Blessed and my 13 Reasons Why

May mga pagkakataon na gusto ko na lang talagang sumuko. Nakakapagod, nakakasawa.

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Hindi lang makailang ulit kong binabanggit sa sarili ko na sobrang stressed ko na para magpatuloy. May mga pagkakataon na gusto ko na lang talagang sumuko. Nakakapagod, nakakasawa. Siguro kaya may mga taong pinipili na lang na wakasan ang kanilang buhay kasi hindi na nila kinakaya ang bigat ng kanilang nararamdaman.

13 Reasons Why

In my case, before I even get consumed with my stressful situations in life, with all my worries and fears for tomorrow, I try to diffuse negativities and lies and replace such with truths. I am blessed beyond measure! Maraming dahilan kung bakit dapat tayong magpatuloy. Maraming dahilan para hindi tayo sumuko. I strive to push on with life and let me share my 13 reasons why:

Just this morning, you were able to breathe in life

Pagmulat pa lang ng mata mo, late ka man nagising o sobrang aga, hindi ba magandang isipin na another blank page has been flipped sa pages ng buhay mo, and you are now ready to take the pen and write your own story? Ang haba ng sinabi ko, pero yun na nga. Ang paggising mo sa umaga ay isa nang dahilan para maging mapagpasalamat dahil…

Over the night, no harm fell upon you

May mga taong natulog lang pero hindi na inabutan ng umaga. Maaaring inatake ng sakit, o nadisgrasya habang natutulog, inabutan ng sakuna, trahedya o kung anumang dahilan. Bottom line is, their time is up. Pero ikaw, hindi pa! You are blessed kasi you were given something na hindi na ipinagkaloob sa kanila, kagaya ng…

1 more chance to tell your loved ones, I love you

At the final curtain of life, it is not the amount of money or achievements or earthly investments ang hahanapin natin at papangarapin nating katabi sa tuwina, kundi ang ating mga mahal sa buhay. Unfortunately, marami ang inaabutan na ng panghihina ng katawan o ng mismong kamatayan ngunit hindi man lang nasasabi na mahal nila ang kanilang mga magulang, kapatid, asawa o mga anak. Kaya ngayon pa lang, isipin mo na you are blessed to be given this chance to tell them you love them!

Listen to the sound of nature

Subukan mong pakinggan ang huni ng mga ibon, o ang agos ng ilog. Mahirap ito kapag nasa city ka kung saan maraming ingay, pero pakinggan mo lang ang ihip ng hangin, damhin ang init ng araw. They are telling us a message – they exist to serve their purpose! Kung ang init ng araw, ang simoy ng hangin, at ang kabuuan ng kalikasan ay may purpose sa mundo, how much more ikaw na anak ng Diyos? Kaya sa susunod na iisipin mo na wala ka nang pag-asa, why not listen to the sound of nature?

Add friends and meet new acquaintances

Isa sa mga blessings na dala ng panibagong araw ay ang pagkakataon na madagdagan ang ating mga kaibigan at mga kakilala. Blessing yun! Imagine kung iilan lang ang tao sa mundo, o kung ikaw lang kaya mag-isa sa mundo, di ba ang lungkot nun? Friends and acquaintances make our lives easy. Kapag may nakikita tayong nakangiti, masaya ang countenance, nahahawa tayo. Kung medyo badtrip naman sila, napapaisip naman tayo kung paano ba natin gugugulin ang buong araw natin, kagaya din ba nilang badtrip din? Malay mo, nasa paligid mo lang ang tulong na hinihintay mo, galing sa taong hindi mo minsang inakalang aalalay pala sayo.

New learning and experiences

Ang mga experiences na pagdadaanan mo ay ang siyang nagiging launch pad mo for greater opportunities ahead. Remember, experiences, whether good or bad, makes us who we are now. Ang tanong lang ay sa nagiging mas bitter ka ba or better? You can always choose the latter.

Bukod sa mga bagong kaibigan, ang bawat umaga ay may hatid din na bagong karanasan at pagkatuto. Ang mga experiences na pagdadaanan mo ay ang siyang nagiging launch pad mo for greater opportunities ahead. Remember, experiences, whether good or bad, makes us who we are now. Ang tanong lang ay sa nagiging mas bitter ka ba or better? You can always choose the latter.

Improve yourself and others

May pagkakataon ka to be the best version of yourself, to be better than your yesterday’s self. Ang bawat panibagong araw ay nagbibigay ng pagkakataon sa atin para i-improve ang ating sarili, upang maging mas malakas tayo, mas matatag at mas kapaki-pakinabang. At sa pag-improve natin ng ating sarili, matutulungan din natin ang iba na ma-improve ang kalagayan nila. We are blessed to bless others. Don’t let it stop with you.

Exercise your right to be happy

Wala namang humahadlang sa atin na maging masaya kundi ang sarili nating paglilimita sa ating mga sarili. If people try to bring us down, we can always think positive, realizing that maybe we are evidently blessed kaya tayo pinababagsak. If people throw insults on us, maybe because they’re insecure of themselves. Learn to see the good things behind the bad, and once you’ve found it out, lift them up. We can always choose to be happy, and one good thing to do para maging mas magalak ay ang tulungan ang iba na umangat din, habang iniintindi sila. Of course, this is easier said than done, pero why not try and choose to be happy today?

Do more of what you love to do

Oh yes! May chance ka ulit na gawin ang mga bagay na gustong-gusto mong gawin. Take pictures, cook sumptuous meals, write blogs, read books, whatever your heart and hands want to do, do it for the glory of the Lord! You are given another day for you to enjoy the gifts of the Lord through your talents and skills. Make the Lord happy by enjoying His gifts to you.

Others are looking up to you and cheering for you

Madami ang nakatingin sayo, humuhugot sayo ng inspirasyon at lakas. Kung susuko ka, paano na lang sila? You were given another day kasi you are an encouragement to people. You give them hope, you give them joy, you give them a reason to carry on what they are going through. Kung iniisip mo na wala kang kakampi, just look around you, sa pamilya mo, sa mga kaibigan mo, sa mga nagmamahal sayo. They are cheering up for you!

Leave your baggage behind

Panahon na raw para iwanan mo ang mga mapapait na bakas ng kahapon. Hindi mo kailangang makulong sa mga regrets mo, sa mga bagay na nagawa mong mali in the past. Forgive and forget. Ask for forgiveness if you must. Iwan mo na ang emotional baggage mo at mag-move on ka na. This is the perfect day to do that. Wag ka nang maghintay ng bukas.

Open doors and windows

At dahil iiwanan mo na ang mabibigat mong dalahin, buksan mo na rin ang sarili mo sa magagandang plano ni Lord para sayo. Wag kang magmukmok at isipin na isa kang talunan. Open doors so that opportunities may come in, windows so the rays of hope will shine on your face. Ang bawat panibagong araw ay may hatid na pag-asa, kaya wag mong hayaan na hindi ka makakatanggap dahil nagtatago ka. Open up!

Rest for another day and get ready for tomorrow

At the end of the day, you know what’s good? Yung ma-realize mo na makakapagpahinga ka, at tuloy ang buhay bukas sa biyaya ng Diyos! Anumang bagay na pinu-pursue mo at hindi mo natapos, maaari mong balikan bukas, laying onto God your plans and dreams. You are blessed, dahil hinding-hindi ka mauubusan ng dahilan para ipagpasalamat sa Diyos. Maubos man ang araw natin sa mundo, pero hindi ang kagandahang-loob Niya sa atin. Kaya rest in His love. He knows how to take care of you.

Ikaw, anong mga dahilan mo bakit ka nagpapatuloy? Remember, you are as blessed as I am blessed. Cheers!

Train of Thanks 19-20

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

March is almost over, and holy week is here! While some are getting pumped up for their holy week escapades, we in the church are busy preppin’ up for our “Journey to the Cross” on March 23-25, 5pm-10pm at the Marikina Freedom Park. “Journey”, is an interactive walkthrough to relive the death and resurrection of Jesus. This is open to all and is free of charge!

Journey

Going back to the essence of this blog series, let me recall all my thanksgivings for the past few weeks:

1. I am grateful for the physical strength and wisdom the Lord has given me as I speak for the Servant’s Orientation for the “Journey”. I explained in detail the reasons and lessons behind all the stations and together with the volunteers, we were reminded of the actual journey Jesus went through to save us. The story of His death and resurrection is not just something we should be familiar with – it is something we embrace and live in faith. It shapes us from the inside and is manifested in our actions. Jesus died on the cross and lived again for our sins – this is the basis of our allegiance to Him.

2. Last Sunday was packed with series of opportunities to teach and challenge behind the pulpit. I was requested to teach for the 3rd module of our Membership 101 class in the morning, tasked to challenge the congregation for tithes and offering for the 2nd service and scheduled to speak for the Salt and Light service in the afternoon. It was a super-packed day! Thank God for sustaining me with strength!

3. I praise the Lord for the lives of the Youth and Teens He led me to minister to. It is a very daunting task, I may say but very rewarding. To be honest I am not a cheerful, sociable kind of person unlike other youth leaders I know that’s why I am grateful for the people who support me in this ministry. Special mention to the most cheerful person I know, Demdem! 🙂

If I may add, I enjoyed listening to the point of views and arguments of the participants of our debate about our lesson on image and character. It’s overwhelming to know that once most of them were just my Grade 3 Sunday school students and now they are continuously maturing in the Lord.

4. If there is a highlight for my thanksgiving for these past weeks, it is my entry to Ptr. Ronald Molmisa’s 2nd batch of Young Ezra Project trainees. Supposedly for ages 18-25 aspiring writers, I still took my chance for this once in a lifetime opportunity to be mentored for writing – one thing that I really love doing. In short, I made it to his final list, though I am already 27 years old! All by God’s grace! All the more I am so excited for God’s purposes in my life.

5. As part of Ptr. Ronald’s mentoring program, he required us to attend Christian Writers’ Fellowship held at OMF, Mandaluyong. It is overwhelming to be in a room packed with Christian writers (and literally hundreds of books around!), hearing their testimonies on how being a part of a writing club helped them in their craft. The highlight of the event was Dr. Melba Maggay’s talk on the Role of Christian Writers in a Fast Changing World. Through her talk I appreciated my identity as a Filipino, and how we have become somehow disconnected with our national identity. According to Dr. Maggay, that there is something wrong when we cannot speak to our own people. As writers we have to enter the universe of discourse of the people. Her talk was an “ouch” moment, because as a writers write to express themselves. However Christian writers ought to communicate God’s timeless message of truth and grace, thus the need to connect to their readers and enter their universe of discourse.

Holy Week is up! Don’t forget to remember what the Lord has done for you, not just for this season but for all the days to come.

Train of Thanks 16

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

How strenuous it is trying to accomplish so many things at a time, but I am glad God never fails to supply me with much needed strength for day to day.  Let me share some of the highlights of my week for this thanksgiving series.

  1. I am not new to series of meetings but whenever I face such events, just like what happened this weekend, I feel like I need double portion of strength to sanely participate in all the brainstorming sessions and reporting. I thank the Lord for reminding me that all my labor for His sake is never in vain, and that I am working for a kingdom that will never be shaken.
  2. After careful prayer and consideration, I took the challenge of taking the youth ministry leadership for the church. I can still remember how I refuse to work with the youth department since I know I am not that relational and I do not have a charismatic personality. Yet here I am, excited to chart the ministry game plan with my enthusiastic partner. I am personally excited for God’s mighty moving in the lives of the youth of our church!
  3. With regards to the Youth Ministry lead post that I accepted, I was officially installed last Sunday, along with all the appointed church officers. With our official appointment comes my prayer that a ministry offered to the Lord and presented for accountability in front of the church is a ministry that is to be empowered and be taken care of God.
  4. I am thankful that the verse “steady plodding brings prosperity”, something I first encountered when I attended a Biblical Financial Study by Crown Financial, inspires me to save even a meager amount of money, for I know the sacrifice will soon pay off. My meager savings and sacrifices a few months back became my source for very timely expenses and purchases. Now, I am trying to increase my savings. J
  5. Last Sunday, I had a very wonderful time of reflection and recreation. It is good to hear messages of confirmation from the Lord, knowing that you have been praying for God’s encouragement for your undertakings. In addition, I was brought by my friend to a cosplay event at SMX, something that is very new to me. I felt so entertained. But the highlight of the day was when I am just gazing upon the waters on the bay side. Very relaxing.

We will never run out of things to be thankful for from day to day. What’s yours?

 

Train of Thanks 14-15

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

Wow, another two weeks passed and before all things pile up before me, I would like to catch up with my train of thanksgivings. If you are like me who is not good at remembering dates, occasions and names, keeping things at hand and jotting them down is very practical and helpful. Let me share my notes these past few days:

  1. February marks the start of the Foursquare Bible College Extension class openings! Since I now have time to spare for night classes, I grabbed all four subjects offered, three of which I currently take in Marikina extension and the other one I decided to take in Sauyo. Though attending the Sauyo class is more tiresome and challenging, I opted to do such so I can free myself from Saturday classes. No Saturday class means extra time for rest or recreation!
  2. I am thankful for my weekend biking sessions this past two weeks. Two Sundays ago we went to Antipolo to visit Bongbong (and eat Nanay Mely’s palabok and turon extraordinaire) and just yesterday we went to SM Center Angono, Rizal to, mind you, buy Gatorade (and take pictures, syempre). Haha!12697305_1195651783787990_2770984481242465982_o
  3. Last Friday I went to Marikina Sports Park alone to do a few rounds of jogging (and more of walking). That was my first time after long period of hiatus so I find myself still adjusting to it. Hopefully I will able to continue this routine, even at least once a week. Onto a physically fit figure!
  4. I was tasked to take over the preaching duty for Tumana Foursquare Gospel Church since their pastor is still in the hospital. It was a nice experience though, sharing the Word of God in a different environment. I talked about God’s Kind of Love.
  5. I really appreciate our Love Day topic on God’s Love shown in the lives of Hosea and Gomer. In spite of all our unfaithfulness and waywardness, it is comforting to realize that the Lord still welcomes us with open arms, longing for us to come back to His loving embrace. In comparison to God’s love, ours is but a mist, a dew in the morning, easily dissolved in the heat of the day. Yet God’s love is everlasting, it will never ever change.12698590_10207560863452135_4174585667346761112_o
  6. I challenged myself for a Love Month series where I will be posting FB notes on a daily basis about God’s love notes to us. I find that this is such a huge task to do, and I often see myself working late nights just to finish one post. In fact I failed to write for certain dates. But by faith, I will be able to finish this challenge by the end of the month. First day’s post is about “God Says You Are… Privileged”
  7. I am trying to be more of a morning person since lately I find myself rushing up every morning so I wouldn’t be late for work. Now that gravity has heavier pull in the morning (not a scientific truth anyway), I really need to work hard on this area. To my consolation, waking up early in the morning is a refreshing experience, but makes me very sleepy on my night classes.
  8. For the first time this year, I was able to return to my favorite spot in Touch of Glory Prayer Mountain! It is really nice to unload all your emotional baggage and future plans before the Lord and find times of refreshing from His word. I see myself as a kid who runs to his Father, crying without the need to explain anything, just enjoying the embrace of his beloved Father. It was such a nice moment indeed.12697343_10207554291687845_4072237667328547596_o
  9. I survived Mt. Pico de Loro! Details soon. Na naman.
  10. I thank the Lord for gift of friendship. I am glad to have friends whom I can share my frustrations and aspirations in life, and who challenges me to “just be me”. Priceless blessing from the heavens.

There you go, my thanksgivings for the past two weeks. How about you? What are you thankful for?

Train of Thanks 12-13

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

I am making a back-to-back version of my Monday thanksgivings because of, *umm, confession* complacency. But let me redeem myself with some of the awesome things that happened to me for the past two weeks. For God is good and greatly to be praised!

  1. I thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity to attend the National Leaders Strategic Conference and Retreat (NLSCR) of Foursquare Philippines for the second time, recently held at Davao City Foursquare Gospel Church. Hearing from the national leadership and working with the district leaders to plan and envision the future of the denomination to be a missional movement for the cause of Christ is an overwhelming experience. I thank God for letting me witness how driven the pastors are in accomplishing the Great Commission.
  2. I was able to meet the Christian Education directors and representatives of the 27 districts of Foursquare churches in the Philippines. Incidentally I also represented my district for the National Foursquare Youth Presidents meeting. Issues were discussed, questions were raised and not a few pictures and groupies were taken. In the end, plans we’re ruled out and some matters were settled. Working with the Christian Educators and Youth Leaders from different regions is a both encouraging and refreshing.IMG_1141
  3. Would you believe that this is the first time I boarded a plane? Now I am scrapping it off my bucket list. 🙂
  4. Barry Buzza, former national leader of the Foursquare Church in Canada served as the NLSCR plenary speaker with his lessons on serendipities on the life of David. I really appreciate the extent of his preparation, carefully examining the life of David and drawing out 70 conclusions that relates to the pastorate. I thank the Lord for His revelations through Dr. Buzza’s series of preaching.
  5. I was dared and I survived durian shake! Haha! Also, the MMND delegates for NLSCR, of which I am a part of, had the chance to bond as we roam around Davao and munched on the sumptuous meals (a lot of eat-all-you-can places, mind you! I was able to fill myself with 3 different sessions of buffet breakfast and lunch. One of the best part of the (food) trip was the grilled tuna and kilawin! Awesome!
  6. My guest blogging invitation did materialize! I thank God for the wisdom that I was able to share my biblical insights on how to move on from your past mistakes and how to keep on moving forward. I thank Ms. Charmaine of Organized Lunacy for hosting my blog post. Visit my guest blog here: (link)
  7. When I came back to Manila, I catched up with some of my best buddies and we ended up in Bieter Sizzling Place at B.G. Molina St. Parang, Marikina City. The place is oozing with colors and fun illustrations, which complements the friendliness of the staff and the creativity of their menu. It’s as if I am warped inside a video game. We’ve decided to visit the place again some other time.
  8. I thank the Lord that my online purchase, a stretchable belt bag for my biking sessions, reached me this time. Unlike my previous purchase, I don’t know where in the world it landed. I was also able to buy an arm sleeves and gloves, which I first used for my Mt. Talamitam escapade!
  9. I feel overwhelmed and encouraged every time I sit in the Sunday school class of the teenagers. I feel like I am going back in time when I was just like them, listening to the testimonies of my classmates and sharing my own. I see the future in the young generation today. Thus my conclusion, whatever way we shape the youth of today will be the kind of mold the future will have. Kudos to all the educators who willingly share their lives to the young generation.
  10. We were able to conquer the summit of Mt. Talamitam! I don’t want to spoil the moment because this has to go on a separate post. But praise the Lord for the beauty of His creation!

There you have it, my two-week thanksgiving roundup. What are the things that you are thankful for the last week?

Train of Thanks 11

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!

  1. 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. 😀
  2. 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.
  3. This week has the first payday weekday of the year! Yay!
  4. 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.Quote 3
  5. 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).

What are your thanksgivings for the week?

Train of Thanks 09

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

It’s 2016! Yuhuu!

I am writing this post in pain due to migraine. I have the option to allow this blog post to pass, but I say ‘NO!’ When it comes to giving back my thanksgiving to the Lord, I desire not to stay silent. I want to practice giving credit and thanks to whom gratitude is due.

  1. Vineyard Workers’ Appreciation Day. It is an encouragement to be reminded that I am serving the King of Kings alongside people who love the Lord like me. It feels more uplifting knowing that your family members are also actively involved in their respective ministries. This coming year, the church is again challenged to answer the call for ministry. Until know I am praying for exactly where the Lord wants me to focus into but my answer will be, “count me in!”image
  2. Binangonan bike tour and the best tasting tapsilog. I think I have tasted the best tapsilog in town – or should I say out of town! If you happen to visit Michelle’s Kitchenette along Manila East Road, Binangonan Rizal, don’t leave without ever trying their tapsilog. Served in a very presentable wooden plate, you will definitely have a taste of province’s authentic palate. On our return to conquer Cardona and Morong the next time, we’ll definitely return to the place and satisfy our tapsi-craving.

     

  3. Marikina City Grand Fireworks Display. It has been a tradition among my best buddies to witness the annual fireworks display sponsored by the city government of Marikina. Thousands of people jammed with Parokya ni Edgar, among other guests, eventually resulting to flying plastic bottles and tin cans. It was fun and scary at the same time. But more than the guest artists, it is awesome to behold the dancing lights in the sky with your friends. I was even able to write a poem in reference to the fireworks. In my honest assessment though, this years’ presentation is a little less spectacular compared to previous years.
  4. FSY PASasalamat KO. Before the year ends, we have managed to push through with our Christmas fellowship and mini-reunion. We’re reminded to be grateful for everything, because first and foremost, this is the will of God for us as Christians.
  5. Mother’s recovery. We celebrated Christmas and New Year with my mother suffering from pain on her hip, which was eventually diagnosed as UTI. Her blood pressure also dropped low, and her body temperature went up. Thankfully, my titas were present to help us attend to my mother and do the festivity preparations. As of writing, my mother is already feeling well. Praise be to God!

This year has a lot of things in store for us. Are you ready for your blessings?