Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm Proud of You!

2:11 PM 5 Comments

Some of my friends/classmates/group mates/ who graduated...
I am proud of you guys!
Be the nurse that you are ought to be. ^_^

*Today's the graduation of my brother from his second course which is the Bachelors of Science in Nursing. It's really sad and I feel sorry for him for nobody's there to be with him on this special day but we also have our problems to face here in New York. =(
May God bless my brother and fill his heart with happiness and may God have mercy on us and hear our prayers.

To God be the glory!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Painting Jesus (story)

5:13 PM 3 Comments
One day, Jesse decided to attend Ms. Matthews' painting class. She went there with confidence and eagerness to learn. She loves art. She loves to paint. There is no doubt that the inborn skill that she have will improve with the proper teaching that she'll get from her class.

She woke up earlier than her earliest time of waking up during regular days. She prepared her clothes the day after; washed it very well and even used a lot of fabric conditioner to make it more pleasant, ironed it, then hanged it inside her room. She prepared her bag and carefully arranged the best materials that she can find and afford for the class. She then went to bed early to condition her mind. Clearly, she's excited to go to the class. No doubt that she really wanted it. She waited for a while for she knew it was still early to go. She then prayed while waiting, "Lord, I will paint for You. I will make a way so I can do something that I love and at the same time serve You. I don't know how to do it but I know I will."

Jesse went to school and met new friends. She met a lot of good people in Ms. Matthews' class. She made a lot of good friends. They had some misunderstandings but solved it soon, shared stories, laughter, tips, food, money, beliefs, and faith. They've encountered a lot of things that made their friendship strong. Jesse had some issues about friends before, that's why when she met these new friends, she knew she will treasure this friendship forever.

Some of the students in Ms. Matthews' class went there because their parents wanted them to study painting. Some enrolled because their friends enrolled. Some thought it would be cool to learn a new skill. Some enrolled because they wanted it and Jesse was one of them. Despite of the different reasons that they had, they still get along with each other and together they started to love painting. They all learned to love it. Everyday, they practiced and practice. Their class showed interest, willingness and perseverance. They all learned and improved their painting skill. They all learned how to paint well.

"Class...as part of your graduation, our school decided to have an exhibit of your works. Your final painting, which will be your final test, will also be the one that you will donate for the exhibit. Good luck and do your best!", Ms. Matthews announced to the class one day. The course will be over soon.

Jesse became excited. Finally she learned the things that she needed to learn. Finally she can now paint the one who inspired her to take the class and show it to the public. She can now express and show to other people how she loves Jesus so much. She knew even from day one that she will paint Jesus. "This is it. This is my chance of painting for Jesus.", she thought.

Ms. Matthews asked the students to do their work inside the classroom and immediately the students started to plan and think about their piece. Someone did an abstract, a scenery, a portrait of someone, a painting of the whole class painting, flowers, fruits, objects, ocean, falls, lake, garden, people, beaches, buildings, boat...and nothing?

"Jesse...can't decide yet?", Ms. Matthews asked.
"ahmm...I'm not sure how to start.", Jesse replied. She knew that Ms. Matthews was asking about the piece that she will make.
"Take your time. I know you can do it, but remember that you have to submit it next week for the exhibit."
"Yes Ms. Matthews. Don't worry, I will do my best."
Ms. Matthews replied with a nod and a smile and went to the next student beside Jesse.

Jesse took a deep breath. She looked at everybody. They were all busy. They look as if they had already planned about what to paint and how to start it. "Well...sometimes you don't have to plan what to paint. You just have to feel it, add emotions and just be inspired to paint...", she thought.

Jesse closed her eyes and prayed.

"Jesus, You know how much I love You and how much I wanted to do this for You...but I really don't know where to start. Please help me."

Without waiting for an answer Jesse decided to paint the clouds first. She decided to paint the minor details first. She felt odd but she continued and thought that maybe along the way of stroking the colors the Holy Spirit will possess her and guide her. She even started to paint her signature at the bottom and felt funny for doing it because she knew she's not doing it right.

"Jesse, what are you planning to paint?", Ms. Matthews noticed her.
"I want to paint Jesus, Miss....but", Jesse replied.
"I don't know where to start. I wanted to do something for Jesus and I thought this could be a great chance for me to do it."

"Jesse...sometimes you can't paint someone unless you know them truly. You wanted to do it for Him. Your desire is to paint for Jesus and not just paint Jesus. A lot of talented painters can paint Jesus if they wanted to and they can even do it in a very creative way. Nobody has seen Jesus but if a painter took time to get to know Him deeper, I am sure they can paint and represent Jesus well in their works. You have to know Him first before you can love Him deeply and if you get to love Him to that level, then serving or doing something for Him will not be a problem.",
Ms. Matthews spoke as if she's not herself. If Jesse had closed her eyes she could not even guess that it was her teacher that is speaking. Then Ms. Matthews left and went to another student to observe their works.

Ms. Matthews left Jesse stoned. Jesse never thought of it. All she wanted is to do something for Jesus. She became overwhelmed of the thought of serving Jesus but hadn't taken more time of getting to know Him more. Jesse stood up and left her class. She decided not to submit any painting for the exhibit. She decided to get to know Jesus first in a level that even her love and relationship with HIM alone can paint a portrait that can touch and allow people to see His goodness.

She didn't even regret going to Ms. Matthews' class for there she met true friends. She was able to learn and enhance her painting skills and most of all learn a valuable lesson. Her main goal is to paint for Jesus, maybe that's why the course is longer than the ones who decided to just learn the skill.

Jesse left Ms. Matthews' class with a new lesson, an open heart and an unfinished painting.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Just Like a Leaf

2:18 PM 2 Comments
I am really fascinated about the different colors of the leaves that I can see during the fall season. The colors are really lovely and I just can't stop appreciating it especially it was only when I came to America that I have seen something like that. My country, Philippines, doesn't actually have seasons because the sun and the rain comes anytime of the year.

I searched about how the color of the leaves changes and I found out that it has something to do with the lack of sunlight that it can get during these times. If you want to read the explanation, click here.

I know this topic is late for its season but I just can't help to reflect and relate what I saw to myself when I was in the park. Well, I was actually looking at trees without its leaves at the park but I have a different story about that. ^_^

Now back to the topic, are you familiar with mood rings? I also searched about it and the meanings of each colors.

It was really cool because I found out that, the color green in the mood rings means normal or average-just like the common color of the leaves during the season where it can get the most sunlight for its food processing. People feels normal, relax or even average especially at times when they are not facing any problems and when the things that they need are abundant.

Now as the days goes by the chlorophyll, which gives the leaves the color of green, disappears; so now we begin to see leaves of orange, yellow or even pink. Orange means daring and stimulating according to the color of the moods. At times when I have a problem, I don't easily feel weak especially when the problem just arise. I definitely feel daring or stimulated to fight and face it. But just like the leaves, we sometimes see yellows which means being unsettled or having mixed emotions or even pink which means fear and being uncertain. Then we see brown leaves which means that the leaves are now completely losing its chlorophyll. Brown means being restless.

Just like the leaves of the trees people face problems in a different manner. Some may even take it positively like being strong in the beginning but no matter how tough we are, we should always remember that in the end letting go is the best solution.

It may seem not the best thing to do. It may seem hard to do...but isn't it that no new leaf can grow if the old, unhealthy one will not fall?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Saved by the Cross

9:14 AM 5 Comments
Yesterday, March 24, 2009, was amazing! It was super duper amazing that if I would make a list of my favorite dates in my entire life, I know I will include it. On the other hand, it was also one of those events in my life that I can't describe well. It was magical. I felt wonderful, fulfilled...I was completely overwhelmed by God's amazing works.

Every Tuesday at 7:30pm our Charismatic Prayer Group meets on our church and I would normally arrive an hour earlier to spend time in front of the crucified Jesus in a small park near the parking lot. I really love sitting there facing Jesus even if it is cold, dark or snowing. It is really comforting and even if I don't talk to Jesus, being there makes me feel like I really don't have to say anything at all. I sometimes don't say anything lately because I know that if I would start praying, I will just end up feeling bad because I really feel like leaving my country was a decision I just made by myself.

But yesterday was different. I sat there in silence, cleared my mind, noticed the trees without its leaves and the squirrels climbing and just stared at Jesus. I looked at Him and thanked Him for being in that cross for me. As I was sitting there, a lot of realizations came into my mind that not only it made me feel better but it also gave me answers.

First of all, if I didn't come here in New York, I wouldn't be sitting there in that park. I wouldn't be in church on a Tuesday to spend time with Him. I wouldn't be able to regularly attend the Sunday mass. I wouldn't be able to take and drink the body and blood of Christ regularly. I wouldn't be able to experience reading the first reading on a Mass (I've been praying for it ever since I was young).

If I didn't come, my spiritual life wouldn't be corrected. When I was in a nursing school in the Philippines, I had classes from Mondays to Saturdays with lots of requirements and sleepless days due to school works. I had honestly used most of my Sundays as an excuse to relax, sleep, unwind, study and finish my requirements on time. I know I was not doing the right thing but I would often use the word "busy and tired" as an excuse of not going to church regularly.

So there...after those realizations..I left the park thanking God for everything with an open heart to accept His ways of changing me and with willingness to pour out my love and gratitude for Him through singing during the prayer meeting. I really felt light and changed that moment.

It's now 7:30pm...just as when we were about to start 2 women came and introduced their selves as members of a prayer group from a far away church. It would be their first time to be on that church and they didn't even know that we are having a prayer meeting every Tuesday. Why would I know? Because I had met them outside before I went to the park. They asked me what are we having on our church. I said that the spanish prayer group meets at the Lower Church and the english prayer group on the upper church and the church opens at 7:30pm. They said ok and left, and that was when I went to the park.

When we started the prayer meeting, I can really feel that something's going to happen. The presence of the Holy Spirit is different. It was lively and intense. I love the moment for it allowed me to sing and pour out my heart through every song. The last time I had sang that way was when I was still in the Philippines on a youth fellowship.

The best part is....when I received healing. The first time that I had experienced an attack was during my 18th birthday. It tested my faith and made me closer to God but it was also causing me to have ups and downs of my faith. It had caused me to feel bad about my self. It had caused me to think that I am crazy. It had caused me to be humiliated. It had caused me to give up a lot of times as I felt like the more I move closer to Him the more the enemy is working harder to take me away from God. The latest attack was the reason why I left my blog for almost a month.

Sister Rose shared that God told her to go there. She goes to a different church and knows nothing about our group. She said she don't know what will happen or what are we having that day but she just followed what God told her to do and that is to go there.

It was really different and I really can't explain it further as what happened was just so spiritual and heavenly and amazing for words to be used to describe it. I am glad it is over. I believe it is over. I am really glad she obeyed God for she didn't only became an instrument of healing but she also serves as a confirmation of my experiences. I am glad I can now say that I am not crazy nor I do have some personality disorder.

God is truly amazing to set up pieces in our lives like a puzzle. God is truly amazing. He works mysteriously. He is unpredictable but when you try to comprehend things you will just be amazed by how everything is like well planned. There is definitely no coincidence to God.

To God be the glory!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Roller Coaster Ride of Faith

9:11 AM 2 Comments
Almost a month ago I had experienced something that had made me really confuse and weak deep down inside. As in totally deep that I wasn't even aware why I feel really really bad, mad and sad. I choose not to explain what happened as I am also not sure how to explain it well but the only thing that is clear to me is that the circumstances given to us no matter if it a test given by God or an effort of the enemy to take us away from Him has only 2 possible results.

If we act negatively towards it, we will end up to a negative result-allowing the enemy to win. Sometimes we might not notice that we are allowing the enemy to win even though we knew that we believe in Jesus and even we have Him in our heart. In my case, when I felt really down I thought it was just a normal reaction or feeling of somebody who is facing some problems. I thought, hey you just can't understand how bad I feel because you are not in my position. I became really impatient because I believe that He will answer me but I just became really impatient of waiting. I still pray but my prayer would be more of like Lord please take away this negative feelings that I have. A verbal prayer that I have said because I want that to happen but then I realize that I was just saying it and not feeling every word that I have said. I was just saying it but I wasn't ready or willing to show determination to fight the negative feeling.

The second result would be a positive one-to rejoice because you know you are a child of God. How can we attain it? Just simple, only through Him. I had over come my days of darkness after a simple sincere and exclusive time for Him. God have done and given me so much and it is really humbling to know that all I have to do is show a little determination, make a simple genuine step for me to see that He is already working. My problems are not yet solved but His love is giving me happiness. He is really amazing for just by calling His name things can be made possible. I feel really really great. I know everything will be fine soon. Right now, I am just happy for the simple surprise treats that He is giving me. Moreover, how can I not be happy when I know that Jesus had already saved me and set me free?

What about you, have you experienced a roller coaster ride in terms of your spiritual life?

"Sometimes God gives us promises and we wait and wait,
pray and pray and then there comes a time
when our patience wears out.
We think we will help God out by manipulating people
and circumstance in order to fulfill God's promise."
- from Joyce Schmedel's
The Roller Coaster Ride of Faith of Abraham

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thank you Lord

11:01 AM 3 Comments

Lord You seem so far away. A million miles or more it feels today.
And though I haven't lost my faith, I must confess right now that it's hard for me to pray.
But I don't know what to say and I don't know where to start.
But as you give the grace with all that's in my heart.

I will sing.
I will praise even in my darkest time through the sorrow and the pain.
I will sing. I will praise.
Lift my hands to honor You because Your word is true. I will sing.

Lord is hard for me to see all the thoughts and plan You have for me.
But I will put my trust in You. Lord will meet Your guide to set me free.
But I don't know what to say and I don't know where to start.
But as you give the grace with all that's in my heart.

I have heard and sang this song for a million times but it was only this morning that it had given me tears. I honestly don't know what to pray for and say to Him in terms of petitions but I know I just want to praise Him and thank Him for everything, for His love, for rescuing me and for recharging everything in me that needs to be recharged.

His love gave me energy and happiness today. Today, I feel really really great and I can honestly testify that I am different today compared to what I felt about myself last week.
Thank you God. Thank you Jesus.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Back to Life

9:20 AM 5 Comments
It's been a long time since I have written something in this blog and I don't even know why. Maybe it is the lack of appropriate words to express my thoughts and feelings or even maybe I really don't have anything to say at the moment and no matter how hard I try to update it my entries just remain unfinished and left abandoned as drafts. In some reasons and even if I know I am not as good as others in sharing and speaking about God's love, I had considered having this blog as a way for me to minister and proclaim what His love has done for me. But lately I just don't know what happened and honestly even visiting the blogger homepage made me guilty and ashamed of being weak...I had allowed myself to waste my time playing online games just to avoid having deep thoughts and to avoid facing some negative emotions that I know won't do any good for me. I decided to be "casual" with God for some time because I know I'll have to face my mistakes once I started to have a sincere talk with Him. Pride? Maybe..but it is more of I can't forgive myself for not listening or for misinterpreting God's plans for me. It is like how come you can't practice what you have preached or how come you suddenly became so weak when you have once said that nothing can change your faith. Oh yeah..that's pride. Plus let's add up envy. I am not ashamed to admit that I feel envious to my batch mates who will be graduating this month. I am happy for my friends but I hate being envious to them. Then suddenly I'll realize that MAYBE if I hadn't done anything..MAYBE if I didn't misinterpreted God and MAYBE if I listened carefully none of these things will happen. MAYBE. Maybe because I know I had asked Him a couple of times for a signal of GO or a hindrance to my decisions. I also want to quote something from the message of my friend, Phoebe Cruz, that made me somehow relieved..."whatever decisions you've made I'm sure He had good reasons why He made it happen..Trust Him."

I still don't know what are His reasons for me to experience this but I believe that one of it is to teach me how to forgive. I know that I can easily forgive people but I really find it hard to forgive myself. Last Saturday I attended a seminar about Growth and one of the topics was to learn how to forgive. The minister shared that the person that we find most difficult to forgive is our selves and I truly agree with him. I really find it hard to forgive myself over things that I should and shouldn't have done.

Lately, I know I've been really chicken to hide and run away when all I have to do is call on Jesus and surely He will comfort me and rescue me. Surely through Jesus and because of His love for me this negative feelings will soon be washed away.