Because we’ll never run out of things to be grateful for.
I am posting this Train of Thanks post not on a Monday because I was very busy yesterday. But better late than never right? The good thing is even when we sometimes get behind our schedule and frustrate our plans, God is never late in accomplishing His plans in our life. That alone is a great blessing we can always praise Him for.
Let’s start the round up!
I am thankful for the kindness of my client for allowing me to take a leave for a week and for her payment for my VA services – just in time for my Davao errands! I am thankful that my PayPal account does not remain stagnant. 😀
I was forced to rest from my daily work due to *excuse me* LBM. I am thankful for the healing, and also thankful for the rest.
This week has the first payday weekday of the year! Yay!
I was given a chance to speak about the topic “Feed My Sheep”, in reference to Jesus’ reinstatement of Peter on John 21. During and after my message preparation, my appreciation of Jesus being the Good Shepherd to His pasture soared higher. I even posted a status about it. Researching on the behaviour of the sheep and relating it to myself being a wayward sheep at times, I could not help myself but thank God for tending me in spite of all my waywardness. In every sermon preparation, the speaker is the first recipient of every rebuke, every instruction and every blessing God’s word brings.
I could not thank God enough for His timely provisions. I thank God for people He uses to bless me materially so I have some money to spare for the busy week to come (has now come as I am writing this).
A father with a vulnerable heart towards God, his heavenly Father.
10-13 David blessed God in full view of the entire congregation:
Blessed are you, God of Israel, our father
from of old and forever.
To you, O God, belong the greatness and the might,
the glory, the victory, the majesty, the splendor;
Yes! Everything in heaven, everything on earth;
the kingdom all yours! You’ve raised yourself high over all.
Riches and glory come from you,
you’re ruler over all;
You hold strength and power in the palm of your hand
to build up and strengthen all.
And here we are, O God, our God, giving thanks to you,
praising your splendid Name.
14-19 “But me—who am I, and who are these my people, that we should presume to be giving something to you? Everything comes from you; all we’re doing is giving back what we’ve been given from your generous hand. As far as you’re concerned, we’re homeless, shiftless wanderers like our ancestors, our lives mere shadows, hardly anything to us. God, our God, all these materials—these piles of stuff for building a house of worship for you, honoring your Holy Name—it all came from you! It was all yours in the first place! I know, dear God that you care nothing for the surface — you want us, our true selves— and so I have given from the heart, honestly and happily. And now see all these people doing the same, giving freely, willingly—what a joy! O God, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep this generous spirit alive forever in these people always, keep their hearts set firmly in you. And give my son Solomon an uncluttered and focused heart so that he can obey what you command, live by your directions and counsel, and carry through with building The Temple for which I have provided.” – 1 Chronicles 29:10-19 (Msg)
I was caught off-guard while reading this portion of the Scripture. Emotions welled-up inside me and I cannot help but take a break from reading and praise God for His greatness. I felt humbled and little in comparison to His glory; filthy in comparison to His holiness and righteousness; weak and dumb in comparison to His might and wisdom. Indeed, God, in His infinity, is beyond comprehension. That moment is truly remarkable.
Yet beyond the overwhelming message of His Word, what overcame me was the peace that followed. I have been through a difficult emotional turmoil days prior my encounter with the Word, and during that incident, I found myself seemingly receiving a pat on the back from God Himself. I felt like a little child crying because of fear and insecurity and right when I need it, I was comforted by a hug from my Father.
Living in the times when fatherhood is becoming more of an idea than a responsibility, King David’s example is something to imitate. He displayed how to be vulnerable in front of His heavenly Father so he can be a strong earthly father to his son.
I admired King David praying and committing his successor-king son Solomon to the Lord. I was moved by the earnestness and passion of His fatherly prayer. I was moved by his desire to ensure that Solomon will choose to do the right things. I believe that if He was given a chance to guide Solomon’s actions in their whole father-son lifetime just to make sure everything’s working out fine, He will do so. Yet, King David, and every godly father know that their lifetime is brief and in different time frame. Soon his father role to Solomon will cease because of his finiteness. That’s why he entrusts his son to God – the infinite Father. He acknowledges that God is a Father who will care and protect, and will never cease to do so, because He is infinite.
I am not yet a father myself and I desire to be one soon. Living in the times when fatherhood is becoming more of an idea than a responsibility, King David’s example is something to imitate. He displayed how to be vulnerable in front of His heavenly Father so he can be a strong earthly father to his son. He acknowledged that the ultimate Source is not, and will never be him. He knew who the real Authority is, submits to that Authority and encourages others to do so. He demonstrates the godly values of honesty, gratitude, and generosity in worship, among others. When I become a father someday, I want to be like of King David, a father with a vulnerable heart towards God, his heavenly Father.
The question is, are you willing to trust Him just like what Miriam did?
The life of Ms. Miriam Quiambao – Roberto, Ms. Universe 1st Runner Up 1999, is a story most of us can find encouragement. She has her share of fame and fortune, as well as of failures, and this is the reason why most of us can actually relate to her. We may not be as popular nor rich like her, particularly when she was still an active celebrity, but we can always identify with her tears and disappointments in life.
Ms. Quiambao – Roberto was the guest speaker for our 47th church anniversary held at the Ballroom Hall, Riverbanks Convention Center on November 29. She was accompanied by her husband, Mr. Ardy Roberto – the man behind the books “Ang Buhay na Hindi Bitin”, “Ang Pera na Hindi Bitin”, and “Real Men are P.O.G.I.”. I kinda feel elated sitting just a few seats from them, but more than the couple’s presence, what moved me more is the story behind Ms. Miriam Quiambao’s conversion.
Her testimony has already been broadcasted in 700 Club Asia of GMA News TV 11.
Here are some of my ruminations on her testimony
God is our Great Orchestrator
Miriam recalls that since childhood, she longs to be a beauty queen someday but the desire died down awhile as she prepares to be a Licensed Physical Therapist. However, God has orchestrated things for her. God acknowledged her childhood dream and brought her in the ranks of the most beautiful women in the world.
You wanted to turn to the right but you took the opposite direction. Perhaps this isn’t “misdirection” – it is God’s predetermined direction for you.
Like us, we have different longings inside. Have you ever experienced a seemingly “misdirection” in your life? You wanted to be a successful engineer but circumstances led you to a different field, say you ended up being an entrepreneur or an accountant instead. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to be a distinguished celebrity or fashion model but you landed in a very rewarding teaching career – away from the glitz and glam of show business. You wanted to turn to the right but you took the opposite direction. Perhaps this isn’t “misdirection” – it is God’s predetermined direction for you.
Miriam’s Ms. Universe stint is a story of fulfilled childhood dream, but for most of us, we’ve never realized our childhood desire [yet]. But wherever you are and whatever you might be doing in life right now is exactly where God wants you to be and wants you to do. In His perspective, there is never an accident nor an out-of-place-scenario. He is the Great Orchestrator and all things are perfect in His plans.
God is our Great Problem Solver
She thought she had it all going well on her life. With her popularity and riches, she felt secure. She even had high hopes on her first marriage on 2004 with an Italian businessman. But two years later, they ended up in divorce, which led to her depression. As if this isn’t enough, she lost much of her showbiz projects and was even scammed of her investments by people she once trusted. It was a season of falling, of disappointments.
More than the usual problems we experience from day to day, our greatest problem is our sins and separation from God. But thanks be to Jesus, we now have a solution.
They say that when it rains, it pours. For Miriam, all her treasured possessions – career, investments, connections, relationships – seemed to be smashed into pieces. Problems – no matter how simple or complicated they may seem, makes us dependent to others for help. In response to our dire need of help, God sends us people who will help lift us up from the miry clay we’re drenched into. In Miriam’s case, it was Mr. Anthony Pangilinan. She was led to Jesus and soon enough, the once depressed, miserable Miriam Quiambao has held her hopes in the loving-kindness and saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course not in an instant, but her problems met solutions in the Lord, and the marred pieces of her life were replaced with brand new ones.
Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior and acknowledging Him to be the only One who can save us from the wretchedness of our lives is the eternal solution to all our problems. More than the usual problems we experience from day to day, our greatest problem is our sins and separation from God. But thanks be to Jesus, we now have a solution. He is not just a problem solver – He is the solution Himself.
He is the Great Provider
After all the bitter incidences in Miriam’s life, she found hope in Jesus. Now she is ready to embrace what the Lord is willing to offer her – immeasurable joy of having Christ in her heart. Eventually she regained what was taken away from her: occasional showbiz projects and other sources of income, restored relationships with people dear to her, was relieved of her depression and a partner in life in the person of Mr. Ardy Roberto. On top of these, she is actively involved in the ministry, inspiring people with her testimony. She can also be seen in CBN Asia as one of the hosts. God has indeed redeemed the Beauty Queen and made her God’s Princess.
God is our great provider. No matter what was lost to us, He can and He is willing to give it back, even hundredfold. What’s asked of us is complete surrender to His plans and obedience to His promptings. Miriam wasn’t given favor because she is beautiful or influential. She was restored because she is just like us, in need of grace and mercy, hopeless on our own. God doesn’t look down on people and look at their beauty or physical appearance. God looks at the heart. And He is delighted to reveal Himself to those whose hearts are yielded to Him.
What are your pressing needs today? God is more than willing to provide – and His provision goes beyond material things! Be it peace of mind, restored relationships, secured future or even food on the plate, He can be trusted. The question is, are you willing to trust Him just like what Miriam did? Surrender it all to Jesus, and you will never regret it the rest of your life.
I was led to this blog (link here) about Ms. Miriam and Mr. Ardy’s wedding. Indeed weddings are events where you can capture joy at its finest. Just look at the pictures! Hearing Miriam’s testimony firsthand, I love how God orchestrated everything for her life, solved all her problems and provided what her heart yearns for. What a remarkable story. Indeed He can catch you when you fall!