Wednesday, October 29

Is He in your life?

Hello All,

I hope you all remember me... the ODB lady. Wishing that all is well with everyone and that although we're at the verge of economic crisis, know that God is faithful and just. I also want to take this opportunity to thank you everyone who continues to pray for me as well as the numerous follow up emails requesting for the daily bread. So without further ado, let's get on with today's message.

Does God exist in your life? Or is He a figment of your imagination?

As a child, my siblings and I were surrounded by a very strong atmosphere of religiosity, both in school and home. Our mom was a devoted servant of a church in our town. We were told to pray and do the ritual practices at church. I thought I knew God then. I would say that He lived in my heart, but nobody really explained to me about the importance and the difference of having a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Him. I guess I kind of assumed too that I already had one.

Not until things were going wrong in my life did I start searching and caring for the REAL MEANING of a relationship with Christ. I was so in hurry to find out that I even longed for something I could touch, hold, feel and hear to give me proof that there is really someone out there who has my best interest.

Let's be honest, no one enjoys the feeling of brokenness. But after receiving Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of my life and devoted some of my time getting to know Him through His words, (believe me it was tough understanding it at first, but the more I spend time with Him the more He reveals Himself to me), I learned to depend on Him & His promises everyday. My hopes became brighter and being broken gave me an entirely new perspective on God's plan for my life.

Just the other night, I I tried going through different books to understand what Jesus was trying to say in this verse: "Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only one seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." After much research, I came to the conclusion that this passage teaches us that death is necessary for a harvest. Jesus' death for our sins led to glory and life not only for Himself, but also for us.

Therefore, only by falling and breaking can a single grain produce a rich crop. If it stays isolated and protected, it will never produce anything.

I truly believe that's how the Lord works to mature His children. He allows us to be broken to bring spiritual growth and supernatural ministry into our lives. And the process is always the same:
1) He targets the areas where we're not submissive to Him.
2) He arranges circumstances and selects the tools with which to break our self-sufficiency.
3) He controls the pressure and timing of those circumstances to bring us back into His will.

I mean, the choice is still ours... if we refuse to be re-formed through this brokenness and continue to cling to whatever God wants us to release, then He will put us on the shelf. Just think about it, yes, we resist brokenness wherever we turn, but just like the single, unbroken grain of wheat, we will become fruitless and alone if we continue to follow what we think is best for us. Our biggest problem is we choose to hang on to the things we think bring joy. We want to persist in relationships that are blocking our spiritual growth. We want to take the easiest way hoping that God will bless our laziness and impatientness. My friend, this is not the road to maturity that our Father in heaven has prepared for us.

There's no doubt that brokenness hurts. But God's word, proclaims that it hurts more not to be broken. Don't be distracted by short-term happiness. Look where God is leading you and let Him do whatever it takes to get you there. When God says "NO", when He takes away instead of adding more, when He divinely manages what we have, how much we have, and how long we have it, He is helping us keep our eyes on Him. don't despise these moments. Instead, recognize them as the voice of God calling you back into His loving arms. Yes, it won't be easy, but in the end, as you continue to trust that God delivers and redeems people from all walks of life, you can look back and see how amazing and genius God is for putting your pieces back to whole again.

Have a joyful day everyone!

God speed!
Lovely

Sunday, October 26

whoa! too much...

project goin on for the kids' school. noel and ayre worked together for ayre's science project (due tomorrow) while camille and i worked on her history project (due election day, but too much research and scrapbooking to do).

here's ayre's space rocket model (made out of legos - he's presenting it tomorrow) you can do it, ayre! i so love every details of this...

here's a preview of camille's election book (will post more LOs when project's done - still have a lot of pages to do. a lot of cutting, gluing, thinking and laughing comes with this project, but what i love the most is the bonding =)



i've been sore since yesterday. i finished painting one of my brother's bathrooms, last friday. i'm glad he loves the color i picked for him. it's a modern gray. at first i thought he wouldn't like it coz i know he's not into dark colors, but thank God he likes my taste hehehe. he says that's one of his favorite rooms in his house now, aww! i'm painting the master bath next and i think a lighter mocha would be great for it. he likes the idea, i just hope he'll like the results too. yikes!

i'm about to send the odb for tomorrow as well as send my resumes out again so i leave you with well wishes and a reminder that God is good all the time!

Tuesday, October 21

tired, but it's all good

it feels like this day was dragging. although i ran a few errands all morning, talked with a friend i haven't seen in ages, did a few things around the house, the day still seem too slow. anyway, so much eating and physical work since thursday. let me summarize if i can *wink*

thursday: hubby and i had a lil' misunderstanding the day before, but he totally surprised me by taking a day-off just to take me out on a date. as an early gift for me, he wanted to take me on a shopping spree, but i'd rather do an early Christmas shopping for our family rather than buying something for myself since i don't really want anything, but a job, you know what i mean?

i was so hungry so we decided to eat first. originally, we planned to try the sushi station in our area, but he wanted me to try, house of tokyo. wow! i must say it was all worth it. we arrived exactly in the beginning of the "all you can eat" dinner special. get this, it was $24 pp, the chefs just began serving fresh sushis in front of us while this little boat filled with different types of sushis sailed this long table we were in. we went sushi CRAZEE! it was too much for the night that it felt like the food entered our brain... oh gosh! it's too much just thinking back. we enjoyed the food so much coupled with some good laughs and great topics of conversation.

we then purchased a few gifts from aurora outlet, watched eagle eye then called it a night. purrty good i must say.

friday: my 32nd birthday - wow! time flies! i thank the Lord for giving me another year to experience more of His amazing plans for my life. God is good all the time, i tell yah!

well, although it's kinda tough for my husband to get a vacation from work, he requested this day anyway and thank God they approved it, but not saturday. well, better than nothing. we had a few things planned, but i was dragging. so we ended up at woodfield mall (kids' choice), they wanted to go to gameworks, but we were running late for dinner. i wanted to try weber grill since the kids and i get really curious every time we see that ginormous grill in front of the restaurant. how do i rate it? well, i finished my humongous burger w/ jalapeno cheese (i was hungry ok - but i prefer pepper jack cheese, but they didn't have it), i like the starter, which comes w/ shrimp, chicken, ribs, onion rings & somethin' else, and the rest of my fam were satisfied w/ their orders... so i would have to give it a 3 1/2 out of 5. only bcoz i'm not really a fan of grilled stuff and the server was somewhat in hurry to take things out of our table. but all in all, it was a night well spent with some of my loved ones. thank you Lord!

saturday: woke up early to help my brother move to his new condo in chicago. although i also like his town house before, i feel a new and good beginning here. the place of course is BEAutiful... surrounded with crown molding, tall ceilings, 2 huge patios, marble bathrooms, and cute layout. with all the loading, unloading and unpacking, they managed to surprise me with ube cake and yummy food... aww! they love me =) it was almost midnight when we got home.

sunday: we all woke up sore, but thank God for pain killers! the message once again, hit the nerve of my current situation. it's called, what we learn in downturns. of course with the downturns we've been experiencing this year, bill explained the hope that is in Christ with clarity and confidence that God is faithful through it all. it was the perfect time to have heard this message and i'm again, so grateful to our heavenly King. i plan to share bits of what i learned for tomorrow's odb (say no more, i know i've been slacking off with my odbs and believe me i'm so disappointed of myself and so i ask for your prayers).

the kids still wanted to hang out so we decided to just eat at panda express. we filled the place with our laughs... gosh, we're loud! hehehe

noel got home early from work. we watched indiana jones in the theatre room while munching on our popcorn and chocolate - it was heaven!

monday: went back to chicago to help my brother unpack. @ 2, we rushed back to pick up my son from school. did my daily job description as a mom and hit the bed pretty late.

that's pretty much what i've been doing the past few days. tomorrow afternoon will be voting day for me and my husband. are you guys ready? i'm sorta not, since i haven't reviewed the other candidates... hopefully tomorrow morning... i'm so bad =(

this week will be physically and mentally draining for me. my brother requested that i paint parts of his house, i have to help camille with her election 2008 scrapbook project & help my son, ayre with his science model project. since he's so fanatic with legos, we decided to make a model out of his legos. he just can't wait to start on it. as a matter of fact i'm pretty excited too! hehehe

well, that's it for now, i'm supposed to be sending out my resume, not bloggin' - WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH ME?

k, blessings to all! gnite =)

Wednesday, October 15

little pilgrim by chuck girard

as promised, here's the song that moved me as chuck girard sang over us, last sunday. as i listened to this song, the life i lived before i fully surrendered it to the Lord, flashed before me, as well as the people close to my heart who stepped away or are away from God's path right now. tears were running down my face as i cried out to the Lord for my loved ones.

but anyway, i hope that as you watch the video, you will listen to the lyrics and let it resonate within your soul.

Sunday, October 12

a message worth sharing...

i thank the Lord for bringing us to our home church now. the effect has brought many changes in our lives and continued growth. every message has an impact in my life and i praise God for every opportunity to hear His messages.

today's our church, willow creek's 33rd anni. we're privileged to have country music artist, chuck girard, whose songs had a strong influence to the pioneers of willow back in 1970s.

this was willow then:







and this is willow now (main auditorium - there are other auditoriums for different age level services):







the messages of chuck's songs as he sang over us today, definitely touched my heart in such a different way and i will make sure that one of these days i will upload some of his songs so you all can also be filled with great hope in the midst of any circumstance in your life. absolutely a must hear!

however, i came across a message from chuck that i would like to share to you all. may the powerful message bring about change in your heart. to God be all the glory!

We live in a difficult world, in difficult times. Everyone it seems, has an opinion, and it's not easy to figure out what to believe about life, why we are here, and what is the purpose of it all. We have our inner moral compass, and just when our instincts tell us we may be on the right track , someone we may look up to is caught in some area of moral failure, or a spiritual leader falls to the temptation of the world.

Well, I found out the hard way (See "My Testimony"), that there is really only one uniform source of truth, and that's the Holy Bible. This tract is not to convince you of the veracity of the Bible, but instead is for folks who are past that step, and just don't know what to do with what they know is in the Bible.

Before we get into the practical steps which lead you into receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior, let's look at some simple but profound facts, using the Bible as our standard of truth, otherwise this all would just be one person's opinion. I know that the Bible seems to have contradictions and inconsistencies, but really, that's only how it appears on first look. No man can really know the truth of the Bible without 2 prerequisites:
1) He must be open and honest, so that he can be led of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is understood by Divine revelation, not by intellect alone.
2) He must receive the revelation in steps, as he lives out the principles of the Bible in his daily life. As you are led into what you need to know by the Spirit, and live out that which you discover, the seeming contradictions and inconsistencies seem to fade away, and the true harmony of the "whole counsel of God" becomes evident.


So...the first revelation you need is of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. After that get ready for the rest of your life, as God produces in you the character and attributes of a true Christian.
Here's a few other concepts to grasp before we begin:
1) Don't get religion, get relationship.The first step is not about churches, personalities or organizations. It's about getting right with God. After that God can place you in a fellowship of believers where you can grow.
2) Don't judge Christ by Christians. Christians are just people. Leaders fall and fail, but you don't hear that much about the ones who serve God faithfully, never cheat on their wives or husbands, never get in trouble. Believe me, these far outnumber the ones you hear about. Billy Graham is a phenomenon to have been so faithful and well known with never a hint of scandal. Get your eyes off of men, and look to God for your answers. If you approach Him with an honest, questioning heart, He will satisfy your need to know. (Seek and you will find....)
3) Don't wait to get your life together before you get right with God. This is a "come-as-you-are" party. Jesus loves you right where you are. It's only he who can affect real change in your life, because real change only comes from the inside out. Our attempts at self-improvement usually are usually working from the opposite premise, and that kind of change seldom works, and NEVER works on the eternal level.
4) Don't make the mistake of thinking that you are too evil for God to forgive. The Bible says that "when we repent, He is faithful and just to forgive, and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. If you are truly repentant, there is nothing that cannot be forgiven. Jesus loves YOU, no matter what your past.
5) Don't think that if you become a Christian, that you won't have fun anymore. Hollywood, TV, books etc., have in general painted Christianity to be something for a bunch of losers..dried up prunes of people who have lost their zest for life. Not true. God will change your mind about what you think is fun, but true Christians have real joy in their lives and really know what real fun is. I'm glad the days of partying down and "having fun" without remembering what happened to me because I was passed out are over. What kind of fun is that?

Let's move along, with a few more facts to consider:
1) Everyone in the world has missed God, and needs to be saved. No matter who you are, without Jesus in your life, you are lost. No matter how good a life you may lead, you are lost without Christ. Men have fallen from godliness and need to have relationship with God restored, which can only happen through the cross of Calvary.
2) Your salvation cannot be earned. This is something God has done for us, we can't earn it, we must just receive it.
3) Your salvation cannot be learned. You don't need to go to Bible school to be saved. Wouldn't it be unfair if only theologically literate people could get right with God? No, God made this so simple that a 10 year old child can receive Jesus as savior. He truly made it so simple that "the foolishness of God would confound the wisdom of the world." It's a matter of faith, not intellect.
4) You must recognize your need. You ARE a foul depraved Godless person, as we all were before receiving Jesus. Even the good things you do have a selfish agenda if you really be honest. You must be willing to call sin sin, and turn from it, change your lifestyle completely, pick up your cross and follow Him. Difficult club to join, you say? Yes, and I want you to know it isn't always pretty. It's losing your life for His sake that you may gain it back. It's suffering sometimes because you do the right thing. It's not easy. Don't join if you're looking for an easy way. Yet, at the same time this life is filled with joy and satisfaction. Think of the life that Jesus led. Full of suffering, rejection and pain, and yet Jesus was the happiest most well-adjusted person who ever lived, because He did it God's way..
5) You must receive Him by faith. You won't know all the answers, you may not even have thought of many of the questions. It's a matter of knowing in your heart that what Jesus said is right, then acting on it.

What did Jesus say?
1) "I am the way, the truth, the life. No man shall see the Father if not through me."(John 14:16) He didn't say, as many gurus and spiritual leaders do that He knew a way to get truth, He said He WAS the way the truth, the life. He also said He was the ONLY way. (A hard one for a lot of people, but I didn't say it, HE did.)
2) They that call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.(Ro. 10:13) Self explanatory.
So.. How do I receive Him?

It's so simple you may have a hard time believing it. No costly seminars to attend, no years spent in Bible school, only a simple prayer of faith.Here are the steps, (not a formula, but steps)
1) Repent. Recognize your sinfulness and turn from your ways. Be willing to change what needs to be changed."If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9, KJV).
2) Receive His forgiveness. He died on the cross so that you may be forgiven. Your forgiveness was purchased 2000 years ago. Receive it now."For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16, NIV).
3) Don't wait for a bolt of lightning. Most conversion experiences are not dramatic. You may or may not experience an emotional release, it doesn't matter, we walk by faith, not sight.
4) It is necessary to believe in Jesus deity, that He rose from death and conquered sin. This is something you must believe by faith. No one has pragmatic proof of these truths. But we do have the Holy Spirit who will confirm these facts to you by that "inner witness", that compass inside that says "this is true"...."that if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."(Romans 10:9, NIV).
5)" Confessing with your mouth."(above scripture). I believe there is power in spoken prayer.


Try it now; say "Jesus is Lord", and feel the power of those words. Then continue and pray words to this effect: "Jesus, I need you in my life. I've not been tremendously successful without you, and so now I'm going to try it your way. I repent of every wrong thing I've ever done, and receive the forgiveness that You offer. I believe that You are God, and that you died on the cross and rose from death to conquer all the works of darkness. I surrender my life to You this day, and pledge to do my best to be obedient to You from this day forth. You have made me a new creation, and I am now "born again" of the Spirit of God. Because of You, I will go to heaven when I die. I pray all this in the Name of Jesus."

What now?
1) Go tell somebody!"If you confess Me before men, I will confess you before my father."(Matt: 10:32) I'd love for you to let ME know. E-mail me, chuck@chuck.org or fax me, or whatever, I'd love to hear what God did for you.
2) Get a Bible..Read it a little every day. Contact me, I'll send you one. Or get one from a bookstore or The American Bible Society, or even the library until you can find one you like. A couple recommended modern translations, excellent for new believers are "GOOD NEWS FOR MODERN MAN" or "THE LIVING BIBLE" "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" (2 Timothy 3:16, KJV).
3) Find a church."Don't forsake the assembling of the saints." God's got a home for you. Ask him to guide you to a good church. Contact me and let me know where you live and I might be able to guide you to a good church.
"....not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day drawing nigh." (Hebrews 10:25, ASV). .
4) Pray daily. Talk conversationally to God. The Spirit that is within you will put you in touch with Him. He does speak to us today, but you have to learn how to hear His voice.

Saturday, October 11

hello!

been feeling under the weather since yesterday. i have sore throat and my right side teeth has been aching coz of the root canal i got done the other day. i've been on antibiotic for almost 2weeks now plus taking meds for my cold... my gosh! is that even healthy?

i hung out with a friend till late last night and felt like passing out while i was driving coz of what i was feeling already. i had to pretend i was okay coz my friend needed some emotional support so i didn't really want to add up to her worries. but thank God i made it home safely.

although i have some chores to do today, i feel like i just wanna tuck myself into bed all day. ayayay! but i can't!

my teen went to her awana camp yesterday. they went to baraboo wisconsin. i'm so delighted to see her enjoying it. i've noticed that when she joined, her interest in growing with the Lord has grown tremendously. i even learn new things every time she shares the messages to me. and then at times my daughter, my son and I find ourselves testing each others knowledge about the verses we know in the Bible as well as competing on naming the books in the Bible. guess what? my 11yrs old son always wins! oh gosh! thank God for awana! too bad they don't have awana in the philippines when i was growing up... hmm, i feel a light bulb just turned on over my head! let's make it happen Lord!

ok, i should sign out now and get myself going for the day.

praying for my daughter's awesome experience w/ the Lord during this trip,
love

Monday, October 6

what a weekend *)

thank God i'm able to blog again. so what have i been up to? um, besides job hunting, here's my weekend update *wink*

fri: had dinner with my girlfriend. too bad a couple of our friends didn't make it. so happy to be able to eat my fave shushis hehehe it's been a 1 1/2 since my last one. that's so unlikely of me =) my husband was so jealous that he wanted me to plan our next date already =) might try the new jap rest in our area called, sushi station.

sat: i just had the "just do it" attitude last sat. i went to menards and lowes to get my materials to paint all of our baseboards. i was not quite happy with my performance coz i think i was too slow, not to mention i started late ;) so i'm off to finish the rest today... +ing my fingers =)

sun (yanna's 3rd bday): the message was another eye opener. this "influence" series that bill hybels is covering for 8weeks has given me (although slowly) a new set of eyes. i just pray that the Lord will help me each day as i live it coz i sure can't do it without Him.

we managed to meet up with the filipino community there at willow. so glad we did. most of them were our age and so it was easier to relate. looking forward to building a wonderful relationship with this group and hoping we will be able to extend ourselves to others with authenticity.

we went straight to chuckecheese to celebrate my daughter's 3rd bday, but unfortunately their system was down for quite some time and so we headed off to caesarland in chicago. well, guess what? the place went out of biz. ugh! GREAT! so although i refused to go to go bananas (used to be jeepers) we had no choice, we wanted yanna to have a great time on her birth. it's not about us, so i had to set aside my preferences and make yanna's day enjoyable. i believe the place got flooded coz as soon as you enter, the smell was quite awful. thankfully, we found a good spot and was able to celebrate for our little one.

it's funny how the Lord led us to this place though. mind you, it's been years since i last saw my guy best friend. the only contact i had was with his parents whom i just send greeting cards to on every occasion. but anyhow, he was there at go bananas with his new fam. my husband saw him first and so we were planning a way to surprise my him, until they ended up playing right behind our table. long story short, we were both so thrilled to see each other and both families. they ended up celebrating with us. so besides the hassle of having to go to different places to celebrate my daughter's bday... thank God we ended up there. so weird seeing all the kids together though, it reminds us that we're not getting any younger... yikes!

well, that's it for now. gotta get back to painting! have a blessed day everyone!