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On Decisions and Dating Goodbye

Book: I Kissed Dating Goodbye

Author: Joshua Harris

Where to buy: Leading bookstores and Christian bookstores nationwide

Let me begin this with the book’s last chapter, “Someday, I’ll have a (Love) Story to tell.” Indeed, each one of us have our own love stories to share, and as the author says, it’s our chosen story. We can choose to make it a story of purity, faith, and selfless love, or it can be a story of impatience, selfishness, and compromise. It can be a story that we can be proud to share or a story that will only bring us shame. After all, it’s our choice and the decisions we made.

Making decisions is a vital part of life. We make decisions as early as the moment we wake up whether to snooze that alarm or not until what side of the bed we will sleep at night and the countless decisions we made in between for the entire day. We cannot deny that we really have to decide in everything. When I first saw this book, it’s the book’s title that gives me the interest to open it, and I know that I made a good decision in my life reading this book.

The author made a decision to finally kiss dating goodbye for some personal reasons and best intentions. It was his best and brave decision that he shared  to the world. Now, Joshua Harris has been so famous for this book.

But what does this book have to do with decisions?

Well, for me, when we finally get to the point that our lives seems nowhere to go or meaningless already, we have to reflect and assess ourselves.

Here’s some of my self-assessment questions way back 2010, “What is the kind of life and relationship that I really want?”, “Can I go and live like this forever?”, “Will I have a happily ever after?”, “Can someone really love me with my flaws and all?”, “Am I ready for this and the consequences of my acts?”

I had so many questions back then. Holding this book, I finally decided to follow what Mr. Harris did – kissed dating goodbye. However, I failed to uphold this commitment. I dated but not for long. Again, I had fallen and had to reassess myself. Since then, I felt that dating was a sin, a thing that was never right to do.

Dating is not a sin though, but I felt so guilty. Why? Because I did it out of wrong motives and it all ended up in wrong decisions and actions that lead me to sin. I really agree with the author when he said, “The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.” Maybe, that’s what made me feel guilty. I made the wrong things.

Now this has become too personal already, so let me go back on how kissing dating goodbye became one of the best decisions I made.

Heartbreaking: The author’s lines that somehow hurts me because it’s true.

“There are relationships I can only look back on with regrets. I do my best to forget.”

Can we really forget? I do have a good memory, and those not-so-good memories will surely come to mind from time to time, sadly.

“I know that God has been faithful to forgive as I’ve asked Him to. But I’m still aware of the consequences of my selfishness. I gave my heart away too many times.”

This is the most hurting, knowing that I have hurt God and my future husband.

Baby Steps: The author’s lines that made me took a stand and take that first step in faith.

“I’ve come to understand that God’s lordship in my life doesn’t merely tinker with my approach to romance – it completely transforms it. God not only wants me to act differently; He wants me to think differently – to view love, purity, and singleness from His perspective, to have a new lifestyle and a new attitude. The basis of this new attitude is God’s love for us.”

Need I say more? God moved me to change and to really know what love is.

“Waiting until I’m ready for commitment before pursuing romance is just one example of letting Christ’s love control my relationship. Each person has to examine his or her own life and ask what it means to love others like Christ.”

That’s exactly what I did, and I’m grateful with my decision, for I know I made the right one.

A Promise: The author’s line that keeps me waiting in expectation with excitement.

“I kissed dating goodbye because I found out that God has something better in store.”

I agree with this because I know that God’s plans are always good, pleasing, and perfect. His ways are definitely higher and better than what I could ever dream and imagine.

The Reason: The author’s lines that keeps me going.

“The ultimate goal behind my choice isn’t to avoid pain. I know that even in a godly relationship I might face disappointment one day. The reason I want to love like Christ is so that one day I can stand in purity and blamelessness before God.”

“At the end of our lives, we won’t answer to everyone. We’ll answer to God. Our actions in relationships haven’t escaped God’s notice.”

In humility, when my time comes, I’ll stand in front of God and say, “I’m sorry for the sins I made in my past life and relationships, and thank you for Your grace that sustains me not to do the same things again.

Headlines: The author’s lines that give me hope.

“But here’s the good news: The God who sees all our sin is ready to forgive if we repent and turn from them.”

“Because of Jesus’ sacrifice for me, I know that God has forgiven me for the sins I’ve committed against Him. I don’t have to live overwhelmed with by regret or fear of the future. Because we serve a God who makes all things new, no matter how many mistakes we’ve made in the past.”

This is the best and surely the greatest news I ever received; Christ came to save.

An invite: The author’s lines that made me pursue this commitment.

“It’s this grace and this mercy that should motivate us to live differently for the rest of our lives.”

“I’m an unworthy sinner that God chose to rescue and forgive. This is love. And because I’ve experienced it – because Jesus died for me – I’m committed to a love life that’s controlled by Him. I invite you along.”

I finally accepted this invite last year in view of the love of Christ, and this is surely one of the best decisions I ever made. How about you? Will you come and join us in relationships bound in the love, grace, and mercy of God?

 This is Love.

There you go! I’m finally done sharing my insights on the book’s first chapter (So this is Love), and I won’t share the in between chapters anymore. It’s time for you to grab your own copy to read, understand and believe. Remember that someday it will be your own story to share. Mr. Joshua Harris’ love story is really amazing, and mine will surely be awesome as well that I am very excited to write about it soon.

It’s your choice and your decision to make. I started mine by kissing dating goodbye, loving God more, and waiting for the things that He has in store for me.

It’s your story to share, but I never said that it is only you who can author it. My next book review is about letting God be the author of your story, When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy.

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Move On!

 

“Why are you crying out to me? … Move on.” – God (Exodus 14:14)

God said those lines to Moses when the Israelites were panicking as the Egyptians cornered them at the Red Sea. As I was reading this, I asked myself, why was God asking the people why they are crying out to Him? Isn’t it natural for men to ask God on what’s happening to them, most especially in that trying time? But then, I realized that this part of our human nature seems unfair to God. We immediately blame others as the reasons of our miseries and sufferings, even God.

Nowadays, it’s so common to hear the most popular two-word advice, “Move On!” However, hearing it from God, I realized that when God said these words, He was like saying, “Why are you blaming me? Why don’t you just continue to go where you’re supposed to be heading?”

When panic arose and we felt like it’s our end, we tend to forget that we are heading to a much better place and that we have a goal to achieve, a race to finish, a purpose to fulfill. The Israelites forget that they are heading to the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. They even forget who they are – God’s chosen people.

When relationships fail, when our hearts are broken, or when we feel that it’s better to die than to live, we cry out to God asking Him why He allowed such things to happen, and we even blame Him. We forget how special we are in His eyes, we pity ourselves, and we forget that we still have a future ahead of us. We lose the will to live, we lose focus and lose track, and we forget that God is still with us even when we are in our lowest.

In trying and crying times, isn’t it much better if we hold on to our destinations, our purposes, our identities, our hopes, and to God?

Sometimes, the reason why we fall is because we lack some things to hold on to. When the storms of life came and knock us down, instead of using our fingers in pointing to others the blame, why not use it to grasp and hold on to the littlest things that gives hope? Instead of focusing our eyes to perceived what we see as worst, why not fix it on a more beautiful one? And, instead on dwelling in every frustrating situation, why not pursue a much better destination?

If you can read this, then pretty sure you can do it!

If you can read this, then pretty sure you can do it!

When moving on seems hard to do and the worlds’ “Move On!” advice are just merely words, remember that God was the first one who said it. God did not said it because He was running out of words to say or it was the most common advice, but God said it because He wants us to look forward to His promises and press on towards the goal in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

When we feel like there is no way for us, let us not forget that God parted a sea, just to provide a way for His people to move on.

God has made a way. He sent Jesus, the only way (John 14:6). We can move on with Jesus!


Disclaimer: The photo used in this post is not owned by the blogger; it was downloaded from Google.com.ph

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#5

Today, I tried to do something beyond my comfort zone; I washed my clothes, and while making “kusot” (scrubbing) my board shorts, I feel God asking me,  “Do you know that I’m holding you at the palm of my hands?” (Isaiah 49:16)


Me: Yes, I know that very much God.

God: Do you know that I’m also holding and guarding your heart? (Philippians 4:7)

Me: Usapang lovelife ba to God? Maaga pa, but I know that. (Is this talk about my love life God? It’s still early, but I know that.)

God: Are you ready if I entrust it to a man? (Ruth 3:1-5)

Me: Not yet God, but as I said, it’s Your will, Your time, Your way, and Your man.

God: What if a man after my heart finds your heart with me? (Ruth 3:6-13) 

Me (anxious): Seriously? Where God?

God was silent, and I felt Him smiling at me. I flip my board shorts and “tadaaaah!” the brand appears “Wave Zone”

Me: (wishful thinking – Is he a surfer???) It’s wrong to assume God, but I trust in You.

God:  My faithful daughter, just always remember that my plans for you will prosper you and will not harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29: 11)

Me: Saka na yang lovelife God, labada muna ako now; struggle ko to eh.
(Let’s talk about love life next time God, let me have laundry for now; this is my struggle.)
God: For delighting in me in whatever season you are in, you will have the desires of your heart very soon. (Psalm 37:4)

Me: I know. I trust You, for You hold my heart and my life at the palm of Your hands. ♥

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#4

While washing the dishes early morning…

Me:  “God, yung faith goals ko po good for the entire 2013. Hindi po good until 02-13 (February 2013). Super ka God, binuhos mo naman lahat ng isang bagsakan. (God, my faith goals are good for the entire 2013, not just until 02-13. You’re amazing God, You gave all at once.) I can’t contain it, but thank You so much! I love you.”

God: “I keep my promises, just keep your faith (Hebrews 11:11). Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). I am the God who can give all you want in just a snap of a finger because I am your father (Romans 8:17) and that’s how I love you.”

Me: “I know. I trust you.”

Then I started singing… “My God is an awesome God, He reigns with wisdom, power and love…” ♥

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#3

While riding a bus from Quezon Ave. to Pasay, I opened my Bible and asked God for His words to share with my fellow MDC Alumni girls for a household/fellowship then I asked God, “Why do I have to live like this? Why can’t I just shut up and not share your words?” I wasn’t ranting; I’m just wondering why am I so passionate to share His words.


God answered me by showing a picture of myself in a familiar green lawn surrounded by nuns, my High School Alma Mater, Maryknoll High School.

He then asked me, “Does it makes sense now? I remember my promises.” (Psalm 105:8)

I almost cry again, but I ended up smiling with our conversation. God just made me remember that I once dreamed to have the title of OP (Order of Preachers) after my name when I was still studying with the Dominican nuns.

I may not have that title, yet God showed me that I’m living as one. Now, it all makes sense. God heard my prayers when I was a little girl, and He just showed me that He answered those prayers.

Laudare (to praise), Benedicere (to bless), Praedicare (to preach) ♥

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#2

As I was running under the stars tonight for my 3rd jogging round in Sunken Garden, I saw a fire near the Lagoon, so I stopped to look what’s happening then I saw little Girls and Boys Scouts having fun around a bonfire. I run again because I felt some tears flowing down my eyes as I remembered my own Girl Scouts camping days in Compostela Valley and Davao provinces which are now devastated because of different calamities, but I had to stop running for tears are blocking my eyesight already.

I remembered Nehemiah who wept for Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:4), so I say a little prayer for my hometown then I asked God, Why do I have to cry again today?

God: “My daughter, you cry because you love. Your tears are worth it because you shed it for Me and your country.”

He then reminded me of other girls who cry for worthless men and reasons.

God: “Ram, you just love like my son, Jesus.” (Luke 19: 41)

I wiped the tears from my face, looked up, smiled at the stars, and say my praise to the one who is worthy of all my love and tears – Jesus, then I run again, and just like the Olympian, Eric Liddell says, “I feel His (God’s) pleasure as I run”.

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#1

Awhile ago, as I had my morning devotion, I suddenly felt tears flowing down my eyes. I thought today is just another day of tears with Jesus until I found myself weeping already then I remembered what historians said about the apostle Peter, and the reason why he wept most of the time. Peter’s answer on why he weeps was “Desiderio Domini” which means “I dearly long to be with my Lord.” And, as I weep today with Jesus, I asked Him a lot of Whys?

I asked Him:  Why do You have to die?
He said:  Because my death will give you life. (John 3:16)

I asked Him: Why me?
He said: Because I love you. (Romans 5:8)

I asked Him, Why do You love me?
He said: Because that’s who I am. (1 John 4:8)

As I closed my Bible and wiped the tears that wets my face, I said to myself, “Desiderio Domini.” I moved on and started my day then I realized that today is the start of the so-called Love Month, and my Ultimate Lover (Jesus) just made me cry reminding me how much He loves me.

I’m not weeping anymore, but now I feel so LOVED!

Jesus, Why are you so sweet? ♥