Living on Band-Aids

When I was still working as a software engineer/developer, I have learned the skill of doing temporary fixes. When we encounter system/application issues and we could not find the root cause of the problem, we implement a work around just to reduce the issues until we figure out the root of it. And sometimes, we end up not fixing it. It’s not ideal but we just learned to live with it.

The world we are living in has been like that. We put band-aids to everything that becomes a moral issue in our society to reduce the noise until everyone will just learn to accept it.

I’m not sure what your belief is. I’m a Christian and I believe everything that is written in the Bible. Everything not good that is happening anywhere in this world does not come as a surprise to me anymore since I became a follower of Christ. God gave that warning during the early days of the church.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive,disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 2 Timothy 3:1-3

If you ask the question, “Why would God allow such things if He is really real?” I would like you to watch the video that hopefully will encourage you to seek God more.

Going back to putting band-aids… One of the things that my heart is really breaking for is the implementation of SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) topics as part of education.  To know more details, you can go to this site: https://www.sogieducation.org

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Why did this become a need to implement? What is really the main reason?sogi2

Source: https://www.bccpac.bc.ca/upload/2017/12/2017-11-29-BCCPAC-SOGI-FAQ-for-Parents-with-References.pdf

When I was still in grade school, my father never failed to remind us the importance of education. He required us to study so hard, get good marks because he believed that we are capable. That’s just one of the many things of the role of being a parent. They disciplined us, they taught us how to behave properly as a girl and as a boy, they taught us how to dress properly, they taught us the right values. Because they are parents, they are responsible in helping us build a good foundation of our lives.

The struggle of kids on their sexuality, on bullying, on suicide – these are not issues that should be primarily “resolved” in schools. These are issues that need to be tackled within the family. If a child is reported to be bullying someone, it is the responsibility of the parent to talk to that child and correct that child. If a child is struggling with his/her sexuality, it is the responsibility of the parent to help that child overcome that struggle. If a child has suicide tendencies, it is the responsibility of the parent to assure that the child is loved no matter what. The problem with our society, some of the parents have lost their authority over their children. The society has more authority now over these kids than their parents.

SOGI is a band-aid. It is a work around that will never give a permanent solution. It will probably reduce bullying or suicide attempts but it will also cause more problems in the future for the young generation.

There is only one FIX for all the problems of this world. That fix was rejected 2000+ years ago up unto now. Just like anybody, I have my own struggles and problems in life. It may not be the same as the struggles on sexuality or bullying or depression but they are also real struggles in life. However, I chose the permanent FIX and not just a band-aid.

I chose JESUS to FIX my life and not what this world wants to offer. If you are a parent, choose what can really help your children so that when they grow up, they have a strong foundation that will help them overcome trials and challenges in this world. They need a foundation that will NEVER BE SHAKEN. And that’s only through a relationship with Jesus – the ONE who promised a life that is full and abundant.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – JESUS (John 10:10)

I am not a parent but I care so much for the young generation that it breaks my heart that they will be brought to a knowledge that will just add more confusion to their young and innocent minds.

The verses below show the heart of Jesus for the children. Before the parents loved them, Jesus already did even before they were formed into their mother’s womb. He knew them and He designed them with a life that is meaningful and purposeful (Psalm 19:13-18).

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. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. – Mark 10:13-16

I hope that we pray for the young generation that they will experience the love of God through His Son Jesus who alone can assure them of their true identity. I hope that we pray for parents and families who are going through these struggles and challenges that they will experience the transforming power of Jesus.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

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Until One Day

In my quiet time reading today, I was reading about a rich, young man who asked Jesus the most important question anyone can ask,

“What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18)

As I reflect on it, it made me look back of how my life was before.

Before I came to know who Jesus really is and really have a personal relationship with Him, everything written in the Bible are merely stories for me. It didn’t have any meaning in my life. I didn’t know back then what was really the end goal of having faith. For what?

Until one day, I started asking myself what is really the purpose of doing all the religious activities I did growing up.

Until one day, I realize my sinfulness.

Until one day, I became personal with God. I became curious about Him. Who He really is. Why do I need to pray to Him? I don’t even see Him.

All those “concepts” I learned about God became truth to me. And not just simply truth, they became true in my life. The Bible started having meaning in my life – all the way from Genesis to Revelation.

Eternal Life? I never knew that would be true. That’s only for characters I see on television. You know, those who never die. Superheroes. Vampires. But that’s not God’s idea of eternal life. It’s incomparable.

As I continued to seek God and what Jesus did for me, I was opened to the truth. God created eternal life. And it has always been His plan. It started at the Garden of Eden. Before men fell into sin.

You might be in the same place I was more than a decade ago. Knowing but not really understanding. Doing but not really knowing the reason for it. Going on with life, thinking as long as everything seems to be going well, life is good.

I can’t convince you just like other people wasn’t able to convince me about the truth of the Bible. The truth of Jesus. The truth of eternal life. Only God can really do the work. But because I opened my heart to Him. I allowed Him to reveal the truth to me.  I was changed. And it will always be the best decision I have made in my life.

There’s a big difference with just knowing… it should be knowing Him & experiencing Him – His love, His forgiveness, His goodness, His mercy, His grace, His holiness. That my friend is life-changing.

I pray that you will give God a chance if you haven’t. What can you really lose?

Just like that rich, young man, for sure you have a lot of questions also. Give God a chance to answer it. Start with an open mind and heart.

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FOCUS on 2015

Before 2014 ended, God impressed in my heart what should my focus be for 2015. And it’s really amazing how He confirmed it during the prayer and fasting week of CCF at the start of this year. It really assured me that it’s what God wants me to press on more this year.

What am I talking about? If I tell you, you might say that as believers we should be doing that all the time. It’s not just something you focus on for a specific year but on your day to day. And I would totally agree with you. It’s just that for the past years, I haven’t really been consistently preparing and even very intentional about it. And that’s why I believe God put it in my heart for me to really work on it as He enables me.

So, what am I talking about? I’m talking about “Evangelism”. As I’ve been reading the book of Bill Hybels entitled, “Just Walk Across the Room”, I realized I haven’t really been doing my part in the aspect of evangelism. I always pray to God to give me opportunities to share the gospel to people who haven’t heard about Him but I haven’t really been intentional in preparing for that opportunity. Even more, I don’t even depend on the leading of the Holy Spirit.

My biggest question to God was HOW? How do I share His Word in a country that has so much freedom and respect for each other’s belief? A country that values diversity of religion, culture and standards. HOW?

As I was going through the different stories in the Bible of how God used the apostles to share the gospel, I was reminded that the HOW should not be my concern. God will make it happen just like when God brought Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch for him to share the gospel (Acts 8:26-40). The only thing that God would require is “Obedience”. How far will I go? How willing will I obey? How immediate will I respond?

And to be honest, it’s easier said than done. With a lot of things going on, I can so easily be distracted that my focus on what God wants me to do will become blur until it will become a least priority. And that’s why my very reminder for this year are these verses in Colossians 3:1-2, Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

There is a lot of harvest in this country that would really need the body of Christ to be very intentional not just in sharing the Word of God but importantly in living out His teachings. Evangelism will never be effective if even your own life was never changed by the power of the gospel.

Pray with me that we will never lose sight of the thing that really matters to the very heart of God. May we have the boldness to make Jesus known, that people may experience Jesus to the fullest, so that when our Heavenly Father looks unto us He will say, “Kamukha niya ang ANAK ko (Christ-likeness).”

What is God telling you to focus this year?

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The Great Unknown –  My “Awesome” 2014

Who would have thought that I will be part of a church-planting movement in Vancouver?

Who would have thought that I will start a discipleship group in this side of the world?

Who would have thought that I will work for a big retail company this year?

Who would have thought that I will meet more people from different countries and make new friends?

Who would have thought that I will be sitting here in my room, watching snow falling from my window as I look back about my 2014?

God knew. Even before all these things happened, God knew already. Nothing comes as a surprise to Him.

Those are only few of the tangible things that I never thought would be part of my 2014.

As I wrote in my journal  at the start of 2014, I was totally clueless of how things will be.

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God made me leave my job but He did not open any new doors for me right after, as I thought He would.

You know, that confidence that you feel like everything will fall into place just as you expect them to be?

I thought that I will work full time in a ministry in 2014. But, God had a different plan.  Much bigger plan.

You might not know, but I really wept when God shut all doors for my ministry application. I could not understand why when my desire was to serve Him full time.

And that question still remains half-unanswered until now. Half- answered was because He wanted me to move here.

Still, I believe that’s not just it. It’s something I look forward to be answered in the coming years.

Anyway, so 2014 turned out to be a big surprise for me. That’s what God is so good about – making us in awe of Him.

For the first 5 months, I had no job. Then, God made me move to another country after 5 months of no job. Thus, no sufficient funds for it.

But God said so, so I just had to obey. Those 5 months were life changing.  It was a very special walk with God. I had nothing but only Him.

Most difficult part was when you feel you can do something but God just keeps telling you, “Sit down, stay put, be still.”

God really did a perfect job of sustaining me. Apart from Him, I would have gone a different way.

The second part of my 2014 was the overflow. See, God had to prepare me first before He blessed me.

It wasn’t an easy journey at the beginning. Again, I wept in desperation as I was looking for a job.

As I didn’t have enough funds, I was praying so hard that I can find a job after a month since I arrived here.

Slowly, I saw how God had been preparing things for me here. Right time, right place.

What’s also amazing was that when I learned my visa got approved, my home church also announced that a church will be planted in Vancouver.

I got really excited! Right time, right place.

I may not have worked full time but God opened doors for me to be able to serve Him in this side of the world.

I can never take credit for all the things that had happened to me last year.

God’s faithfulness in my life overflows not just in me but also through me that I can share the blessings to others. Such a privilege!

If I summarize my 2014, I can do it in 2 parts – preparation and overflow. God had to mold my character first, before He reveals His great plan.

God is sovereign. He was in control. He is truly amazing!

My 2014 theme verse truly spoke how my year turned out. A time of surrender and loss for the sake of knowing, obeying and following Christ.

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TO GOD be all the GLORY for my awesome 2014!!!! Thank You Lord!

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Daily Thoughts

Wednesday

In the bus, on my way to Richmond tonight, I saw a man in the street proclaiming about God. I don’t know what he really believes in but I really admire his courage to go out to the street and tell people about God. Inside the bus, there were these three teenagers who made a comment about what religion the guy could be in. Then, one of them said a statement which really pinched my heart. They were discussing about the end of the world and then one said, “I’ll just accept whatever my fate is.”

In my mind, I was thinking if that person truly understood the weight of those words. These encounters remind me how much Jesus need to be made known to people.

Thursday

There’s a typhoon again that made a land fall in Northern Luzon. This is old news already. Every year, there’s always this season that the country experience terrible loss, destruction and flood due to typhoon. But recently, it makes me ask why God would allow our country to experience such yearly? He can stop these typhoons, but in my mind, God allows these calamities for reasons. Whyis He allowing this in our country? What does God wants us to learn and realize? I believe it’s really time that as a nation we start seeking God and asking for mercy. It’s time that as a so-called “Christian” nation, we live it out.

Stewardship vs Materialism

 

When I was packing my things for my big move here in Canada, it was only then I realized how much clothes I haven’t worn anymore, some I did not even remember I had. And even when I was giving away so much already, I still had so much left to give away.

Funny, when I arrived here, I realized I left so much that I only have like three t-shirts I can wear for summer. But yeah, I survived! Coming here with only two pieces of luggage was a challenge. But it is slowly teaching me to be content with what I have.

When you go to malls here or outlet stores, mark downs and promotions are just crazy. You will really be tempted to check out each store and see if there’s something you can buy at a very low price. And this is really a challenge for me. I love to shop during these periods – when items on clearance are buy 1, take 1; or, some items have triple discounts. Big sales!! Just crazy! Who would not love to shop?!

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gotcha!! years ago when I was so happy doing retail activity 🙂

One of the things that I really keep praying to God is that I would not go back to that “old me” wherein I feel like I owe myself a treat that I would just buy anything because I deserve it and it’s really a good sale. I want to be a much, much, much better steward this time. There are a lot of temptations here but I really pray that God would always remind me of what is important to Him.

One thing I got reminded in yesterday’s Sunday message was that the most effective way of overcoming materialism is through tithing. Tithing is not about giving to the Lord. What we have belongs to God. We are just stewards of everything that we have right now. Tithing is bringing to God what belongs to Him – the best of our crop.

As for me, tithing reminds me that what I have is not for me to just spend and enjoy but for me to make sure it is put to good use also.  There is nothing wrong with spending on things that we like or enjoy as long as we are not consumed by those things. That is when materialism comes into our life.

I’m excited on how God will continue to change me to become a better steward of the resources He has given and will give to me. Indeed, to be able to give is a privilege because it is only through God’s provision that we are able to do so.

As of today, I only have two pieces of luggage with me. And I intend to keep it that way. I’m really challenging myself on this and I hope that I would really be able to overcome being a “big sale” enthusiast! Also, I hope I would learn to let go of things when I have to. It was hard for me to give away my stuff before I left but that had helped me somehow not to hold on to things tightly.

Challenge is on!

“Because Your Love is better than life…” Psalm 63:3

 

Waiting Over

 

Yes, I’m back! I’m an employee again. 🙂

It’s been an amazing journey with the Lord as I entrusted to Him the work that He has prepared for me. I really prayed that I would be able to find a job within the first month that I arrived here in Vancouver. However, I never wanted to settle for just any job. I just had to trust that God would honor my desire to work for a role that I really wanted.

It had been in the third week of June and I still didn’t have possible job offers. All I got were initial interviews and emails. Then, no more follow ups. Until the right time came. I re-connected with a former colleague here in Canada and just mentioned that I was looking for a job. After that conversation, everything happened so fast. He spoke to his manager that I was looking for a BA role which they needed in their team because someone just left. I submitted my resume and went for an interview the next day. Then the week after, I got the job offer. The best part, they gave me a senior role and a pay which was more than I asked for.

However, these things were not really a surprise to me. I always knew that God would always do something amazing. He always does. Even if some people would tell me that a month is too short to find a job, I just trusted that God would provide within the month. As I reflected on this journey, I realized that my faith was much deeper during this time as I waited on God’s provision.  At some point in my life, I became very disobedient and I know that I have missed out a lot of blessings because of that. I’m just grateful that God is so gracious and loving that He gave me so many chances to become better. God showed to me the result of my obedience and that is His best plan for me.  I became more expectant in faith than I was before.  This journey was more of seeing how much I’ve grown in faith as I continue to experience God’s best.

Such faith excites me each day as to what could God possibly do. Experiencing God through obedience may always not be an easy path to take. However, taking a path that is outside of God’s plan for us will be more difficult in the long run. God’s way is always, always, always worth to take.

I’m looking forward to another journey of something that I’ve really been praying for. Waiting is over, another waiting starts.

To God be all the glory!

 

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