Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Exposing Grace

Credits to Mr. Darby Bognot




We are 25 in the room and all of us are listening attentively while our Human Resources Class Professor was discussing about the 4 Management perspectives. When she was to discuss about Post-Modernism, she paused for a moment and asked us if we really want to know about the said concept. We insisted. She had second thoughts. For she knows, that by opening this topic up, her class will never be the same again. She is 100 percent sure that we will be thinking differently and will end up formulating liberal ideas. But, we outnumbered her so she had no choice but to tell us.

After discussing the term, her fear became reality. We had paradigm shifts about management in general and started to intellectually critique the statements she is telling us. That day, our professor taught us to think like a graduate school student. It was a challenge for all of us to be a no-nonesense class because we all accepted the post-modernism approach – which purports that MAN should not be influenced by ANY external forces because he is the captain of his own ship. I said to myself, “Welcome to Graduate School”.

What is the relationship of this with grace? Actually the above story is not related to the topic of grace but the paradigm shift I experienced in our Human Resources Class is similar to the time when I have learned what grace is all about. It took me 22 years just to realize this secret.

I kept on telling my friend that GRACE is a difficult topic to write about. It is so huge yet attainable. It is high but at the same time reachable. But, it is really my desire to write about it because I want to record my learning these past days and I don’t want the wisdom to just fly out there in the open. I need to write about it.

The following are my learning about grace:


God blesses us not because we are good but because He is good.  As the year 2012 arrived, I listed down my faith goals for the year. I asked for a car, for an Ipad, for travels here and abroad, for new ministries, for good friends, good health, etc. On the other hand, as the year 2012 arrived, I have also done terrible things which are really gruesome and unimaginable. Did he bless me with my goals? Yes. He spoiled me that he even gavemost of my faith goals in a matter of 2 months. Do I deserve it? NO. “God, are you kidding me? Why do you give these things to me instead of punishing me?”.

We humans cannot fathom this concept of grace because we often think that heaven will close its doors for us because we disobeyed God. But God doesn’t work that way. He is not human that He should change his mind (Numbers 23:19). The Bible says in Psalms 103:10 that God doesn’t pay us according to what our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. What a good God we are serving. But hey, does this mean that we can sin whenever we want especially now that we know that GRACE is available for all? The answer is, if we really love Christ, do we still have the guts to sin?

Last week, I attended a certain gathering and the guest preacher shared one of his life changing moments. It was the time when God said to him, “Mahal Kita! Basta” or in English “I love you. Period!” God loves us. Period. No but’s. No why’s. No What if’s.


Only GRACE can help us. One of my friends told me “I want to change myself”. I just said these same words a week ago until I have learned that we cannot change ourselves because only the grace of God can. Trying to change ourselves is a lie. We just simply CANT. My apologies for being straightforward here, but I really want to emphasize this concept of self-help. Self help is no help at all. The only secret to change is the point when we tell God, “Lord, I CANT change! I NEED You to change me. I am tired of giving up. I am tired of this treadmill of sin. I want to experience that genuine change that will only come to you. I want to become the ‘old is gone, new has come’ person you are talking about in your words”.  The secret of life is letting go.

1     

We are saved not by works (Ephesians 2:8).  Another common misconception about life in general is doing good things to justify our sins. Say you lied three (3) times today and you felt guilty about it. So what you did is you(1) read a chapter of the Gospel of John, (2) you bought a bouquet of flowers for your mom and (3) gave a 5peso coin to a blind beggar. How foolish for a man to think that he can save himself through works. The bible says in Ephesians 2:8 that we are saved through GRACE and not by WORKS. You might tell me “If that’s the case, then this is easy”. The truth is, God loves us so much he already made everything so simple and easy for us . This happened when God himself came down here through the person of Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us.

Another downside of this matter is when we think we have done enough to justify our sins, we boast about it. I am guilty about this. I have been so self-righteous that I never saw my own flaws and my weaknesses because I am focused on the flaws and weaknesses of other people. If they disappoint me, I get harsh.  Unknowingly, I am becoming the “holier than thou” which everybody hates.  Again, we need to realize that it doesn’t work that way. We all need to live by grace and to accept the fact that we are all sinners, we are all dead, we are all in need of a savior who can really save.

That is why I am not an advocate of the Filipino Proverb, “Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa”. I believe that there are things which we really can’t do. Rest assured, God will always be there for our rescue, whether we do something or not. In this case, we are all “damsels in distress”.

The day I have learned these concepts is also the day I realized how sinful I am and how holy God is. Upon  knowing how sinful we are and how we need Jesus in our lives, we already decided to be crucified with Christ.

To end this article, I would like to share with you the story of the third son in the well-known parable of the PRODIGAL SON (Luke 15:11-32). WE all know that story but we don’t know there’s a third son. Youngest son asked for his share. Father divided his estate. Youngest Son left and lived as a spendthrift. Youngest son experienced poverty and became a slave. Youngest son went back home. Father welcomed him like nothing happened and gave him a kiss, a sandal, a ring, a robe, a fattened calf and a party. Eldest son got mad and jealous. Father said to Eldest son that they need to celebrate because the youngest is home. The End. But in between the story, there’s this third son named Jesus. When the Youngest Son left, the Father asked Jesus to look for his little brother. He is very much willing to leave everything  behind just to look for this brother.

Then He was crushed…

He was pierced…

He was crucified…

…Just to find you. He said, “Father, forgive my little brother for he doesn’t know what he is doing”.

Grace. 

March 2012

Today is the first day of the third month of the year 2012! Whoaah! Time flies so fast but most of the time we do not notice it, right? Likewise to the people around us, sometimes we are not aware that we are already taking them for granted. Why not pause for a minute and think of some ways on how to appreciate them. I know you are creative enough to think of things/ways on how to put a smile on their faces. Do it while you have time. Show some lovin’ and appreciation!

Okay. Here is my schedule for the month of March. I pray that my quality time for our Heavenly Father will not be taken for granted.

Sun
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat




1
Quality time with my kapatids (DGROUP)
2
Christianity 101 Training
3
Prayerworks and Church Ministry
4
Sunday Celebration
5
Fellowship with D, Ron, Miah, Lhey & Mhae
6
Canteen Ministry
7
DGROUP
8
SPA Day with D
9
Christianity 101 Training
10
Prayerworks and Church Ministry
11
Sunday Celebration
12
RBA Meeting
13
Canteen Ministry
14
DGROUP
15
Prayer time (preparation for the March 22 event)
16
Christianity 101 Training
17
Prayerworks and Church Ministry
18
Sunday Celebration
19
BPLS Planning & Workshop at Baguio City
20
BPLS Planning & Workshop at Baguio City
21
DGROUP
22
Exceptional Love Event
23
Christianity 101 Training
24
Prayerworks and Church Ministry
25
Sunday Celebration
26
27
Canteen Ministry
28
DGROUP
29
30
Christianity 101 Training
31
Prayerworks and Bonding with my Siblings


Let’s pray.

Dear Daddy God,

You will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We know that we have many plans for our lives but we also want to let you know that your will be done for us. Bless our days and our lives. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen!
Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Mentoring

After weeks of requesting for Pastor Dan to mentor me, we finally meet last night! Wooohooo! At first, we are having difficulty to our schedule because Pastor Ru asked favor to him. They distributed the new book of Pastor Ru entitled Refueled to different schools in Angeles City.

Our supposed to be 5:30 meet up became 6:30PM. Whew! While walking we are deciding which restaurant/fast food we are going to eat and chat. We went to Chowking. When we enter the premise, we saw familiar faces, the P’Family. I introduced my good friend Darby to Pastor Dan then we left the resto and go to Mister Frosty.

While we are waiting for our food to be served, we already start our mentoring. First, he asked about our DGROUP and my life group. I told him the truth. Hehehe. Our leader is having difficulty to some to our kapatids (spiritual siblings) that is why Jeng is asking for our (Tina and I) help and I am now handling 3 disciples in my LG. He told me about discipline. Discipline is hard. Sometimes it will make the members cries but you are doing it for their own good. But too much discipline will make them fear you. Before, when he is still in the 12 (or disciples) of Pastor Ru, he is feared by his disciples because of his iron hand discipline. But God taught him about love… about perfect love. Perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18, NIV). The youth fears him meaning the love that he has for them is not perfect. He dealt with that until his loves became his strength in dealing with the youth.

Of course, our conversation is a 2-way street. I told him about my struggles in my work. 2 days ago, he asked me if I’m still enjoying my work and I answered, “Dad gives me a new challenge. I was transferred to a different division. I am afraid that I might not contribute well to the group. I am intimidated to the former PDOs. But I am encouraging myself that God will help me through this. He won’t give me something I cannot do. That is why the message last Sunday fits me. I have to be confident and to be creative. God knows what we need at the exact time.”

He confessed a funny testimony to me. He told me, the first time I saw you; you are standing in the pulpit. You are exhorting Love Offering that time. I cut him, “Ihhh… don’t mention it. I don’t want to remember my LO thingy. I’m too shy and scared that time”. Then he continued, I said to myself, “God! What a beautiful lady!” We both laughed to what he said. I told him, “Jorge also said that to me. In front of Ate Erika.” “Really?” he answered “and regarding your LO, we are blessed to what you exhorted”. Then I remembered Pastor Anthony commend the LO message. “The second time I saw you was when you are in the canteen,” he continued. “Yes, I told you about Darby’s dream. In his dream, he saw you inside a coffin and Tito Noel is playing in your funeral.”

Our conversation also went about love life. Harhar! I told him, “The youths kept on asking about my age. I told them, if I’m going to tell you, will you pray for my BPIL? They are willing to pray for my BPIL that is why I revealed my age to them. And age is just a number.” Then he asked me, “How will you know if the person is the right for you?” “You will just feel and know it,” I answered. “Right. Because you are the only person who will feel and know about it,” he said.

Before we part ways, I told Pastor Dan to pray for me. “Okay, what is your prayer request,” he asked. “As I told you earlier, I have new challenges in my work. I’m asking for God’s confidence, creativity and wisdom.” He prayed for me in the street.


Let’s pray.

Dear Daddy God,

Thank you for the confidence, creativity and wisdom you’ve given each one of us. Thank you for the people you are using to teach me your words. Also thank you for the life of Pastor Dan. Continue to give him love, strength, boldness and wisdom in sharing your gospel to your people. Father, bless his family, his heart, his hands, and his ministry. We bring you back all the glory, honor and blessing. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Sunday, February 26, 2012

Anointing and Relationship

What is anointing? Anointing is ZERO percent human effort. Meaning we do not deserved the credits that it is giving to us. Sometimes when we accomplish something, we give credit to our Heavenly Father by saying, “To God be the glory or Praise be to God”. Are we really saying those things with all our heart? Check your heart, maybe there are still something in your heart that is not right. Remember, we cannot boast anything because without the work of the Holy Spirit, we cannot do anything, we are nothing, and we are useless and worthless. Also, without anointing, the people who are hearing your word/message will only see your flaws and will only heart the message without understanding it.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.
(James 4:10, NLT)

Who wants anointing? I bet everyone wants to be anointed, right? So how can we get this anointing thingy? We can be anointed through our relationship to our Heavenly Father. For example, you know someone but don’t have a relationship with the person and you asked a favor for him, you think he/she will give you what you asked for? No. because you do not have a relationship with the person. But if you have a relationship to the person, he/she will give you the favor you asked for him/her. Just like to our Heavenly Father, if we have a relationship with Him, He will anoint us, He will bless us and so on.

Maybe you are asking right now “How can I establish my relationship to our Heavenly Father?” Simple, through praying. In praying, we are exercising our right as children of God. In praying, great wonders and miracles come. In praying, God works.


Let’s pray.

Dear Daddy God,

We thank you for the relationship that we have. We thank you for the anointing you’ve given to us. Right now, Father, help us to level-up our prayer life for us to strengthen our relationship with you. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

THE CALL

The Call

What is the most important call that every person should never miss? If you think about it, nothing could be more important than the “Call of God”. For the longest time… God has been calling you…

4 Reasons for God’s Call
1. THE PURPOSE: Satisfying life
God is calling you to tell you “He loves you” and He wants to give you A FULL AND SATISFYING LIFE…

“…I have loved you with an everlasting love…” 
(Jeremiah 31:3, NIV)

“…My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” 
(John 10:10, NLT)

2. THE PROBLEM: Sin
Sin is blocking God’s call, therefore, we cannot experience the SATISFYING LIFE HE OFFERS…

“…But your iniquities have SEPARATED YOU FROM GOD; your sins have hidden his face from you…” 
(Isaiah 59:1-2, NIV)

Everyone is sinful” “FOR EVERYONE HAS SINNED; We all fall short of God’s Glorious Standard.” 
(Romans 3:23, NLT)

Everyone is separated: “For the wages of sin is death… [Spiritual Separation from God] 
(Romans 6:23, NLT)

3. THE SOLUTION: Saviour
Through Jesus Christ alone, we can be reconciled to God and experience a satisfying life for all eternity…

“For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, So that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” 
(John 3:16, NLT)

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. NO ONE CAN COME TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME.” 
(John 14:6, NLT)

4. THE DECISION: Surrender
Now… will you make a commitment to surrender your life to Christ and ACCEPT HIM AS YOUR PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOUR?

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, will be saved.” 
(Romans 10:9, NLT)

“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” 
(John 1:12, NLT)

Express your decision by praying this simple prayer in faith:

Dear Lord Jesus, here I am, responding to your call. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. Forgive me of all my sibs. Right now, I am making a decision, to turn away from all known sin. I surrender my life to you. Come into my life and be my personal savior. I accept your gift of eternal life through faith in your name. Amen!


“God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ” 
(1 Corinthians 1:9, NIV)


For prayers, counseling and inquiries:
Contact or visit us at His Life City Church Dela Paz Norte, CSFP, Philippines
Telephone: (045) 636-4076
Email: hislifecitychurch@yahoo.com.ph
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Woman’s Tears

I’m re-reading my emails from my friends way way back before then I suddenly open this message from Rommel Mones, a friend and a brother of my friend (Marie Mones).

The story is entitled “A Woman’s Tears”. Enjoy reading and I hope you may be enlighten and encourage to it.

  
A Woman's Tears


A little boy asked his mother, "Why are you crying?" "Because I'm a woman," she told him. "I don't understand," he said. His Mom just hugged him and said, "And you never will."

Later the little boy asked his father, "Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?"

All women cry for no reason," was all his dad could say.

The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women cry.

Finally he put in a call to God. When God got on the phone, he asked, "God, why do women cry so easily?"

God said:

"When I made the woman she had to be special.I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world, yet gentle enough to give comfort. I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times comes from her children.

I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining.

I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly.

I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.

I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.

And finally, I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed."

"You see my son," said God, "the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart - the place where love resides." 


Let’s pray.

Dear Daddy God,

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I praise you because I am strong yet gentle at heart. Father, it is you who gives me strength, patience, endurance and happiness to enjoy  the challenges and circumstances in my life. I love you. In Jesus’ most precious name. Amen!
Monday, February 20, 2012

Our X-Factor

We’ve been studying the Holy Spirit in our Church for two (2) weeks now. Now, my knowledge about His works has become clearer to me.

Last February 12, I’ve learned that the Holy Spirit is our X-factor to level up in our life and there can never be an exceptional harvest, without His active, dynamic, personalized work. In short, without Him our exceptional harvest is impossible. Also, the Holy Spirit is the gift that the Father promise to give for us.

Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
(Acts 1:4-5, NLT)

Once we receive the Holy Spirit, he will fill us with power, authority, wisdom and discernment.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
(Acts 1:8, NLT)

Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.”
(Luke 10:19, NLT)

Last Sunday, Pastor Anthony describes the Holy Spirit as the “Wind beneath our wings”. We even sang the Wind beneath my wings by Bette Midler.

Did you ever know that you're my hero (HELPER),
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.


The main context of the message came from the book of Isaiah 40:28-31, NLT, “Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

The Holy Spirit is the wind of God. The eagle knows how to wait for the wind because the eagles knows that the stronger the wind, the higher he soars. We need the Holy Spirit like the eagle needs the wind.

There are three (3) things for us to know about the Holy Spirit.

First, we should APPRECIATE the Holy Spirit. Like us human, we love to be appreciated by our fellow human being and He is also like that. He loves to be appreciated, to valued and to be enjoyed.

Second, we should ACKNOWLEDGE the Holy Spirit. To acknowledge Him means to recognize His authority in our lives.

Lastly, we should ALLOW the Holy Spirit. Allow means to let, to permit, to yield and to submit. Do not box the Holy Spirit because He can do great and mighty things in your life and God is not looking for beautiful vessel, He is looking for yielded vessel.

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ he wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
(John 3:5-8, NIV)


We must recognize one important factor that you and I need today. THE HOLY SPIRIT.

Remember…

The Christian life is an exceptional life.
The exceptional life is a supernatural life.
It is the level of the impossible!
It is where the impossible becomes possible.
It goes beyond logic, human reasoning.


Let’s pray.

Dear Daddy God,

Father, we thank you for our comforter, helper and teacher which is the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, we appreciate you, we acknowledge your unlimited power and we allow you to move in every area in our lives. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Promise #51

Daily Devotion from 365Promises of God


1 John 4:16 WEB
We know and have believed the love which God has for us. 
God is love, and he who remains in love 
remains in God, and God remains in him.

Promise #51: You can know and depend on the love I have for you.


There have been many times in my own life where I have struggled with circumstances and have not had any pat answers or quick solutions to my problems. In the midst of these seasons in my life, 1 John 4:16 has become really meaningful to me. When all else fails, love will never fail.  As the Apostle John tells us in today's promise...  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (NIV)

Whatever challenge you are facing in your life today, you can know and depend on the love that God has for you. His love will comfort you, His love will sustain you, His love will carry you through any situation. May each one of us run into the arms of our God and Father today knowing that we can depend on His love to be enough for us no matter how difficult our journey.

God is love. He not only loves, but the very core of His being is unconditional, everlasting love for you and I. May the reality of this promise go deep into our hearts today so that we would learn to make our home living in the love that God has for us.
 

For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. – Romans 11:29, NIV

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Glaiza Samson-Siron
A seeker and lover of our Lord Jesus Christ. A favored princess who is patiently waiting for our King’s promises comes to pass. A child of the Most High God who is hungry and thirsty to our Abba Father’s words. A person who wants to be the person God wants her to be.
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