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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One Hand At A Time

I had the privilege to volunteer in an outreach event by Gideon International last Sunday at the Main Street (Vancouver) Car Free Festival. I’ve always been wanting to join their outreaches but my time never permits. Thank God for asking me to slow down that these days, I have more free time. Such a blessing just to be a part of it.

With the goal of the outreach to share Jesus and evangelize, we used nail art to be able to bridge that. I, myself, have never done nail art. That was my first time. I was so surprised that people were happy with what I did. I really felt that my work were really not that good. But I was thinking, maybe God made them see it beautifully. 😀

My favorite part about that whole event was to be able to talk to women who are in the different walks of life – students, single women, wives/mommies. I always enjoy hearing stories of people. And to be able to do that while doing their nails, it was a humbling experience. I mean, who am I to do their nails when I’m not even equipped. Who am I that they would trust me with not just their nails but with their story? They don’t even know me. And really the best, best part of it was to allow me to pray for them and remind them that God loves and cares for them.

After that event, I went home with my heart so full. That was God’s. The people that He brought there, He appointed it.  Those people were meant to be there to be reminded and  be reconnected to their Maker. My prayer is that those hands I have held will have a personal encounter with God and will really know and receive Jesus. That I leave to God.

I’m just amazed how God can use “nail art” to be able to share His love. One hand at a time, there’s an opportunity for the gospel to be shared.

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There’s another outreach event coming on July 8th. If God is moving you to be part of it, let me know and I can connect you.

What I’ve learned is that when we make ourselves available for God, He will use that. No matter how lacking we are, how unequipped we are, no matter how prepared or unprepared we are, we just need to be available. Because that’s when we will see His glory, His power, His amazing work. When we decrease, He will increase Himself.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

A Conference to Remember

From a worshiper to a worshiper:

Just this weekend, I attended the Worship Central Conference. I wasn’t really planning to attend as I thought the conference was just for the worship music ministry of the different churches. However, some of my friends who planned to go needed a closer place (which is my place) to stay for overnight as they will be going home late. I was thinking, if I would be staying up late to wait for them, why don’t I just go with them. And, good thing I didn’t have a plan for the weekend. I checked the conference details and I realized the plenary sessions and workshops were actually applicable to any Christian believer. So, I went.

I attended with no expectation but just to meet God in that conference. And indeed, I got what I needed and more.

There were so many sessions and workshops that I needed time (which was the whole afternoon today!) to digest, chew and absorb everything that God has reminded, revealed, rebuked, taught and spoken to me.

The theme of the conference is: “STEP IN”.

Here are my reflections/take-aways/action points from the conference:

  • The story of the Samaritan woman (John 4) reminded me of how Jesus steps into our life, not to make us feel guilty of our offenses and sins but to have a personal relationship with Him. He exposes our sins to us but He does not leave us in that situation. He offers love, hope, redemption and forgiveness. And importantly, He wants us to be aware of our sins but He gives us the assurance that He still loves us. He does not want us to doubt of His love, ever. And that’s what the Samaritan woman experienced at the well. It changed her life and influenced other people.
  • The story of the lame person (Acts 3) since birth sitting at the Beautiful Gate asking for alms rebuked me of how I respond to the homeless people I see on the streets.  In all honesty and I’m not proud of, I always have the feeling of fear when I see homeless people on streets. I feel compassion and really wants to help in my own small ways however, fear precedes more. And this has been a struggle that I’ve been praying for a long time. And God just broke my heart. The words that really etched in my mind were – Fear Less, Love More. I have to stop seeing them as what the society sees them (homeless, addict, etc.). I have to start seeing them as people whom God also loves and whom God also sent Jesus for.  Just like me, they are people who need Jesus to set them free  and save them from their brokenness. And I really pray, that I will be able to find ways to reach out to them.
  • As I was reflecting on the story of the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37), especially on these verses: “The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones.  Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. “… God opened my eyes to a very relevant truth. I am standing on a valley of dry bones. God did not just bring me here to Canada to start a new life. He “set me down in the midst of the valley”.  For almost four years, I still keep figuring out why God put a desire in my heart to come here and why He brought me here. There could be so many different reasons, but I believe His revelation this weekend is one of those reasons why I am here. I just don’t pray for this nation, I need to break my heart and weep in prayer for this country. God seeks people He can use to breathe into so that through them, He can give life to those dry bones. I must become the hands, feet and voice of God. Where? In my families, in my circle of friends, in my neighborhood, at my workplace, on the streets. 
  • Another comforting reminder also was the importance for us believers in understanding and in knowing the authority that we have in Jesus Christ. Even if I was at the conference, there were those moments that I would think about my Monday meeting at work. You see, I’ve been doing meetings with senior leadership for so many times. However, I would still feel nervous. And because I am just new to the company, all the more I feel more nervous. I don’t want to mess up and leave a bad impression. But those words from the conference, “AUTHORITY” in Christ put a peace in my heart. God brought me to that new workplace not to be defeated by my own self-focused worries. God brought me there because He knows that I can be a platform, for Him to do something in that workplace. He has given me the authority to speak blessings, to encourage, to be a light, to excel, to influence – not to FEAR, but to LOVE.
  • Greatly reminded of what the true heart of a worshiper should be. As the speaker Pete Greig said (in the context of worshiping in songs)…

“Worship is not being excited about the music or making music. Worship is being excited in meeting Jesus through the music.”

And my longer version that I need to keep reminding myself daily…

“Worship is to be excited not on the things that God has prepared us to do

…not on the music or making music

…not on the outcome of circumstances

…not on the answers of our prayers

…not on the provisions & victories

…not on the ministry work or task

…not on the people we encounter.

It is to be excited on the presence of God

…on meeting God

…on knowing God

…on experiencing God in every detail, in every moment of our life.

Worship is being excited on Jesus!”

We must be like Peter, always ready to plunge!

Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. (John 21:7)

The most amazing thing in that conference is to see, feel and experience the presence of God in a very tangible way. And I pray that all of us who attended there – singing songs of revival and surrender, nodding  and saying Amen’s to the messages, have responded not just within the halls of that building but have responded beyond those walls to our God who is seeking worshipers that He can send to valleys of dry bones. May we Step In.

When we step into the presence of God, we just don't chill out.

 

A Prayed Adventure

On the latter months of last year, my daily devotion was about on the life of David. It was during those months that God has impressed to me that my 2018 will be a year that I need to be more courageous. As you know David, he was the young shepherd who fought the giant, Goliath. But, that was just even the beginning of his great adventure. Eventually, he became the king of Israel which required him more courage.

As I was reading David’s life, there is one of the many important things he did that really reminded me of how much I was missing it in my life.

1 Samuel 23 – Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?”   But David’s men said to him, “Look, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” Then David inquired of the Lord once again.

Then David said, “O Lord God of Israel, Your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake. 11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.”

1 Samuel 30 – So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?”

2 Samuel 2 –  It happened after this that David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah?”

2 Samuel 5 – 19 So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?”

23 Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. 

Before David went to battles, he always inquired of God. He showed full dependence on God that before making any move, he wanted to make sure that it was what God was leading him to do.

And as I was reading that, I was rebuked of how I had been making decisions and plans in my life without really inquiring God first.  One of those was my desire to explore work from other companies. It had always been in my plan and every time I start making applications, God would always give me a reason to stay. Clearly, God did not want me that time to leave.

But late last year, I just felt that I really need to start sending my applications again. And because I was reminded of how David inquired God first, I did the same. My way of praying has changed from requesting to inquiring.

To remind myself, I keep an open journal on my bedside table so that I will immediately write down my inquiry before God. Below are the 2 items I listed last October that God has answered early this year which I will also be sharing here how He answered it.

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I worked for/at Best Buy for more than 10 years, including my years when I was still in Accenture. And the reason for me leaving was because I want to know what else is out there aside from the world of retail. I want to grow and learn more from other industries. As I shared in my previous blog, it was bittersweet leaving because of the people.

So how did my new adventure happened? Before I left for vacation last December, I went for an interview for a BA role in a bank. That wasn’t a contract role though. But because it is different from retail, I just decided to give it a try. I was excited about it and was hoping that I will make it. Unfortunately, I got the news that I did not get the job. So,  when I was in the Philippines for my vacation, I just kept praying about a new job. God knows what is best for me, so I trusted Him.

Second week of January  this year was prayer & fasting week. I was very much looking forward to it because I was excited of what God will reveal to me for 2018. I have so many plans for the year but I was just excited on what He will speak to me for the year. And over and over, He would remind me to be “courageous”.

During the middle of the fasting week, I got an unexpected FB message. My former colleague who I really admire as a person sent me a message and asked me if I was interested for a contract BA job. Without second thoughts, I said Yes! Of course!

So, she gave my contact to the hiring manager. Then, everything just happened so fast. I went for an interview, negotiated my contract and I got the job! It was effortless just like when I got the job from Accenture, just like when I got the job from Best Buy. And I knew that it was from the Lord. Because it was well-arranged and the timing was perfect. My former colleague never knew I was looking for a job, a contract job to be specific. But God knew and He can certainly use people in ways you never expect. And as always, if you think God does not care about details, He does. They gave me my asking rate. Just like when I got the job from Accenture and Best Buy. And what’s the other bonus? My new office is so close to my apartment that it only takes me 5 minutes to commute. And on the summer, I can even just walk!

Everything went smooth but it  took me courage to pursue it. It is getting out of my comfort zone and getting into a dimension that I myself acknowledges it is really one of my weakest – the world of finance. 🙂 It is also taking the risk of doing a contract job, not knowing if I will still have a job in the next six months or so. But, God knows my needs. He knows what I can and cannot do. He is my strength and my provider. I am courageous not because of my experience or what I know but because I have a God who is beside me, before me and behind me. I have a God who is all-powerful. He made this happen. He will see me through it. Because He is an awesome God!

Just this week was my first week at the new company. And each day I went to work, I was just in awe and still am of how God just did it. He did it, so amazingly. And I am just truly grateful.

I hope that I have somehow encouraged you. God is a good Father. He does not withhold anything good to His children. And we can only experience Him fully if we entrust our life to His Son Jesus Christ. Because it is through Christ that we are able to receive the promise of abundant life.

God bless you! To God be the glory! Let the future begin!

do what is rightnot what is easy

When you pray…

It’s hard not to get anxious when it involves financial matters.

An incident happened that involved a cheque I sent as a payment. It usually takes a week for that cheque to arrive but for some reason, it took longer this time. I went to the bank to request for a cancellation since I want to secure the money before it gets cashed out. These days, that’s not impossible to happen. However, the bank advised me to wait for another week as it might just be taking longer. The kind of cheque I sent was not that easy to cancel and takes a lot of process according to them. So, I waited another week.

During the second week, I was already starting to feel uneasy thinking what happened to my cheque. I was hoping it would arrive but it didn’t. And then, I have to wait for another week. During these times of waiting, anxiety always tried to crawl in. Indeed, prayer is the only weapon to anxiety. It’s during these times also that I prayed harder. I told God that He owns my finances. I told Him that I need that money either to be returned to me safely or to arrive safely. I told Him that if that will not happen, I will still continue trusting that He will provide. I just claimed who He is, how powerful He is. That if He can create the whole world, He can definitely secure that amount for me. Nothing is too big for Him. It’s not a very big amount but it is an amount that I needed.

Just this week Monday, I was suppose to go to the bank after work to finally cancel the cheque since third week passed and it still did not arrive. However, the whole day was so busy at work that I was so exhausted and decided to just go home and do it the next day. Almost end of the day Tuesday, I got confirmation that the cheque finally arrived! It was a big relief and I was just really in awe how God led me not to go to the bank the previous day. I was exhausted for a purpose! Just imagine the hassle if I cancelled it and then it arrived the next day. Whew! God’s timing is just perfect!

Once again, God showed to me how much He cares not just on the big things but also on the little things like a “lost cheque”. For God, what matters to Him was me. Not my finances. What matters to Him was my heart and my faith on Him. As much as I don’t want this incident to happen again, I am grateful for the rocky roads of my life because these circumstances allow me to experience God in a very personal way. I am reminded that He is for Real and He truly hears our prayers.

” Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

beach-1868772_1920Photo Source: Pixabay

 

 

Job Well Done – Not Mine.

The past months at work had been truly a tough one. But good tough, I must say. I felt like this year passed by so fast with so many things that had happened for the past 11 months. And in every project, there is always an ending. Finally!

I must say it was tough, but I felt like I’ve grown so much for those months. I remember, before that project happened, I had doubts about myself and my ability to perform my role. Not to mention, being in a totally different culture.  Yes, I struggled (I wrote a blog about it).

For me, each day was like going to a battle. And what kept me going is the assurance that God will not let me do something I am not capable of. That whatever is given to me, He will enable me. The past months had made me more dependent on God. It had made me more prayerful not just for myself but even for the people I work with.

A lot of prayers. An increasing faith.

As the project is closing, feedbacks were just amazing. I’m just overwhelmed with God’s favor in my workplace. As I look back on the days I was struggling and to now, I’m just in awe on how God has enabled and sustained me. I can never take credit for anything because I know that apart from God, I can only do much, but I can never be at my best. I had my own lapses with my work and with my character as well, but God made me come through.

It’s all because of Him. For all the good jobs and appreciation I received, all credit goes to God and God alone. God did a good job in me!

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.