“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. – Luke 1:38
She is very open to God’s leading. She always searches for God in her heart. She might have some questions at first, which is humanely natural, but next second you will see her going all out for Jesus. We have gone into tough times and she has stuck it out with me. There were times that no people where around to help us and all we had was God and each other. She might have little at times but she gives it all the time. When she has a lot to offer, she always acknowledges God as the source and rightfully offer it to Him.
I really hope and pray to God I can be a worthy husband to her. I have been there for her and look forward to be there for her in her lowest level and be able to share the precious moments with her at her highest joyous emotions. That I may continue love her, in the truest sense of the word, in my actions and words. To master the art of passion – to hug her and to hold her when it is not even needed and at times it is for her comfort. To be consistent and predictable as her husband and pull surprises in expressing my affection to her. To be there for her to affirm her on a good job and to be a light post for her when she needs direction. And each day, when I wake up that I wake up with her. As I recall my vows to her, to love her while I breathe and to love her up to my last, again I say,” Kaluguran da ka, Ribs.” Happy birthday to my Mary – Billie!
“But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey-a beast without speech-who spoke with a man’s voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.” 2 Peter 2:16
When we came to the US as a family, we constantly have communicated to our relatives and friends using every possible technology. We utilized old traditions of sending mail via post office to send our greetings of birthdays and holidays. We availed of an international long distance call offer that allows us to make a telephone call everyday to the Philippines. We chatted with our siblings and friends over the internet. We exchanged emails with more people to stay in touch. Sometimes we spoke with them about serious matters and minute things. We make sure to communicate and continue to be connected to express our love and concern for our families and friends back home.
God utilizes everything to communicate to His people. He used a donkey to speak His message to straighten up prophet Balaam. In our present day where we have lots of distractions that prevent us from hearing God’s message to us personally, He still conveys His message to us. I have experienced and am experiencing the Lord speaking to me thru a chess game, my work, my family, a preacher on TV, an event with my daughter(s), a conversation with a friend, a headline in the newspaper, several movie scenes, a family mishap, etc. I can go on and on and cite that God is alive and still speaks to us. We must be conscious about His working presence in our lives and must have open hearts and minds to receive His loving message to us. Have you been hearing God in your life today? Allow Him to speak with you in any possible way. Open your hearts and minds to our God who wants to communicate His love and concern for you.
Lord Jesus, I would like to honor and praise you for living with us. For staying with us. For being with us. Thank you for coming into our lives. For getting our attention back when we divert our hearts into other things. For sharing to us that You are all that matters. Happy Birthday, Jesus!!
“At kaniyang ipinanganak ang panganay niyang anak na lalake; at ito’y binalot niya ng mga lampin, at inihiga sa isang pasabsaban, sapagka’t wala nang lugar para sa kanila sa tuluyan.” Lukas 2:7
Bukas na pinto
Para sa’Yong pagdapo
Antabay lagi ko
Sa dilim ng aking mundo
Pumasok Ka at manahan
Damhin aking kalamigan
Sukliin Mo ng pahingahan
Kilalanin alay Mong kaligtasan
Maging tanging Hari
Kabalakyutan ko’y mapawi
Buhay ko’t puso
Dasal at sumamo
Sagisag ng patoto
Itong pintong bukas
Iyong pusong wagas
“Even all the hairs of your head are counted.” Matthew 10:30
One of my difficulties in working and living abroad is about my hair. No barber in the area where I live seems to get the type of haircut I really want it to look like. I’ve tried both men and women barbers but still I am not satisfied when I walk out of the shop. Even as I sit before, during and after my haircut, I have this feeling of discomfort. I greatly missed my barber in the Philippines. He knows where to cut and not. He knows the curves of my head and straights of my hair. He knows the right cut of my hair so it may stand or lay on my head. And when I sit before my barber, I am at peace and in comfort for I know I will be satisfied when I walk out of his shop.
I am filled with thanksgiving to know that Jesus knows me inside and out. He said that the number of my hairs on our head are counted. He keeps an eye on us because He loves us, and not about guarding us and accounts all our iniquities. He knows our hurts and joys. He knows our worries and strengths. He knows our life’s curves and straights. He knows when we sit , when we stand and when we lay our heads for rest. This is very comforting, having a God who knows our needs and concerns, a God who looks after us personally. He is a God up close and personal and not a distant one. And when we need pruning, He knows where to cut and nourishes our areas of growth. When we sit before our personal God in prayer, we are at peace and comforted in our struggles, I know we will always be satisfied for we have a God who will not walk out on us.
“And because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold.” – Matthew 24:12
After a day’s work, I found my vehicle all covered with ice. It has been raining ice sleet throughout the day. I have to spend some thirty minutes to take out the ice from the glass windows which I will be using to drive my way home. It’s really tough to take out the ice from the windows since the ice has been stuck into the windows for several hours and I have been dripping with rain as I brushed out the thickened ice from the windows.
As Christians, we were warned by Jesus of growing cold in our walk with Him. I picture our hearts being covered with ice and our fervor for God and His kingdom turning grim because of our iniquities. Most of the time, we found ourselves engulfed in habitual sins that can totally cover our hearts with coldness and turns off the fire in us. By our own, our sins are stuck in our beings and cannot be peeled off. By the grace of the death of Jesus on the cross, the thick sins which are turning our hearts cold are taken off. Jesus gives us the warmth needed to be on fire in our love for God. It does not mean we will not sin again, but by the power of the cross we are forgiven and every sin which covers our love for Him is taken out. As Christians, our call is not to grow cold but rather to grow old in walking with Him.
“Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” Matthew 10:8
I stood up and spoke about Jesus for one hour. It is still very vivid in my mind. This is the time when my leader asked me to do a gospel presentation in-front of college freshmen in a classroom. I could not believe I preached about the saving grace of the Lord Jesus as I have not studied these things nor was not trained to do so. That’s when I realized, I have received God’s gifts, without cost, so I can serve Him and His people without cost. Through the years, God bestowed more noteworthy Christian service to me; building and organizing communities, pastoral care of individuals, training brothers and sisters for His kingdom. I was doing spectacular things for the Lord, just like what the disciples were commanded to do in Matthew 10:8.
No time and money has significant cost for me not to serve God. What is taking costly for me is my pride. I am a new member attending a charismatic community in the USA, often times I am called to lead a short prayer, tasked to clean the place of fellowship or initiate to arrange things before and after the meetings. I know I can do a lot of things for the Lord and I won’t expect something from it, but sometimes my pride takes charge in me that I discriminate the minute services assigned to me, which I believe are part of God’s great work. I realized that I have received from the Lord without cost, and no matter how my self-importance exalts me; I must serve and give my all to God without counting the cost even at the expense of my human pride.