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(Almost) Three Months

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via 1000 Things to be Grateful for in Life (http://bit.ly/2A14YGP)

via 1000 Things to be Grateful for In Life (http://bit.ly/2A14YGP)

I just want to start this post with a greeting: Happy Thanksgiving Day! I didn’t realize it until I checked my phone calendar because it has US holidays saved. And the feature image is a coincidence as I only chanced to save it from Google images via 1000 Things to be Grateful for in Life, a blog, too. 😀 Now back to my original post…

The thought may be cliché but I really do not know how to start this blog post. After two years, I decided to post here again. I have been thinking what to post, but because I haven’t been online in my Facebook account for almost 3 months, I thought it would be good to post my thoughts here again. Being away for three months on Facebook is not a long time but when you get used to being online every day for hours, you know how long it feels.

Let me start with my apologies. I am sorry. If you are one of my friends reading this, and you felt I’ve abandoned you because I haven’t replied to you through Facebook as that is the only way to reach out to me, I’m sorry. I’m sorry if I also felt selfish for being away from Facebook, not even posting something at my wall, telling you that I will be away I do not know for how long. But know this: I have been itching to ask how you’re doing—if you’re well, if you’re having problems, if you’re having a good time with your life now. I couldn’t stand not asking my friends how they’re doing because I’m afraid to be forgotten. I’m afraid that they might think I do not care. I’m afraid that they might think I am such a bad friend. I am not even a good friend, I think. I have my own flaws, anyway. But thank you if you think otherwise.

I am sorry for feeling so afraid if I cannot reply to group chats right away. I sometimes feel unwanted in a group; as if my opinions won’t matter so I’d choose to keep myself away. And I am sorry for not responding quickly. Sometimes I’d get too anxious seeing who sent me a message, especially if it’s someone I haven’t talked to for a long time.

Being away from Facebook, I felt like I did not exist within those span of months. I felt like I did not exist in the “digital world” where everybody goes day in and day out. It felt like I have been left out of some people’s lives just being offline because Facebook equates their lives.

It’s also somehow sad to see how people depend on Facebook nowadays. It’s hard saying this as I am thinking on how to actually communicate to my relatives and friends abroad without Facebook (WE HAVE E-MAILS! But Facebook, of course, is easier and more accessible…?). I am also thinking on how to promote your businesses/projects without Facebook. So, really, being dependent on Facebook is not an issue, I guess. But what’s bad is that when it comes to social gatherings, when you are finally face to face with the people you’re socializing with online, it gets a bit awkward already. Maybe that’s the bad thing about being online all the time: you tend to lose the art of listening and/or oral communication because now, you’re the best in communicating through typewritten words, not to mention through emojis, too.

I know I still have tons of reasons to apologize for, but they seem to get lost somewhere in my brain when I start typing my thoughts for this post. So let me now start with my gratitude! For those who still send me texts messages and really make the effort to know my number, thank you. For those who send me messages on Twitter (because it’s my go-to social media account aside from Facebook wehehehe), thank you very much! Whenever a friend sends me a text message or a direct message in this time of being offline on Facebook, you don’t know how much it touches my heart that somebody is thoughtful enough to ask how I’m doing. I also feel so happy when you just simply tell me stories about your day! I’d sometimes cry (yep, I’m that sensitive) and say, “Hey! I’m okay!” because I’d realize that somebody cares. I’d feel okay just having someone to talk to.

Being offline on Facebook also made me focus to my family—nobody beats their love, care and understanding, really. Even if you’re the worst, you are loved. Being with them while I was offline made me feel so loved and complete. It made me realize that when you’re offline, cherish the people who are physically there for you, too.

Thank you also for those who strived to send me messages on Facebook even though I haven’t opened it yet (even now!). It makes me feel like you’re not giving up on me; you want me to stay in your life. It feels a bit lonely if someone wants you out of their life. It hurts, really, but moving on and letting go is part of life so you got to keep a hold of yourself! Though for me, letting go of someone is a hard part for me. I’d rather fight for the person to stay in my life than to let him/her go. Fight for your friendship if you still have the chance!!

And one thing that really made my life during my three months of being offline was this: God made me realize how important it is to need someone. This culture/society is always talking about independence, that we can do this alone, and that you have to be strong because in the end, the only one who can help you is yourself. It’s true; you should really be strong inside. You must take heart. But also, I think it’s grace when somebody needs you. The feeling of being needed is very important. “I need you in my life.” “I need you to do this.” “I need you to go here.” “I need you.” It suddenly struck me that being needed by/needing someone is important because it makes you feel that you exist in their world, or even in this world.

That’s why it made me feel so selfish being offline. What if there are people out there who need me? I’m no superhero, but being there for a person is really something. What if my friends whom I haven’t communicated with a long time need me at those moments when I was offline? I cried upon realizing this (this realization was back in September). But I still didn’t go online because I was scared at what I will see in my inbox and in my timeline. But what is there to be scared of when the fears inside me are only my thoughts and myself and not the people around me?

Okay, I think I’ll go online very soon.

After all, I am not forgotten.

Reaching Out to the Lost

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When I was in High School, a Junior and Senior student to be precise, I was so active inviting my classmates for our youth services at church. I guess most of my classmates would remember me as that girl who keeps on bugging them every week to go to the youth service. It was one of the happiest moments of my life – seeing my classmates and batch mates (plus a few students from the lower batch) sing praises to God and humble themselves in His majestic presence was priceless. I cherished two of my classmates’ words one night after the service, “Naiyak talaga ako habang kumakanta. Ganun pala ako kamahal ni God.” (I cried while singing Him praises. I didn’t know that He loves me that much.) and “Dito na tayo mag-reunion sa College!” (Let us meet here for a reunion in College!)

But since I went to College, things changed. I stopped inviting my classmates to youth services (partly because I couldn’t attend the youth services near our school, so why should I invite if I myself couldn’t go there). I can give a lot of reasons why I really cannot attend services that time, but I was so busy I lost track of my walk with God. I became so distant. I didn’t notice I was already trapped within a deep chasm where, I think, God couldn’t hear me. It was the saddest and loneliest season of my life – living without depending on Him. I realized how hard it was to live without Him when He has become a part of your lifestyle.

Despite of all the dreadful things that happened to me, God is still gracious. He brought me back on track. He gave me opportunities to reach out to the lost. But I felt like I should not (not that I should NOT reach out to the lost people at all, but I have not been reaching out, really). I did not go back to inviting my classmates to youth services. Instead, what He let me see recently is this: there may be a lot of lost people out there that we need to reach out to, but we also have to take care of the flock that needs to stay on track with their walk with God. I heard testimonies about how they struggled to keep their faith and to keep their fire burning within them. I saw how they went so cold in their relationship with God. I heard their plight and agony with themselves and especially with God. It was a sad scene to see. I was so sad hearing these stories.

We may be busy reaching out to the lost, but are we also encouraging our co-believers with love? Do we give enough attention to the believers who are struggling with sin? Where is the grace that God poured out to His people when the same grace and forgiveness He has lavished upon us cannot be seen within and through us? An argument can be raised here, saying, “But it will be up to that person or believer to help himself/herself. I did my part. I encouraged him/her, but he/she is still like that.” The question is that have you persevered until you can’t bear it any longer? Have you endured walking with them through thorns and nails, through the pain they are carrying, through the burden they bring on their shoulders every day? How long were you there when you said that you will be there for them?

Going back to the basic, discipleship is relationship (not my original idea). How is your relationship with the lost people you once fished? With the people God entrusted you with? Once a leader in the congregation, I feel bad and guilty about this. But I am really amazed with what God has impressed to me. It’s not that I will totally stop reaching out to the lost. I must bear in mind that I should also remember the believers who are in dire need of help in their relationship with God. But as I help the believers, I should see to it that I must be the head, and not the tail that shall slip any time as I help them get back up.

Galatians 6:1 & 9 (ESV)
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted… And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

*The picture used in this post is not mine. Credits belong to the owner.

I Made a Mistake

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A couple of years ago, I had a serious problem with my faith. I struggled about my beliefs towards God, thinking if He is really true. I thought, “Maybe He’s not true. Maybe we people made an imaginary perfect being just to cover our own imperfections. Maybe God is not really true, just someone or something existing within the minds of imperfect moral beings.” I came to the point of not attending church anymore because every service means nothing to me. I closed my heart and ears towards what God’s messages through the preaching of the pastor and through worship. Attending church means being with my family and friends ONLY. Attending church became an obligation to me.

Until I met my first leader in church again. It was a coincidence in a way because she rarely goes there. She attends to a different church (branch). I told her about what I was thinking. I told her about my beliefs. She told me that she also struggled about God’s existence. But it was God who led her out of her own doubts about Him. I forgot the revelation she got from God that made her believe again. It just took a bold step to have faith in Him again that took her back, at least that’s what I remembered.

When I doubt His existence, I always remember this quote (which I guess is from Philip Yancey or John Piper, my two favorite authors in theology), “…It is like being grateful with no one to thank.” It is true. Living without God is like being grateful with no one to thank. You can’t thank the flowers for suddenly popping out of the field. You can’t thank the mountains for being there. Or you can’t thank the giants who could have probably formed those mountains. Everything is not as they are without putting God into the context, without putting God into the center of the world. It just seems too wrong without God in it.

After doubting the existence of God, it was not long when I started thinking ill of our church. I thought randomly that time. While the people were praising God with all of their hearts, raising both of their hands high, I usually thought, “LORD, you see the hands of these people. They cry out to you and then turn their backs to you. They just need you for their happiness and satisfaction. They just praise you when they’re okay. They just praise you when they’re in church. But when they’re out in the real world, they are very very different people.” Honestly, I didn’t know those people I was talking about, They were all strangers to me, and I spoke and thought ill of them. I thought ill of the church, the imperfectly perfect church. I defined it as imperfectly perfect because the church is composed of imperfect people, but bonded together by a perfect God, the body of Christ. Going back, I opened this up to a concerned sister from the church. She told me that she also had thoughts about the church as “hypocrites.” But we both concluded, “Aren’t we the hypocrites when we judge others as such?”

Judging others won’t do anything good. They attend church because they are not okay. They attend church because they acknowledge their wrongdoings before God. They are honest about who they are. They don’t cover their dirt. They surrender who they really are to God. They attend church because they are in need of a friend. They attend church because their souls are so thirsty. They read their Bibles because they want to seek who God is. It is not about their imperfections anymore. It’s about who God is in their lives. This is how it should be. We need to focus on Who God really is. The problem with humanity is our tendency to be too selfish and close-minded, looking at then judging others before looking at their own wrongdoings. Thus, God led me to reading this passage in Matthew 7:3-5 (CEV):

You can see the speck in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the log in your own eye. How can you say, ‘My friend, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you don’t see the log in your own eye? You’re nothing but show-offs! First, take the log out of your own eye. Then you can see how to take the speck out of your friend’s eye.”

picture in this post is not mine.

Make A Decision For Your Future Self.

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🙂 “Make it the one you want.” Have fun going through life’s journey!

J.S. Park: Hospital Chaplain, Skeptical Christian


If you’re not sure how to make a certain decision, consider how you’ll look back on what you decided. Look back on it from your future self.

If you want to take that memory with you, then brave every risk and climb every cliff — do what it takes to get there. Give your future the best hope of nostalgia.

If you know your decision will be a burden of baggage, then hold on to what you must and let go of what controls you. You have just the one story to tell, but most importantly, it’s the only story you must one day tell yourself. Make it the one you want.

— J.S.

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Insecurities

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Insecurities
Mistaken Identity by Ken Wong

Mistaken Identity by Ken Wong

As a person, I have a lot of insecurities… Maybe as a lady, too.

Maybe a lot of my friends think that I don’t have any insecurity issues in life, but the truth is it was natural for me to be insecure in a lot of things ever since I was a child. Yes, since I was a child.

I used to be insecure towards someone else’s hair, eyes, lips, figure, and everything. I tend to be insecure towards the friends of my closest friends. I used to be very insecure towards those who can draw really well (that’s why I gave up my dream of becoming a manga-ka). I also tend to be insecure towards those who seem to be very cool in terms with how they express their thoughts and emotions.

But despite of all these insecurities I have in my life, I always think about this:
What if the people I’m insecure with are also insecure with me?

I’m not being vain. I just thought about it. If we stopped comparing ourselves with other people, how beautiful will we treat one another? If we celebrate others’ successes in life and stop the secret competition happening maybe in our hearts or minds, how many true friends can we gain out of it?

Personally, it is very hard to be not insecure even for a bit. But my life would be better if I stopped comparing myself with others and appreciate my own uniqueness. But lastly, who am I?

His 46th Birthday

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Disclaimer: Picture not mine!

I feel sad because I do not have any more words to say for his birthday this time, so I guess this post will be short. Once again, it’s Hyde’s birthday last January 29, and it was neither a good nor bad day for me. I was trying to be happy, but I didn’t know why I couldn’t.

I have been a fan of Hyde and his band for almost eight years now… I don’t know why I posted in my Facebook that I have been a fan for only six years! Haha. I like Hyde for being an inspiring songwriter. His voice is also dreamy. Whenever I hear him sing, especially in their live concerts, I say to myself, “His voice is very wonderful. He smokes yet he is still gifted with such a voice.” I still really like him, and I hope that he’s doing well with his family – that’d be my birthday wish for him. Being a musician is very hard, especially if you have world tours and you’re busy with your band. You might not have time for your family. I also thought about that when I watched a live concert through YouTube, when they played “Sweet Dreams”. In the end of the song, he sang, “I’m sorry” with tears from his eyes (?). Those words were not found in the song, so it really made me thing about how he really was backstage because I believe that he is not the same onstage and backstage.

It seems that this post has a lot of sadness in it. It just made me think about him, and such things make me don’t want to be busy in the future when I’ll have my own family because I want to be with them all the time. But I don’t know his life story, so I hope he’s really doing well now: being happy with his family AND band mates.

I Salute You

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I made the meme, but the picture is not mine.

This should have been posted months ago when I was caught in a heavy vehicle traffic at Commonwealth Avenue because of the SONA (State of the Nation Address). It happens all the time. I waited almost an hour and a half for an URVAN, and was stuck in the heavy traffic for two hours. A thought passed through my mind during that long journey to school, “It’s awesome how these drivers still continue to serve the commuters despite of this traffic!” It’s really hard to earn money nowadays, but if you really need to do it for your family, you will do it no matter how hard it could be. Whenever I see these drivers (may it be in the jeepney, tricycle, pedicabs, fx or vans), community workers, garbage collectors, janitors, security guards and the other people who do such hard work, I am really amazed. Without them, the surroundings won’t be clean, the grass won’t be trimmed, there would be no order, and the commuters won’t be able to go to their chosen itineraries. I’m very thankful to have these people.

And to this thought, I remembered my classmates when I was in 4th Grade who were talking about the salaries of teachers and janitors. I only realized the logic of their conversation when I was in College. They were thinking why janitors get lower salaries than teachers when the janitors actually do a harder job. I think like this towards the construction workers. The owners of the soon-to-be establishments are richer than those who do a harder work. But going back to my grateful heart to those awesome people who work so hard for their families, I really salute you. I guess I should also commend our soldiers here.