Discover, Proclaim, and Multiply

The theme of this blog is nothing new. Several inspirational books, novels, articles, reflections and blogs have been written or created in the past. Aside from my unique experiences, what else is there to look forward to in this blog?

Well, if you are thinking this way, think again. What is my purpose of creating this blog? Do I want to be famous? Do I want to earn money out of this site by getting as many viewers as possible? Well for sure, I want many people to view this site but not for monetary gain. Do I want people to tell me how good I am at writing? Do I want people to talk about how interesting my life is or how successful I have become? The answer to all these questions is NO.

When I read today’s reflection in Didache, again I was amazed. It was about being a “blessing expert.” To quote Mr. Carlo Lorenzo’s words, “I kept deciding everyday to count my blessings, enumerate and describe them in detail, and feel God’s presence with gratitude and delight. Being a blessing expert made me a happier person.”

Brothers and sisters, this is what I learned today: spreading the Word of God is NOT about COMPETITION. It is not about who can say it best or who is the most blessed and faithful.  It’s like a domino effect. We are all encouraged to share what we know and what we have learned to others. If God has touched your life in any kind of way, would you want to keep it all to yourself? If you had found the cure to what has been known as the incurable disease, would you be so selfish to hide it from everybody else when you know it could save thousands of lives? Sometimes, just because we have discovered something that is not as “different”, it is not a guarantee that others already know it too. That’s why when we have blessings, we must share this with everyone else.

We are all born in this world and called to serve Jesus Christ our Savior. When we hear His call, let us not be afraid to accept it. Let us go out and share the Good News. Ignore all those who say that it is repetitive. Put your selfish intentions aside. Keep an open mind and heart. Be brave and bold. We are all blessed in our unique ways and there is no story that is not worth telling especially when it is about praising and proclaiming what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us.

Matthew 4:19 “‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.'”

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Covenant

On June 17, 2007, I was one of the many new graduates of the Christian Life Program who attended the Covenant Orientation of Singles For Christ. We were given this small booklet wherein all the things that we were supposed to commit to God and to the community from that day on were listed. The first time I looked at it, I had my hesitations because there were so many things listed and I wondered how I could possibly do all of them.

Pray for at least 15 minutes a day. This one I had no problem doing because I had been doing that ever since. Read the scriptures everday for 15 minutes. This one is doable but might be a little difficult because everytime I made an attempt to read the Bible, I fell asleep after 5 minutes. Attend all small group meetings and household gatherings…What if I was busy? Attend all the teachings, retreats, seminars, meetings and conferences of CFC Singles For Christ. I was alarmed. Am I supposed to spend all my free time with this community? What about resting after a week of hard work? What about my social life? I thought it was too much and impossible to do all of them.

After 3 years, 7 months and 13 days, here I was again at the Covenant Orientation with the recent graduates of the CLP. I wondered, did any of them feel the same way as I did when they listened to the  talks? Did they have doubts in achieving all these things?

As one of the senior members, I got the chance to re-evaluate myself. I had been away from the community for three years and before the orientation, I honestly couldn’t remember what the orientation was all about. After the orientation, I took another look at the booklet and felt nostalgic. As I read the list, there was only one thing left for me to do: “Attend all the teachings, retreats, seminars, meetings and conferences of CFC Singles For Christ.” Even before I returned to the community, I have already started doing the first few things on the list not out of obligation but out of initiative. My life experiences when I was away from the community had led me to take such actions.

Now I know why God told me to go back, He wanted me to fulfill this one last thing. But accomplishing this last task does not equate to the end of my journey; rather, it is the life long mission that God wants me to embark on and He has carefully molded me and prepared me all this time even if I had been away from the community.

Once again, He proved to me that NOTHING is ever impossible with Him. Now I pray that I will be able to share to the new members that being in SFC is not an obligation. It is the way of life that God wants us to learn and keep. It is our covenant with our Savior.

Exodus 34:27 “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.'”

Fear

After coming home from the mall, I felt torn. I was both happy and afraid. I was happy with how the day turned out but afraid of what the consequences might be in the immediate future. Once again I found myself stuck in the situation that I have been trying to avoid. I don’t know if I am being put to the test right now or if God is telling me that it’s time to put my fears aside.

Since it was my day off from work, I decided to create my post for the day a little earlier than the usual. Trying to find inspiration, I read today’s reflection in Didache and found that it was about fear.  It’s amazing how God can answer my prayer instantly. It said, “What are you afraid of? Surrender it to God. Pray and He will do wonders beyond your imagination!”

Again I was reminded that nothing is impossible with God. I am in the state of confusion at the moment, but I know that this too shall pass if I just rely on Him. I must be patient to wait for His answer. As much as I want to get the answer right away, I know that I am being presented this opportunity because my faith is being tested. It is not so much about what the answer is but how much effort I am going to exert in holding on and trusting in Him alone. Eventually, in His perfect time, I will know the truth.

Mark 4:40 “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

Focus

After being a bit relaxed these past few days, I came to work this morning hoping to complete all the tasks I listed for the day. On my way to work, I prayed to God to let me be productive because I was feeling really sleepy. It was a Friday and of course at some point during the day I knew I would feel like I wanted to go home early. Believe it or not, I even hoped that I didn’t need to drink coffee to stay awake.

I sent an invitation for a phone interview to all the qualified applicants on my list and I aimed to call all those who responded. Fifteen candidates responded and I was able to call all of them. That’s what I call mission accomplished!

Remembering the other times that I did phone interviews, I don’t think I have ever been this enthusiastic about it as I did today. My colleague even joked that the Oreo cookies I was eating must have made me that hyper to sound so enthusiastic over the phone even if I was repeating the same thing over and over again. Towards the end of the day I was starting to feel tired, but when I looked at our calendar, I realized that I had scheduled so many of them for next week! Another busy week ahead for me. 🙂

Even if I had to repeat the questions for each person, it was very interesting to get different responses from them. Some of them were really bubbly, some were timid and others spoke as if they’ve known me for a long time already. It was very interesting to find out what kind of personality a person had even if I’ve spoken with them for only 15 minutes.  I’ve been interviewing applicants for the past three years and even if it was starting to become a repetitive job, these people reminded me that everyday is a different learning experience. It made my job all the more worth doing.

Today was another answered prayer. He gave me focus. 🙂

Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”

 

Compassion

A few hours earlier, I couldn’t wait to get home because I was starving. Before reaching the gate of our subdivision, I stopped by a convenience store because I needed to buy bread; unfortunately, I couldn’t find any wheat bread. Not wanting to go home empty-handed, I continued to look around and came face to face with chocolates. I suddenly found myself craving for something sweet. Since I remembered that there were no sweets at home aside from yogurt, I bought a really small piece of chocolate just to satisfy my craving and not break  my diet. I was like a child smiling as I went out of the convenience store.

As I got ready to eat it while walking, a little boy was walking after me, asking for coins. I tried to ignore him because I encountered them almost every night, but I guess it was just difficult to do so. I had coins on my right hand to pay for the tricycle fare and the KitKat chocolate on my left hand. It took me about 10 seconds to decide whether I was going to completely ignore him or give one of the things on my hands. Finally, I decided to give him the chocolate. Surprisingly, the little boy said thank you and immediately unwrapped the chocolate as he walked away.

I have to admit, at first I was a bit disappointed because I was so excited to eat that small piece of chocolate (like, really excited!). But afterwards, I wanted to pat myself on the back and say, “Good job Abbey! :p” I took advantage of the opportunity to be like Jesus at that moment.

At my age, if I was that excited to eat a small piece of chocolate, what more for that little boy right? I am glad that he said thank you and did not ask for more because initially he was asking for money. I know that what I did was such a small thing, but it was enough to inspire me to do more. I’ve always avoided giving money to those kinds of kids or even adults because I’ve had this mindset that they should be looked after by their parents or they should be out there looking for jobs instead of just begging for money. I also thought that maybe some of them are just being handled by gangsters.

However, the mere act of that little boy saying thank you stunned me. Receiving money would have been better because he could have bought something that he wanted, but he accepted the chocolate that I gave him without complaining.  Now I wonder where he lives and what his family is like. I wonder if he goes to school or he just spends the whole day begging for money. I wish I could have done more than just giving something. Maybe I should make time to support a cause for children. And by supporting a cause I don’t mean just giving donations but really spending time with them and help them find hope and purpose in life.

1 John 3:17 “If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?”

Colossians 3:12 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”

Discreet but Powerful

When I read today’s reflection in Didache, it reminded me of our household meeting on Sunday. There were only five of us in the group and they were trying to get me to lead the praise and worship. As much as I had wanted to do it, I really didn’t know how, so one of the members ended up doing it.

In the reflection, this is what Ms. Lim had to say: “I love God so much and yet I am still unable to share it verbally. My words get jumbled when I speak and my memory escapes me. But I found other ways to share His Word. I write. I sing. I show that I care.” I was so relieved because it was EXACTLY how I felt that day!

Speaking in public or even in small groups has always been my weakness. Over the years, I’ve worked hard to overcome this weakness by no longer refusing the opportunities to speak in front of a crowd. Of course in school, I’ve had to do presentations in front of the class. I always made sure that I had index cards on my hands because my memory was, or is still, just terrible. My hands would shake and somewhere along the way, I’d forget what I had wanted to say. There were times when just before making a speech, I’d remind myself to point out the important things. Unfortunately, I’d forget to say them once I’m standing in front of everybody. When I go back to my seat afterwards, I’d suddenly remember what I was supposed to say. It was just really frustrating.

From the moment I discovered my relationship with God, I was overflowing with desire to share it with everybody else. I knew that speaking to people was the most effective way of influencing them, which is why I tried even harder to be better in speaking. Luckily, I was able to have a positive effect on a few people that were really close to me. Whenever I had the opportunity, I always prayed for the holy spirit to guide me in my words. But the real challenge is on how I would be able to do the same to the people who I didn’t even know at all. I managed to make a difference in some people’s lives because they were my close friends and they already trusted me.  What about those whom I have yet to meet?

When I sing, especially praise and worship songs, a great sense of confidence takes over me. I no longer care how many people are watching me or listening to me but rather, I sing because I want them to feel God’s presence through my voice. I want them to be uplifted. Two years ago, I tried to take a step higher by learning an instrument so I can write songs for Him. Everyday I remind myself that in everything I do, I must act like Jesus Christ. And this year, I have made a commitment to write about Him. Hopefully after some more time, I will be able to speak about Him without getting all my words jumbled up and forgetting things.

2 Timothy 1:7 “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power and love and self-control.”

Taking the Stand

I thought I had done enough planning to keep me busy for the rest of the year; I was wrong. Today we had a meeting with my boss and I realized that I had more to do. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel the need to worry. I just thought I would be preoccupied with more things and really have no time for anything else.  I had my church activities, planned trips with family and friends, work five days a week, maintain this blog, read the Bible, read HR-related books and articles and of course, spend more time with my Prince in prayer.

I am busy and I love it.

Right now I think I’ve reached the plateau stage because nothing of great significance has been happening in the past few days. The only thing that I am watching out for right now is the feeling that I am being tested. My life isn’t perfect at the moment (nothing is ever perfect anyway except for Him), but I have completely entrusted everything in the Lord that is why I am content with everything that I have. Because of this, I feel that evil is just lurking around the corner trying to find a way to spot my weakness and break into that. I encountered the first obstacle two days ago, but I was able to overcome it right away. At the end of the day, it felt great to realize that I have taken the stand with God against evil. It is not easy but it is worth it.

“This is my prayer in the battle

When triumph is still on its way

I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ

So firm on His promise I stand…”  – The Desert Song by HillSong (Brooke Fraser and Gabrielle)

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