Life Lessons From A Butterfly

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Found a butterfly with broken wings…

No matter how it tries to flap them, it won’t take flight.

 

Maybe not anymore…

 

Life is short. Unfortunately for a butterfly which lives for a mere 5-14 days.

Yet, it will still sow beauty at the last day of its life…

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The Unwanted Friend

Uncertainties and fears have crippled me,

Told the world to let me be,

My mind was filled with such a confusion,

Engulfed by sadness—

Drowned out the fiery passion.

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In their eyes

I am the strong one,

But only I know when all my strength has gone,

Abandoned and orphaned a person such as I,

No one has ever heard my silent cries.

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Half alive and scarcely breathing,

I was alone in the valley,

Yearning, searching,

Longing for something,

This is so far from being alluring.

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Words and speech slur,

Dreams and visions become a blur,

No one cares—

Yes,

no one…

I know I’ve been left all alone.

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It’s better this way in isolation,

An unwanted friend came who’s called “Depression”,

Made me sulk in the corners of my very heart,

But alas!

I have found solace in the dark…

Putting My Plow Away

Forgetting does not mean obliterating the memory of my past, but is a conscious refusal to let it absorb my attention and impede my progress.

 

 

Dear Lord, I’ve been plowing up the soil of past memories for far too long. Today, I’m going to put away the plow and start planting seeds. When You see me reaching for the plow and going back to rehash old grievances and hurts, I pray that the Holy Spirit will convict me quickly. Today, the past is the past and I’m not looking back.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Let It Go

There are people who can walk away from you.
And hear me when I tell you this! When people can walk
Away from you: let them walk.
I don’t want you to try to talk another person into staying with you,
Loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you,
Staying attached to you.
I mean hang up the phone.
When people can walk away from you let them walk.
Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left.
The Bible said that, they came out from us that it might
Be made manifest that they were not for us.
For had they been of us, no doubt they
Would have continued with us. [1 John 2:19]
People leave you because they are not joined to you.
And if they are not joined to you, you can’t make them stay.
Let them go.
And it doesn’t mean that they are a bad person it just means
That their part in the story is over. And you’ve got
To know when people’s part in your story is over so that you
Don’t keep trying to raise the dead.
You’ve got to know when it’s dead.
You’ve got to know when it’s over. Let me tell you something.
I’ve got the gift of good-bye. It’s the tenth spiritual gift,
I believe in good-bye. It’s not that I’m hateful,
it’s that I’m faithful, and I know whatever God
Means for me to have He’ll give it to me.
And if it takes too much sweat I don’t need it.
Stop begging people to stay.
Let them go!!
If you are holding on to something that doesn’t belong to you
And was never intended for your life, then you need to……
LET IT GO!!!
If you are holding on to past hurts and pains ……
LET IT GO!!!
If someone can’t treat you right, love you back,
And see your worth…..
LET IT GO!!!
If someone has angered you,
LET IT GO!!!
If you are holding on to some thoughts of evil and revenge……
LET IT GO!!!
If you are involved in a wrong relationship or addiction……
LET IT GO!!!
If you are holding on to a job that no longer meets
Your needs or talents
LET IT GO!!!
If you have a bad attitude…….
LET IT GO!!!
If you keep judging others to make yourself feel better……
LET IT GO!!!
If you’re stuck in the past and God is trying to take
You to a new level in Him……..
LET IT GO!!!
If you are struggling with the healing of a broken relationship…….
LET IT GO!!!
If you keep trying to help someone who won’t even
Try to help themselves……
LET IT GO!!!
If you’re feeling depressed and stressed ………
LET IT GO!!!
If there is a particular situation that you are so used to
Handling yourself and God is saying
“take your hands off of it,” then you need to……
LET IT GO!!!
Let the past be the past. Forget the former things.
GOD is doing a new thing for this New Year!
LET IT GO!!!
Get Right or Get Left .. Think about it, and then,
LET IT GO!!!
“The Battle is the Lord’s!”

~T.D. Jakes

A Talk I Had With Myself

3.17.2011

 

I have come to believe that no other person could really decide on what should happen for your life. Though at some point you have decided over some things, and thought you made stupid choices and got unexpected or unwanted results, still the Lord God could intervene and bring forth change.

Each and every day, you have to make decisions and stand firm on those. Spending life is not done by stepping backwards. You could never go back, nor could you escape what you have gotten yourself into. All you could do now is to face it bravely and though your heart may faint at times, still you should keep pressing on. It is through mistakes that sometimes you see the right answers and realize what matters most to you.

Whenever you feel tired and spent, it is never wrong to stop for a while, cry if you may want, but later on must recollect yourself and start moving forward again. What’s wrong is the moment you have resolved to give up.

You are never assured of a stumble-free and a pain-free life; but only a place where you can find comfort, healing and acceptance whenever you fall down and get your knees bruised or your heart shattered. That place is found in the arms of Jesus who would never condemn nor forsake you—no matter what.

It’s appropriate to plan ahead but it is unwise to forget that though you make countless of plans still the purposes of the Lord will stand, and anything you have planned about is still subject to change.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart,

   but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

Proverbs 19:21 (New International Version, ©2011)

–Do not forget this.

Through life’s negative situations, there is still a positive one lying undiscovered. Sometimes you just have to open your eyes wide and take a secondhand look. Or you may need a friend to help you see. Do not fret. The Lord will send a friend along your way.

So stop murmuring and choose to live life to the full. You can only live once. Life is but a moment, so why not try to endure yet another day? Your tears, your hurts, your uncertainties—these will all soon pass. Trust me, it will… It will…

A Soothing Wave of Comfort

2.23.2010

I grew up not being able to develop a healthy relationship with my parents and my siblings. I was close to them, close in terms of just having dinner together, cracking jokes, sharing hearty laughs, and going to the mall and other stuff that a family was “expected” to do. I thought that being able to do those activities were enough. I was close to them, but I was not really open. And as years were added to my age, I became accustomed to that.

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Since we were not financially well-off and income was scarce, my parents strived so hard to work for us. My two other siblings and I were often left in the care of my uncles and grandmother (mom’s side), whom I thought of as a “witch and evil sorcerers”. I must not bawl within the earshot of my grandmother, or else, I am doomed. My uncles however, didn’t seem to care. I am not saying that they were really wicked. But in my very young mind, they were!

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Whenever I scraped a knee while playing with my cousins in the backyard, or had a bad dream as I took a nap in the afternoon, mom and dad weren’t at all times by my side. Though I wanted to have them cradle me in their arms and kiss my wounded knee, I often tucked myself in bed; sobbed frantically while I hugged a shirt of my mom (her scent on the shirt gave me relief). You see, these kinds of things were BIG things for me back then. I couldn’t do anything but to understand that my parents had to work for the welfare of their children. I knew that my philosophies compared to other kids my age was a bit “advanced”. I somehow forced myself to mature prematurely. I was pretty sure that my siblings had their own way of “coping up”, but I was too consumed by my own dealings at that time.

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When I started schooling, things became more different. I saw my parents very early in the morning; mom prepared “baon”, dad still on their bed. In the afternoon as I came back from school, they weren’t still at home. Oftentimes, they came when we are already asleep. I would be slightly awakened when I sensed them giving me a peck on the cheek, a sign that they were already home.

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I would always see my parents as very good providers. If not for them, I wouldn’t become a professional that I am right now. I wouldn’t even know who Jesus is. I remember mom and dad hugging me and telling me that they love me. When I was little, I would gladly respond “I love you” back. But as I grew up, somewhere along the line, I had difficulty of responding back to them. It felt like I am being choked whenever I tried to. I avoided mushy things. I felt embarrassed but when I already am alone again, I really felt sad at that. I knew that they were aware of my uneasiness when they do that, so there came a point that they wouldn’t do it for me anymore just because I wanted them not to.

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Having been able to adapt in an atmosphere that I created for myself, I thought it was normal. I thought it was okay. But little did I know that I was so wrong—appallingly wrong! I was never at ease on telling them my personal issues, even about my crushes or a friend that I had misunderstandings with, the relationships I had with people, the troubles I had in school or in my workplace. I was pretty much comfortable of taking the entire burden by myself. It was a whole lot easier for me to open up to a close friend rather than them.

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I am good at hiding my pain. I am excellent at pretending I am okay when in reality I am not. If I know I could do something all by myself, I wouldn’t dare ask for help. People know me as a jolly and a strong person. But my family, without me even realizing, knows me beyond that. They know all my good traits and the quirks of my personality.

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The Lord God has destined me to be a part of this family for a massive reason. And last night, He showed me just a part of that.

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It was the typical. I was undergoing an intense pain and all the while I thought I could make it by myself. I tried to shake it off, did things that would divert my attention but the pain was really stubborn! It wouldn’t go! I felt I was about to explode. I walked here and there, asking the Lord what to do. I don’t have my trusted friends beside me at that time. I felt alone.

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“I need a friend, Lord, I need a friend… Someone whom I could just open up to, rub my shoulders and tell me things are going to be okay,” that was my desperate cry. I felt tears welling up my eyes. I blinked them away. I knew it was impossible to go to a friend at that time of night. This was EMERGENCY! But I couldn’t find a friend in sight. Of course, I was inside the house, and there’s no way for me to go out. The night was already deep. A text message and a phone call would be insufficient.

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I felt the Holy Spirit’s prompting. “Go to your mom and sister, Ghay. They are women. They would understand. They are your friends and I have crafted them in a way that would be suitable for you. They can help.”

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“No way, Lord! Uh-uh! Friends? No, they are not! They’re just my family but not my friends. They wouldn’t understand me, Lord… Believe me!” I argued furthermore.

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“Now, isn’t that pride overcoming you? That doesn’t come from Me. You are asking Me for friends and I suggested your mom and your sister. Are My opinions not credible enough? Isn’t it your turn to believe Me?” the Lord eagerly responded.

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Well, just some advice… First, never impose a debate with the Lord. You will never win. Second, never belittle the things and ways in which He speaks. Third, if He tells you to do something, do it precisely; that is, if you don’t want to be sorry even more.

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So, I raised my white flag, “Okay, Lord, you win. This better be good,” and went inside the room (my sister and I share the same room). Mom and my sister were there. Ate JP was already lying on her bed, trying to get some sleep. Mom, on the other hand, was also preparing to go to bed. I somehow felt to step back and wanted to change my mind. But the Lord’s green traffic light was on. There was no turning back.

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With my eyes already filled with tears, I approached mom who was about to go out of the room, embraced her and she hugged back. Then after a while, my lips quivering, I whispered, “Mommy, pwede ka bang (sob) makausap?” (Mom.. can we talk?)

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I was a few inches taller than mom but she managed to stroke my hair and replied, “Hinihintay lang kitang magsabi.” (I’m just waiting for you to open up.) What??? She knew! Good grief!

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Mom sat on a chair and wanted me to sit on her lap (just like the old times!), but I insisted to just sit on the floor while I hugged her on her waist, my face buried on her chest. My tears just flowed and sobs reached my sister’s ears, she got up from her almost-slumber-state and rushed to me.

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I told my heartaches and opened up to them while a waterfall of tears flowed from my already puffed eyes. They just sat there, and listened; mom continuously held me in her arms and stroked my untidy hair, Ate JP rubbed my shoulders with her hand. I was surprised to find them crying with me! I did not expect it. It was a tear-filled night but I felt the Holy Spirit comforting me through my mom and my sister. And I knew He was there with us in the room, embracing us altogether. It dawned on me that the Lord has given me a security and a source of protection inside my very home—my family.

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As I was still crying, mom tearfully gave me words of wisdom. My sister also shared her thoughts and I must admit that those helped me ease the pain. I asked for forgiveness if at some point in my life, I have by-passed them and didn’t give them the respect that they were due. They assured me that whatever happens, they are there to support me and to love me. The unconditional love of Christ was mirrored through these beautiful women that I have disregarded countless of times!Mom led us in prayer that I believe bonded us now more than ever. It was liberating. It really is a blessing to have been surrounded with Godly people who shares the wisdom that the Lord has gifted them with. And I am glad that these Godly people are my family!

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Jesus gave me “new-found friends” that had been there all along ever since I was born. He bridged the gap that I created and united me with them once again. He is truly awesome!

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At my last teardrop last night, I am very much aware that my healing already started. And if ever tears may come once more, I know deep in my heart, that I would never have to cry again alone…

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“God sets the lonely in families…”

PSALMS 68:6a

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“A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,

but a mocker does not listen to rebuke.”

PROVERBS 13:1

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“My comfort in my suffering is this:

Your promise preserves my life.”

PSALMS 119:50

 

When My Worst Became At Its Best

2.3.2010

I walked quietly on one lonesome night and thoughts never stopped pouring in. I felt a void I couldn’t quite get rid of. Then I noticed tears have started to cascade down my cheeks, no way of stopping them now. I felt desolate. I felt abandoned. I felt alone…

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It’s one of those tough times that I needed a shoulder to cry on but couldn’t find any. Everybody seemed “too busy”. Everybody seemed not to care. Everybody seemed moving fast-forward and I was the only one in slow motion. And I felt like even if I pour my heart out to them, they wouldn’t really understand.

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No one would understand…

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I looked up at the expanse of the starlit sky. Every star looked wonderful, dancing gaily, as if they were inviting me to join in their waltz. Then as I am left in awe, I realized I have seen God’s fingerprints on the vastness of the sky. I saw one star twinkle remarkably and by that I knew the Lord said to me, “I Am here.”
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Another tear dropped.

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I felt a cool breeze brush against my skin, and it blew my hair away from my ear which made me hear a soft, soothing whisper. I knew it was Him. He said, “I Am here.”
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My heart pounded on my chest, I felt my blood rushing through my veins. Lub-dub-lub-dub-Lub-dub. In every coming in and out of blood through my heart, I was reminded that this life that I have is a gift. And in every beat my heart gave out, I heard the still, small Voice who said, “I Am here.”
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Someone listens. Someone understands. And even if the whole world turned its back on me, my Lord Jesus never will.

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I continued on my journey with wings on my feet. And whenever I stopped and felt afraid, I hear Him reassure that He’s there… with me…

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Walking on one lonesome night wasn’t lonely at all. I was never alone.

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Jesus is here.

Cowardice Is Not An Option

2.1.2010

 

Many people are not courageous enough to face the ordeals of every single day. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow or the day after next, and it is important to be brave enough to face the hardships that may come, head-on. It may not be an easy task but it is essential to know how to find our way against all the odds and not just shrink back in fear.
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Here are some things about courage which I have learned, and am learning still, that I want to share with you. I hope it could help you vanquish any apprehension that may taunt you. 
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Courage is not the absence of fear. It is doing what one is afraid to do, going where one is afraid to go. It is venturing into the unknown with much fear and trembling.
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Courage doesn’t always have to “roar”. It is sometimes the small voice at the end of the day that says, “I will try again tomorrow.”
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Courage doesn’t come from our own strength but from obedience to God. Sometimes, God will take us out of our comfort zones so He could bring us into great depths with Him. If we are always positioned in places where we know that we are strong, there’s a greater chance that we will boast to God.
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Courage is mastering your fear.
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We never have to run away and hide because the God who called us to carry out a specific purpose in this world will be steadfast to sustain us for those suffering days.  A courageous person understands the will of God and continues to do what the Lord wants even if it may hurt; even if it may seem absurd.
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If we have to step on the waters, be assured that God will be there with us. Courage doesn’t come from fearing the waves; it comes from fearing God.
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Courage is what transforms a victim into a victor.
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Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; and it is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

My friend, being courageous is a tough practice. But believe me; it will make you a better person in the end. May you find your strength in the Lord.
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“He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”
~ISAIAH 40:29-31~

Slumber is Over!

1.30.2010

Allow me to start this entry by sharing a conversation I overheard from two college guys as I was in a jeepney ride going to a certain seminar that I had to attend. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop but their voices were loud enough to have caught my attention.
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Here’s how it went…
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BOY 1:    Akala ko ba magsi-shift ka na? (I thought you’re shifting to a new course?)
BOY 2:    Hindi na eh. Mahirap daw. May kaklase kasi ako na ang sabi first year pa lang daw, apat na yung math. Ang hirap nun! (I changed my mind. A classmate of mine told me that there are 4 math subjects in first year. That’s tough!)
BOY 1:    Aaaaahhhh… Ganun ba? (Is that so?)
BOY 2:    Oo. Ikaw? Itutuloy mo na ba yan? (Yup. How about you? Are you to pursue your course?)
BOY 1:    (Nodded his head confidently and smiled.)
BOY 2:    Buti ka pa… Ako? Hindi ko alam eh! Sana… (Good for you… As for me… I still don’t know… Hoping, though…)
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Those were the dialogues that were stuck up in my head as BOY 1 eventually dropped off somewhere, leaving BOY 2 (and me) in the jeep. I looked at BOY 2 and noticed that his gaze was focused afar. Perhaps the conversation he shared with his friend played in his mind and wondered if he should still pursue his current college course or not.
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I had my fair share of thoughts and somehow had a flashback of my pre-college years. I am blessed that my parents supported me with what I wanted to pursue years back. They often encouraged me to take whatever course I want and often told that it’s my life that I’m going to make, it’s my future that I’m going to establish. The wisdom that God gave them helped me decide about the course that I eventually took. And as I reflect on it now, I believe that it was the Lord who led me to study in the institution that I graduated from.
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Along my way, I have made many wrong decisions. I have relied on what my emotions often told. And just after the consequences of my choices popped one after another, that’s the only time I learned. I admit that I was one hard-headed young lady. Sadly, I mostly learned the harder way.
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Consequences come and when it does, one must live with it no matter how unbearable they may appear because it is the fruit of his/her actions. Consequences will not go. They will not leave. They are there to stay until the lessons that come together with them are learned.
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When we have done something without giving it much thought, then realized later that what we preferred was not the best, regrets arise. Sometimes, the cost of our decisions majorly affects not only ourselves but also the people around us who really cared about us most. Though we do not want others to be involved and be hurt, it happens because of the unwise choices that we make. However, though we can never turn back the hands of time, these things can be avoided in our next endeavors.
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Dr. Jonathan David, a renowned preacher once said, “Desiring experience just to learn in the end that the thing is bad is stupidity. Learning from your mistakes makes you smart. But learning from the mistakes of others makes you smarter.” (Paraphrased)
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Why do lots of people, young and old alike, do not know where they are headed? Why do people try different things all at the same time, disregarding whatever consequences these may bring? Why do they encounter a moment in their lives wherein they are unsure of the next step to take? Relationships get broken. Families fall apart. Countless lives go to waste…
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Why?
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It’s because they only live for themselves. They think that their lives are for them to squander away, in however they desire to, in whatever way their emotions prompted them to do. They do not realize that their breaths are but borrowed. Their breaths are only being lent by the Author of their life stories whom they really know not of!
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God is the Author and the Maker of everything. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. Before everything came to be, He was, He is and is to come! He sees our lives in one frame. He knows about when we took our first breath and when we will breathe our last. His moments can never be confined under the timeframe of this universe because He is a “momentless” God!
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The Lord desires to give His children the best of everything. But there are times when GOOD things and opportunities get our attention. We indulge ourselves in these; we give so much time and energy for the GOOD things that when it is time for God’s BEST to come, we frequently miss out!
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Our emotions, feelings, thoughts and plans are not sturdy things in which we can rely on. In fact, the Word of God teaches that we must, at all cost, and above all else “guard our hearts for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) Our hearts are biblically referred to as the center of our intellect, the center of our emotions, and the center of our human will. Left unguarded, we may be swept away easily by the harsh waves that crash down on us.
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Our emotions and everything in us will fade away. But God? He never will. That’s why “it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” (Psalm 118:8) It is better, or should I say, best to trust and rely on God than on anything else in the world.
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Is there a chance that we could possibly know God’s will for our lives in the clearest way?
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Of course!
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God is living. He is not dead. He is not mute. He speaks. He is a God who loves to communicate with His people. The problem is that it is His people who do not love to communicate with Him.
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How heart-wrenching could that be for a Father who long so much for His child to speak to Him, not only when the child wants his whims to be attended? God is a Father who is fascinated when His child shares a loving conversation with Him.
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How long do we spend talking with God? One minute? Five minutes? Fifteen minutes? Would it be sufficient for Someone who stays up all night to cradle us in His arms as we sleep, and stays awake in the day just to make sure that we won’t get hurt by any mishap? Do we reckon ourselves as generous for speaking “breath prayers” compared to the One who chose to give His life unselfishly so that we can be with Him eternally?
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We will always fall short. Our efforts will never be enough. But even if that is so, God is still interested in pursuing a love relationship with us.
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Clearly knowing the will of God for our lives rely on the stability of our relationship with Him, and how much we intently listen to His voice and forget our own will in exchange of His, and go on with life in proper obedience.
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God said in His Word that He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him. They recognize His voice and are very familiar with it. They obey Him because they trust that their Shepherd will lay His life to save them from peril. (John 10:14)
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It is not a very flattering thing to be compared to a sheep for the reason that they are not the smartest creatures in the animal kingdom. But a trait that I totally admire about them is how they are very much willing to hand over their lives to their Shepherd because the only thing that they know is that they know nothing.
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Children of God, and I mean the TRUE children of God, heed to their Master’s command. Even if the instructions look downright illogical to do, they still carry it out because they want to give Him the glory by accomplishing His will.
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If it is His will, then it is His will! No one can change it. When God has spoken, His Words will not return to Him empty. Remember that if we are not for God, we are going AGAINST Him.
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Rebellion is not the wisest solution. It is never a solution; not a noble thing to do. It is a direct fighting of God’s will. It is sin against the Lord. Just as a half-truth is a lie, then half obedience is disobedience.
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When God tells us to go, WE MUST GO! When He tells us to stop, WE SHOULD STOP! “Let your yes be a yes, and your no a no.” (James 5:12) We may hold the steering wheels of our lives but let us allow God to hold the remote control.
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Sometimes, God will instruct us to do things which others would think as stupid. Just follow the instructions very well and we will not fail. Let it be stupid in the eyes of other people, but in the eyes of God it is righteous.
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“Stupid” things occurred in the Bible: People marching around Jericho, making a noise barrage; Moses lifting His rod in front of a great sea with a bunch of skeptics at his back, highly raising their eyebrows; David picking up stones by the riverbanks to be used in fighting a nine foot giant. Did they turn and run away? No! They carefully followed the Lord’s instructions and what happened next? Victory was theirs!
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In the same manner, victory could be ours when we critically do what God has told us to do. Be faithful to Him and He will be faithful in return. We are often afraid of what other people might say against us, but are we not concerned at what God might speak to us?
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Let’s do things not out of obligation but out of love—genuine love for God and His will for our lives.
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Time to wake up from your slumber, people! It’s high time that we step out of the boat and step on the waters. Be assured that the Lord will be there, loving us enough to see us through.
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Now, when someone asks you if you know what God’s will for you is and adds, “Itutuloy mo na ba ‘yan? Gagawin mo ba talaga?(Are you going to pursue it?)”  I hope your answer will be a very confident nod, a yes and a smile, and not, “Ako? Hindi ko alam eh! Sana…(Me? I don’t know… Hoping, though…)

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Press on!