An Attempt to Balance the “God Will Provide / Living By Faith” Concept

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 completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Phil. 1:6

    To God be all the glory.

    Why is it so tough to move forward?

    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.”

    Celebrating my 34th Birthday

    With my colleagues

    Thanks for all the well-wishes.

    So I’ve got an ice cream cake courtesy of my boss, a sweet gesture that assures me I’m not screwing up yet 🙂 

    Had lunch out in FRIDAY’s with (one of) my boss and colleagues – two years in a row! 🙂 am really grateful.

    For me, sweet thoughts are the best!

    Lovely, isn’t it? Contents are way lovelier!

    Thank you guys! God bless and may your tribes increase!

    With my family

    Thank you, anak! And special credits to my loving wife

    Palabok with palitaw..yum!
    Evidently, nag-eenjoy ang bata 🙂
    Sweet smile! He sang “happy birthday to you” with his mom on videochat, touching his father’s heart.

    God Heard Us The First Time

    ​*[[Dan 10:12]] ISV* “‘Don’t be afraid, Daniel,’ he told me, ‘because from the first day that you committed yourself to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard. I’ve come in answer to your prayers.

    I admit I have my shares of doubt. I asked God one favor, years gone by and still my prayer remains unanswered. 

    I started to work my way to please God. Later, i realized that I want to manipulate God. His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are way above ours. God moves in His perfect time. We have to align ourselves.

    In my three decades (+4yrs) of existence, I can say that most of my unanswered prayers have something to do with my readiness. Say if the Lord will  bless me with 1million pesos, I can live with that. However, how can I be sure to do the same if we’re talking about 1million dollars? Am I capable of handling that? It’s not the greed that I am concerned of, it’s how to manage it properly. How ready I am for the challenge? If I’m not ready, it will destroy me.

    The scripture above comforts me. I’ll never give up, He heard me..

    Let Not Your Past Dictate Your Future

    This one’s for those labelled as misfits out there.

    Had you ever felt an emptiness? Vague? Felt like you’re a failure? Like you didn’t lived out with people’s expectations in which sometimes somehow You set a standard for the first place? Worry not, you’re not alone.

    Look at me. Well, I failed in numerous aspects, but i’ve got the face value -haha. Allow me to share some of my experiences in which life’s failures taught me lots of lessons, to be where I am now – still handsome (i know you heard me first time, i know).

    Being a college dropout, need to say more? I can’t help but to have an insecurity built all around me. But I have Jesus. I may sound unfair of bringing my faith in the table, however I don’t have much under my sleeve. While my classmates are busy finishing their degree, I am busy working all day, if not sulking away. I will be a hypocrite if I did not envy them. Then God taught me one strategy: if I can’t beat them with their diploma, I’m going to beat ’em with skillset. So I focus on learning new skillset, crafting it, and mastering into perfection. All my efforts are paid off. Even today, people are being amazed of my skills which I humbly and shyly refer to as ‘due to years of working.’ 

    On one occasion, I broke someone’s heart. It’s a failure in handling a relationship. Many contributing factors popped up, however, cultural norms (wherein people favors a woman) – ended myself guilty as charged. I took the blame. But that did not stopped me from loving again. I knew God must’ve His reasons why I experienced that. He should have! My pain is real. 

    You know, there’s a tendency to hide in a cloak of invisibility. I’m not referring to some kind of superpowers. It’s the pain behind a smile, bitterness behind cheerful aura, insecurities buried in the deepest of our being. That’s a cloak of invisibility. The drawback? no one seems to notice, no one seems to care EXCEPT those who went through, or are still undergoing the pain you are into. 

    Here’s where we are good at. We can blend in our surroundings, while God in His lovingkindness, is shaping our bruised heart. Yes, we are tired. We never wished for it for the first place. We did our best, given our all, but we’d fallen short. Listen to this: you have to focus on the growth factor. Believe that everything is essential for your character development. And keep believing that God is preparing you into something – in which you will fit in, in due time.

    If there’s one lie you should not believe, is the voice that telling you ‘You’re a failure.’ We all fail, but don’t let that setback hold you back from reaching your destiny. God, throughout history, called people who are notoriously/horribly failed. He called the doubtful (Thomas), the proud (Peter), the coward (Gideon), the insecured (Moses) – to fulfill important missions. Inspite their failures/shortcomings, God thought they’re fit for the job! So let God humor the humanity once again by choosing YOU as important piece to complete a mission that in due time, God will call you to fulfill.

    Look at me, I am a school dropout, yet have a job. I once believed a failure in relationship, yet happily married with a son. If there’s one trait that did not changed is my confidence with my face value (laughs). Yeah, that’s what we do, we laugh – genuinely.

    If you are still reading up to this part, let me tell you this: God is not finished with you yet. 

    Present State

    Well, this is something worth-looking back many years from now. I’ll briefly share the present me. 

    Spoiler Alert: this is a ridiculously LONG post 🙂

    Turning 34 this April, am not getting any younger. Having a beautiful wife and a handsome 2-year old son, with stable job and strong relationship with my families (both on my side, and in-laws), healthy body and a sound mind, unbreakable belief to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior – what more can I ask for?

    Oh life! Fleeting as a vapor in the air. I knew i read it somewhere in the bible – in proverbs if not in the preacher. Pondering about the meaning of life will drive me nuts if not crazy. For me life is simple. You live today to die tomorrow. What you did in between that matters. Nowadays we are bombarded with superficial expectations of the world. There’s a strong tendency to yield with what the world demands/entices us. But God said in Romans 12:2 that we should not be conformed with this world, rather, we have to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. I’m not referring to catchy article or articulated analogy here. I am talkin’ about my life – this life. 

    Continuing with my currrent life state, I will be hypocrite if I say that I am always strong and lighthearted. I have to admit, there are times when I don’t feel like moving. I’ve had a share of doubt. During those days, I’m thinking about the better days. It’s like David when his enemies are hunting him down. He’s encouraging his soul, saying “it is well, with my soul.” Friends, when you’re in rock bottom, always remember that you are in a perfect position to climb! When you’re beaten down to the ground, crawl forward if you have to. It doesn’t matter how long will it take you to be there, as long as you’re not moving backward, you’ll be fine. When I’m suffering, i keep telling myself that it’s essential for me to pass the fire in order to bring out the gold in me – a concept if refiner’s fire. Of course, in this life we experience these circumstances. “We are under fire” – a phrase perfectly referred to. It hurts to be under fire, but all our impurities need to be burned! Then we will be purified. To the pure, all things are pure. It’s in Titus 1:15 if I’m not mistaken. 

    I want to share how I convert my thoughts into my everyday life. I am a thinker. I think of everything I can think of. I’m good on that. I am also a dreamer. For all the thoughts i cannot convert into reality, I dream about it. In my dreamland, I am a basketball player – a shooting guard. I am also an actor, flashing a smile on a billboard for everyone to see along EDSA avenue hehe. I am also rich, as in super rich, flying around the world meeting executives and discussing business development. Being a basketball player and an actor will be considered as a fantasy since I don’t have the looks and skillsets to be one. Besides these are way beyond my time. I outgrew these. Hehe. I am not still giving up on my dream of being rich though. 

    I can say that I am a good man. I mean I am lighthearted, considerate, and slow to anger. And walking in the path of righteousness shifted my paradigm. A higher level of discipline is required. I have to be conscious not to fall in a “holier than thou” trap. When you are walking in righteousness, there’s a tendency to judge other people because you’re not one of them. There are times when you’ll be subject to mockery and teasing. Believe me – “been there, done that.” Just stand your ground. But never look down on others. If you have to boast, boast your faith – not your works. I always remember that once i my life, I’m walking their ways. Inasmuch as I am thankful of my new life, I’m not considering myself above others. Because we’re all the same. Different beliefs, ideologies, way of life. No one is forcing nobody to heed on his/her belief. That’s respect. I learned it in a hard way, and I have to admit I’m still in the process. Respect is something everyone is entitled to, and I have to find something on someone worth of my respect. 

    I will be moving with my life. I’ll grow old, my son will grow up. Time will fly so fast that I will depart on this life before I knew it. One thing I’m sure of: i found Christ, and I dedicate my life for His glory. Call me fanatic. I remember the phrase [paraphrased] “i’d rather believe that God exists and found he isn’t than don’t believe then found there’s God.” I vaguely remember it, I think that’s a dying phrase from a scientist. Well, practically speaking, it’s worth spending your life in good deeds with strong faith than waste it in abuse and meaningless pleasure. Regret is an emotion i don’t want to feel when I grow old. 

    Referring to current state, I’m just a simple man trying to live a simple life. I don’t like any drama or showing off anything. This is me. For me it’s like love me, hurt me, ignore me, forget me, remember me. At the end of the day, as the preacher said: it is best for us to eat, and be merry. But let’s not forget his conclusion. He said: Fear God, and keep his commandments for it is the duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13. 

    So i am (still) in the right track.

    If you can read this, then i want to thank you for your patience. 

    God loves you.

    Life is happier

    ..when shared

    With a friend, a spouse perhaps

    It’s no fun in solitude

    Which harbors pain, insecurities and frustrations

    It’s being with someone 

    You’ll realize that it’s not how (im)perfect you are that matters,

    But on how you make others happy 

    Even with just a smile.

    Besides, it’s cold and dark in the batcave of your cobwebbed inner self.


    I’m trying to find a small still voice of the Lord

    Through my endless petitions and pleas

    In the midst of the congregation 

    In each challenge and burdens

    In every rise and fall of my emotions

    Still, a hollow, deafening silence.
    Little did i knew that it’s not in the situation i am into, which his voice is audible

    For all these times He is speaking so loud!

    It’s the issues of my heart

    How to discern His voice like a child hearing his parents as they call his name
    How fool am I

    Been busy murmuring in  prayer

    How could I

    Fill my empty heart with renewed joy
    I rather walk in the beach feeling soft sands underneath my feet in each step, with soft waves rushing to and fro

    And reflecting about the meaning of life, of where i came from and where to go

    I can conclude like the preacher once said that ‘everything is meaningless!’

    I can’t imagine myself thinking deeper than that!
    One lesson I learned in the book of ecclesiastes

    That we have to love God with all our hearts for it’s a duty of a man (paraphrased)

    Such love, not fear or intimidation, but pure love

    Keeps me going in this journey called life
    I’m not a ‘holier than thou’ person

    I’m cool and flexible, don’t get me wrong

    Deep inside is a longingness to live

    In the beauty of His holiness

    …am still searching for His whisper

    Care to Share?

    Everyone is carrying life story of each own. You may not be aware the burden a person is carrying, stealthed in pretentious smile. It’s worth mentioning the warmth i feel in my heart everytime I have an opportunity to listen to someone’s life.

    Some people share their life emotionally. They cry, hug you, cling literally to your shoulder. Some tries to fight back their emotions, maintaining their composure. Each person has his/her own way of conveying a message, whichever is way he/she is comfortable. 

    One thought strikes me everytime I’m being confided with. It’s the trust. Like the band ‘Roxette’ once sung: “She’s so vulnerable.. like china in my hand.” I’ve got to be very careful not to ruin that. 

    I love it when I have an opportunity to share the goodness of the Lord, not in a religious way. Gone are the days when people are inclined by ‘too-good-to-be-true’ preaching. Do that today and people will be annoyed, and you’ll be the only person in the room before you knew it! 

    I genuinely treasure a heart-to-heart talk. It’s not about bragging an advice or preaching the “Jesus saves” in the conversation – though both matters, don’t get me wrong. For me, it’s more on listening. People start to talk, and to carry a conversation you have to make them feel that you listen and understand what they want to say. And nothing brings a conversation to a full stop than interrupting someone while they talk. Just listen, feel their pain. 

    Throughout my journey in this life, I am indebted with people who entrust their life stories to me. A big “THANK YOU” for the trust. Rest assured my prayers will be with you guys. 

    After all, it’s not about the conversation per se, but on how we carry on after. I thank God foe all His guidance and wisdom. I hope that if the time will come that I’ll open my life story with someone, he/she’ll take it with care as I do.

    As one of my WordPress friend said: “No man is an island. (A-chu-chu-chu..).” 🙂 ~ EnRoute

    God Factor

    We live our life guided by various principles as we prefer, reflecting our behaviours and molding our personalities. Our belief plays a vital role on how we see our life and determine our perspective on how good or cruel the world is, whichever viewpoint we want.

    It’s not easy to introduce God’s influence in someone’s life. God created us as leaders, and that leadership mentality resists the idea of having someone in authority to rule over him. However, God put in man’s heart a desire to worship, to acknowledge the one supreme being which we casually address as God. Majority of the people believe in God, even the devils do (with trembling)! But how many people acknowledge God in each and every area of their lives? I mean, including Him in their decisions regardless of how major or minute it is?  I call it “God factor.”

    When you don’t recognize a God factor, you tend to fall in a series of trial and error. You follow your guts, you scream over situations you are in, your action depends on the circumstances around you. Somehow we tend to accept that as fate, come what may.

    Here comes the faith. An assurance that you’re not alone, the realization that there’s a God that guides you especially against forces beyond our control (i.e. sickness, your boss’ decision, moment of grief). You may not have instant solution on hand, but God can assure to have you factors enabling you to endure – strength, feeling of being secured, self-esteem, feeling of being loved, to name a few. The mere assurance that you’re not alone on this is a huge relief!

    We’re dealing with our own battle(s) each day, and believe me on this: I may endure all hardships without  a “God Factor” but my character is being developed and my faith is being deepened thru day-by-day experience with God involved. I will not belittle God in my life, I’ll exalt Him so that in my weakness, His greatness will be made known.

    If God is with us, who can be against us?