Broken to be Made Whole Again: My #NFYC2018 Reflection

Brokenness. It was the overarching theme of the #NFYC2018, at least for me. All throughout the convention God has been telling me that I must be willing to be broken to be made whole again. But what does it mean? Am I not yet a Christian, already made whole by the saving grace of Jesus?

Broken to be Made Whole AgainI tried to understand what God has been revealing to me for the past four days of convention. I intentionally had a lot of moments alone to process what is in store for me. My life has been in a hustle these past few months and the whole convention period is a spiritual and physical retreat for me. But receiving a message about being broken is not something I expected. Indeed, it was an unconventional convention.

Writing for the Lord

During one of the sessions, Ptr. Nolan Galido has spoken about embracing the breaking principle. Drawing inspiration from the story of the young boy with five loaves and two fishes, he shared that we must be broken so our resources will be multiplied for the needs of others. The loaves and the fishes were obviously not enough for a multitude of 5000 but when broken and offered to Jesus, a miracle happened right before their very eyes.

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One of the gems inside the NFYC Kit
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CCT’s majestic view from our room

 

I asked myself then, what is it that I have that has be broken and multiplied? I don’t have much of a talent, not much of resources, not much of influence. All I have is my desire to write a book and draw people to the Lord with my writings. I felt a thud in my heart. I offered my dreams unto Jesus and surrendered my desire.

As soon as the convention’s over, one of my writing platforms, my Facebook page, has been compromised. For one, I know I’ve been so gullible, and for another, I think God is teaching me a lesson. It has become a source of distraction for me, if not a source of social media ego food source. At first it was hard to admit that I have been so distracted, but little did I realize that I have been enjoying too much the likes and the comments and all the engagements my page brings. I have to be corrected, and be broken.

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Opening night

But I believe God has restored my passion to write more! And now with a clearer purpose! I now know that I am called to write and disciple the next generation with what I write. I am more energized and more determined to be directed by the Lord as He leads me to where He wants me to. Maybe my page will be restored, maybe not. But God has miraculously caused me not to fret because of what I lost, because He has multiplied my reasons to write.

Brokenness as a Bridge

During the session of house to house evangelism, I really can’t remember how I felt. Yes, there was excitement, there was an edgy feeling, but more than that, I can’t shrug off what Kuya Jomer Gallana said before we were commissioned to evangelize: “If Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened to you, then sharing Jesus is the best thing you can do to others”. It was more than just a motivational instruction to share the gospel – it is plainly the truth.

Is getting to know Jesus really the best thing that has ever happened to me? No doubt. Then by all means, sharing Jesus has to be the most exhilarating thing that I have to do. I felt that with the housewife we get to share the gospel with, same with the construction workers. My partner and I came to their homes as total strangers. There was in fact no common ground. But there’s one thing we talked about which every one of us had something to share – that is how broken we are because of sin.

Yes sin, the reason why we are all broken and the common ground of all men. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. We have presented the gospel. They responded. All because of our brokenness, and we all need to be made whole. If I am not broken, they would not listen to me. But because I am a sinner just like everybody else, the message has been heard.

We are treasures in jars of clay. What makes up the façade is nothing compared to what we hold inside. People see us and they can identify with our mess, with our brokenness, but also they see what emanates from within – the radiating glory of Jesus Christ. We may be broken, but made whole. And we are called to minister to those who are broken around us.

Dying to Ourselves

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24

As Ptr. Val Chaves speaks about the necessity of pruning as we abide in the Lord, I was reminded of that verse. Something has to “die”, something has to be given up, so that multiplication can take place. Yes, one can do things on his own and make a productive result, but exponential growth is only possible when we embrace the way God has designed how multiplication has to take place: that we are to die to ourselves and let Him live in us.

Again, another facet of being broken.

I am an overly sensitive person. I often think less of myself, I feel like unimportant. I envy people who can do more, give more, and still remain energized and satisfied. Unlike me who resolves to self-pity even for no apparent reason and often feels tired. While I know my identity in the Lord is secured, my melancholic-phlegmatic personality often takes the lead, which something I really hate. Ika nga, “para akong walang bait sa sarili”.

If I have to die to myself, this is the first thing that I want to bury badly. This dead branch in me has to be pruned, so that fruits will grow and leaves will flourish. Ptr. Val encouraged us to “sow the seed of His promises in the soil of your needs”. Honestly I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to start. I have been a Christian for years but still can’t get pass through my inhibitions. I want to die to my “fears and doubts and self-reliance” and live for God. And God just assured me that time, “let Me break you first”.

“Why the breaking, Lord?”

Broken to be Made Whole

I was very much expectant during the last night; expectant and in full abandon. God has been breaking me since the beginning and it would be foolishness on my part to let the moment pass. I want to be filled with the Spirit. No, I want the overflow of the Spirit.

Ptr. Asaph Shavindran is very anointed speaker. I say this not because many were slain and prophesied as he laid hands on them, but because it is very evident in his countenance and the Holy Spirit really came to those who sought after Him. But what struck me the most during his brief speaking was the fact that we have been neglecting the Person of the Holy Spirit on a regular basis. He is a Person, He is God, but we fail to notice Him, much more remember Him.

I sought after the Holy Spirit like I’ve never done before, and He did not let me down. It was the best moment of my life – not because of the experience, but because I know the Triune God is really in communion with a broken sinner like me, affirming His love and acceptance, His forgiveness and grace.

Maybe this is His answer to my question, “why the breaking, Lord?” He wants me to realize how broken I am without Him. He wants me to know how broken I am apart from Him. And ironically, my brokenness is what caused Him to die on the cross, because He wants to make me whole. As confusing this broken-made whole-broken to minister to the broken-thing, nothing could be clearer to me. That there is a God who loves me in spite of my brokenness, and wants to use me for His glory.

Oh Lord, I am ready for more. Let me multiply for Your glory.

 

 

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Dirt and Diamonds

What if we begin to invest in the lives of ordinary folks within our reach?

They say that in terms of being best of friends, dogs are to men while diamonds are to ladies. Though I am not a lady, I wouldn’t mind owning a piece of diamond! Who wouldn’t want one? This piece of jewelry is definitely a fortune. No wonder, if you adorn a lady with such a precious stone, she ends up beaming with pride.

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I was reading a leadership book and I stumbled upon an interesting illustration about diamonds. It says:

“In a best-case scenario, in the world’s most diamond-rich mining locations, about one hundred tons of dirt must be removed per carat of diamonds. In the average diamond mining locations, 1,000 tons of dirt yield one carat of diamonds. That’s a lot of dirt to remove in order to discover a small number of diamonds.” (Murrel and Murrel, 2017)

I realized that in one way or another, we are all polished diamonds in the making. While some have been found out, polished and are already flaunting their sparkling beauty, some of us still lie beneath the surface, waiting to be removed from the dirt. We all have potential, we all have a purpose. However, we have different seasons. Some are being fleshed out from the dirt, some are awaiting discovery.

It’s easy for us to look at people with “sparkling” personality as if they’re the only real deal. We look up to them. We try to pattern our lives with them. But if we look around us, we will discover that a lot of people are waiting for us to lift them out of the dirt and help them to find their “beauty” within themselves. We look at the old cab driver and see him just as he is – an old cab driver trying to make both ends meet. We pass by “mommy” usher in the church and see her as she is – simply a married woman who tries not to miss her Sunday routine in spite of her marital problems. We try to ignore and not give much of a concern to that unruly teenage neighbor because we think we have more things to attend to than spend time with a “delinquent” juvenile.

Only those with glittery lives catch our attention.

But what if we begin to invest in the lives of ordinary folks within our reach? What if, while waiting for our complete transformation to become flawless diamonds ourselves, we try to unearth some people from the dirt, help them clean them up and speed up their “makeover” process? The concept may seem odd and vague but I think you know what I mean – let us add value to people, help them in their respective journeys and believe in what they are capable to do. Let’s give them hope, encourage them, and share our lives to them. Let’s begin to look at them as who they really are – a diamond!

In order for a diamond to be a sparkling diamond, it must be unearthed first.

“But only if we get our hands dirty can we find a diamond in a pile of dirt. Are you ready to get your hands dirty? Are you willing to get dirty? ”

Unearthing is not easy. Unearthing means work. Unearthing looks messy and will get your hands dirty. But only if we get our hands dirty can we find a diamond in a pile of dirt. Are you ready to get your hands dirty? Are you willing to get dirty? If one can find a diamond in a pile of dirt, I bet he’ll say “it’s worth it!”

I am once a resident of the dirt, wallowing in the filthiness of circumstances and personal view of live. But some people helped me up and encouraged me to see life the way God sees it. I began to see that I am not a product of my circumstances but I am a child of God. I began to see the beauty of life. I began to discover that I am not worthless because I am treasured by the Lord. This is because some people saw past through the dirt in me and saw me as a diamond.

I know you have a story to share too! Now share your story to other and begin investing in a life today. Do a good deed, an act of kindness. Look at people pass through their façade. You’ll never know, you might be living under the same roof with a precious diamond.

Fan the Flame

God doesn’t call the qualified rather He qualifies the called.

fan-the-flameConfession. Hindi ko talaga feel ang youth ministry. I feel like I just don’t fit in. Wala akong charisma, wala akong wit na kagaya ng karamihan ng youth leaders na kilala ko. Hindi ako kasing lively magsalita, hindi energetic at lalong hindi sporty type. I have a boring personality, so to speak – something na hindi fit para sa qualifications ng isang youth leader. Habol: Ang corny ko nga daw mag-joke. Haha!

Good thing that God doesn’t call the qualified rather He qualifies the called. Ayun, may pinaglagyan ako. Ang ministry na inaayawan ko at never kong pinangarap ay naging isang malaking bahagi ng aking personal spiritual growth. And I learned to love it. Iba rin.

When it comes to discipleship, though isa siya sa mga topics na interested akong binabasa, medyo foreign sa akin ang actual practice. I grew up kasi wanting to do things on my own. Reserved akong tao. I keep a very few number of friends. Kaya naman basing on what I read from books, discipleship is a huge step of faith para sa akin. But I know that I am called to disciple, the same way that all believers are all called to do.

Discipleship, is not about being comfortable with your spiritual status but about getting your hands dirty in doing the job with the results embedded on your mind. Dapat may bunga kang inaasam. Dapat may patutunguhan.

So aside from embracing the youth ministry leadership, kasabay na sinubukang kong mag-step out of my comfort zone and invest into discipleship na matagal-tagal na ring nagli-linger sa puso ko. Not the general discipleship type na bahala na sino ang sumalo ng efforts ko, but the intentional discipleship na mag-iinvest ka talaga, magtatanim, mag-aalaga at maghihintay. #ParangPagIbig Haha!

Discipleship, is not about being comfortable with your spiritual status but about getting your hands dirty in doing the job with the results embedded on your mind. Dapat may bunga kang inaasam. Dapat may patutunguhan. Otherwise it is just another kind of huddle offered by the different groups.

Pagdating sa pagdi-disciple, mahaba-haba ang lakbayin. Matagal-tagal na panahon bago magbunga ang mga itinanim. Asahan na rin ang mga frustrations and times na gugustuhin mo na lang sumuko. Discipleship is no walk in the park but it is all worth it.

Isipin mo na lang na para kang isang posporo. Hindi ka magliliyab kung hindi ka madadarang sa init, sa pressure, sa friction. Magiging uncomfortable at times, magiging mahirap, masakit, mabigat.

Yet our motivation should be this: that through our seemingly “small” investments of prayer, genuine concern, and the Word itself, we are sending the next generation a message that we care for them. Discipleship is sending a message to our kids and grandkids that we love them that’s why we want them to experience God’s love as well.

If you’re into discipleship, my prayer is that you keep on fanning the flame. Ang isang malaking sunog ay nagsisimula sa isang maliit na spark. #ParangPagIbig, nagsisimula sa spark. Haha! Isipin mo na lang na para kang isang posporo. Hindi ka magliliyab kung hindi ka madadarang sa init, sa pressure, sa friction. Magiging uncomfortable at times, magiging mahirap, masakit, mabigat. Minsan hindi na lang puso mo ang ibinibigay mo, kundi pati baon mo at oras ng tulog. But imagine Jesus, He took time investing in the lives of His disciples. Parang walang patutunguhan sa una. Misfits of society pa ang pinili niya. But the tiny sparks nang maliliit na mga posporo aka disciples ni Jesus ay naging wildfire which eventually turned the world upside down.

And speaking of Posporo, check this song out. There is no better way to end this post than this. #MyKindOfMusic. Keep the fire burning mga ka-posporo! Alab pa!