Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘God’

Rebooting decisions

I’ve come to a point where I’ve been harboring regrets over the choices I’ve made. There are days when I wonder if I have been richer after taking up psychology or IT instead of Mass Communication. There are also nights when I mourn my decision to leave BPO to pursue the media industry. I could have been at odds with my former co-workers, performing as a manager like them instead of festering my wounds in my failure to become a famous reporter. The 30-year mark in my life (add it with two more years) is another milestone to look back and evaluate myself. What I’ve found was disappointing as I have failed my dreams, my ambitions and myself.

I had shifted from dream to dream as a child. I’ve wanted to become a teacher, a world-renown writer and illustrator, a TV reporter, an advertiser and then a filmmaker. That’s how I’ve ended up in Mass Communication. All I had was passion. I did not realize my college course would never define my final niche. 

I went from job to job. I was given a chance to work as a TV reporter and a segment producer in a small TV station. I attempted going up the ladder by getting into a bigger and more popular station but I did not survive its toxicity. I went back to the corporate world, still not knowing where I should be. Here’s where I’ve recognized the importance of practicality over passion. If I had forseen this twenty years ago, I might have been a richer and a more successful person by now.

But success cannot be found in money or position.

Isn’t it comforting to know that despite of all these circles I have been through, God has this promise imbeded in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I will never forget that peace that washed me like a cool river when I have made my full decision to leave the media industry. God confirmed it even more through other people. It struck me hard when I heard Kris Valloton saay in his teaching (which I will paraphrase) “It dosen’t matter whether we have failed our foremost plans because God still has plan B, C and so on…what matters is His purpose for us.”

I believe I am yet on my way for my purpose to be fulfilled as I continue jumping from crossroad after crossroad. Despite of disappointments, I keep on picking up gems of wisdom. In the end, it is not fame or position that will make me a better person. All these lessons I’ve learned in life will help me find my niche in this life, as well as guiding me to take up the right pathway to my destiny. 

Acting Like A Queen

“Hegai liked Esther and she won his favor. He lost no time in beginning her beauty treatment of massage and special diet. He gave her the best place in the harem and assigned seven young women specially chosen from the royal palace to serve her.”

Esther 2:9

I’ve always felt a dislike towards rich or powerful people. They seem snobbish towards the poor and the disadvantaged. But what I don’t realise is sometimes their regality is a reflection of their true identity that is honorable and pure.

Esther must have been regal in every way, the reason she was chosen to be the Queen of Persia. The six-month treatment given to her seemed to have spoiled her well. But it’s not meant to spoil her. It was meant to mold her into what she was meant to be.

I have been battling with an orphan mindset for a long time. (Maybe that’s why I love to recite the line, “Alms, alms…spare me a piece of bread” with wide, teary Puss In Boots eyes when I was in high school…nah.) But really, I’m 31 but I would move around like a sorry little girl by thinking I should not become better than others. I have always thought I’d offend people when I do. And this what hinders me to my calling.

I believe I have been called to be a leader since I was a kid. I have been placed as a leader in school projects but would not fare well, I believe. Others would see a leadership potential in me that I could hardly see. But I’d always shy away…

But no matter how I run away from the call, it always follow me. There are times I’d do well as an elder, an ate, a leader. But at the back of my mind, I’d tell myself I can’t do this…it’s because I’m afraid of failing.

But Esther, an orphan, did not act like one. Instead, she stood out among others by going beyond the notch. Before she became one, she already acted as a queen and already had the heart of a queen. Besides that, she dislodges all notion that all powerful and rich leaders are aloof and distant to commoners as she saves her Jewish people from being destroyed under Haman’s plan.

Romans 8:17 says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

So being a co-heir is like being adopted into the family of God! Because we accept Jesus into our lives, we share in His inheritance, the glory and yes, even sufferings. But I believe these sufferings are not meant to punish us but they are to refine us, knowing that Jesus Himself has carried the punishment meant for us on the cross. 

I need to act as one who is in authority, just like Jesus. I should not stalk around like a little orphaned girl asking for alms while the Father is willing to give the best for me. I need grace – extra, extra grace to get out of the wounds of the past and break off from the pride of the pity party in order to take the crown and overcome in love and boldness. May I become totally free, so as not to be hindered from what I am being called for.

Ending An Old Dream

I am beginning to cut myself from various organizations I’ve worked with a few years ago. For the last two weeks, I’ve been sending text messages and e-mails to their media officers to remove my name from their list of recipients. I have nothing to do with the press releases I have been receiving for a long time, now that I am not a part of any media body anymore.

I’ve come to a moment in time that I would want to completely turn away from a career I once esteemed highly: a reporter. For four years, I’ve been part of various coverage that had made their niche in history. I have witnessed newsworthy events that tingled my adrenaline to grab a good story, as well as having the privilege to brush elbows with the popular and even the notorious. But I have to leave that all behind now.

I guess I’m getting old. I have become tired of spending countless hours of staying up late just to finish a story. I am also tired of being ubiquitous wherever the desk or the executive producer demands. I want to work in peace. I want to live a normal life.

But it doesn’t mean I regret having this career.

I would always cherish this season in my life as memorable, not because of the prestige its label bring, but because of the lessons I’ve garnered and the character -refinement have undergone. I’m not as brave as I look, but it boosted my guts to go out and face silly questions like “Does anybody watch your station?” or try not to panic at a raging rally. It shifted my views from being apathetic to being sober to the things happening around me. But most of all, it humbled me to be the one to deliver the story and not to be the one the story centers at.

This season has ended. The moment I turned away from it, the moment I also turn away from the bitterness of being unrecognized for a long time. Being a reporter does not last forever anyway. What’s important is that I keep my focus to the God who carries me from season to season, His overwhelming love and grace washing away the disappointments I’ve received from the past.

Dwelling In His House

“One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.”

Psalm 27:4
I was ironing my clothes when I had the fun of memorizing the first six verses of Psalm 27. I couldn’t help but go back at verse 4 over and over again, as this has become the favorite of many of us who are in love with Jesus.
Here’s one thing I realized while meditating on this verse. While this cry from the psalmist’s heart has become our heartfelt prayer, too, the Lord has already answered it through His Word, too.
1 Corinthians 3:16 reminds us, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” God’s has given His promise of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling to those who have given their lives to Christ. As we stand as the temple of His Spirit, we have access to His glory and His beauty which we can gaze all the rest of our lives. We don’t have to look for His presence from some distant place as He Himself is already living within our hearts.
I have been praying Psalm 27:4 but was surprised to know that God has already answered it. But this doesn’t mean I have to disregard it. Instead, I have to ask for an increase of awareness and of desire to walk with His closely, I can hear the sweet rhythm of His heartbeat.

Words Of Might On the Walls

I was getting ready to bed after a long day when I was captivated by an old framed picture in our house with these words…

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This gave me encouragement and a reason to be thankful for having real friends. I’m not rich with a millionaire’s bank account, but I realize I’m richer in God’s love through friends who don’t mind my status quo but who just love me for being myself. This wall decor has been with us with years and I never thought it would speak again powerfully. Here it quietly lies along the others in a small corner beside my room, where our eyes pass by them everyday but their existence is nearly taken for granted.

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I used to muse at each one of them when I was a small girl scratching the walls with various colored pens. I thought some of them was too dull to look at, so maybe I could make up a little story on one of them:

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As I was growing up, I would meditate at each of them from time to time. I believe this one has been the motto of most Christian families:

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This one is also a favorite verse during Sunday school days because it’s easy to memorize.

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As for this one, I pray the same for you.

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One little framed picture above them was a prayer for marriage. I have not mused on that yet, maybe because it’s not yet the season. 🙂

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My favorite among them is this framed poem of “Footprints In the Sand”. I’ve always wondered if real sand was used in this mixed artwork and marvelled at how Jesus can be that loving after reading the poem over and over again.

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Topping them all was this short but popular quote among Bible-believing Christians in my generation. That used to scare me as a kid because I haven’t had the grasp of what salvation was all about. I once thought that heaven was boring because I thought that we’d do nothing in eternity but play harps among the clouds.

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Lastly, the sides are furnished with these decors made if shells with a nearly fading handpainted blessing.

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Dust has already settled on them but the words they contain still carry the same power that can change lives. From time to time, I can’t help but stop and stare at one, and let me consider God’s promises in my life. I guess this is the reason they remain hanging on our wall. We just can’t take away God’s Word off our lives because it makes us alive. The time will come that these decors may deteriorate just like us, but for a season they have served the purpose of bringing back to our hearts of God’s covenant with us.

A Penny For A Thought

Ever wonder if the King of kings is fascinated with the cheerful laughter of an innocent child amidst the formalities of a Sunday service?

Or the silence of the winds on the trees while the drums blare wildly?

Do you ever wonder if these unnoticed signs say more than those we think say already much?

When are we going to communicate with our inner being that can secretly reach the Almighty without rocket science?

Once we do, would we be surprised if we discover new treasure folds of wisdom more amazing than the most mysterious of galaxies?

Never Letting Go Of the “One Thing”

Quiet TimeSunshine creeps into my room. Little birds called maya perch by my window to awaken me with their mischievous but sweet chirping. I breathe in the morning air despite having a stuffed nose, a daily sign of having allergic rhinitis.

Still, I sit up, meditate, and pray. When I open my Bible, revelation overflows, an encounter with God occurs. This is the One Thing I want to live up for. This is the One Thing I cannot trade with anything else with the world.

In this season of waiting, I am restored back to His presence and His intimacy. Like the psalmist in Psalm 27, I learned to pray: “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.” (verse 4).

I’ve lost this when I was working. I’ve been focused too much on the thrill of being a part of daily news events that I’ve lost focus on the God who is sovereign over these events. I forgot that there is more worth in His presence than being among congressmen and senators. I struggled with my daily prayer walk with God. I tried to seek him but ended up exhausted and stressed. But deep in my soul, I am thirsty; thirsty for the Living Waters that can refresh me.

Most of all, I was hungry for an intimate fellowship with the Lord.

The experience of encountering God was all I desire. To hear, see, and know Him was all I could ask for. After the moment I resigned from my job, my empty cup was filled to the brim. Day and night, I sought for His presence. For the first time after all these years, I stayed locked in my secret place to wait upon the Lord for hours. I never thought I could experience what I used to envy the routine great men of God were able to do.

All that four years of prestige, ambition, and achievement can never make up for that moment of staying in God’s presence. I felt that every reward this world has given me was nothing compared to the sweetness of intimacy with the Lord. Oh, I my dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

But in all these, this waiting moment is my time to pray for the coming days. Oh, that God would guard my heart on the moment I return to the competitive world. Let me not make the same mistake of worrying as I wait for a new job. Let me keep on pushing in prayer, trusting in the Lord after I have done my part to apply for a new job. But, I pray that this fellowship would not stop the moment I go back to work. May it flourish not only in my life but in the life of many as well.

The blanket of darkness now hovers over my little village. Silence cloaks the dusty roads that were once invaded by the sound of playing children and roving motorcycles in the morning. Once again I am alone in my room, having nothing but my pen and notebook, my Bible, and myself. Come again the silence. Come again the longing heart. And upon my waiting, I hear His voice once again, breaking me into tears, tendering my heart to heart His heartbeat once more. This is the One Thing I am to live for. This is the One Thing that can never be compared to any other prestige in this world.

Redeeming Broken Promises

broken promiseI wonder what makes people break their promises. For a number of reasons, I have been offended by so many friends who were not true to their word. I have a list of those significant ones who had gravely offended me. But the deeper offense was they callously walk away from it. I must admit these have greatly disappointed me, reason enough for me to get even.

Who wouldn’t be disappointed when a friend did not pay for your fare after he said he would when you to accompany him to enroll in a university? Or when somebody disregarded the farewell gift he promised you before he goes abroad or before you resign from the company you both worked in? How about when a really special friend did not take you to the special place he has been telling you from the beginning? Perhaps, these things are small and unimportant to the ones who released these vows. Yet, it means a lot to those who had received these promises.

Words are very significant. They should not be taken lightly. They are not made of thin air, but of power that can bring life and death. If sticks and stones can hurt us, words can hurt us more. How much more words that have been withdrawn from our trust, not having any closure on the matter? Most in this generation have lost the sense of commitment, watering down perspective on the power words can bring.

Broken promises can destroy relationships and unity, signifying that the promise-bearer is not a person of honor. Every promise released is a binding thread between lovers, friends, family, and master and student.

I am not being proud here. I have my share of delayed promises, but I’d always make sure that I keep my word, no matter how long it had taken.

So, how about the list of broken promises? I leave them into the hands of my promise-keeping God. He is the One true Promise Keeper. His promises to look after you, to provide for you, and love you has never failed, generations after generations. What did He do to that list? He burned them up. He wanted me to show that His grace towards the promise breakers is wider than these broken promises. That I have to follow His example of giving them a second chance. He has given us endless chances to turn away from breaking promises while He waited for us.

I’m so glad that there are always second chances given to us who are never perfect in every way. But we have to learn how to forgive, let go, and begin anew. The Lord has been that graceful. There are times that I feel so ashamed that He can be more faithful to me than I could ever be.

Perhaps, one day, these broken promises will be redeemed. It might not be the same as before, but given another chance, they can be mended along with the trust that has been ripped with it.

Jumping Into the Pool

Here’s a devotional I wrote way back in 2011. After finding this while cleaning my bin, I’d like to share it to you. Hope you’ll be blessed 🙂

I wonder why of all the sick people at the Pool of Bethesda, Jesus only healed the invalid man who must have stayed the longest there. I wonder how come not all the sick the people flocked Him when this guy was healed.

Jesus had mercy for everyone for sure but He focused on this man. As tradition says, when an angel touches the pool, the first person jumping into it will be healed (I wonder if this was for real – maybe it was like believing a quack doctor or something). The invalid man, though, couldn’t make it. Somebody always jumps before him. Who would care anyway? It’s like first come, first served! And everybody there was as eager as any hospital patient who wants the care and attention of the only resident doctor. Jesus, seeing how tradition had bounded the poor guy (he has been there for thirty-eight years!), was also eager to heal him.

Before He can perform any miracles, He asked first if he wants to be healed (verse 6). Here we can see how the Lord can be as a gentleman. Well, the man sadly – and indirectly – told Jesus that he wanted to but can’t. He did not even know that he was already talking to Israel’s popular Rabbi! Yet, Jesus just told him to “Get up, take your mat, and walk!” Now who wouldn’t be dumbfounded with that reply? Yet, the man was obedient enough and had faith enough just to do as He said.

Jesus got no favorites. I’m sure He had mercy for all the sick people who were there (oh, how He loves us so He wants the whole world to be saved!). But, take note…this WAS Jerusalem and as He said, “No prophet is acceptable in his hometown” (Luke 4:24). Also, that’s where the oppression against Him was the strongest and sadly, until now, not the whole of Israel believes in Him.

As He can discern the hearts of man (Mark 2:25), He must have seen hunger in the man. It’s a hunger for healing, and thus, it can lead him to believe in anything (even if he had to wait for thirty-eight years just to jump into the pool). So, though he could have been dumbfounded with Jesus’ command to get up, take his mat, and walk, he just did it! He must have had such a faith to do such a thing knowing he was an invalid for a long, long time.

Jesus is looking for hungry hearts. In our world today, so many set aside God, but He reveals Himself to those who are hungry enough to know Him. I’ve heard stories of people who have not heard of Christ becoming born-again because He shows Himself to them through visions and other miracles. How come? They were so hungry to know the real God!

Miracles only happen when the person being prayed with has that faith enough to believe (Hebrews 11:6). It goes the same with salvation (Galatians 3:22). It only goes to those who believe.

Hunger and faith are not only meant to the unsaved. We are also called to be filled with such characteristics. Revival will happen if we are hungry for Him and we believe Him enough to shake the whole earth. I pray we will soon all get to a higher level of faith and hunger and see Him reign over the earth once and for all! Glory be to God!

Crimson Shadow

Just like almost every else in the world, I am one of those who anticipated the “blood moon”. I remember, seeing a lunar eclipse when I was in high school, but not as red as this! But in posting my not-so-good pictures of this phenomenon, I’d like to be different by writing a poem to it. Everything in nature has a message to tell and so all we have to do is to listen and think about it. 🙂

Mysteriously mourning over the horizon

She wraps herself in a cloak of blood
Stained with the darkness of humanity’s iniquity
The blood moon silently wails for our vain glory
She gasps over the wickedness we have magnified
Through her veil she tries to blind herself from our lies
“Where will you go, little man, as the end approaches?
“When the light vanishes from the earth you have claimed?”
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Man gape at her crimson stare
They can never fathom the warning she had dared
But in His mercy the Author of Eternity slowly unmasked her glory
Revealing the hope for those who hear and see
The song of salvation meant for humanity
The light of His glory is given freely
For those who would want a life of purity
A friendship that cost us nothing but our surrender
Removing our ashes to wear linen clothes and golden robes
Just like the passing of the moon’s deathly shadow
The pain will vanish, all tears wiped away
For a moment we hear the mourner’s song
But behind that sombre dirge
A promise of a new beginning to be revealed!
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