Jesus

To The One I love

To the One I love
7:50 a.m.

Everyday I get the chance to be a witness
Of the beauty of Your miracles
I get to breathe new life and
Share another smile with another

Everyday I get to be grateful
Of both great and greatest beginnings
For the things that I can and cannot do
Oh this heart, it can only trust in You

Everyday I get the chance to be resilient
Of a strength that is renewed to that of an eagle
I get to run to You to restore my vigor
Seemingly able to run a day without limits

Everyday I get the chance to keep fighting
Of the life I chose to live
To give glory to the One who is my everything
This purpose in life You have planned for me

My First Love, Adieu

My childhood was quite an adventure. I was most of the time out of the house playing with practically the same kids that I grew up with. But even I always had someone to spend time with, I was still an introvert. I am an introvert. On my alone time, I love to listen to music. I used to listen to almost every trending genre back then. I built my world around it.

I grew up watching MTVs, listening to radio (sometimes even ‘til I fall asleep) and sing with it and by myself, thought of having a mini concert with my cousin. I knew that it was something that I would love to do. True enough, when I got into college, when I got to know Jesus in my life, the first ministry that I got myself involved into was the Music (Praise and Worship) Team. I didn’t know what to do. No matter how much I loved music, I just knew that my voice will never qualify and I do not have skills in any musical instrument until then.

It was very surprising to me that I got in without audition. (I think they lack people and had no choice but to take me in. Thank goodness!). I was too shy and never wanted my voice to be heard but of course I did it. My first rehearsal was for their first ever concert! Wait, what?!? Yes, it was then that I realized that I am not just part of an ordinary church group. I’d be singing in a concert! Whoa! It was a wonderful experience. The rest of the story is forever part of HIStory.

From then on I started learning from other people. I have learned to maximize my God-given voice, learned how to play guitar, fell in love with playing the bass guitar, tried to learn the basics of how to play drums and the piano. By God’s grace, I was privileged to be part of this ministry since that day someone thought I was worth having as one of their worship team members. I had a lot of good memories and the best part of it was experiencing God while singing and playing music to Him during worship.

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As things began to change over the years, moving from another church and being part of a new music team, becoming a leader of the team, and working with both good and difficult people, I have come to realize that in as much as I can never outgrow my love for music, there will be a day that I just have to let it go and move to the next level of my calling. No matter how much I love to sing and play guitar, I have to prioritize being a preacher, take care of the church administration, and become a better steward of God’s work in my life.

So on January 31st I took my final bow. That was the last time I was part of leading the worship in our church, the last time I got to play with the team(Limitless Band). My resignation was irrevocable, telling them that no matter how painful it will be for me, no matter how much I will miss worship leading or playing the guitar, there is no turning back anymore.

I thought I died a little. It was not easy. While singing on my last day, I just broke down into tears, in pain but with a lot of gratitude that I was part of this ministry for so many years. I will certainly miss every part of it but now is the perfect time to go and step up further.

So to you my first love, there will be a day that I will never stop singing and playing, to worship God but for now, I will just have to enjoy God’s presence beyond the platform.

My Lord, the Choir Master, my Band Leader, I give You all the glory and praises in all those years. J

Jesus, Always and All the Time

The most beautiful Name I know
The only One who has the power to save
The only God whom I love and serve
I give my all, I give my all

To Your Hands I place my trust
Your heart is greater, greater than life
Wounded gets healed
Captives are set free
In Your Name, In Your Name
Jesus

My future is safe, I am secured
You are the highest tower
in whom I take refuge and strength
I live to love because You did
You loved, You love and
You never stop

Your will above mine
Jesus, always and all the time

The Pride Test

I am currently reading a book of Robert Morris, From Dream to Destiny. This is my 2of10 books to read this year. It has been stacked in my shelf for more than a year, it is only today that I decided to take it out and read on. The book was not mine, it was dad’s.

I started flipping through the pages, learning this and that, thinking that this is just any other Christian book that will encourage me, a book that will speak to my heart, and later on I might forget about but not this time, I think. I don’t know, but this one caught me off guard. I was surprised that I found myself crying before chapter 1 ends. It hit me to the core, right there in that bottom part, tearing my heart into small puzzle pieces.

It addressed the issue of pride in one’s life. I never thought that I am anywhere close to being prideful. I hate pride. Personally, that is one of the words that I will never ever want associated with my name. I’d like to believe that I am never prideful, boastful, conceited, and such. I just hate pride and everything that goes with it.

But here goes this book speaking to me as if the Lord is so close to me, pinching my heart softly until it’s fully awaken. And then BOOOOMMM!!! My heart is all of a sudden exposed to broad daylight. It is not the story of the author that I am looking at anymore but the story of my life.

“Don’t brag about the call of God in your life. Don’t brag about the gifts you have. DON’T BRAG ABOUT THE THINGS YOU’VE DONE FOR GOD OR THE THINGS THAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO FOR HIM.” (From Dream to Destiny, Chapter 1 The Pride Test, Robert Morris)

I would have wanted to justify some things before the Lord but with these words? What more can I say? In one way or another I did brag some of the things that I’ve done for God. I was proud and prideful sometimes. I think I know that but I also thought that, as long as it doesn’t get noticed or does not affect anything I do, or anyone that I work with in the ministry, I am just doing fine. I was wrong. And the Lord just started shooting from there, consoling me with His Word but completely breaking my spirit (all in a good way) and it hurts.

You must understand that I rarely speak my mind out years back. I’d rather write and I prefer listening to stories, until I started opening myself to people, letting them in into my imperfect yet beautiful journey in life, especially in the ministry. I thought I was just doing fine, I think I was good, actually great in everything I do. I remembered one of our youth leaders asking me this question: “Ate, you seem to know what God wants for your life, How do you do that?”

I said, “Well, the answer is in front of You. When You have Jesus as your friend and you are growing intimately closer to Him, He will speak to you, direct your ways, and He will share His secrets with you just like what any other close friend will do. And girl, you have to seek His plans in His Word”

But wait here!

It backfired to me today. I realized something and this one is major. Ready?

I am sure that God wants to use me but He does not want the way I am doing it. I don’t know what I am doing!

My heart just exploded right there. Which one to pick first? Everything seemed trashed. I was helpless and dumbfounded for few minutes as tears started to roll down my cheeks. After a while, I started telling God this: “I am sorry. I am so sorry. Lord, I’m sorry.”

All along, I was taking things in my own hands. I decide on my own. I even want to be healed by myself when I’m physically ill. It seems like I can win the most active award every year (if there should be one). I rush all the time. I always think that I am on the right path, always doing the right thing, always have my best foot forward but God… God does not want anything more than my heart. He wants me. He waited long enough for me to come to Him like there is really nothing right in my life without Him beside me.

I hope you are not getting me wrong here. Yes I love spending time with God but how much do I really make time for Him? I’ve been to busy with the doing of a Christian but what about with the “being” a Christian? God I think is not demanding anything from me. Actually, He is doing me a favor. He longs to lavish His love on me, to mold me, and even heal me but I don’t always come to Him like I should have.

And here comes another bullet: “To deal with pride, one must deal with his/her insecurities” and so I quote. What am I insecure about? Do I need people to tell me that I’m doing great in the things that I do for the Lord? Am I needy of praises and affirmations? Is there always a need for me to be better than anybody else? These things.. Oh my Lord!

The God whom I serve wants me. He waited until today for me to come to my senses. I have dreams in my heart, dreams that I think and know came from God and I am thrilled to see it happening but up until now, everything seems blurry. I’ve been trying to do things that will lead me there, thinking that I am stepping out of faith but today, once again I found myself very wrong.

“Don’t pursue the dream, but pursue the Giver of the dream.”  (From Dream to Destiny, Chapter 1 The Pride Test, Robert Morris)

God!!!! (my heart shouts), why did You make me realize this just now? I’ve been trying so hard. Whew! but as I write this now, I am comforted by the Truth that I am child of God, I am an heir to His Kingdom and yet I waste a lot of time being too stressed, too tired of doing things my way, without realizing that God wants me to just relax and allow Him to move freely. I can imagine a dad saying to his kid, “Honey, I got this. You just have to stay closer to me and let daddy handle everything. Just hang in there, okay?”

And that exactly what God wants me to do now. Spend time with Him. Nothing more than that.

For few more minutes all I could ever tell Him is how sorry I am for being so wrong in many ways. I am grateful that God loves me this much. He is truly the God of many chances. I give up myself and plans to Him (once again). Hence this poem:

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11:00 p.m. @ My Humble Prayer Abode

There’s nothing that I’ve done
That can make You love me more
And even if I give my all
You are still the Author of it all

My flesh and strength fails
But Your Word still remains
It crushed and broke me apart
Creating in me a beautiful heart

It has always been about You
Just about You,my Lord
It’s never because of who I am
but always because of who You are
and what You have done

Your love runs deep
Higher than anything steep
I give up my all to You
Always for You,
To no one but You

You deserve all the glory my Abba Father. Thank Your for Your love.

Lyrics and Chords

I’ve been meaning to write every word in my head and heart but now that I am in front of the screen, I cannot scribble any right word to say describe how I feel.

My heart is breaking as if it is experiencing its first heartbreak.

I want to talk about how beautiful life is but my heart does not want to agree right now.

Here is the story.

Last night was the hardest, I saw her lying down with her frail body, trying to fight hard, breathing inside a tube, almost lifeless.

I am talking about Adira (not her real name). She is one of our youth members, 23 years old, born blue baby, now had her brain and lungs compromised.

I met her when she was 16, a girl who is outwardly weak but with so much power to give from within. She was one of my cell group members and I love her like my own sister, daughter, name it. She has a voice like no other. She misses notes but will still sound beautifully. I am enthralled whenever she sings, more so, on how she leads the congregation to praise the Lord. What a gift! Though she cannot sing more than two songs during worship because of her condition, she never gave up. She loves, loves, loves to sing.

Everyone in the church has their own share of moments with Adira. We are encouraged whenever she talks about how great God is in her life, how life can still be beautiful no matter how it tries to bring a person down, that all we have to think of and declare is POWER! (POWER! – she shouted once to encourage us. from then, it became her trademark)

Adira was supposed to be one of our youth leaders. Her condition was nothing compare to her strength to lead. It’s just that, she is most of the time hindered by headaches and her heart. Her passion and love for Jesus in every way is something worth envying.

It is not as if I am giving up my faith for a miracle but honestly, I do not want her to suffer anymore. She has been fighting for 23 years long already, in and out of the hospital. The complications are just…

…completely heartbreaking.

With a tube inside her mouth down to whatever organ that is, I cannot still accept the fact that the chance for her to be able to talk and sing again is somewhere near zero and negative. If there is such a miracle pill, Oh God, let her have one.

The last time we talked about was her song composition. I almost actually forced her to sing the lyrics to me because she was hesitant. I told her, I promised her, that I will try to put chords across her lyrics. It was a beautiful Tagalog worship song. She sang it to me shyly with her small yet beautiful voice. She tried so hard just to sing it to me, yet I forgot about it until she stopped showing up every Sunday. I missed that chance to record her voice, to do whatever it takes to retain every word in my head.

Whatever happens, only God knows but I promise, with all the strength that I have now, I will find her lyrics and match it with every chord that I know that will make her song worth singing and remembering.

Oh Adira, my dear Adira.

Of Rush and Panic

Eyes shut, few seconds, and I passed out

Before November ends, I had the privilege of serving the people of the design team of a nationwide gathering, Jesus Reigns that was held on the 30th of November. I was altogether driver, assistant, runner, and basically anything that I can do to help.

Not being able to sleep well for the whole week, I am still grateful that  I was all-hyped and lucid. Thank God for His strength, for blessing me with so much joy and love to serve Him and His people.

Saturday came and it was the most challenging part of it all. I drove from 10 in the evening til the afternoon the next day. Did I say I lacked sleep the whole week? Yes, and it was a crazy feeling. It seemed like some organs in my body were shut or dysfunctional but I still feel ecstatic.

It was my first time to drive an L300 van (mini truck), which is a M/T type, for the longest time. I don’t know but with some stroke of a miracle, I got the hang of driving it smoothly. Wow! 🙂

With all the energy I had, I drove from one place to another, away and back to the event venue (Quirino Grandstand, Luneta, Manila). Everything happened in a bliss. Bananas and water helped me through the day, and of course a great company of Hannah (my super close friend) and Jenny (who now calls me her mama. hahaha). Afternoon came and the event took place. Though a little dizzy and a little under the weather, I thought of giving all my strength to pray and praise Jesus. And so I did. I sang and danced, and even jumped, like it was the only thing I could ever do in this lifetime. Yes, amidst all the tiredness, I can’t help but give it all up to  Jesus

The event ended at 10:00 in the evening. 24 hours passed and I was up the whole night. My bed and how I will crash to a sweet and sound sleep were my thoughts. But no. There was no available driver to drive my little ones (church members) back to our church in Bulacan (some up north of Luzon). To keep this short, I started driving again at 10:30 p.m. I preferred not to eat dinner. I lost appetite due to tiredness and my sleepy head. Before I hit half way, I had to park for a while and nap. Good thing I was accompanied by Janel (my little me, I can say) and Jong. Janel was up the whole time I was driving, trying to keep me awake while I fight against my low energy. She was giving me a lot of chocolates, hot drink, and food that I can take whenever I ask for one. We arrived at Bulacan (San Jose del Monte) at 12:00 mn. It was the 1st December already and we were still on the road. OMG!

On our way back home to Manila, the challenge begun. I cannot fight it off anymore. I took a stop twice to sleep it off. I thought everything was back to normal when I woke up from that nap but worse thing happened. I experienced sleeping while driving. There were couple of times I had my eyes shut for 3 to 5 seconds. To think that I was on a dimmed and winding road, I really can’t imagine how someone can just sleep through it but I did. Oh oh!

Eyes shut, few seconds, and I passed out.

I parked again but before I successfully parked the van, I almost hit the cable cord. I was once again asleep in that few seconds. With all that stops (and well starts), we reached home at 3:00 in the morning. Yes, it took me 3 hours to drive back home. Oh good Lord!

I slept at once and woke up that same day with so much gratitude in my heart. I still can’t believe that we pulled it through. I thank God for keeping us safe. With all my senses functioning right at this moment, I still believe it’s a miracle I did not get us into an accident. I may have sung the famous song “Jesus Take the Wheel” in my head.

With all what had happened, I could only promise one thing to myself and to God, I will never ever take that risk again. Never again.

When you serve and love Jesus, He protects. Thank You my Jesus.

To God be the glory!

 

No Fear In Love

Knowing and embracing this for the longest time has always given me the sense of calm and peace in my heart. Truly, there is no fear in love especially when you know it is true.

I’ve been reading about the book One Month to Live this month and it mostly address the issues of relationships. I can say that it’s a good book and assuming that I only have a month to live made me realize a lot of things. Though I was not able to do everything it says, I believe this has taught me a lot of things in life when it comes to my relationships with others.

Today, I’d like to talk about a little something about a conversation I had last night with a friend. He asked me if  I already have found the man that I will be possibly be in love with. I told him that I am not searching because as a woman I believe I am meant to be sought. I know that these days are different from before, Ladies nowadays can confidently present themselves wearing a sign “Single and ready to mingle” but I think that wouldn’t work for me. I still believe that the man that I will commit myself to will come along in God’s perfect time and perfect place.

With the culture I grew up in, I had strong convictions when it comes to being in a relationship like no courtship on the streets, no going out with a man without permission from my parents, no compromise when it comes to my faith in Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, it all didn’t work perfectly well for me at some point as well. Being labelled as NBSB “No Boyfriend Since Birth” does not mean I was free from all the heartaches, those pseudo-relationships that I thought will lead to “forever”, and all those kind of crazy ideas of expressing the way I am when I am in love.

Now that I am nearly on my 29th, you can say that this wouldn’t work for me at all but I have my answers at the top of my mind and from the bottom of my heart. Am I scared to commit? Am I scared to date and go out and tell the world that I am available? Do you think? Sometimes when I feel that the need to be loved and taken cared of is at its peak in moments of my life, I ask this kind of questions, Do  I fear? Maybe… at times, but when I search myself real deep, I know that I will never ever have to fear when it comes to love because I know that love is a beautiful thing. It is a wonderful gift. But then again, this waiting process is not easy and can be painful but I know at the end of the line, it will all be worth it.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.- 1 John 4:18

So to you my future lifetime partner, I won’t fear and worry about anything at all for I know you will come when we are both ready to meet and commit… In God’s perfect timing. 🙂