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Ignite 2013 Day 2 (part 2)

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I almost forgot to include this statement from Ignite 2013 Day 2 Part 1: “Resolve rather than dissolve”. It’s better to stand in righteousness than to dissolve in a culture wherein everything already seems to be OKAY when it should not be. Let us be reminded that our most valued treasure (yes, I need to exaggerate this) is our relationship with God. Don’t let the temporary pleasures offered by the world lead you astray from God because without Him, we can do nothing.

Only one session left yet I separated my post for this last session for Day 2 because this session really struck me. I was moved by Pastor CJ Nunag’s preaching about purity and holiness through Samson’s life. What I remembered when I heard about Samson was “Love at First Sight” because during the Love Series before, he was the topic. This time, the preaching was about the same person, but a different perspective about him.

True, Samson was so special and gifted. It’s like he has everything (too exaggerated). Plus, he’s a Nazarite (Google Search!). I could remember the term the pastor told us, “gifted since birth”. But even though he’s gifted and it seemed like he has everything (plus the unbelievable strength), due to the wrong decisions he made (I may say that one would say that a decision is wrong when it’s against his belief of what is right), he was put into the wrong track. It’s a matter of DECISIONS. But gladly, before he died, he was able to do his purpose in life (I need to study his life through the Word to explain this sentence). It’s really weird when he went to the territory of the enemy (if I’m not mistaken), and found the “girl of her dreams” where he shouldn’t find one (Judges 14:3).

Pastor CJ stressed the words “for me”.  Samson said in Judges 14:3, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.” “Do not trade your birthright for what feels right.” is what Pastor CJ said (maybe not the exact words but hope you got the idea) about it. He focused on sexual sins. Since the youth today seems to be so open about sex as if virginity is not a big deal these days, and the youth engage into relationships after relationships, this preaching really is suitable for each and every one of us in the conference.

He said that the people he talked with about premarital sex gave him same reasons and comments, “It seems right. It feels right.” but the Word of God says do not engage into sexual immorality (1 Cor. 6:18, and a lot more verses). I was also reminded about the illustration of a speaker I heard before in a retreat. It was about how hunters trap wolves by using a bloodsicle. In that bloodsicle lies a dagger after they lick it. They will be so focused on the blood they were licking without noticing that their tongues are already wounded because of the dagger, and it will slowly kill them. Like sexual sin, it may be pleasurable and enticing, but in the end, it will leave us helpless, broken, and dirty. Sin is always like that.

We should not trade our relationship with God with the temporary pleasures the world has to offer. That’s what I learned. I am grateful that God’s grace is sufficient for us (and even more than enough for us). I am grateful that God is so generous and merciful that whatever we did in the past, how stupid we may be for doing such things, He still loved us from the beginning, and continues to do so until now.

Credits to Ignite. I don't own this picture.

Credits to Ignite. I don’t own this picture.

I don't own this picture.

I don’t own this picture.

Good thing I’m continuing to learn how to value God as my supreme treasure. 🙂 Learning is a process, indeed. Undergoing that process, there may be pain and trials, but be reminded that He’s there with us… All the time.

 

Ignite 2013 Day 2 (Part 1)

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My blog posts about Ignite are in accordance with the ignite.ph blogs. The blogs from the said website serve as my guide in making my posts.

I was not late at the second day of the conference! Hahaha (proud laugh)! I was with my church buddies, gladly, and got an unpleasant view from where we were seated because we couldn’t see the screen so we couldn’t sing with the lyrics shown. But when a video was shown on the screen, the four of us would go near the exit since the screen could be seen on that spot.

Ignite 2013 Day 2 started with a message from Pastor (?) Edrei Canda about going back to school, knowing that there will be your peers who will tempt you from doing what is opposing to God’s Word. He mainly talked about Daniel who took a stand for what he believed is right. A freshman student from Ateneo de Manila University was called on stage to share his testimony to his co-students present in the conference. It was so cool to know that he’s a mere freshman student used by God mightily in his campus. I was reminded that we should learn how to stand on what we believe is right. Our beliefs should be in harmony with God’s Word. We really need to know when to say “NO”.

After that, we were asked to take a picture of our friends and leaders with a caption or hashtag, “Don’t Stand Alone”. We’re not alone in this battle of temptation. God has given us someone who will be there for us: to pray with us, and to help us in our walk with Him. Oh, I almost forgot that we were also asked to grab a partner to pray with us about our struggles for sin in the present.

 

Don't Stand Alone!

Don’t Stand Alone!

At last!! A lady speaker shared after all those~ Whenever I’d see a lady speaking on stage, I’d be so inspired to study God’s Word more to share Him to the people on stage too. I’d like to speak in front of people, but I’m too shy. Anyway, she shared the life of Esther. Until now, I could still apply what she said that we should not think that where we are now is only a coincidence. We should view our situation as an opportunity from God. If God placed you in a situation wherein you’re the only believer in your family, God has a reason. It’s an opportunity for you.

There was a break in between sessions 3 and 4 for a Half-time show. I never expected for Christian Bautista to be there! He’s my brother’s favorite, and I find him so handsome that’s why I squealed so loud when he was on stage. Their testimonies were so encouraging, and Rachelle’s testimony was the one that’s imprinted on my mind because of what she said that she wanted to become a professional and famous singer in the future when she was still a child. Dreams do come true. And also on what she said about performing and achieving accomplishments as a singer yet she felt empty. I realized that it’s really not about feeling empty when one already achieved one’s dream. Yes, there may be a feeling of emptiness, but it’s actually about your reason and motivation for doing what you were already doing. For her, it’s singing, but after achieving her dream of becoming a singer, what’s her reason for wanting it? After that, now what? Then she met God, and He became the reason for her everything. ❤ There were four local artists who performed during the Half-time show: Rachelle Ann Go, Quest, Yeng Constantino, and Christian Bautista.

Thank you for Ate Erica (Security) for volunteering to take a picture of him near the stage

Thank you for Ate Erica (Security) for volunteering to take a picture of him near the stage

 

Ignite 2013 DAY 1

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I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be part of the Three-Day Every Nation Asia Campus Conference (though mostly are still Filipinos), Ignite 2013. I was able to attend the Ignite 2011, and it was fun, as usual. But this time, GOD revealed Himself in a different way “again”.

I was late for the First session because it started at 6PM but I went there at 6:45PM. I went there from school, so I finished all my classes before going there (hashtag: Know Your Priorities). The moment I entered Cuneta Astrodome, I was overwhelmed with the great number of crowd in front and beside me. I was informed that there were more than 9,600 people present during that time that would hear God’s Word. Different campuses from different nations worshiping and praising God is simply overwhelming.

From where I sit, these are the people beside me on the left.

On the first day of Ignite 2013, from what I could remember when I got there, seeing every arms raised when praising Him made me gaze at the crowd in awe. I could feel the excitement within me, and my thoughts running, “All of us will truly encounter God in a spectacular way during this three-day conference!” And I was right because God is truly amazing.

On this day of the conference, everyone was asked to kneel in accordance with the verse in Exodus 3:5 – “God replied, ‘Don’t come any closer. Take off your sandals – the ground where you are standing is holy.'” then the “Revelation Song” was played by the Music Team while we’re all kneeling. The feeling of being in His presence is so indescribable. As I closed my eyes, I imagined God seated on His throne while I’m in awe and in a humbled state, knowing His holiness that surpasses my wicked and sinful being.

I remembered these words (not the EXACT words) from Pastor Olajide Pariola (he talked about Joshua) that you being holy is not only about being in a state of holiness, but also we should remember that holiness can be seen through our actions. We are consecrated. Holiness is lived. It is who we are by faith.

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I do not own this picture.

Thank God He has given us our new identity (which I suddenly thought that it was and should really be our identity that’s found in Him): Holy and Righteous in His sight. Thank You, Jesus!

If God Is…

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If God Is…

I don’t know what urged me to type this new post for my blog, but of course, like how a blog functions: it is to express your thoughts (if it’s a personal blog). 😉 All of the “if” sentences here are based on my opinion. Sorry for the picture inserted here. It’s too cute.

If God is not PATIENT, I think almost 90% of the population of the whole world disappeared today because most of us are like naughty children who kept on playing even though our parents already told us not to do so anymore. Isn’t it nice that we have a God Who remained so patient with us, no matter how complex our personalities are? Our personalities are already complex, PLUS there are over more than billions of people with hard-to-understand stubborn personalities. So it’s amazing to have a patient God.

If God is not SOVEREIGN OVER ALL, then the legends could be true: that different supreme beings are ruling the water, land, air, fire, and all the natural phenomenon occurring in this world. And if this GOD Who is sovereign over all, is the same GOD who controls the whole universe, who would not even trust this God who’s in control of everything that’s bigger and wider than a whole human race? But we’re still taken care of. He’s alive until today.

If God is not KIND and GENTLE, we’re bruised and maimed everyday. No exaggeration, GOD is so POWERFUL. Imagine the same God Who created the whole universe and galaxy, along with the world we live in and us, human beings, and His hands are going to spank you for being a bad follower or for being a bad creation (when in the first place, He was the One Who created us but we were consumed of our pride as human beings with free will, following our own ways, and refuses to be filled by His Spirit that He offered so freely for us).

My point here is that we are God’s wonderful creations. Yes, we are really wonderful, as wonderful as the beautiful and majestic bodies of water and celestial things outside our world. We were created by an AWESOME God Who got so many qualities we could never imagine nor fathom. Our Creator gave us EVERYTHING. Not almost everything, but EVERYTHING. He gave us His Son, He gave us the breath of life, He gave us His Son, He gave us the Way, the Truth and the Life, He gave us the Bible to read what He wants us to know about Him, He gave us free will, He gave us His unending love and grace, He gave us His Spirit. There’s still too many to mention, but these are a few of the things that He has given to us, and there are still yet to come.

Today, I want us to reflect on who God is in our lives. I want us to be grateful on Who He is, plus on the gifts He has given us. Stay grateful! 🙂

Promise

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First, let me give you a brief background about this verse. Every verse has a background why such words are placed there. Everything has a purpose, anyway, and God is a God of Order. This was the time when the LORD told Moses to “choose a leader from each tribe and send them into Canaan to explore the land” He is to give to the Israelites. If one would remember, they had twelve (12) tribes, so there were twelve leaders. When they went back to report what they have seen at Canaan, the land that God has prepared for them to give, they reported negatively. They got a fruit from the land, and it was big. They reported that the people who were living there were strong and that their cities were walled and large. But Caleb, on the other hand, said, “Let’s go and take the land. I know we can do it!”

When God says that He will give it to you, He will really give it to you. Do you trust Him? We also need to have faith in Him, and make an effort. How did Caleb had such boldness and confidence that they will really overcome that land? He had faith in God. He knew that God is true to His Words. Are you also declaring His Words and Promises in your life?

Accept the challenge, and let Him bring your faith to the next level.

Caught Between His Arms

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Have you ever felt confused? Feeling like you’re lost, not knowing where to go? Heart throbbing, harder breathing… Is that how it feels? If it’s so, I have felt that, and I’m feeling that now.

But you know what? All of this is a lie. A fantasy. A reality? It could be, because we’re in a real “world where happy-ever-afters don’t exist” (a not-so-exact line from Enchanted). A modern world that was perverted, and still it is being done, maybe more perverted now. Should we conform to this world? To the pattern of this cruel, very cruel world?

Now that He has caught us in His arms “as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” (Matthew 23:37), should we still hold back from this love that He offers to us? Isn’t His love enough for this crooked heart and mind of ours? This confusion in our head, is mere confusion. It doesn’t make any difference in the world we live in. We may say that justice still isn’t served in this world. We may say that acceptance isn’t found in anyone’s hearts in this present day. It’s our own mind that says all of these things. But what about God? What can He say about this cruel world where we live?

Isn’t it so beautiful to think that despite of this cruel world, God has “set eternity in the human heart” (Ecc. 3:11). There’s this piece of peace in us, piece of joy, a piece of beauty found in us. Search from within. “Your heart will always be where your treasure is.” (Matt. 6:21). Find time. Take time. God has given us 24 hours a day, and isn’t it enough to search from within?

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via yes-and-amen.tumblr.com

When you feel lost and confused, remember : “Stay put. He’s holding you in His arms. Feel Him. Be silent.”

A Christmas Blog Entry : YOU MATTER

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Not because it’s Christmas, I’ll post something about Christmas (though it’s not Christmas day anymore). I greeted Merry Christmas once only out of my will, not because I was pushed to do so because someone greeted me. Anyway,  I badly wanted to make a blog entry again because it’s been weeks since I last made a blog entry here.

I’ve been reading this book by Philip Yancey entitled “The Bible Jesus Read” and I’m so glad that God led me to read that book again. I attempted to read it, but I stopped because I haven’t read the book of Job (which is not an excuse, but I wanted to understand what I was reading anyway). Why did I open up this topic about the book? Because I learned a lot from it! God has so many revelations about Him, and I’m so glad.

God loves us so much. Don’t take His love for granted. He has emotions. God is also a Person. He created us so it’s possible that He understands us fully. And He’s the BEST One Who can understand us. While reading the second to the last chapter of the book, I cried because of too much joy and love that I felt about Him. The second to the last chapter talks about the books of the Prophets in the Old Testament of the Bible. I got the idea of the author that God speaks through the prophets. But I don’t have to give you the idea about the prophets that look and sound weird for most people. I wrote this blog entry to let you know that YOU MATTER to God.

Christmas talks about Jesus’ birth. It’s not that I’m saying I don’t believe in Christmas or what, but I believe in the birth of a Savior. Why did God sent His one and only Son for us? He knew that we needed acceptance and forgiveness from the sins we did from the beginning. “Jesus” or Yeshua (His Hebrew Name) humbled Himself and became human like us, not a God like Father. He would’ve chosen to kill the soldiers all at once, but He chose to be killed, to be tortured. The line by the deceiver in the movie (though it may not be the exact words), “Passion of the Christ” struck me, “No man has ever endured the burden of sin.” He (Yeshua) chose to “let His Father’s will be done” unto Him. Instead of us enduring the burden of sin (which leads to DEATH), He did it for us. He came for that.

I remembered what our Senior Pastor said during a service, “When Jesus was 2 years old, I wonder if He already knows what will happen to Him in the end.”. I pondered on that thought. I think He knows it already. It’s hard to know that your future leads to such a cruel death, but He chose to do it for us. It’s not really ABOUT US, but it’s always ABOUT GOD. He may have did it for us, but He did it really for God. A Father sacrificed His own Son to die for sinners : killers, rapists, cheaters, liars, wicked people, proud, every dirty kind of thought you could think of a human being.

When you court someone you like (for girls, please bear with me), you don’t want to be rejected. Who wants to be rejected, right? But God accepts every hurt and pain He receives from us. HE HAS NEVER GIVEN UP ON US. He has made every impossible way to bring us back to Him, even giving His Son for us. Who would even sacrifice his son for a group of people who would soon persecute him (the son)? He’s none other than God.

His grace abounds in our lives, in the whole universe. Are you ready to be soaked in His presence and in His grace forever?

As he explains through Isaiah, he has no choice: if a world refuses to learn righteousness through grace, he must resort to punishment.

-Philip Yancey