AO#3: Otella

Best birthday gift I could give to my sister is to feature her here on my blog site (LOL).

Kidding aside, since it’s her birthday, I’d better take this time to really give her an appreciation which is long over due. Ate and I will always have that chasm in between us which makes our sisterhood just tighter. We dearly miss Amity. Too bad, Ate has been stuck with me cause I only have one sister to run to since Amity passed away. LOL. That didn’t really give her an option, right? 😀

There are so many things I appreciate about Ate. Not sure if she knows that. But I’m just really grateful that she’s been very patient with me. Her calmness and gentleness is contagious. There might be times that I may have offended her but she just remains calm. She just brushes it off. She doesn’t sweat it. And I needed that in our family.

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She is also my cheerleader. She encourages me. She is a good listener. I can rant about anything to her. We can just talk endlessly if we have all the time. It’s usually sometimes me who can’t make time. But she always does when she can. And I really appreciate her for that.

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I am grateful that I can lean on her. When there are times in our family that I am panicking already, she would always assure that we can find ways. For so many times that I haven’t been there for my parents, she has always been there which caused me not to worry. That’s something I will always be grateful. For just assuring us her siblings who are far that everything at home is okay. It means a lot.

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Happy Birthday Ate! I love you so much and I truly appreciate everything that you have done for me, for all of us. The previous years were tough with so many things that we went through but you remained steadfast in your faith. Your stillness in God is inspiring. I’m just glad that you are my sister and for also not allowing anything to ruin our relationship. That we owe to our Lord. He kept us tight in His love. I don’t mind being single forever as long as I will grow old with you. Haha!

How old are you already? LOL xoxoxo

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AO#2: Women at the Well

(Me, MJ, Marj, Ate Beth, Ate Don)

I was thinking what I should call these lovely women… I like Women at the Well. Each of them has their own story of how Jesus met them at their own “wells” of life. And if not for Jesus, I will also never get to know these women. He is the reason why we are where we are.

Today is a reminder of the Good Friday that happened more than 2,000 years ago. And because of that, I am able to celebrate this season of my life with these ladies.

I truly appreciate the love they show through enouragements, prayers, time, blessings and just being there to listen. They get busy at times but they always make time. And for that, I am truly grateful.

Love you ladies! 😘

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As I commit to be more appreciative to people, I will use my blog as one of the platforms to do that. And why I’m doing this? (Click -> Here’s why )

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.

 

BREAK-UP

I’m just a bit emotional. I felt like someone broke up with me. Though, I really haven’t experienced one. Haha! But anyway, I just feel like it.

Last 2013, was my first time to resign from the first company that I worked for more than 8 years. But when I left, it was a different kind of emotion. I felt free. Here’s a throwback. 😀

Just this Friday, I said my farewell to the second company I have worked for almost 4 years. And the reason I’m writing now is because I just needed an outlet of how I feel and let it be. I really don’t like dramas but you know what, this is my blog site. I just  want to be dramatic right now. LOL.

Anyway, leaving was my personal choice. It was time to move forward and explore other industries for my own growth. I had to choose growth over comfort. However, leaving this time was not easy.

In my years at the company, I had moved from one team to another. Worked with different people on different projects. Had multiple bosses. Change was super constant. But the last seven months were different. I became part of a team wherein we could all grow together. And to become a part of something that evolves and improves, it’s not just about work. It’s really about building relationship. It was just getting better. And that’s why it was sad to leave. And probably, it’s just me. It’s something I didn’t want to lose.

I just feel like a portion of my life right now got ripped. #drama … lol… But, that’s how I feel. It’s going to take a while. I’ll definitely miss our daily stand-ups and sometimes, excessive clapping. 😀 I will miss grooming  & retro sessions where everyone just really gets “passionate”.  😀  I will miss the crunch time moments when it’s close to end of sprint and everyone just jumps in to help. Just so many things going on everyday that I will surely miss. But most of all, I will miss the team and being part of the team. I will miss working with people who turned out to be friends.

Okay enough with this drama…haha… but those are all sincere words… I’m not going too far so I know I will still see them.

Next week, I will be walking down the hall, seeing unfamiliar faces. And I might still be sad. It’s going to be weird for a while, I guess. We’ll see…

National Leave the Office Early Day!

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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