Nya. Daming insecurities, mabuti hindi din minus points yun sa realidad na one day, pupunta ako sa langit, doon, wala ng hassle, hindi na ako iiyak, hindi na ako mapapagod kakafigure out ng buhay.

Philippines won the Miss Universe crown a few days back, galing ni Catriona Grey, I’m a fan. Ang saya ko cause marunong na ako mag rejoice for others’ success. Pero I’m irritated at the selfish feeling in my chest, na flashback: dream ko dati yan e. Tatlong taon I pursued it, and hindi yun para sakin. Minsan nakakapikon yung entitlement sa puso ko, when I dream of achieving other’s destiny. I have to remind myself na hindi na ako yun, and it was never meant for me. My profession is totally different now. I pray na maalagaan ko kung ano ang meron ako and kung sino ako ngayon. I pray that I don’t let the opportunities of today pass me by, dahil lang sa nagmumukmok or na-sasad ako na hindi ako nagka-korona. Ungrateful ba? Oh well, may God work in my heart.

I want to be grateful, hindi yung showbiz gratefulness, yung legit!!! Yung nararamdaman ko talaga hindi based on the physical or material, but on the things unseen yung gratefulness ko. I want to be spiritually satisfied about this life I have now. Ang dami dami-daming oras at pagkakataon para mas makilala pa ang Panginoon. I don’t want to procrastinate anymore. Salamat talaga sa constant assurance of His Word, na steadfast ang love Nya, na hindi nauubos ang biyaya Niya, na faithful Siya. Kung hindi ako nareremind ng Word Nya, wala na, kawawa na ako, for sure wala ng direction ang mga plano ko sa buhay.

Isa sa pinaka malaking panalangin ko ay nasagot na, nakapunta na ako ng America after not seeing my parents for 15years and some of my siblings for more than 8years. This coming 2019, I want to pray new prayers and dream new dreams. Gusto ko maging productive and full of achievements, gusto ko mamultiply and mamaximize ang lahat ng bagay that He entrusted to me. Pagdadasal ko pa ‘tong mga ‘to. Many are the plans in my heart, pero purpose pa din ni Lord ang magpe-prevail.

Siguro bottom line is miss ko lang talaga makapag spend ng quality time with God. I want His wisdom. I want His peace. Ang dami-daming nangyayari, kung hindi ako lumilipad for work, I’ll be on a vacation, or busy with my online business, or socializing, or kung saan-saan nakakarating. Honestly, nakakapagod din minsan ang leisure, si Jesus lang kasi talaga nakakapag-satisfy ng heart ko. Haiiii.

Haiii Lord, GRACE PLEASE! Paramdam ka ng bongga. Miss You, I pray na nagglorify kita sa lahat ng ginagawa ko. Thank You for never leaving nor forsaking me. Thank You for the gift of rest. Thank You for always being at work sa heart and mind ko. Please give me a safe flight to Singapore in a few hours, and a favoured & smooth flight to Manila. Allow every moment of my days off to be filled with YOU, cantered in YOU, dedicated to YOU. I need You. I need Your GRACE! ❤️

Xxx

9 Words of Encouragement to Struggling Single Women (by Reformed Theological Women)

(October 18, 2018)

Yesterday, I asked my sisters in Christ from all over the world in a Reformed Theological Women group I’m in regarding a personal concern, my usual struggle, “Singleness X Marriage”. I’d like to share with you the heartwarming godly advices I received, just in case you do have the same heart concerns as mine. I hope it encourages you as much as it has encouraged me.

This was my question:

Any advise for a single, 28yr old woman, who feels like she’s still struggling with trusting God with her desires for marriage?

That’s actually me. I’m aware this is part of my sanctification. I just wanna know if anyone can relate, how do you deal with all your friends getting engaged/married, while you’re trying to get rid of self pity?

Please pray for perseverance. Please pray that I truly trust Him. I feel like this struggle is too selfish, and there’s a lot more important stuff that I shall be minding, but this season is really kinda tough.

And these were the messages I received:

1) It is tough. “Don’t give up, don’t give in, give it all to Him…” Grab ahold of some promises and don’t let go for even an instant. I [finally] met my husband when I was 36. I got married at 38, had my son one week before I turned 39, and we have been together for 27 years. It’s worth it to wait! Trust the Lord, he loves you so much more than you can imagine. I can’t tell you why the Lord makes some of us wait, but I can tell you that he DOES know what he’s doing. (I claimed a promise in Isaiah 34:16 “Seek from the book of the Lord, and read: Not one of these will be missing; None will lack its mate. For His mouth has commanded, And His Spirit has gathered them.”) Don’t give up! Don’t give in. Rejoice with your friends, since Romans instructs us to “rejoice with those who rejoice.” Their joy takes nothing from you, just as their suffering would give nothing to you. Blessings to you dear heart.

2) I got married at 29, after being raised in such a way that I was ready and waiting to get married since I was 16. It was hard to see all the girls 10 years younger than myself get married and start having babies. I love children and want my own badly (note- even if you do get married at some point, there will likely ALWAYS be something you want just out of reach.) While I know everyone’s so very different, I do wish I’d appreciated my single years more while I was in them. Scripture makes it clear, a married woman takes care of what her husband wants (super paraphrased) while single women can focus on taking care of what the Lord wants. The ability to immerse yourself in study, to participate in missions and events without having a home and husband to worry about is honestly something I miss. I’m by no means saying marriage is undesirable, but singleness is ALSO desirable. It’s not like a sickness, to be cured. It’s another element of life to be used because the Lord has blessed you with it. I don’t know if that’s helpful… if I’m making my thoughts clear. I just would encourage you to see the freedom and independence as benefits to take advantage of, for the glory of God.

3) 27 and single here. I find myself praying often that the Lord allows me to truly “rejoice with those who rejoice” when weddings, bridal showers, and baby showers all come up.

I also try to look at all the benefits of my single life right now. For me, it’s building confidence on my own, learning to manage finances, being more freely able to help others, etc. I feel more prepared to eventually be in a relationship/marriage if that’s what the Lord has for me than some of my friends who married younger were.

I also think that a common misconception is that as a single woman, you can’t be a “keeper of the home.” Keep your house clean, cook lovely meals for yourself, show hospitality by inviting groups of people over to your house. People tend to think of hospitality as more of a married woman’s game but it’s totally not.

The biggest thing I can say has helped me is not to isolate yourself. Find things you enjoy and go do them. Spend time with family and friends. Keep spending time in the word regularly. And occasionally spend a whole day home alone in your pj’s watching movies. 😂

4) Heyy!! There’s a class that I took.. Gods perspective of us. And the foundation of it is.. we are a wife before we are a “wife”.. meaning we are the bride of Christ before we are a physical bride here on earth.. and learning to serve and completely surrender to Christ..

There’s also some practical sessions as well for when you’re physically married.. but the concept is that A Man who finds a wife.. not a man who finds a woman and marries her and then she becomes a wife.. if you’re interested in the class let me know! There was a lot of great disciplines..

5) I remember this feeling. I did get married young, but most of my friends were married or engaged a bit before me. No one was available in our church, for me.

I prayed a lot, read an Elisabeth Elliott book on marriage, and Keep A Quiet Heart. I decided to do my best at what I was currently called to do. And it was obvious where God meant for me to be at that time.

It was when I had found contentment and would have been happiest to stay that way forever that God blessed me with a man. And he had waited what felt like eternity for him. He was 27 almost 28 when he married me.

I was working in a library, volunteering at church and home school co-op and plugging myself and heart and soul into everything and everyone that called out to me.

God may not have wanted me to marry and so I decided to do the most I could for others as though I was going to be single forever.

I did pray a lot though. And I still remember the longing for marriage.

But the more time I had to dwell on my singleness, the more I longed for someone.

6) I didn’t meet and marry my husband until I was 32. I struggled a lot with the prolonged singleness, especially in my late 20s. Turning 30 flipped a switch in me and I felt like I was 18 and full of hope and excitement for life again. I think the longer my singleness went on & the more I embraced it and life became that much more vibrant for me. In fact, when I did meet my new husband, I didn’t even want to hang out or date him (somehow I just knew he was the one) because I didn’t want to get tied down and was finally enjoying my singleness. Anyway, he won me over regardless & we were married 5 months after meeting.

7) Hey girl, I know that feel. Where I’m coming from: In a relationship – hoping to be married soon but the Lord is definitely sanctifying me through the waiting season. The yearning is real, but constantly trying to remind myself that when Christ is the supreme goal – there is nothing that life can offer, or that death can take away that can ever surpass the joy of being with my Savior. Have you read the book “Not Yet Married” by Marshall Segal? It’s so good 🙂

8) I’m 29 and single. Trust the Lord that He’s sovereign. Ask for patience and wisdom. Use your time to improve yourself and grow in your faith. Praying for you. ❤

9) While I married fairly young(23), we battled infertility for years. I have several close friends who married much later and I find the longing and the waiting very similar. I would suggest to use this time of waiting to grow in your relationship with Christ, which will be the best possible preparation to be a wife. Pray the same for your potential future spouse. Serve the Lord and the church in obedience while you wait. In my hardest times, serving others has always been the best way for me to deal with my grief. Also, please know that it is ok to grieve for your delayed dreams. Just do it in Christ. He knows our hurt and longing and is our comfort. 💜

•••

Praise God for sisters in the faith from all over the world. Praise God for each time I align my heart concerns to Him and what He has practically placed in my plate at the moment, it’s also when my perspective on my status gets better. There’s still a lot of works to be done, in me, through me, and around me. It’s not like the Lord needs me to get things done. But He is graciously giving me so much privileges and wonderful opportunities to do the works He has prepared for me to do, for His glory. That’s why I do believe that my current heart for marriage is still quite selfish, but valid, for the Lord cares for my heart’s desires. Psalm 103:8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. God knows what I want, but most importantly, He is sovereign, He above knows what I truly need. And it’s not a mate, it’s a heart genuinely aligned with Him & His will, for His will alone shall be done, for His will alone are good, pleasing and perfect.

Also, every good and perfect gift is from Him, I want that! I don’t want to rush things anymore. I don’t want earthly standards, I want the Lord’s will. If marriage isn’t for me, I want to be okay with that, I want to embrace that. I want to count it all joy that I would have to go through various trials, because the testing of my faith produces steadfastness/patience/endurance. Steadfastness must do its complete work, so that I may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. I want maturity in the faith, and maturity takes time, takes the Lord’s grace, I’m waiting on that, my hope is on the abounding grace of my Lord and Saviour. To my sisters in Christ, whether married or single, may we all be the Biblical Women the Lord designs us to be, it’s not easy, but by faith, it is possible — all for His glory.

PS How about you? What are your thoughts on these. I’d love to hear from you too. God bless you.

Single Christian Woman Diary

Yesterday, I was in a flight back to Riyadh from Geneva, it was another unforgettable layover. I didn’t expect I was going to share my story on adultery to a lady struggling with it. Yesterday, I was graciously reminded of my past sin, my weakness & how I’ve struggled years ago, not to pull me down of course, but to be able to empathise & pray. “Been there, done that”, this statement is definitely a reality. In a more precise and personal note: I’ve been through that sin, I’ve committed that sin. And I’m out of that sin by the grace of God, and my job now is to help other women combat that sin. I will never ever support adultery. If you ever see me go back to doing, supporting and celebrating it again, it means I am not truly a Christian, I will spend eternity in hell. But no, by grace, I’m a new creation in Christ.

After the flight, I had an ugly dream last night, which also had something to do with my story on adultery, and despite how the pain of the past felt so real again when I woke up this morning, I’m still very convinced that I’m never going back to my Egypt ever again (by grace), not going back to that place of slavery in my life. I had my quiet time on this issue through Exodus 14 a few months ago @ 12midnight in Paris. The story was about the terrified Israelites complaining to Moses and crying out for help. You know when you get very ungrateful and impatient on waiting on God that all you could think of is complain and want to go back to your past life? What a brat! What a sinner! I’d still get these rebellious thoughts, and good thing they can be killed in the head. Through prayers and Bible reading and with the help of accountability partners, the ugly thoughts may not translate into action. During that quiet morning in Paris, these words spoke to me very clearly: “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.” Exodus 14:13-14 My battle against my past has nothing to do with the kind of heart I have & everything to do with the kind of God I serve. God is my protector. God is my deliverer. Grace pulled me and will continually pull me out of those potential sins. There is always a way out.

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing lack. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff — they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD as long as I live.

Jesus leads my present and my future, I may not be able to control the things I’d dream about, but I have the choice not to dwell & feel defeated, & to bring my struggles into the light. The Lord fights for me as I keep on persevering by grace.

The world’s way is cheap and easy. Getting a boyfriend is easy. But finding true love isn’t, it’s costly, unless you understand the cost of love, unless you grasp why Christ had to die for you, you will never find true & lasting love. I’ve spent many years being a young lady filled with insecurities, chasing after things that pretend to be love, having a twisted view of love, and over sensationalising my shallow view of it. I don’t want any of those anymore. Eww. My sins suck. I want Jesus. I want Christlikeness. I want His Holiness and Purity.

Semper Reformanda, it means always reforming, continually being changed for the glory of God. I want that. I want to always re-examine myself in order to never misrepresent the Gospel to people. I want to keep on changing, to not conform to the world’s pattern, and continue to be transformed by the renewal of my mind, and to find confidence in Christ’s good, pleasing and perfect will.

Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda (“the reformed church [must] always be reformed”), this is why I’m dedicating this to the Single-Christian-Women, to my always reforming sisters in Christ, we may have different struggles, different avenues of sins, but we do have our One & Only Almighty God to kill ’em all. God will soon crush Satan under our feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with us all.

Let us guard our hearts! We are in this battle together. May we always find security and contentment in Christ. May God continually protect us from temptations in any form. May we never harbour pride in our head thinkin’ we got it all handled, that we don’t need God’s help, which is very wrong, for He’s all we need in times of trouble. He’s the only one who can deliver us out of our sinful selves. May we not be slaves to sin, but slaves of Christ, slaves to righteousness and purity. May we never use our beauty, our body to sexually attract men to ourselves. May we graciously draw people to Jesus Christ and not to ourselves. May we have the integrity to truly love, the wisdom to know true love, the drive to pursue only true love, if not, well, our sins cannot be hidden forever. If we belong to Jesus, if we are chosen and truly His’, we’ve got to be reminded that there’s no room for an unrepentant heart in heaven. May the Holy Spirit’s power be upon us as we battle against wrong principalities, against our selfish desires, against sin.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9

15 years later: See you soon, family! ❤️

(These were captured a few minutes after I found out that my visas were approved. Emote!😝) Fifteen years of not being with my family and how I’ve struggled in attempting to get to the United States of America, tapos two weeks ago, finally, binigay na ni Lord yung prayer ko. He gave me both my Crew and Tourist visas. Hallelujah.😌

Fifteen years, & I wouldn’t have it any other way. If it wasn’t fifteen, I would’ve missed the lessons I needed to learn through the years. If it wasn’t fifteen, I’d probably not meet the people I needed to encounter to grow in Spirit and Truth. 2Peter 3:9 says: The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. I now believe that His’ timing is always perfect, this is a freeing reality and reminder to me each time I’d feel hopeless and impatient with all my prayers. I needed that fifteen years to grow in maturity and in love with Christ. Sabi nga ni Charles Studd, “only one life, ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” Malaking part ng years na naghihintay ako, hindi naman para sa Diyos, but for myself yung prayers ko. Latter part nalang ng fifteen years yung sincerely natutunan kong gawin para sa Diyos ang mga bagay-bagay. Kaya yun, God needed to discipline me, cause the Lord disciplines those He loves diba? He fixed my broken heart first before He granted me His promise. Don’t worry guys, I’m not being hard on myself, sinasabi ko lang yung totoo, ang dami kong selfish passions before, and grateful ako now cause God changed those desires. Dati hindi ko naman love family ko, but by Grace, God enabled me to develop love, care and affection for them. Ang galing. Ang galing ni Lord.

I also wanted to confess this. One of God’s characteristics I find very hard to believe and embrace is Him being my Promise Keeping God, my Provider. I feel like I have a heart similar with Peter at times. Yung I’d be so passionate in doing things for Christ, yung over confident that I will never deny Him, pero feeling ko lang yun, in reality, there’d be so many times na weak yung faith ko. Remember Peter and Christ’s encounter in the book of Matthew 14? Peter asked Christ to come to him on the water right after Christ told Him to take courage, that it is Him, and so Peter shouldn’t be afraid. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

I have faith in Christ, but just like Peter, it could be very tiny too. Madalas kasi I would rely on my own effort, I’d look at the things I can do to serve Him, which will never be enough naman, cause Christianity doesn’t work that way nga. Feeling ko kasi my efforts can sustain, I always have the tendency to get intimidated at the situation instead of looking at God. I had a very small view and understanding of who my God is. It takes a whole lot of grace and a whole lot of faith for my relationship with my Father God to work. I think one of the reasons why I had a lot of failed plans in life is because my faith was very very little. I was more delusional, irrational and emotional at what I wanted for my life then than faithful. My desires then weren’t aligned with God’s will, because they weren’t good desires, because I didn’t know God’s will, I think it’s a huge factor that we know the will of the Lord through the Bible for us to find confidence in our prayers. Pero dati I’d treat Bible only as a self help book, so how would I know the will of God if one sided lang ako? If I’d only pick my favourite verses, kahit out of context, ipagpipilitan ko yung will ko. So I was the god of myself before, consultant ko lang si God dati, ang sad diba? I didn’t revere and honour Him then. I was always entitled and after self glorification. My desires then were meant to drown me, to kill and destroy me. Well, it almost did. Pero wala e, Grace happened. God saved & pulled me out from all my selfish plans.

In a worldly perspective, parang sobrang hassle and sobrang hirap malayo sa pamilya, most especially sa mga magulang. Pero looking at those fifteen years of being away from my family, I kind of see it now as God’s protection. Imagine if natuloy ako sa States fifteen years ago, feeling ko walwal ako ngayon, miserable, and malayo kay Christ yung heart ko. Napaka arte and napaka selfish ko kasing anak dati. Parang, hello? Only child ka? Seven kaming magkakapatid, by the way. Plus I have a half eldest sister pa.

You’re probably wondering why I had to post my visa on social media. To me kasi, it’s more than just a visa, more than just a ticket to the reunion I’ll have with Papa, Mama, my siblings, in laws and my huge family everywhere in the USA. It’s a promise of the Lord for me, a dream I was so sure of and certain with though I do not see it yet. By grace, wag na sana ako ever mag doubt on what He’s capable of doing. By grace, I pray I’d stop putting God in a box as if I got it all figured out, ayoko na maging atribida hehe. By grace, may I rely and trust Him with all my heart, that He won’t leave nor forsake me & my family. By grace, sobrang gusto ko pa ma-inlove kay Jesus, I pray He protects my heart and mind from the distractions of the world that may cause delay to His tasks for me. By grace, may my life glorify Jesus & Him alone.

I’m excited to see my family, to sleep like sardines with all my siblings, to play dress up with Ela & Elo, sing worship songs while Papa plays the guitar, go shopping & learn how to cook with Mama (nux!), workout with Paul, watch NBA with all of them, climb mountains in Hawaii with the Bowman family, attend the G3 conference in Georgia with Ela and so much more!!! I’m excited to love them more and more, by grace, through faith, in Christ!

Praise God for prayers He answered through closed doors. Praise God for developing my patience and perseverance. Praise God for rejections and failed plans. Praise God for answered prayers, for new prayers to pray & for new dreams He will bring to life. Praise God in any and every season. Ultimately, praise God for forgiving all my sins by sending Jesus to die for me.😭 Love You, Father, Son & Spirit!!!

PS We shall update these photos below!!!

INDIA FLIGHT: The Sin of Favouritism IN ME

What God taught me through my Medina-India pairing was the most important part of my 4day duty. He taught me that true Christianity, true love knows no favouritism. One may be gifted with so much skills and talents in winning the world, but when one doesn’t know love, he/she gains nothing. My heart was so bad, so ugly, and I thank Him for revealing that to me.

Recently, I’d always pray for Him to teach me how to love like He does. He taught me that through my India flight, where my faith was really tested. The lavatory was very dirty, poop in the toilet, used tissue on the floor, most of the passengers were old and they didn’t know how to flush the toilet, my jump seat literally smelled like pee, only to find out that some passengers would urinate on the floor in the lavatory. I was rude. I was impolite. I was only nice to the passengers when we were already about to deplane. But even that niceness was selfishness, because I was only excited to rest.

When I got to the hotel in Medina, I was exhausted and I’d ask God: what are you teaching me today? I was really clueless and wondering that day, ano nga ba? Until my sister in Christ, Dia called me and ask how my flight was. Boom! It all came out that moment. I had to repent. Ang baho ng heart ko and ang kapal ng mukha ko to judge. I pray the Lord changes me. How dare I think that God sends me around the world to use me for His glory when I can’t plainly respect & love the elders? It was then that I realized na hindi pa ako marunong magmahal like Jesus Christ. Ang sad diba. 😢

I want to learn how to love like Him. I want to be selfless. Yung tipong whether I fly to Europe, or Asia, or Middle East or anywhere in the world, no matter how I’m treated by the passengers, no matter how physically exhausting the job may be, mabaho man or malinis man or madumi man yung lavatory, by grace, I’d simply love. Rich, poor, white, black, brown, whatever. I just don’t want to be a racist. I want to love the way Jesus does. Walang pinipili. Walang favouritism.

James 2:1-4

My brothers, do not show favoritism as you hold on to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. For example, a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and a poor man dressed in dirty clothes also comes in. If you look with favor on the man wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here in a good place,” and yet you say to the poor man, “Stand over there,” or, “Sit here on the floor by my footstool,” haven’t you discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

I have a lot to learn. I’m really disgusted at my heart. Thank God for mercy, for forgiveness. In reality, kung tutuusin, I’m also just like a poop in this world, cause of my sinfulness, but Christ loved me. I pray that alone motivates me to love each time I fly. Who am I to mistreat people? Loooord, change me please!!! Enable me to love like You.