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 J

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.

pagod ka na ba-.png

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

storms-be-defined-or-be-refined

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

quote-6

Tayo’y Pilipino Bago Naging Botante

One week to go at eleksyon na. Pipili na tayo ng bago nating mga pinuno. And while the election fever intensifies, what matter most is that we will all vote based in our convictions. Manatiling makatao habang nagpapaka-Pilipino.

A few weeks ago nung magkaroon ng opportunity for me to write about Philippine politics hosted by OMF Christian Writers’ Fellowship. I just took the chance to express my opinion on the topic: What do you feel strongly about in these coming national elections, in the light of your faith? I’m not that confident with my political views, pakiramdam ko kasi masyadong mababaw ang alam ko sa topic. Yet, I gave it a shot. And so here it goes:

Tayo’y Pilipino Bago Naging Botante

Martin M. Valenzuela

Tayo ay isang bansa na hinahati ng maraming mga bagay – hinahati ng mga pulo, hinahati ng mga diyalekto, hinahati ng pananampalataya o ng kawalan nito, hinahati ng mga issues ng lipunan at issues ng moralidad. Lalo’t higit ngayong nalalapit na naman ang halalan, muli na naman tayong mahahati base sa kulay at political party ng mga politikong ating sinusuportahan. Kung dati pula’t dilaw lang ang kulay ng magkalaban, ngayon ang liga ay bukas na sa kahit anong kulay – maging sa kahel, asul o sa mala-banyagang “sky blue” man.

Hindi pa man nga nagsisimula ang panahon ng kampanya, unti-unti nang napupuno ang social media feeds natin ng iba’t ibang mukha ng suporta at batikos mula sa mga indibidwal at mga grupo. At kahit matapos na ang election fever at may maiupo na tayong bagong pangulo, hindi pa rin natin inaasahan na ang bangayan at pagkakawatak-watak natin sa maraming bagay ay matatapos na rin kasabay nito.

Salamat sa teknolohiya at sa information age, kung ikukumpara sa mga nakalipas na panahon, masasabi ko na mas involved na tayo sa mga national issues ngayon kagaya ng halalan. Mas pinahahalagahan natin at binibigyan ng halaga ang ating opinyon sa mga bagay na makakaapekto sa ating mga karapatan at pinaniniwalaan. Ngunit sa madalas nating paggamit ng ating karapatan sa paghahayag ng ating nararamdaman, nalilimutan na nating ikonsidera ang damdamin ng iba. Masyado na nating itinutulak ang ating pananaw na politikal sa mga taong lihis ang paniniwala sa atin, sa puntong nawawala na ang respeto natin sa iba. Sa pagtutulak natin ng ating karapatang-pantao, nalilimutan na rin ba ang natin ang pagiging makatao?

Sa kabila ng naglalabasang mga black propaganda at mapanirang-puri na mga intenet memes, mga mapanlait na batikos na na-eextend hindi lang sa mismong politiko kundi hanggang sa mismong pamilya at mga tagasuporta, nasaan nga ba tayo bilang mga Pilipino? Habang lumalaon ba ang panahon mas bumababa ba ang kalidad ng ating pagtatantya sa kakayahan ng tao base sa kulay ng kanyang balat, sa eskwelahang pinagtapusan, sa lugar na kinalakhan, sa temperament at sa angas ng pananalita? Sa ganitong antas ng diskusyon tayo natatalo bilang mga Pilipino – at lalong nagkakawatak-watak. Nawa’y sa pagtakbo ng panahon tayo’y maging mas matalino sa pagpili, at mas makatao sa ating paglalahad ng pagsang-ayon, o hindi pagsang-ayon.

Maaaring magkaroon tayo ng magkakaibang pananaw sa pagpili ng lider ng bansa. May kanya-kanya tayong nais suportahan at platapormang pinaniniwalaan. Bilang isang malayang demokratikong bansa, maaari nating piliin ang susunod na pinuno ayon sa ating sariling convictions. Hindi tayo maaaring suhulan o diktahan ng sinuman maliban kung hahayaan natin sila. Ngunit sa lahat ng pagkakaibang ito, may isang bagay na nagbubuklod sa atin at ito ay ang ating pagiging Pilipino.

Bago pa man tayo naging mga botante, tayo ay nauna munang maging mga Pilipino. Bago pa man tayo nagkaroon ng preperensya sa mga kumakandidatong lider ng bansa, nauna muna tayong maging mamamayan ng bansa. Kaya higit sa mga partido politikal, ang mas higit na dapat mangibabaw sa ating halalan ay ang ating pagiging makatao na pinatutunayan ng ating pagiging marespeto sa opinyon at paniniwala ng iba.

Ngunit higit sa lahat, bago pa man tayo naging Pilipino, tayo ay una munang naging anak at lingkod ng Diyos. Bilang isang Christian nation sa Asya, mas higit na dapat tayong kakitaan ng respeto at pag-ibig sa isa’t isa. Hindi politika ang nagbibigay sa atin ng identity at national heritage. Tanging kay Hesus lang at sa ating pananampalataya sa Kanya tayo nagkakaroon ng tunay na pagkakabuklod-buklod sa kabila ng ating pagkakaiba-iba. Kay Hesus, ang politika ay may kabuluhan. Kay Hesus, ang gobyerno ay nagkakaroon ng katwiran. At bilang mga tagasunod ni Hesus, sa atin nawa magsimula ang pagwawaksi sa mga bagay na maaaring maging sanhi ng ating pagkakawatak-watak bilang isang kristiyanong bansa.

I’m so privileged that an excerpt from what I’ve written was chosen to be a part of OMF’s hot-off-the-press “What About Philippine Politics?” which is a collection of essays about faith and politics and how they coincide, from the voice of respected church leaders, best-selling authors, bloggers and “regular” people.

The best thing about this book is that you can secure a FREE digital copy, and you are free to share the ebook as well. Maganda na bukod sa pagshare ng iyong opinyon sa napupusuan mong kandidato, ibahagi mo na rin ang mga opinion ng mga taong nakapaloob sa librong ito patungkol sa pulitika at pananampalataya. Download your copy here: http://omflit.com/whataboutphilippinepolitics/. Pero kung gusto mo rin ng physical book, you can purchase one for P100 only. I got mine! 🙂

Bilang isang Pilipino sa panahon ng social media, isang malaking ambag ang magbahagi ng mahalagang opinyon sa iba. Ngunit bukod sa pag-click ng like, share at comment, mas mainam pa rin ang aktwal na pakikilahok sa pagbabago ng bansa – at magsisimula ito sa darating na halalan. Botante, handa ka na ba? Uulitin ko lang, sa darating na halalan, manatiling makatao habang nagpapaka-Pilipino.

Jesus is Risen. So What?

Jesus’ resurrection reminds us that whatever He has promised, He will deliver.

This is kinda late for a Resurrection Sunday blog nevertheless, I believe that this is timeless. God’s message is timeless and is never confined with seasons and human celebrations.

Jesus is Risen.Medyo naalala ko lang, during my childhood, kapag Holy Week, wala talagang palabas sa TV kundi mga pelikula ni Matt Ranillo at ang classic na Ten Commandments. Tahimik nun, kaya kung wala kayong lakad ng pamilya niyo, maiinip ka talaga sa bahay. Ang aabangan mo lang ang ay mga prusisyon sa kalsada o mga huntahan ng mga kapitbahay. Kaya naman looking forward ang mga tao sa Linggo ng Pagkabuhay – kasi back to regular programming ang lahat – hindi lang ang mga istasyon ng TV kundi maging ang routine ng mga tao.

Is Easter Sunday reduced to just another ordinary date on our calendars? Has it lost its significance na sa buhay natin? Ina-associate na lang ba natin ang araw na ito sa carmageddon sa ating mga expressways pabalik ng Manila after a joyful out of town trip?

Pero ngayon napansin ko lang, kung gaanong katahimik ang Holy Week circa 90s, parang mas commercialized na ngayon. Easter Sundays are opportunities for malls and commercial centers to conduct their Easter Egg Hunt programs, na dati ay di naman masyadong ginagawa. Unlike before na parang ghost town ang paligid kapag Mahal na Araw, ngayon parang mas marami na ang tao! Indeed, times have changed, and so are we.

Is Easter Sunday reduced to just another ordinary date on our calendars? Has it lost its significance na sa buhay natin? Ina-associate na lang ba natin ang araw na ito sa carmageddon sa ating mga expressways pabalik ng Manila after a joyful out of town trip?

The Apostle Paul has this message to say:

“I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.”

1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

Jesus’ death and resurrection is an integral part of the gospel. His death alone is not whole story – His resurrection makes our salvation complete. Jesus’s resurrection isn’t just an episode in a beautiful salvation story.

  1. His resurrection rendered our faith with much value

“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

1 Corinthians 15:17-19

Being a Christian, being associated with Jesus Christ, entails persecution and trials. We find ourselves going against the tide of immorality, lack of integrity and godlessness. We are always put in ridicule because of our stand against moral, social and political issues. But what’s the point in all of these “sacrifices”? It’s because of Jesus’ resurrection.

Jesus’ resurrection makes all the pain and suffering we endure because of His name worthwhile because we know that we base our faith on someone who was raised from the dead. His resurrection gives meaning to all our Christian activities, all our sacrifices for the church and for the gospel. Our faith was given much value – it is not useless – because Jesus Christ has declared through His resurrection that He is indeed true to what He claims about himself – that He is the promised Messiah.

  1. His resurrection redeemed us from a life of sin

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

Romans 6:4

Our old way of living is characterized with sin and moral deprivation. We gratify the desires of the flesh. Yet when Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, He conquered sin, then He conquered death. He took away from us all things that might keep us entangled and withdrawn from pursuing a life of purpose. The only thing we need to do is to live by faith in obedience to Him.

His resurrection paved the way for us to forsake our old way of living. We are no longer mastered by our selfish sinful nature but we are now given the freedom to please the Lord and be led by the Spirit of God. This is new life – He does not just forgive us our sins but also gives us freedom from sin.

  1. His resurrection reminded us of His glorious promises

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

John 11:25-27

More than His promises of healing, of hope, of restoration – Jesus promised us with an eternal life. Promises excite us, promises make us look toward the future with hope. Unfortunately some people fail us with their promises. Some promises are just empty words. Not so with Jesus. His words are true, and we know that because his promises were backed up with actions. Jesus has a great track record!

Jesus’ resurrection reminds us that whatever He has promised, He will deliver. He proved it when He rose from the dead on the first Easter.

Jesus is risen. So what?

Guess what? We have all reasons in the world to rejoice!

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”

Hebrews 10:35

Train of Thanks 17-18

Because we’ll never run out of things to be grateful for.

It’s becoming a pattern na a. Haha! My supposedly weekly train of thanksgiving slowly becomes a twice-a-month blogpost. Anyway, I’m still thankful that the Lord never skips to shower His grace and favor to mankind unlike how I skip to post my thanksgivings. Buti na lang!

So here’s a round-up of what happened the past two weeks:

1. Midterm is fast approaching! These past few days I feel like I’m already exhausted with all the information I try to inculcate in my head. Bible schooling is both rewarding – with lots of realizations and appreciation of God’s works and wonders, and exhausting, like any other academic schooling. My previous Bible readings directs me towards spiritual trainings, hence I know that the time I spend for my Bible schooling is never, ever wasted.

“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8

2. Our church hosted an Entrepreneurship Seminar entitled “May Iaangat Pa!” where, obviously, attendees were encouraged to be entrepreneurs – not just for the sake of raising their financial conditions but to be a great help in the work of the Lord. The concepts presented were very Biblical, and what’s great is that the seminar only cost me P200 to cover food lunch, dinner and 2 merienda! Sobrang mura in exchange for a priceless learning!

Dahil "May Iaangat Pa" #EntrepreneurshipSeminar #BiblicalEntrepreneurship

A post shared by Martin Valenzuela (@martsvalenzuela) on

3. Our speaker for the Entrepreneurship Seminar recommended a book “Debt-Free Lifestyle” and fortunately when I happen to pass by the bookstore, nakakita ako ng kopya, again for just 200 pesos! As of this writing, natapos ko na yung book. If you want biblical insight on how to live a debt-free life, consider reading this book. Available at all PCBS outlets.

As endorsed by Bro. Diony. Available @ PCBS

A post shared by Martin Valenzuela (@martsvalenzuela) on

4. Someone went on an out of town trip and gave me some pasalubong! Yay! Di ko na kinuhanan ng picture, inubos ko na. Hahaha!

5. My third climb was on Mt. Binacayan, Rodriguez Rizal The trek was so intense, especially for me since I trekked without sleep! I felt like I was going to faint during one point of the journey but thankfully I was energized by the heat of the sun and fresh air. Nothing beats the rejuvenating power of creation! Pero di ko na uuliting umakyat ng bundok nang puyat.

Minsan ko ring pinangarap maging superhero #MountainClimbing #Climb #HugotBundok

A post shared by Martin Valenzuela (@martsvalenzuela) on

6. The reason behind my puyat climb is because I dared myself na magspend ng madaling araw sa lansangan! It is really my weird desire to experience how it feels to be “batang yagit” for a moment, spending time on streets on wee hours of the night without shelter. Kung kaya ko nga lang matulog sa kalsada! I just want to understand how it feels to be like them for a moment. Weird yes, and I am. And I am thankful I was able to do that (for a moment, until 3am lang) before my trek to Mt. Binacayan. IMG_2204

7. I am thankful that the FY Core Meeting was pushed through two Sundays ago. We went to Touch of Glory Prayer Mountain and we had a wonderful time discussing ideas for the youth department. I don’t know if I feel overwhelmed or excited or afraid with this ministry but I am glad that I have like-minded people to work with.

8. I attended the Accounting Technician Congress hosted by the National Institute of Accounting Technicians. I feel refreshed hearing updates about my field of profession, at the same time thinking how far I am left behind. Haha! Two things caught my interest during the congress – and pagsayaw namin ng Roar ni Katy Perry and the Financial Planning for Accountants session where we were encouraged to save up for the future.

9. Thank God for the 45 teens and youth who attended the youth service with the theme Fear vs Faith. Also I am grateful for their participation (and in fairness I know they are listening well as I speak before them). I just pray that I can be an instrument to minister directly to their spiritual needs.

10. For two services, morning and evening services, I am thankful for the strength given me as I became a part of the preaching tandem for our Vision Sunday. Indeed it is not easy to prepare a message, much more preach for consecutive services, and I am grateful I am able to finish my tasks with the help of the Lord.