Renewed

Renew your strength and passion.

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Day 4: God says you are…

RENEWED

I have watched a video about how Sweden transforms its wastes into energy that is being used to light up homes. So efficient is their process that they are already importing their neighbouring countries’ garbage to catch up with the demand. In this effect, their need for landfill maintenance is lessened. I can’t help but imagine, what if the Philippines will create its own source of energy from the amount of garbage we produce? Pihado makakatipid tayo sa kuryente. Sa dami ba naman ng mga basura natin na pwedeng ma-convert sa  kuryente. Lilinis na kahit paano ang kapaligiran, mababawasan ang landfill, makakatipid pa kahit paano. I can only imagine.

In physics, there is what we call the law of conservation of energy. It says that energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Sweden doesn’t create energy – it renews the potential energy from their wastes and converts it to a usable form of energy.

A lot of times we feel like we are useless, like trash that is good only for the trash bin. Nakakaramdam ba kayo minsan na parang wala na tayong ginawang tama, wala tayong silbi, wala tayong halaga? Tanong nga ni Katy Perry, “do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?” Parang gusto mong magsimula muli, pero paano? Exhausted ka na at parang wala nang mailalabas pa.

God’s love is like a refreshing water after a tiring jog, like the warmth of a blanket on a very cold night. He renews our energy so we can still move on in life.

Ngunit salamat sa dakilang pag-ibig ng Dios sa atin, that when we come to Him, He gives us rest and restoration. Kapag sobrang pagod ka na, sobrang di mo na kaya ang lahat ng mga pagsubok na pinagdadaanan mo, He gives an invitation: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.” God’s love is like a refreshing water after a tiring jog, like the warmth of a blanket on a very cold night. He renews our energy so we can still move on in life.

Kung ang mga basura ng Sweden ay nare-renew at nagiging kapaki-pakinabang, how much more His beloved children (na syempre naman mas higit sa basura) find renewal in the Lord? Seek the Lord and find rest, and be restored. Renew your strength and passion.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4:16

 

Beautiful

Don’t settle for beauty that fades away.

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Day 3: God says you are…

BEAUTIFUL

Malamang ang bawat isa sa atin ay may maikukwento tungkol sa ating kabataan at sa mga pang-aasar na ibinibigay sa atin ng ating mga malokong kaklase o kaibigan. Usually depende sa kutis mo, sa itsura ng mukha o katawan, o sa ano ang mga bagay na wala ka o hindi mo kayang gawin kung anong bansag ang ibibigay sayo. I was called Tintin when I was a child dahil sa aking kapayatan. Mukha daw akong bulatihin at patpatin.

Have you ever felt so insecure because of your physical appearance? May ibang dinidibdib nila ito masyado. Lalo na ngayong hindi lang physical bullying ang rampant, mas mabilis na rin ang pangungutya dulot ng social media. Welcome to the age of cyber bullying, where lives can change in just an insensitive post, comment or tweet. Some victims end up miserable, or even end up suicidal.

Who determines beauty? Is it the media powered by print ads and depicted by famous celebrities? Is it the social media played by impulsive generation of keyboard warriors? What makes a person beautiful? Is it the based solely on physical appearance, on fame and economic status, or on least grammatical errors committed when posting on social networking sites?

Sometimes the world will throw insults on us because of our “beauty” and will weigh us according to its standards. But as the Bride of Christ, we are already beautiful in His sight because He has already cleansed us with his most precious blood.

I believe beauty will always be subjective. Maaring maging maganda ka at mabuti sa harapan ng iba ngunit sa paningin ng iba, makakatanggap ka pa rin ng panghuhusga. This is why we don’t settle for beauty that fades away. Women (I believe this should apply to men as well, lalo na ngayon na parang mas banidoso na ang mga lalaki) are instructed that [their] beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes but from the inner disposition of [the] heart, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in God’s sight.1 and are reminded that charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.2

Sometimes the world will throw insults on us because of our “beauty” and will weigh us according to its standards. But as the Bride of Christ, we are already beautiful in His sight because He has already cleansed us with his most precious blood. We are beautiful, and in His time He will return to us and carry us to His presence, as a groom carrying His beautiful bride to their destined future.

Tandaan, you are beautiful because Christ tells you so. Hindi lang ang nanay mo.

11 Peter 3:3-4

2Proverbs 31:30 

For your royal husband delights in your beauty;

    honor him, for he is your lord.

Psalm 11:45

Rescued

Would you like to be rescued by Jesus and pass from death to life?

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Day 2: God says you are…

RESCUED

Few years ago, mga 2008 yata, I was a part of a five-week Missions work to Zambales. Together with my friend Henry, our task is to gather the children and teach them Bible stories, teach them songs kahit pareho kaming may magagandang boses (kung di mo pa rin gets, pun intended po ito) and at least plant God’s word and in their hearts kahit sa mura nilang edad. On the average, the two of us were reaching out to at least 50-70 children a day, for five weeks. Minsan lumalagpas pa. Bukod sa laban ni Floyd Mayweather Jr. at ni Oscar dela Hoya noong panahong iyon na nandun kami, I will never forget about the privilege of introducing Christ in the lives of the children of Dingin, Iba, Zambales.

One particular occasion, nang mapagkatuwaan namin na magswimming after a tiring day of class, sumama sa amin na magswimming sa dagat ang ilan sa mga batang estudyante namin. Ikaw na magturo sa tabi ng dagat kundi ka maengganyong magtampisaw at lumangoy-langoy. I don’t know how to swim properly, and soon enough the water became too deep for my feet to touch, I know I am next to drowning. In their panic, the children rushed to me, contributing to my struggle on making it to safety. I tell you, I have never been afraid all my life, not just for my own welfare but for 3-4 kids who clung to me that time. I prayed hard and tried to swim even harder. Praise the Lord, I made it out alive. Di na muna ulit ako bumalik ng dagat after that.

My story is a story of rescue. I was saved from the imminent danger I am facing during that time. Should I surrendered myself to the waves and stopped swimming hard to get myself to the shore, I know I couldn’t make it alive. Di ako marunong lumangoy pero pinilit ko.

He saw us desperately in need of help and offered his hand to rescue us. He willingly gave His own comfort, His own life to bring us to a place of safety. Instead of us swimming in the dire sea of destitution, He swam in it Himself and lifted us up and brought us to life.

However there is a situation na kahit anong pilit na langoy ang gawin ko – gawin natin, we can never save ourselves. We need to be rescued. We need to cross from one place to another, from a place of sheer desperation and helplessness to a place where we can find comfort and peace. We need to cross from a place where we are sure not to get out alive to a place where we know there is assurance of life. Yet to cross from that hopeless place to the place of safety cannot be done with our efforts, kahit gaanong langoy o kampay pa ng mga kamay at padyak ng paa. We cannot rescue ourselves – we need to be rescued.

This is when Christ entered the scene. He saw us desperately in need of help and offered his hand to rescue us. He willingly gave His own comfort, His own life to bring us to a place of safety. Instead of us swimming in the dire sea of destitution, He swam in it Himself and lifted us up and brought us to life. Oh, what a wonderful rescue.

Kung naranasan mo na ang maligtas sa tiyak na kapahamakan, you know how comforting it is to be rescued. How much more when you realize that Jesus Christ has rescued you (and is willing to rescue you) with a divine kind of rescue! Because of what He has done on the cross of Calvary, he has brought us from death to life, from a place of hopelessness to a place of eternal security and of peace. Would you like to be rescued by Jesus and pass from death to life? Ask Him to come into your heart today.

For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

Colossians 1:13-14

Privileged

We are privileged, and we got a message to share.

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Day 1: God says you are…

PRIVILEGED

I attended the Sunday morning service in spite of the body ache and drowsiness. I am not a morning person so waking up earlier than my usual routine, especially during weekends is a challenge. But enough of the introductions, I just want to say that I am very privileged. We are all privileged.

Naaalala ko pa yung unang love letter na ginawa ko years back (or decade na nga yata). Sa sobrang emotions na binuhos ko sa letter na yun, talagang siniguro kong maisulat siya sa maayos na stationary, magandang panulat at ang pinakamaayos kong handwriting. At sa sobrang pagkatuwa ko sa finished product, napagpasyahan kong hindi na lang ibigay ang bunga ng aking inspirasyon. Haha!

I tell you, when someone makes an effort to do things for you just to express his affection, I can say you are very privileged. May mga tao akong nakikilala na nagsasabing ang asawa nila or ang boyfriend/girlfriend nila ay hindi expressive, much more romantic. It is hard to prove one’s love kung hindi rin ito mabibigyan ng justice through efforts or kahit kaunting patunay.

He has proven His love in many ways but let me just start with His message.

Kung tayo gumagawa ng love letter for someone we truly dear, Jesus Himself became the message for us. His words became our anchor for life; His words became our source of joy, hope and everything we cling to for life eternal. At ang Kanyang mga Salita ay hindi nagtapos sa kanyang pagkapako sa krus – umabot ito sa panaho natin, napadpad sa mga tahanan natin, sa mga simbahan at eskwelahan, at sa iba’t ibang lugar.

We are privileged because through the years, courageous men and women of faith, in their love for God and His Word, made an effort to make sure the Word will reach our time – to the point of risking, or sacrificing their own lives. We are privileged because we are a generation who can listen to God in more ways than before.

We are privileged because God’s Word reached us and offered us an invitation for eternal life. We are privileged because we can hold onto physically the written Word of God – the Bible in our hands. We are privileged because through the years, courageous men and women of faith, in their love for God and His Word, made an effort to make sure the Word will reach our time – to the point of risking, or sacrificing their own lives. We are privileged because we are a generation who can listen to God in more ways than before. We are privileged. Isn’t it overwhelming?

Unlike me na hindi na nakuha pang ibigay ang loveletter na ginawa ko, we are privileged dahil ang Dios ay hindi pumayag na hindi umabot sa ating panahon ang loveletter na Siya mismo ang lumagda – sa pamamagitan ng dugo ng Kanyang Bugtong na Anak na si Hesus.

We are privileged, and we got a message to share. Please let others know that they too are privileged too, kahit pa kailanganin mong gumising ng umaga o kahit masakit pa ang iyong katawan.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 

John 1:14