Thursday, December 5, 2013

Others and Praise-Centered

I was carrying a heavy bag of groceries at my right side, two paper bags on each hand, and my purse at my left. Upon heading to the street I live on, I saw a mother with two kids begging for food. I was quickened to give what I had, but I made excuses thinking, "It's too crowded here. My things are heavy. I want to keep going." 

Then came that rebuke, "Ginj, c'mon, you are struggling to carry your stuff... RICH PROBLEMS! But here is a family struggling to stay alive. Turn back. 'It is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.' You said you wanted this month to be all about praise and others. Go back." Simultaneously, these thoughts sped through my mind. So I walked back and grabbed something for them to eat. When I handed them food, I wanted to cry. Thinking about Leyte and other Yolanda stricken parts, I was humbled and rebuked.  It is indeed more blessed to give than to receive. 

Before this month started, I thought about how I would like my year to end. I thought to make it OTHERS AND PRAISE-CENTERED. I have 26 more days to go and I hope that everyday, I will be a blessing!

2 Corinthians 8:5,7 "And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves FIRST to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. But just as you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us - see that you also excel in this grace of giving."

Bless someone today!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

This Profession

So yesterday, while eating lunch with my advisory class, I zoned out for a minute or two thinking about how this profession has made me kind of apathetic to certain things and absolutely keen to almost every move. My heightened senses seem to hear everything and feel everything all at the same time: kids rushing to me - using me as their "Force Field" or "Shield", me feeling bumps at my sides, kids whining "Teacher, teacher", kids asking me which color is better, me asking why one is not eating, and me monitoring someone who has not finished her worksheet. (What an amazing multi-tasker I have become!) Then there are times when I choose to appear rather apathetic towards certain incidences that I know are opportunities for the kids to learn and grow from. A kid looking at me with puppy eyes because he didn't do his homework and bring his materials can't be a time to respond with a, "Aww, you little cutie, come. Teacher is here."  

As I think about my day-to-day encounters, I praise God for bringing me to a place where I can push myself to be better. Being constantly aware of the need to be selfless drives me to depend on God's grace because I know, without Him,  I would always think about my comfort. Of course, there are times when I simply want to just sit down and not mind those who need help. But when I think about this calling, my conviction, and how God is putting this opportunity in front of me for me to be better,  I want to heed to the still small voice saying, "Just do it."  And by that, I remember this verse, James 4:17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. (NLT) We ask, "Lord, make me patient. Change me." But are we doing something about what's already in front of us? That's the thing. 

So whether a kid reports a wound thats smaller than a grain of rice and asks for bandaid, or when 6 students are asking questions all at the same time, or when I'd have to repeatedly say, "Out of your nose! Out of your nose!" while holding a semi-glaring look, I smile, extend myself, and say, "Lord, thank you because you are changing me!"

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

That Need...

I saw that phone... I need that...
I saw that bag... I need that...
I saw that top... I need that...

I'm a girl. Of course, that's the kind of conversation I have with myself when I go shopping or (mostly) window shopping. The constant battle of need vs. want is probably what every shopping lady presents before their own jury. I love nice things and I appreciate looking nice, too. Nothing wrong, right? Nothing at all. It's only the heart issue that we all have to be wary of. Left unchecked and ungaurded, we will all fall prey of what we think satisfies us to the brim. When I am about to feel the weight of the world's standards on my shoulders as I foresee a minor panic attack while holding onto tops that are up for a debate, I pause and buzz myself, "Ginj, you're crazy. Do you even need this?"

I need this because I want to feel accepted. 
I need this because I want to look a certain way.. 
I need this because I think I will turn heads...


I once watched this show about women who deal with major spending problems. There was this girl who bought things that she didn't even realize she already had and would rather spend on clothes than pay rent. She then went to this store and had some sort of nervous breakdown cause she really wanted to buy a dress, but she knew she had to step it up and walk away. The concerned clerk rushed to her side then asked why. She said, "I just really want this. I just want to have pretty things." To which he replied, "Oh sweetie. (Hugs her). It's just a dress. It's not world peace."

This may not resonate with you if you don't even think world peace is a better counterpart to a Valentino or Vera Wang dress that you really want. Whatever choice you think is better, it speaks a principle here: Material things will never complete you. It means it can never hold you to make you feel loved. It means it can never speak life to you to make you feel worth it. It means it can never hug you to to secure every inch of your inner and outer needs. It doesn't complete you. At the end of the day, your P 10,000 pantsuit or P 85,000 Celine bag is not going to sustain a joyful spirit in your lifetime. 

Let's make it clear. I have no issues with the desire to dress beautifully. Fix your hair, get your nails done, treat yourself to a shopping spree... GO! You deserve it! It's the attitude behind every desire to buy or be a certain way that must be constantly checked and alighed with God's Truth of His love for you.

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
Colossians 2:6-8

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

That One Answer

Had been musing over certain things lately, observing how we function as empty vessels. How social media has become a driving force or meter by which we feel either good or crappy and how these days, people live for likes and posts. Through the waves of hype and trend, we seem to move along with the direction that the current takes us, leaving us wanting more or feeling even more inferior. With whatever result this leaves us, we fail to remember Truths buried underneath superficiality. Who am I really living for. God? People? Facebook? Hmmm, not sure?

There is a sense of competitiveness in all of us that will drive us to be better in anything. Photos are not photos anymore... There's a motive somewhere, hoping that we receive favor. And of course, I'm no stranger to this idea. I'm not writing post because I'm about to do some protest with a banner on hand that says, "No to Selfies" or "Band Facebook!" But what I'm thinking is, where does this come from? What must I do to stay anchored?

Andy Stanley drove it home when he did the series, The Comparison Trap. He said that since the fall of man, our broken relationship with God has created a gap in all of us that this life will never satisfy. Because God is perfect and He's everything we're not, this unattached connection has made us incomplete.

The pursuit to stay on top will always be there until we fully recognize that the applause of man is never going to fill in the gap that only a Divine can fill. It will be a constant, exhausting, and bleak activity because we chase after idols whose role was never designed to do the job that only a Savior can do.

If you're a Christian, you know what's next.


Like any kind of story, it only makes sense that there be a protagonist to this whole tragedy. There must be ONE thing that "works" or fits well in the picture; one piece that completes the picture. And Jesus is the answer that mends the broken design that was meant to be before sin corrupted us. He is what we don't have and what this life can never give. I don't want to sound mystical or Christianese. But with every math problem, a formula must be followed to arrive at an answer. It's black and white. No shades of gray, yellow or blue. The answer will always be the same no matter what kind of technique you apply to solve it. Jesus is the "formula" and beyond. Only when we believe and see the significance of His act on the cross, will we realize that He really is the answer to this life's questions and problems. 

... And I am good with that. Such a complex world with a simple answer. Jesus is the answer I choose and I want to be where He is as I have tasted and seen that who He is to me is incomparable to what this life will ever offer me.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Love Notes...

I didn’t think I’d do this but I think it’s time. 

I'm learning a whollle lot of awesome, good stuff about it anyway. 

Being in a romantic relationship is not all bed of roses. When two completely different people are put together, a lot of nasty, beautiful, crazy, and seemingly “irreconcilable differences” come alive like a roaring lion. You see your inadequacies, you see challenges, you see the disappointments. It is a selfless pursuit to glorify God and to make it "work." Moreover, it is a conscious effort to be reminded that love is not an emotion. Hot or cold, you must love with a choice because real love is such as that.

It takes humility and understanding to leave all things petty and focus on the essentials. Elisabeth Elliot said, “What a lot of heartbreak would be avoided if we would concentrate on the essentials and skip the rest.” BOOM! Many of us, especially us women, are drawn to the ideal picture. Christian man equals no disappointments. Christian man equals roses and letters galore. Christian man equals spiritual leadership all the way. But guess what, Christian man equals sinner, too. What great relief to always remember that we choose to be with a sinner who is beyond perfection and in need of grace just like you and me.

Welps. That’s the real talk part, the beautiful talk part is that love comes alive when you love with the love of Christ. You enjoy each other more as you realize that at the end of the day, God works in all of us individually. You can let go and let God. And as your relationship is churned to “perfection” you become the best for that person everyday. Andy Stanley asked, “Are you becoming the person that the person you’re looking for is looking for?” We have expectations of people, but we are blinded to our own areas of improvement. God is constantly changing us and "every relationship is an opportunity to practice being the person God wants us to be."

Amen for relationships.
Amen for change.
Amen for love.

Love is awesome and this love can only be given if we get it from the real source of LOVE who is Jesus Christ. 

Friday, September 13, 2013


Your light bulb moment may not happen if you exalt your thinking and you don't come down to earth. Often times it takes humility to see things you were blinded to.

Luke 14:11 "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Common Denominator

Lost sheep
Lost coin
Prodigal son

In all three, His love remains. Jesus emphasized that no matter how far you've gone astray or why you moved away, He will always always receive you back.

Friday, August 30, 2013


Days don't feel like days anymore... They feel like a list of things ready to be checked off with a huge Sharpie marker! They just come by and you're left rather dumbfounded like, what the heck just happened!? Sometimes, I don't even remember what I did the day before cause things just go by so fast.


So, it'll be September any day now...

Filipinos consider the start of -ber months the beginning of the Christmas season. I say, "Bring it ON!" Who doesn't appreciate this time of the year. I love the Christmas spirit. Love the music, the "chilly feeling", and the love that goes around.

Life is good!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Proverbs 18:21




Wednesday, July 17, 2013

6 Months

Half of the year went by so quickly! A lot of fun, adventurous, exciting, lovely, and life-changing things happened. Praise God for change!
Looking forward to the next six months. No matter what happens, faith says God is good all the time!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Love always protects

always trusts

always hopes

always perseveres

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

No One

The minute someone fails to meet your expectations, take a deep breath and say, "She is NOT perfect."

I adamantly thought that I do not seek perfection in people. I thought I was rather patient, kind, and gentle... But when I carefully observed the way I thought about my mistakes and people's, I totally contradict myself.

Are you hard on yourself when you make mistakes?
Are you hard on OTHER people when they make mistakes?
Do you impose your standards on other people, hoping they get on with the "program"?
Do you think negatively when people disappoint your expectations?

Well, there you go.

Perfection nullifies your need for grace. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013


It doesn't come naturally to us. Ever since we were born, when we cry, when we feel uncomfortable, or when we're hungry, we were given our needs and wants as soon as possible. We were used to that kind of response and as we matured, that egotistic or narcissist tendency hasn't really left us completely. There's a lot of undoing when it comes to waiting. All eyes are not on us anymore. We need to simply wait for our turn. But when we're in the process of doing so, we create a certain standard or an expectation which reality needs to pattern it from.

What a struggle, huh?

Life, change, dreams, ... they all go through a process... And in the moment of waiting, we're really not left pitiful in an island, hoping that some ship comes by to save the day (well, if that's how you view it, then that's a different story)... God has prepared something for us already but He won't give it to us prematurely. He really wants to change US more than to speed up the process. 

When the Israelites were in the desert, they complained more than appreciated. They wanted to go back to Egypt because they didn't like their food, it was taking forever, and the travel package they signed up for was quite a disappointment - they didn't even like their tour guide either. They grumbled in their tents and it was not a pleasant trip to the land of milk and honey. But don't you think that the complaining spirit is exactly what He needs to eradicate from us? God knows us. We can't fool Him. He knows our tendencies, our weaknesses, and our struggles. And just as Max Lucado says, "Jesus loves you, but he refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus," I believe that He wants to change the way we view life, our situation, ourselves, and people in light of His teachings. He wants to remove anything that gets in the way of an encounter with Him. But this is not a formula, don't get me wrong. Just cause we're in that zone, doesn't mean we've got God all figured out.  “His ways are higher than our ways” and we definitely will not get that all worked out. But take heart, in this moment of waiting, don’t go chasing after what’s not in front of you. Fix your eyes on Jesus, get busy, and fill yourself with His presence so that you won’t feel like you’re just stuck in an island.


Thursday, July 4, 2013


What do you do when you experience the most painful thing in your life?

What do you do when you feel your heart is crushed and ripped to the very core?

What do you do when there is no one else to talk to or turn to?

What do you do when you know that you can't fast forward but just let the time pass?

What do you do when you have no one to fight against but yourself?

What do you do when you have thoughts running crazy miles and you just want to cry?

You wait. You pray. You choose happiness. You go to happiness. You pause. You pray again. 

It wasn't the easiest time in my life. But it was the most beautiful encounter I had with God. His leading and the sensitivity of my heart to hear His voice made me know that He was for me. At one point, I didn't want the pain to end because I felt Him the closest. I also learned that the most crucial decision lies within myself; I had to choose to fight against sulking, staying stuck, or being immobile. By the grace of God and the Holy Spirit, I fought through and stayed focus.

The past is gone. But I will remember His goodness and His faithfulness and that's all the past will only serve.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Bend: Though the truth hurts, it's necessary that we grow from that. I will bend to fight.
Challenge: I am challenged to step out of my comfort zones and experience faith in its purest, most authentic way. I will challenge myself to step out more.
Humble: I am hungry to be corrected, hungry to find my place in Him as I recognize how far I've stepped away. I will humble myself when I know I am wrong.
Tender: Seeing my selfishness, I want to remove these self-reflecting lenses and be more others-centered. I will be more tender.
Strong: The fighter in me has lost its strength and focus. I will be strong and will put emotions below my identity in Jesus. 
Focus: On Jesus and Jesus alone, I will fix my eyes on Him.
Knowing this, I know that there might be a standard or ideal that may eventually spring up, but in reality, the little things count most. I do not need to climb Mt. Everest (well, I could) to make a point or conclude that I am now a better being, but I know those little steps will count for something greater. 
By God's grace and the constant filling of the Holy Spirit, I can be better!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


We live for God alone. We live to please Him, not ourselves or others. But that doesn't mean that we won't or shouldn't need life words from people.

Two weeks ago, I was going through a phase wherein I wanted to hear affirmation from people who mean a lot to me. Resolving to accept that I cannot force or draw it out from them, I prayed and acknowledged that even if no one approves of me, I am content in knowing that God will never leave me. His love for me is not based on my performance as a Christian or how good I sing or how well I teach. I also recognized that even if people are drawn to you, people are fickle. One day they like you, next, they don't. It's reality, so although we all need life words from people, it is not wise to put people above God. With this as my foundation, I shrugged off my faint heart and went on with confidence. Mind you, sometimes it takes a few days for me to get back on track with God. I'm human. I get sad and when I'm done sulking and processing through my emotions, I know better than to stay stuck in where I am.

We all need affirmation. We all dry up once in a while. But putting God and how He thinks about you as your foundation, creates all other avenues of affirmation weaker.

Principles: God's view of me is my foundation. God has His ways and timing to affirm me. My motivation is not to please people above God. God is the lover of my soul.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Strong Enough...?

Revelation. When I am down, I find myself dwelling on my emotions much more than being still before God.  I listen to what my mind tells me more than believing who He really is. I doubt in my heart that He is able to lift me up. I resort to superficial and temporary fixes to cover up the cuts and the bruises, but I am left empty. Exhausted and weary, I run back to the One whom I was made for. Unnecessary chaos. Unnecessary struggle. But God is faithful to envelope me again even if I have doubted His comfort.


You are my light
You are my strength
You are my Rock
On You I stand

I lift my voice
I raise my hands
I lift my soul
With all I am

In Christ forever I'll stand
I will believe

You are strong enough
In my weakness
God be lifted up
And I will sing
Lift Your praises high
Lord be magnified
You make all things new
I will believe

So, hear this song
Receive our praise
You are our strength
For all our days

We lift You up
Our voices high
In every storm
Let God arise

Oh, Your love
Your love it never fails
Your love, it knows no end
Your love will never fail

Oh, Your love
Stronger than my shame
Greater than my pain
Your love will never fail

I will believe.