Break the Silence

  
We just finished our youth service series called Break the Silence. We talked about Paul, Peter, and Philip, some of the evangelists from the book of Acts. Before the next series, my hope is that this series will not just go through our heads but rather, it would be a part of our daily lifestyle. Here are 3 simple thoughts to keep that “breaking the silence” attitude going:

1. Read your Bible

Really? Yes! I know it’s very basic but we talk more when we know more. I remember the times when i would freeze and back down from opportunities to preach the Gospel to my friends because i wasn’t sure of what i would say but eventually I learned my lesson, that it is a lot more easier to break the silence when you know deep in your heart what your talking about.

2. Keep doing it!

Paul encourages Timothy to fan into flame the gift of God. I’m pretty sure that to take off the notions of rejection, you just have to do it and keep doing it more! I remember listening to a motivational speaker who got rejected 52 times  (Ouch!) until the 53rd call, he knew what to say and he sounded so good that he was given the opportunity to do his first speaking engagement. My friend, one rejection does not mean that God can’t use you. There are 300 “fear nots” in the bible, i think it’s pretty obvious that God really doesn’t want us to fear. Keep sharing Jesus to your friends! Don’t give up! You may choke at first but keep speaking, check out on the net the secret of 10,000 hours in regards to speaking.

3. Surround yourself with silence breakers.

I just invented that term there, haha! But seriously, surround yourself with people who has the same passion and goal. I’m thankful that i am part of a team that shares the same passion. When i feel like i’m ineffective, i listen and talk to them, and man oh man, i always feel encouraged right after and my faith is just pumped to another level! If you want to break the silence, don’t do it alone! Have a squad with you!
As i end this blog, keep in mind that God has called you to make an impact through the Gospel. I’m pretty confident that with such a message and with the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to BREAK THE SILENCE in every campus and every nation in our generation.

Congrats graduates!

To all graduates: First of all, Congrats! The hard work, late nights, caffeine, xerox copies, snapshots (new generation notes) and sweat have paid off. Great job! *insert high five here. From now on, some things will change but some things will not. I want to focus two things in particular.

  1. Your relationship with God
Ephesians 5:15a “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise..”
God sustained you and in His goodness, He allowed you to graduate. It is a wonderful achievement, a gift that you will be able to use in the world. I’m really excited for your new journey! I know you will learn a lot, laugh a lot, get stretched a lot, and much more. As the great days of your life unfold, keep walking in the light. Knowing God when you are a student is great, knowing Him when you start to work is a new experience. When I started to work, it wasn’t easy but it sure was a mind blowing experience for me and I know it will be for you as well. Some things will change but He never will. As you experience all sorts of things, the highs and lows, continue to walk in relationship with God. He is the ultimate source of everything in everything.
  1. Being a good steward
Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
When you start earning money, and your schedule is getting filled, your calling remains the same, to honor God in everything -time, money, talent, singleness/relationships, family, and health- not to prove anything to the people around you but to give glory and thanks to God! Fix your calendar, plan ahead, start budgeting, tithe, bless people, make the most out of your single season, travel, invest, make good memories with your family, buy books, build great friendships, reach out to your co-workers and take good care of your health. Life outside of school comes with more choices to make regularly, make those choices by thinking about how best to honor Him.
As the next chapter of your life starts, keep on following God and honoring Him in all that you do.

What happened there?

Holy week is happening this week which means less traffic, less eating out, less tv shows/movies, and lots of reflecting whether it’s staycation or out of town. It’s an interesting week because almost everybody slows down and takes a few days to pause and look back. As we look back, my hope is that you won’t just look back at mistakes you’ve made and feel sorry but rather, that you would look even further, at the Cross and Resurrection. Where our mistakes have been dealt with, where we are made whiter than snow, accepted, loved, and forgiven in a way that is unimaginable.

If you are reading this blog, i just want to share a verse and a  few thoughts that came into mind as we approach the week:

1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,”

  1. We are paid for by Jesus Christ

Jesus paid the price for our sins. Not in a cool, easy going manner but in the most humiliating, agonizing, painful, gut wrenching, inhuman suffering possible and He did it ONCE AND FOR ALL at the Cross. He did what we could not do for ourselves, He payed the insurmountable cost for our sins and freed us.

  1. We are made righteous
Righteousness is the quality of being morally right and justifiable in the sight of God.
Unrighteousness obviously is the opposite of that definition. The righteous One was slandered for the unrighteous. So that the unrighteous could be in right standing before God, the offended one, and again, ONCE AND FOR ALL.
  1. We are brought near
I love free rides especially if I am going out of town. Whether you will commute or drive, you will pay and it will cost you. Whether in gas or to pay for a ticket. Now, one of the many things I love about Jesus is He doesn’t just save us and then hand us a map and say “now, go figure how you will go home.” No! What He did was save us, gave us life, made us right, brings us near God and check this out, it’s all on Him.
  1. We are made alive
We are no longer dead and buried. Since Christ was resurrected and we have identified with Him, we too are alive. We are not barely making it, rather, we are fully alive and free. All because of what Jesus has done. Put your confidence in that and live it out!
As I end, my simple encouragement is fix your eyes on Him, He will be the one to always hold you up this week and the rest of the weeks of our lives.

Thoughts about The Naked Truth

One topic that has been trending the past few days is the fashion show that happened last week called The Naked Truth. It’s a fashion show that had so little to do with garments. What it did show was a naked truth which is pretty ugly. Our generation’s craze for sex is growing and it’s starting to get a little out of hand. How? Sex trafficking, increase in rape victims, teen pregnancies, premarital sex and, perhaps worst all, suicides because of the pain and shame that they carry.

1. The Struggle is Real

It’s not a joke and it is destroying a generation. I’ve been in that dark past and I don’t ever want to go back. As a missionary, I have yet to encounter a young person that has pure joy and a fully satisfied heart because they watch porn, have premarital sex or commit any sexually immoral act. I have met some who have given up though, conformed with the norm, scarred, scared, broken, weary, used, frustrated, suicidal, who want to find a way out or to start over and be given a clean slate. The struggle is real, it is spreading fast (through phones, social media, shirts, songs, movies, radio stations, food products, etc.) and it is not helping our generation, rather, we are setting up a disaster for them.

2. The Struggle Can and Will Evolve

Our generation is an evolving generation. But I don’t get why we are evolving in the wrong things and downgrading our values. We are degrading the premium and definition of sex, thinking that bodies are mere toys or objects, disregarding the family, taking advantage of whatever we can. As I write this, I feel terrible, because I have seen marriages destroyed, friendships broken, relationships torn apart, people used and identities crushed. How long will we just look the other way? Rape is increasing, sex trafficking is growing, and the youth is the most affected. Are we really sure that this is the path we want to take as a generation? Is this really what we want to be passed on to the future of our nation?

3. The struggle has a solution

It’s too much. It’s just really too much. We ban prayers, but we glorify sex. We say people know what to do, that they know right from wrong, that self help books are the solution but the depression, suicide and teen pregnancy rates shout the opposite. It’s just too much.

I cannot and will not see my generation go down the drain. I refuse to conform to the patterns of the world! My God has a plan of redemption and He showed gave a passion statement 2000+ years ago. It’s the most scandalous bare truth in the history of mankind. Jesus died for sinners like you and me, broke His body to clothe us with righteousness that never goes out of style.

School stress?!

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” (Singing the song in my head.)
Wait!! Not yet! Some students will disagree with what i’m singing cos it’s that time of the year where exams are all over, projects side to side, staying up late in differents houses of groupmates here and there, asking parents for thesis money, and coffee. Procrastinating, pressured, tired, weary, lack of sleep, these are some of the words to describe the season. But even though you have a lot in the plate, i’ve got this little reminder which I know is familiar to many.

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1 Timothy 4:14
” Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

In times of stress and weakness, our speech, conduct, love, faith and purity is going to be tested. It’s easier to say something wrong and complain, cheat, compromise, neglect our faith and run to cheap thrills rather than to God. So what are we supposed to do?

1. Rest – A healthy body and mind alerts us faster. It keeps our guards up.

2. Read your Bible – Yeah, I know that you already knew that but i see this to be true. I know we are busy but seriously, we also have so much idle time in a day. Funny how a busy person can have an 30mins – 1 hour for facebook and twitter while not have time to read the Bible and honestly, that time you spend with God makes a huge impact in your day.

3. Realize/Reflect – Realize who you are before you do what you are thinking to do. Realize what might happen if you compromise. Realize that it’s not worth it to take shortcuts only to regret it eventually. Realize that God has changed you and that He is with you. Realize that God has given you a calling to set an example in speech, conduct, love, faith and in purity.

So students, you might be stressed, tired and weary but don’t forget to rest, read your Bible and realize/reflect. School is just a few years, enjoy it, give it your best shot and don’t let it pass away without living out the purpose that God has given you.

Sex, Sanctification and leg day.

Obviously, my connectedness worked here as you see in the title.
So how does the three collide?
Here’s the story.

Last weekend, i had the priviledge of speaking to 4 youth services at the youth services in our church at the Fort about sex.

It was one of my best so far in my own opinion because i wanted to talk about it for a long time since immorality was one of my struggles in the past plus i get to talk to a lot of young men who is involved in such things like porn, premaritaxl sex, fornication, lust, etc. who wants to stop but just can’t.
I had a point in my preaching where i talked about sanctification being a great news for those that are saved because it gives us confidence that we are not alone anymore in the process. We are not just saved but also sanctified, and the reason i blogged about it because i know that even though a lot was set free from the condemnation and powers of it, the temptation and struggle never stops. Which is why i bring up sanctification as a huge thing to understand at this point, because the tendency is at some point, many may fail and assume that they are such failures not realizing that the sanctification process is still at work. On the other hand, i don’t want to say that sanctification is an excuse to fail and sin again and again.
The point is, sanctification must give us confidence to move forward on our walk with Jesus understanding that we are not abandoned, and not be a reason to settle in our failures.

As we go towards purity, we must remember the practicals and heart solution which is the Gospel. Like what i said, i wasn’t living a pure life back then and so purity was something i constantly failed in when i accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. It was so hard and i felt like walking with a limp but i know it’s good, kind of like leg day, i know it’s good, but man was it hard! I was walking today so weird, aching, slow, but i know, it’s just because i’m not used to working out my legs, also with purity, you might feel weird at first, but keep working it out until eventually and diligently, the muscles of purity will grow. Just like one of my mentors taught me, “Purity is a result, not a goal.”

And so, don’t be impatient, depend on the Gospel to change your heart always and work those “unused muscles” of purity as you walk in the process of sanctification.

Usapang pag-ibig.

Pag-ibig dito, pag-ibig doon. Seems like everybody is looking for love.
It’s the love month so definetly the demand will increase.
It will be plastered on every card, injected in every song, embedded in stories, ads, movies, shirts, ballers, flowers will be all over town, chocolates, love quotes, red will be worn as much and it wont be particular on age, cos it can vary to very young to very old.

We all have this syndrome. As young as 5, i already had my first crush and i can already say the words “i love you!” And i’d say it thinking that i know the meaning of it. And now that i’m older, i have an idea of it but i’m pretty sure that i don’t know all of it.

We talk about knowing what love is but results doesn’t seem to prove that.
More teens are getting engaged to primarital sex, doesnt look like love.
More teens are getting pregnant, doesnt look like love.
More teens are getting defrauded, hurt, bitter and unforgiving, doesnt look like love there.
More teens attempting suicide, drinking themselves to death, giving their bodies away, spending cash they dont have, doesnt even look like anywhere near love.
More people are being confused, having broken families, failed marriages, multiple pregnancies, fatherless/motherless, absent fathers/mothers, valueless, used, abused, hurt, affairs, scandals, and we are not getting anywhere near love people!
Men and women degrading themselves. Slaves to past, shameful, hopeless, helpless, and is going on cirlces relationships after another.
In a generation that talks alot about it, we are not getting anywhere near it.
Im not saying that this means all, but reality is, this is majority.

Do we have any idea about what love is?
Or we have the same thought in mind when we say that we “love” a movie, a food, shirt, shoes, or whatever? Do we base it on movies? Cheesy lines, couple shirts, and stuff that “love experts” on some magazines advice us?

Are we getting near? Is it love cos my heart beats faster? Cos i remember the person a lot when i listen to songs? Cos we both like the same flavor?
Is it real love or is it just my idea? It’s just what the people around me as i was growing up told me?

Love love love. In a world full of fakes in malls and streets, we can be fooled buy into the offers if we dont know the real deal. So my challenge is, know the real deal, go back to the source of it, so that you can experience the fullness and reality of it. Before you say that that person is the one, remember how many times you’ve said that to others, isn’t it lying if you say to the next person that “finally! You’re the one!”

(P.S. I’m not married and i don’t think i had love in all my past relationships before, so instead of giving points, i sticked to my observations.)

Trust issues.

I have trust issues. How about you?
I think it started way before when i got pulled out of my mother’s tummy.
I thought this guy which turned out to be a doctor would carry me safely but instead
Slapped my behind and made me cry. Or when i thought it was my turn to play sega
but my brother insisted even though he promised. And those high school and college moments
that you meet this wonderful person and you start giving promises that lasts for about a few months then it went downhill and ended up breaking the relationships.

And so i have a long history of broken promises in my life that created my trust issues.

And this 2014, i think that is one of the things that God is trying to work on me.
When i see it coming, i already resort to a facepalm. But then i appreciate it afterwards.
It’s also timely that im reading the life of Jacob in Genesis.
He had a wonderful promises given to him from God on chap. 28 but the series of events following
was a disaster from my view. God just promised a lot and them chapters after, he worked under his uncle to work for Rachel but got betrayed by switching her with Leah and ended up getting her pregnant and Rachel being barren then the jealousy between the wives then the maidservants being dragged and just really a lot of things. Just imagine, if we rewind Jacob’s life, he just had an amazing promise but fast forward to chapt. 32, he now has 2 wives, 12 children, and is about to face a mad brother of his.

If i was Jacob, i would’ve just walked away but then we see something here that is remarkable.
Trust. He just trusted through the trial and confusion. He never asked a blueprint but somehow just trusted God. He didn’t just trust blindly, he knows this God, he has a relationship with Him, a covenant, a history that made him go forward.
In my trials, i wanna ask God “why”, or would ask for just a glimpse on his plan.
Some friends would give up at the presence of trials. But this i learned through Jacob, a series of unfortunate events doesn’t nullify the sovereignty of God. It would take a couple of myseries before the victory so just hold on, keep calm and carry on.

You see, God rarely lays down a full on detail plan for a promise that is already done. Why show the plan when the promise is already done? As hard as it is since we are visual beings, wanting to see progress, hear explanations, and have aready made back up plan from A-Z, we have to trust when it comes to His promises. If we would like a glimpse if He is planning good things, we can look at Jesus, seeing that the worst has already been poured out to Him and through His life, we are assured that His plans are great, not perfect, with trouble but always great.

The hard part i guess is if we don’t know this God that we serve, that would be hard to trust even if you’d want to.
It takes a relationship to trust, and so if you have that relationship but you’re in a middle of a challenge, i wanna encourage you,
Everytime you doubt about what God is doing, just trust, you have a full blown history that He is able and faithful.

Open letter of Hope: F.M.C.

Its been a while since my last blog.
Ive been in conversations with different kinds of people and felt like putting up a series of blogs about changed lives that gives hope.
I wanna call it Open letter of Hope because I know that a lot of people can relate to this stories young or old.
Its different stories, but one common factor, we are flawed, we all tried, we all failed but when Christ came in, it just totally changed our life.

So here is the first story of a student who got reached out in campus. She is not perfect but she is changed and in process.
She is a friend, young, friendly, charming, always smiles, and here is a her message that she shared..

“Wala akong Christ sa puso ko sa pagkatao ko. I enjoy things sa mga pansamantalang kasiyahan, I just go with the flow of what life has to offer me. Naging aethiest ako kasi akala ako astig. Akala ko madadagdagan yung identity ko sa pagiging Rakista ko.. As in lahat ng gig napupuntahan ko. Parang yun na yung pinepraise ko. Yun na yung idols ko. Sila na yung nag papaikot ng buhay ko. I disobey my parents, wala akong social life, outcast talaga ako. I live on my own. I dont believe anybody. Sa sobrang walang kahahantungan ng buhay ko. Binaboy ko yung sarili ko. I lose my purity, my moral, nag pa dreadlocks din ako dati, may butas ako sa dila, sumali ako sa sorority, akala nila mama mabait akong bata mabait na babae. Kaso kasi busy sila kaya hindi nila ako natutukan. I feel im the worst sinner. Akala ko ganun nalang yung routine ng buhay ko. Puro guilt yung nasa puso ko. I dont trust anybody and ngayon pinagppray ko pa din yun. Im a mean girl. i dont care kung anong masasabi ko sa ibang tao basta kung ano yung masabi ko sasabihin ko. I’m still in process may part pa din po sa sarili ko na “baka ireject nila ko sa former life ko” pero alam ko namang hindi. Minsan nga po iniisip ko dapat pala dati pa ko nasave. Para dati pa ko naging masaya. Pra dati pa ko nasatisfy. Pero naisip ko. My reason kung bakit nangyayari to. Sobrang saya lang po, na nacommit ako kay Lord, kasi sobrang saya pala pag may Christ ka sa puso mo. Ngayon ko lang naramdam yung contentment, yung satisfaction sa mundo, hinding hindi ko na bibitawan si Lord.”

This is just one of the many stories yet to be known and surely its this stories that keep me grounded, focused, passionate to reach out to young people and obey what God has called me to do.

I’d like to end this blog with a quote from a mentor that says “Your past doesnt determine you, it just tells you where youve been.”

When Jesus failed me..

Did the title get you interested? I hope it did because it happened to me in a good way.
Before we get into theology, i wanna start out by saying that if i get this wrong, please let me know, im very willing to accept comments and suggestion. I figured that i dont know it all. Last is, im a Christian and i love God, i aint perfect.

And so, have you ever felt that Jesus failed you at one time in your life?
Like you prayed for something so bad but hmmmmm, nothing happened.
I did, like tons of times and to be honest i dont get it.
In my view before, i was certain that Jesus wasnt filling the gaps that He should be filling and then i’d be bitter to the point of disobeying. And man was i foolish!

Later did i realize that it was on purpose, here’s the thing:
Jesus failed on being my homeboy because He wanted to be my Savior.
Jesus failed to be my genie because He intended to be my Lord.
And the list goes on.. But here is the point,
Jesus failed to do some things in my life because He is faithful to His promises to take care of me, to lead me to a better life, and to keep His covenant.

Just imagine a father willing to fail his drug addict son by putting him in rehab. Think of the dad saying this line “Son, im sorry. I gotta lay off being just a buddy now, i need to be your Father. I need to do whats better for you by not giving you what you want but what you need.”

Thank God that the Jesus i wanted taylor fitted to my life failed.
Thank God that He sticked to being the Jesus that He is.

P.S. Im thankful He didnt answer loads of prayers before because as i look back at them, its ridiculous. I wanted to be Spiderman.20131001-004356.jpg