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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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

Single Christian Woman Diary

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

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

Psalm 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Dear False Lover (Part 2)

Dear False Lover (2),

Hi. Nope, you didn’t expect me to write you for the 2nd time. But I did. Surprise. Hindi ko sinasabayan ang mga stats and year end posts ng mga tao just cause it’s New Year, hindi din hyped yung emotions ko. In fact, pakiramdam ko mas matino na ako mag-isip ngayon. More reasonable than emotional. Emotional: on that note, I’m still a work in progress. Kaya thank God pa din, dahil may progress.

Medyo matagal na din since I last wrote you Dear False Lover (1), May of 2016. It’s been a year and a half. Madami ng nangyari sakin, and I’m sure sayo din. I’m sure? Well yes, cause I’d still check your Instagram once in a while. Not to weigh kung may nararamdaman pa ako para sayo, matagal na natin tinapos kung ano man yung meron tayo. Normal lang naman siguro maging curious paminsan-minsan.

So what’s the point? Why would I write you another letter? Well, eto na. I noticed that my first letter to you was too heavy. Parang galit na galit dahil sa sobrang sakit and sobrang bigat as if I was the only victim sa pag cameo natin sa buhay ng isa’t isa. Eh parehas lang naman tayong biktima ng sin, ni Satan. I noticed too that I blamed it all to you. I don’t even remember kung humingi na ba ako ng tawad sayo. So that’s the purpose of me writing you again, para mag-sorry.

I’m deeply sorry that my heart was full of pain and pride at the same time. I’m sorry I had to go through the process of healing, along with that involved me hating you. I didn’t acknowledge my sin. I was insecure. I was motivated by selfishness. I was desperate. I was a false lover myself. I was lost. Kaya sobrang sorry cause I blamed you for the sin I chose to make. Gusto ko din sabihin that I’ve already forgiven you. Kapal naman ng mukha ko if I wouldn’t forgive, kung si God nga napatawad ako sa dami ng kasalanan ko.

Hindi ako naniwala na time heals, I believe only Jesus can absolutely do that. Or maybe He heals in His’ time? Pero yun nga, Jesus heals. It took me a while to digest all these. But I’m grateful I reached this point. I’m grateful I’m able to finally say sorry, forgive you, and myself. Sana napatawad mo na din ako.

Ang saya ko to start the year with this blog. Kasi diba makakapagsimula lang naman tayo ng maayos at tama kung mapayapa yung heart natin. The Father’s forgiveness through the Son set me free. Forgiveness is always freeing, it’s always the key to true healing. Easier said than done. Pero legit. I can attest now, totoo. I’m free. Plus, I can’t really consider myself a Christian kung wala sa sistema ko ang pagpapatawad at paghingi ng tawad.

Alam mo yung song na Grace Changes Everything ng Victory Worship?

“There’s no sin too great

There’s no pain too deep

The cross declares it is done

There’s no shame too real

That His love won’t heal

Forever the victory is won”

It is finished. Christ took it all, the pain, the shame, the anger, the pride in my heart, the bitterness, my sin. The old is gone, the new has come. Kaya again, I’m sorry, my brother in Christ.

O sya. Yun lang. Praying for grace upon grace upon grace sa buhay mo. God bless you!

Sincerely,

(Insert Name)

Mali, mali. Isa pa.

Sincerely,

Ria

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

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.  

An Open Letter to my Baby Sister

Dear V,

Hi. You know I would always claim it, that you actually are my sister from another mother. Even if it was literally a “job” for me to take care of you then, it didn’t feel like it. I owned the title of being your personal assistant & manager — extended to being your mentor, leader, ate, and I didn’t have to get paid for that. 

Remember when we were struggling to book you modeling gigs/shows then? And now you get unlimitted offers, left and right. But that wasn’t really the highlight of our time together. Let me refresh your mind for a bit! It was us being each other’s church buddy. Friday youth service, Sunday services, One-2-One sessions, waiting on the line to get a cab and we didn’t really care even if it was taking forever cause we had so much to talk about and so much to thank Him for. Those were just few the many, and I’ll always cherish them. 

I liked the depth of your desires to find answers to your theological questions, that some I had a hard time answering already lol. I’m sorry for the times you probably needed someone to talk to and I wasn’t there. I was having my own struggles. But please keep in mind that I’ll forever be a big sister to you no matter where He allows you to go. That’s a promise. Let me know when I can call, okay? Let me know when I can go pick you up.

I love you, Vanessa. Jesus loves you above all. Don’t ever forget that. 

Sincerely,

Ria Xx

PS May you always take this verse with you wherever you may be, that whenever life gets confusing, you have a solid foundation to hold on to, and you’ll never be lost. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2💞


Choosing Christ is worth it. Wait on Him. 

Xenia in Pampanga 

Xenia is the name of the hotel I’m staying in at Clark, Pampanga. According to Wikipedia: Xenia is the ancient Greek concept of hospitality, the generosity and courtesy shown to those who are far from home and/or associates of the person bestowing guest-friendship.

Xenia is the exact same thing I’ve experienced here in Pampanga when our kind, beautiful inside-out (you can tell from her countenance) and hospitable Purser, Ma’am Ella Hizon treated us for lunch at Everybody’s Cafe, the home of authentic Kapampangan Cusine. We were too hungry that I wasn’t able to take photos of the food anymore. I had garlic shrimp and fish while my crewmates ate 🐸 frogs and crickets (eww lol).😋
After having lunch, Purser Ella welcomed us to their beautiful heritage home in the city of San Fernando. It’s sooo lovely and sooo neat.😭 I want a home like this too one day. 

Another Xenia experience I had was when I met the cutest hospitable dog, Penny! My gosh. I’m not kidding, she’s the first and only dog who is able to lick my face like this. I’m not really much into pets but Penny is an exception, she’s just as nice as her masters (Ma’am Ella and her family). I even got to have a photo shoot with her in their classic-classy-clean bathroom. 

Oh Penny!!! I love and miss you already!!!😿 If only I could take you home. 
These are some of the many nice things happening in my life lately. Mind you, that’s just a few hours of the many lovely days. God is so good. I pray that He continues to pour out His blessings of joy&serenity to the lives of His hospitable servants, like Ma’am Ella. Bible says in Hebrews 13:2 not  to neglect to show hospitality to strangers. I also pray that I would increase in love through hospitality. 

I’m ending this blog with these wise words of Peter: His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.2Peter 1:3-8

Let’s persevere in acquiring these qualities. By God’s grace, may we live out this faith we have pleasing the Lord by being kind to one another. Have a blessed week ahead people of Jesus! Xx 

The Unmarried Wife Aftermath 

I’ve been reserving my thoughts on adultery for a book I wanted to write in the future that I haven’t even drafted yet. But cause I watched such an impactful movie last night, it could no longer wait. Forget about the book. This isn’t a movie review. This is my piece, not out of research, but out of a bold experience. First, let me state that falling in love with a married man was the dumbest, most selfish decision I did, most unloving path I chose, most painful event that ever happened in my life. This proved how filthy and sinful I was, and how much I needed Christ to take over every part of my being. I was so lost, so insecure, so stupid.

I thought I already knew Christ when it happened. I thought I was already leading people to Him. I was so defensive thinking I wasn’t doing anything wrong. But it unfolded right before my eyes, seeing people in pain and confused because of my hardheadedness,  and deep in my core I did not have joy & peace. It took me months not being able to sleep well, I’d wake up in the middle of the night being hunted by the thought, the TRUTH rather. “Adultery is a sin, it’s a trap, it’s a curse, get out of it.” But I was stubborn, wrestling with God and defending my situation to Him over and over again, and I’d call myself a “mature” Christian then, what a shame! I’d ask for signs. I’d always land on Bible verses telling me to let go, but I wouldn’t. It was so tough. I felt like I was being the ultimate hypocrite for proclaiming the Gospel and not living out His’ 7th commandment: THOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY. I battled hard with the Truth, fought so hard, it left me tired & empty.

Until God’s GRACE came to pull me out of  my sin. He sent people who courageously rebuked and reminded me of my worth in the Him. There were literally a lot of them who prayed and petitioned to Him for me. He’d talk to me through my Bible reading, church services, even podcasts and worship songs. He persistently tells me to surrender, that He has greater and way better plans for me than I had for myself. Again, my plans were very selfish. This blog is an understatement of how Christ, my Lord and Savior miraculously worked in my life on this matter. He pulled me out of sin, pulled me out of adultery. And I couldn’t thank Him enough for the genuine freedom and love that I experience now through Him and the right people He brought to my life to appreciate the unceasing love He has for me through them.

This goes to you who find it so hard to let go, you may be in a situation similar with my past sin, or you have something/anything else that you believe in your heart God’s telling you to let go of but you couldn’t. I will not lie to you, the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, and I know how hard it is. But I beg you, your future is at stake here, just let go. It may not make sense at first, but just let go. It hurts so badly, but let go. God didn’t die for you only to live in a distorted and deceptive love promoted by the world. Surrendering is hard but it will be worth it. Hold on to your faith, to the Gospel, and the only absolute truth. What God has put together, let no man separate. Leave before it’s too late, or even if you feel like it’s too late already, leave anyway. Because God will never bless a relationship He didn’t orchestrate. All His’ plans are GOOD, PLEASING and PERFECT. Choose to obey, choose His’ Master Plan. The hurt, you will be able to endure it because He will be with you, you’re not in that alone, He will be your comfort and strength as you go through the process of letting go, asking for forgiveness, healing, and forgiving yourself. He will never leave nor forsake you. Like He did to me, like He always do.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans6:23