The blessing of family

Days ago, one of my 5 month old kitten died. She’s the closest to me, to the point that she sleeps with me during the night and woke we up at dawn so she’ll poop or pee outside the house.

So eventually, when she got sick, 4 days of not eating anything.. I talked to God. I told Him, “Here we go again Lord. The last time you take all my kittens I knew it because they became my idol. They occupy more of my waking time. But this time, are you dealing again with me? Why is that every time I overly loved my pets, they’ll die?” Then I cried and prayed for my cat, I lay hands to her and speak life to her. But I knew it. She’ll die. God put it in my heart. I knew it, so I was able to accept the fact. God is a jealous God, you know. The problem with me was I’m just too occupied with my pet.

Then 2 days ago, I saw my mom by the gate waiting for me. And I knew it. So I asked her, “Is she already dead?” She’s a little reluctant to answer me, because the last time she saw me cried so much is when my pet cat so dear to me died, that was last year, which I also featured here. I knew that my cat died not because it’s unusual for my mom to be awake by the time I arrived home from work, nor because it’s also unusual for her to stay outside late at night waiting for me. I knew my cat died because the Lord put it in my heart, “She’ll die.”
So what more could I do, but to accept the fact. So I bury her, my mom had just cried. She was surprised by my reaction cause I show no single pain in me. There was even joy inside me. I was released even before the day she died, because Jesus conditioned my heart the time I cried to her asking, “not again Lord..” but He’d answer back, “She would die.” So that news was no surprise to me anymore. He had spoken.

Why people grieve….
It’s not wrong to grieve. In fact, it’s biblical to grieve for your dead loved one, and to cry is a medicine to the soul. The thirst washes the pain away.

However, I learned the fact that the reason why people grieve is because they can not accept the reality of the person’s or any creature’s death or lost yet.
…hence, it’s easier on my part because I accepted the fact, God told me beforehand. Can I reason to Him?

Everything is a matter of decision…
You decide to act on something, telling yourself to do this and that. Like last week, one of the speaker in the bible class I attended to shared on how quick she forgave her dad for murdering her mom. It’s because she decided to forgave him, to act on it by faith. If she didn’t put her faith on God that she’d forgive her dad, she couldn’t look at him directly to the eyes nor could have lived with him peacefully in the same roof.

When I asked my cousin how come he changed. He no longer smoke nor drink. He said, “I just decided. It’s a choice.” Folks, everything is a matter of faith. You put your faith to Jesus, that He’d take care of the things you decided on doing, that He’d help you to consistently do it by renewing your mind, because on the first place He’s the first one to want you to do it.

Since this week’s theme is about family and marriage…allow me to share this.
Last night, my mom confessed to me, “Do you know why you did not grieve for your dead cat? It’s because the moment she died, I prayed to God that He’ll take care of your emotions, that He’ll let you accept it easily and not to grieve over it.” Honestly, I was touched by that motherly confession.
Many times my mom saved me from heartbreak by praying to God to take care of me. That’s moms for! That’s our parents. How many of you did not know that many times our parents are praying for us even it seems they didn’t? That’s how we’re blessed to have parents, so let’s continue honoring them.

To God be the glory!

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Testimony: the power of bible declaration–Psalms 91

Last week while my mother was travelling back home from an island to attend a family reunion, it was raining that day, the road was slippery, on her way while riding a motorbike, had met an accident. The driver including the 3 other passengers were bruised, wounded and badly hurt. But on my mom’s amazement, she hadn’t got even an inch of  pain though she also fell on the ground. That’d probably be the hand of God, His protection on my mom.

The power of praying bible verse declaration…

As a personal testimony, I’d declared the whole chapter of Psalms 91 (A prayer of Protection) the whole week including before my mom left home to travel. These includes my family, my property, and anyone I could think of whom to pray for protection…in this prayer declaration.

While my mom’s on her way to that small island, I received in my spirit a warning….I knew that was the Holy Spirit speaking to me beforehand to pray in the Spirit for my mom.

Lesson Learned: It’s very important in these last days to listen to what the Lord Jesus or the Holy Spirit’s promptings, so we can  move the angels to work on our behalf. Our only task is to pray.

To God be the glory!

I hope you declare this everyday, too.

Psalm 91 New King James Version 

Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

91 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

finding the love of your life

This week, the Holy Spirit impressed me to focus on a particular subject
on family and marriage to write in my blog. It’s been a long while since I
last wrote here.And, I’m thinking what to write. Suddenly, I bumped into
this video preaching by Rick Warren. A pastor writer and a world renowned
author of the bestselling book “The Purpose Driven Life” and “The Purpose
Driven Church”.

I mind you check it, too and since I do find it sensible and helpful in
biblical perspective, I list some important points he mentioned here that
you would ponder on about “Who you should or not Marry with”.

Two choices in life
1. Will I ever get married?
2. If I do, who’s it gonna be?

God can’t move a parked car, it must be moving. God leads, guides us …if
you say, “I’m just gonna wait and wait, nothing’s gonna happen.It’s your
choice, God leads us, guides us and gives us guidelines, but ultimately
it’s your choice.

Myth
1. There ISN’T only one “right person” for me!
2. Love alone is not enough reason to marry

God doesn’t tell who to marry but He’ll give you the description of the
kind of person He desires for you to marry.

And if you want God’s blessing, protection, and success on your marriage
which you do, then better listen to Him about the kind of person He tells
you to marry.

Deal breaker list.
(If you don’t match on any of this, you better not marry a person)

1. WE MUST HAVE SPIRITUAL MATURITY
God designed marriage to be like a three leg stool – wife, husband and
God, with the absence of God or any of these leg, would make the stool
unstable.
READ: 2 Corinthians 6:14- 15; Romans 1:12

How can you help each other if one of you has no faith?
2. WE MUST HAVE LIFE PURPOSE COMPATABILITY
READ: Amos 3:3
You’re not ready to marry until you know the purpose for your life. What
is my purpose? What is my
mission? What is my calling? What is my
vocation? Why did God put me here?

Ephesians 2:10

When you die and face God, He’d ask you two questions:
1. What did you do with my son Jesus?
2. What did you do with the gift I gave you?

He’d ask you if you’d fulfill your purpose and not, “Who did you marry?”
1 Peter 4:10; Hebrews 3:1 …”to be partners in God’s calling.”
You can ask this: Do we have the same purpose?
If you could match his/her purpose to yours then you’d aligned these
purposes and become one, then the result is… that gave impact.
A bad marriage is a thousand times worse than staying single for the rest
of your life.
When your purpose is aligned, it’s enormous power and fulfillment.

3. WE MUST BOTH BE EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY
4. WHOEVER I MARRY MUST HAVE NO UNCONTROLLED ANGER
Prov 22:24
5. WHOEVER I MARRY MUST HAVE NO ADDICTIONS
Prov 23:20
6. WHOEVER I MARRY MUST HAVE NO BITTERNESS

Whatever you resent, you begin to resemble.
I’m never gonna be my mother. oh really?

The more you hammer a nail, the more it goes deeper into the wood. You
stop to resist it, then you’ll release it.

Heb 12: 15

How do they treat their parents?
You don’t marry a person, you’re marrying a family.
Prov 20:20

7. WHOEVER I MARRY MUST NOT BE SELFISH

READ: Prov 18:1; Proverbs 28: 25 “Selfish people cause trouble.”

8. WHOEVER I MARRY MUST NOT BE GREEDY
READ: Prov 15:27; Prov 23:6

9. WHOEVER I MARRY MUST BE GENEROUS AND KIND
Prov 11:25 “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will
himself be refreshed.”

Prov 11:17 “A kind-hearted woman gains respect…and a kind man benefits
himself, but a cruel people brings trouble on themselves.”

10. WHOEVER I MARRY MUST TELLS THE TRUTH
READ: Prov 20:7

Love is base on trust and trust is base in truth.
If you don’t tell me the truth, how can I trust you, and if I can’t trust you
how, how can I love you?
Guys, if you lie to a girl you are dating, then you are going to lie to
your wife later on.
Girls, if the guys you’re dating is lying to you right now, he will lie
even more when he is married. Don’t marry to those who doesn’t have
integrity.

As you notice in the entire list, there is no one word about appearance,
about how they look, about how sexy..

Our culture teaches us the exact opposite of what the bible teaches us
about who to marry…our culture teaches you that the number 1 you need in
marriage is that you need to be sexy, good looking. Our entire society is
built on the idea that you marry somebody beautiful. And if you marry
somebody who’s attractive then your marriage will going to be great and
you’ll be happy and you’ll going to meet every need in life. Then if that
would be true, the marriage that will last the longest would be hollywood
marriages, because they’re all better looking than all of us. Is that
true? Do the best looking people had the longest lasting marriages? Ask Kim
Kardashian. Not a chance. It has zero to do with the success of your
marriage. I tell you this, you’ll not going to stay sexy forever.

The hollywood myth is that all you need to get married is romantic
feeling, sexual attraction, who can get rid of your loneliness, and
that’ll be it. No it won’t. These are not good reasons to marry. You may
be tired of being notice or not notice and you wanna be noticed.
Somebody’s paying you little attention and you’ll say “I would marry this
person who’s giving me much attention.” No. Do you have spiritual unity?
Do you have life purpose compatability? Are they emotionally healthy?
Then you’ll ask, “T’m not sure if I could find anybody who could fits
this..?” Oh really? I did, and I know you can, too. God always gives His
best to those who leave the choice to Him.
I wanted God’s best.. in my life and I got it.
The longer you date somebody, the more painful it’d going to be
to breakup.
Try to figure our that when you do have the 1st 2 days of your date, look
if they fit any of this (in the list)..look for this things I suggest that
in the 1st early dates you have, spend time talking than watching
movies…because if you get into a relationship over a long period of
time, the more painful it’s going to be to get out of it. So you wanna
find out quickly. Do we have spiritual unity…and so on? But he had
biceps, she dresses nice..forget it! That’s all he’s got.

Prov 6:2-4 “If you have trapped yourself in an agreement and are caught by
what you said—quick, get out of it immediately!…Swallow your pride; go
and get your name released. Don’t put it off! Do it now! Don’t rest until
you do!”

Prov 28:23 “In the end, people appreciate frankness more than flattery.”
Don’t prolong a relationship that you know is going nowhere. Don’t
continue it.

“Do you have uncontrolled anger?” – “No!!! I don’t!!!”
“Are you selfish?” — “Can we talk about me?”
“Are you greedy?” — “Would you pick up the cab?”
You can figure this one up pretty quick.
If you wanna get married. God bless you. The bible says, “He who finds a
wife, finds a good thing.” It’s a blessing of God. So you need to begin a
personal relationship with Jesus Christ yourself. You need to be
spiritually connected to God to get that 3rd leg of the stool .

To God be the glory!

weeds vs cobwebs

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At dawn today, I have had a dream.
In my dream, I was heading to a christian church, wherein all the members/workers of that church were so busy cutting, trimming and clearing the bushes, weeds and grasses outside the church (in the front yard).
All of them are busy. I actually had a hard time reaching the door of that church due to the collective bodies of Christians outside busy cleaning.

When I got into the church, I needed to pass through a long alley like a maze. I noticed that the walls inside are full of dirt and cobwebs. So I asked myself,”How could they not notice the mess around here inside when inside the church is more important than outside (the front yard)?”

Wisdom: We may see the church as organize as it is in the surface, (looked kind, religious, gentle,prayerful, full of knowledge and wisdom, good at preaching or ministering, spirit-filled, highly spiritually gifted) so true…but we can not see the inside of one’s hearts.

Jehovah rapha (the Lord who restores or recreates)

It’s been a long time since I experienced my first miracle followed by another…and another… still God’s healing power remains fresh that I can’t help but testify.

JESUS: the healer

February last year, I suffered depression to the point of nervous breakdown. Those dark moments were also the moments I could see the light from the Lord Jesus Christ shun on me. That was the time I received God’s healing power in my life.

Torment…

During that night when I was so confused of my situation, the Lord appeared to me with a very comforting words and touch. He told me to held my hands on top of my stomach and caress it. I repeated the motion for a long time. As a result, I felt so comforted. Physically I could also felt the sensation in my body and I was also relaxed mentally and emotionally.

At first I asked the Lord, “Lord, is there something wrong with me?” Jesus as gentle as a lamb as He was knowing that I started to fear again and got confused told me, “You are so weak…but my strength is sufficient in your weaknesses. I will give you a new mind. Never will I allow you to suffer from this sickness again.” After He stated those words, I felt a very cold therapeutic sensation like a combination of cold water and electric current that runs inside my head, as if it washed me thoroughly. I could really felt it run from the top of my head down to my chest slowly that made me felt so relaxed and motionless. As I closed my eyes, I could see a very bright light though we didn’t turn on the electric lights.

As He continued talking to me, I learned that He allows the devil to torment me for a while to test me by giving me like what apostle had “thorn in the flesh”. Truly, He’s strength is sufficient in my weaknesses! Nevertheless, I could have been so proud with the spiritual gifts and the surpassing revelation I received.

Furthermore, He reassured me that He will never leave me, nor forsake me. He loves me so much.

The next day, I was demonically attacked from 6 in the evening until dawn. This incident was repeated for three consecutive days. The attack always starts at 6 in the evening. In return, I did not stop praying and worshipping God. Later did I realize that I learned what is the true worship (in spirit and in truth and in the beauty of His holiness). Others might say it’s hard to praise and worship the Lord if you are in the middle of a bad situation, in a storm or in pain. But to me during those hours, I gave my mind and heart to worship Him. Those were the sweetest times when the Holy Spirit spoke to me, “It will be alright. I love you.”

Week after, I planned to go to my dad’s hometown to attend my uncle’s funeral and since that time I believed my father is my healing. I believed that my father was the source of my grief, hatred and depression.

But at dawn I dreamed. I saw a clear vision of huge bible opened in front of me. On the left page was Jesus standing and on the right were bold letters written as “THE HEALER”.

I understood that Jesus and His word is my healer. So I cancelled my trip. Instead, I read the bible as my medicine every day until it became a habit. I got well! Also, I was able to forgive my father. Truly His word is living and vibrant and powerful! It gives life to me more and more. His promises make me hopeful and keep my faith in Him to continue fighting to live.

It amazed me until now whenever depressed people, mentally ill and suicide survivor, whom I don’t personally know, even strangers would asked me to pray for them. Jesus has His power working in those who used to be broken since He mends the broken pieces. He’s the Jehovah Rappha.

Generational curse…Exodus 34:7

I used to ask myself after I was healed why the attack happened every 6 in the evening. Then I remember that since I arrived home from Cebu, we (I, my mom and my cousin who’s also a missionary) do our intercessory prayer for the nation every 6pm. So the devil hates this. And last night I’d seen on TV, on the 700 club about a girl who was having a skin disease. That girl’s grandmother and great great grandparents were practicing witchcraft. And she was supposed to be the heir. When a friend invited her to be prayed for by their pastor, the congregation had smelled a very foul odor. It was not from her rotten flesh. They wonder where it came. When the pastor asked her to stand on her feet, she fell on the floor vomiting and violently was thrown by the devil. They were demonically possessed with 2 more relatives that came with her in that service. The demon using her voice said, “You can never take her from me, I will not let you…” But the pastors prayed and commanded the devil to leave and afterwards they were delivered. Also, she was healed from her skin disease. In return, she gave herself is serving the Lord and now the church’ Sunday school teacher.

This is an example of a generational curse. Unless we are not delivered from this, the devil still has the foothold on us.

March 2014, I dreamed of group of missionaries visiting us and this dream came true when my cousin came and introduced them to me. One of them received an instruction from the Lord that I will be going with them in a prayer mountain for seven days. I was amazed because I had the desire prior to their arrival to really go to a prayer mountain for 7 days! There I was delivered from generational curse including witchcraft from my ancestors. The reason why since high school I always had a visitation of dark or bad spirits was because the enemy knew the Lord’s best plans for me since the beginning.

John 10: 10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Another story I wanted to share while we’re having our mission trips was about a drunkard and gambler man who has a Christian sister. According to her sister, he always curse and speak bad words. This man was found insane, weak with eyes wide open as if freaking after 3 days he was found lying near a Balete tree. Worse, he could no longer speak. His eyes were only darting blankly on the ceiling. And the doctors couldn’t find wrong with him.

When his sister with her pastor brought him to us and asked us to pray for him, we found that their parents were sorcerers practicing occults. We asked her sister to stand in behalf of him so he could receive Jesus and break the generational curse. As a result, his strength improved and his face no longer looked sad, there was peace in his aura. During the night he was brought to the hospital because he was having a seizure. I didn’t hear anything from him after that but one thing we learned, he paid the price…his family became believers of Jesus.

To God be the glory!

Compromise doesn’t spell W-O-R-L-D

No matter how people pick job, relationships or lifestyles, society has its own way of transforming everything around.

This is not the issue of being open-minded or close-minded; neither being conservative or openly liberated. This is about conforming with the TRUTH.

What is truth?” this was asked by Pontius Pilate to Jesus once the Lord was confronted before he was sentenced to be hung on the cross. And this line is popular among us when we don’t understand something, or if something is unclear or if we are doubtful and blinded or if we’re simply just IGNORANT.

In the book of John, many times Jesus was persecuted by those who can’t accept His teachings.

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:39-40)

If you believe Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” (John 5:46-47)

I tell you the truth, you are looking for Me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval.” (John 6:26-27)

Then they asked Him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.’” (John 6:28)

Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen Me and still you do not believe.” (John 6:35-37)

I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drinks His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him. This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless the Father has enabled him.” (John 6:47, 49-51, 53, 56, 65)

The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.” (John 7:7)

To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:31-32, 34)

If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come from my own; but He sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language. For he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? I am telling you the truth, why you don’t believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8:42-47)

It is finished.

Colossians 2:14 which says, “Having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of its decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross..,” proved that it is DONE. IT IS FINISHED. This privilege was granted to all sinners.

But do we have the right to sin over and over again because we know God is merciful to forgive us? Do we have the right of choosing to sin because of the fact that we’re only humans and weak? Or, is it acceptable to say, “We’re doing it because everybody’s doing it!”?

I personally labeled lukewarm Christian as “picky Christian” for he would pick the ways and work of God the way he wanted. He would obey some and disregard others. He study the Word of God, attend regular church meetings but still conform to the things of the world and do the works of the flesh. Whilst compromising Christian half-heartedly wanted to fully follow God’s ways resulting of being trapped in a situation which leads him to the wrong way—the dead end.

Here are some: choosing to get drunk and go to places you know isn’t right for you because you’re ashamed to say “NO” to your friends or boss; or enjoying you’re one-night-stand to compromise with your lonely, deceived emotion?

Do they worth it?

Personal experiences…

Many years for so long, I’ve been so wrong about believing that I’ve already known Jesus and accepted Him as my personal savior. I realized those were just verbal and insincere. It was not from the heart.

I was in high school when I first encounter Jesus but it was only last year when I fully gave my heart to Him in full submission and confessing all of my sins which was followed by many spiritual visitations resulting to my spiritual growth. I’ve learned that spiritual growth has seasons-winter, spring, summer and fall.

It’s tragic to know that many Christian believers believe that they are safe as long as they attend church every Sunday. The truth is, it’s not when we start to attend Sunday school that we got born again, it’s not even after we got baptized in water but it is after our hearts are circumcised to Him with a crucified and dedicated life to His will. And unless we start having a personal intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ we’re still hanging on the cliff but if not, we’re well guided by the Holy Spirit on the right track. Knowing Him is first knowing His heart. Then you’ll know how to please Him.

Playing safe and playing church is not useful from the beginning since we have to also work with our salvation. It’s a daily basis the same as we eat every day and we sin every day so we must also pray every day and confess of our sins every day and ask for His forgiveness every day, so on and so forth.

The fact that I was baptized in water in 2003 could not exempt me from falling apart just as any other Christian does. My high school and college life had been a struggle both to my emotional and spiritual. I was overcome by the world and the worries of life. Many times I knew God was calling me and was knocking on my heart.

I had experienced spiritual drought. I had felt the emptiness, dissatisfaction and discontentment from life. As a result, I was asking and praying to know the Lord more and more. Ever since childhood, I have that hunger and thirst to know Him personally. That hunger did not die out though I was becoming busier in school, in work or in any other stuff as I was growing physically, emotionally, and mentally. In fact, that hunger grows more intensely the more I lose the time to pray and unable to have my quiet time and personal devotion to Him. And He’s gracious and true to His Word. He makes Him known to me through His Word, revelations, circumstances…

I want to share one of my night visions on February 1st 2015. I woke up at 2:45 in the morning and start writing what I saw in my dream.

In my dream, my dad was being interviewed for a Christian evangelistic TV program. These were his lines: “I used to have live-in partner for over 10 years but after 3 years of struggling, I ended up the relationship. I can’t take it anymore. (He explained how the relationship got so stormy and though he did not directly say but it could be understood that it rooted from the absence of LOVE.) Then I met this woman (his wife now, my stepmom) and I’d been so in love and she got lots of money. (He emphasize that it was because he became successful in his work.)

My sister as I thought was not paying attention on TV suddenly commented, maybe her ears could not agree with what she just heard.

That segment aired on TV seemed discouraging live-in relationships prior to marriage and fornication. What’s notable for me in his statement was he never mentioned the whole thing. Anyway, it’s hard to fit your whole story in a single minute. Mine was I also wanted him to share about his first family, the original, how we went through because of him, his mistakes. I was a little dismayed because on the interview or while recording his message, he still play safe and dishonest. He’s still afraid of what others say.

When my mom heard about his appearance on that TV program, she helped me understand the whole point that dad failed to say. I asked her, “Mom, why does he try to discourage live-in relationships prior to marriage? Why does he say, ‘I can’t take it anymore?” My mom answered, “He can’t stop getting jealous because he did not have legal documents to support his ownership over his partner. If his partner finds another man, he can’t do anything about it because they’re not married. So he was just afraid of losing his partner…that’s why he’s so possessive and unreasonably jealous and that’s why he said he can’t take it anymore.”

After this, I got another dream with different scene and characters and a different story. The location was luscious garden with overlooking valleys, hills and plains. There was an interesting spot there where steps on the hill seemed reach the sky. I was dying to take pictures on that view. I did favor to take some picture to a friend. I did take it perfectly and I would want her to do the same thing, of course with the steps as background. But when it’s my time to pose, she did not make it perfectly. Her shots were not my expectation. I reacted childishly out of dismay and I realized I’d been so selfish. I remember the days when I used to display lots of emotions while having pictorials. It’s like I was addicted to it to the point that I wanted them to take lots of pictures of me more than me to them and end up so disappointed (always) because the camera angles I wanted were not met.

Then my high school bestfriend came. We pose for a groupie. She changed a lot physically. It starts at her hair which turns into super blonde and curly from her original long silky straight hair. She said she only did change her hairstyle because her boss wanted her to do so. She’s just obedient fearing she might lose her job. Other friends like her new look. They crowded on her and took some groupie pose.

From that moment, the Holy Spirit warned me of my future company to work with: the company don’t respect diverse religious differences but only apply the company’s concerns and policies; they don’t accept excuses out from religious beliefs and practices; the manager and the HR are atheist. So I was warned to be careful so as not to compromise with my job over my walk with God. I assured Him that if that happens, I can easily hop to other company or find another job. Afterwards, there was a long silence. I did not know if the Holy Spirit agrees or not with me. Then I woke up.

LESSON LEARNED:

Six months has already passed since my mom accepted the offer to be the caretaker of one of my cousin’s properties, a boarding house. She was obedient to the Lord for this task though she can’t accept any compensation. Others would wonder why she did not demand anything. She would simply say, “It is one way to help my nephew…it’s one of my ministry to my family and relatives.” From a worldly perspective, they can’t agree with my mom knowing my cousin is so wealthy and my mom is not. “What kind of help can you give when he already has lots of money?” they probably thought.

My cousin has been a lover of money ever since he succeeded in his business and got wealthy and don’t have the right relationship to the people around him–to his family and relatives and subordinates. In fact, he receives many death threats from former employees he had maltreated and abused. He hated ministers of God because he hated to give the tithes to the house of God. He antagonized them as only looking after his wealth. But since he doesn’t read the bible, he doesn’t believe about giving the tenth of our income to the Lord and even so we taught him about it, he’s still stiff-necked as he was. When his wife got sick of Cancer we thought he’d change. We thought he would come to Jesus. Eventually, his wife died and he got worse. So who says it is only those who are poor who needs helping hands? Are not the poor rich in the sight of God?

James 2:5 says, “Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him?”

A house and not a home?

My mom always wonder why most of the rooms in the boarding house she take care of are occupied by couples who are living together in a relationship out of the context of marriage. Then after I had that dream about my dad and my mom, I realized some things—“you are more effective to share to those who are in the situations you used to have.”

For 11 years, my parents were living together out of the context of marriage and were never married; I and my sister were illegitimate children. Honestly my parent’s life as couple was shaky, stormy and full of bitterness. My mom always played martyr to dad’s unfaithfulness.

I remember I had this very simple prayer to Him when I was 7 years old when I knew something was wrong and must be stopped, “I prayed that mom and dad would separate so that dad would no longer have the chance to hurt my mom and us.” If I wronged to have asked that prayer then why did He grant it? At my young age, I did not know if it was the matter to celebrate or a matter to grieve with because the result of the separation was hardship with my mom as a single parent but at the same time the baggage was taken away, that domestic violence. And not to mention the traumatic experience children would have is to let them choose who to live with, “mom or dad?”

Years after and even now, we never ever regret living under the roof of broken family as what they technically call it. In my opinion, family can’t be called broken although one member is missing physically or legally expelled or cast out (I’m not sure of the right word to use). Nevertheless, although all family members are physically present and tied together, it is still called “broken”; yes it’s broken because it’s incomplete without God, if God is not the center of their home. God is love. Both my parents are happily married to their respective partners now. I respected their legal partners, my stepmom and stepdad.

If we choose to be right, we can learn from others’ mistakes and by looking at Jesus as the center of our focus since He is the author and finisher of life.

I wanted to share one very interesting idea of Roberts Liardon in one of his books “God’s Generals” that I agree with.

Roberts said, “Evan Roberts had discovered the keys to revival. And if those keys were important then, they are certainly important now. I believe “repentance” is a word that is somewhat tarnished today. It has lost much of its meaning due to social issues and wrong attitudes. Some people are so carried away with God’s law of grace and mercy that they overlook the rest of His laws. Grace and mercy don’t give us license to live however we want to. We don’t live under cheap grace and mercy. The righteousness we enjoy as believers was purchased by the blood of Jesus—a price too great for words. If we don’t obey, we won’t receive. Repentance brought us into the kingdom of God, and repentance will keep us moving.

Also, we must love God more than we love anything else. When I was young boy, I felt impressed to quit playing basketball. There’s nothing wrong with basketball. But at the time, I knew what God called me to do, and it seemed I loved basketball more than I love to pray. So I quit playing basketball. God had set the plan for my life. I agree to it, and prayer became my life-giving force. It’s fine to enjoy life. Just make sure you don’t live life more than God.”

To God be the glory!