Optimism

I went to work telling myself that I should not care about what time I would start work and what time I went home. I would just do my work and not stop until I finish them. Indeed, I had a very good and productive day.

I didn’t do anything special except tell myself how my day should go. I guess that’s how our mind works. If you think of positive things, that’s what’s going to happen. But if you think otherwise, then it is bound to be like that as well.

So try practicing optimism and always look at the brighter side of things no matter what situation you’re in.

Not For Us To Know

Acts 1:7-8 “He answered them, ‘It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’”

At the early age of 10, I still remember clearly the moment when I thought to myself, “Would I still be alive at the age of 20?” It was a scary thought but maybe because just 2 years before, I had undergone a major surgery for appendicitis and my mom said that my chances of living was 50/50. I used to be a very active child who was not afraid to get my knee scratched from playing and running around. But after that surgery, my life completely changed. Even if I had already rested for over a month, I became the very cautious child who always took great care in everything I did. The concept of a “second life” was something I didn’t quite understand yet but I knew I had to take very good care of myself from that time on.

Fourteen years later, who knew that I would grow up to be who I am now? Yes, I had some goals and long-term plans, but I never imagined that my life would be like this. I never thought I’d be living at this house, being in this situation and meeting all the new friends I have now. Most of all, I never thought that I would be doing this – trying to reach out to people to spread the Good News of the Lord by blogging. And as I am writing this now I realize, God has chosen me to do something really important for Him.

The point is that we can never predict how our lives would turn out 1, 2 or so years from now. We may have plans in our mind and actually fulfill them but there are still these very specific details that we are bound to miss out on and only God would be the one to know. But in His perfect time, we would someday reach a point where we would realize what we are supposed to do with our lives and that He has carefully prepared us for it all this years without even us knowing.

Grateful

Here’s an inspiring song by one of my favorite local artists. It’s a simple but a very beautiful song about our Redeemer.

Happy Listening 🙂

“Grateful” by Julianne

Having Nothing But Everything

“So we will be brought one by one to the testing place, and we may never know when we are there. At that testing place there will be no dozen possible choices for us—just one and an alternative – but our whole future will be conditioned by the choice we make.” (Tozer, 1948)

Oftentimes we think about what if we had done otherwise, would things have turned out differently? Sometimes we already know what we should do but because of the fear of losing something or someone, we go against the right thing and do the opposite only to find out it wouldn’t have made any difference at all. Sticking to what was right would have been the better option because after being carried away by our emotions, we end up losing them anyway.

Life could be easy for all of us. We could all just have faith that God would give us everything we need. When He says no, we don’t do it. When He says yes, we do what He wants us to do.  In short, we could be perfectly obedient and in doing so, preventing ourselves from unnecessary pain caused by going against His will. Well, back in the Old Testament, that wasn’t a difficult thing to do. Almost all the main characters like Abraham, Moses and David were really obedient. In fact, they had the privilege of being able to speak with God directly. Unfortunately, in this modern world, it’s a different story now.

Things have become complicated because of our own doing. We get attached to material things. Our concept of love is influenced by our creativity making it difficult for us to know what real love is. Then we end up idolizing that person instead of really loving them and putting God in the center of the relationship. Sometimes we become too possessive. Other times we forget about God when we start to become successful and end up thinking that we worked hard and did everything without anyone’s help.

Little do we know that we are already being put to the test. Sometimes things need to be taken away from us in order to realize that we are going in the wrong direction. Sadly, our stubbornness causes us to keep doing things just to get it back and end up getting hurt more. What should have been an easier path to happiness now becomes a longer and more difficult one.

Matthew 5:3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

I guess this is the reason why it’s best to be “poor”. Being poor doesn’t necessarily mean being financially poor. Even poor people have the desire of being rich and envy the material things and the social status of the rich causing them to be frustrated with their lives.

To be poor in spirit is to keep things simple while having faith that God would give us everything we need. We must not forget that we were sent to this place called earth to fulfill God’s mission. In reality, this is just our temporary home and we are all supposed to go back to where we belong – to God’s kingdom. So while we’re here on earth, we can both give in to the standards of this world and be frustrated or we can be the obedient servants of God and make this place like heaven. 🙂

The Shortest Prayer #3

“Lord Jesus, I want to serve You with my all and I know I can only do this if I leave no stone unturned. Send me Your Holy Spirit, Lord, that He may be my guide in all I do for You. Amen.” (Didache 2011)

No Distinction by Faith

“God made no distinction between them and us, since He purified their hearts by faith.” Acts 15:9

Just like in today’s reflection, I sometimes feel as if I am being challenged to defend my faith. I end up wanting to know more so that next time I would be able to give out really good answers. I’ve always believed that it didn’t matter what religion each person came from as long as they have strong faith. But it wasn’t easy to explain that to others because I thought it was just my opinion.

Reading this verse has now reassured me that what I’ve believed in all along was not just my opinion; rather, it is God’s truth.

Family

It’s funny how you think you know everything and then realize that you still have so much to learn. It’s even more funny when you think you understand something and realize that you can actually dig deeper and REALLY understand it.

“A family that prays together stays together.” I’m sure you’ve heard this or have at least read about it at some point. When I was a kid, this sentence was too easy to understand. And as I grew up, aside from all the other factors that affected our family status, I thought maybe this was the reason why we had a broken family. We just didn’t pray together. But recently, I realized it was more than just the act of praying together.

Praying together as a family meant having God in the center of the relationship. In praying, the parents are stripped off of their authoritative nature and would merely be two children humbly coming before God and asking Him for guidance on how to live their life the way He wants them. In praying, the children would not just learn how to obey their parents out of fear; they would also learn that more than obeying their parents, the will of God must be obeyed.

There are several things that families do in order to bond. They watch movies together, go camping every summer, go out for dinner every Friday night, etc. It’s always nice to reminisce about the past and remember what you used to do as a family. And eventually as the parents mature and the children grow older, we can’t help but face change. Maybe the parents would be too old to do those activities and the children might not be interested in them anymore because they learn to spend more time with other people. But no matter how different each member of the family would become as the years would pass by, God would always be there to keep the family together.

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