Shame Of My Youth

That thing in Facebook that reminds you of what happened or what you posted five or seven years ago. Sometimes it will show you a picture of a person that you don’t wish to see anymore. Most of the time it will remind you of happy memories and triggers a feeling of wanting to see those people in an instant.

A lot have been posted on this day but this poem stands out:

Sa tuwing pagsikat ng araw at paglubog nito,
Sa tuwing pagbuhos ng ulan at pagihip ng hangin,
Sa tuwing papagaspas ang dahon ng puno,
Sa tuwing makakarinig ng huni ng ibon…

Aking naalala ang mapait na kahapon,
Di na sana nais pang magpatuloy hanggang sa ngayon.
Ngunit bakit sa bawat hakbang, bawat galaw,
Tila umuulit ang masalimuot na kahapong tanglaw.

I realized that I’ve been lingering in hatred and shame for the longest time. Imagine, this was year 2010! Ha!

But because of God’s grace and overflowing love, the shame of my youth doesn’t drag me now like it used to. I learned to cast it off to the one who loves me most.

This is what I declare when the bitterness of the past is popping up in my mind:

“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.”
Isaiah 54:4

If He, the God of heaven and earth, will forget the shame of my youth, how dare am I to keep remembering them with disgrace?

Do you despise what you did during your youth? If so, how are you dealing it?

PS: Not my wrist.

“It is finished.”

If You Think The Church Is Perfect, Think Again. 

My underlying belief is this:

Most (if not all) in the church and specially those I get to work within the ministry won’t ever hurt me (or at least not intentionally). They can all be trusted. They won’t stab me in the back. They won’t believe what other people say against their fellow believer unless verified.

But as I stay longer in the church, I see how idealistic my beliefs are.

For I see how carelessly we slander others. I see how we easily spread unverified information—passed along as prayer requests. To top it all, we refuse to confront each other and mend the relationship.

I see how we refuse to uphold unity whenever we avoid reconciliation. We refuse to look at the other side of the coin and understand where that person is coming from. We refuse to forgive.

I see how faulty we are. How crooked our beliefs until we allow God to mold us. I see how we are really in need of a Saviour. I see how we are like a sheep–dumb, stupid, no direction–and how a Shepherd would lay down His life just to save us from walking toward a cliff.

I see how important Lordship is. That it is really a matter of the heart. That believing in Him is different from following Him.

Let me share a personal story.

In a trip, I shared a room with a friend. We call ourselves “Buddies.”

One day, I borrowed her laptop to practice a dance in the dining area. After practicing, I went straight to the wash room to fix myself because we have an event in the evening. I completely forgot her laptop lying in the table. I wasn’t able to fix it up. And I wasn’t aware that she was pissed off by it.

The day before that, I borrowed the sharpener of her eyebrow pencil. When it’s her turn to use it, I can’t find it any longer.

Before the event started, I used the toys she donated and played with the youth. I forgot to place the toys back in its box after playing. I almost lost the box.

That’s when she confronted me.

And I didn’t like what I heard. I was really hurt. I am not really a fan of confrontation. Though I appreciate her honesty, I still take it as an offense.

From then on, I see all her actions as an attack. I felt like being stabbed in the back. I don’t appreciate her opinions anymore. For me, it all stinks.

How dare is she? I don’t fuss over her shortcomings and this is what I get? How can she make a big deal out of this? Can’t she just overlook things?

I can’t believe my thoughts.

I was hurt. I get that. But why can’t I just charge everything to experience and appreciate that she has been honest with what she felt?

I felt betrayed? Because she vented out and I didn’t? Isn’t it my choice to understand and overlook her shortcomings? So I expect her to keep everything to herself just because I did? I label my patience “selfless” and her honesty “selfish.”

I know something is wrong with my heart. I don’t want to face her the next morning still clinging to this offense. I don’t want to smile at her with a hurting heart. I don’t want to work with the team with unnecessary emotional baggage. She has been nothing but a trusted friend even before we started this trip. How can I believe that she is intentionally hurting me?

I cried to the Lord to help me. For on my own, I can’t. He showed me that I was nursing my pride and she hit it. My refusal to resolve our conflict means denial of a room for growth in our friendship. He reminded me of all the good things we’ve shared together–late night talk after group meetings and praying for each other before we call it a day. She’s one of the few people that I can really be honest with. He let me appreciate her rebuke because instead of venting out to our team behind my back, she confronted me. He let me see that this is an act of love and not a betrayal.

“Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.”

I never could have forgiven her if I didn’t allow God to process my emotion. I was honest with the Lord with how I feel and He patiently reminded me of how to respond in humility.

Yes, we were hurt. Yes, trust has been broken. Yes, that’s unfair. But it can all be mended and healed–if we allow God to.

I hope we all fix our eyes on Jesus and overlook the offense from others. I hope we won’t cling to our grudge and choose to forgive. I hope we agree to disagree at some differences in preferences. I hope we don’t argue over minor things.

The appeal of Paul to the Church of God in Corinth still stands:

“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I now understand that the church is not perfect. Because we are human. We err. We make mistakes. We are selfish. We clash. We have various differences. That’s why the Lord commanded us to love one another. It is not a suggestion but a command.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35

Do You Have Trust Issues With God?

Lately, I do.

And the writer of Romans helped me rebuild a better foundation of my trust in God.

The writer talks about faith, salvation, Jews, Gentiles, mercy and grace then he cap it off with this doxology:

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”

“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?”

For FROM Him and THROUGH Him and FOR Him are ALL things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.”
Romans‬ ‭11:33-36‬ ‭NIV‬‬ (emphasis mine)

ALL things are FROM Him.
ALL things are THROUGH Him.
ALL things are FOR Him.

He doesn’t owe me a single cent.
I am in no position to argue with Him. But I do most of the time.

We cannot limit God to our needs and wants alone. He is way more bigger than that. And because of that, we can trust that He can fulfill His promises and He will, but all for His glory.


How about you, do you also find it hard to trust God? Share me your thoughts!

Grumbling Heart

Today is my first day in the office after a month of local leave. Well, after 40 days. I extended because I need to shift to another house.

I have been pleading with God back and forth if I can just quit and look for another job. But being in a foreign country doesn’t make it easy to just disappear and leave your current company. And also, leaving without proper process doesn’t align with my core values. It is a shame to even think that but I do, more than a thousand times.

As I was grumbling to the Lord, bugging Him to give me a go signal from His Word to leave, I read this passage:

“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:13-15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The Israelites are being chased by chariot armies. Their lives are at stake. Their default reaction is to grumble to Moses. They really believe they’re going to die because behind them are the soldiers. In front of them is Red Sea. Moses told them to be still because he is sure that the Lord will help them. The Lord said, move on. Then the Israelites cannot believe what their eyes are seeing: the sea parted and they walked on dry ground.

And I was rebuked. I saw how rebellious my heart is. I have identified with the grumbling hearts of the Israelites. I realized how I like things to happen the way I want it. I reasoned with God and I know all my reasons are valid. But He reasoned with this: “Don’t you trust me?”

My lips says I do but my action shows I don’t.

I asked for strength to face things through and faith to believe what He has promised.


I Will Never Reject You

For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.

Psalm 94:14 NIV

People may promise a lot of things like they won’t ever leave you until their last breath. It will surely sweep you off your feet.

However dashing or trustworthy that person may be, one day they will fail and may leave you hanging in the air–just like that. Without an acceptable reason. Without an explanation.

It will cause you to never trust anyone else. It will leave a wound so messy you cannot take another blow for you’ll surely die.

But the everlasting love of Jesus will heal your deepest scars. You will remember the pain but it won’t ever sting. And if one day you stumble and the hurt, worries, and agony starts creeping in again, you can cling on to the ultimate source of joy. He is not like all the other people whom you’ve trusted and given your all. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will never reject you, His child. He loved you even when you are still a sinner. He never fails to love you if you stumble again.

So get up. Let His comfort bring you joy.

When I said, “My foot is slipping,”

your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.

When anxiety was great within me,

your consolation brought me joy.

Psalm 94:18-19 NIV

Moses Is A Gentleman

I haven’t given it much thought but as I was reading Exodus, this verse connected in my heart:

“Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them, and watered their flock.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭2:16-17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I see him here a a gentleman–saving the daughters of Reuel from the bully group of shepherds and help them draw water for the flock.

There is so much to say and realize in this story but I am only reading through with a goal of finishing the Bible in one year. And as I read the stories, I always find it short of details.

Perhaps, it is written in that way to leave something to your imagination. Imagine the scene, the setting, the culture, the smell, their emotions. You can go and study further but if you are just reading through like me, I find no harm in filling in the blank. Let yourself be corrected afterwards. 🙂

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 ESV

His Battle, Not Mine

This is my battlefield.

At the start of this year, I feel like going into a messy; emotionally-draining and mind-sapping battle.

I dread waking up every morning knowing that I will face a great battle of distress and opposition; of people’s expectation; of a crumbling system; of power so weak I cannot even lift a finger.

The only morning I am excited to wake up to is on Fridays for I get to serve God and be with my small group. You don’t know how much I don’t want Fridays to end.

But as I go through the battle every day, armed by God’s promise of deliverance and everlasting love, I noticed that my fears and discouragement have subsided.

I still dread waking up and marching to this battle but I learn to arm my heart with God’s Word and fight. I don’t know when will this battle end but I choose to trust that God will not allow me to stay here longer than He planned.

He said it’s His battle anyway, not mine. I just need to show up and see His deliverance.

Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is NOT YOURS BUT GOD’s. Tomorrow march down against them.. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD WILL BE WITH YOU.” 2  Chronicles 20:15-17

See the deliverance the Lord will give you.