Friendships: BEAR with me

I have concluded that friendships people are complicated. Guilty as charged. Hahaha! I ranted on friendships in a personal blog and here’s a sneak of my drama:

“At the moment, I hate it. It’s tempting to stay out of it and live life on your own. But it is also inevitable. It is something to be kept and nurtured. It’s not something you drop all of a sudden simply because you’re tired of it or you were hurt or disappointed. It takes communication and understanding. It takes a great ton of humility (no matter how right you think you are) and a lot of perseverance. You shouldn’t leave people hanging whether they mean something to you or not.”

Image result for cute cartoon friends in a group

I do not own this photo

I’ve learned a lot about relationships nowadays, this year, it’s relationship with friends. Never have I ever been in a serious fight with my friends- kahit best friend. And never ako naging part ng group. I was always the lone type, hanging around with certain people but never really lasting in a clique. If I ever did join a group of friends, lagi akong neutral. Never too close, never too distant. Pretty much like the leech in the gang, feeding on their delicious company but an outcast nevertheless. (Yes, read this with a tone of self-pity).

But now that I regularly go out with this special group, I’ve experienced a constant relation between a ton of fun and a ton of drama. Directly proportional yan, Bes. You can’t have fun and expect to have no drama trailing along with it. I had to balance between being myself and respecting the person’s personality/attitude. Oo, lahat kayo mag-aadjust para sa isa’t isa. If there’s something you don’t like about the other, you tell them. Kung ganun talaga sila, ikaw mag-adjust. Unless, sobrang toxic na yung relationship niyo, that’s when you break it off. But not without proper communication and understanding.

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“Bear with me” (I do not own this photo)

That’s why I entitled this post (notice the pun) “Friendships: BEAR with me” because whether we like it or not, nobody’s perfect. No matter how close you are to a person, they are bound to disappoint you. There is no “perfect” friend. It is your duty to bear with each other. Endure. Persevere. Hold on. Yes, it’s hard. It hurts. But bruh, you’re bound to miss that person no matter what stupidity they’ve done! haha

Let me tell you this, there’s a God out there and He wants to be your friend.

It’s a different story for everyone. I have my own, you have yours. Who am I to judge? But let me tell you this, there’s a God out there and He wants to be your friend. You might be a bit distant from him and who am I to blame you? I mean, He is God. A superior, perfect and holy being. Who are we to be called friend- even CHILD of God? But God became flesh. He became human. He reached out to us, lived, breathe, laughed and cried like we did. Remember when Jesus knew he was about to be betrayed by his close friend, Judas? He was so troubled that he asked his three disciples to stay awake and pray with him. But what did they do? They slept. And in the following chapters, Peter, disowned Jesus three times. Jesus’ best friend rejected him. You would think Jesus was disappointed. But what he said to his disciples will surprise you:

“… The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt. 26:41) He understood their weakness. And yet again, they fell asleep. Saklap! But what did Jesus do? He died for them. He died for us. Grabe, tapos hindi ka lalapit kay Lord? Sinasabi mo na hindi ka karapat-dapat humarap kay God kasi ang dami mo nang ginawa na kasalanan. Oo, totoo yan. We’ve messed up BIG TIME. Hindi sapat ang pagiging “good” natin. But don’t you think that His death and resurrection was enough? What he did for all of us, is so that we will no longer be bound to sin and connect to God once more. But we distance ourselves from him. Whenever certain people disappoint us, whenever things don’t go our way, we blame our Father. 

God wants you to be close to him. He’s always there. He’s reaching out to you. Maybe you feel unworthy or perhaps, you think you’ve got it all under control. But one thing’s for sure, He loves us and he wants us to rely on Him. He’s that one friend who’s ready to bear with you.

Grace and peace. L.O.L ❤
-DAN.

Man, Give Your Day A Chance!

Putting my feelings in one word would simply be: overwhelming. There’s so much I want to do in life and I want to do them NOW. All at once perhaps? Right now, I  have two hands (note-to-all-who-thought-“duh”: figuratively speaking) itching to buy a canvas and some painting materials and take a painting course. I have a mouth twitching to scream and sing my heart out. I have feet that wants to paddle a bike and eyes that wants to see the beauty of the world. I want to do A LOT. But no, I’m here cramming for my prelim exams.

The point of what I just said? Nothing much to your benefit. I just needed to let it all out, you know what I’m saying? Probably looking for someone to relate with. If you were looking at me right now, you’d see a poker-faced girl who looks bored and unenthusiastic about life. But deep deep down, I’m a ticking bomb waiting to explode! I just LOVE life and people and small things. I smile at the clouds and laugh at silly birds. I guess, to make this more beneficial to your reading, let me leave out some words of wisdom…

Give your day a chance.
– Max Lucado, “Every Day Deserves a Chance”

(I do not own this picture)

Today may seem like every other day. Your daily routine PLUS the additional (irritating) situations which ruins your seemingly ‘okay’ day. But seriously, FORCE yourself to look at the bright side. You may call it “false-joy” but in the end, you’d be glad you didn’t sulk all day long and linger at your pity party. And I know this verse may seem repetitive, but read it in a different perspective for once:

Psalm 118:24

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Rejoice about what? If you read the whole context of the verse, it talks about the Lord’s mercy. It won’t mean much to you unless you see how desperately you need it. Once we realize how much He has done for us, how he pours out His love and grace to us, I don’t think we’d be so -neutral- anymore.

Just give it a try. Before you eat, pray and give thanks then savor each and every bite. While you do your chores, do it with joy and perhaps even go the extra mile and do the dishes as well! When illustrating the skeletal system for your AnaPhy class, add in some details and color it for the extra glam. Do your BEST in everything and bahala na ang Diyos sa lahat (the Lord will do the rest)

I may not be able to fulfill all the things I want to do, but in everything I do, I do it with gladness for the Lord. (Colossians 4:13) And before you know it, the day will turn out SOOOO much better than you’d expected it to be. Just do it for the Lord.

HAPPY TO SERVE!

 

In My Mind: Doubt Your Doubts

The past few months has been a struggle for me. Realizations, confusion, distractions. It was all too overwhelming, and though it was quite hard to keep it to myself, I managed to. I’ve never been this emotionally drained. I came to the point where all I’ve known and learned (about God and… stuff) just dissipated.

Somehow, I think the root to all this was when I passed by a Youtube video of “Nabeel Qureshi” and his search for truth. After watching his testimony, it felt like everything I thought I knew (about Christianity, in general) wasn’t enough- which it isn’t. It affected me quite positively at first. I was encouraged to learn more about the Bible and study it in a deeper level (but subconsciously leaving out my personal devotion with Jesus.) What struck me wasn’t how Nabeel, a devout Muslim, converted to Christianity. But the fact that seeking the “truth” was so important to him up to the point that he’d actually study the Bible to see for himself- that. Got me.

If Nabeel didn’t seek the truth (despite his faith in Islam), he wouldn’t have known Jesus more intimately. In my mind, it came off as, ‘What if Christianity isn’t true? Will I let myself live life without seeking the truth?‘ This led me to allow myself to become “open minded” to different views, beliefs and religions. As a result, I became more skeptical, doubtful and very confused.

But then again, though there are many people who can prove God’s inexistence, I find it impossible to disprove His existence. All around me, wherever I look, to the right or to the left there will always be a glimpse of God. Love, joy, purpose, creation… from specks of energy? evolution? I don’t think so.

No doubt, this was the most heaviest problem I’ve ever encountered in my whole 16 years of living. I can’t even put a name to it. What is this? All I know is that it is deadly. To doubt the very existence of God, whom I entrust my eternity to is very, VERY scary. Nobody can help me. I’ve never truly agreed to Ephesians 6:12 as I did on that day, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world…” So, I prayed. There’s nothing much I can do but pray. I prayed a very honest, desperate prayer. More like a plea.

“God, help me to believe.”

At that time, it seemed like I had gone far too deep. But God had answered my prayer (He always does) and now, I am just so overwhelmed with joy! I can’t explain it. He is definitely working in my life, day by day. He’s working in everyone’s lives! In my family’s lives, my friends and it’s just all around me. People may say, “It’s just a coincidence ” or “just pure chance” but man, prayer after prayer after prayer and they’re all answered by pure chance? That’s a whole lot of chances. God answers in ways we cannot explain, ways we cannot see nor comprehend.

Don’t you just get tired of trying to search for answers only to find more questions piling up? I just want to be with Jesus. That’s all I want right now. And the pleasure and satisfaction I get from just being in His presence, can’t compare to anything in the world. And whenever I start to doubt Him, I just tell myself “doubt your doubts.”

The River Walk Repost || Oh Come All You Faithful

Source: Oh Come All You Faithful

oh come all (1)

“Come, let us return to the LordHe has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. (Hosea 6:1-2)

Read: Hosea 6:1-9:17, 3 John 1:1-14, Psalm 126:1-6, Proverbs 29:12-14

Relate: Rabbi Ken Spino calls Herod the greatest builder in Jewish history. For forty years, he worked on the restoration and expansion of the Temple. He did so much on it, that the finished product has since gone by the name Herod’s Temple. Beyond that, Herod built the port city of Caesaria Maritima, the fortress of Herodium and an even more famous one at Masada which would soon become an integral part of Jewish history and lore. Outside of these major projects, there is an abundance of smaller projects in Jerusalem and other cities that were a result of his restless need to create monuments to himself.

The question I have here is, how was all this paid for? It was the same way as the Sistine Chapel, and Notre Dame, and the Blue Mosque were built. Herod’s restless frenzy of building projects were financed through a level of taxation that can be called nothing less than oppressive. Even worse, while he was taxing the poor right out of their homes, these same people were still responsible for their taxes to Rome. Caesar didn’t care what Herod did to his own people, as long as Rome got their cut.

React: It was into this mess that Jesus came. The longing and desire for a Messiah was as high in His day as it had ever been. The people were praying for a deliverer just as desperately as they had been in Egypt before God sent Moses to bring them out. The expectation for a soon coming Messiah was high. How high? The name “Yeshua” (Jesus) which means “God saves” is the most common name we have for Jewish men of this time. In his histories, Josephus records nineteen people with that name. Considering how each of these would have been significant or influential in some way, how much more common do you think the name was among the “nobody’s” and the marginalized?

Scripture says Jesus came to this earth “at just the right time”. One day, when the time again is just right, He will return. Until then, He calls us to come to Him. He calls us to follow Him. Jesus came to redeem this earth. He will come again to bring us into a recreated one. If God is able to fix a broken world, and fashion a perfect heaven, how much more is He able to redeem our broken heart? How simple would it be for Him to reclaim our wrecked lives? God has come to give us something so much greater than we could imagine. All He asks in return is that we come with our mess and lay it at His feet.

Respond:

I come to You, God, with all of my mess. I don’t have much but what little I can scrape together, it is all Yours. This world has broken me down. Life and circumstances have sent me down a hard road. Far more, my own sin, mess, and mistakes have made a ruin of what You had planned for my life. But You are the Great Physician who is more than able to heal. You are the Architect who is ready to rebuild. You are the Author who will write a new story of my life. God, I come to You because You first, came to this earth… for me.

“What Promise of God Do You Hold?” || Weekly Devotion

Aug 19, 2015

Psalm 119:10-11
With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

A friend I met in class, who happened to be a Christian, asked me “So, what promise of God are you holding today?” I wanted so badly to answer a Bible verse or something cool like, “God will never leave me nor forsake me, yeah I hold on to that.” But no, my mind was totally blank. At that very moment, I realized that I’ve been too “busy” trying to keep things in shape that I have forgotten the very One who molded it in the first place. The first few weeks of my arrival to the Philippines, I held unto the promise God will provide. I fully surrendered my situations and circumstances to Him, and everything came into place- SNAP! Just like that.

But now that God has provided for me… more than enough honestly. Its as if my mind had decided that I no longer needed His help nor did I feel that I needed His provisions any more. I thought about other things I found more “important” than God. Like school, grades, making friends, and yes, even church. Thing is, I need Him. You need Him. We all need Him. And we need to stick it up into that silly brain of ours, that we need God more than we need everything else. I need God more than I need the answers to all my never-ending questions. Why? because God is my everything. And Jesus is the answer. I guess I just needed to know that He’ll be there for me no matter what.

And did you know that there’s a promise for that as well? Joshua 1:9. The verse that I have treasured and tattooed in my heart. ❤

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

It reminds me to be strong and courageous. It comforts me because now I have the knowledge that God will be with me wherever I go. It encourages me to live a life with confidence and reassurance. And when God fulfills His promise, I know that the rest of His promises is guaranteed to be fulfilled.

The 7 Benefits of Treasuring God’s Word into Your Heart:

  1. Gives comfort
  2. Gives knowledge
  3. Encourages
  4. Brings confidence
  5. Reassures
  6. Keeps you from sinning
  7. Gives you the courage to live life the way You were made to live it.

The amazing thing about God’s promises is that you can put your trust to it and surrender to it fully, knowing that He will keep His word. He will never ever change for He is perfect and divine, and what more His Holy word? What’s even more reassuring is His unfailing, never-ending, and ever-flowing love for us. With that much love, I’m 100% sure that God will keep His promises! So why doubt? 

God bless you, my lovelies! Find out more about God and His promises in HIs Holy word and meditate on them every day to give you a fresh start with His promise in your heart. ❤

Lots of love,
Mary

God’s Provision|| College, Life, and Change

If you’ve read my past post, then you must already have an idea of God’s great provision as I go along another chapter in my life. Being a very dependent and pampered person, and separating from my parents in a country that I have not been familiarized with is a scary thought.

But here I am! And let me tell you, though it may be a struggle physically, emotionally, spiritually, and believe it or not, linguistically as well (haha that’s another story), God made it seem so… easy (which it is for such a someone majestic like Him.)

By the way, I’m so sorry, in advance, if my sentences don’t seem to connect. I don’t know where to start and stories just seem to pop up out of no where haha :). God has done so many things, it’s just so overwhelming and I want to make sure I type it down to every single detail.

At school I was, unsurprisingly, surrounded by many oppositions and many different views and beliefs. Many people who argue about their opinions on homosexuality, sex, religion, and God. What I am really grateful for are the many Christian friends God had provided for me in the midst of all the opposition. I am surrounded by Christians ready to help, support, comfort, and guide me throughout my journey. God had everything all planned out! It’s just— dnfolaiefizdubcfze!!

Though there were many conflicts, I was surrounded by Christians ready to help, support, comfort, and guide me throughout my journey.

Starting from my flight home to the Philippines, (1) I had some of my classmates with me in the same plane! Which was both exciting and comforting to know. And when I enrolled into the University, (2) I was unexpectedly greeted by a familiar face… it was my school mate back in Dubai! We both were late enrollees, so we were considered international students, but even so we managed to have the same schedule. We were together most of the time haha! It was nice to have a familiar face in such an unfamiliar place. Ooh! that rhymes! 😀

Then there’s (3) Shayne, my best friend, dorm mate, AND classmate. A triple-blessing in one person. She was and is really such a great joy and blessing to be with. I didn’t make much friends at our class so I was glad that Shayne was willing to be with me. I never realized how much I really needed her. She helps me continue to become the joyful- and annoying person I am.

(4) Plus our two other roommates who are both super nice AND super duper fun to be with! Since they are a year older than Shayne and I, they helped us familiarize with the place and people along the way.

Then there’s (5) Bethany, a part of our youth ministry at our church in Dubai, who also studies at CEU (the University I currently study in).

(6) My mom also reconnected with my old childhood friend who studies in CEU as well and is in her 3rd year of studying as a proper dental student. I mean, how cool is that?! (7) And since I stay in a dorm, it’s very easy and safe to go to school. I also have the choice whether to go visit and sleep in my relatives’ house.

I’m not yet done haha! Remember in my last post when I was worried about finding a church? Well guess what? (8) I’m met with 3 churches. One that is an LRT ride away from my dorm and two that’s nearby my hometown. Isn’t that awesome? And everybody’s just so welcoming and the presence of the Lord is present and alive in each one of the churches.

In one of those 3 churches, (9) I’ve become close to, two very cool and awesome persons. Dheya and Kuya Chard. Yeah you guys haha! Thank You Lord for these two! They’ve become my prayer-buds and we would just pray for each other’s needs and remind each other of the goodness of the Lord.

(10) Then there’s the Requilme family who always makes me feel welcome and at home. Spoiled even! Bless them.

Now that everything’s all settled down, there’s still just one thing my mom continues to worry about and that is… transportation. Almost everybody knows how dangerous and unsafe Philippines can be, especially in Metro Manila, where CEU resides in. Moving back and forth from my dorm, to the house, to the church, can be physically exhausting but most of all, risky. Especially if I travel alone. (11) Here’s when God intervened… on our journey to school, we met three sisters. All three studied at CEU. One studies Nursing, the other Optometry, and the eldest, Dentistry. We got their numbers and they agreed to let me join them on the way to school.

Weeks passed by and classes got suspended more than once because of the heavy rain and strong wind. I decided to go home to Laguna, which is 2-3 hours away from the school. The day after that, school’s back. I had to wake up early once again and kick my butt up to school. My mom and I went up to the bus, and I chose the two empty seats closest to the entrance of the bus. Little did I know that right next to us were the three girls we met a few weeks ago. This time, they were with their mother. Mom looked for ways to start a conversation, and finally she spoke to their mom. And man, did she find out a lot of things. (12) Turns out, they are a Christian family and their mother has been working at CEU for 29 years. So she is very well known and well respected. And they agreed to help, teach, and guide me on how to travel on my own. Plus! they had a church nearby Laguna, and invited us to join them this Sunday. Praise the Lord! I’m just like– like– wow! Hahaha O how He loves me so ❤ Thank You Lord!

Aaaaand I’m still not done! If you’ve read my older post, I’ve mentioned having trouble finding friends. Though I have made friends, they just seemed like acquaintances to me. Most of them have already experienced smoking, drinking, parties- and I just felt so left out. I prayed to God to give me a friend at school who has the heart for Jesus… and yes, you guessed it! Going to number eleven in the countdown of God’s never-ending favor, grace, and blessings, (13) is a girl named Jennifer and a guy named Arjhay whose heart beats for Jesus. They managed to make friends with everybody and still stand strong to their faith and beliefs. They encourage and remind me to keep my integrity and faith at school. And can you believe it? I prayed for at least one Christian friend- and God gave me a lot more than what I asked for! I don’t want to seem like I’m over reacting or something. To some people, this is all just a coincidence, not such a big deal. You have no idea…

Oh! and let me add just one more- though there’s a lot more where the blessings came from- I would looove to thank God again and again for the 14th blessing… (14) Eloisa Gongon, my former online friend that I met from Wattpad and Facebook. We became close because of our love and hunger for God– and our craziness! Ahahaha! She studies in UE which is pretty much 15 minutes away from my University! Surprise surprise! Isn’t that awesooome? God’s presence is just around the place, surrounding me, and burning inside of me!

I can’t seem to get enough blessing from the Lord! Let me add the other blessings that brings me so much joy as well, like my good grades, the cats and other animals all over the place, the lightning and the rain (which brings me so much joy!), my comfy bed, and boooy there’s just too much! Thank You Lord! ❤

If you’re going through some financial problems, college dilemmas, or whatsoever, have NO FEAR because our God is always and always will be here by our side. Just surrender it all to Him. Let Him take the wheel.

I know it ain’t easy. I went through depression for months and months. But on the very same year, I received such great blessings and comfort from God. You see, I cried almost every night. I felt very distant from God. I deceived myself to believe that I had “surrendered” everything to Jesus but I was still carrying a few boxes of worry.

He doesn’t promise a smooth ride. In fact, you might have to go through rocky roads and steep hills. But God promised that we would reach the other side. Just trust in Him.”

And that’s what I did.

Luke 8:22
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out.

As you continue to verse 23, a great, big storm descended on the lake they sailed on. The disciples were frightened and freaking out! These disciples were expert fishermen, yet they were afraid. That shows just how strong the storm was. They finally called out for Jesus, who was fast asleep…

Luke 8:24
…He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.

In the end, they reached to the other side despite the huge storm.

Let us call unto Jesus. We can’t do this on our own. He’ll go with You through it all. Our great Savior, Healer, and Provider. Call unto Jesus.

God bless you, my lovelies ❤ Sprinkles of joy!