Friday, December 24, 2010

Don’t Waste Your C.I.

Christmas Institute or commonly known as CI is the most awaited event among the young people in The United Methodist Church. Who will want to miss this event wherein you’ll be having a 5-day camp with fellow brethren in Christ? As Methodist youths from different areas are given the chance to know Christ deeper, everyone is also sharpened by one’s faith and love.

Nonetheless, this significant event can be wasted. It can be enjoyably spent but not God-glorifying. It may be a time of knowing about God but not knowing God Himself. And worst, sometimes busyness for the CI work may deprive us of solitude and quiet moments with God.

I am attending the CI since 1997. And though I am not already part of the UMYF, this upcoming CI will be my 13th time. My dear adings, I am praying that CI will not be wasted by you. I will mention three things that may help you not waste this CI.

GOD above all

UMYF’s motto is Christ Above All! Actually it is very familiar to you. But shouting Christ Above All is not just a motto; it is a lifestyle. It means God should always be the priority and the focus of your life. CI can be an avenue to be Christ-centered but attending the Bible studies, the lectures, the games, the devotions and other activities prepared by the EXECOM doesn’t mean that you are already Christ-centered. You may be there but the mind or the heart is not there, what’s the use? You may be attending but you are hunting for girls/boys and not seeking Christ. You may be listening about God but not interested to have a deeper relationship with Him. You may be singing praises but the heart is far away. You may be crying He is the Lover of your Soul yet the lifestyle denies Him the throne in your heart. May you never forget the most important commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:30).

Grab every opportunity in these five days that you have to know God deeper and to indeed love Him with all of you. He is the reason why you are attending the CI; do not waste it by emphasizing more of yourself.

The passion of the unwasted life is to joyfully display the supreme excellence of Christ by the way we live…The way we display the supreme worth of Jesus in our lives is by treasuring Christ above all things. (John Piper)

Others above you

Think about your co-campers more than yourself. We always tell campers from our church this principle: ‘Wag kang papayag na may mas mabait sa’yo. It does not mean that you should compete with others. It is an encouragement that you give your best for the welfare of others. CI is an opportunity to minister to others. And ministering to others is not just being BS facilitators or lecturers; you can do something for others. Words and conversations which are Bible-saturated are soul-edifying. Good actions will give God the glory. Jesus says let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). God-glorifying lifestyles will speak that Christ is your treasure. Do they see Christ as your treasure? Do you encourage them to treasure Christ as He ought to be treasured and magnified?

Grab every opportunity in these five days that you have to minister unto others. An author naming John MacArthur says that a person with deep conviction is not hunting for something to say. Rather, he is hunting for someone to say it to. Indeed, if you breathe for the glory of God, you will have every chance to display that there is little of yourself and much of Him in your life. Do not waste this CI by just focusing on what you want and what you enjoy and minding your own business and avoiding things that you think will deprive of your enjoyment. Rather, make this CI an avenue of self-denial by putting others above you.

You - His Beloved

Yes, this is now the time for you. You can enjoy this CI even by placing yourself last. Many people are deceived by pursuing happiness outside of Christ but if you want genuine happiness, then you should be drawing nearer to God, the Source of Perfect Happiness. When Jesus was asked by the teacher of the law which of all the commandment is the most important:

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)

Where is self here? Is God concerned about our happiness or enjoyment? Yes. Love God and love your neighbor. Christ above all and you will find the only one who can quench the longings of the soul; the one who can soothe the aching heart. The joy of knowing and treasuring God is found the moment you learn to deny "self". The call of discipleship is an invitation to exchange fleeting and mundane niceties of this world for that which truly satisfies the human soul: intimacy with God. (John MacArthur)

Therefore, don’t waste this CI by prioritizing yourself than others. Don’t waste this CI by following your heart’s desire than obeying the will of God. Don’t waste this CI, my brothers and sisters.


*This post is inspired by John Piper's book Don't Waste Your Life.

*Image is made by my brother Donnie.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Be Different

My last post here prayerfully challenges women to be different, not because we are women but because we are Christians. This post still shouts the same, BE DIFFERENT! And may it shout into our ears louder.

I lost the draft of a supposed blog post a month ago. I can’t remember the exact words anymore or the flow of my discussion there. Nonetheless, the incidence that brought me to write that supposed “blog post” keeps me unsettled. And I know I will be until I do something about it; at least through this blog.

That incident is this: It was my uncle’s funeral wake and relatives were gathered together. My sister uttered some words that made my heart sank into discouragement. She said that our cousin (who claims a believer of the Lord) now drinks beer with her unbelieving husband and an unbelieving cousin’s boyfriend. I was discouraged to hear that but was even more disappointed when she told us their justification; she told us that my cousin believes (and so is she) that there are pastors now who are “modernized”. And “modernization for them is believers and pastors drink (and so act) as the unbelievers do in order to reach them for the Gospel.

I know that this incident and this view is now rampant. Even in our church, a “church leader” and a Sunday School teacher even encourages carpenters renovating the church building to drink with him inside our church building. Yes, inside the church. And these people grieve me much. They do not know what damage/s they do for the body of Christ and what judgment from God they are storing for themselves. Where is the difference? Where is the new creation? Or should I ask the question Is there really a new creation?

That one reason why a church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church. (C. H. Spurgeon)

The Bible tells us that if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (II Corinthians 5:17). There are so many passages and so many reasons in the Bible why you should BE DIFFERENT. Let me just give four:

1. There is no in-between, no gray; just either light or darkness.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. (I John 1:5-6)

If indeed you are a new creation, you should BE DIFFERENT, different from how this world thinks, different from how it lives. Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. (I John 2:6)

2. There is no shining crooked star.

So that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. (Philippians 2:15-16a)

This passage is about doing without grumbling but take note children of God in a warped and crooked generation, you should shine like stars in the sky when you hold firmly to the word of life and do what it tells you to BE DIFFERENT and be blameless and pure. The Bible never tells us to be like this depraved world that you may shine like a star among them. It doesn’t and will not tell you to be like them so you could win them.

If indeed you are a new creation, you should be different, different from how this world thinks, different from how it lives. If you live in the light, you will shine like a star - not by walking in the darkness but by walking in the light. BE DIFFERENT!

3. There is no bad works that glorify God.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. (Galatians 5:19-21a) Obviously those deeds are acts of the flesh and therefore won’t give glory to God. Why compromise and do the very things that will not honor God? And read the passage again, just in case it doesn’t strike you and take a look at my emphasis: let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Have you read that you have to be like them so they may become like you and thus, you and they give God the glory? Then why is the need to compromise and act as if God needs your strategy in soul-winning? And why contradict the Bible with your strategy?

If indeed you are a new creation, you should be different, different from how this world thinks, different from how it lives. If you live in the light, you will shine like a star - not by walking in the darkness but by walking in the light. And if you walk in the light, you will let your light (not their darkness) shine before others. These are deeds that mark you DIFFERENT.

4. There is no unholy child of the HOLY HOLY HOLY GOD.

Are you an obedient child of God?

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. (I Peter 1:14) If you are a new creation, the old is gone. Peter tells you that you should not conform yourself again into that old you. Why?

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy." (I Peter 1:15-16, emphasis mine)

If indeed you are a new creation, you should be different, different from how this world thinks, different from how it lives. If you live in the light, you will shine like a star - not by walking in the darkness but by walking in the light. And if you walk in the light, you will let your light (not their darkness) shine before others. And you shine blamelessly because you just reflect what you are called to be - you are called to be holy because He who called you is HOLY HOLY HOLY. The world is not holy; so you should BE DIFFERENT!

My brethren, let me say, be like Christ at all times. Imitate him in "public." Most of us live in some sort of public capacity—many of us are called to work before our fellow-men every day. We are watched; our words are caught; our lives are examined—taken to pieces. The eagle-eyed, argus-eyed world observes everything we do, and sharp critics are upon us. Let us live the life of Christ in public. Let us take care that we exhibit our Master, and not ourselves—so that we can say, "It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me." (Charles Spurgeon)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Redefining Beauty and Strength in a World That Redefined Them Already

Last Friday (October 29), I was able to attend a debut party of a friend. I was there as one of the 18 candles, meaning as one of those who would render a message for the debutant. I am not that acquainted with the debutant; in fact, I was surprised to know that I was on the list. The debutant is my best friend's niece and her mother was my first Vacation Bible School (VBS) teacher - both or either could be the reason why I was there. I knew what to say that time but I was grasping for a more personal message. So I started my speech about her mother and the unfading beauty I saw more than two decades ago. Yes, I may not know her that much but I am confident with the mother who raised her up.

After that, I can't help to think of how valuable are the roles of mothers (or even older women) in shaping their kids; moreover, in influencing young women's way of thinking in a "modernized"/feminized world. There are many views that corrupt the Biblical definition of a woman. If not for the guidance of a godly mother or a godly older woman, they may be embracing how women nowadays define beauty and display strength.

Beauty - an individually pleasing or beautiful quality; grace; charm

This is one of the most abused words among women. Beauty is measured by crowns, titles, admirers or even boys. But I Peter 3:3-4 says that
your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. Do not desire the charm that the Scriptures say is deceptive nor the beauty that is vain (Proverbs 31:30). For more about this imperishable beauty, click here.

Jay Adams puts it this way:
A vital Christian, radiating that hidden beauty of the heart, is more attractive to the right sort of Christian man (the only kind you want) than the raving beauty who is hollow within. A woman who is developing her domestic abilities, who is reasonably attractive, and who is a vital Christian in her own right is an irresistible person.
Strength - the quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor (

A woman defines strength when she is able to par if not to
surpass that of men's. I received a text message which says that the LOUD VOICE of a man really shocks and threatens a woman...but, the SILENCE of a woman tremendously shakes the consciousness of a man.

However, Titus 2:3-5 says:
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God (emphasis mine).

Strength is not the ability to display the power over those viewed as superior than you, it is not the ability to control your situation or control a man. Strength is best displayed in domesticity. Carolyn Mahaney says that domesticity - devotion to the quality of home life - is an essential facet of femininity. Looking for some quotations about domesticity, I encountered this Harriet Spofford who says that if a woman is not fit to manage the internal matters of a house, she is fit for nothing, and should never be put in a house or over a house, any way.

This is the strength of Biblical women and the strength of the women of reformation (a term I learned referring to the wives/mothers of those men of reformation). Nancy Leigh DeMoss explains:
“In contrast to the wise woman, the foolish woman is not content to be a keeper at home. She is not satisfied with where God has put her. One of the things the feminist movement has done so successfully is to stir up discontent in women with being homemakers and to convince them that other pursuits can increase their sense of self-worth… Fueling discontent and pushing women out of their homes in search of greater meaning and satisfaction has resulted in off-the-chart stress levels for many women who can no longer survive without pills and therapists… The greatest spiritual, moral, and emotional protection a woman will ever experience is found when she is content to stay within her God-appointed sphere. This does not mean that she never leaves her house, but rather that her heart is rooted in her home and that she puts her family’s needs above all other interests and pursuits.”
Remember Martin Luther when he says that earth has nothing more tender than a woman’s heart when it is the abode of piety. What kind of woman are you? Are you one of those who struggle to show that you are one of the most beautiful women? Are you one of those who cry "girl power" and demand the exhibition of your greater ability than men's? Or are you a different woman?

The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian,but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman.

Those are words of Elisabeth Elliot. Are you a different woman?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why Women Love Jerks

(This is just an adapted article from Girls Gone Wise. I re-posted it here to share among those who read my blog and I really love the article.)

Why Women Love Jerks
(by Gabrielle Pickle)

I had coffee, recently, with a girl who was in a serious relationship with a young man who was guilty of “cheating” on her by secretly seeing other women behind her back. I encouraged her to break up with him. “Oh, but he’s such a great guy! He really loves Jesus!” was her response.

Are you kidding me? That’s not even remotely true. This young woman wasn’t thinking rationally. Great guys who love Jesus don’t cheat on their women. PERIOD.

It was this encounter I thought of when I came across Gabrielle Pickle’s article, “Why Women Love Jerks.” When it comes to romance, many women are so needy, and get emotionally enmeshed so quickly, that they throw their brains out the window. They foolishly make excuses and rationalize giving their hearts away to guys who are jerks.

In the article, Gabrielle gives two great checklists from Proverbs that outline the characteristics of men who are jerks and men who are gems. If you’re wise, you’ll listen up and guard your heart. Don’t give it to a jerk. Save it for a gem.

Read the whole article here:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jesus Lived a Life of Prayer

The Bible records how God moved whenever His people come into their knees. When Sennacherib, king of Assyria, threatened king Hezekiah and his kingdom, the latter king tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord (II Kings 19:1). Furthermore, when he received a letter from his oppressors, he spread the letter before the Lord and prayed earnestly for God’s deliverance. And indeed God delivered him and his kingdom. Hannah was so desperate for not bearing a child and her despair was intensified whenever Peninnah provoke her. I Samuel 1:10 says that she was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. God answered her prayer. King Xerxes spared the life of Esther though she approached him even without summoning her. That is not because of her charisma but because Jews prayed for God’s intervention (Esther 3 &4).

The Bible has more examples of how God answers prayer. But prayer is more than letting God know our needs (besides He already knows them before words come out of our mouth). For A. W. Pink real prayer is communion with God, so that there will be common thoughts between His mind and ours. What is needed is for Him to fill our hearts with His thoughts, and then His desires will become our desires flowing back to Him.

If we want to imitate someone who lived a life of prayer, there is no one else who has done that than Jesus. The following are the thoughts of my meditation and some I owe to Pastor Paul Washer:

Jesus knew who will be his disciples just as much as He knew those He has chosen even before the creation of the world (Eph.1:4). Yet in this text it says that Jesus prayed overnight then in the morning He chose His 12 disciples. And then in the book of Matthew, Jesus earnestly prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane hours before His arrest. He prayed if it is possible to take the cup away from Him yet He prayed for the will of the Father be done.

Jesus wrestled in prayer. Jesus spent much of His time in prayer. Jesus who is God-man is a man of prayer. We are only humans with natures so much attached to sin and to this world yet we often neglect praying.

Isn’t it a great rebuke to us that we belittle the value of prayer especially during times of seeking the will of God?

I always hope for holidays most especially whenever I know that there are lots of works to be done. I always utter that I need a break. But that is not the case for Jesus. After working for the whole day, He preferred to be with His Father. He went up by the mountainside to pray and He was there alone – alone with His Father.

Isn’t it a great rebuke to us that we neglect the value of communing with God through prayer because we are so tired from work?

  • Jesus knows that prayer is His priority and He enjoys it. (see Luke 5:16)

Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness and prayed. I love how Paul Washer exegete this verse. He says that people often slip away or sneak away to the things they most enjoy. And for Jesus, He often slips away to do what – to pray. He knows that praying, to commune with His Father, is His priority and He is not doing it for duty’s sake but because He enjoys and He loves to be with His Father. Let me quote Paul Washer in what he said in one of his sermons:Real love for Christ is demonstrated not in the advancement of power but in retreating in communion to be with Him.

Isn’t it a rebuke that we often sneak away to do the thing we enjoy the most and that is not praying? If we say that we love God, how much do we enjoy praying to Him?

  • Jesus retreats Himself through praying. (see Mark 1:35)

Jesus’ time is different from ours now. Today we have so much work to do and though we are thankful for the advancement of technology that enables us to do multi-tasking we often find 24 hours not enough for a day. We are too busy to pray.

Are we really busier than Jesus? I don’t think so. Read the Gospels and you’ll see how busy Jesus was. He can’t even have a break because people are always following Him. After teaching in the synagogue, after healing Simon’s mother, at sundown the whole city gathered there waiting for Jesus to minister unto them. I wonder at what time Jesus stopped ministering to take a nap. And while others are still sleeping, while it is still dark, Jesus again departed to a desolate place to PRAY.

Isn’t it a rebuke that because we are so tired and because of lack of sleep we sacrifice our time of prayer to take a rest? But Jesus retreats Himself in His Father’s presence.

  • Jesus teaches the necessity of prayer. (see Luke 18:1)

When Jesus taught this parable, He stressed the necessity of praying always. The disciples have experienced to be with Jesus; they have witnessed that the life of Jesus is a life of prayer and that is maybe the very reason why in Luke 11:1, after Jesus prayed a disciple asked Him to teach them how to pray. They, the disciples who are far greater than us in witnessing and communing with God, have seen how devoted Jesus was in prayer that they wanted to imitate Him. They have grasped that they ought to pray always.

Martin Luther says that "I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer."

Isn’t it a rebuke that we are so much bothered on many things but we often take them to the Lord in prayer?

  • Jesus emphasizes the importance of prayer in the Christian walk. (see Luke 22:40)

A. W. Pink says that prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God. We are so weak yet the battle is so fierce, not just the battle in this world but most is the battle within ourselves. Let us be honest with ourselves, we fail whenever we take a step in this Christian walk by our own effort. We find it harder to do the things we want to if we do them on our own; we even sin and fall into the temptation.

Jaci Velasquez’ song entitled On My Knees says: See I don’t know how, but there’s power When I’m on my knees.

Isn’t it a rebuke that we often wonder why we fail and we condemn ourselves for our failures but we neglect the power that is supposed to be in us if we just pray to God?

As this truth impacts greatly in my life, I used this also as my topic when the youth asked me to lead their devotion. While I was preparing for this topic, I looked at my concordance to search for more passages about prayer and I found a passage I know I have read before, maybe many times before, but as I read it that day, it was as if it was the first time I learned about that passage. It really blessed my heart and may it also speak to you:

What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to Him? (Deuteronomy 4:7)

(picture is taken from

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Almost Forgotten Principle

We always remind ourselves of being contented - to always give thanks to God in everything we have and in every circumstance we may be into. We know comforting words such as “God will provide”, “God will never leave nor forsake me”, “The Lord is my Shepherd”, etc.

I know these words in my heart and I always pray for contentment. I always try to remind myself Matthew 6:34. But I do admit that whenever life presses hard against me, I become anxious. I may not be as worried as a freak yet there are some words and actions I do and utter that I now realize don’t glorify God.

Thanks be to God for our Com-Com (Communicating with the Godly my Communion with God) last July 16-17. It was themed “My Need of Poverty”. Striking passage during that night of devotion was Hebrews 13:5-6:
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

I was deeply moved by God; He reminded me of the principle He has taught me. From time to time God has taught me to trust Him. One of the first few verses I learned when God called me was Matthew 6:33. Since 1997, God has indeed been my Provider. His providence and His divine intervention in my life is very evident that I lack nothing. Majority of the things I possess are blessings from others; I seldom buy my own stuffs. Elementary up to college years, stuffs needed just come on time. God has raised me to really depend on Him and to trust His providence. I did not grow in a rich family; in fact, I witnessed how we suffered from poverty and injustices that I even promised myself to gain all I could have and avenged my family. But thanks be to God; He found me. I am not rich now; however, I live a carefree life because my God sustains me.

But deception works in a very fraudulent way (otherwise it is not deception anymore). Nonetheless, nothing can be hidden when exposed to the illumination of the Word of God. I never thought that discontentment and anxiety have crept into my heart. Let me share what God has revealed to me that night and how this truth reminds me of my almost forgotten principle:

THE WARNING: Keep your lives free from the love of money

This seems to be a very simple command, don’t love money for the love of it is the root of all evils (I Timothy 6:10). In King James Version, it says:
Let your conversation be without covetousness. NIV refers to living while KJV means conversation; NIV warns against the love of money while KJV against covetousness. I was puzzled by the different terms my NIV and the KJV use so I consulted some versions and commentaries. They do not contradict each other. Conversation is part of our living and covetousness is rooted from the love of money. This text is a matter of lifestyle, of conversation, of living. You can not say that you don’t love money yet your lifestyle and your words manifest covetousness. Therefore, covetousness is there because the love of money is there.

Does that mean when I utter “
Your shoes are cute. I hope I can have one also.” is dangerous especially when in fact I still have one I can use? Yes, it is. It somehow shows the desire of the heart. Ouch! But I thank God for such a rebuke from His word.


The remaining part of the text provides the antidotes for this covetousness which is rooted from the love of money.
  • Be content with what you have
Contentment in God is not just a matter of being happy while single or praising God though suffering. It involves money matters; material things are integrated here. Think of the disciples, who among them live luxuriously? Does anyone of them desire more than enough (yes, it is Judas alone and look what happened to him)? Think of our forefathers in faith. They were great men of God who are living contentedly in the Lord; they have put money in its proper place. They care not about material things.

You desire for more stuffs because you are not contented with what you presently have. You want more because the heart deceitfully says you need more. You want more because you see others have more. You see others have them more because you can not see that you have enough. You can not see that you have them enough because you are not contented with what you have.
  • Trust God’s promise
In our text, God has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. In Deuteronomy 29:5, God tells the Israelites, “I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet.” Wow! This is such a guidance and providence of God. Here and many more passages testify that our God is our Jehovah Jireh. So on which between this two do you stand: God deprives you of what you want or He gives you what He sees you need? Your answer determines your heart and your view of your God. This is another sharp knife that exposes the deception I clung.

In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus reminds not to worry. He exemplifies how God cares for the sparrows and utters
Are you not much more valuable than they?(v.26b). He mentions how the lilies are clothed and warns that the pagans run after all these things (foods and clothing or safe to say temporal things), and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Our Father in heaven knows what we need, all these things that we need shall be added unto us. Let us trust His promise.
  • Boldly declare “The Lord is my Helper”
The Lord is glorified when we depend on Him, when nothing we hold but Him. He who is contented with what he has does not only trust God who never leaves nor forsakes him but also declares boldly and confidently that God is his helper.

But you can not boldly declare unto the world that the Lord is your Helper if words that come out of your heart reflect covetousness and if your lifestyle denies contentment. Who will believe your message if you also contradict it with your living? Do you really trust God when you are anxious? Are you contented when you always utter “deficiency”? Do you not love money when your conversation is full of material things?

Moments of how I grumble due to scarcity, praises I garnered because of glut fashion, even utterance of the desire for some unnecessary things suddenly flash back into my memory that I yearn to shrink out of shame. I have proven how faithful God is especially in providing my needs yet how come I forgot that with the way I live now. Praise be to God for His Word that strengthens a crooked thinking and living. Glory to God for reminding me of this passage before lies totally kick it off from my heart. I thank God for the Com-Com He used to lead me unto the right path again; I thank God for our speaker that night for using him. Praise and honor and glory to God!

“Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” (Pro 30:7-9)

This is the prayer of Agur and the text during our Com-Com. This is my prayer also. May it also be your prayer.

(photo is from

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

When Waiting is...Overtime

For how many years, I am being asked with questions such as "Are you already married?", "When are you going to settle down?" or "Do you already have kids?" Questions I first answer with a smile and utter, "It's not yet the will of God." I am already 28, never had the chance to have a boyfriend. And because of that, I have received different comments. Some thought I'm choosy; others just concluded that I am celibate.

But for the knowledge of others, I do wait. I wait for him whom I can be called "his suitable partner". I wait to see someone beside me whenever I wake up in the morning; I wait to have someone pray with me when praying becomes so hard for me to do; I wait for someone to complement me and I'll do the same with him. But the waiting has been so long; it is, if not seen through the eyes of a child of God.

Singleness is not a curse nor a burden. I enjoy many opportunities of serving the Lord because I am single. I Corinthians 7:13 says "But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord — how he may please the Lord." I praise God that though I am single, He has provided me with so many blessings that waiting becomes trusting and thanking moment for His glory.

Singleness is not a hindrance for raising kids

I do not need to wait for marriage and for my kids so I could train and nurture them into the knowledge of God. God Himself has abundantly blessed me with so many ways of being a godly and Biblical mother. You can have a family by faith. John Piper exhorts, "if a single woman turns without bitterness and regret from the absence of her own family and gives herself to creating God's family in the church, she will find a flowering for her womanhood in ways never dreamed of, and Christ will be uniquely honored.”

Singleness is not a hindrance to complement men

Man and woman are created by God to complement each other. But no need to wait until marriage to complement a man. There are men at home and in the church whom you can guide and help. I thank God that I have a male best friend, brothers and friends in Christ who give me the chance to practice my Biblical role. They guide and mold me and I also have the chances to complement them in one way or another.

Singleness teaches total dependence on God

I do not say that married men and women are not dependent on God. But there is a different encounter with God once you learn to cling to God more than anyone and anything else, especially during moments when you are being deceived of being alone. God shows Himself to be very much available for you and that He certainly fills any longing of the heart. You will also learn to embrace His will and enjoy His sovereignty; and that will teach you the freedom and dependence on Him.

You will also learn that marriage is just here on earth; it is just temporary. Your forever husband is the Lord. Isaiah 54:5 says, "For your Maker is your husband— the LORD Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth."

Singleness opens an avenue of focused ministry

This is the point of Paul in saying that the only focus of unmarried is the Lord. Some young married women in our church talk about how they wanted to join some of the ministries but they have no one to look for their kids or that they can't devote their whole time for they may be worrying about their homes. If you are unmarried, you have no other concern than to please the Lord (I Cor. 7:13).

Don't get me wrong again. I acknowledge the different ministry being cared by mothers. They have their homes as their primary place of serving God.

Single men and women, like me, should never look marriage as something that will make us whole. Christ is our contentment, whether married or single. Let us serve the Lord with gladness of the heart and with total dependence. The definition of true womanhood doesn't lie in marrying.

Lastly, I just wanna share John Piper's words:

"Married womanhood has its unique potential for magnifying Christ that single womanhood does not have. Single womanhood has its unique potential for magnifying Christ which married womanhood does not have.

So whether you marry or remain single, do not settle for a wimpy theology. It is beneath you. God is too great. Christ is too glorious. True womanhood is too strategic. Don’t waste it. Your womanhood—your true womanhood—was made for the glory of Jesus Christ."

Friday, April 30, 2010


Hope deferred makes the heart sick...(Proverbs 13:12a)

This verse became unforgettable because of Carolyn McCulley's book Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?. Now this verse keeps on ringing in my ears as I face moments of discouragements and frustrations. When events are beyond our comprehensions and they really push us at the end of our ropes, hope seems to be hiding beyond the clouds. And worst, sometimes it is the heart that gives in.

But those of Christ never lose hope. I don't know how it happens but I thank God that though it seems hopeless, hope is endless in His Hands. He keeps on pouring it in my heart; He gives an unexplainable assurance in my heart; He keeps me trusting His Word.

In moment like this, I always find myself in the book of Psalms. Well, Martin Luther is right when he said that if you can't find your life in the Psalms, you have never become a child of God. In this book, I learned three things:

Scripture tells us to put our hope in the Lord

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:5-8)

The Bible tells us about God's faithfulness; it records how God never fails His people. Paul even testifies of the encouragement the Scripture gives: For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.(Romans 15:4) In God's Words alone are hope; therefore, let us still trust God.

In any situation, praise God

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42:11)

God is still magnificently beautiful amidst the dark storms and those who have been truly captivated by His beauty never give in to any situations. No dark clouds can blur the heart so much in love with the Lord.

It glorifies God

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. (Psalm 147:10-11)

In the deepest moment and in the darkest hour, clinging unto the Lord alone gives God pleasure. It glorifies God to see His beloved ones depend on Him. It pleases Him when those downcast in spirit acknowledge their need of His touch and of His comfort.

I don't know how it really happens but I know it is God. It is during this time that I marvel how I can still manage to hope in Him and to really praise Him. I really thank God for this unexplainable hope against hope. There are so much surprises about our God, so much marvelous things He reveals. How can I explain that despite the questioning and disappointments of my heart is the beholding of His unseen workings. I thank God that nothing can separate me from His love (Romans 8:38-39) and I still glorify Him for He is my God.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Meditation on the Fools' Day

We are fools for Christ... (I Corinthians 4:10)

I was thinking of writing an article about women as it will be very timely since March is considered a Women's Month. Unfortunately, I can't think of a very good topic until I ran out of time (and day) and it is already April 1. Then before frustration embraces me for not writing an article about womanhood, God gave me an idea: Why not write about this day? April 1 is said to be Fools' Day and I am a fool for Christ and I can also share some fool women for Christ I admire (thus, still being able to write about womanhood).

We have a negative connotation when we say fool. Who wants to be called a fool which is defined in my wordweb dictionary as A person who lacks good judgment and A person who is gullible and easy to take advantage of? But when Paul labeled himself a fool, he means a different thing. John Gill's commentary states that they (Paul and companions)were so (fools for Christ) in the esteem of men, for their close attach merit to a crucified Christ; and for preaching the doctrine of salvation by him; and for enduring so much reproach, affliction, and persecution, for his sake and the Gospel's. John Wesley explains that We are fools, in the account of the world, for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ.

I have here the honor to mention few women whom I consider fools for Christ:

  • Mary, the mother of Jesus
    She was already betrothed to Joseph (Lk.1:27) yet she accepted God's will in her life (Lk.1:38) though that would cause her shame and humiliation and the possible cancellation of her and Joseph's wedding. She treasured things and pondered them in her heart that is why though her heart is crushed seeing Jesus nailed on the cross, she managed to stand near the cross of Christ, her Savior (Lk.1:46-47).

  • Elisabeth Elliot
    She was married to Jim Elliot in 1953. Jim needed to leave her and their daughter to be missionary but was killed by the Aucas. While Elisabeth was working with the Quichua Indians, she met two Auca women who became her key to go to the people who killed her husband and share Christ to them.

    Many will never understand how she wanted to share Christ and thus, let the killers of her husband be saved in Christ. (And glory to God that salvation has come to the Aucas)

  • Katharina Von Bora Luther
    She was a runaway nun who was married to the father of reformation, Martin Luther. Her devotion to Christ and her domesticity will be labeled foolishness today. She managed a large home (a former monastery) which is always full of visitors plus their kids and some relatives. They had a large garden and livestock where she, herself, managed for their daily foods.

    She is a career woman, a biblical woman who knows that home is her primary place of ministry.

  • Susanna Wesley
    She is the mother of John and Charles Wesley. After I read her biography, I found her to be a woman of principle. She was not afraid to be forsaken by her father after studying that the beliefs and practices of the Dissent were wrong. In fact, she left her father's church. She stood on her principles though it caused Samuel (her husband)leaving her for 6 months. She was also on her 12th pregnancy that time. She educated her children and disciplined them. She met her kids in a special private conference with each child once a week.

    There are also some writings which said that while John Wesley preached, she was there praying for her son and the listeners.

  • Sarah Pierpont Edwards
    Of course, I'll include her here. She is married to Jonathan Edwards. There are so much things I can say about her but what I love is Jonathan's description of her when she was only 13:

    They say there is a young lady in [New Haven] who is loved of that Great Being, who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this Great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight; and that she hardly cares for anything, except to mediate on Him.

    That summarizes her being fool for Christ. She was only 13 but her whole being is so much captivated by God; she was so much inlove with her Maker.

I can still mention many women whom I know have great fear and reverence in God. Some of them are also being used by God for me to be a Biblical woman: Mary Kassian, Carolyn McCulley, Dannah Gresh, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Leslie Ludy, and of course, Noel Piper. May God be glorified in the lives of these women.

As I write this article, Mary Kassian posted in Facebook that April 1 is also the official release of Girls Gone Wise.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This Day Is The Day To Celebrate

Praise God that I am enjoying this day (not just because it is my birthday) but more because of the mercy and grace He has bestowed upon me that I now have this intimate relationship with Him. What else do I desire than to live and move and have my being in Him and Him alone for His glory alone!

I experienced God's love and this what John Wesley calls the "heart-warming experience" when I was 15. Now I am already 28 and God's love overwhelms me still. There were so many temptations and obstacles along the way which promised the satisfaction of the cravings of my depraved heart. In the end, I always see myself empty and discontented. Praise God for His patience for a hard-headed like me! Praise God for His unconditional love! Indeed, words are not enough to magnify His Being! He always picks me up.

Today, there is more reason to celebrate! God's faithfulness is so much evident in my life for 28 years! I have already shared to some people that I am an "accidental baby". :D My mother was taking contraceptive pills but God willed that she conceived me. Starting from my conception up to this moment, God's sovereignty and wisdom is very evident. (There is no blessings in disguise, everything was planned and willed by the Lord.)

Praise be unto God! Praise God for the adoption he has done for me. Praise God that I am His beloved. Praise God He satisfies my soul. The more I am overwhelmed with God's love, the more I long to have more of Him - to know Him deeper and to enjoy Him more. He is the reason why I celebrate this day.

Thomas Watson writes: "The soul is never satisfied till it has God for its portion, and heaven for its haven." I find this very true. I wanna sing with King David in his psalm:
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psa 73:25-26)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Salvation is of the Lord

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretched like me
I was once lost, but now am found
Was blind but now I see…

I believed I am saved by His grace through faith (Eph 2:8) and I also used to believe that I am saved because I repented and asked for the forgiveness of my sins and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. What’s wrong with that? It’s because I thought I have a role in my salvation by deciding to accept Him to be my Savior. That I made that choice out of my own free will.

I thought I found Christ, but now I know that I found Him because He first found me and revealed Himself to me. When God made Adam out of the dust, Adam was lifeless and never asked God for life nor long to have life. But it was the will of God to breathe life on him and it pleased God to do so. And so with my wicked and lifeless heart. I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me (Ps 51:5). That sin separated me from God, it blinded my mind and enslaved my whole being that even all my righteous acts are like filthy rags (Is 64:6) in His sight. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he can not understand them, because they are spiritually discerned (I Cor 2:14). I was that depraved that the message of the cross is foolishness (I Cor 1:18a) to me. How can I see God’s holiness and my wickedness? How can I long for His salvation because I didn’t see myself needing it? No one can see the Kingdom of God unless He is born again (Jn 3:3), but how can I be born again if I am depraved and would never accept the message of the cross?

Praise God He saved me from death! He breathe life to me and unblinded my eyes. He moved first within me so I could see His glory. The Spirit moved within me so I would listen to His voice (Jn 10:16). And I learned that my salvation is not rooted with my decision, it was ordained in eternity past, planned by the Godhead for it pleases Him to save me. God the Father chose me before the creation of the world, in Christ I have redemption through His blood, and the Spirit was given as a seal guaranteeing my inheritance (Eph 1:4,7,13-14). God works out my salvation in conformity with the purpose of His will (Eph 1:11).

Hallelujah! Salvation is, indeed, of the Lord (Jnh 2:9b). I am saved because it is the will of God for me to be saved. I responded to Jesus and accepted Him as my Savior because He willed and made me accept Him. Francis Turretin says, "In the knowledge of God is eternal, it is necessary that the decree upon which it is founded should also be eternal…All things were decreed of God by an eternal and unchangeable counsel."

My salvation was decreed by an eternal and unchanging counsel for His glory. And His grace did not end there, for His grace will see me through. I have a promise that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6) and will bring me safely to His heavenly Kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen (2 Tim 4:18b)

Copyright His Beloved 2011.