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

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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

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!!!

Why Discipleship is Relationship: Steffi X Ria

Nope, it’s not her birthday. I just really want to honour this woman today for how much I’ve been blessed by God through her life. This may seem a bit emotional, but let me take advantage of my emotions at this moment and use it for the right purpose. 😉

•••

Steffi, I’ll never forget the night we first

met, year 2015, in Valle Verde. That was the very first time I attended The Fellowship and you were my very first breakout leader then. I was at the peak of my sin and lostness during that time, struggling to let go of a relationship that is absolutely detestable to the faith I’d profess. Since that Bible study night, you immediately became a friend, though I was a complete stranger to you, though I’d cry a lot to you (looking back, feel ko super nakakapagod & nakakapikon ako i-lead), you never left, you were there the entire time I was struggling and weak about so many life issues. You were the perfect person to be my discipleship leader, you’d listen carefully, you’d rebuke me with love, you’d take time in sharing your godly advices and be very patient until I get the Lord’s wisdom. You were always Biblical and right but you never made me feel condemned when I make wrong decisions.

October of 2015, about a few weeks from the day we met, I was hospitalised due to dengue fever. We weren’t really that close yet, but you and Tasha came to visit me in the hospital. You brought doughnuts and prayed for me. You were totally unaware of how much I’ve been in awe on how you model Christlikeness to me since day one. I’m not sure if I’ve told you, but you were the one who taught me to have a burden for the sick, to visit & pray for them. I think one of the reasons why handling my own discipleship group wasn’t such a hard task for me (sometimes lang mahirap, when I’m overpowered by selfishness) is because I was imitating such a gracious leader, more than a leader, a friend & an evident Christlike follower. Glad to be a fruit of your labor! You are always so humble, you always check on us individually, you share your weaknesses with us but never burdened us, you say sorry when you have to, you encourage very sincerely, again, very sincerely!

Haiii Stwepi! You show me the kind of love that I’m sure could only be sustained by the work of the Holy Spirit. Remember John’s statement in John 3? “I must decrease, He must increase.” That’s how I’d constantly look at your life. And you know what’s more amazing? Now, you’ve already changed your status, you’re already married, while I’m here in the desert, you still check on me. I’m not demanding that you keep on doing it, but you just do. There were so many adjustments that you’d have to do, but doing your works for the Lord is never compromised. It isn’t perfect, never will be, but graciously incorruptible & honest. I’m blessed each time you’d ask for prayers, you never pretend as if you got it all figured out, you always point me to the Source of every strength and true wisdom, you never take the credit. You were never entitled, you’re just joyfully serving God. I really really praise Him for showing me so much of Himself through you. And when I tell you that I want to be like you when it comes to leading a dgroup, I mean it. Proverbs 31!!! Huhu. That’s why I praise Him for you😢 — because you fear and love the Lord so much.

We’re transitioning, adjusting to different directions/mission fields God is leading us to. But what gives me peace and confidence is that I know wherever He takes us in this world, that even our once a month catch up becomes a little less that the usual, when we all get so busy doing ministry works, we do have One Goal. Christ. Jesus. Always.

Thank you for being my spiritual momma. Thank you for not giving up on me & for showing me that discipleship isn’t boring and stiff, for teaching me that though it requires so much dying-to-self & sacrifices, in the end, it is worth it — because it is done with, for & through Christ. With all that you are & you are yet to become, I praise & give glory to our Maker. I love you, Steffi G.!

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31:29-31

Confessions of a Cabin Crew

I’m a flight attendant and an OFW (overseas filipino worker), but on top of these two, I am a Christian too. Over any profession/career/status, my ultimate identity is that I am saved by the grace of God.

It has been over six months since I signed up for this job. I haven’t reached a year yet flying, but I am learning a lot. Like a lot. And I want to share some of it, especially my mistakes that I want to be corrected. I don’t want to be flying 10years from now (if God allows) and see certain ugly characteristic/attitude in me that may already be hard to change or heal. A true follower of Christ does not tolerate sin, but confronts it. I must not tolerate mine, be warned of others’ and make every effort to live a holy life.

1. I am guilty of complaining a lot verbally and in my head when passengers have so many requests. Seriously? My work is customer service in the cabin, hospitality, both on ground and up in the sky, I do not have the right to complain unless a request done risks my safety & the safety of the flight. Handing a glass of water, blanket or pillow wouldn’t make me unsafe, right? Passengers may have as much requests as they want, except when the seatbelt sign is on, or when flight is turbulent. That’s their privilege. That’s their right. By grace, I want to be the kind of flight attendant that doesn’t complain to passengers’ demands. So what’s the root, if it isn’t the passengers’ fault, what could be the problem? Colossians 3:7 says “whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Being such a complainer is the opposite of thankfulness. I can’t be complaining just because I feel lazy to move. I am the problem, not my passengers. God, I’m sorry. Proverbs 12:24 “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.” I pray wag na ako maging tamad. Again, I am tasked to serve, I pray I’d do it joyfully. No more argument. No more grumbling.

2. It’s also not the passengers’ fault if I lack sleep. I’m given minimum rest for every duty. I don’t have the right to ever be grumpy. My job is to smile, to greet, to be pleasant and polite. I can be it, but I can’t be consistently it when I lack sleep. Huhu. I do need a lot of improvement with managing my sleeping habits, knowing when to rest and when to move, learning to say no to events that may compromise my time for rest before duty — needs a lot of work and discipline! Grace!

3. With my colleagues: I have to be more understanding. That’s why it is myself that I’m assessing, though I see certain mistakes in others too, I can’t just correct them, especially when there’s a bunch of things that must be corrected in me. Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” I can’t correct others for something I still struggle with. I must be corrected myself first.

4. Note to self: Gossips — don’t indulge in it. Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” I pray I’ll be able to constantly tame my tongue, be discerning and never badmouth anyone. This, I’m grateful that I am graciously able to resist (I’d estimate 80% of the time), I feel the Holy Spirit working in me every time I’d witness a colleague talk about another colleague, you know that still small voice that whispers: “wag kang gumatong, from what you are hearing, find the root sin and pray for it”. I pray for more discernment and wisdom on this matter. Bible says love your enemies & pray for them. In the first place, ayoko ng may kaaway, it wouldn’t put me to sleep. So better not talk about people if there isn’t any solution to follow it up. Kung mag gossip man ako, please rebuke me.

5. I’ve had an encounter with an unforgiving passenger just a week ago. I tried apologising to him many times for saying no to giving him 2 cups of water. He insisted, & so I gave him his request in a manner that wasn’t pleasant. He got intensely mad at me. He didn’t want to accept my apology — he said emotions and tears won’t work. ANG SAKIT! But in essence, that’s what I truly deserve. Actually, even in general life matters, I don’t deserve forgiveness, but God gave it to me through His’ Son.

Isn’t it always liberating to be reminded and live by this truth? Again, that I am saved grace. Grace, as in I didn’t contribute to it. Grace, as in it wasn’t my choice. Grace, freely given to me. Grace, as in favor. Grace, kasi mahal na mahal Nya ako.

I remember a colleague telling me to stop sharing my flaws/mistakes to people. I think madalas I repeat this whenever I write, that the Bible says: I shall boast about my weakness, para Christ’s power may be displayed through me. Kasi nga only in confession and repentance and legit acknowledgement of my wretchedness ako nafi-free. Nothing else matters more than the constant sanctification I have to go through in this lifetime until God accomplishes through & in me everything I ought to be.

In summary: I pray to be able to honor God sa trabaho ko. ♥️😌

Dealing with Closed Doors

Do you know somebody who graciously dealt with blocked opportunities? Me, I know one. It’s myself. Lalayo pa ba ako? Before it crosses your mind that I’m being boastful here, let’s first give emphasis to the word “graciously”, from it’s root word GRACE, which means “underserved favor”, something that is not produced by human effort, but has been freely given to men by God. You may check out and ponder on these verses to learn more about Grace: (Romans 3:20-24; Ephesians 4:7; Ephesians 2:8-10) So maybe I’m boasting now, but that’s only because of what He has done through me. Apart from it, I can do nothing.

But really, it’s not like I’ve mastered dealing with rejections, terminations, and unanswered prayers. It’s just that over the years, God has taught me to endure, has given me the grace to do so, & to face the reality that rejections may actually be okay for my growth as a Christian.

Through Christ, I’ve learned to have a better perspective on rejection. I have a long list of closed door experiences: not getting the job I wanted, joining a national pageant for years and not being able to win a crown, not making it to fashion show go-sees for not being tall enough, not being liked by my childhood crush (Praise God!!! 😝), not making it as a lead actor for a broadway theatre show back in college, being denied to enter the United States when I was 17 years old, and a whooole lot more. — I used to question Him a lot for all these. And I used to be so horrible at dealing with rejections. I’d ask, why wouldn’t He give what I wanted if He really loves me? I’d be filled with shame and bitterness deep inside. Shame produced by my pride, and bitterness birthed by my innately ungrateful heart. These would be so evident back when when I did not clearly understand grace yet.

The thing about my rejected opportunities is most of the time I would want them so “BADLY”. I unawarely wanted them for the wrong reasons. Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Most of the things I wanted so much to attain were selfish passions. Like in not winning a crown, I’m not the only candidate in any pageant, if I call myself a Christian and feel bad for others’ reign just because I didn’t win, then that would make me a hypocrite. But hey, Jesus died for me already, so I shall no longer live for myself. It’s hard and it may seem impossible to not live for yourself, but nothing is impossible with Him. I mean, I would see it in my life now little by little. Back then, my eyes would be so focused on physicality, material possessions, earthly success stories, good image. But what’s the point of attaining all these if I won’t be able to bring them all to heaven? I’m not saying it’s wrong to be successful, but to wanna be one for selfish reasons, is what makes it wrong. In fact, it is in vain; for only what’s done for Christ truly lasts. (Romans 7:18) I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.<

I have read a book on how the early Christians selflessly lived their lives for Jesus, and it challenged me in a good way. If they could do it, then maybe I can too. Besides, we only have One God, we only glorify & worship One King, with the same great power and ability to transform & use us for His glory. I’m not saying that I’m going to be martyred for my faith, but if that happens, I pray God gives me the grace to endure. Here’s the link to the free ebook, you might be interested: A Little Book on the Reformation, by Nathan Busenitz.⚡️

So here’s how I dealt with some of the closed doors in my life:

1. Seek Godly counsel – I’d go directly to mentors/people with sound wisdom. (Proverbs 11:14) Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory. Graciously, God gave me the right people to go to. When I was terminated at PAL, people helped me reset my plans. I have friends from the aviation industry who helped me move forward, advised that I apply for other Airlines, and Spiritual mentors who covered me with prayers.

2. Accept rebuke. In relation to no.1, I make sure that I honour my mentors, asses their advise, be encouraged by their prayers and accept their rebuke when necessary. (Most of the time, rebukes are very much needed for me. Haha.) I make sure I go to someone who won’t feed my ego, but will really be transparent enough to tell me what’s wrong & why certain things won’t go my way. (Proverbs 15:31-33) He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. He who neglects discipline despises himself, But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding. The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility.

3. Pray unceasingly. Now that God has been enabling me to be enticed more on heavenly matters than the the earthly & temporary ones, I believe my prayer life has improved. I learned to pray for His will to be done and not be pushy with what I want. So how do I know His will? Through His Word. Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.” Also in Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” — I’m constantly learning to pray the right prayers. I no longer get as disappointed as I would be back then (especially during my early pageant years in 2013), because now, I’d graciously learn to rely on His will, having His Word as my life’s authority. Reading the Word of God everyday allows me to learn and understand His will for me.

Guys, being a Christian is really dying to self. (I knoow, mahirap talaga!😭) It may not be something we learn overnight, and not something we swiftly attain unless Grace does it to us. But pray unceasingly, will you? Be patient as you wait for His answer. Pray not to be bitter, pray to always be humbled. You know another thing that makes me so grateful about rejection? Through the personal rejections I had, I’d see how much the Lord has protected me. He knows my heart and what I’m capable of doing when I do things outside His will. I’m not saying that you are doing things out of His will, but if closed doors frustrate you, I pray you trust Him all the more. Faith is fully believing in what you hope for and being certain of what you do not see. That doesn’t mean believing merely in your dreams & goals in life, but believing that God is above it all and being certain that He is your ultimate goal. One more thing, rejection could be His way of disciplining us. Guess what the Word has to say about discipline: Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed instead.Hebrews 12:9-12 I’m grateful that I landed to an extent of grace that is too beautiful, healthful & helpful for my Christian growth that left me no room for self condemnation, that gave me ample time to be truly sorry for my sin, accept the things I’ve done wrong and change what I can change — by grace, through faith, in Christ. Grace also taught me that no matter how much goodness I do in this world, it will never be the basis of my salvation — for my goodness degrades the truth. I can never attain what my God has already done for me. Because even in trying to do so, thoughts of evil will enter my head, a little bit of selfishness, competitiveness, greediness, lust of the flesh and the heart. Sure, they do not materialise, I get to kill the ideas before it becomes actual sin, but it is still sin. That’s why I’m excited for the day where I’ll go to a place where none of the ugliness and filthiness of any man’s heart will exist. I’m excited for heaven. “He will destroy death forever. The Lord God will wipe away the tears from every face and remove His people’s disgrace from the whole earth, for the Lord has spoken.”Isaiah 25:8 Let’s rejoice with opportunities that didn’t unfold right in front of us. Greater things are yet to come, may not be in this world, but in our true home. Every Christian’s citizenship isn’t in this world, we’ve got eternity waiting for us, heaven!!!❤️

So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4

My Turbulent FA Journey

It’s been exactly a year since I became a Flight Attendant for Philippine Airlines; and though I only flew for 5months with my country’s flag carrier, I will always be grateful for what the Lord has taught me through my “turbulent” journey with PAL.

I never knew I would be in love with hospitality/customer service job 35,000 feet above sea level until the PAL opportunity came along right after my final year at Bb. Pilipinas (2016). If you were able to read my blog (A Necessary Detour & While the Failing Continues, The Failure Continues) several months back, you’d know that I was actually terminated for failing my written permanency exam. Looking back though, I think the reason why God allowed me to get fired was more than just not qualifying the permanency.

While I was working for PAL, I became in denial that the job was actually becoming my idol. My quiet time was becoming too quiet that I wouldn’t want to spend time reading my Bible, I wanted to Fellowship with my friends at church but I was half hearted in serving the Lord, I neglected opportunities (I dropped my BibleMesh class) where I had the chance to get to know Him more. I wouldn’t give much value to God, the same way I’d give value to my layover activities, my dream destinations, to my OOTD’s, my Instagram posts (which I deleted shortly after my termination, none of it really mattered). This season in my life reminded me of Ecclesiastes, where the writer talks about how depressing it is to seek happiness in the things of the world.

According to GotQuestions.Org: This book gives Christians a chance to see the world through the eyes of a person who, though very wise, is trying to find meaning in temporary, human things. Most every form of worldly pleasure is explored by the Preacher, and none of it gives him a sense of meaning. It’s key verse is Ecclesiastes 1:2 Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher, ‘vanity of vanities, all is vanity’. Sadly, this is very similar to how I spent most of my time flying with PAL. I was distracted by the world. As a Christian, I should be a world changer, not a world chaser. In PAL, I chose the latter.

The Epistle of Paul to Titus, (chapter 2) talks about the saints denying ungodliness & worldly lust, seeking the Lord, living soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. I wasn’t seeking the Lord while I was flying for PAL. I placed Him behind, and navigated my life the way I wanted to. (Nagmarunong nanaman po ako. Feeling ko nanaman I could take care of my self.) For a few months, I was delusional, the world ate me up. — And that, I do not want happen ever again. I pray that His grace sustains me in my new journey with the new Airlines I am currently training for.

I’m already on my last 2 weeks at training to once again be a Flight Attendant. I am very grateful that He gave me another chance to pursue this career. So far, training has been very good, I can say it’s lovelier the second time around. By Grace, my Quiet Time has been good. By Grace, I would get better grades at my exams, nothing below 90%, I pray it remains this way until the end. By Grace, I would enjoy getting to know the 18 new classmates I have at training (but of course I love pa din my PAL ICCT16-12 family, the #Victorious1612 lol) and more women from other batches, some of different nationalities. My prayer for this brand new journey, I tweaked it a bit: that none of the things I would be tasked to do in this new opportunity given to me will be in vain, that I do not value this opportunity above God in my life, that I do not take it for granted, and that it humbles me, MORE & ALWAYS. May I never find the world pleasurable. May I never ever forget my First Love, Jesus Christ.

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 On top of it all, I’ve witnessed and experienced that my faith in Christ Jesus is the ultimate job entrusted to me. The faith I have that He graciously poured out through and in me is my ultimate standards of pursuing a career. Life on earth is brief, time is running, why would I settle for things that do not have eternal bearing? In case that happens again, which I hope not, please rebuke me.

Few more weeks till graduation day. May I give Him glory for the rest of my time at training, post grad, and beyond. To my failures, to redirection, to new endeavours, to success, to every sadness turned to gladness, to God be all the glory!

Magnificat: Chapter 1

Yesterday, we did a shoot for a very special brand that will be launching in 2 months. It’s called MAGNIFICAT, meaning: My soul magnifies the Lord. I can’t tell much about it for now, but feel free to follow it on Instagram for future updates: @magnificatph 😉

This is the highlight of my Christian walk so far that I thank and magnify the Lord for: 

My improving view on theology and understanding of the Bible. I’m learning the true context of the Word and unlearning ideas that may feel correct & sound correct and acceptable to me. I grasped also that just because a pastor/preacher/teacher say something nice and uplifting doesn’t mean it’s right and aligned with what the Scripture has to say. I learned that I shall not be after “hyper grace”, that I shall not view my God only as my provider and blesser, but ultimately, as my Greatest Blessing. What if He wanted me to live a life like Job’s? The man who lost his family and all his possessions and lived in misery, would I still love Him? Do I really love Him, or I’m just enticed by the idea that He can give me whatever I want? 

For my firmer and deeper understanding of the Truth, I used to listen to lots and lots and lots of preaching online of my then favorite pastor from the USA, I had to stop listening to him because not everything he says are leading to true salvation, to the Bible’s context. Most of the time, he’s just hyper. I’m learning the importance of relying on the Scripture alone (Sola Scriptura), that I may not be confused at people’s theology, and that I may develop building my walk with my God towards a foundation that’s not easily broken, easily swayed by the world & myself that is still in very much need of sanctification. I would always say, since I became a Christian, that the Bible taught me “everything”, showed me how filthy my heart was (and still is at times), corrected many things in my life and developed my convictions. If that’s the case, then all the more I shall read and study it. I’ve never enjoyed reading the Bible the same way I do now. A few months back, I would read it for the wrong reasons, I’d also share & interpret it wrongly. I would say I do love Jesus but I wouldn’t go deeper in the faith. I wouldn’t study my Bible and I’d give and excuse that I don’t have to be a Bible scholar to be a true discipler. But logically, I cannot love someone I do not know, I cannot say I am close with somebody and not know the history of His life. That does not necessarily mean I have to be a Bible scholar, but the Word is readily available, I do have time, I just didn’t want to get to know my God because I was lazy. I didn’t want to learn. There you go, one of the reasons why Jesus had to die for me. 

I have read the entire Bible but I haven’t really understood it. Right now, I graciously have the desire to learn MORE, I believe it’s the Lord that placed this desire in my heart, cause I didn’t have it then. I’m excited on how my faith may be even more improved, excited to learn how to love more, because loving isn’t innate in any of us, remember? If we are true Christians, we shall accept this reality. There’s nothing good in us, even a tiny bit. That’s also one thing I’ve confirmed, that I’m only good because of Grace, apart from it, all I have to offer are garbage, because my so-called-goodness are all in vain, if not done for Christ’s glory. 

I must decrease. He must increase.  

GAVAGIVES.com 

I was GAVA’s very first employee back in 2015. I began as its Marketing Associate and returned 2 months ago as its Brand Development Manager. Meaning, more responsibilities, broader view on how it may effectively grow (internally) as a team and (externally) as anyone’s crowdfunding platform for fundraising. I thank my boss, who is also someone I consider a very good friend and sister-in-Christ, Ms. Ann, Gava’s Founder and CEO for the trust she has given me to serve Gava again. Prior to my return, I had so much fears, I just came from a failure as a Flight Attendant in Philippine Airlines and I was scared of once again being a disappointment to any company. I was torn between choosing Gava or staying with PAL to temporarily try out a different career opportunity before I can train to fly again. I prayed hard and I was directed to choosing Gava for Biblical and practical reasons. 

I’m now on my 2nd month with Gava. So far, I’d say that God has been really gracious on how He continually humbles my heart since He brought me back here. I love my expanding network at it, how I would have a close encounter with different charity foundations and non profit organizations volunteers/managers. I’ve seen successful personal fundraising campaigns and how it has helped a lot of people. I’ve witnessed a family who fought for the life of their sister/daughter, a birthday-for-a-cause fulfilled, animal rescue campaigns, a father reunited with his family, people protecting the country’s president, and a whole lot more. Each program/campaign with the desire to help, to give, to fight for a cause. 

I think I mentioned this before in one of my old blogs, that I don’t support and promote what I do not believe in, it may seem exaggerated but it’s the way it is. I’m pretty sure a lot of us would have that principle too. Gava has always been a company I highly have faith in. Anyone would be so blessed to work for a company that has the mission to give and the vision to see a lot of lives transforming through giving. I do not see it as a regular business, a typical job, it is vitally what our society needs now. In a generation where everyone’s always online, where millennials would want to make a difference, Gava is one ultimate gateway to help our society, school, community, church, foundations and advocacies through online giving. 

There is nothing that I have now that I did not receive. Every good and perfect gift I have is from Above, from my Lord. I do not possess even my own possession. This alone, is a liberating motivation why I give back. 

Let’s give through Gava. 

www.gavagives.com 

Mama: Elo’s Pregnant, Ela’s Getting Married – Me: Whaaat???

Yes. That was my initial reaction when I first heard from my mom that my younger sisters, the twins are taking huge dramatic decisions in their own separate lives. A little background, they both just turned 25 last June, they’re a bit young for these kinds of circumstances (well, for me). Days after their birthday, the first news my mom popped to our chat group was Elo’s pregnancy. I was shocked and worried because she’s not married with her fiancé yet. I initially wanted to talk to her, nag, get mad, total outburst of emotion cause I was very frustrated. But I had to control my self, I just cried in my room instead, called and spoke to Ela. We prayed and dedicated the baby to Jesus. Few weeks later I was on the phone with Mama and she brought up and asked me more than twice if I already got to talk with Ela about her plans. I irritatingly replied to my mom that her plan is to come back to Alabama and be with our family in a month (she’s currently in Georgia with her fiancé for about 2years). And then Mama revealed to me that Ela changed her decision, her fiancé, Dylan proposed to her again after not fulfilling his promise of marrying my sister right when he took her to Georgia, and she said yes to the proposal. He got my parents’ blessings too. I was sad a minute after I found out. It felt like everything we prayed for on her life situation was thrown away. But there was a sudden switch of emotion in my chest as my mom continually explained it to me, thank God. 

Next thought that came in my head was: who am I to judge my sisters? I’ve disappointed my parents too in a lot of ways, I was even worse than the two. That moment, I felt like I was the goody-good older brother in the Parable of the Lost Son. Becoming angry and complaining in my head about my parents’ acceptance on the twins’ plans. Check out Luke 15:28. Mama even mentioned that Ela was scared to tell me. So I had to pause and thoroughly think about my stand and check my heart so I won’t be quarreling with my sisters when I call them. 

Let’s segue for a bit: I began my walk with Jesus months after the twins left the Philippines to be with our family in the USA, imagine now how I was to them as an older sister. I was an awful one. When they were still in the Philippines, more than 5years ago, I didn’t really play the role of an “ATE” to them. We’d always fight, they’d see my tantrums with my former boyfriend and they’d get really irritated at me, there was even a time that I took drugs in front of them, and I’d encourage them to smoke, drink and party. Why am I bringing this up? Truth is the root of my frustration wasn’t cause of their decisions but because I thought things would’ve been different if I was a Christlike sister to them back in the days. That really saddened me. 

Here’s what I learned though: Isaiah 43:18-19 says “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” The least I shall put my attention on is the past and the negative stuff. I shall not condemn myself, neither my sisters. I know that everything has consequences and we cannot skip that, God is just and must punish sin and He remains gracious and loving at the same time. Again, I shall not underestimate how He can and will work in the hearts and lives of my sisters, and my entire family. We all are a work in progress.

Right now, I try to look at the bright side of it: that they both have someone to love and pursue them for as long as they live. Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.💜 That instead of being anxious I may just be more prayerful: for the baby to be healthy and the marriage to flourish. What’s also nice is that their soon to be husbands, my brothers-in-law seem to love them well. Well, we will all continually pray for that. And for Elo and Ela also to be prepared for family and married life — with Jesus as their guide and in the center of their family. Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. I was able to talk with Ela and congratulated her. The wedding is on August and we are all excited. I also got to message Elo, prayed for the baby. She’s giving birth on December and we are even more excited. I sincerely felt that it was peaceful doing it. I also think my sisters are delighted with our family’s support. 

Thank You, Lord for the forgiveness of our sins and for the gift of life and marriage. I above pray that we can all love, fear and obey you at the same time that you may be glorified truthfully and mightily in our lives. Entrusting my family to you. Love you! Xx