It doesn’t matter

One thing I am grateful for social media is it allows me to see the world. I see vacation posts, heartbreaking stories, inspiring stories, government updates, economic news,  parenting tips, etc. You name it.

Though, whatever I read or see triggers different thoughts and emotions in me. I would wish I can go for a vacation also. Or, I wish I could help. Or, I get disapppointed. Or, I want to encourage too. 

But when all of those thoughts and emotions pass, I would ALWAYS be reminded of God’s Word. “Set your mind on things above and not on earthly things.” I always ask the question, “Does it really matter to God?”

…if I go or not go for a vacation?

…if the whole world does not know my own little acts of kindness?

…if I live in a country with economic problems?

…if I can only inspire one or two compared to others who can inspire the world?

…if I don’t ever become a parent?

God’s answer to me, “The Lord DELIGHTS in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”‭‭ Psalm‬ ‭147:11‬

That’s what matters to God. How I honor Him, fear Him, love Him. The condition of my heart is really what matters to God. I should never measure the worth of my life by earthly things. And I can only do this if I have Jesus in my life, His Son whom He is well pleased.

#thoughtsbeforeisleep

It is FINISHED.

This weekend, I got reminded of one important thing. You see, every year, I always have a list of goals that I want to accomplish. It’s already half of the year and I only have one thing crossed out from my list. I felt like I haven’t done enough for the past six months. I was starting to be hard on myself.

Yesterday, in my quiet time, I read the story about the woman with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume who used it all  up for Jesus (Matthew 26:7-11). Of course, she got an indignant remark from some of the people who were there. They thought she just wasted it when she could have sold it for a high price. However, Jesus was pleased with her. And that’s what only matters to her.

 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.” (Matthew 26:10)

As I was reflecting on it, it made me ask the questions – “What is important for me?”,        “Why am I getting anxious of not being able to accomplish the things in my list of goals?”, “What does that make me if I won’t get them done?”.

I got too caught up with a checklist that I forgot the one main important thing. I forgot that no matter how long my list would get and no matter how much I have or have not accomplished from that list, neither can increase nor diminish God’s love and view of me. God does not really care what I have today and what I don’t have tomorrow.

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “IT IS FINISHED.”  With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)

I forgot that Jesus already finished the one thing I can never do for myself. To save myself from trying to accomplish a lot of things when He already promised that He will give me an abundant life as long as I have Him in my life (John 10:10). The events in my life do not define the kind of person I am. Who I am becoming is what matters to God and because that’s what only matters to Him, I only want to be defined through His Son, Jesus.

The three words – IT IS FINISHED are such comforting words knowing that what I need to do in my life is just really to please God on the kind of person I am becoming. I want to become that same woman from the story who does not live a life defined by her accomplishments  but a life that Jesus would say, “She has done a beautiful thing to me.”

I’m Princess Pepay. A Work In Progress!

12378094_10201753556277690_3000165032888668913_o

Utterly Grateful

Throughout this birthday week, God has reminded me of how blessed I am with relationship. In all honesty, I am never used with people who are not my family in going out of their way just to show me how much I mean to them. I am humbled and grateful. Learning from the past, I’ve learned to lower my expectation on people to avoid being hurt and disappointed. I have to learn and re-learn how to give without expecting anything.

Probably that’s the reason why I always feel overwhelmed on any gesture (nothing is little or big for me) of goodness and kindness from people. It’s a blessing you can’t contain.

“It’s the thought that counts.” That is so true for me. I may not be able to express it properly, but I truly appreciate the time, the prayer, the thought, the present, the encouragement,  the greetings, the conversation, and even just checking on me if I’m doing okay. Every time someone blesses me, I always think of ways on how I can pay it back. I just feel like I don’t deserve such blessing. Then, God would just remind me that I have to learn as well to accept and receive with humility. That I should also allow people to bless me as it is a privilege for them as well. Same that to bless others is also a privilege for me.

Thinking about all of these, I am also reminded of how GOD as a GIVER is. Everything He provides, He does not expect anything. Indeed, we can never out-give God. We think that we are giving back so much to Him – our time, our resources, our wealth. But the truth is, the amount of blessing He gives to us is immeasurable. All we need to do is to open our two hands and receive His blessing.

And do you know what is the greatest gift that He can give us? His Son Jesus. I owe my life to Jesus. He is the ONLY ONE who can never disappoint me. He is the ONLY ONE who can live up to my expectations. Jesus is the ONLY ONE who saved me from all the pits that I have fallen into without expecting anything in return. He is the source of my joy, my peace and my strength. He is a GIFT none can compare.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:10

If you want to know more about Jesus, feel free to message me 🙂

—————-o—————

A recap of my 32nd birthday

THANK YOU EVERYONE for all your kindness and goodness! You know who you are 🙂 I can’t believe my mom prepared so much food on my birthday even if I am away from them!! Family Love is the best! ❤ ❤ ❤ And yes, I got a hair cut and for the first time have highlights on my hair! *winkwink*

13106645_10201867008433923_230268836_o

13090619_10201867008553926_1065643029_o13106043_10201867008673929_14464159_o

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) ❤ ❤ ❤

Let praying be a cliché

Last night, while waiting for my friend at the mall, I was reading the news about the attacks in Paris. Just by reading it, you can feel the anger, fear and mourning of the people. And being in the mall, you can see the exact opposite of it. People went on with their shopping, strolling, chatting happily. 

Then, thoughts and questions came in. How much of these people I see at the mall are aware with what’s going on with the rest of the world? How much of these people even care? How much of these people even know how blessed they are to have so much freedom? How much of these people know about God’s Word about the end times? How much of these people know Jesus? 

Then, later in the night, I saw more people in Facebook sharing posts to pray for Paris. And even today, profile photos were updated with the shades of France’ flag. 

Then, more questions popped out again. How should we really pray? What should we really pray for? Do we just pray for Paris? Or, do we also pray for all victims of persecution, terrorism, abuse and slavery all over the world? 

To be honest, when I was praying today, I did not even know anymore what I exactly I should be praying for. When God is very clear in His Word that all of these are expected to happen. And even worst in days to come. Can we pray to stop terrorism? Can we pray to stop killings and persecutions? 

Then, God reminded me to first be thankful because all of these will pass away. However, we should never cease praying. Praying that more people will come to the light of the gospel through all of these happenings. Those people at the mall, the victims, even the terrorists, our friends, our families, our co-workers, our neighbors, our government leaders. That through the gospel, people will realize that in the midst of trembling and fear, there is a lasting peace and joy in having a relationship with Jesus. We may not experience it in this lifetime but in the promised time to come. 

We may never understand all of these things today, but there is only one thing we can always be assured of. In Jesus, we are already victorious. 

I pray that as we all desire to pray for Paris, may we pray not just for Paris but for all the victims of terrorism, persecution and slavery as well all over the world. I pray that praying will not just become a trend just because something bad happened. I pray that we will pray to the point of weeping and breaking of our hearts for those people also who are so lost and deceived by their own beliefs. 

Let praying be not just a one time thing but a constant call out to God in every moment of our life.  

    
   

Could Have Been

There are days that I long for my sister, Amity. Days that I wish I can just talk to her. She is irreplaceable. We had conversations that I can never have with other people. Her opinion and insight just matters so much to me.

And today is just one of those days. I played all the music that she used to like. Looked at old photographs. I just wish I had more pictures with her when we were already working. Then, I started googling her name to see if there’s anywhere in the internet that I can find her.

And I found this…

LET result LET result2

An archive of the list of LET passers last 2006. We totally forgot about this. The Monday after Ate passed away, she was suppose to take her oath taking as a licensed teacher. But with everything that had happened that time, we didn’t care anymore. It didn’t matter anymore. But now, seeing her name in that list for the first time, it made me think what she could have become.

Some or maybe most may have not known, while Ate was ranking high in the insurance company she was working that time, she was also pursuing a different career. A teaching career for special children. If you know her really well, you would be surprised. You see, my sister had little patience with kids. She pursued that career because of a dream that she wanted to achieve long term. She was thinking that by taking that step, it would take her to greater heights. However, that experience changed her. She became in love with teaching, especially with the special children. I remember when she told me stories of how she dealt with the kids, instead of losing her patience, she would just find humor and laugh about it. She even showed us photos of her students. I never thought Ate would stand long when she was doing her practicum, but she did.

I can’t even imagine what could have been her life as a teacher. All I know is she will for sure do great things. It’s just sad that we never get to see what she could have become. Hopefully, someday, my family will be able to fulfill all the dreams that she had for all of us. So that all her hard work will not be put in vain.

Ate is not just family or a sister. She inspires me. As what I always say, she taught me how to dream big. She is one bubbly soul.

FullSizeRender

I always miss you Ate. I love you so much!

This is one of Ate’s favorite artist and song. She influenced me to enjoy jazz music.

Not Keeping Silent in Love

I had never talked about homosexuality in any form of social media because I know these are things that are talked about in a personal setting and not just a topic you want to post in social media so that people would either like your post or make comments about it.

But last Friday, I can’t keep silent about it anymore. Not that my purpose for making my posts were to attack the homosexual group but it was to give more awareness especially to the young generation who have unlimited access to the social media that not everything people seem to think is okay, you just have to agree with it.

I realize that if you really truly care for someone, you have to make sure that you do something as well. I’m not a parent but I have a 9 year old sister, I am a Sunday school teacher, I am  a god parent and, I have cousins who are in their teen years. There is a generation that we need to look after for, to care for. If we just remain silent not teaching them what is true, then, how will this generation distinguish what is right from wrong?

I believe that just as God commanded us to share His love to people, He also commanded us to teach them, which is one of the ways we show our love.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20

I talked to my older sister, Otella, the other night and I asked her if she can ask our youngest sister, Dora what she understands about marriage. And then, I told her that she must teach our sister what the Bible says about marriage. I don’t want my sister to grow up with a knowledge about marriage in the way of how human law now wants to define it. I want her to grow up believing how God created marriage and defined it. But you see, the concept of marriage is suppose to be something that should not be taught but something that you just understand as you grow up seeing your parents.

I will never be silent when I know that with my few posts I can remind people of what is the truth. I will never be silent when I know that it could shed light to one teenager who is confused with what to believe anymore. I will never be silent when I could help affirm burdened people that it is okay to stand for what is true. I will never be silent when people are scared to stand for truth because they might hurt others. But then, that’s what truth is for. To break us, to correct us, to discipline us, to teach us, to make us better people.

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Proverbs 27:5

It is not because I want to tell the truth, the reason for it is to prove that I am right and they are wrong. What do I really get from doing it? I hope people realize that we tell the truth because we love them, we care for them and we don’t want them to fall into a great deceit that just because it makes you happy and makes you feel good, you can just do whatever you want, believe whatever you want to believe.

I hope we all realize that telling the truth is very different with judging or condemning people. If truth bites you, then maybe, God is telling you something about it. Judging a person is attacking the person’s being. Telling the truth based on God’s Scripture is attacking the wrong teaching or belief. I hope we all see that difference.

And lastly, I hope we also understand the kind of love that God has for us. Loving others doesn’t mean we won’t hurt them. Loving others could sometimes mean we might hurt them because we want them to be better people, just like how my parents disciplined us when we were younger. There were painful times but those were motivated by love. When we say we must do things in love, we must model it on how God loves us also. When we start keeping silent because we say we love other people and don’t want to hurt them, then maybe we are more concerned of the relationship, than of the person.

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Hebrews 12:6,11

Always remember, God loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to remain unchanged. And if we say that we truly love God and believe in Him, then we must as well do what He asks us to do.   “If you love me, keep my commands.” John 14:15