Gratitude Attitude

I just finished watching the CCF Sunday Message through Livestream and the message hit me big time.

I don’t know when it started but I had again a phase of grumbling and complaining at work. Things at work are mostly really busy for me. If I can eat lunch with my colleagues on time and consistent in a week, that is already a huge break for me.  And, I really think that God allows it to happen to reveal what is in my heart and to test my character.  You see, being busy at work is not really the problem. It’s not even like I bring work at home. However, because I am overwhelmed with work that I expect other people to work in same pace and provide results as I do. That’s when the grumbling and complaining happens.

The message I just listened talked about “Entitlement”. And how to avoid it is to always have a gratitude attitude. And this really hit me. I feel like I complained too much that I already lose sight of the true important things. Things that I should learn to count and be grateful for. I also forgot that I myself is a recipient of grace. In God’s standard, I will never be good. But because of His grace through Jesus, He is able to forgive me of my misses and failures. I am reminded that I should be the same to other people. I have to stop easily judging people and see them  as how God sees them.

I used to have reminder at my desk at work, “Increase Appreciation, Lower Expectation”. I should really put that back to remind me to always learn to see the good on people. It is very hard especially when you expect people to perform based on their status and position. By God’s grace, I’m praying that I will really learn to lower my expectation and even more surrender those to God as He is the one who is really in control.

The cause of my busyness was a big project I was part of that just got implemented recently. It’s a good accomplishment and it was successful. But, in all honesty, I feel that I failed the test God gave me. I ended up grumbling so much instead of rejoicing more. I became loud inside instead of allowing peace to work in my heart. I forgot to be grateful of the blessing of work and blessing of relationship. I lose sight of what truly matters for eternity.

I know that God will always bring me to circumstances that  will prune and mold me as God’s purpose for us has always been Christ-likeness. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I pray that I will be better next time.

I want to end this by thanking God for a lifetime of grace that is overflowing for me and for you that we may always be reminded of what truly matters and to always be grateful.

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3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:3-8

be grateful!

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I want to say something also…

It’s interesting to read and see ongoing reaction of people about Manny Pacquiao‘s statement few days ago about homosexuality. It’s comment after comment on different social media posts. I can’t even wait to talk about this  with my family on our Saturday night video call (Something we can talk about aside from the upcoming Philippines election!).

I’ve been thinking, should I also say my piece about it? Well, it’s not like anyone would read or care about what I say. And, I’m dead tired from work today that I just want to stop my brain thinking about work. So, why not express myself, kill my boredom tonight and write something.

I’m not going to talk about homosexuality or same-sex marriage. I’ve said my piece about that one already months before – (Not Keeping Silent in Love). What really caught my interest and made me realize as I was reading the different views of people is on how we are a bunch of people with so much contradictions in life. We are so contradicting in the belief we try to uphold just to fight for the things we think we deserve.

“Life is not fair.” It is not just a cliche but a reality. A reality that all of us can never accept that is why there are so many laws passed about having equal rights, if possible equal rights in all aspects of life. And I believe that’s our human nature. We want to be treated fairly in wherever we go or whatever we aspire and do. I, myself have my own personal sentiments about it.

However, we fail to realize that what we are fighting for sometimes contradicts the standard that we claim we believe in and stand for. I remembered what our senior pastor said of what are the two types of people in this world. One who believes in God- the Creator, the Author of Life, the Author of the Bible and the other one who does not believe in God at all.

If we believe in God, the basis of the kind of life we want to pursue is what He commanded us to do in the Bible. If I consider someone an enemy, I just can’t ask to pass a law that any person I consider as an enemy even if that person is not doing anything to me, must not go near me within this distance just because I don’t want to see that person. This contradicts to what God said that I should love my enemy. It’s not love. It’s being mean to the person.

We can’t say we believe in Him but consciously accept and do the things that He does not approve of. There is a huge difference between compromising and overcoming sin. Compromising is you know that God does not approve of such act but you still do it and has no intention to repent. Overcoming sin is having the desire to turn away from it but you struggle and fail at times but you allow God to help you overcome until you totally turn away from it.

If we do not believe in God, then, we can choose what ever standard we want to base our life on. A life without God has really no distinction of what is acceptable and not, of what is good and not. A life without God is a life without laws. We can fight for whatever equality we want as nothing can contradict what we are fighting for.We get to choose how we want to live our life based on our own standards – which is based on what? I really don’t know.

So what am I really trying to say? That in this lifetime, we will always have that desire to fight for what we think is right and fair in our own standards even if it contradicts to God’s standards. To compromise is never okay with God. God’s truth is a truth that we can never dispute and argue with Him. We can all argue about it in social media or in our conversations with other people. But it will never change  God’s mind about it. It’s a done deal. We will be judged according to His standards  when the time comes.

But despite of, what is still amazing is God’s standard of equality and fairness.  There is love. There is grace. There is mercy. There is forgiveness. Because He knows that no matter how much He shortens the greatest commandments from ten to just two, we will still fail Him.  That’s our nature. We just want to follow the easy commandments and break the other ones. And because we are bunch of contradicting people who can never save our self from His judgment someday, and because He is a gracious and just God, He gave us a chance to be able to meet His standard. He sent Jesus  who alone can satisfy the standard of righteousness we can never meet. If we believe and love and follow Jesus with all of our being, we just don’t get to meet God’s standard, we also get a bonus of a transformed life. We can never have Jesus in our life and not be changed. He is just too amazing not to be able to do that.

 

 All have sinned and are not good enough to share God’s divine greatness.” Romans 3:23

” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

“When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new!” 1 Corinthians 5:17

 

I didn’t expect this to be a long writing. I hope you didn’t get bored reading.  I just hope that as you finish reading this, you will appreciate more the goodness and grace of God. I pray that you will see that the love God is giving to you is in all fairness and equality. In Him, there is no favoritism, nothing less, nothing more. His love is just enough. Hope you meet Jesus today!

Have a great night!

Sending love,

Stifany (Princess Pepay) ❤ ❤ ❤

Power Outage

It’s 8:39 PM of August 29th. My apartment is in complete darkness. Having no electricity, the only things I can do are to eat and sleep. Reading is not an option anymore. And just waking up from an afternoon nap, I just don’t want to sleep again yet. With a little power left in my laptop’s battery, thus the writing.

Sitting at my desk right now, seeing the lights of the high rise buildings beside my apartment turned on, I feel nothing but envy. I am in total darkness…literally.

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See, this is not my first time to experience power outage. In the Philippines, we always have this. This is not even my first time to witness damages due to storm. I am so used to this back home. However, this is my first to experience it here. And it made me realize that even in  a first world country, there are times that restoration would really take longer than you expect. I thought that if there is power outage, in just few hours, electricity will be restored immediately. Well, I’m dead wrong. The wind storm hit pretty hard that some people here might even find it overwhelming. I’m just hoping that tomorrow will be much a better day. The transition of our weather is just so extreme, from drought to a storm.

However, with all of these happening, I’m still grateful. This outage makes me appreciate the comforts that I have been enjoying – especially the hot shower and oven toaster. 🙂 It also allowed me to rest from online activities. After months of buying my doodle & design book, I was once again able to do some coloring stuff (not that I’m an artist or something – just doing something creative).  

 And I am able to write, like right now which I haven’t done in so many months. And I was able to spend time with God. And I was able to have a complete rest after a full packed summer. Honestly, this is my first Saturday since summer started that I totally rested. And it is really good.
And this darkness reminds me that I may be in a dark place right now, but my life is not. I am connected to a High Power that will never have an outage. As long as I am connected to the Source, I will never have a life outage. There will always be light that will shine in and through my life. These are temporary catastrophes and maybe tomorrow or in the next two days, all will be back to normal. However, there is a permanent darkness that we can never escape once we are there already. And that is the judgment of God when the time comes. The only solution not to be in that permanent darkness is to be connected to Jesus Christ who is the only Source of Light. It is only through Him that we will forever stay in the Light.

Just imagine yourself being in complete darkness right now, then, think that to be eternal, then add to that endless weeping, endless burning, endless thirst. If we complain with little drought or hot weather, just imagine that eternal life apart from God. It’s an endless pain.

Don’t stay in the dark. God gives us the freedom to stay in the Light. Make that decision today.

“For God so loved 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

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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A Weekend to Remember

I have so many take homes over the weekend and so many things to be grateful for.

Last Friday night, together with my friends Linda and Shannon, we went to see the 47th Singing Christmas Tree Show at Broadway Church. There were Christmas carols, drama and acrobats. It was really cool – they were doing ice skating on stage. Linda and I got so curious that we went to touch the floor of the stage after the show to see if there was real ice. Well, it wasn’t. (hehe) The story was very simple but it conveyed a very important message, reminding everyone that we can do all the Christmas traditions we got so used of since we were kids but those can never replace the true meaning of Christmas. The gift-giving, parties, decorations, big preparations are worthless if we will never understand what Christmas is all about. Here’s a cute video about First Christmas.

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Saturday night was a Christmas get-together with my Filipino friends from work whom I consider family here in Canada. The group has gotten so bigger with almost everyone having their own families and kids (except for me and a few…nyaha!) Parties are more fun now with all the little kids running around and entertaining everyone. My only take home from this night that will last is a grateful heart. God designed us to be relational and He provides those people whom He wants us to build relationships with. He knows that we can never do things on our own and that’s why He gives us friends.

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Today, Sunday was another blessed day. I had to get up early in the morning to prepare my own share for the breakfast potluck at First Baptist Church (and skipped CCF service today). Gloria, also a Filipino was the one who invited me for their ministry breakfast potluck. Some of the people at the breakfast were also those I volunteer with at Tuesday’s Soup Kitchen at their church, including Gloria. It was just nice of her to extend the invitation to me even if I don’t go to their church. It’s just amazing how God could bring people together on certain events even if we are part of different congregations. Being connected to one Source who is Jesus can indeed unite people. And, I believe that’s why Christmas brings everyone together.

After the potluck, Gems (who was also with me at the potluck) and I attended the worship service and watched the movie, “The Exodus” after.  Here are my take homes from both:

  • No matter how good we think we are or we do, if we never received Jesus in our life, we will never have the right to be a child of God. We will be merely one of God’s creations, but never part of His Kingdom. 

 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)

  • We can only do so little with our own strength. But with our little faith, it can move mountains. The movie “Exodus”, even if a lot of scenes were not based on Biblical truth, it still emphasized the importance of faith not just in any god but to the one true God. Moses, just like most of us didn’t know the Lord growing up. But God used him for a greater purpose that’s why God spared his life when he was still a baby. His personal encounter with God was what made him go to deeper faith in trusting God as he led the Israelites out from Egypt.

And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14)

I am forever grateful to God for His amazing love that He will never stop offering to us through Jesus Christ. As John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, hat he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

And now, my take away questions for you:

How’s your relationship with God?

Have you received Jesus in your life?

Why do you celebrate Christmas?

What do you hope to be better this coming new year?

Celebrating Treinta (30)

I’d really like to celebrate this milestone in my life with my family. However, since I live away from them, I didn’t get to. But, last month, I had a chance to be will all of them, with my brother also back from UK, somehow, I still was able to spend my 30th in advance. 🙂

We went to to a beach resort in Dumaguete and also celebrated in advance my mom’s 60th since my brother has to go back to UK.  So grateful that we were able to get together!

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I got to spend my birthday in advance with my disciples together with other April celebrants also (Kim and Glow). We had a picnic at Ayala Triangle in Makati. We just love celebrating birthdays! I’m so blessed to disciple these awesome ladies!

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My dear friend and sister in Christ Nang Yan also came over to my place days before my birthday. She brought the cutest cake ever and the rest of the food! But, I was really touched when everyone in her family came over too. So grateful that they also joined in celebrating. Very blessed!

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And on my BDAY! Haha! I had a morning walk and catch up with my jogging buddy Ann at Capitol Commons in Pasig, since we haven’t seen each other since her Holy Land tour. After which we had our breakfast in Starbucks which the staff really had nice and friendly service. Ann gave me a stone from the brook where Gideon was testing God and a very cute pair of earrings.

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Funny thing happened, because my friend Rhodes called me when I was in Starbucks and asked me if I was already awake. I told her I was in Capitol Commons and she told me she was at my place. Haha! She planned to surprise me with my roommate, Kim as her accomplice but Kim failed to inform her I went out to jog. Haha! And so, she waited at my place until I got back.

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That’s her waiting at the hallway. Haha! But, I still got surprised. We had plans for the night so I didn’t really expect she would do something like this. She brought a fully loaded breakfast with all my favorite!

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The plan for the night was to go to the salon and get our hair cuts. I wanted a short hair and so I convinced her to get one too. And, no regrets! After that, we went to my favorite Korean convenience store to enjoy a Korean birthday meal. Too bad we didn’t have container for the seaweed soup. But still, we enjoyed! So grateful for Rhodes to celebrate it with me.

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Looking forward for more celebrations with some more friends! Thank You Lord for the gift of relationships! Would be so sad to celebrate birthday alone… Praise God!

Celebrating LIFE

When you love God and watch this video, you can’t help but dance.

 

How often do we celebrate God’s greatness and awesomeness? How often do we celebrate the life that God has given to us through Jesus?

As I journey towards 30, I pray that I will dance more on God’s dance floor even if I don’t know how to be able to express my gratefulness to the true LIFE GIVER, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am always overwhelmed of how amazing and great and good and loving and faithful and gracious (not enough words) Jesus Christ is. If you are dancing on the wrong floor now, I hope you jump off and get on God’s dance floor.

Because only in His dance floor that you can find the love and amazing grace you haven’t experienced before.

If you want to be free and alive, get your feet movin’ on God’s great dance floor.