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DOUBLE – MINDED: Of Cliff Diving and Stubborn Mind to Jump in Doubt

Last week has been an awesome one for me and my friends in the ministry. We have decided to spend the “holydays” at Zambales for camping and a whole lot more. This ‘whole lot more’ includes trekking and rock climbing plus cliff diving under the heat of a Friday noon.

Adventurous as I am, cliff diving has never been part of my to-do list in life. Getting to the cliff was already a challenge, but mind you, I was the very first one among my friends to get to the edge of the cliff, thinking only of getting there but not jumping. My sole intention of going to the cliff was to be with my friends who wanted to cliff dive. However, while we were on the edge of the cliff or the jump off point, a big part of me wants to jump. I was thinking of the fact that I am already there, why not jump, right? This may only happen once. I told my friends that I wanted to jump, so they cheered me up. They were the best cheering crowd ever!

After hours of attempting to jump and empty batteries of cellphones and cameras to capture my moment, I never jumped. I did not take that leap of desire. Fear was there inside me, but it did not consume me. I had faith. The reason why I did not jump was because I don’t have the peace of mind to do so. I even prayed in tongues while on the cliff, forgetting the fact that there were non-believers around us. Deep inside me, I was asking God to give me the go signal. I want to hear the still, small voice that says, “Go, Ram! Jump now!” But, there was none.

Will I jump because I really wanted to, even if I don’t have the peace inside me? Or, will I rest my case and let God smile at me?

I did not surrender easily though. My stubborn mind and strong desire to jump was strong, so I battled with my thoughts. Will I jump because I really wanted to, even if I don’t have the peace inside me? Or, will I rest my case and let God smile at me? There was a time when I really, really aimed to jump, shouting “I’m the queen of the world”, but to my surprise, I still failed to jump. It was as if there was a strong force that stopped and balanced my feet on the edge of the cliff, making me stand still.

My friends were right; I do not have to prove anything to them and to myself.  At the very first place, I reached that cliff without the desire to jump, yet I was only tempted because I was already there. How many humans had this temptation? I know I’m not alone.

Was it easy to give up my desire easily because God is not leading me? Definitely, it was not. I bargained of jumping from the not-so-high jump off point.

skylars-cliff-jumping-1001

There were lot of time that I placed myself in the verge of my desires over the peace within, and many times I jumped off, leading me to sin, regrets, pain and tears. These were the times that I considered the “what if’s” and the “why not God?” These were the times that I am so self-consumed that I dwell on the “I want it” over the “Will this please God?” These were the times that obedience was difficult, yet fulfilling. The cliff diving was just one of these times, and never did I regret that I failed to jump. I had the peace to go down and accept the fact that it wasn’t my moment yet.

I do not know what could have happened to me if I jumped off that high cliff, but one thing I am sure of, I had the peace of mind of not doing it double-mindedly. At the end of it all, I still want to jump off the cliff, maybe next time when my mind is at peace of doing so.

Kerzey, Ben and the rest of them who successfully jumped off the cliff were in full mind of jumping, while I was double-minded. This reminds me of Oswald Chamber’s words,

Never run before God’s guidance. If there is the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding. Whenever there is doubt – don’t.

To dive into fun and excitement could have been very easy, but the consequence of disobedience will be very terrible. The choice will always be ours to make, to jump out of stubborn desire or to stay in peace.

 

Photo grabbed from therunwayjournal.com

 

Our CROWN. His Glory.

Ptr. Joey Bonifacio on his Lego Principle book showed a meaningful definition of discipleship. He wrote that “Discipleship is a Relationship”. It is a God-centered and serving-others relationship. Our Life Groups in Victory Alabang Youth Service  practice this kind of relationship. We are not just friends inside the corners of our meeting place every weekend, but we are also sisters whether together or apart. We make time for each other, fellowship with one another, worship together, pray with one another, and grow and mature together in the love  that binds us all – the love of Christ and our love for Him.

 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another… – Hebrews 10: 24-25

60 young girls, 8 different Life Groups, 12 Life Group Leaders,  1 Campus Missionary, 1 God and 1 purpose – Unite all things in Christ Jesus.

“to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment–to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”- Ephesians 1:10

It was a rainy Sunday, March 3, 2013, when me and my Victory Group sisters headed by our leader Ms. Rina Amoranto, a LIFEBox Campus Missionary, went to Sunken Garden, Muntinlupa City to meet the young generation of Christian women for our Life Groups teambuilding. The weather may not be so good, but the determination, passion and desires of these young ladies cannot be contained, so rain or shine, we made our purpose fulfilled.

 After months of preparation and prayers, our teambuilding transpired and was successful. We all meet in VCF Center, Festival Mall, Alabang where the girls were divided into 4 groups containing 12  members each. They were given clues on what to do and where to go for their Amazing Race. Upon finishing the race, leaders were assigned to them and the challenges begin with Cheerdance Competition showcasing God-given talents and abilities to these young girls followed by numerous holistic fun games and activities.

With all the fun that we had for this day, we never forget to be still and hear the word of God. We were privileged to have a guest speaker for our teambuilding Ms. Wenicar Orbedoza, who graciously reminded us that we are princesses of God, that we wear a crown given to us by our Father, the King of all Kings.

You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God. – Isaiah 62:3

CROWN

Confidence – We are confident to come before God as His princesses and co-heirs in Christ.

Respect – We are worthy of utmost respect and love, for we are purchased by the blood of Christ.

Obedience – We are to obey the Father as Christ obeyed Him.

Winsome – We win people in Christ with what we do and what we say. We are not stumbling block to other fellow girls, but building blocks to Christ.

Name above all names: Jesus – We live according to our relationship with Jesus. We bear the name that is above all names. We thrive to be holy for our God is holy. We represent the Kingdom of God as princesses and ambassadress of Christ here on earth.

Our crown is a symbol of being united with the Father, that we are co-heirs in Christ Jesus. We never let our crown down, we check it all times to see if its in place, and when it falls, by the grace of God, we put it back to where it belongs. And no matter how much the world will try to steal this crown from us, we are assured that as long as we are in Christ and we have each other to support and encourage, this crown will never be stolen or destroyed.

The love that we feel from God and the love that we have for each other compels us to do this, to build the next generation of young women in faith, integrity, love and service to God and one another by fellowship and discipleship, a lifelong relationship.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live.. Then they can train the younger women… to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, … so that no one will malign the word of God. – Titus 2:3-5

We end the teambuilding by honoring one another, recognizing those girls who showed excellence by giving awards and prizes and reminding each other to always wear our crowns, to keep our faith within and to never fail to bring back all the glory and praise to God.

Our Life Groups exist to Honor God and Make Disciples.

Onward mighty women of faith with the crown of His glory.

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That Word. Those Acts. This Blog.

Since this is my 100th blog post, allow me to share how my last Saturday (November 24, 2012) went great and was filled with wisdom. This is also my last blog post,  so pardon me for making this quite lengthy.

Let me start with Grounded and that WORD.

Kuya/Pastor Edrei preached about the Miracle of Salvation. It was an intense preaching on the story of Zacchaeus and his encounter with Jesus (Luke 19:1-10). I already know this story since I’m 4 years old maybe, and since then,  it was just like “let’s welcome Jesus like Zacchaeus.”  Not until I turned 22 and encountered this story with a deeper understanding and realized that this is a story of repentance. (Click this for my first reflection on this story.)

One of the main points of Kuya Edrei’s preaching was “we didn’t choose Jesus, but He chose us”, and I strongly agree with him, for among the crowd who welcomed Him, Jesus was the one who chose Zacchaeus and  not vice versa.

In our Life Group, I asked the girls what was God’s message to them with the story of Zacchaeus. With their permissions, here are their replies,

Bea: “Zacchaeus,  ‘chief’ (given emphasis) tax collector, big time sinner, BUT big time or small time sinner, its just the same. We are all sinners, and we all need Jesus. “

Rachel: “God has plans; it is up for us to accept it. Like Zacchaeus, when Jesus called him, he accept it and he was saved.”

Abby: “Jesus found us. He had a good life in heaven, yet He came down to look  for a sinner like me, like us.”

I was so blessed with the preaching and the girls’ sharing, so out of my abundance I shared mine as well. If the last time God showed me that this was about repentance, this time God impressed on my heart that He is asking for obedience. As Kuya Edrei was reading the Gospel, one word was somehow given emphasis that for how many years of hearing this story, I did not notice that this word was  there. That word is “IMMEDIATELY.”

That word!

Jesus did not said, “Zac, take your time and come down here” nor “Zac, I’ll wait for you at your house, meet me when you’re ready.”  Jesus’ words were clear, “Come down, IMMEDIATELY.” There was an urgency in His words.

Look what happened next, immediately Zac came down and obeyed Jesus, immediately He repented, immediately there was reconciliation, and immediately Jesus said that Zac was saved. See that? Salvation came in a span of hours for Zacchaeus!

When God impressed that word on me, I can’t help but be on my knees during the worship. Why? Because it took me many years before I came down and fully obeyed Him. If only, I came down with my pride and humbled myself immediately the very first time I heard Him call then I had lesser heartaches, lesser sins, lesser regrets, lesser sufferings, etc., etc.

I remember Abby said, “Ouch, parang binababatukan na ako ni Lord,” I then replied, Abby, ako na-paddle na ni Lord sa tagal kong sumunod.”

Jesus demands Zacchaeus obedience. He didn’t asked Zac to repent or give back what he had taken to the people; God didn’t demand sacrifices, for He demands obedience better than sacrifice. Furthermore, late obedience is still disobedience.

See that word IMMEDIATELY? I believe Jesus means it. Is Jesus calling you?  If Yes, see the urgency in His words. Respond immediately!

Breaking Dawn Part II and those ACTIONS.

While watching the last installment of Stephenie Meyers’ Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Part II, two particular actions did caught my attention and created a pinch on my heart. I’ve read all the books (twice), so I know the story fully well, but when I saw it on the big screen, these two actions create an impact on my thoughts and even emotions.

First act: Dr. Carlisle Cullen, a dignified, law-abiding,  and peace-loving vampire  attacked the Volturi. He did it out of what? Out of love and protection for her  adopted daughter, Alice.

I think that scene really reached me because I grew up fatherless, but then I realized that God is the same (not a vampire), but He would do the same for all of His children. Carlisle risked losing  his eternal life as a vampire just to save his vampire daughter; God gave up His son’s life just to save us. I may not have a father here on earth who would risk his life just to save me, but I know one man already gave up His life just for me to be saved, and with that, I have an eternal life to praise and thank Him.

 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

Second act: Edward and Emmett Cullen attacked the Volturi in revenge of their father’s life.  I saw the pain, the hurt, and the anger in the Cullen brothers as they fight.

With that act,  I started to wonder if I can do the same for my Father. I remember our Grounded Leaders Summit wherein we had a basketball game and the other team just stayed on their court defending their net; they never won, and they got tired defending. In the end, we concluded that with our faith, we must also learn how to attack because we can never win the world if we just stay on our comfort zones. How can we reach out the world to Christ when we just stay at the corners of our church?

 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. – Philippians 1:20

Let me go back to Zacchaeus who was bold enough to seek Christ and obey Him as His follower.  Zac was not ashamed in doing the right things; he was not ashamed of what others may tell about him with his new identity in Christ.

How about you? What will you do if someone offended Jesus in your face? With your life in Christ, how bold you are and how daring you can be?

This 100TH AND LAST BLOG POST

After a lengthy Saturday, I edit a blog post then I saw this  stats report:

as of November 24, 2012

Stats for 30 days as of 11-24-12

As I reflect and look back, I realized that a big part of what I did and doing since childhood until now is sharing His words. I was part of the Bible class since 3-1/2 years old, been invited to speak in different youth camps and conferences since 15, and now in just months of blogging, it reached this far!

My relatives weren’t shocked with this (unlike me), and they even asked if I’m preaching in the pulpit already; they know me since birth and maybe they saw that this is coming. I just realized how blessed I am to know His words and blessed enough to share it.  I feel blessed when I received invites to talk; however, I have been turning down offers  in camps and conferences as a speaker (because of my shifting schedule). I also feel blessed every time I received comments from different people saying how my writings helped them and how they feel God more. I know that this is my gift and my purpose (somehow), for God has been calling me to do more (since my senior year in High School);  however, I am still dealing  this with Him, 6 years and counting Lord. (It was  no wonder why obedience and courage was the message of God.. hehe) 

I remember when I was still a prideful and overachiever little girl, I used to say, “I will be great and be part of the History”. Now that God humbled me, I say, I may not be like Paul who was used by God to write His words and became part of world History, but I believe with this gift, God will use me in sharing HIS STORY. 

So, why shall I stop writing then? Well, this is just the last blog post in this website. 

How bold I am in Christ? Here’s how I will show it…

my very own site

my very own website

The site is not up yet, but I’ll be promoting this SOON when it’s running already.

 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes… – Romans 1:16