I woke up this morning with an urge to talk. Sounds are mumbling as I try to utter words only me can understand. Mom is alao in a mood to chat. I stare at her as she keep talking, interacting with me. Every make-face brings smile in her face. Little did she knew that I’m trying (instinctively) to imitate her.
See snapshot below of our morning chat.
Here are the videos the other day. Dad, I’m making progress!
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. – Matthew 10:16
For we live by faith, not by sight. – 2 Cor. 5:7
As christians, we are governed by scriptures. Sure, we pick up those that are easy to get along. However, there are principles that we need to develop over time. Scripture is supposed to change us, not the other way around.
The phrase “living by faith” must be balanced. Some christians are settled in that phrase, they are passive in working out. One of my leaders once said: “Blessings are unmerited favor. You should work for your family. Your salary is not a blessing – it’s the fruit of your labor. In short, salary is a duty. Learn to distinguish blessing from duty.” That makes perfect sense.
Once I was saddened when a pastor friend came to me to fix his laptop. Btw, I’m a professional computer technician. When I’m handing back his laptop and asked for PhP350 as service fee, he said “pwede 300 na lang. Alam mo naman tayong mga pastor, supported lang ng ministry at misis na teacher.” [Can i have a discount,make it 300, you know us pastors are just supported by ministry, and my wife who is a teacher]. I rebuked him saying “pastor, you don’t have to reason out being a pastor. I can even give my service for free, all you have to do is ask. Elevate your mindset,you’re destined to think better than this! I understand that being in a ministry is sacrifice, but don’t settle to live in poverty. I understand we live by faith, but we have to work out to improve our standard of living. Romans 12:2 be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Tips: use scripture whenever you argue with a pastor especially when rebuking. It hurts me upon rebuking him. I am a pastor myself and I know struggle is real. Never did he brought his laptop on me again, and yes he paid 300 🙂
In our church, we believe that soliciting is not for us. There’s nothing wrong with soliciting especially to be honest we need money to run a ministry. But we believe and proven that God is able to finance His church utilizing internal resources. We need not to seek monetary support from the outside. Simply put, we discourage sending letters outside the church asking for cash. To be perfectly clear, that’s our practice in our local church. Soliciting is legit and is being practiced in churches. There’s time for everything, our local church just prefer not to do so. Instead, we encourage church to be tithers, and motivate them to pledge/offer for the church. It’s not easy and struggle is real, myself included. But I’m setting myself as an example, let the rest be convicted.
This summer, we hosted three main events, and God by His grace and provision made each event successful. Our drive is to cultivate Christ among children (Vacation Bible School), fellowship among women (Zumba), and evangelism among young people (Youth Jam).
Vacation Bible School (two different locations) one week each: Total expenses 20thou pesos.
These include training for VBS teachers (young people), props, foods/refreshments, graduation expenses, and transportations.
Zumba. Project of Women’s ministry. They aim to do it regularly. It’s an income-generating project. They’ve garnered around 7thousand pesos. Please don’t refer this as solicitation. Minimal registration fee are in place, supported by our Pastor’s Association and Local Govt Unit.
Youth Jam. One-day programme for youth. Organized and conceptualized by our youth, appropriately dubbed as #Easy-han mo lang Bes.
Each event work both ways: exposure/training among facilitators, and evangelizing participants.
Surely God will sustain.
..being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completionuntil the day of Christ Jesus. – Phil. 1:6
Lately I’m pondering about this question. Then my mind sails afloat the sea of thoughts. I then find myself trolling around scenarios of “what if?” “why not?” exchange – like a tennis ball.
Tradeoff is the main factor. If I move forward, I will leave point “A” and embrace point “B.” There’s no turning back, I have to burn the bridge! Lest I might turn to a pillar of salt (inaalat tayo *wink*). I will leave all comforts and perks in point “A,” and start a new adventure. The mere thought thrills me. But sweet journey come with a price, I’m not sure I can afford.
By the way, it’s about leaving my job.
I spoke with my wife about it. She told me that if I’m not happy anymore I can always go home. She added: “God will not forsake us.” Well, that’s comforting 🙂
So I sought my Lord Jesus Christ.. and He led me in 1 Corinthians Chapter 13. Although it’s a popular chapter, it never occurred to me that I’ll meditate on this. Two insights strike me, I’m hoping these can contribute to you guys, especially if you’re in crossroads of decision-making.
v. 8: Love Never Fails
Why I’m so hesitant to move? Because I’m afraid to fail. Do I still love my job? If so, I’ll never fail. If not, it’s time to move on. That’s the practical approach.
Subjective/spiritual approach is this: if I put my faith in God, who is love, I shall never fail.
So long as I have love, I can stand the test of time. (This is the point where I want to scream like Augustus in the movie Gladiator: “are you not entertained?!!”… and by the way I want to face my boss when delivering that – haha).
v. 11. Think like a man
I’m not referring to a movie with that title, sorry 🙂
I have to think maturely. Thinking outside the ‘box’ so to speak. This means putting aside personal feelings, and weigh the situation as logical and objective as possible. No grumbling, grudge or envy. Better to overthink about consequences rather than be surprised with unforeseen exigencies. No room for mistakes here, the price I’ll pay is high enough for me (paraphrased from Karen Carpenter’s i know i need to be in love #credit).
I’m still stuck.
I want to reflect in v. 12. This is what I’m seeing now..blurry, uncertain. But in God’s perfect time, everything will fall in it’s proper place. This is just a cliffhanger, the end will justify the pain it took to get us there (from Relient K’s song “Let It All Out.”).
Verse I’m clinging onto: Romans 8:28 “…ALL things work TOGETHER for GOOD to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to His purpose.”
I’m getting curious of the face. Mom keeps smiling at me. Sometimes I thought I smiled back, If I had, I don’t know. I am fascinated with mom’s face. Such lovely smile; such tired, sleepless eyes; I love to touch it.. and slap in the process 🙂 (sorry, mom I can’t control my movement yet)
As you know, I learned how to make ‘dapa.’ As I just can’t get enough, I just learned new skill today. I can crawl!
As awkward as it looks like, I crawl by pushing myself head-on – literally. I push my head forward, followed by my hands and feet. Mom will show you a video one day. You’ll be surprise how fast my learning phase is. The world has so much to offer, I can’t afford to slow down *wink
Previously, I’m confessing frustrations with my current job. Surely, it’s a sign of burning out. Nevertheless, my faith is unbreakable and I’m confident that my welfare is in God’s hands. I just need to do my part. Me and my loving and ever-supportive wife came into mutual agreement to execute two emotional responses and two monetary responses. And our efforts paid off. All glory to God.
Pray – we spoken openly to God, specifically discuss our prayer requests.
Wait patiently – my wife is my constant reminder to wait patiently. Sometimes we have to wait because that’s our only option. But having a patience is another level.
Tithe – we sometimes neglect paying our tithes. Or at least delaying the payment. Delayed obedience is disobedience. It’s not easy to be faithful in tithing if we have good factors to consider. But we learned to prioritize God, and as a result, everything is being provided by God. Let’s initiate the leap of faith.
Seed – put a seed in your offering. Label it. Say ‘this is for the car!’ We are not encouraging you to be materialistic, it’s just the concept of being specific. Of course you have to be pure in motive, as God checks your heart, not your seed’s amount. It’s fun to experience God’s hands orchestrating your situation in your favor, particularly in granting your requests.
Just this morning, I had a closed-door meeting with my boss. I thought I will receive a scolding 🙂 Instead, I was given a token of appreciation for all my hard works, assuring me that they are aware of my extra efforts to get the job done. And I was granted payment for all the hours I will spend working beyond office hours.
Well, this is just a beginning. I want this to be an encouragement to everyone (kaway kaway Jai hehe) that He’s not finished with you yet. May magandang plano ang Panginoon.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:5-6
It’s our human nature to worry. We have anxious heart after all. How many times did our judgments been clouded with doubts and anxiety? Nevertheless, God’s peace is in store for us. We just have to trust in Him.
The above scriptures instruct us not to worry, but in everything by prayer and supplications (with thanksgiving)… then God’s peace shall keep (guard) your hearts and mind.
Let’s break down these two requirements namely:
Supplications with thanksgiving
Praying is our way of communicating with God. It’s a popular cliche’ that says: “When you pray, don’t give God instructions. Just report for duty.” That’s cute, but in reality, it’s not easy. Trust me, it’s really not easy to just report for duty when you are upset and troubled. I found it easier to be just be “you” when talking to God. There’s no need to address “God of Abraham, Isaac and David.” Although exhortation/adoration is part of prayer’s structure (ACTS), sometimes it’s easier to delve into your heart’s issues. Pour these before God. Just bear in mind that you are talking to God, speak with respect.
Adoration – Praising, worshipping God, for Who He is
Apostle Paul highlights supplication and added “with thanksgiving” (with gratitude). I suspect that he wants brethren not to just request to God. He wants them to express gratitude upon requesting. That’s the quality God desires. We just don’t ask God. Because He is God, we ask with respect. Give honor to whom the honor is due.
Now that you’ve done your part, it’s God’s turn.
Verse 7 The Peace of God
It is defined as ‘state of tranquility, rest.’ What a relief! People try to find peace only to fail because they’re seeking in a wrong direction! Seek God, and He will give you peace – a sweet promise. And that peace shall keep (guard) your heart and mind.
The scenario is, you entered into God’s sanctuary with anxious heart and then leave with a peace of heart and mind. You may now rest in peace 🙂