Music

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

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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.

More Than Yesterday

More Than Yesterday

by Apol/Marian Duyan

(wrote this song during one of my weekend ministry trip to SJDM, Towerville Bulacan. I am not really a songwriter, this just happened out of that blissful moment. I am thankful for Your abounding love, my Jesus)

Stanza:

Everyday, struggles are just everywhere

Everyday, I still know You’re always there

Everyday, I need to trust You as I pray

Everyday, I know You love me anyway

Pre-Chorus:

For I know You are here

And I know You won’t leave

And I know You love me

Yes I know, Yes I know

Chorus 1:

You love me more today

You love me more today

You love me more today

More than yesterday

Chorus 2:

And I love You more today

I love You more today

I love You more today

More than yesterday

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Praises to You my dear Lord.