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The Green Eyed Monster on Father’s Day

Yesterday was Father’s Day. I wanted to have some sort of celebration. Jay had other plans.

Early morning, I greeted him Happy Father’s Day. There was no response. Not even a “thank you.” I remembered how it was during Mother’s Day, he spent it in a league game. So, maybe that’s just how he is. Not showy.

Then I asked him if we could buy a cake for his Father. He said he would rather get some pizza. I said, well yeah, okay, pizza. Then he asked me to call the pizza delivery. I was getting pissed and I can already feel my head throbbing in frustration. I.DON’T.WANT.PIZZA.

Late in the afternoon, we went to the supermarket to buy our weekly meals. He got frustrated, he lost his money. In his frustration, he snapped at me. My resentment started to grow.

And just when I thought we are going to bed, I noticed him getting dressed. He said he’s going out with some friends of his. I knew that he’ll drink and probably smoke a stick or two. I’m starting to get angry. He had just finished his medication and the throat specialist strongly recommended quitting on alcohol and smoke. But i am not in any mood to argue. And besides, I feel like I don’t have the strength for an argument. So i let him leave.

And yet, I wasn’t able to sleep. I feel angry, frustrated and humiliated. What kind of husband would rather spend Father’s Day with his friends than with his wife and kid. He didn’t want to go out with us yet he stayed out late with his friends. My head was throbbing and I’m starting to feel shaky – out of anger and resentment.

I wanted to shout at him, lash out at him, anything just to make him feel the same way that he did to me. But I ended up praying. And God led me to Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.

As humans, we are always vulnerable to worldly emotions. But as married couple, we must strive to work on our differences. As our vows say “through thick and thin, in good and bad”.

Dismantling the Walls

Devotion : Ephesians 2:14

How many of us are trapped in walls that are slowly destroying our relationship?

The book of Ephesians Chapter 2 Verse 14 promises “He himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of dividing wall.”

Many of us have created barriers in our life. Barriers firmly established with selfishness, greed, apathy, pride and hate. We put up strong walls nailed together by hateful silence, distance, unresolved issues,misunderstanding, annoyance and ridicule.

But as chosen sons and daughters of Christ, we are bound to have a heart like Jesus Christ. Look back on how He came to destroy the line between Jews and Gentiles. Let us follow His lead. Let us hammer with forgiveness, and wrecker with honour, grace and repentance.

Far too many marriages had failed because of the “nails” I have mentioned above. Jay and I struggled with communication, too. Many times that I have felt hurt but I didn’t told him. Instead, I put up my wall of silence and silently seethe in anger. While he has completely no idea what I was fuming about. There were also times that he put up his wall of annoyance. I have the tendency to be forgetful and emotional, and he didn’t like it. 

Our marriage is young, we do not have the accolades of experience, but we are slowly learning. We are now cognizant of the fact that we need to be constantly communicating.

The secret to our simple but happy union-our pursuit to be Christ-like in our living, seeking His guidance and blessing in all things.

We have learned to tear down our walls and open the door of our hearts to God and his lessons.

My partner in pursuing a Christ-centered family and a godly child.

My partner in pursuing a Christ-centered family and a godly child.

Changing Paradigms

I look at the twinkling Christmas lights while I was stuck in the heavy traffic of the Metro. As a little girl, I used to be so amazed by the splendor of those lights. More than once, I wished of living in a house full of twinkling lights and giant Christmas trees, laden with gifts and sweets.

Twenty plus years later, here I am. Still amazed by the splendor of the lights but no longer wishing to live in a house filled of twinkling lights and christmas trees and gifts and sweets. All I wanted is to be at home, with my folks and my dear sister. Typhoon Haiyan had hit our town, and few days before Christmas, electricity is yet to be restored. In lieu of twinkling Christmas lights and all the grandeur of this Season, our home is lit by one electric bulb, powered by a generator. No tall Christmas trees or gifts, either, as most of our finances went into the immediate restoration of our house.

But I don’t care. I don’t need those fancy stuff, all I need is to see and feel that my family is safe and well. No amount of grandness can compensate for them. Perhaps, with ageing comes the shedding of a girl’s rose-colored perspective of life into something more realistic. A little bit harsh and tough but still wonderful.

The Gift of Forgiveness

How can the man who still the storm and turn water into wine allow a nail to pierce his hand and tore his flesh? If he really was the Son of God as he claimed to be, surely His power can resist the simple act of nailing Him to the cross. Remember, with just a wave of His hand, the Tower of Babel has fallen. With the raising of His hand, the Red Sea parted and allowed His chosen people to pass.

Why is it then that He didn’t resist the nails? Did he allow it to glorify Himself? Or did He saw something more than the hands of a carpenter being nailed to wood?

What He saw in his hands was a list. A list of all the sins, of all the evil, of all the wrongs of mankind. And He didn’t resist. God’s promise has to be fulfilled. And so He allowed that soldier to raise the hammer and deliver the blow that tore his palm. And with that, blood flowed.

The list that was in His hands can no longer be read. It is covered with the blood of the sinless. The sins of the sinful was washed away by His blood.

And this is what the nails at the cross remind us beloved. That our sins has been forgiven.Yes, we all know that the shedding of blood of a sinless is necessary for our redemption  but He did more than that. He died for us. He suffered humiliation, pain, hunger and sorrow. Things that we are supposed to suffer, sinner that we are. But He took it all for us.

 

The Gift of Choice

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“at the hill, there was an old rugged cross”

I have just finished reading Max Lucado’s book, aptly titled “He Chose the Nails”. The book discusses the several gifts found at the cross and it’s relationship to our life as Christians.

One of the many gifts found at the cross was the gift of choice, symbolized by the two sinners crucified on both sides of the Son of God. They were both sinners and them hanging beside Jesus Christ is a mockery to His greatness, to His sinless being. They were both hanging there because they have sinned, they have done something wrong. And that’s where the similarities of the two sinners end. Why? Because one chose to be saved, while the other hardened his heart.

Jesus answered him “Truly, I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise. ” – Luke 23:43

We are all given the choice, just like the thieves at the cross. If that one thief, whom his entire life was dominated by sin, was given the glory to be with Jesus Christ in paradise because of his last minute choice to accept God, how much more can we, beloved?

We have our entire lifetime to choose. Everyday, we are making decisions. Even on how we spent every precious second of this life is a choice. We can either be idle or productive. Proactive or push-over. 

The gift of choice is one of God’s greatest gift to humanity. Sometimes we wonder, if God really loves us, why does He allow us to sin? Because God wants us to have a personal relationship, a personal encounter with Him. Our shortcomings, our sinful nature, is actually an opportunity to know God more. Our weaknesses are vital instruments in recognizing that we need Him in our life.

What will you choose, beloved?

Young Ones and Once

1 Timothy 4:12 – Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

My parents had always told me that I should make my adolescence and youth life worth remembering. Something that I can share to my future grandchildren and be proud enough to tell them that I have lived a happy, enjoyable and memorable life as a young person. I guess I almost failed my parents in this particular request.

With a series of fights with my dad, which sometimes end up by me staying at my grandparent’s house for several weeks, and a list of failed, sinful relationships, it definitely was a dark stage.

But God will never allow His children to stay in evil. All it took was one moment with Him for me to realize that it was not yet too late to follow the above stated verse and my parents’ request.

I made amends with my Dad, and I realized that he was right all along. Sin and deceit had cloud my judgement before. Sinful relationships were put to an end. 

And the journey with Jesus Christ – a journey of taking a new life, obeying His words and allowing His plans for me started. It is not easy. I am used to living my life by my rules, by the way I want it. 

But the promise of eternal life with Him is more than enough to keep me strong.

You see beloved, just like me, we are all given the choice to live a life with Him. And we are just young once in our life. We belong in a generation where commitment had become almost obsolete and respect is foreign. Love has become cheap and purity is a stranger.

Is this what we wanted our future grandchildren to know from us? 

I Will Praise You

The year is about to end. Two months shy and 2012 will be over. As I look back at the events of this year, I realized it had been filled with comings and goings – of people, to places and life in general.

The Lose

January 2, 2012 – The year was just about to start. But we already experienced an ending. At 8:05 p.m., we bid goodbye to our family patriarch, my grandfather. His death was painful and sad. Never in my life have I thought of losing him. But days before his death, as I watched and saw him cry out in pain every time we move him, when even the simple effort of raising him up to feed him would make him cry out in pain and when even hugging us back is hard for him, I cried out to God to let His will happen and we are letting Tatay go. It was not easy. It was one of the hardest thing to do. I have loved Tatay my entire life. He and Nanay raised me up. They were like parents to me. And I never expected the multitude of people that would visit and pay their respect during Tatay’s wake. I will forever be grateful to God for using this people to provide us comfort and strength during those hard and sorrowful times.

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Me and Tatay, few months before he passed away. I still miss you ‘Tay.

June 9, 2012 – Four months after Tatay’s death, Nanay followed. Her death shake foundations of my being. Losing them in a year literally broke my heart. I always knew they loved each other so much, but I never thought that even until death, they would follow each other. I admire Nanay for her strength, and I praise God for His graces to our family – emotionally, physically and financially,that we were able to survive these challenges. Many of us are still coping with their deaths, I included. Many times, I would just stop whatever I am doing and think of Nanay, of what she will say at a certain scenario. Or I will look back at the times I spend with her – market day, family day, any random day and realized how special those days were.

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Ate Day, Nanay, Me and Ezra John during happier days with her 🙂

I thank God everyday of my life for giving me the opportunity to grow under Nanay and Tatay’s watchful eyes. I may have been a little spoiled, a little bratty but I knew my limits. I knew love because God has used my grandparents for me to witness what love is. I knew forgiveness because God has channeled the lessons of forgiveness through them. I knew compassion, because God has given me a compassionate family.

Everyday of my life, I will keep in mind their lessons: ” Mahal, never turn your back on your Mama and Papa, on your sister and your cousins, especially the young ones. We may not be able to take care of them and see them grow, but we have taught you everything they need on love, family and respect. Give it to them.”

Rest well Nanay and Tatay. I know that God is waiting for you in His Kingdom.

Lord, accept my Nanay and Tatay. I know that they have lived on this Earth by your grace.

The Happier Side

God giveth and taketh

– that’s what I have realized. Amidst my sorrow in losing Nanay and Tatay, He gave me a ministry to nurture and take care of. He gave me Vessels of Christ Fellowship, together with its two sister ministries – MBC and Tungko.

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with the young people of Malacanang Baptist Church in Malacanang Santa Rosa Nueva Ecija

Truly enough, God gives us everything we need, as long as we call upon Him and serve Him with all our hearts.