Faith Sessions

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I’m taking this blog to the next level! Faith Sessions is a blog series where I will feature testimonies and life stories of people who encountered Jesus and were radically changed-inside and out. I just realized, after watching Heneral Luna, that stories like that are meant to be shared. Oo, kailangan na marinig ng generation natin ang love story ni God para sa’tin!  At gagamitin kong platform itong blog ko para ikuwento ang buhay nila. Exciting ba? I’ll be posting new stories every Thursday night!

Bakit?

Kasi, “We live by faith, not by sight.” -2 Corinthians 5:7

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Fiction, Wattpad & Why Jesus Is The Only Reality

#randomthoughts ko lang naman.

So ngayong gabi, binilhan ako ng kapatid ko ng libro galing NBS pambayad utang daw nya sa mga araw na tinulungan ko sya. Binilhan nya ko ng youth fiction na Class 3-C Has A Secret. mukhang masikreto nga, kasi pati book cover, black lang eh. Galing wattpad yung kwento at isinalibro. Nakabili ba din ako ng ganto dati, yung Diary ng Panget na binabasa ko pagkatapos ko mag quiet time, at yung Talk Back And You’re Dead na hanggang ngayon di ko pa nababasa, kasi kaya ko lang naman to dati binili para mapa-autograph kay nadine lustre yung libro sa market market (utos ng nanay ko. maniwala ka).

Masaya ko sa mga wattpad stories na na-publish bilang libro, bumabalik na kasi ang hilig ng mga tao sa pagbabasa IN PRINT. magandang simula na yun. pagkatapos ay maaappreciate na din nila ang mga obra nila jun cruz reyes, atalia, arceo, bautista, cruz, at iba pa. Hindi na lang puro korean drama ang inaatupag ng mga bata.

Pero bigla akong nagkaroon ng tanong na talagang nagpatigil ng panonood ko ng “how to jerk dance” sa youtube: bakit bumebenta tong mga gantong istorya? SRSLY, bakit?

at narealize ko: dahil madaming kabataan ang nakakarelate. at bakit sila nakakarelate? dahil sa tingin ko meron tayong gustong maging reality, may tinatakbuhan tayo. gusto natin makaranas ng adventure, ng thrill, ng romance sa buhay natin. pero hindi natin maranasan kaya nafufrustrate tayo. kaya tumatakbo tayo sa mga kathang kwento, kasi doon para tayong nabubuhay. parang nagigising yung puso nating gutom sa pagmamahal at adventure. because I think, God placed that desire in our hearts: to long for beauty, love and adventure sa buhay.
Si God ang master story teller, ang original Author ng story na hinahanap hanap natin, ang Choreographer ng sayaw na matagal na nating gustong sayawin. Pero hindi natin magawa kasi tumatakbo tayo sa mapait na katotohanan ng buhay natin.

I was reminded that the only true thing in this world is the Cross. Sa Cross, lahat ng broken story, nagiging story of redemption. sa Cross, lahat ng tumatakbo, lumalapit. Sa Cross, lahat ng mapait, tumatamis. That’s the beauty of the Gospel, hindi tayo worthy of a beautiful story, yet God chose us. yung mapait nating buhay, dahil may Jesus, nagiging sweet reality. That’s why wala na tayong time para tumakbo pa sa old stories natin, the Word that spoke and gave meaning to everything bought us with a price. That Word shed blood and life, para makasama ka sa biggest story ever. That’s the beautiful reality. That’s Jesus.

Everyday I Die.

Ang gusto ko sa pagbablog ay mas tinuturuan ako nito maging transparent sa mga bagay-bagay. hehe eto ang isa sa mga ‘yun. Because i am sick and tired of people covering things up, na hindi naman talaga yun ang totoo. To my surpise, ako pala ‘yun. i am tired of myself pala. i want nothing but Jesus. i want everything of Jesus.

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Hanggang sa pina-realize sa akin ni Lord na ang nakakaharang pala sa growth ko sa Kaniya ay ang sarili ko. Ang dami kong gustong gawin. Ang dami kong gustong maabot at maachieve, ni hindi ko na nga naririnig ano ba yung gusto Niya sa buhay ko. Tsaka Niya ako ibabalik sa lugar kung saan kami unang nagkita, sa brokenness ko. At ipapakita Niya sa akin na brokenness is beautiful.

I’ve learned a lot through my painful failures.

At naisip ko na, minsan kapag hindi mo na chine-check yung heart mo at hindi mo na chine-check yung walk mo with God, prone ka sa self-deception.

Akala mo okay ka, pero hindi.

Hindi ko alam if you can identify with me pero minsan ang judgmental ko sa mga wala pang relationship kay Jesus, minsan ang judgmental ko din sa mga christian. Naiinis ako minsan sa mga kapwa ko leader. Bakit? Dahil ‘yung mali na nakikita ko sa kanila, ay yung parehas na mali na hindi ko napapansin sa sarili ko.

And it breaks my heart to know all of this. I realized then, grace lang ni Lord makakabago nito. Holy Spirit na lang ang may kakayahan para baguhin to.

Itong traydor kong puso.

Pero.

Here’s the irony of the story.

Jesus says He loves me kahit na nakakainis na yung mga struggle ko. Kahit mukha na kong ewan kakaiyak dahil paulit-ulit na lang yung tumutusok sa puso ko. Kahit na minsan nakakabaliw na hindi ko na maintindihan ‘yung sarili ko. Sabi nya, mahal Niya pa din daw ako. I guess you would never know true love unless you experience it firsthand. My goodness. Nakakatunaw.

If you’re a human, that’s a hard pill to swallow. I can’t even chew the thought.

The Bible calls it, yes, grace.

Heto pa ang isang plot twist.

Kung sinabi Niya na mahal Niya ako. Then, totoo din ‘yung iba Niyang mga sinabi at ipinangako.

Na broken na yung chains.

Na may freedom na talaga ako.

Na dumugo man ako, ito ay para sa aking ikabubuti.

Na hawak Niya na yung kamay ko,

at hindi na kami maghihiwalay pa.

That is why masaya ako to take up my own cross everyday just to follow Him. If carrying my cross means to be broken, to be empty, and to die.

It will be joyful. Because in my brokenness, I am beautiful.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

-Galatians 2:20

And everyday, yes, I die to myself. Because in Him, I live.

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Wala Akong Maisip Na Title Nito, So Yeah, Tungkol Pa Din Naman ‘To Kay Jesus.

Nakakita ka na ba ng heart surgery? Ako hindi pa. At parang ayaw ko makakita.

Heart Surgery

At hindi na rin ako magpo-post ng totoong litrato ng inooperahan na puso.

Pero one thing is for sure.

It’s bloody.

It’s messy.

It’s painful.

‘Yan ang process ni God sa ating mga anak Niya na kung tawagin ay “sanctification”. To sanctify means to set apart, to purify, to cleanse. Jesus is the Great Physician, and He is in the process of purifying us.

May pinapa-surrender ba Siya sa’yo ngayon?

May tinatanggal ba Siya sa buhay mo ngayon?

May dine-delay ba Siya sa season mo ngayon?

Nasasaktan ka ba sa ginagawa Niya ngayon?

Ahh oo, ang tawag diyan, open heart surgery. Bubuksan ng Holy Spirit ang buhay mo, hahalughugin ito, at i-eexpose ang mga basura sa puso mo. Direkta Niyang ipo-point out at sasabihin, “anak, nabe-break ang puso Ko sa bagay nito, hindi Ako nito nago-glorify. Isuko mo na. Tara na.” That’s what the Gospel does, it directly confronts everything in our lives.

“The cross is offensive, because it directly confronts the evils that dominate so much of this world.”

-Billy Graham

There will be a time that we’ll be knocked down on our knees. We will cry in pain. We will mourn the loss. Even the strongest and most courageous warrior cries at the feet of his Commander. Until we see that apart from Jesus’ saving grace, we are nothing.

Bakit?

Pag-ibig.

‘Yan ang dahilan bakit ni Lord ginagawa ‘yun. Dahil mahal ka Niya. Ako. Tayo. At darating ang panahon na masasabi rin natin, “Lord salamat at ginawa Mo to, kasi kung hindi <insert emo quote noong hindi ka pa christian>.” Pag-ibig din ang dahilan kung bakit Siya bumaba para mamatay sa Cross at iligtas tayo. Pag-ibig ang dahilan. Pag-ibig ang nagsimula. Pag-ibig din ang magbubuo. Sa process na ‘to, hindi Niya lang tatanggalin ang basura sa puso natin, bibigyan Niya tayo ng bagong puso. ‘Yung tuimitibok para sa Kaniya lang. Para kay Jesus lang.

Sa libro niya na “When bad things happen to good people”, sinabi ni Harold Kushner (Isang Jewish Rabbi, pero nagustuhan ko ‘yung point niya sa book) na (i-paraphrase ko na lang ha?) kapag naglakad ang isang tao sa ospital, at napadaan sa isang operating room, hindi siya magtataka kapag nakakita siya ng taong binubuksan ang dibdib ng isa pang tao at tinatahi ang puso nito, dahil alam niya na doktor ang taong iyon at nasa kalagitnaan siya ng heart surgery. Not unless hindi niya alam na siya ay nasa OSPITAL at DOKTOR ang taong ‘yun. ganun din kay Lord, mahihirapan tayong i-surrender ang puso natin sa Kaniya unless malaman natin na nasa ospital Niya tayo, Siya ang doktor at inooperahan Niya tayo. Dahil mahal Niya tayo.

What Porn Doesn’t Tell You

Have you ever seen pictures/memes like this? Uso ‘yan ngayon sa social media sites.

Expectation Vs. Reality 2 Expectation Vs. Reality 1

Yeah, well, basically, ganyan ang pornography. Ang expectation ng men sa porn (sa magazine man o sa internet) ay magkakaroon sila ng satisfaction, intimacy, acceptance, and the feeling of being loved. Pero in reality, porn gives brokenness, distortion, ungodliness, dirt, loneliness, more loneliness and death. So we’re going to bust pornography’s lies and deception towards men and let’s take a look on what the Bible says with this thing. Here is what porn doesn’t tell you:

  1. It destroys your soul.

Sabi ni Jesus, tignan lang daw natin “lustfully” ang isang babae, were already commiting adultery in our hearts (Matthew 5:28) It’s not the behavior kasi, it’s the condition of our hearts. Bakit? Kasi our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). So whenever we look lustfully at women and commit adultery, we’re destroying ourselves (Prov. 6:32) and we commit sin against our own body (1 Cor. 6:18). As C.S. Lewis said, that we don’t have a soul. We ARE a soul, and we have a physical body. So whatever we do with our physical body, we also do with our soul.

  1. Women aren’t happy with it.

Yep. You read that right, sa mga magazine at sa internet, women aren’t really happy with what they’re doing. It’s totally a lie that they “want it”. NO. Umiiyak ang puso nila sa totoo lang. Nasisira ang pagkatao, pagkababae at dignidad nila. Women are not objects. Women are not trophies. They are God’s treasured possession (Deut. 7:6) and God meant them to be pure and to have the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:2,4)

  1. It perverts and distorts the true meaning of sex.

Kung hindi mo pa alam, masturbation is a sin of sexual immorality. Hindi ‘yan “call of nature” or “natural process of the body” (kung kani-kanino ka kasi nakikinig). At kung hindi mo pa alam, sex is actually God’s gift. Actually, God authored sex, and its fullness and real pleasure can only be found in the context of marriage. Hindi sa cheap videos or pages of a magazine. Piniratang version ‘yun. It is a command to keep the marriage bed pure (Heb. 13:4).

As I was typing this post, I wish I could tell you how I had obeyed God and kept myself pure as a man, and walked in His light, but I wasn’t. I was a fraud. I disobeyed Him and destroyed myself. It is only by His grace that I can now testify to His faithfulness in restoration. By His blood, my purity has been restored. Yep. For those who messed-up with their lives, believe me, there is hope in Jesus. What the enemy had taken away, God can restore, even three times more. Kaya here is the last thing that porn doesn’t tell you.

  1. It crucified Jesus on the Cross.

The holy and righteous God sent His son to die on the Cross to absorb the wrath caused by our sexual immorality. He was pierced for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:5), The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him (Isaiah 53:5), Through His blood, we have been reconciled with God (Col. 1:20), Through His blood shed on the cross, we can find forgiveness (Heb 9:22), through His blood, our conscience are cleansed (Heb. 9:14), and by His grace, we can now turn away from this sin and turn to God who promised to never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5) and to make all things new (Rev. 21:5) and by His wounds, we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).

It is my hope and prayer that after reading this, the Holy Spirit will cause you to stand up in purity and be radical to counter this world’s perspectives regarding sex and purity. Remember, God loves you.

For further wisdom regarding purity, you may check these other books as well:

1. Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot

2. Sex Is Not The Problem, Lust Is by Joshua Harris

3. Every Young Man’s Battle by Steve Arteburn

4. Clean: A Proven Plan for Men Committed to Sexual Integrity by Douglas Weiss

5. Real Men are POGI by Ardy Roberto

Throwback FirstDay

ImageSo First Day of classes mo na. Excited ka na ba? Freshie ka man sa college, o regular na, syempre hindi mawawala diyan yung:

-New Classmates!

ImageBagong mga kaibigan, bagong kakilala. Bagong kakuwentuhan, bagong kasama sa project, bagong katambay sa Market-Market para magpalamig. Pero ang matindi yung kapag parehas pa din yung mga kaklase mo: “ABA, IKAW NA NAMAN?”

-Kasama yung First Day na nga, nalate ka pa sa klase. o kaya late ka na, tapos sobrang tagal ‘nung jeep na sinasakyan mo, o kaya sobrang bagal maglakad ‘nung nasa harap mo.

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Pero mas matindi yung 5:30AM ka gumising para pumasok pero wala kang First subject. </3

-Dahil hindi ka sigurado, nagsuot ka ng uniform sa first day, at ikaw lang sa klase niyo ang naka-unifrom. Naks! Loyalty Award!

-Red alert na kapag nagsabi na ang kaklase na: “Nandiyan na si Mam!”, parang “Maghanda na kayo, katapusan na ng mundo nating mga estudyante sa Advance Statistics!”

-Eh papahuli ba naman ‘yung mga minor subject natin? Syempre hindi, kaya papahirapan nila tayo sa dami ng projects at research papers.

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-Kasama yung Introduce-yourself-to-class ritual ng lahat ng Prof. Pangalan, Tirahan, Edad, Paboritong Kulay, What is Love? More answers, more chances of winning.

-“Penge wan port.” “Penge wan hap.” “Penge yelo pad.” “Penge indeks kard.” Mga kaklase mong lifetime resolution na kailanman hindi bibili at hindi magdadala ng papel.

-Yung First subject mo 8am-9am. Break mo 9am to 4pm.

-#SelfieSaFirstDayOfClass

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-At syempre ang pinakamatindi sa first day..

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-Hehe, Joke lang. eto ‘yun. Syempre ang pinakamatinding mararanasan natin ngayong simula ng sem ay si Jesus. Mas makikilala natin Siya! Makakapag-share tayo sa mga kaklase natin tungkol kay God, may mga mari-reach out tayo. Gagamitin tayo ni God para sa purpose Niya! wuhoo! Exciting di’ba? Sa klase ang tunay na platform na binibigay sa atin ni God para mai-share yung pagmamahal Niya. at tsaka oo, may mga miracles na mangyayari. Be in faith. 🙂

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ImageAnother year to experience God’s glory. Are you ready to take a stand and see your campus be saturated by the Gospel?

 

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

-Matthew 28:18-20

 

Syota Problems

Emotional Purity.

Did those words ever crossed your mind?

Naalala ko dati, tinanong ko ‘yung isa kong kaibigan na Christian kung nagkaroon na ba siya ng syota. Nagulat ako sa reaksyon niya, para niya kong sasapakin, “Ang pangit pakinggan!” sabi niya.

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‘Yun pala, ang ibig sabihin ng syota, ay “short-time”. Short-time partner.

Hmm, nagkaroon ka na din ba ng syota? Este short-time partner?

Ako, oo. At masakit sa ulo.

Hindi ko alam sa iba, pero may sablay kasi sa konsepto ng short-time relationships eh:

  • Tinatanggal nito ang vision ng isang tao for marriage (at kung hindi mo pa alam, sobrang importante niyan),
  • Nadi-distort din nito ang totoong definition ng love at higit sa lahat;
  • Nawawalan ang isang tao ng emotional purity dahil dito.

Tadhana

Think of this: if we don’t have any vision for a lifetime relationship, one that is God-centered, then we’re just defrauding the person.

Sabi sa Bible, we have to be good stewards of God’s gifts. All the relationships that we have are God-given, so the question is, are we taking good care of those relationships? Or are we just deceiving them just to fulfill our emotional satisfaction? By the way, God can only fulfill our satisfactions.

Naniniwala ako na gustong-gusto ni God na maging pure tayo hindi lang physically, pero pati emotionally. Sabi din sa Bible, may tamang oras para sa lahat ng bagay. Kaya relax lang kapatid, hindi ka pababayaan ni Lord. Don’t settle for less for what God had planned for your best. =)

If you’ve messed-up in the past like me, I have another story to tell you. sa next blog ko na lang ipopost. 🙂