Friday, October 30, 2020

Lost: Adventure with My Daughter, Evie

I won't let this day pass without putting this experience on the record. I do not want this forgotten. It's one of the memories that I (or my daughter) will look one day to laugh, and tell ourselves, "we didn't give up!"

My 6th grader was invited to her best friend's birthday party today. The schedule is not a typical party time. It's between 5 to 7 PM. Her Dad has a scheduled online meeting with his friends, therefore, I will be the one to drive her to and fro.

I do not drive very often. Most of all, I haven't driven to a place where I am not familiar with. Well, the venue where the party will be is totally not familiar. But I have Google maps which gives me instruction as I drive, so there's nothing to worry about. I am very confident about it. Plus, I get to prove that I can take her to places by myself.

Well, I was totally wrong. The GPS brought us to the wrong address. We circled and circled in the place. It took us to nowhere. I started to get upset. I felt bad for her. I called her friend's Mom, but her instruction didn't help at all. We tried several ways to get to the destination, but failed. She started to get upset and started to whimper. She begged to just go home. But I didn't want to do that. I wanted to take her where she should be in those hours. After a few tries, we came into an agreement that if we don't find the place again, we will just go home. But deep inside me I didn't want to give up. I kept calling heaven for help. She took care of the phone and gave me instructions on where to go. The GPS took us to the same place again. I called her Dad and told him what happened. He asked us about the address. And well, we totally messed up. Apparently I didn't specify the word "court" after the number and the street name. So, the GPS took us by default to a "drive" instead of court. Most streets in our valley use "drive" instead of "street," "lane," "circle," etc. I was clueless that these names matter a lot when asking a GPS to locate the place for direction.

Even though we decided to just go home, Evie changed the wordings on the phone, thus showing her the correct direction. On our way out, I stopped by the corner, and one good Samaritan noticed us just circling around, so he asked. Well, we were totally in the wrong place, the reason we couldn't find it. He gave us an instruction which actually matched the new info that Evie entered on the phone. We headed our way and in 3 minutes was parked right in front of her friend's house. She has an hour and seven minutes late. Yup. It was already dark. I felt bad for her and at the same time happy that despite our misadventures, we made it together. I took it as a beautiful, learning experience for the both of us together. I saw how and what we will be when we are bombarded by surprises. I am very proud of her. Even though there was a point she lost her hope, she didn't give up in the end.

We just laughed what happened after we picked her up. When she and I got out of the car, she asked for a hug. Then she told me that what we went through is just like something that happens on Amazing Race. LOL. I thought of the same thing on my way home from dropping her off. Talk about mother and daughter thinking alike (and yes, Dada drove me and Fifi to pick her up). 

Today is a beautiful day. Today is totally a different day. Today is something to celebrate with wonderful memories that we get to talk about in the future.

My Abba, Father, my Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit, all His angels were there all the time to help us out. It's another evidence of how He takes care and protects us all the time.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 40: Mission

"I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me." The the righteous will answer Jesus saying, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and we feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, and naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick and in prison and visit you?" And the King will answer them, "Truly I say to you, as you did to the one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.-" Matthew 25:30-40
  • Jesus takes what you do and don't do for others personally. What does that mean to you? How does it motivate you?
I need to be reminded of this. At the same time, if my humanness fails me, I need not feel guilty or condemn because of all the things, that is not what Jesus wants me to feel. I will make it better each time to do the mission that He purposed me to do.
  • Who comes to mind when you read Matthew 25:35-40? What is the Holy Spirit leading you to do?
Those who do not know who really Jesus is and how loved they are by Him. Share the good news whenever  I can.
  • Our mission is clear, but we're easily distracted. What in your life, your relationsjips, your priorities, your perspective needs to change in order for you to be more active in Christ's mission? 
Eliminate some distractions.

Friday, August 7, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 39: Wellspring

[Jesus] came to a town of Samaria called Sychar... Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as He was from His journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink."... [But she] said to Him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, "Give me a drink," you would have asked Him, and He would have given you the living water.-" John 4:5-10
  • What kind of statement was Jesus making by choosing to announce Himself to an outcast who was both a Samaritan and a woman?
He is saying that not everyone treats the woman like she was treated, that He's different.
  • How was Jesus different than every other person she'd come across? How was she expecting to be treated by Him?
She expected to be treated with silence or talked with harsh words. She expected for Jesus to stay away from her.
  • After she realized Jesus was the Messiah, she spread the word. How can you do the same?
Share the good news to the people around me.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 38: Wolves

"Watch out for the false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.-" Matthew 7:15
  • Jesus said, "By their fruit, you will recognize them" (Matthew 7:16 NIV). What does that mean?
To me it means that wolves in churches are recognized by the kind of congregation they produced. Is it a congregation that shows and follow the commandment of Jesus which is to love one another. Is it a congregation that shares the good news to those around them? Is it a congregation that doesn't condemn and judge someone?
  • How can you improve your wolf-spotting skills?
What fruit they produce.
  • What measures can you take to guard your heart and mind and loved ones from wolves?
Pray for wisdom and discernment. Be vigilant of what is going on around my church.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 37: Create

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. - Ephesians 2:10
  • Describe a meaningful work you've been a part of.
Church's children ministry.
  • What did you learn about God through the process?
I've learned to love kids who are not my own, to work in harmony alongside other volunteers for the family that we served.
  • What unique opportunities can you create to further the kingdom?
Open conversations. Know the story of one person, and when the door of opportunity opens to share the Good News, share it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day : Set Free, Part 2

She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, "If I touch even His garments, I will be made well." And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in Himself that power had gone out from Him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my garments?" And His disciples said to Him, "You see crowd pressing around You, and yet You say, "Who touched me?" And He looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.-" Mark 5:27-34
  • What are you willing to risk to get to Jesus?
  • Describe a time when you felt desperate to be in His presence. What did you do?
When I am selfish and hurt the people I love. I ask Him to help me.
  • How has Jesus restored the parts of your life that satan has tried to use to destroy you?
He help me understand and get to know Him more, who He is and what I am to Him.

Monday, August 3, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 35: Set Free, Part 1

Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your disability." And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight and she glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, "There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day." Then the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day.-" Luke 13:10-16
  • What's a name you would want Jesus to give you?
The girl Jesus deeply and jealously loves.
  • If Jesus showed up at your church and called you to Himself, what would He want to set you free from?
Free from fear for the safety and health of my love ones.
  • What are some steps you can start taking to be freed from whatever vice has held you in bondage?
Soak in His truth and grace. Perfect love drives out all fear. Jesus is the only one who can give perfect love. If I continue to abide in that truth, fear goes away.

The Chosen Devotional Day 34: Precious

People were bringing little children to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.-" Mark 10:13-14
  • What are some of the restrictions you've placed on your relationship with Jesus? What hinders you from  communing with Him more closely?
I cannot think of any restrictions. I believe that I can approach Him whenever I want. What hinders me are distractions.
  • Read Isaiah 43:1-4, Luke 12:6-7 and Romans 5:6-8. According to His Word, what does God see when He looks at you?
God sees me as His beloved child, so very precious to His heart and mind.
  • What are some new habits and thought patterns you need to develop in order to approach God in a more precious, faith-like-a-child way?
I need to remind myself always that no matter what  am loved by my Father God. No mistake, no sin can take His love away from me.

Friday, July 31, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 33: Perceive

"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness. -" Matthew 6:22-23
  • Describe when you first realized you could see and perceive clearly.
It's the time where I didn't hold bitterness inside me anymore. The guilt and condemnation of the sins I did are gone.
  • How have your healthy eyes affected your whole body? In other words, how has your healthy perception of Christ affected your life in general?
My relationship (any kind) are so much better. I treat myself well instead of beating myself. My physical health has been tremendously affected.
  • In what circumstance have you rejected the "ranger's flashlight," and what can you do to ensure that happens less frequently?
Some instances are in the financial and health/healing aspects. Every lesson is learned.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 32: Believe

For God so love the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16
  • It is sometimes difficult for you to believe the new covenant has replaced the old? Or do you still sometimes think following rules is more important?
By the grace of God, I do not have difficulty believing that a new covenant has replaced the new. When one knows how loved he is by the Father, doubts melt. My obedience is not because I think it's importance to follow the rule, but because the goodness of God towards me makes me do so.
  • In what ways can you identify with Nicodemus?
Like Nicodemus, there were times in my life where I had a hard time understanding the essence of the Gospel. But thanks to anointed preachers who explained it well that helped me understand the simple, yet profound meaning of it.
  • Describe the moment you knew there was a choice about Jesus to be made.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 31: Power

[Christ is] far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. - Ephesians 1:21

  • Write down a time when you felt better than someone else because of your religious status or choices, or their lack thereof.
I remember talking to a friend and telling her I felt bad for those who really don't know Jesus personally, because me who has a personal relationship (as I thought) with Him, goes through rough times, how much more those who don't? How do they deal with trials? I was too arrogant on that.
  • What's a rule of lifestyle choice you've stressed as important, perhaps at the expense of a more direct or pure connection with Jesus?
My personal relationship with God is the most important of all. I know deep inside me that if I disconnect myself from Him, I am a total mess.
  • We rarely have to risk a lot to follow Jesus. But what are some things you'd have a hard time risking to follow Jesus?
Rejection. I have a hard time opening up a conversation about Jesus to people who I know don't believe in Him or those who do not have personal relationship with Him. I fear that the relationship gets broken.

The Chosen Devotional Day 30: Light

"Whoever believes in [Jesus] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already because, he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.-" John 3:18-19

  • What have you risk to follow Jesus, and what price have you paid?
My selfless self. Following Jesus is a choice to deny my selfishness and the calls of my flesh.
  • In what ways is Christ like light? In what ways are people asleep?
Anything we do that we feel ashamed of are the ways that make as asleep. When we accept and let Jesus enter into our lives, His light shines in those dark areas and gives us freedom from those bondage.
  • What in your life and heart are still keeping in the dark, away from the sifting, transforming light of Jesus?

Monday, July 27, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 29: Presence, Part 2

"In the days of Abiathar the high priest, [David] entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions." Then [Jesus] said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.-" Mark 2:25-28

  • What do you prioritize over spending time in God's presence?
Distractions. Chores. Unimportant things.
  • In what area of your life are you rejecting Christ's Lordship?
In many areas. When I don't ask His intervention on things, that means I am rejecting His Lordship.
  • What is your favorite thing about spending time with God, and what do you need to change to be able to spend more time with Him?
Deep joy and peace inside that the world cannot give. The sense of overwhelming love from the Father who loves me so much. 

Being mindful and intentional of my time spending with Him.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 28: Presence, Part 1

One Sabbath, [Jesus] was going through the grain fields, and as they made their way, His disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And the Pharisees were saying to Him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful [to do] on the Sabbath?-" Mark 2:23-24
  • With all its pomp and circumstance, do you find talk of the tabernacle interesting or boring, and why?
The talk of the tabernacle is interesting to me. Why? Because everything inside, every item placed, every corner where they are specifically placed have meaning and reasons which depicts the work of Jesus on the Cross.
  • Imagine the room where God's presence dwelt. Imagine approaching the cloud or pillar of fire. How would standing in His presence, in that warm and quiet place affect the way you view the requirements of the Law?
That would be very scary if I based the requirements of the Law as I entered into His presence. Obviously I don't pass the requirements and that means death.
  • Now imagine walking with Jesus. Imagine the unrestricted access, the casual conversation, and the warmth of His personality. That's all... just imagine.
*Overwhelms my heart*

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 27: Poor

The people all tried to touch Him, because power was coming from Him and healing them all. Looking at His disciples, He said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.-" Luke 6:19-20
  • Put yourself in the disciples' shoes. Would it be difficult for you to minister to the desperate crowds? Why or why not?
No it wouldn't because they are the ones who were humble enough to ask for God's help.
  • Is there someone you know who fits the "poor in spirit" category especially well? What attributes come to mind?

  • What are ways you can pursue being "poor in spirit?
Reminding myself that there is no one who can help me perfectly, but Jesus in anything.

Friday, July 24, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 26: Blind Eye

On another Sabbath, [Jesus] entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and the Pharisees watched [Jesus], to see whether He would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse Him. - Luke 6:6-7
  • Obviously we can't respond to every need, but think of a time you have but didn't. Why did you turn away? How would you handle it now if you got a second chance?
It was for a family member. I did't provide their need because I felt like they're taking advantage of me by asking so many times. I felt like they're not doing what they can to provide for their family because I was there, willing to help. So I stopped.
  • Why did Jesus respond to needy people the way He did? What do you think He saw when He looked at them?
Jesus knew their need. Jesus was moved. Jesus was compassionate. He still is. All of my needs.
  • List some ways you could react to obvious need in the future, in addition to giving money. That answer is too easy.
I will weigh things and see if it is really an obvious need instead of "just because I can provide." I need discernment on things like this. Giving to obvious needs to people I do not know is actually much easier for me to do than to family members. I don't know why.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 25: Rise

When [Jesus] returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And He was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him the paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven.-" Mark 2:1-5
  • In order to take such extreme measures, what must the four men carrying their friend have believed about Jesus?
They most probably witnessed the healing works of Jesus to sick people. Because they saw it with their own eyes, the believed and didn't waste time to take their paralytic friend to Jesus for healing.
  • What keeps you from pursuing Jesus with that kind of passion?

  • If you struggle to value spiritual growth over material, list three to five reasons spiritual growth matters the more.
  1. Spiritual growth keeps my feet grounded.
  2. Spiritual growth keeps me dependent on God.
  3. Spiritual growth gives me the peace that this world cannot.
  4. Spiritual growth keeps me kingdom focused.
  5. Spiritual growth reminds me that I am nothing and cannot do anything good without Jesus.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 24: Clean

While He was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, "Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.-" Luke 5:12

  • What part of your soul needs Jesus' healing touch?
My selfish flesh needs Jesus' healing touch, always. It's so easy to listen to the flesh and forget to ask Jesus to help you with it.
  • What's holding you back from the kind of bold faith the leper had?
As far as I know, I asked Jesus big things to happen. I don't remember if there is anything I want that I didn't ask.
  • How can you connect with people in your life who aren't part of the "in" crowd, as Jesus did?

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 23: Relationship

Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs that He was doing. But Jesus on His part did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man; for He Himself knew what was in man. - John 2:23-25
  • Can you think of a time in your relationship with Jesus lagged? Is it now?
A lot of times. It's all because of distractions that are surrounding me.
  • What miraculous changes has Jesus made in your heart since you started following Him?
My dependence on Him is the most miraculous thing that happens. I realized I cannot do anything good and I am nothing without Him.
  • Moving forward, how can you embrace heart changes over physical ones?

Monday, July 20, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 22: All 'Y'All

And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" And Jesus answered them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:30-32

  • What are the areas of your life where you need a "physician?"
In my relationship with people, myself.
  • When have you been guilty of the Pharisees' judgment here?
When I am bias with my opinion/view on things.
  • Who do you know who wouldn't be considered "healthy" by church leaders, and how can you treat them as Jesus treated the "sick?"
The obvious social outcasts are viewed by Pharisee-like-mentality preachers. Pass no judgment to people. We all sin. Big or small, sin is sin.

The Chosen Devotional Day 21: Useful

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. - 2 Timothy 2:21
  • In what ways do you tend to focus more on what you can do than on the one whose Spirit you contain?
In a lot of ways. As a human being, I listen more often to the flesh than the Holy Spirit. It's an area of my life I need help the most.
  • Can you think of anyone you value more because of what they do than who they are in Christ?

  • How can you make yourself more available?
Through intentional living. It's a habit that needs to be developed.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 20: Trust

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. - Proverbs 3:5-6
  • In what areas of your life do you trust in your own cleverness?
I totally do not know. What I know is that, I cannot do anything good without God.
  • If you're brutally honest, do you identify more with pre-Jesus Matthew or disciple Matthew?
I say 50/50. There are times I do things all by myself and times I ask for God's guidance.
  • What have been some of the dramatic plot twist the Lord has orchestrated in your life?

Friday, July 17, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 19: Worry

"But see first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.-" Matthew 6:33-34
  • Do you struggle with anxiety? What things do you tend to worry about the most and why?
The things I tend to worry the most are my family's health, safety, and finances because these things are scary when out of control.
  • Jesus used an everyday occasion to reveal His glory. Describe a common event in your life through which He revealed His glory and increased your faith.
There are a lot of instances that Jesus showed His miracles over the ordinary circumstances where I needed Him. These issues are usually financial provisions and healing.
  • Do you ask Jesus' help with the seemingly small stuff? Why or why not?
Sometimes I do, sometimes not. When I do not ask for help, it's usually because I tend to focus more on the problem that I forget to ask for help. I have been training myself lately (with the help and reminder of the Holy Spirit) to ask for divine help in very petty problems I encounter.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 18: Emmanuel

Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty galloons. Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast." So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now." This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested His glory. And His disciples believed in Him. - John 2:6-11
  • At this moment, what circumstances are most difficult for you?
Not being able to go out and about because of the "pandemic."
  • How should knowing that God is with you affect the way you respond to your circumstances?
Gives me the confidence and assurance deep inside that I will be taken cared of in every situation I am in.
  • Just as the servants at the wedding had to draw water before they actually saw the water turn into wine, what are ways you can step out in faith as a result of His promise to be with you?
It's really important for me to pray first before I step out in faith to do something that I normally don't. Prayer gives me confidence. Prayer makes me recognize that it's not about me (what I can do or what I have to give), but it's about Him and how He will manifest Himself in my circumstance.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 17: Come and See

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." ...Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see.-" John 1:43, 45-46
  • Write out your come-to-see Jesus. How did you meet Him? How did He change your mind about who He is and what's true?
My come-to-see Jesus moment was when I was watching a Christian channel (TBN) and the pastor on the program looked different that most that I've typically seen. He's Asian with an accent, and the words he said were ones I have not heard before. Out of curiosity, I searched him online and found out that his name is Joseph Prince. From then on, my journey with knowing who really Jesus is started.
  • Since Jesus is no longer walking and talking on earth, what does "come and see" mean now?
"Come and see" nowadays would mean people like me would become the bridge between unbelievers and Jesus. As a witness to God's goodness, I am given the opportunity and privilege to introduce someone into the goodness and love of God.
  • Who is someone in your life who needs to "come" and "see" Jesus? Pray for that person then go make the introduction . Trust Jesus to do the convincing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 16: Repent

After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news.-" Mark 1:14-15
  • What do you focus on more: Jesus' command to love others... or to repent and believe?
Focusing to love others before repentance is not going to be successful. Repentance is not a feeling. It's not about feeling bad and guilty of the  wrong things I've done. Repentance is about the mind (from the Greek word "metanoia" which means change one's mind), that is why after Jesus said "repent" the word believe came next. We believe through the mind (first), then the heart follows. It's changing my mind from how I view God before as a distant God, to a loving, personal God (and so on).
  • What incident in your life incited radical inward transformation? Would you regard it as a miracle?
Listening to sermons that focuses on Jesus and God's love for me were the things that incited radical inward transformation in me. Yes, they are miracles. Otherwise, I will remain to believe the wrong things about God and inner transformation will not be possible.
  • Repentance fosters humility and surrender, so what can you repent of?

Monday, July 13, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 15: Rock

"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.-" Matthew 16:18-19
  • What are your primary weaknesses?
My emotions are my primary weaknesses. Like Peter, I sometimes have a hard time controlling my negative emotions.
  • In what ways have you seen God transform your heart and mind?
The way He has shown me His goodness and love towards me. It makes me not want to reciprocate it with who I am not created to be.
  • Write down a weakness you want to turn into  a strength and commit to praying for help and working on it.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 14: Boldness

"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.-" Luke 11:9
  • Describe a time you felt bold in approaching Jesus. What did you ask for?
In many instances, I boldly asked for healing. The last two ones was when my daughter had a bad allergic reaction, and the other one was when I had a terrible stomach upset, I thought I'd passed out.
  • How did He answer you?
As always, His faithfulness never fails. Healing was ours.
  • How would you answer Jesus' question: What do you want?
I want Him to be always with me, all the time. Never leave me, not a single moment.

Friday, July 10, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 13: Authority

And [Jesus] went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And He was teaching them on the Sabbath, and they were astonished at His teaching, for this words possessed authority.-" Luke 4:31-32
  • Is there an area in your life where you're denying Christ's authority?
I cannot thin of anything. Although I know that there are several instances where I forget to ask for guidance.
  • In what ways does His authority bring peace and comfort to your circumstance?
In ways I know how big, how powerful He is and how much He loves me.
  • What's your plan for how to submit more fully to Christ's authority?
Listen more on what He has to say. 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 11: Proclaim

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.-" Luke 4:18-19
  • Which of Jesus' character qualities most stand out to you in this story?
The character quality that stands out the most to me is His role as the bearer of the Good News. Unless men hear and understand the Good News of God's kingdom, it is hard to be free from bondage (spiritual).
  • Why do you think Jesus began His three years of ministry with this particular public display in His hometown?
After Jesus read the Scripture that contains the prophecy concerning Himself, He spoke a few words to the people who were present, and they were not happy. In fact, they drove Him out of the synagogue and even tried to throw Him off the cliff. The place where this particular scenario will happen was already ordained. But I also believe, that the town of Nazareth where Jesus grew up, metaphorically represents the Jews. The Good News was meant for them to hear. Yet, His brethren rejected Him as the Messiah. Because of that, the Good News was preached to the gentiles and was received.
  • What are ways you can display the same love for those Jesus came for as the prophecies indicate?
Love hard. Love those who persecute me. Love those who don't like me. I cannot do this by myself. I need the Holy Spirit to help me. When these people will see how love they are even after what they did, their hearts will change.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Chosen Day 10: Tested

"He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.-" Colossians 1:15-17
  • Do you believe God has designed all the elements composing your tests? Explain why or why not?
I have a hard time understanding this concept. I know He allows tests, but design them? Does it mean that because He designed them, even before my birth, He already planned for me to be living from one family to another at a very tender age, and go through a lot of sufferings? Honestly, my experiences in life ever since I was small have made me who I am today because God was with me all throughout. However, I also know people who have similar experience, but haven't change their outlook in life. They are still mad at the world. That brings me to think that personal relationship with God is the most vital of all, regardless of our life's experiences. Because I chose to listen to the Holy Spirit, because I chose to reach out to God, my life and my beliefs were radically changed.

The passage, "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil," has made me thinking. Jesus didn't just randomly get lost in the wilderness to get tempted. He was led by the Spirit to be tempted. I therefore believe that God leads me to the paths of testing. Not because He wants me suffer, but because He wants to build and strengthen my character.
  • What's the most difficult test you've ever had to surrender to?
Losing a relationship.
  • Whether you're in a test now or one is coming, what are some ways you can better with it?
Keep myself in confidence with the help of the Holy Spirit that the test has a reason and it is for my own good.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Chosen Day 9: Reset

John answered them, "I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.-" John 1:26-27
  • Describe a time in your life when you experienced the wilderness. How did God meet you there?
It was when I was heartbroken from a relationship. God then, was only second in my life. Not even second probably. But I knew, He wasn't my first. When I lost that relationship with a person who put on a pedestal, my life was totally devastated. I thought I lost everything. But in those moments of despair, I clung to God. He was the only one I can turn to. There was no human being who can console my wrecked heart—only God. That moment of wilderness led me to know Him deeper, to ask questions I've never asked before. He was there with me all throughout while I lived in the dark. I never left me. He stayed with me. He gently ushered me to the light, out of the wilderness.
  • How do the words "from among you" impact the way you see Jesus?
I am not sure what the question exactly means.
  • What new thing is God doing in your life and heart right now?
With the current social issues going on, God has been teaching me to be more observant, to listen with intention, to think deeply, and to only speak when needed. And if I open my mouth to speak, it must only be words that do not condemn people, but words that will help open the eyes and soften callous hearts.

The Chosen Day 8: Hope

"And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. 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. -" Romans 5:2-5
  • What suffering have you experienced that has produced perseverance, character, and hope?
Hopping and living from one family/relative to another when I was at a very young age (because of a broken family). Having to experience such plight at a tender age taught me so many things about life. 
  • What was the evidence of your spiritual growth?
Searching answers about my questions that led me to the arms of the loving Father. Fully trusting that God holds my future. 
  • Have you ever been brought to tears over God's goodness and favor? Describe the circumstances.
Several times. A lot of those times were I watched a sermon about God's goodness and love. My heart got so overwhelmed with how huge His love is for me that my puny heart cannot contain it, I burst into tears. Some other times, I just felt His goodness out of nowhere. Same thing happens—that feeling of being overwhelmed.

The Chosen Day 7: Doubt

"Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.-" Luke 1:11-15

  • What is something you've repeatedly petitioned God for?
To have a business of my own. A business that grows and flourishes. A business that employs hundreds of people. A business that looks after the welfare of its people and the community both local, national, and international. A business that contributes to the betterment of the world. Most of all, a business that is a testimony of God's goodness and love.

  • Do you struggle to believe God hears your prayers?
I don't know. Most of the time, when my prayers are not answered, especially my prayers for the future, I accept it as something that I am not prepared for, that is why it is still not answered. But when it comes to immediate or practical prayers, like healing or financial provisions, God has always intervened.

  • What are some audicious things you can ask God to do in your life?
I will continue to ask for that business. I will ask Him to help me pursue my love for writing the deep issues of the human heart, of life. 

(Done in Strawberry, Arizona)

The Chosen Day 6: Redemption

"The law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, He has made Him known.-" John 1:17-18
  • What was the point of God's 1-2-3 pattern in the Old Testament?
I believe the point of such pattern is for people to see how loved they are no matter how they messed up. It's God's way of saying that no mankind sin can take away His mercy and love from them.
  • What does His sacrifice on the cross revealed to you about God the Father.
The message of love from Him to me.
  • How can you live out gratitude for the grace you've already been given for your rebellion?
By sharing my testimony of His sacrifice, His unconditional love, His everlasting grace to the people around me. Sharing the Good News to all and tell them, what God did to me, He will do it to them if they let Him.

(Done in Strawberry, Arizona)

Friday, July 3, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 5: Renegade

"The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.-" John 1:9-13
  • What is the most striking to you about the way Jesus began His ministry years?
The most striking to me was the power that comes out in every word that He utters. No word of His was wasted. Every word had a purpose, and it's for the good and glory of the kingdom of God. I am also amazed how He showed His deep and close relationship to His Father.
  • Jesus repeatedly extended His hand to all types of people. In what ways do you need to be more like Him? Who do you struggle to welcome?
I struggle to be around the company of conceited people—people who think of themselves highly, who brag so much about themselves. It has been a struggle ever since. However, it doesn't mean that because I personally have a hard time around them, that I'd be indifferent to them. My old self will probably be, but I am a new creation. I did not have to be around them all the time. And while I am away from them, I have to work on myself regarding this struggle through the help of the Holy Spirit.
  • In what ways are you a renegade for Jesus? In what ways do you need to become more of one?
The issue of prejudice and injustice makes me a renegade for Jesus. It's something I cannot stand with people, and I stand for what I believe in by expressing my thoughts and my heart.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 4: Words

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.-" John 1:1-5
  • Describe your first—"Follow me" moment with Jesus.
I don't specifically remember when and how it happened. My journey of knowing who Jesus really is, was gradual. He had to change my heart and the thinking of my mind first. From then, my walk has been to feed on the truth, the Word, even now.
  • Which words of Jesus do you cherish the most?
"Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or save food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. Don’t you know you are worth much more than they are? You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it.-" Matthew 6:26-27
  • How can you make your own words (particularly on social media) more like Christ's words?
So many times I've been tempted to just rant my feelings and opinions on issues flooding the social media. But thanks to the Holy Spirit who gently reminds me of who I am now, "the old is gone, the new has come." When my emotions are high because of comments I read, instead of responding immediately, I step back, take a break, think, pray. When everything boiling inside me settles down, that's when I respond to comments, or sometimes, I chose not to comment. I have learned that the words I use to express my mind and feelings are powerful. Therefore, I need to be careful how I use them. God used the Word to come everything into being. And because I am made in His own image and likeness, every word that I utter is powerful. It can make or break.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 3: Represent

"If anyone would come after me, let [her] deny [herself] and take up [her] cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save [her] life will lose it, but whoever loses [her] life for my sake will save it.-" Luke 9:23-24

  • Do you find it difficult your testimony? Why or why not?
Depends on the setting. If I am in a group of people talking about our faith, sharing my testimony is very easy for me. Or if I am talking to someone about faith, I normally find a way in to share the goodness of God for me. I find it difficult to "open up" the topic out of nowhere. If I just met a person and we talked for a bit, I normally don't share my testimony about Jesus, unless asked, or the opportunity is open.
  • Be real: Who or what do your words most represent?
After coming into the full knowledge of who I am in Christ and how loved I am by my Father in heaven, I have been more mindful of the words that come out of my mouth. I am more careful of what words to use, especially my posts on social media because I am a representation of who I follow and who I believe which is Jesus. However, there was one incident that just happened lately that I posted a comment on the social media that made a few people react negatively. I admit it was a mistake on my part. I didn't convey my words nicely that made people uncomfortable and defensive.  The topic was about wearing masks on public during this pandemic. I wrote on the comment, "For those who don't want to wear mask, stay home." People don't want to be told what to do. I don't. But the saddest thing about what happened was, one person got so irritated that she went and checked my personal profile, looked at my pictures, and commenting unkind words.
  • Moving forward, what can you say that focuses more on the "after Christ" portion of your testimony than the "before Christ" portion?
I focus more on reminding myself who I am in Christ especially the times I messed up. It's easy to be astray from God's love and presence when things are rough and tough. My flesh would tell to put a wall between me and people and God. But I have learned to do the opposite now. It's a work in progress.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 2: Delivered

"The Lord is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer.-" 2 Samuel 22:2

  • Describe what Christ has delivered you from?
Christ delivered me from myself, my selfish self. Christ taught me how to live according to His Father's purpose which in return benefits me and the people around me.
  • In what ways can you identify with Mary Magdalene?
Being delivered from the things I thought I knew. Selfishness, arrogance, pride ruled my life for years, but like Mary Magdalene, as she continued to abide with Christ, listening and witnessing His goodness and miracles, the scales on her eyes fell down. I once was blind, but now I see.
  • What role has Christ delivered you for?

Monday, June 29, 2020

The Chosen Devotional Day 1: Before

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.-" Isaiah 43:1

I want to honor my friend Susan who gave me this 40 days with Jesus book of "The Chosen" series. My prayer is that I will be able to diligently do this without missing a day. It's been a struggle of mine. I cannot do this with my own strength, but with God, who is my strength and fortress, all things are possible. I believe.

  • What parts of your "before" has God redeemed, and which are you most grateful for?
There are too many to mention, actually. I used to get angry easily. I did not know how to control my emotions. I just burst when my feelings told me to. Because of that, some of my relationships, 
suffered. I also had this kind of attitude where I'd think to myself that if someone doesn't like, I don't like them either. Selfish thinking.

There are many more of my "before" that my Father God redeemed, but the one I am most grateful for is "repentance" which is the changing of my thinking about who and what He is. I used to think God as a big guy up in heavens just watching all people in the planet doing their thing, punished them when they do something He doesn't approve of. He was so patient walking with me to understand His very nature as my Father God.
  • How does "I have called you by name, you are mine" impact you today?
This statement from the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God impacts the way I look at myself significantly. It's a deep, personal statement which gives me assurance and sense of belongingness, passionately love, and jealously protected. Him calling me by my name gives my life direction and purpose. It means that my birth was not random nor luck. It means my life here on earth is needed for a good purpose that He planned long before I was created.
  • What do you fear? How does Isaiah 43:1—this declaration made by God to His chosen ones —affect your fear?
What do I fear? My ultimate fear is me and my loved ones well-being. I do not want to die at the early stage of my life, leaving young children without the care of their mother. I do not want my kids, my husband die before me. Death stinks. I believe it's a universal thing that people fear most of all. But thanks be to God who tells me and promises me not to fear.  I have hope that me nor my loved ones will not leave this earth until our purpose is completed. Thanks to the sacrifice of my Savior Jesus Christ, death is behind me, us. I have eternal life. 

From time to time I need a reminder of what He says in Isaiah 43:1. It gives me assurance. It gives me confidence that my all-powerful God watches me and takes care of me and the people I love.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Bread and Wine : Healed From Severe Allergic Reaction

How can I forget this day?

While observing social distancing with our church families through video chat early in the evening, our daughter, Evie came out from our room and told her Dad that her eyes and throat were itchy. Didn't think of it as something very serious, he gave her go-to allergy medicine. Fifteen minutes later, she came out again and told us that the reaction was getting worse. We let her took a shower. Her eyes were swollen and had patches of rashes on her tummy.

We suspected it was an allergic reaction from the cat. She was complaining how painful her tummy was while in the shower. The warm water was helping a bit. Her throat was still itchy. It was weird to me for her throat to get itchy if the cause of her allergic reaction were just the cats.

Right after she took a shower, she laid on the bed in agony. I told her that we will partake the Holy Communion, so I ran to the kitchen and grabbed the elements. After we partook, she had to go to the bathroom, sat on the toilet. I prayed over her. Everytime I stopped, she asked me to keep praying. Later she said she had to throw up. She threw up most of the food that she ate. Right after throwing up, she said that she felt so much better, especially her stomach of which she dreaded the most.

She lay down on the bed, her tummy still has some pain. All I could do was just pray. Her Dad came in and asked how she's doing and she replied, "I am healed!" He checked her oxygen, and thanks be to God, it's where we need it to be. That gave us a big relief.

I did not stopped praying. My praying gave Evie a sense of peace and relief. She prayed for herself too. It was beautiful to listen when your child raised her hand and exclaimed, "Praise Jesus! Bless the Lord, O my soul!" I rebuked the cause of her allergic reaction to come out of her body. She was sneezing so much and blowing her nose a lot. I believed that was one way God let that thing out of her system aside from throwing up.

Minutes later, her body was covered in welts. Yet she said she felt so much better. Her stomach was not painful anymore. Her breathing and oxygen were perfect. Her throat was not itchy. It's just the welts coming out. And soon, they were fading away.

Holding her with her head on my arm, we just talked. She told me how happy she was that she got healed. Jesus, our Father God, touched her and made her feel better. She said she was glad she didn't have to go to urgent care, especially at this time when people are staying home because of COVID-19. She was very grateful to what God had done to her body that was screaming for healing. We talked about God and His great love for us. She said, "If I have money right now" I told her how God doesn't really need our money. She added, "I just want to offer it to Him."I said that all God needs is for us to know deep inside our hearts who He is as our Father who protects, heals, provides, and that we have this full assurance inside us that He will do what He promised to us.

As we continued to talk about God's goodness, she asked me to wake her up early on Sunday so she can watch both online church that we had been watching every Sunday.

God is good and His love endures forever.

I am thankful of what happened because it displayed the works of God to my daughter. It taught her who He is. The experience she went through, the healing miracle that He showed to her is something that will be embedded in her soul as she matures into a fine young, Godly woman. It's an experience that she will carry with her wherever she goes. When something similar happens to her or anyone she knows, she already know who to turn to, what to do.

And yes, it's the power of the Holy Communion that healed her. It's our remembering what Jesus went through on His way to the cross. By His stripe, Evie was healed. We run to the table that God prepared for us especially in dark times. "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies." Tonight the ingredient on what Evie ate that gave her severe reaction was the enemy. But thanks be to God for the table with the meal that He prepared for her. She received healing.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Perfect Love Drives Out Fear

The threat of COVID-19 hasn't settled. In fact, it is still rising. Amidst this chaos and uncertainties, who among the living doesn't get scared?

A week ago, fear overwhelmed me. I was scared for myself. I was scared for my family. I was scared for the world. I was scared for the future. Despite prayers being lifted up, fear rested in my heart. I felt like I was a standing log, deeply and tightly compacted with concrete all around. I couldn't move. Fear numbed me. I didn't know where to go. I felt like I was inside a cell and couldn't break free. I did not understand why I felt fear in my heart. I thought I am a Jesus believer. But why do I feel the thing I should not?

As I was battling the darkness in my mind, I heard a voice inside telling me:
"It's alright to feel fear. It's normal. You are human."
"But you keep fear to yourself. You try to fight it your own way."
"Tell me about it. Talk to me. I want to hear. I am listening."

No wonder I felt stiff. No wonder I felt like running in circles that never ends.

I kept fear to myself and fed it with my own hands. I kept it in tight, close fists like a little girl who caught fireflies and doesn't want to let it go. I didn't give it to the One who calmed my many storms—the One who is the answer to my freedom. 

As I slowly disclosed to Him my anxieties and willingly opened my heart to offer to Him what I had been holding on, a revelation was exposed right in my very own heart. The layers of fear faded slowly, like leaves in the fall, each one falling into the ground—and the wind swept them away to nowhere. 

"Perfect love drives out fear." I've seen and heard this verse used so many times but never really fully grasped the totally of its meaning until this experience. It is not my perfect love for Jesus that drives out fear. It is not my believing in Jesus that kicks away anxiety. Rather, it is the perfect love of Jesus "to me" that drives out fear. I just have to voluntarily open myself up so He could pour into me.

After feeding on the truth of how loved, how protected, how provided I am in the midst of this dark time, only then my eyes saw the true meaning of perfect love. His perfect love. When you know in the deepest part of your being that He loves you so much, especially in moments when you feel like everything is crushed and gone, it's when you experience what it is like to be perfectly loved.

Fear will always be there waiting in the corner for you and me. It prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to persecute. There will be days when it gets to me. But now I know what to do the next time it roars at me. I will tell my Lord Jesus about it as He soaks me in His perfect love.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Musings on COVID-19: The Light Shines Forth

It's been a week since COVID-19 crept into the spirit of men causing darkness to cover it. The first burst of fear into men's mind showed the worse of individuals. Greed. Greed because of panic. Panic because of fear. Fear because death.

Ever since the fall in the garden of Eden, death has been men's deepest fear. No one wants to die. Why? Because deep inside us cry for life. Men were not meant to die. It was never God's plan. But sin entered, and death found it's way into the flesh and spirit of men.

Hearing about people panic buying in the grocery stores was weird and didn't seem true. Until one day, we went to Walgreens to buy alcohol. We were told they were out. We tried other stores and witnessed empty shelves. The truth sat in, right in front of my very eyes. This is really happening. People were buying alcohol more than they normally use to fight the virus infection. I wasn't too naive to not wanting to get one. It's an alternative for my family to clean hands when soap and water are not readily available when we are out and about. Well, especially in this time of virus scare.

So that night, I went online. If I can't find it in the stores, maybe I can find it online. After all, you can buy everything in the virtual world. But lo and behold, Amazon was out of stock. People selling them on eBay in ridiculous prices. The sad thing was, people were buying them. Out of desperation, people were willing to pay $40 for what used to be $3+ alcohol.

But God was so, so good to me. I found online a local store that sells alcohol by the gallon. Not just 12oz, but a gallon! That's the smallest amount they sell. I ordered online that night, picked it up the next day. Yay! Who would have thought? Well, I do! I believe that I have the God who provides and supplies. Now we have a gallon of alcohol sitting under our sink, ready to grab when needed.

I tried fear to not overcome me. I prayed Psalm 91 over my household. My family took communion more than we normally do. We prayed for the blood of Jesus to cover us. My husband and I talked to girls about what is going on, and how we should not be afraid because God is our protector.

One morning while I took the Holy Communion with my girls, and prayed after for our safety and protection, my older one said, "Mama, I am glad we believe in Jesus." I asked her why. She answered, "Because we are protected." There is nothing I hoped for but for my girls to understand what it is like to believe in Jesus. What she told me was joy to my heart. "Perhaps, I am doing the right thing," I muttered to myself.

When I found out that churches were not coming together on Sunday services, I was mad. I had questions. Why now when you are needed the most? Why now when the people need your light? Why are you hiding church? Why are you scared? I thought we believe in the supernatural God. Then why are we fearful? What will the world think of us?

I didn't understand. I complained to my husband about it. I just could not believe that the church would come into such cowardly decision. Yes, that's what I thought of it. Decision out of cowardice. I felt embarrassed as a Christian. If the government doesn't restrict us to gather together in a church building, then there's no excuse to not do church.

Saturday afternoon, I found out that the lead pastor of Mosaic church, Erwin McManus, announced on Instagram that they too were holding online service streaming. Knowing Erwin, I couldn't believe it. But the local government advised not to gather together with more than fifty people. The government authority had spoken. Everyone must respect. That included me.

On the morning of March 15th, we watched the live streaming of our local church's service. It was actually our church's premier to live stream through a Youtube channel. It was a little weird at first. Totally not the same as when you are actually doing worship with the congregation physically. But God was obviously there in the midst. I felt Him. I experienced Him.

While engaging myself to the newness of this online church service idea (not only with my local church but as well as other churches I follow from other states), the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and made me understand the "why" of this new thing. I realized that my sharing the link of the live streaming to my social media account actually reached people in my circle who are not church goer or who are not believer. In a time like this when the world is full of fear, when people are desperate, when people hit rock bottom, when people asked questions no one can answer, when people feel unsafe, when people lose hope, when the world is wrapped in darkness, the church is there to shine its light as far as it can go. We couldn't do this if we are contained in a building with an attendance of people you can count. Doing church online reaches more peopl. A lot of it. And as a member of the body of church, I can do my contribution by sharing links on my social media to reach the people that God put in my circle. How awesome is that? The wisdom of God! He always, always turn things around for the good of those who love Him. I wouldn't know how many people turned to Him and received Jesus as their Lord and Savior with the very simple gesture of sharing a link. But God knows, and heaven rejoices. And this shall continue until God says it's over. For now, I will do what the church needs me to do—shine my light.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

#ThankfulThursday - Bearing Fruit with Abundance

I finally harvested the fruits from our lemon tree. I am in awe how this small and young tree could bear huge fruits and many of them! This is the year we got this much and this big. I am very thankful for the abundance it gave us this year. Even if I don't take good care of it as much as I need to, this lemon tree is just doing what it's meant to be—to bear fruit.

Aren't we created for the same purpose? Because we are in Christ Jesus, therefore, we bear fruits. We bear the fruit of the Spirit freely given to us. But the question is, are you using them? Am I using them? I can honestly say, not often. Barely as I say.

May we live to be like the lemon tree accomplishing its purpose, bearing fruit with abundance.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Importance of Our Testimony

Unless someone who has witnessed God's goodness in their life, announce to the world (people around us) what he experienced, the world will remain ignorant and blinded about the Truth. One very significant example in the Bible is the story of the Samaritan woman. After her encounter with Jesus at Jacob's well, she went about all over the town telling everyone this man who knows all about her story. 

Then the woman left her water jar, and went into the city and began telling the people, “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done! Can this be the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed)?”
John 4:28-29 (AMP)

Because of her boldness to share what she just witnessed, the people in her town became curious of what she said. Yet, it is not only her audacity that made people interested to investigate on what she had spoken. Something beautiful from her inside happened and it's showing on the outside (physical appearance). She just encountered the Messiah. Her spirit just fed from His Word that came out straight from His mouth. Her inner self became alive.

This is what usually happens to us when we first heard about the Good News of the True Gospel (God's grace). It is so good that something inside us is stirred. And that beautiful thing that happened inside us is manifested outwards. People notice the difference. The way we talk, the glow in our face, the inner peace that shines from within. This is what called the attention of the people in Samaria about how the Samaritan woman testified her encounter with Jesus. There was excitement in her voice. There was peace in her being. There was this inexplicable joy in her face, so contagious that their hearts want to have it too.

People believed what she said, so they followed Jesus and even asked Him to stay. He stayed for two days. Within those two days listening to His word, they have confirmed it to themselves who this woman was talking about. Many more believed. 

 Now many Samaritans from that city believed in Him and trusted Him [as Savior] because of what the woman said when she testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they asked Him to remain with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed in Him [with a deep, abiding trust] because of His word [His personal message to them]; 42 and they told the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; for [now] we have heard Him for ourselves and know [with confident assurance] that this One is truly the Savior of [all] the world.”
John 4:39-42 (AMP)

It all started with one person's testimony. That one testimony spread like wildfire and many people believed and were saved. The world needs your testimony and mine. The world hungers for it. We cannot just hide to ourselves the goodness and kindness that God bestowed on us through His Son, Jesus. It has to be shared. The world deserves to hear it. They too deserve to experience what it is like to be so loved by their Father in heaven. They too deserve to be prosperous and joyful. They too deserve the peace that we have in Christ. 

This is God's will. This is God's heart.