Ahon! My Top 10 Activities to Release Stress

Are you caught up in the web of stressful circumstances? Yung tipong lahat na lang yata ng mga kapaguran na available sa mundo sinasalo mo? Yung di ka na makaahon sa dami ng trabaho, yung pressure ng overlapping commitments sinasakal ka na masyado, o kaya naman yung mga polo mo naghuhumiyaw na sa sobrang sikip na nila para sayo? Nakaka-stress ano?

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As stated in my previous post, may mga outlets ako to release stress and tension. Kapag di ko na kaya ang bigat, kapag pakiramdam ko lunod na lunod na ako, may mga go-to places and people ako para maging “shock absorber” (sorry na, peeps!). Dahil lahat naman tayo kailangang mag-unload from time to time para hindi sumabog di ba?

Here are some of my stress-relievers.

  1. Biking

What I love about biking is that you can go places as far as your legs can handle. Kapag masakit na at parang hindi na kaya, uwian na. Haha! It is cheap and healthy activity, pinawisan ka na, nag-enjoy ka pa! Since I am from Marikina, common destinations namin ng mga friends ko pag nagbi-bike ay sa Rizal (Binangonan-Morong-Tanay or San Mateo-Rodriguez), UP or even within Marikina loop, bilang napaka-bike friendly ng bayan kong sinta.

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  1. Hiking

When schedule allows me to, I join hiking activities para naman medyo malayo sa stressful work. Iba rin kasi ang yung feeling na nasa summit ka ng bundok, dinadama ang masarap na simoy ng hangin tapos nakaharap ka either sa dagat or sa mga pamayanan. It changes perspective. Yung sobra kang naka-focus sa sarili mong mga problema, tapos mare-realize mo na mas malaki pa rin si Lord talaga si Lord kaysa mga problema mo.

  1. Vitamin Sea

Again, when schedule allows me to, masaya din na magpunta sa tabing dagat para magtampisaw, o kahit na pakiramdaman mo lang ang simoy ng maalat na hangin habang kinakausap ang sarili na kunwari gumagawa ka ng music video. Aminin mo, kakaibang ligaya ang dulot ng paglalakad sa tabing-dagat, binabalik ang lahat ng masasayang ala-ala ng buhay mo na para kang bida sa telenovela habang panandalian mong nakakalimutan na may babalikan ka pang ga-bundok na trabaho sa opisina. Pero at least, di ba. Masaya ka.img_0402

  1. Pet Cafes

Medyo may kaunting gastos pero masaya. Try mong pumunta sa Barkin’ Blends near Sta. Lucia or sa Bengal Brew + Wolf and Bear sa Cubao. If you are a pet lover, surely mae-enjoy mo itong trip na to. Makipaglaro ka sa mga aso. Kumustahin mo sila. Amuyin mo sila. Ikwento mo sa kanila ang mga officemates mong chini-chismis ka, ang boss mo na mahilig magbigay ng trabaho kapag pauwi ka na, o kaya naman yung ex mo na sa sobrang pagka-pet lover, ipinagpalit ka na lang sa pet. May therapeutic effect din kasi ang pakikipaglaro sa mga hayop, pero word of caution, wag makikipag-relasyon sa hayop kasi may damaging effect sa emotions. Hahaha! Sorry na, ang bad ko dun. 🙂

 

  1. Blogging

Just like now, kaya ako nagsulat ng post na ito kasi alam mo na, stressed ako. Isulat mo ang anumang nararamdaman mo. Isulat mo ang gusto mong sabihin. Type lang nang type. Nakakatulong mag-release ng tension kapag hinahayaan mong ang mga daliri mo ay tumitipa ng keyboard. Mas madiin at mas malakas ang hampas sa keyboard, mas satisfying! Haha! It doesn’t matter kung may magbabasa man ng post mo o wala, may magco-comment man o wala. Basta naisulat mo ang gusto mong sabihin. Pero be careful sa anumang isusulat mo, be a responsible blogger. Wag mag-spread ng fake news. Lagot ka kay Mocha.

  1. Read books

Pumunta ka sa mga book fairs, sa mga book sale mga bookstores, even sa mga libraries. If you are a reader, you’ll agree with me na sobrang satisfying ang makaamoy ng libro. Yung halimuyak na nakakapagpa-kalma sa pagod mong isipan. Tapos damhin mo yung bawat page, yung texture ng papel, ganun. Pero syempre basahin mo rin. Hahaha! Highlight words na nakapagbigay ng impact sayo. It’s always fun to learn and discover new things.img_2227

  1. Watch movie

Given na to. Kapag lunod na lunod ka na sa trabaho, it’s not a bad thing kung gusto mong manood ng movie. Lalo na for me who loves superhero movies, nakaka-alis ng stress ang panonood ng movie. Pero dahil common na nga siya, lagyan mo na lang ng kaunting challenge ang panonood mo: minsan kong sinubukan na manood nang mag-isa, manood ng sad movie tapos pigilan ang sarili mo na umiyak, at manood ng movie tapos magbaon ng pandesal at palaman. Sa susunod nga, gusto kong i-try magbaon ng kanin at ulam. Hahaha!

  1. Play games

Di ako gamer pero effective na pang-divert ng attention ang mobile games. I installed Wordscapes para naman kapag pagod na ako kakaisip ng numbers, letters and words naman. Ang saya di ba. Nag-install din ako ng Idle Poring. Since hindi na kaya ng schedule ko ang maglaro pa ng Ragnarok, which I really loved playing nung bata pa ako, dun na lang ako sa Idle Poring. Pareho din naman ng sounds and ng characters, iba nga lang ng gameplay at interface. Pero pwede na rin, perfect game for busy person like me. Sabi nga ng kapatid ko enjoy na enjoy akong pinapanood yung character ko na tumatakbo all throughout the game. Kanya-kanyang trip yan!

  1. Run to your accountability partners

It’s always good to have friends to watch your back. Yung sasaluhin ka nila sa panahong bigat na bigat ka na. I am blessed to have friends from church, from PSA and from MYA na alam kong nasasandalan ko for encouragement and prayers. Appreciate your circle of friends. Isama na rin natin ang family natin. After a tiring day, it’s relaxing to know that we have friends and family na uuwian natin. Yung hindi tayo ico-condemn. Yung hindi tayo ipagpapalit sa 30 pieces of silver. Yung ililibre tayo ng burger o kaya ng pizza o kaya ng BFF fries.

  1. Go to Prayer Mountain

Kapag talaga hindi ko na kaya, I go to Touch of Glory Prayer Mountain. Di kalayuan sa Marikina pero safe haven ko siya. I pour out to the Lord all my burdens, my concerns pati lahat ng kapaguran ko sa buhay. Para siyang isang electrical outlet for me to plug myself into, para di ako tuluyang ma-drain. Nakakagaan kapag alam mong iniyak mo na ang lahat sa Lord, isinigaw mo lahat ng prayers mo at kahit mapagod ka kakaiyak at kakasumbong sa Kanya, alam mong nakikinig Siya. Wag ka lang matutulog sa loob ng prayer cell. Kasi naman parang sobrang sarap matulog sa loob. Haha!

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When you feel like sobrang nakakapagod na at di mo na kaya, don’t lose hope. Kapit lang. It takes a clear mind and a fresh perspective para hindi ka ma-overwhelm ng mga challenges mo sa buhay, ahem, I am speaking to myself. Haha! Mabuti na lang may provision si Lord ng mga outlets for me, para hindi na lang ako basta mag-collapse sa kalsada.

And I also thank God kasi He is always available to hear my prayers and my cries. Hindi ko naman kailangan umakyat pa ng Prayer Mountain just for the Lord to hear me. He hears me even when I am in bed, shedding tears kasi… huhuhu, “Lord, pagod na po ako, payakap naman po”. Try niyo, it is comforting, and it develops an intimate relationship with your Creator.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

I was reminded by the words of Director Phil Coulson of Marvel’s Agents of Shield. In one episode, Season 1 yata ng AoS, sabi niya:

“The world is full of evil and lies and pain and death, and you can’t hide from it. You can only face it. The question is, when you do, how do you respond? Who do you become?”

Ikaw, in the face of your challenges and stress, who do you become?

PS. Baka naman may iba ka pang stress-relieving activities, share mo naman with me 🙂

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Line Busy?

Have you ever felt like there’s no one who listens? No one who pays attention? Have you ever felt like there’s no one who cares? Maybe you’ve been calling on a busy line. Maybe you’ve been looking after someone who isn’t really there.

I bet you know the feeling na binagsakan ka ng telepono. Nakakasama ng loob, sa totoo lang. Yung feeling na lahat ng self-confidence na binuo mo sa kabuuan ng existence mo, biglang babagsak kasabay ng pagbagsak niya ng handle ng telepono… ang sakit kaya! Nakakabingi, nakakaiyak, nakakapanghina.

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Ok, ang OA ko. Haha! Bilang isang taong may pusong mamon, hindi ko lang kasi gusto yung pakiramdam na parang hindi interesado sayo ang kausap mo. Equally painful din yung alam mo na kaya naman niyang sagutin ang linya pero hindi niya pini-pick up ang telepono. Kumbaga sa social media lingo, hindi ka lang na-seenzone, na-mark-as-read-zone ka, ni hindi man lang siya nag-bother na pansinin ang nais mong sabihin. #sadlayp

There was a passage in 1 Kings 18 na pumukaw ng attention ko. It was actually a familiar story- the contest on Mt. Carmel between prophet Elijah and the priests of Baal. You may read the whole account through this link.

Balik tayo sa attention-grabbing verse na sinasabi ko:

29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

The priests of Baal went on to call upon their god for a display of power, but they received none. Wala silang narinig ni kaluskos mula sa kanilang dios-diosan. Walang sagot, walang Baal na pumansin sa kanila. They even went as far as hurting themselves to receive attention from their non-existent god, and then again, no response. Busy much, perhaps?, taunts Elijah.

Ang hirap kung hindi ka pinapansin ng diyos na binigyan mo ng devotion ano? I wonder how painful it was for the priests of Baal na mapahiya sa harapan ng mga Israelites. Sa isang tao nga lang na mapahiya ka ang sakit-sakit na 😦

In contrast, when it was Elijah’s turn to call upon his God, it went like this:

36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. 

There was, obviously a contrasting response between Baal and the God of Elijah. It was a contrast of power and powerlessness, of existence and nonexistence, of attentiveness and inattentiveness, of divinity and the lack thereof. There is no more need to ask who is the true and living God – the Lord already drew the line. Tapos ang laban. May nanalo na.

Total dependence on these Baals will blind you to your need of the One true source of satisfaction. Baals keep us preoccupied and takes our attention away from God

Have you ever been dependent onto something, say a job, a dream, a relationship, or some material possession*, thinking that it will keep you full and satisfied, but at the end of the day you just end up still feeling empty? Maybe it has become a Baal to you. And like the Baals of the Old Testament times, kahit anong tawag mo sa kanila for comfort and refuge, it will always disappoint you. Total dependence on these Baals will blind you to your need of the One true source of satisfaction. Baals keep us preoccupied and takes our attention away from God.

* Don’t get me wrong. These things are necessary for our daily sustenance. These things are not bad in itself. But when it becomes a Baal to us – something that we depend on too much more than the Lord, then it becomes a distraction, a heavy burden for us to bear.

Have you ever felt like there’s no one who listens? No one who pays attention? Have you ever felt like there’s no one who cares? Maybe you’ve been calling on a busy line. Maybe you’ve been looking after someone who isn’t really there. Subukan mong tumawag kay Lord. Wala namang tumatawag sa Kanya na hindi Niya sinagot. Hindi naman busy ang linya Niya. Hindi naman Siya namimili ng mga kakausapin Niya. Tawag ka lang sa Kanya. He’s waiting, in fact. And like what He did when Elijah called Him, He will respond to you. Bakit ko nasabi? Kasi ipinangako Niya yun.

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ – Jeremiah 33:3

You may have friends who deserted you, family members who don’t treat you well, or people dear to your heart who failed you. You may have tried to catch the attention of people around you but no one seems to take notice. People may fail us from time to time but the Lord will not. Call upon Him. His lines are not busy. He has great things in store for you.

Promise, hindi ka Niya babagsakan ng linya.

 

Inner Healing

But to those whose lives have a scar, this is my message – inner healing is available for you.

This is a tough call for those who think they are well on the inside. But this is what I really believe – most of us, if not all, need inner healing.

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Maybe once in your childhood, you have received remarkable insult from a friend or a family member. Or maybe you have been an object of ridicule in the school. Maybe you have been exposed to negative environment. Or just maybe, someone has influenced you to do the things that gives you remorse by now. Worse, in one way or another, maybe you have received physical, emotional or sexual abuse. If you are not the kind of person mentioned above, you are blessed. I am glad for you.

But to those whose lives have a scar, this is my message – inner healing is available for you. You no longer need to pretend that everything’s working out fine. You need Someone to count on to. You are in need of Someone to give you peace and wholeness you’ve been longing for. I tell you, you are meant for something greater than what you are doing right now! If your past is knocking you out, you can be free!

This Someone is no other than Jesus. He can mend your heart. He can heal your soul. He does not only make a band-aid solution to patch up your pain and scars, He can give you a completely brand new heart! Just open your life to Him and He is ready to welcome you into a new life with Him. Inner healing comes only from Him. Step up in faith and entrust your life to Him, and He will make you “brand new”.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

How Waiting Benefits Us

May hinihintay ka ba? Seize this moment to savor the benefits of waiting.

As I am writing this piece, I am waiting for some things to happen:

  • Naghihintay ako ng isang major news for a major project I am working on.
  • Naghihintay ako ng weekend para makanood ng Kita Kita, dahil sobra na akong nai-spoil sa mga feeds sa timeline ko.
  • Naghihintay ako for that ‘great idea’ para marami na ako ulit na masulat dito sa blog kong ito.
  • I’m playing “Last Day on Earth” sa android phone ko at hinihintay kong matapos yung ‘walking time’ ng character ko.
  • Dahil kakatapos lang ng payday, hinihintay ko ulit yung susunod.
  • Ok, hinihintay ko siya. Hahaha!

How Waiting Benefits UsHonestly and modesty aside, alam ko na mahaba ang pisi ko when it comes to waiting. Pero syempre may mga araw at pagkakataon rin talaga na napipigtas din ang pisi ko. Naiinip rin ako, lalo na kung ang usapan ay mabagal na download speed ng internet! Naku, sobrang nakakainip at nakakainis yan.

Pero I know of some people na sobra-sobrang mainipin. Yung hindi mapakali kapag napirme sila sa isang lugar. Nagbigay ka na ng limang minuto at sigurado ka naman na dadating within that span of time, pero still, maiinip at maiinip pa rin sila.

Minsan may nakasabay kaming kumain sa isang ‘paluto’ food place. Dahil peak hours at maraming tao masyado, obviously matagal ang service. Pero after an hour of waiting, o higit pa siguro, iba na ang naging timpla ng lalaki. Nagmumura na siya, nanggagalaiti sa galit. Medyo cringe moment kasi nasa harapan ko siya. Ako rin naman sobrang naiinip na sa sobrang tagal ng order namin, pero hindi yata kaya ng powers ko ang magsisigaw sa isang public place.

O siguro kanya-kanya lang talaga ng tolerance yan. Ako kasi, I always have a book handy sa mga panahong napapalaban ako sa hintayan. Bawas bagot, bawas lungkot.

Pero bakit nga kaya may mga waiting season tayo? Like sa prayers. Bakit kailangan pa nating maghintay e alam naman na ni Lord ang mga laman ng puso natin. Tapos makapangyarihan pa Siya. Bakit kailangang umabot pa tayo sa mga pagkakataon na halos mag-breakdown na tayo sa paghihintay? Pero syempre, tanong ko, sagot ko. Haha! Here are some of my reflections while I am right here, in front of my laptop, waiting.

Waiting frees us time to do other things

In my case, habang naghihintay ng susunod na activity, nagawa kong magsulat. Bagay na hindi ko masyadong magawa lately sa sobrang kabusy-han. Kagaya rin ng nabanggit ko kanina, ang paghihintay ay panahon ko to catch up on my reading. Waiting time is actually a breather. Nasubukan mo na bang matagalan sa pila para makapagdeposit sa banko? Actually time ko yun para makapag-relax sa araw-araw kong pag-upo sa office. Hindi naman masama ang paghihintay, pero syempre I don’t want to be hypocritical na gusto ko talaga na palaging maghintay.

Waiting time is actually a breather… It gives us a pause.

Pero come to think of it: waiting gives us a sudden break from what doing successive things. It gives us a pause. Para hindi ka naman ma-umay sa buhay.

Waiting reveals something in us

During those times na sobrang inip na inip ako, lumalabas ang attitude ko pagdating sa isang bagay. Halimbawa na lang kapag sobrang bagal ng internet, tapos totally mawawalan talaga ako ng connection, naku buong araw talaga na naiinis ako. Sa isip ko sobrang galit na galit ako sa mga network providers for giving us crappy service. Pero sa totoo lang, I know in my heart na kaya ko naman tumagal kahit walang internet.

Kapag naghihintay tayo at naiinip, minsan nakakagawa tayo ng mga bagay na nagbibigay ng clue sa ating mga priorities. Siguro in my case, may mild case ako ng FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Kaya saludo ako sa mga singles na marunong maghintay e, kasi it just proves na their priorities in life far exceeds their desire for romantic relationship.

Waiting strengthens our faith in what is to come

Nothing purifies our faith best than the season of waiting. Si Father Abraham, ang tagal ng hinintay niya bago siya biyayaan ng anak – umabot muna siya ng 100 years old!

 

More than doing things to fit into your schedule while waiting, mas magandang madevelop ang ating faith and hope na “He who promised can be trusted”.

Si Jacob, naghintay ng 7 years (plus 7 years ulit para maging totally legit) bago makuha ang pinakamamahal niyang si Rachel.  Si Jesus din, naghintay muna ng 30 years bago tuluyang mag-embark sa kanyang public ministry. Faith is tested and purified through seasons of waiting.

More than doing things to fit into your schedule while waiting, mas magandang madevelop ang ating faith and hope na “He who promised can be trusted”. May mga pangako si Lord sa atin na kailangan nating hintayin ang katuparan. And while waiting, anong dapat nating maging attitude? Dapat mas nagiging dependent tayo kay Lord, mas nagiging excited tayo kay Lord, at higit sa lahat dapat mas nagiging faithful tayo kay Lord. At ang paghihintay natin ang magde-determine kung ganito nga ba ang nagiging attitude natin sa Kanya. We should love Him more than His gifts and promises. We should love Him for who He is.

May hinihintay ka ba? Seize this moment to savor the benefits of waiting.

Ok, balik na ako sa android game ko 🙂

Pagod ka na ba?

“Napagtagumpayan ko na ito dati, ngayon pa ba ako susuko?”

We all have felt tired and downcast at times. Probably ngayon yung moment na yun para sayo. Season ito marahil na gusto mo nang isuko ang mga bagay na pinaghirapan mo mula noong una. Doubts may have crept upon and you begin to question your calling. Gusto mo nang umayaw.

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However there’s a voice telling you to remain strong, that help is on the way. Minsan pa, pinipilit mong kumapit sa pananampalatayang “napagtagumpayan ko na ito dati, ngayon pa ba ako susuko?” Totoo naman, kung babalikan mo naman ang naging spiritual walk mo, hindi naman nagkulang ang Panginoon; hindi ka naman iniwan o pinabayaan.

In times like these, we often run frantically searching for answers. Gusto natin madaliang solusyon sa kalungkutan, sa spiritual exhaustion and drought na nararanasan natin. Sa mga ganitong panahon na tayo’y nakakaramdam na tila pagod ka na at wala nang pag-asa, I would like to share a few insights on how to fight your battle kahit na wounded ka na. Hindi ito formula guaranteed to get you through but it might help you greatly just as it helped me and many others.

Be silent before the Lord.

To be silent means to not speak. Pero minsan, this may mean to just free your mind from all your worries. Hindi ka nga nagsasalita pero sa isip mo ang daming mga alalahanin ang naglalaro. What if ganito, what if ganyan? Yung tipong kapag binigyan ng microphone ang isip mo hindi ito matatapos nang kakasalita. Start with silence. Oftentimes, much of our worries come from the unnecessary noise around us, at dun tayo napapagod. So begin with shutting your mouth and your mind for a moment and let the noise of the world just die within your thoughts. Forget about your deadlines for a while. Kalimutan mo muna lahat ng problema mo nang sandali. You will be amazed how relaxing this will be.

Wait upon the Lord.

Ayaw natin na naghihintay. We want quick-fixes sa ating mga problema. Kung kulang, we want to be filled agad-agad. Waiting is a waste of time para sa atin. We selfishly thrive on instant gratification. Pero si Lord, hindi lang ang “bunga” ang concern Niya, He cares as well sa process. May mga pagkakataon na maaari namang tugunin ni Lord ang mga panalangin natin agad in His power pero He waits for the “kairos” time para sa lahat. Waiting is a virtue that develops our faith. Our faith is tested and strengthened when we have to wait for something for a longer time. Kaya we need to wait upon Him. As you remain silent before Him, wait upon Him. Wag kang mainip kung pakiramdam mo napakatagal – while you are waiting patiently upon Him, He is actually intently looking after you.

Listen unto the Lord.

Madalas kapag nananalangin tayo, we do much of the talking ‘di ba? Lord, pahingi po ng ganito, sana po ganyan… This time practice the lost art of listening. Listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit within you. However, you can only listen intently kapag silent ka before the Lord. Sabi nga ng librong nabasa ko, we can hardly hold on to what we never hear. So paano mo maiintindihan ang sinasabi ng Panginoon kung hindi ka naman talaga makikinig? Listen, and let Him do the talking.

God has already laid down His message to us in the Bible and yet God is never limited in His ways to communicate with His children, only we need to intently listen.

God speaks. Masyado lang kasi tayong masalita kaya hindi natin Siya madalas naririnig. You will be amazed sa mga paraan Niya kung paanong sumagot: through nature, through a song, through a memory na pinaalala Niya sayo, through a verse na nabasa mo sa Bible, or even through a person who just uttered something na naka-encourage sayo. This is of course not to be mistaken as over-spiritualizing things. God has already laid down His message to us in the Bible and yet God is never limited in His ways to communicate with His children, only we need to intently listen. Always confirm whatever you hear from Him in the context of His written Word.

Take rest in the Lord.

Nakakita ka na ba ng isang baby na natutulog? Di ba ang peaceful niyang tignan? Lalo na kung pinaghehele siya ng kanyang ama o ina, sobrang relaxing ng scenario. Imagine yourself to be a baby, at ang Panginoon ang iyong Ama na naghehele sayo. Will you be need anything, knowing that the Creator of heavens and earth carries you in His arms? Whatever message you have received in the Lord as you wait upon Him, take rest in that message. Panghawakan mo. Make it THE source of your strength. Ang sabi nga sa Psalms, God is an ever-present help in times of trouble. Kahit kapaguran man yan o pag-aalala, He is always present to give help. Find rest in Him and let Him fight your battles.

I would like to share a very familiar passage which has strengthened me just recently:

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

Find strength in the Lord. He is waiting for you, and is always ready to receive you. May you find rest and strength for your soul now, dear reader!

Storms: Be Defined or Be Refined

The boiling point of it all is FAITH.

Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” – Mark 4:38-40

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I remember while I was still a volunteer teacher for Compassion Ministries, I asked one of my students to draw in a Manila paper the story of how Jesus calmed the storm as a take home activity. Being a teacher then with no significant amount of experience to share, I relied heavily on the Bible and the Holy Spirit to do the “ministry time” particularly for those moments after class.

Our struggles will either define us or refine us. It doesn’t matter how much you know about God in times like these. What matters most is whether you are applying what you know or not.

It is always easy to give instructions to people for them to increase their faith and never allow unbelief take the upper hand. But when it comes to personal battles, trusting God is easier said than done. The words we instruct others seem to be harder to grasp when it already applies to us.

The boiling point of it all is FAITH. Our struggles will either define us or refine us. It doesn’t matter how much you know about God in times like these. What matters most is whether you are applying what you know or not.

After more than seven years, until now, the drawing of the kids serves as a reminder to me that the message of how Jesus calmed the storm is not just about them, but about all of us, including me.

Meet Him in Melodies

Beyond the beats and melodies, worship songs have the power to increase our faith and uplift our weakened spirit.

We all have times when we feel so down spiritually and our faith weakens. It’s not that we no longer believe in the power of Jesus and the truthfulness of His promises as stated in the Bible, rather we really long for Him to show off His magnificence. But we all know that our journey with the Lord is not a walk in the park. It is expected that there will be instances when we just want to be reminded that He will really never leave us nor forsake us.

meet-him-in-melodies

Whenever you feel lonely, depressed or your faith seems to falter, prayer should be your first resort, and of course listen to Him intently through His written Word. I also find it helpful to fill myself with scriptural promises from worship songs. Beyond the beats and melodies, worship songs have the power to increase our faith and uplift our weakened spirit. Of course, aside from having positive messages, it is the Living Word of God, testified, reiterated and celebrated through these songs, that is at work in our spirits!

I would like to share some of the songs that has ministered to me in the past, and continues to do so whenever I feel down, or I just want to celebrate the Lord at any moment 🙂 Enjoy!

  1. Unstoppable Love – Jesus Culture feat Kim Walker-Smith

No sin, no shame, no past, no pain

Can separate me from Your love

No height, no depth, no fear, no death

Can separate me from Your love

  1. Good Good Father – Chris Tomlin

Oh, it’s love so undeniable

I, I can hardly speak

Peace so unexplainable

I, I can hardly think

  1. Mended – Matthew West

So hold on, it’s not the end

No, this is where love’s work begins

I’m making all things new

And I will make a miracle of you

  1. Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) – Hillsong United

So I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

  1. Voice of Truth – Casting Crowns

But the voice of truth tells me a different story

And the voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!”

And the voice of truth says, “This is for My glory”

Out of all the voices calling out to me

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

ADDITIONAL:

One of my prayer songs lately. It is just repetitive chorus but still, it permeates to the soul 🙂

Set A Fire – Will Reagan and United Pursuit

Set a fire down in my soul

That I can’t contain

I can’t control

I want more of you God

I want more of you God 

29 I am suffering and in pain.
    Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.

30 Then I will praise God’s name with singing,
    and I will honor him with thanksgiving.
31 For this will please the Lord more than sacrificing cattle,
    more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves.
32 The humble will see their God at work and be glad.
    Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.
33 For the Lord hears the cries of the needy;
    he does not despise his imprisoned people.

– Psalm 69:29-33

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