Unabridged Birthday Message

I wrote this 6 months ago, but then I forgot to post it. So, here it is.

 

“According to entfernungsrechner.net (Yea, weird site, not even sure if it’s 100% accurate, I just Googled it. I’m such an embarassment to my profession, but anyways), we’re approximately 497 miles away from each other. That’s freaking 800 kilometers. (364 times around UP Academic Oval, **since one lap around the oval is 2.2 kms). Someone has to travel by air or by sea or just to see each other again.

There is no guarantee or assurance that you will be back. I don’t know how long I can wait. I don’t think I’m waiting anymore.

89 days since you left your family and your friends here in Quezon City and went to Butuan. It’s probably one of the hardest decision you’ve ever made.

This year has been so challenging and tough for you. But you’re still holding on. You’re a good guy. You also have a very big and kind heart.

Take this time to learn new things, meet new people, explore what you want, what you really need, what’s best for you, your passions, your goals and your plans. But above all else, never ever forget to seek the Lord and trust Him.

I’ve said this to you before, but I’ll say it again:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. – Matthew 6:33-34 (ESV)

A friend once told me that, “We worry about a lot of things so I believe that we should be reminded of God’s promises and commandments.”

I love you not just because of who you are but because of the God that you serve. I realized that I am just an extension of His unending love for you. Always seek the Lord and hold on to His promises.”

_______________________________________________________

This is not the cliche “I am not ready” or even the classic “It’s not you, it’s me”.  It’s just that circumstances and situations are not allowing us to be together. A lot of people may say that long distance relationship works, as long as the two of you constantly communicate and trust each other.

I do trust you – a lot. You really made an effort to constantly call me after work and text me in the morning. But it’s not the kind of communication that I need. It was not enough for me. I am sorry. I am sorry that I wanted more than you can give. I am sorry that I wanted the “romantic” pick me up at work and dinners, going to church together, lunch dates with our parents, random coffee, movie, bookstore dates, healthy debates about some political shizz, deep conversations, watching documentaries cozily at home, and all the cliche girlfriend-boyfriend shenanigans.

But we can’t do that anymore because you’re there…and I’m here. Yes, we could wait until you’ll be back. But when? Next month? Next year? Next two years? First red flag.

Here’s a rundown on our shotgun relationship:

  • Friday, we made it official.
  • Saturday, you left.

You and I know that we rushed things. We were too caught up with emotions at that time (I was doing my thesis, I was frustrated with French exam, my term as the youth president just ended, you just finished your Iloilo Mission trip, and lastly, you — leaving.) We weren’t thinking clearly. You and I both know that. We were too caught up with our feelings for each other. Don’t get me wrong, I did love you and I did care a lot about you. It’s just that life and circumstances are f***ing as up right now.

“Why are you so far from me? In my arms is where you ought to be. How long will you make me wait? I don’t know how much more I can take…” (To Whom It May Concern – Civil Wars)

I just can’t wait for something vague – like the “idea” of you coming back. I know you promised me a lot of times that you will be back but I am the kind of person who needs something tangible to hold on to. I don’t think I can wait anymore. I just don’t know if I can invest and attach myself to this relationship if at the back of my mind I know that this will come to an end. I am sorry that I cannot wait for you anymore.

 “It’s easy to play the what-if game, but if you had enough reservations to end the relationship early on, you were probably right. Settling is something I swore never to do. It’s not fair to me or to the woman (man) I’m involved with.”

The idea of waiting for you to come back is not something I can control. I really tried to work things out. I really tried to give you the benefit of the doubt. It’s just that my aggressive, alpha-female,dominant and controlling self has been anxious since the day you said that you’re leaving and you said that you’re not sure when will you be back. My anxiety and doubts intensified when you told me that your father is planning to move there after your sister’s graduation. I just can’t do something like that. I just can’t fully trust you and give myself to you when you can’t even give me something tangible to hold on to. I just can’t do that to myself. I am sorry for learning to live my life without you. I need to do that so my thoughts won’t paralyze me. I can’t afford to do that especially now, I really need to get my head in the game. I really need to study and I can’t afford to be distracted with my irrational midnight thoughts. I need to detach myself to you. I need to do that so I could move on to my daily life. I am sorry that I’m a very complicated girl with a cold and distant (and probably dead) heart.

When you said that you don’t want to talk about serious things or issues really bothered me. That was my second red flag. You know how much I crave deep conversations. I like shallow talks but not all the time. I’m slight geeky and nerdy. I love learning new things. Yes, I like knowing what you did in a day, what you ate and who you met. But at the same time, I want to talk to you about your plans, the things happening around us, current events, etc. I want to have a healthy debate with you about your political stands, and your beliefs. I want to learn new things from you and with you. I want us to grow together – individually and as a couple.

Ayoko ng puro kilig lang. Gusto Kailangan ko ng may substance.

I am so sorry. I’m sorry for giving you false hopes. I did try. Trust me, I really did. It’s just that long distance relationships and uncertainties are not for me. (Yes, life is full of uncertainties but in this situation, the probability of you coming back is very slim. I’m sorry. I need to protect myself. I need to protect you from myself. With everything happened to me over the past six years, I learned that self preservation should be my utmost priority.)

“I needed – demanded – complete calm and control” – Drake Morgan

I need someone who will challenge me. Someone who won’t easily give in just because I’m mad. Someone who will point out my mistakes and help me improve them. (Read this: The Guardian) This may sound so harsh but I need someone mature to deal with me (and my issues). I don’t need another “I am sorry, it’s my fault” (even though I was the one who really made the mistake), I need an “Okay, I don’t like and agree on this, I’ll listen to your issues, and you’ll listen to mine. Let’s work things out.” I don’t need someone who will just laugh and make a joke out of big issues. I don’t need a “HAHAHAHA. I don’t want serious conversations. Let’s talk about _____ na lang“. I can’t. I just can’t. I really can’t. I am really sorry. I need someone who would argue with me, but at the end of the day, we will resolve our issues. I need clarity. I need closure. I need assurance. I need someone who will say “Stop Gem. You need to take a break and let me handle things.”

The last thing I wanted to do is hurt you. I’ve told you a million times how much I crave for you to be genuinely happy. And prolonging this relationship will hurt you even more. I just can’t do that to you. That’s how much love you. You will always have a special place in my heart. You did not do anything wrong.

“I like control – of myself and those around me.”– Christian Grey

You deserve someone who won’t push you away. You have a big heart. You are amazing. It’s time to let you go. Trust me, I’m not the one you need. I’m probably just another “stop” on your journey. I’m sorry for deciding for you.

This is so douche-y, but I hope and I pray that one day, you’ll meet that girl that you really need, that girl that deserves all the love that you can give. Do not settle for a girl that will treat you badly and won’t appreciate the things you could offer.

I do admire your “I love you and I will do anything for you even though it hurts” attitude. But this martyr attitude is not good for you. Do not let your “feelings” cloud your judgement. Think rationally, for your sake. Know your battles. There are battles worth fighting for and battles that should be given up.  Surrendering, admitting your mistakes and giving up does not mean that you’re weak, it’s just shows that you know what you want and what you deserve and that you have to let go of the things that are not good for you. (I know a lot of people won’t agree on this, but I saw how big your heart is. You always see the best in people. It’s their fault for trying to take advantage of you, but the least you could do for yourself is to guard your heart)

Thank you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for everything. But sadly, all good things must come to an end.

This is probably the end. Our end. I won’t wait for you anymore.”

My Soul Glorifies the Lord

Last December 22, during our Simbang Gabi, I delivered a message about Mary’s Magnficat. So, unlike my Youth Service message, I won’t wait for a year to post this on my blog… so here it is!!!

 

Luke 1:46-55 is also known as the Magnificat or “Mary’s Song” Ilang beses kong paulit ulit na binasa yung verse, nag-dasal na “Lord, please, i-reveal niyo po sa akin kung ano yung gusto Niyong ipahayag.” Pagkatapos ng Simbang Gabi nung Friday, pinag-pray ako ni Ate Cookie, after nun, naging mas malinaw na at mas madali ang pagsulat ko nito.

Last Sunday, noong English Worship Service, yung message ni Pastor Jojo, tungkol sa same text natin for tonight. Tinanong ko yung sarili ko, para sa akin, ano ang ibig sabihin ng text na ito? Mula noong unang simbang gabi, iba’t ibang interpretasyon at mensahe na ang ating napakinggan mula sa iba’t ibang bible verses about the Christmas story. Nagsimula “Emmanuel the Promised Son” mula sa ating Chairperson ng Church Council hanggang sa kahapon, “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” mula sa ating Admin Pastor. Sa gabing ito, maririnig niyo naman ang interpretasyon at mensahe mula sa perspektibo ng isang kabataan.

Ano nga ba para sa isang kabataang tulad ko ang i-glorify o i-magnify ang Panginoon? So first, let’s define the terms. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Glorify means, to honor or praise; to make (something) seem much better or more important than it really is. Magnify on the other hand means, to make (something) greater; to make (something) seem greater or more important than it is; to make (something) appear larger. Glorify and Magnify are synonymous to each other.

What’s it like to magnify something? Di ba kapag gumagamit ka ng magnifying glass, lumalaki ang isang maliit na bagay. Sa mga definition, ang pinaka striking talaga ay yung, “to make something seem greater/more important than it is”.

Babalikan natin ito, pero for the meantime, I want to discuss about the three (3) things na nag-stuck sa kin while contemplating the text  assigned to me. So-nag-start na tayo sa Magnify, ituloy tuloy na natin, so, mayroong three (3) M’s akong iiwan sa gabing ito. First, mission.

God gave Mary a MISSION. At hindi basta-bastang mission. Luke 1:31-33 says,

31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

Isang simpleng babae na may simpleng pangarap sa buhay, pinili ng Panginoon para sa isang napakalaking duty, isang malaking responsibilidad. Napaka problematic, complicated at difficult ng situation ni Mary. Una, hindi siya kasal. Mula noon at hanggang ngayon, aminin na natin, may prejudice ang mga tao kapag nabuntis tapos hindi kasal. Ikalawa, virgin siya. Scientifically impossible to conceive. Unless may in-vitro fertilization na noon. Pero obviously, wala pang ganoon. Kaya sobrang  napaisip ako, alam kaya niya yung extent o enormity ng responsibilidad na nai-atas sa kanya? Kasi ang sagot niya sa tawag na ito, nasa verse 38,

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Napaka confident ng sagot. Talo pa yung sagot ni Pia Wurtzbach sa Miss Universe 2015 ngayon. It takes a lot of courage and faith to accept something as big as what Mary did. Alam niyo po ba yung kantang “Mary Did You Know?”

“Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am”

Ang talagang striking para sa akin dito, yung attitude ni Mary toward God’s mission for her. Nakaka-inspire.

Gawin nating mas timely at relatable yung context. Kasi hindi tayo makakarelate sa “a virgin conceiving” situation. Ilan po kaya sa atin ngayon na naririto ang pag nabigyan ng pagkakataon na pagsilibihan ang Panginoon ay magsasabing, “Yes Lord!” o magsasabing, “Ay, ay, ayoko niyan, Iba na lang. Busy ako.” Pwede ring ang approach ay, “Sorry, busy ako ee, sa work/sa school/ etc. Wala na nga akog time sa *blah blah blah*” Did it ever occur to you na “What if nag-No si Mary?” “What if she did everything to get rid of the baby?” Pero siyempre, hindi hahayaan ni Lord yun, pero, what if nga, “What if?”

Ito na sigurong taon na ito ang taon na sobrang dami kong involvement. Mapa-ministry man, school life o kahit sa personal. Pero wala pa rin akong love life. Siguro po, nagsasawa na kayo na maya’t maya ay umaakyat ako dito para mag-announce ng activity. Jamming and Sharing, Fund raisings, Okay, reminds me, HAHAHAHA. Inuulit ko po tatlong tulog na lang, Christmas Institute 2015 na! December 26-30. Wesleyan University of the Philippines, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. P1850. Kids, pwede nang magbayad after ng service.  Dear parents, alam ko pong 5 days din mahihiwalay sa inyo ang inyong mga babies, saglit na panahon lang po iyon compared sa lessons na matututunan at  sa mararanasan nila.

Anyways, going back, this year, halos maya’t maya, may activity, may event, may meeting, may deadline. Hindi ko rin po alam kung paano ko na-survive. Kakatapos lang din po ng first semester ng aking graduating year. Whew. Finally. Napaisip ako, tinawag ako to serve the youth sa panahon na sobrang busy din ng student life ko. Sa panahong dapat tutok na tutok ako sa academic requirements ko. Sa panahong komplikado ang lahat ng bagay. Kung tutuusin, pwede naman akong mag-resign at sabihing, “Ay sorry, graduating ako ee.” The classic, “Busy ako ee” excuse.” It’s exhausting, yes, but no regrets. Buti na lang hindi ako sumuko, (hindi pa. HAHAHAHAHA), hindi ko pa rin ipagpapalit ang mga bagay na natututunan ko sa panahon na ito.

Nakaka inspire yung confidence at conviction ni Mary. She accepted God’s mission with open arms and with a heart full of gladness that she even exclaimed,

..My soul magnifies the Lord,47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,..

Secondly, I realized, kaya ba ganoon na lang ka-confident si Mary because deep inside she knows that God has been MINDFUL of her situation?.

48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.

He may have given Mary a huge responsibility to bear, yet we all know that He was there every step of the way. He guided Mary and Joseph on their journey. Isa sa mga challenges nila, yung travel nila from Galilee to Judea para sa census. Buntis na siya, kabuwanan pa nga. Grabe. Talagang sinubok yung tatag ng loob nila. Tapos nung manganganak pa, wala nang available na guest room sa inn, so no choice, sa sabsaban ipinanganak si Jesus. Tapos nung naipanganak na, akala mo unicorns and rainbows, and happily ever after na, aba, hindi pa, kailangan nilang pumunta ng Egypt para magtago kasi si pinaghahanap si Jesus ni King Herod. Ay grabe. Grabe talaga. Walang wala yung challenges ni Lola Nidora kay Alden at Yaya Dub kumpara sa pinagdaanan nila Mary at Joseph. Pero pinabayaan ba sila ng Panginoon? Siyempre hindi. He never left their side. He even sends his angel to warn them if there’s any danger.

It’s really comforting knowing that on your troubled times, you know that you have someone to help you, someone who will be there to guide you, rebuke you when you did something stupid. Let say, a friend. Isn’t it more comforting and overwhelming na yung “someone” na yun, is the Lord. You just need to trust in Him.

Alam ko naman pong may mga pagkakataon talagang mahirap ma-assure na nandiyan nga ang Panginoon. Lalo na ngayon, threat ng mga terrorist groups, hindi lang ng ISIS, ang nakakalungkot na estado ng pulitika sa Pilipinas, Haaay, Eleksyon 2016; sunod sunod na pananalanta ng bagyo at kung anu-ano pang trahedya. But then again, dito talaga masusukat kung hanggang saan at gaano katatag ang paniniwala at pagtitiwala natin sa mga pangako Niya.

Sa dinami-dami ng responsibilidad at involvement ko ngayon, alam ko at confident akong i-declare na God has never left my side. Aware siya sa mga commitments ko at hindi niya ako pinababayaan. Kaka-check ko lang ng grades ko, Praise God, walang bagsak. Though may isa pa akong hinihintay na grade. HAHAHA. Ang busy po ng conference at academic year 2015-2016 na ito. Pero sa panahon na ito ko rin na-aapreciate yung mga maliliit na bagay na nangyayari sa akin, gaya ng simpleng pag announce na “Walang Pasok”. HAHAHA. APEC week. Ay grabe, mababaw, oo. Pero, talagang mapapa-“Thank You Lord!” ka talaga dahil sa sobrang busy mo, sa araw araw na pagpupuyat mo, binigyan ka ng kahit maikling panahon para makapag pahinga, makapunta ng Laguna for a quick getaway outing o di naman kaya makapag-Aldub. Yung mga Sundays na walang events, makakapag-Zentea at relax with friends. Oh simple joys in life!

O di naman kaya, kaya malakas ang loob ni Mary to accept God’s mission because of his promise of something…MORE.

From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.

Two thousand years ago na ang nakalipas when Mary uttered those words. True enough. The Blessed Virgin Mary. “Aba Ginoong Maria, napupuno ka ng grasya, sambahin ang ngalan mo” ikanga ng mga Katoliko.  Hindi man nangyari noong lifetime niya, hindi man siya nabigyan ng halaga noon, more than two thousand years ago, she was just a random Israelite who gave birth to a son. Pero ngayon, sobrang immortalized na siya. She played a huge and important part to the Christmas Story.  Si Mary, para sa akin, hindi lang siya basta, Jesus’ mother.

One of the things I learned is that Mary is a strong woman. Ang tindi ng faith niya.   Pero kahit ang pinaka-strong at pinaka-confident na tao, kailangan pa rin ng “assurance”. That’s why the following verses from 51 to 55, showed how powerful, majestic and mighty, the Lord is. She dwelt on that. She just gave her all. The way she completely surrendered her life to the Lord is so admirable. Nag-cling siya sa promise ni Lord. Because from Luke 1:37, it says, “For no word from God will ever fail…”

And yung MORE na yun, yun yung promise of SALVATION.

Honestly, I may be struggling right now to completely surrender my life to the Lord, and patiently wait for Him, but, getting there…

Five years ago, ang prayer ko talaga, maka-transfer from Philippine Christian University to UP Diliman. Ngayon, 6 months na lang, sobrang lapit ko na sa inaasam kong Sablay. Claiming it! Ga-graduate ako this June 26, 2016. Sa hindi po nakakaalam, I graduated highschool last April 2010. Dalawang taon din akong na-delay. Kumbaga, hindi ako nakasabay maka-graduate sa batch mates ko. Siguro sa iba, sasabihin,”sus, yun lang pala, di naman big deal. Yan naman na yata ang uso ngayon” Pero po sa akin, sobrang devastating yun. Imbis na nagta-trabaho ka na at tumutulong sa pagpapaaral sa kapatid mo, isa ka pa rin sa ginagastusan. Ang mahal ng tuition. I know it’s going to be one heck of a tough, bumpy and even painful road, pero naniniwala at nagtitiwala ako sa Kanya. Kapit lang.

To my fellow youth, hindi ko alam kung ano yung struggles niyo right now. May it be your family, sa school, finances, love life kung mayroon, sa faith journey, o kung ano man yan, hindi ko sinasabing, okay lang yan. Oo, mahirap, masakit. Yun yung katotohanan. Gasgas na siguro ito, pero, totoo naman ee, we can do this. Like Mary, “We can do this through Him, and with Him, because he’s the one who will provide our strength…” Wag tayong panghinaan ng loob, ang cliché, oo, pero, hindi ka nag-iisa. Magkaroon din sana tayo, ng joyful heart and a spirit that rejoices in God.

Balikan natin yung definition ng glorify kanina, “to make something seem greater/important than it is”. Sige, hindi na natin isasama mula noong pagkapanganak natin, sa nagdaang labing isang buwan,mula January 1, 2015 hanggang ngayong December 22, 2015, sabay sabay tayong magbalik tanaw sa mga naganap sa buhay natin at itanong, paano ko nga ba na-glorify o nago-glorify ang Panginoon sa taong ito? Paano ko napapahalagahan ang mga bagay na binigay sa akin ng Panginoon? Paano ko nabigyang importansya ang mga responsibilidad na ini-atas niya sa akin? Mapa-ministry man ito, sa paaralan, sa trabaho, sa pamilya o sa sarili ko? Paano ako nag-respond sa mga tawag Niya? Kahit gaano ako ka-busy pina-prioritize ko ba Siya? Tinanggap ko ba Siya tulad ng pagtanggap ni Mary na puno ng confidence, hope,  patience, conviction, humility and faith?

Bago ko po ito tapusin, nais ko pong gamitin ang oportunidad na ito para magpasalamat sa inyo na walang sawang sumusuporta at tumutulong sa aming mga kabataan at sa aming mga gawain. Mula sa Church Council hanggang sa aming mga magulang na mahaba ang pasensya sa aming mga anak ninyo, sa mga tatay naming na nasa UMM, sa mga nanay naming nasa UMWSCS, sa mga tito, tita, o ate at kuya naming sa UMYAF, thank you po. Super appreciate it.

To God be the Glory! In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen!

 

HOW DOES A YOUTH REMAIN PURE NOWADAYS?

Last November 16, 2014, I delivered a message/sermon during our English Worship Service. Almost a year later, I decided to post it here on my blog…

For today’s message, I got the inspiration from the adult bible study that we attended a few weeks ago at Del Monte UMC for Ablaze promotions. So, Jessica and I went to Del Monte before their service so we could insert flyers to their liturgy, after that, we sat down on one of the pews and waited for the service. Then, DS Dan Miranda, randomly asked us a question, “How does a youth remain pure nowadays?” Jec and I looked into each other and said, “Yeah. How does a youth remain pure nowadays?”

According to the Bible it’s simple, Psalms 119:9 says, ‘How can a young man keep his way pure?  By living according to your word. Slide2

Yes, it’s simple as that, but it doesn’t mean that it is easy. But before we delve deeper into that, tingnan muna nating kung saan at kung papaano na namumuhay ang isang kabataan sa panahon ngayon.

We, the youth, live in an era where:

– premarital sex is starting to become normal, some of you might know someone who engages on such activity.

– where you get mocked by being a virgin and not having a vice or two (like drinking or smoking);

– where mistress-themed film are hit (like The Mistress, No Other Woman, The Legal Wife) **Please don’t get me started with GMA 7’s My Husband’s Lover.

– where wearing statement shirts like “It’s Not Rape, It’s Snuggle with A Struggle” is a thing

– where you get bullied, mocked, or even made fun at for being a Christian

– where people are “opening our minds” and saying that we should not let the church influence us on how to live our lives;

Those were just a few examples, but amidst of all these, we go back to the question, how does a youth remain pure nowadays? Ecclesiastes 12 verses 1 to 3 says, “Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky. Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly.”

              Many young people nowadays get caught up with the pleasures of the world. Some of the young people started partying when they were in high school.  On the average, Filipino youths start drinking alcohol at the age of 16 or 17. However, there are also many cases when children as young as 12 years old are already drinking alcoholic beverages. Nakakalungkot pong isipin, di po ba?

I assume that most of us here, if not all, have our own social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. Am I right? When you log in, and scroll your timeline, what do you usually see? Selfies;  Facebook posts where young people rants about the society, government, school, work or even their “love life”; posts like this:

Slide5

shared by a twelve year old. Com’on, really? When I was twelve, all I think about is, how I will pretend that I’m taking my afternoon nap so I could play with my friends outside.

While writing this message, I asked my orgmates, why do we do the things that we do even though we know deep in our hearts that what we’re doing isn’t actually good or right? A lot of them mentioned, “Peer pressure”. Slide6

Peer pressure is when someone influences your decisions around what you should or should not do. What happens when you don’t give in to these pressures? Rejection.

Slide7

According to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs,

Slide8

the 3rd and one of the most important needs of a person, next to Safety and Physiological Needs, was the Social or Affiliation need – need to belong, to love and be loved, participate in activities that create a feeling of togetherness.

EC Nevis studied individuals in China and found out that the Chinese Hierarchy of needs differ:

Slide9

For them, It seems that sense of belongingness must be satisfied first than their physiological needs. So what do these graphs mean? What does the sense of belongingness has to do with the issues of the youths?

People nowadays, not just youth, always want to be “belong” to be “in” and not be left outside of the circle and be bullied. So, people do the things that they do even though they know that it isn’t right. But the bible clearly says, in Romans 12:2, and 1 John 2:15-17

Slide11 Slide10

There have been a lot of sermons, bible studies, lectures about these particular verses and yet we remain apathetic and chose to ignore this.

Ang mahirap sa atin, pinipili lang natin yung gusto nating sundin. “Ay ayoko niyan, mahirap yan, dito lang ako, wala naman akong nilalabag sa ten commandments ee”,. Tapos may makikipag bargain pa kay Lord. “Lord, nag serve naman ako sa inyo last Sunday, nag tithes ako, nag turo ng Sunday school, kumanta sa choir, palampasin mo na to oh.”

I remembered one of Pastor Dave’s sermons about sin. Think, walis tingting. Pag isang piraso, madali siyang putulin, pag isang bundle na, mahirap na. Just like sin, Sa unang beses na gagawin mo, madali pa siyang baliin o putulin. Pero pag paulit ulit mo na siyang ginagawa at hindi pinuputol, (repent, repeat, repent, repeat) dadami siya ng dadami at kakapal siya ng kakapal hanggang di mo na siya kayang baliin dahil kinasanayan mo na. Noon una, hindi ako maka relate. Pero kinalaunan, nagkakaroon ka ng “Aha!” moment tapos, “Oo nga, totoo nga, mahirap nang baliin, sanay na ee”. Pero, hindi pa huli ang lahat.

Marami akong “Aha!? Moments. Tulad nung nagsisimula pa lang akong umattend dito sa Puno at mag Sunday school. Kami yung original na Slide12“The Clay Group”. Bilib ako sa dedication ni Kuya Ace, kasi alam namin sa sarili namin na hindi kami yung “easy” students – late kaming dumarating, ang kaunti na nga lang namin tapos may mga times na 2 o 3 lang yung umaattend. Madalas sinasabi sa amin ni Kuya Ace na “Matthew 6:33, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”, akala ko talaga dati, sinasabi lang niya yun, para maguilty kami at umattend ng mas maaga o regular. It all made sense now. Hindi naman kasi lahat ng natututunan mo ngayon, ma-aapply mo agad mamaya o kinabukasan. Nung high school ako, di ko pa siya ma-gets ee. Ano lang ba ang pinagkakaabalahan ko noon, school, girls scouts, friends, and family. Ngayon, I have school, na sobrang stressful; organizations, sa sobrang demanding, internship, and sometimes I do volunteer work; church – MYF tapos CI season na; then friends and family. Sabi ko kanina, ang demanding ng org, lalo na ngayon na may event kami and I’m the Marketing Committee Chair, they want to set up meetings on Sundays since halos lahat kami, either my class o internship pag Saturday at hindi nagmi-meet ang schedule naming pag weekdays. I said to them, “Guys, sorry, Kahit after classes or evening meetings na lang, wag lang Sunday” Tapos tatanungin kung bakit. Sasabihin ko magsisimba ako. Either ang sasabihin nila, “Sus, wag na. Simba simba pa” or pagtatawanan nila ako. Dun na mag-aaply yung priorities ko. Then the “Aha!” moment – Seek ye first. Mula noon, hindi na nila ako kinulit na mag meeting ng Sunday. Kumbaga sa planner, fully booked na yung Sundays ko. Hindi ko rin pwedeng gawing rason na kaya kaya hindi ako nakapag aral sa mga subjects ko ay dahil busy ako sa church. Sabi nga ni Kuya Mark Puno noon, (non verbatim)“you guys being here at church is not an excuse why you don’t excel on school, ministry niyo rin ang school or your academics. The Lord gave you an opportunity to study and you don’t give your best?” Kaya hindi ko pwedeng maging excuse na kaya hindi ako nakapag aral para sa exam ko, kasi nag-meeting ang MYF o nag practice ng choir. Despite of my busy schedule, I still do have my free time to do my acads. Hindi dahilan na kaya mababa ang grado ko sa General Psychology exam ko, ay dahil late na ako nakauwi galling sa care group. Mababa ang grado ko dahil mas pinili kong manood ng TV series o matulog kaysa mag-aral.

Slide13The Clay Group, opened up doors of opportunities for me – opportunity to meet more people and to serve the Lord through different ministries. Kuya Ace encouraged us to have at least one ministry. I joined the Chancel Choir where I met lots of amazing people and I used to teach the Vesper Sunday School. Then I became an active MYF member and, here I am now, joyfully serving the Lord with all my heart together with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Encounter God Retreat with the other church council members opened up something deeper and more meaningful into my life. Because of EGR, we started to Slide14have our own care groups; we regularly meet every Saturday evening at TeaGen. Kamustahan, about our week, school or work, and about our SLAP verses. We’ve been very honest with each other, especially with my sisters, Jec, Levi and Ruth. During the week, if one of us is struggling about something, we’ll just text or call then pray for each other. We’ve been accountable with each other ever since. Very fitting since, the MYF’s theme for this conference year is “Accountable Discipleship, from the text,

Philippians 2:1-4 ““Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Malaki po ang naging tulong na nagkaroon ako ng mga taong mapagkakatiwalaan ko at mapagsasabihan ko ng aking mga pinagdadaanan.  Before, I lived two different lives. I have my school friends, where I could be as reckless and carefree as I can be; and I have my church friends where I have to be stiff and guarded. Dati, kung may ginawa ako na alam kong di tama pero nag enjoy ako at ayaw ko na masermonan o mapagalitan,  sasabihin ko siya sa best friend ko, tapos mag-aagree lang siya sa akin, tapos masaya na ako. May posibilidad na ulitin ko ulit siya, okay lang naman siya ee. Pero pag pinagsisisihan ko yung bagay na ginawa ko, sasabihin ko kay Ate Karen at maghahanda na ako na tatanggapin lahat ng sermon niya, napagsabihan ako, napagalitan ako, pero natuto ako.

Open po kami sa family, nagkekwento ako ng mga nangyari sa akin sa school, sa organizations ko, kahit crush ko, nakekwento ko sa kanila. Pero, sadyang may mga bagay na alam mong ang mga taong ka-edad mo at pinagdaanan ang mga pinagdadaanan mo ang makakaintindi sa iyo. Yung alam mong hindi ka huhusgahan sa maling ginawa mo dahil alam nila na pinagsisisihan mo na iyon at hindi mo na muling babalikan at uulitin pa ang mga bagay na iyon.

Isa sa mga kinatatakutan at ayaw na maranasan ng mga kabataang tulad ko ang mahusgahan. So, most of the times, we keep it to ourselves and we only tell them to those people who we think who understands. Nakakalungkot isipin na dahil sa ganitong bagay, may naliligaw ng landas at sa maling “company” napapasama. Pero, kung sa church namin mahahanap ang mga taong mapapagsasabihan namin ng mga ganito na hindi kami huhusgahan, malamang mas maraming kabataan ang mas makakaiwas sa tukso ng mundo.

Those were just some of the stuff that we have to deal with our day to day lives. Yeah, some of you might say, “So what? During our times, it was worse than that, we also had those struggles, it may be a little different from what you guys are experiencing now, but it’s the same nonetheless. It’s not even a struggle, it’s just a phase.” The difference is, during your time, when your mom says “no”, automatically, you’re not gonna do it; in our time, when our moms says “no”, we’ll try to reason out. For example, school night, napagabi ako ng uwi, so si mama, “Anak, nagpapagabi ka na naman. Di mo ba alam kung gaano ka-delikado sa kalsada. *blah blah blah*. Tama naman si Mama, Kaso, rarason ako na, “Eh mama, kailangan kasi sa school project/paper, after class lang yung free time naming ng groupmates ko, wala na kaming time gumawa”. Gem = 1; Mama = 0. Are the youth nowadays, more rational or more ma-rason?

Slide16I already mentioned this last thanksgiving night, during the youth’s presentation, before, there’s only black and white; pag sinabing mali, mali. Now, there’s black, fifty shades of gray, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet then white. Ang mali, unti unting nagiging tama. Minsan obvious nang mali, nararasonan pang maging tama.

You could blame it on peer pressure, the media, the society, but as long as we’re not doing anything about it, we are also at fault.

Going back to the question, “How does a youth remain pure nowadays?”, I Slide17believe that proper mentoring or discipleship together with the Word, a youth can remain pure, despite and in spite of the things happening around him/her. Sakto nga po yung theme for this year’s anniversary, from Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

In behalf of the young people here in our church, we are asking for your help, from you, leaders of the Church, the young adults, men and women of this church. Huwag po nating hayaan na sa labas humanap ng comfort ang mga kabataan natin. Marami siguro ang magsasabi sa inyo,”Naku, yang discipleship na yan, para na yan sa inyong mga kabataan tapos na kami diyan”. Pero paano nga po kami magdi-disciple kung kami po ay hindi na-disciple?

Slide18Yes, we do have our families, pero, iba pa rin ang mayroon kang spiritual leader, a mentor. Galatians 6:1 says, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you may also be tempted.”

I wouldn’t be standing in front of you, if didn’t have my family to support me and someone who pushed me to read and study the bible, join a ministry, if I didn’t have someone who is accountable for my well-being. I know that I’m still a work in progress, a diamond in a rough. And I am very thankful, especially to Kuya Ace, Ate Karen, my Sisters, Jec, Ruth and Levi na nandiyan kayo para i-check ako. Hindi niyo ako hinayaan na ma-fall sa temptation.

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Before, I was too proud to admit that I need someone to guide me. But after series of mistakes, craziness upon craziness, stupidity upon stupidity, during our care group meetings, I realized that I actually needed one.

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To the youth, 1 Timothy 4:12 says,  “Do not let anyone look down on you Slide21because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity”. And remember just because we can, doesn’t mean that we should. Think drunk driving, yes, you can drive, but it doesn’t mean that you should. It’s not safe for you or for whatever or whoever you might encounter on the road. Like the old saying goes, better safe than sorry. Some of you might say, I don’t want to waste my life living a boring one, I wanna live my life to the fullest, experience everything, YOLO! (By the way, for those who doesn’t know what YOLO means, it means, “You Only Live Once”) But come to think of it, are you living your life for Jesus? And also, think, “Nago-glorify ko ba si Lord sa mga ginagawa kong ito?” Think.

To God be the Glory! In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen!

Highlights of my 2014 : January

January – My possible emerging relationship ended. After my previous relationship, I never allowed anyone to enter my life, I started pushing people away. But last December 2012, I decided to finally let someone break my walls and enter my life. But before ‘that’ relationship becomes official, out of the blue “he” just walked away. I don’t know what happened. Then I realized that God has better plans for me. This time, I legitimately talked to God and said, “Lord, your plans are better than my plans, if you decided that this person isn’t right for me, I am not gonna go against you, it’s hard, but I will follow you.” It broke my heart, but like I’ve said, God has a better plan. It’s a bit cliche, but legit, whoa.

Okay, here’s the thing: for four (4) gruesome years, I never had a chance to talk to my ex-boyfriend after we broke up over the phone (Yes, over the freaking telephone). Yes, we see each other during parties but we never had a chance to really sit down, and talk. We send greetings on Facebook message, but that’s it. The night my “possible emerging relationship” guy started to send hints that he doesn’t want to pursue me anymore, my heart broke, but that is the same night I saw my ex at the jeep on my way home. I mean, com’on. I don’t believe that it’s a coincidence because the timing is very right. Anyway, on our way home, I just poured my heart out about the ‘guy’, and just like when we were together, he just listened. He held my hand, and said, “Nothing’s changed, perfect fit”. I forgot about the “guy” and focused on the person beside me. He answered all my questions and we started talking about ‘what really happened’. I remember, when we were crossing the street, he moved me to the “safer ” side and said, “I’m sorry, old habits die hard.”

After all these years, still, his instincts were to protect me, to keep me safe. Before I went home, I asked him if he still loves me, he said, “Yes”. I asked him again if he moved moved on, he said, “You can never fully move on with someone, you just learn to live your life without that person”. He told me to text him, as soon as I get home. It took me a while to text him, so he called me asking if I went home safely. Sweet.

2 days after, the “possible emerging relationship” guy dropped the bomb. It hurts but it’s bearable. It was okay. I called my 3 girl friends. 1) my bestfriend, Shelly- she’s not answering her phone; 2)my churchmate, Ate Karen – same, she’s not answering her phone; lastly, 3) my caregroup mate, Irish – again, she’s not answering. I texted my ex asking if he’s busy, he said that he’s not, so I called him. I told him what happened, and asked him, what should I do. I never listened to anyone except him. Again, I was heartbroken, but then eventually, I was okay. I don’t know why but he has ‘that’ effect on me.

That’s what happened with the two of us. Yes, we still love each other, we still care for each other, but it’s not enough to be back with each other. Circumstances changed. We changed. We learned to live our lives without each other. At that very moment, I felt ‘peace’. He is still one of the most amazing guys God has given me. Truly, the Lord has a better plan for me. God gave me the closure I was longing for.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” – Proverbs 19:21

“What if…”

100_1023Last Thursday, my churchmates (Ruth, Rizza, Jerich, Nikki, Jepoy, Pearl, Jessica) and I played the “What if..” game. Basically, the mechanics of the game is that each one of us have a piece of paper wherein we will write a “what if” situation and an answer. (For example: What if someone will give me an ice cream later… then, I will be so happy”) Something like that. Anyways, after that, we will fold the papers, mix them with the others then pick up a paper (that is not ours). Did you get it? I’m sorry. I’m so sabaw. -_-
Then the person A will read the what if question from his/her paper BUT person B will read the what if answer and his/her paper. So it’s kinda jumbled, or doesn’t even make sense at all

Did you get it????

Ugh, anyways, whatever. Disclaimer: Medyo walang sense. Sobrang sabaw. 😀

So, here it is:

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(First round)
What if may chance pa?… Pwede bang ako na lang?
What if hindi kayo?… Eh di may chance na tayo. (Chos. HAHA)
What if single ka?… Eh di mas close tayo!
What if mas nauna kitang nakilala?… so you’re not worth it, you won’t deserve it.
What if you give up?…Edi clear sana ang lahat
What if sabihin ko sa iyo yung totoo?… Mas masaya sana ang lahat.
What if hindi sila nakialam?…Eh di pag umulan pagsisisihan mong iniwan mo ako.
What if payong ka?… Eh kaso wala na talaga.

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(Second round)
What if naging matiyaga ka?…May chance naman siguro.
What if crush pala kita?… Eh di sobrang masasaktan ako.
What if mayroon na siyang iba?…ikaw ang gusto ko, hindi pa ba sapat iyon?
What if may dumating na iba?…masakit yun.
What if tapusin ko na ang lahat sa atin?…Ay walangya! Sayang pagmamahal ko!
What if mahal kita, tapos mahal mo iba?… Wag ka ng umasa.
What if mahal niya ako?…Eh di sana friends padin kayo.
What if hindi siya nagtapat sayo?…Eh di sana pwede nang maging tayo.

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(Third round)
What if hindi tayo nagkakilala?…Edi masaya!
What if kami na?… Hindi siya para sayo.
What if ni let go ka na niya?…Wala eh, di talaga pwede.
What if mahal na kita?…Eh di sana hanggang ngayon masaya pa.
What if pinaglaban niya?… Masaya sana ang lahat.
What if tayo pala talaga?…Wala naman akong pinagsisisihan eh.
What if hindi naging tayo?…Eh di masakit sobra at di ko matatanggap.
What if wala ka talagang gusto sa akin?…Eh di hindi ko maisip na kaya ko palang magmahal ng ganito.

 

Try reading the second what if question then the first what if answer… Then the third question and the second answer.. Repeat. Does it make sense? Because that’s the original sentence. 😀

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It’s been so looooooong.

Well, as you can see, my last blog post was like last March? April? I can’t remember. And, that was a academic requirement for my Political Science class. I need to make a dataset paper/blog post about the 15th Congress in the Philippines. After that..  Nada. I stopped writing. Anyways, I missed writing and I will try (here I am again..) to post something every week. -_-

 

Such a loser. </3