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.

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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!!!

When Your Past Sins Hunt You

I’ve been consistently dreaming of my past sins for more than a week. I tried to ignore it but it bothered me until I finally saw myself again leading to a situation/scenario very close to it.

Lust, what goes with this sin? Adultery, immorality, fornication, maliciousness. These are sins that I find very hard to admit, especially because I think it’s very embarrassing, you sin against your own body when you commit it, but these were my sins and I cannot and shall not conceal them.

I’ve learned, through the help of my sisters in Christ, to get to the root of why these sins would mentally affect me again. If I’m truly a new creation in Christ, why would I still be bothered by it? They’re just dreams, but just like what my mentor told me, dreams are things I cannot control; most of the time it reveals things I may be longing for. I was able to point out that those lustful dreams would resurface because of my desire for affection, to be with someone, to be married, to have a “God’s Best” as we call it in church. I recently watched a love story movie, and that triggered emotions in me too. Now, I’m more aware of the things I shall be careful of watching for I tend to over romanticise fictitious matters. I realised that purity isn’t merely keeping yourself sexually inactive, purity is a pursuit of the mind & the heart too. Purity in protecting my emotions from wandering at ideas and thoughts that may ruin my sanity. I also had to admit (to my long distance accountability partners, Carla/Cherish and Dia/Divine) that I’d long to be affirmed, to be loved, to be wanted. Sin begets sin. My lustful dreams caused by my dissatisfaction in Christ led me to days of rambled thoughts and anxiety. I felt as if there were so many issues in my life that I have yet to deal with, that I have to fix, & I felt paralysed at solving them all at the same time, that it eventually frustrated & confused me even more.

On the week of my struggle, a verse from Psalm 51 kept iterating in my head: “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation & grant me a willing spirit to sustain me”. I believe God would also speak to me through James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” What could be more direct than that?

After I read it, someone from the past all of a sudden sent me an invite to have coffee with him. I met that man at the peak of my lostness & I’d sin with him. I’m glad that the Holy Spirit in me is just too wise to recognize baits. I replied with: “sure ☺️” it was then that I also realised that I’m always just a tiny tilt closer to going back to my old self. But God won’t let that happen. I immediately became accountable to my friends in the faith, I told them to stop me from doing things I’m sure I would regret. I asked for prayers.

Before my flight to Paris, I was alone in my room, crying, confessing my sins to God, being sorry for all I’ve done in the past and during that week. I’d listen to sermons that gave me a fresh understanding of my identity in Jesus: that I am His coheir, that I am His bride, that I am His bondservant. I think part of my joy’s restoration is to get to this part all over again, Psalm 51 also says it is not in sacrifices that the Lord is delighted, but His sacrifices are a broken spirit, He will not despise a broken and contrite heart. Oh yes, I will never outgrow my need for the Gospel. I had nothing to offer, only my tears, my brokenness, my fear of losing my salvation (which by grace, will never happen), and my knees bent down and my hands up high, telling Him: “I’m sorry, forgive me, I’m tired, I surrender.”

My prayer before my flight to Paris was to spend time with Jesus as I get there. My initial plan after my afternoon tour was to go to a wine place at night and drink after a quick rest in the hotel. You see how contradicting my plans are with my prayer? But He cleverly didn’t wake me up, I set my alarm at 9pm and I didn’t hear it at all, I woke up at 12 midnight instead, where everything was closed, it was already dangerous to go out, my flying partner was asleep, I couldn’t even order for food — because what I needed that very moment was spiritual food. God has irresistible ways of getting my attention. He wins, always. I had a three hour quiet time with Him. He spoke to me through Exodus, which talks about the Israelites complaining to Moses and wanting to go back to Egypt. “Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness,” (Exodus 14:12 ESV). Many times in my life I’d be like that, unconsciously desiring to return to my Egypt out of impatience, because of the inconsistency of my trust and reverence to the Lord, & ultimately because of my lack of understanding on who He is that pollutes my confidence on His plans for my life. I wouldn’t look to Jesus, I was so focused at my sins that I’d forget the vastness of my God’s love for me.

You know what brought me to total peace after it all? Moses’ response to the Israelites: “And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”” Exodus 14:13-14

I will never ever forget that morning in Paris, God confirmed to me that it is finished. The sin of lust is done in my life, for Christ has delivered me from it. My longing for a husband, well, Christ is my future husband as I marry Him in heaven one day. My anxiety in serving people out of pride and insecurity, wiped away, for I am His bondservant. “For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.” 1Corinthians 7:22 It can’t get any clearer than this. I am free in Jesus Christ. I am not going back to my Egypt.

I think, just like the Apostle Paul, I will always have my thorn in the flesh, sin/s that may hunt me, that may attempt to resurface. Thank God my salvation isn’t based on my emotions, neither the things I do for Him (cause I fail Him most of the time), nor any knowledge I’ve acquired, (for I am foolish & forgetful). I thank Him because even if I’m faithless, He remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. That’s what makes my God supreme, that while I am still a sinner, while I need to face the consequences because of what I did in the past, He died for me. While I’m still struggling, He already worked things out for me. He won’t ever give me any challenge I cannot carry, and even if there seems to be no way out, He will provide a way out.

Please continue to pray for me. I want to know & love Him more. I want to revere and worship Him better. May Jesus be glorified in my life. May I finish the race strong.

•••

Romans 5

Peace with God Through Faith

1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

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. ♥️😌

Brokenness

Never in my entire life have I embraced brokenness until I sincerely understood that it is necessary for my growth as a Christian. I was one of the people deceived by the illusion that Christianity is all about favor and blessings.2 Corinthians 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. Many times in in my earlier years of getting to know Jesus, I’d treat Him like a genie, I’d require Him to grant me all my dreams and earthly ambitions for me to believe in Him. “Lord, give me a crown, make me famous, give me modeling gigs, make me marry at this age. Lord, I really want this, I want him, etc. etc.” This is how I’d pray back then. Full of pride and selfishness. I never wanted His presence, I never asked for more of Him. In most cases, I would end up broken, because He wouldn’t give me what I though I wanted, He always surprises me with what I truly needed. He blesses me with what is unseen, with what the world doesn’t understand, with matters that are beneficial for eternity, for the pruning and moulding of my character.

I’ve learned to love and embrace brokenness because it is necessary for my Christian walk. I am a sinner saved by Grace, if I understand this fully, I must humbly embrace brokenness. I forgot where I heard it exactly but I highly agree that Christians are constant & consistent repenters. Others find it so odd, but it’s exactly what we should be. Not conforming to the world, cause the world says it’s okay, a little sin won’t hurt, a little rebellion is cute. But if we truly are Christians, when we realize the gravity of those ‘tiny sins’, we would be disgusted, they aren’t cute at all. Tiny sins birth death, they are the passageway to our eternal separation from God. 2 Timothy 4:1-3 “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.” Repentance is a privilege that can never be taken away from us Christians, because there isn’t salvation without repentance; and repentance goes hand and hand with brokenness. I’ve never heard of anyone who repented and believed in Christ without being truly broken.

This month has been packed with sanctification and opening of my blind eyes to what I’d label and tolerate as my “tiny sins”. Every time I realize things like these, I’m always reminded of how holy and pure my God is, that He doesn’t allow even a tiny bit of sin to linger. 1 Peter 1:15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” It’s such a shame, but sadly, I’ve been insecure and malicious, I’ve cheated, I’ve lied, I’ve manipulated and used His name in vain, I’ve done things out of conceitedness, I’ve coveted many times in my head, I’d struggle at the same things I never thought I’d still struggle with, & the scars I’d scratch would still give a heavy impact. It breaks my heart & I have to admit to myself all over again that I do not know how to love my God, that my love for Him is conditional, that Grace is the only thing that keeps me alive in the faith, that enables me to desire righteousness. I owe it all to GRACE. Actually, I do not owe it to GRACE, because I can never repay what GRACE has done. I can only give Him praise & thanks, I can only worship Him, Christ, my one and only Grace.

Wanna know what breaks me more? I commit mistakes, I sin again and again, and every-single-time, He’s the One who still and always provides the way out. 2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. It hurts to hurt the Man I’d always shamelessly declare to the world that I do love the most when I couldn’t even love Him right — because I am a sinner.

I don’t know how many times I’ve said this before, but I am tired. I’m tired of hurting Him. I’m tired of sin. I’m sick of my sins that’s why I embrace brokenness. For I know, in time, He’ll take all brokenness aside and make it beautiful. But for now, I gotta go through it. I have to feel it. Remorse cannot be skipped, shame must be felt, sorrow is necessary for it makes us better grasp, how deep, how wide, how great His love is for His people, for those called according to His purpose.

I truly have no participation to my salvation other than my sin and wretchedness. We can never understand the Lord’s love in pride and arrogance, by thinking that we deserve so much more, when we deserve nothing good, and yet His grace came in. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

There’s no such thing as an innately good human being, in my lifetime, I’m the biggest proof of a wretched person I know with innately evil thoughts and deeds. Should that bother me? It is written in Romans 3:10-12 “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Christians, our story doesn’t have to end there. We remain grateful in the midst of troubles, trials and tests. We are still in the midst of brokenness, constantly being sanctified, we aren’t promised that it won’t hurt, but we are promised by our Lord that the narrow path is worth it, that He who endures till the end will be rewarded. God has given us the reason to always hold on to our faith, that He himself provided. It is finished. Your past, present and future sins… forgiven. Paid in full by Christ at the cross in Calvary. It is irrevocable for God doesn’t change His mind, He is a Promise Keeping God. He’ll soon come back for us, His people, His sheeps, His servants, His daughters and sons, His bride. We shall live with Him in righteousness forever.

4 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

BROKENNESS IS NOT A PLACE THAT HE TAKES US SO HE CAN LEAVE US, BUT HE BREAKS US SO HE CAN REMAKE US. CONFORM US TO THE VERY IMAGE OF CHRIST… -Voddie Baucham

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♥️ My prayer:

Psalm 51: 1-4

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.

♥️ My worship:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face; Clothed then in blood washed linen, How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace; Come, my Lord, no longer tarry, Take my ransomed soul away; Send thine angels now to carry, Me to realms of endless day.

(Come Thou Fount by Robert Robinson)

♥️ My declaration:

His love for me shall enable me to love Him genuinely. His love isn’t weak for He isn’t a weak God. His love is more powerful than my sin and shame. My eyes are kept on Christ for nothing can separate me from Him, not even my sin. I am His’, I belong to Christ now until eternity. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

When Enemies Become Roomies

At the beginning of our Training, Frey and I didn’t have a good first impression of each other. I tried assessing the situation, getting my heart checked and asking God why, we’re both Christians and yet we don’t seem to get along well. I immediately judged her and thought that her level of belief in Christ was shallow. How dare I assume that, kapal ko diba? Our first month gave me such a hard time, seeing her in class everyday felt heavy. Sobrang awkward kami sa isa’t isa. Our conversations were empty, and filled with insecurities and pride. Our faces both look unapproachable to some, “mataray-looking” as they say, and maybe that was the reason why we didn’t click right away; we saw a bit of ourselves in each other. I actually felt with Frey what many people would usually tell me on their first encounter with me— ang taray ng aura, hindi ko keri. So there, nag backfire sakin yung feeling na yun.

I’d always believe that first impressions do not last, because I grew up always being mistaken as a bad girl for how I look. But you know what I realized lately? They’re actually right, I am bad, and even worse than what they thought of. I really am bad apart from Christ. I wouldn’t have the effort to smile at people, to remember names & to intentionally build friendship. I’d be picky with my friends, build walls & limitations within my own circle. I would be prideful, though deep down inside I wanted to get to know people, I wouldn’t talk to them because I wanted them to be the first to approach me. Ang OA diba?Sobrang prideful. Ang dami kong possible friendship in the past na pinalagpas dahil sa pride ko. So again, I am absolutely bad when Christ doesn’t rule & reign in me. But HEY HEY HEY it doesn’t have to be that way anymore, right? Having been a new creation in Christ, I must mirror His holiness. “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16 — Wouldn’t this be a solid rebuke to us Christians? I don’t know about you, but this one heavily slapped me. I got so used to putting the blame on others and judging them without being aware of my own attitude. I wouldn’t consider having a character check because I’d innately & selfishly think I that know better. Remember what Christ says in Matthew 7:5? “Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Ouch! Repent! But of course, GRACE ABOUNDS. Praise God for searching my heart and knowing my anxious thoughts, for seeing offensive ways in me and always leading me in the everlasting way.

The tension between Frey and I subsided when I prayed for God to change my heart, (while I didn’t know she was actually praying for herself too), when I confessed the situation to my dgroup in the Philippines & asked them to pray for me. One of my devotions also compelled me to take action, it says that the way for people to know that we are Christ’s disciples is when we love each other; *gasps* basic knowledge in Christianity that I always forget; I cannot say that I’m the Lord’s if I do not love, for God is love Himself. Eventually, God opened an opportunity for us to get to know each other better. It began during our service training, when we didn’t have a choice but to share a meal because we both love seafood, and the stock was limited. Haha! I know, medyo-PG. Who would have thought na food lang pala ang mag-rreconcile samin. But what really brought us two closer is that towards the end of our training, we didn’t have a choice but to be each other’s room mate. Irresistible grace nanaman. I had two room mates before her (Ajla and Dawn, I love and miss them!) and when my 2nd room mate Dawn graduated and moved to Riyadh, I had no choice but to move in the same room with Frey. God moves in funny and mysterious ways talaga! That time, I told Him, “I don’t know what exactly You are up to, but I’m excited & I trust You, so bring it on.”

It’s been 2 weeks being in the same room with my former enemy. I won’t go into details on how it has been, but I feel sooo blessed having Frey as my room mate now. We cry and laugh together, we pray together every night before we sleep. We both acknowledge that we are saved by Grace. We both apologised and asked for each other’s forgiveness. We now call each other sisters in Christ and we believe we’ve got eternity to make chikahan about His goodness. Grabe, madalas kaming napupuyat cause we’re both talkative and we love to share lots and lots of testimonies. Indeed, all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. God is so intentional in making us live in harmony with one another so that we may glorify Him in Christ with a united spirit. (Romans 8:28; 15:5-6) How amazing!

Two more days before we move to Riyadh. We’re both aware that it won’t be easy, there’s more to discover in our newly blooming friendship, not just between us but also among our batch mates, and the thousands of colleagues we are yet to encounter. We’ve got a lot of adjustments to do, we may disappoint each other in the future but we know that the battle isn’t in the flesh but in the spirit, and as long as we have Christ in our center, we’re cool. Christ is our Peacemaker! Yay! ☺️

I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

Dear False Lover


Dear False Lover,

Hi. I’ll try to explain this nicest way possible. First, let me go straight to my request — that you keep your distance from me. Let’s be away from each other because there’s a lot of reasons why we would not want to make our paths cross. We are a waste of each other’s time. We don’t complement each other. We pull each other down. We are clearly not meant to be so why in the world will we still put so much effort to something that’s going nowhere? Let’s not be after temporary pleasure just because we’re bored and feeling lonely. I’m begging you to stay away because relationship is my weakness, you don’t want me to be messing up my life, right? You wouldn’t want to see me unproductive, miserably tangled to you and desperately begging that you love me the way I want to be loved. We don’t want to be hurting each other. I don’t want to keep feeling insecure because of the random women you follow on Instagram, especially the ones in bikinis. I can’t argue about that anymore. And your sneaky private messages to other women, it’s exhausting and draining. I can’t change you. Maybe we really have different standards, which validates it more that we are not meant to be. 

Don’t try to call me, don’t pretend you got wrong send with your text messages. Don’t like my social media posts because it affects me. We could just block each other, I think that’ll make us both easily move on. 

I don’t have time to mess up my life. I have my family and friends and the people who need my attention the most. I don’t want to hurt you, anyone and I don’t want to get hurt too, not anymore. I become selfish when I think of you, I focus on myself and how I’ll please you, how you’ll adore and notice me. It sucks. It’s not my duty to pursue you. Love doesn’t work that way.

Don’t try to justify that you’re the right one for me. You’re not. Love doesn’t lie, it doesn’t make you feel less valued, it doesn’t rush, it’s not kept in the dark, it’s not just you and I, it advances people’s lives and inspires many. Ours doesn’t. It’s always a struggle trying to keep up with how you want us to be. I always try to be in control too, inorganic. I don’t have peace and joy. Where’s the Lord’s blessing right there?  

I hope your life goes well, that you don’t hurt any woman whether intentionally or unconsciously. Don’t get yourself hurt too. May you have the consistent integrity to pursue Christ not just by words, but through actions. May you learn to make a stand for a woman, singular, just one, the one you will courageously love and spend the rest of your life with.

With me, I’ll try my best to do the same. I’ll improve my life and enjoy being single until God’s Best comes. I’ll embrace my solo season, won’t be flirting and dating around. I’ll keep my guard up. And I begin right now. 

Farewell to you. Jesus loves you.

Sincerely,
(Insert Name)

Oh My “gods”

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Why I stopped believing in so many gods and decided to focus on only One?

Here’s why. I grew up believing in so many things. I’ve mastered the world and/or the world mastered me by me taking whatever it puts in my plate. I learned certain knowledge in school, outside school, in the internet, television, papers, through the deceiving and persuasive flowery words of people, I learned everything everywhere and I took to life everything I liked.

There wasn’t anything solid about the things I believed in aside from the fact that it catered to how I wanted things to function in my life, supported my selfish and emotional life decisions, and that I took them all as ego boosters.

Some of the gods I had in my life were the following:

(1) Horoscope – Some time in high school, I’d always wait for the forecast of my zodiac sign to be mentioned on a daily basis in a local morning show. It didn’t end there, in college I was also enticed in reading the zodiac page in magazines and get carried away on what it has to say about my future.

(2) Fortune Telling – Yes, I was exposed to this. I kind of allowed certain words to be planted in my head and my heart which could actually mean a curse for God’s plans for me. It caused me confusion. One man told me that I was going to be a flight attendant and have a lot of boyfriends in the future, even mentioned I’m gonna have a Mexican looking son. And then another fortune teller told me other stuff that don’t match what the 1st one said. It piled up in my head. It confused me and affected my decision making. But I believe God has already released me from all these things, that the chains of imprisonment in those fancy human based thoughts have already been broken. Trust in the Lord alone.

Leviticus 19:26 “You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes.

Deuteronomy 18:10-14 There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this.

(3) Smart people – I can get gullible and easily carried away when I’m faced with an overly smart person who’s very convincing. The thing is not all smart people are biblically smart for knowledge and wisdom are evidently two different matters. Not all knowledge are right, not even all wisdom came from the Lord.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

James 3:14-15 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 

(4) Relationship – Idolatry alert, I desire love so much and there is nothing wrong with it. What makes it wrong is the distortion of my desires for it. Relationship was my god, it was my idol.

Relying on these things devalued God and what He’s capable of doing to my life. Bible says don’t be deceived by the things of the world and don’t practice them. God says don’t rely on human efforts but put our trust in Him alone. Now, I only have One God. The legitimate and the Only One, Jesus Christ. Nobody comes to the Father except through Him. And so I won’t trade Him for the world. Baamm! xx

Shall a woman pursue a man?

Coming home from work yesterday, I realized that almost my whole life I was always the one pursuing the boy/guy/man I like. Back when I was about 7years old I had a crush on my neighbor. I gave him a letter telling him that I like him. In 2nd year high school, I had a crush on a boy from the other class and all my friends knew about it, even the boy I liked knew it too. None of boys I liked pursued me. Perhaps because I wasn’t really as attractive as my other girl classmates were, I was boyish, I’d play basketball, I was the type who wouldn’t get flowers coming from an admirer every Valentines Day. Only my high school girl friends would give me roses back then. Haha. And why on earth did I want to be pursued back in my adolescent years? Uhg.

Every time a boy I liked would begin to like me, I’d refuse and I would eventually realize that I don’t like him anymore. For the ones I didn’t have a crush on, but liked me and courageously laid down their intentions, I’d usually give an instant “NO” and either verbally or mentally state these lines: please don’t like me, my decision won’t change, like someone else, go away. I would impulsively and emotionally do it just to get rid of the person without realizing how damaging my actions/thoughts/words could be to him.

I had 2 (ex) boyfriends, this was back in college. The 1st one pursued me because I saw his photo from a classmate’s phone, I found the guy cute, and I told my classmate to give him my number. I was practically the one who made the 1st move. We started texting, dated for a couple of days, became together, and our relationship lasted for two years. My 2nd boyfriend lasted for two years as well, but I can’t really say that he pursued me too because we just swiftly became together after my 1st boyfriend and I broke up. My relationships lasted pretty long but the foundations were shallow, it didn’t have Christ in the center, it was full of lies, petty arguments and insecurities, no doubt it all ended.

So here’s what I’ve realized: I had a distorted view of how dating/relationship/courtship shall be. I always thought it was okay for a woman to choose and pursue the man she likes. The truth though is that I shall never pursue a man, for it’s a man’s role to pursue a woman. I learned all these the hard and painful way, and I sincerely pray it won’t happen to any of you who’ll be able to stumble upon this blog.

When I learned about Jesus, that’s when I realized that I shall be pursued, for He is my ultimate pursuer even if I kept running away from Him a thousand times, He would still remind me of how much He loves me and He has forgiven me for all the wrong decisions I’ve made in my life. And there’s no condemnation in Him! That’s how much He sees me (us women) so purely and beautifully, just like Boaz’s love for Ruth despite her being a foreigner (she wasn’t Jewish), a widower (she wasn’t a virgin) and a servant girl (she wasn’t wealthy). Ultimately, despite my sinfulness and distorted beliefs, Jesus died for me, that I may be full of hope in believing that true love will come. In Christ, there’s no such thing as “hopeless romantic”, for His’ love for us is full of HOPE. And it’s where our path goes as we surrender our lives to Him. Mind you, it’s a daily surrender.

If you feel like making the first move for a man to like you, don’t. The happiest couples I know went through the right process of courtship. The woman was pursued by the man. The man prayed for the woman, asked the woman from the Lord. It was hard work, there were lots and lots of prayers. The women’s role during the process were to pray and wait. Again, to wait, to patiently wait and not make a single move that may trigger intentions and feelings that shouldn’t be orchestrated in the first place.

A lot of us may be chasing for true love; but as a woman, I believe God told me to stop. Because it was never my role to chase after love. I want to be like Ruth, to not just be seen by any man, but be understood, honored and revered by the one and only man the Lord’s preparing for me. (That’s gonna take a lot of work on my part as well. Faith without action is bs!) I want to be molded and be secured in Jesus at all times, that I may be worth it for His’ best for me. I think I found the right answer for the popular question of Adele’s song that a lot of women would ask: “Should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavements?” Answer (to me) is: give up! If you are a woman, give up the pursuit of the one you think is right for you. Only the Lord knows who’s right for you, and according to my married friends, a man only becomes the “right one”  when there’s peace and joy as he pursues you, when it’s good and pleasing, and doesn’t cause you to breaking the Lord’s commandments.

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I think what made me do all the pursuing are my fears. But I shall know that perfect love drives out fear. That as I immerse myself in the Lord’s Perfect love, all these fears will go away. I’m excited. I hope to this right (this time around), by His’ grace. And if there is One Man that I shall pursue as I patiently wait to be pursued by the one, that has got to be Christ alone. No other man!

(Wrote this April 2015, few add ons today)

A Love I Do Not Want

 Get me outta here.

I don’t want romance, fairy tale, happily ever after, whatever you call it I don’t want it. Keep it away from me.

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I don’t want a love that will drain the character you built in me. Not a worldly kind of love. One that is emotion-driven, that’s been built by deceitful sweet words and pleasurable moments. I don’t want a love that’s forced, a love without your blessing. I don’t want a love that will make me dishonor You, that’ll hurt You, that’ll rob Your good, pleasing and perfect plans for me and for the people around me.

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I don’t want a love orchestrated by my own hands, I’m not a good director, not as good as you. You write a better story than I do. I don’t want anything my mind creates and my heart feels, a love out of my own will and power.
I don’t want a love that hurts people, that steps on somebody, that’s displeasing to anyone. A love that may have a generational negative effect to my family, to my future children, even to my children’s children.

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I don’t want a love like mine, it’s dust compared to what you can create. This is not the love I wanted. This isn’t what I’d pray for. This isn’t my heart’s desire.

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I want a love like Yours. I want to love the way You do. Make me capable, make me selfless, make me courageous and hopeful in pursuing it. Make it firm, very firm that no evil in any form will be able to steal it. I don’t want to be deceived by my heart anymore. Give me a new heart, a heart like Yours, a love like Yours.

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You allowed this to happen because there’s going to be a testimony out of this, not to go with the world’s trend but to prove that it’s possible to get out of a hopeless situation. It’s not about me obeying You, but all about Your grace that sustains this obedience. It’s so hard and painful. I can’t believe I broke Your heart again. And here comes Your unlimited forgiveness pulling me out for the hundredth time from this trouble I caused.

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I want Your love. I want to be secure in it and firmly believe that Your plans will always be better than mine. I don’t want to keep hurting You anymore. I’m sorry. I love you.