Posted in Testimonies and Devotions

I Am Just Like Naaman

Text: II Kings 5:1-16

This was about a man named Naaman and he was a leper. He found out that there was a prophet in Samaria that could help him get well. The prophet’s name was Elisha.

Naaman stood at the door of the house of Elisha. Elisha sent a messenger to Naaman telling him to wash in river Jordan seven times for him to be healed.  Naaman was pissed off. He thought Elisha would just pray for him then and there, and he would be healed! He didn’t expect to do some work! He was also furious by the fact that it should be river Jordan in which he should wash with. Jordan wasn’t the best river in Israel at that time. Some would describe it muddy, others would even call it dirty.  He complained “Why not river Abana or river Pharpar? Of all the rivers, why do I have to wash in river Jordan?! WHYYYYYYYY?!!” *insert dramatic tantrum*

Now as I was reading this, I found Naaman relatable. I realized that sometimes I am Naaman. Sometimes, we are Naaman. When we have problems, we ask God what we should do. When the Lord gave us instructions that aren’t in favor for us, we complain.

“Do I really have to do that?”

“Isn’t there any other way?”

“Well, there’s this option. Why can’t I just do this? I think this is better!”

“Does it really have to be Jordan?”

“Why can’t I just wash in Abama?”

Heard that in a familiar voice? Thought so.
Another thing that I observed with the story is that the instruction wasn’t even that hard. He just had to dip himself in that river seven times! Sure, maybe Jordan stinks a bit but he wasn’t asked to stay there for hours!

You see, sometimes we think it’s too hard. It’s probably just unpleasant at times. When given some task, we complain because it wasn’t inside our comfort zone. And maybe, the instructions are really really hard to obey occasionally. But when the Lord says that this is what we should do, do we really have a choice?

Naaman’s servants convinced him to do it eventually. And he did. He dipped himself into the river Jordan and he was cleaned! It is about humbling yourself before God and trusting his plans for you. Remember that His ways are higher than ours!

When the Lord says “This is the way.”, most of the time there aren’t so many options to consider and we just have to do it!

 

 

 

 

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Posted in My Written Works

Fragmentary (a poem)

I still remember the connection
Of the strings attached from me to you
the strength of a spider’s web
sewn by exchange,
by moments,
by tiny pieces of a puzzle
coming together
for a bigger picture with us in it
the spider got tired before the web was whole
the string snapped not being able to bear
the weight of the image
that is yet to be completed
made opaque by the present,
resting in history,
untouched,
faded.

Posted in My Written Works

Puzzle Piece (a poem)

You hold a little shape of my memory puzzle
It was a hue of blue and yellow
No exact picture to be drawn
A piece seeming to be irrelevant
But something hold dear to mine

There was a spark of hope
That maybe, maybe over time
You’d take a big part of a picture
But you remained still, you remained small
And as small as you were, it was a big regret.

Posted in Uncategorized

My Blog Just Turned Three!

Happy third birthday to my blog! *confetti explosion* (It was actually a few days ago so this is kind of a late celebratory post!)

I took photos inside my bedroom (shared with my sister) just to celebrate this! I’m excited for you guys to see it! Check them out at the end of this post.

This is actually my first blog post about my blog anniversary. I was either just too lazy or just too busy during my first and second blog anniversaries. But now that I am finished with school and still unemployed, I have more time doing my own stuff and so I am writing this.

SHORT HISTORY

I started my blog just for fun. Initially, I just want to try book reviews and write about books and stuff. But over time, I kind of liked writing about my realizations, my spiritual devotions. I even tried writing creatively which led me to post some of my poems, too.

MY BLOG FOR 3 YEARS

Admittedly, I was a lazy blogger! There’s no denying it. I didn’t have a regular schedule for posting. I just write whenever I want and post whenever I want. For three years of blogging, I only accumulated a total of 67 blog posts! If we do the math, it’s only like 22 or 23 blog posts a year which is probably low compared to the regular bloggers I follow here on WordPress.

Fortunately, I still get visitors whenever I post something. (Thanks, friends! My labors were not of total vanity!) For three years, I have deceived (HAHA) 83 people (including those who subscribed through email) into following my blog. But, guys, thank you! You do not know how much it means to me that there are still people I am writing for. Thank you for bearing with my lazy self.

Through the years, I had also wasted some precious opportunities as a blogger just because I was too busy being a slave of the university. Sadly, even a book review request from an author was set aside for a way too long that she kind of canceled it. But also, through the years of practicing writing stuff, I have unlocked an achievement. I am now a part-time content writer for a small company and even if the amount is small, I am being paid just writing for them. God is good! I never thought I could possibly make money out of me writing stuff. I thought it was far-fetched but here we are. 🙂

ANNOUNCEMENT

 I know I’ve been negligent but I have come to think about this. I think I’ll be posting regularly. And by regular, I mean at least weekly. I’ll try my very very best to comply with this. I still have poems left unpublished so wait for those! For now, I can’t really decide what day of the week I can do my posting. But I will do it every week as much as I can.

I already made changes in doing my book reviews. I will now include star ratings for the book I am reviewing. I didn’t actually remember why I didn’t do that. And It will be mostly divided into three sections: Background, Expectations, Reality.

I will use all my mind’s might to post something worth reading every week! Thank you for reading this anniversary post! Hoping for a more productive blogging year!

CELEBRATORY PHOTOS

Here are the photos! Good thing I found some candles and Monde Puto inside the fridge.

 

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell [Book Review]

I just want to say I really missed doing a book review. It’s been a while! As you will notice (or not), I will be making changes in reviewing a book. I hope you’ll enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing this review!

BACKGROUND

Cath and Wren are inseparable. Having left by their Mom to their Dad, who can be psychologically drained sometimes, made them stick to each other more. College is definitely a new life for them. Wren’s excited, Cath’s problematic. Wren, the cooler twin, wanted a breath of fresh air and is down for meeting new people that she actually suggested that they needed not to be roommates in college which is a no-no for Cath. Cath’s a bit anti-social and just wants to rather spend her day alone and confined in a room than with anyone other than Wren and their Dad. In her own little world, Cath didn’t actually expect to make friends– or even someone more than a friend.

Cath’s love for Simon Snow books will always be part of her identity. But maybe, just maybe, it can be too much, interfering with her life.

EXPECTATIONS

I’ve been seeing Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for a long time and not a long time ago, a friend gave it as a gift (so blessed) and so I had the chance to read it while I’m still unemployed. If you don’t know Rainbow Rowell, you must know that she’s very good at writing romance. My expectations were a bit high since I love Rainbow Rowell. Her books are my automatic buys from the bookstores, no checking of the synopsis. I expected it to make me smile uncontrollably because that’s a Rowell effect. It just happens with her books. I expected it to be an easy read and a page-turner. That’s also a Rowell package. I just expected to really really love it.

Rating: 3/5 stars

REALITY

It was an easy read and a page turner for me. I just like how light it is to read her books. But the thing is, I didn’t like it as much as I like the other books of Rainbow Rowell. Like if I’ll make a list of her books from most loved to least,  this will probably be at the bottom. It wasn’t disappointing but it didn’t make me smile uncontrollably. There were no butterflies in my stomach. No mental “awwwwe” released. It was probably because the romance seemed too fast for me. And I just felt like the relationship of the characters should have had a deeper connection.

  • Cath, the female protagonist, was soooo relatable. We both have a twin sister. We’re both the uncool ones compared to our twins. We’re both the less social twin, the more awkward twin. (It’s not just me, everybody will tell you that about me. Hahahaha.) We’re both bookworms. We’re both wary against more human interaction.
  • I like the rawness and imperfections of the characters. So human and so relatable. Honest and flawed even if it meant some characters kind of irritated me.
  • The closer I get to the ending, the lesser it appeals to me. The first chapters got me interested but the later the chapters, the more Simon and Baz (you’ll know what I mean if you’ll read the book). Honestly speaking, I don’t like reading about Simon and Baz. Sorry, Rowell. 😦 It just downgraded the book for me.
  • Another honest confession of a book reviewer, I just think Cath and Wren’s obsession with Simon Snow is overwhelming. Like it didn’t add up to the beautifying of the story. I think the story clips from Simon and Baz’ story are kinds of analogy or a mirror of the protagonists’ life but I didn’t get it or maybe I was just too distracted. (Somebody, enlighten me).
  • I just wished there was more to the foundation of the relationship before the protagonists started dating. (It must be the Filipino culture and the family I grew up in that made me think their romance was too fast.)
  • The plot is okay and the pace is just right. The storyline, though, is not that hooking.  All in all, you can say that the book is okay.
Posted in Testimonies and Devotions

God is a Good Good Father

God did an amazing thing on April 13, 2018 and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Just like any other days, walking 800 meters under the heat of the sun was roasting. And just like always, my hair was sticking unto the back of my neck, my shirt was nearly drenched in the front and the back. My umbrella was providing as much of help as it can for shading, my backpack with my laptop inside it was not helping, the wind was barely blowing, and the sun wasn’t planning to lessen her heat anytime soon.

I took a second to look up at the sky and told God, “Lord it will be amazing if You could just make the sun a little less hot right now and maybe add a little wind?”. It was a simple prayer, a little request. But guess what? After a few seconds, I started to notice a huge shadow extending over us and covering the path in front of us. It was massive and fast, I don’t know if it was because of the clouds. And the wind started blowing just enough to make you feel fresh even in the heat of the afternoon. I was in awe and I was smiling inside.

It was nearly 12 noon and I know, for many times, that the heat of the sun was about to be worse. And I told Him, “If the sun’s heat intensifies, then it’s all a coincidence”. But God is not a God of coincidence and until the last step we took outside the office, the afternoon remained cool. The shadow remained over us! He was with us as we walked to work.

He hears and He listens. The impact of it was massive to me. He’s with us even when we’re just walking to work. He’s watching, casting His loving eyes upon us. His love and care are evident from the smallest things to the biggest ones.

God is surely a good, good father!

Posted in Testimonies and Devotions

Good Deeds Will Not Cover Disobedience (1 Samuel 15 Devotion)

What are Saul’s transgressions in this chapter?

– He was told to destroy all the Amalekites and all that they have. Saul, however, decided to spare the king, the best of the sheep, of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, (verse 9)
-He hearkened the voice of the people instead of the voice of the Lord. (verse 24) He was pressured by the people and he feared them.

On verse 15, Saul tried to cover his disobedience by his good motives and plans. He said that the animals that they spared were to be offered unto the Lord as sacrifices. But the thing is, we cannot cover our wrongdoings, sins, and disobedience by doing good deeds. It is not by good deeds that we are saved but only by the grace of God. The Lord wants us to obey his commandments wholly and completely, not halfway, not 99%.

“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” – 1 Samuel 15:22

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” – 1 Samuel 15:23

This is the weight of disobedience even of the smallest details in God’s commandments. It was liken to witchcraft and idolatry. The Lord chastises and punishes those who disobey Him.

Let us pray for our hearts to love His commandments so much that obedience will be natural for us. This is a personal lesson and reminder for me and I hope it is the same for you.

Posted in Testimonies and Devotions

Finding Rest in His Presence

Yesterday was one of the heaviest days of my life. I felt like dragging a ton of weight behind me. Apart from being physically listless because of sleeping way too late, I was feeling emotionally dreary, unmotivated, and weary.

Stress was nagging at me even as I was getting ready to leave for the office. Our project for our OJT training is nowhere near finished. It was the time that I have considered the possibility of not completing the project. For a moment, I was a pessimist.

The first minutes inside of the office were worse. I felt like breaking down. I was frustrated. I prayed to the Lord to help me get through this. I didn’t feel comforted right away. I was too focused on the problem.

The office hours took the little life I had left for the day. It was tiring. It consumed the dregs of my cup, leaving me bone-tired.

As I was washing my clothes, I decided to find rest in the presence of our Lord. I played songs of worship and my heart cried out to Him. It was a wordless prayer composed only of silence and grievance. And at that moment, I was comforted by His presence. I was tearful, near crying, as I heard Him comforting me through the songs that were playing. I let myself to be drowned too much that I forgot that my Helper walks on water!

I was even more comforted when I read my devotion notebook. Rest can be found in Him!

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

-Philippians 4:19

 

Posted in Testimonies and Devotions

The Lord’s Providence

Leviticus 25:18-21(KJV)

18 Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety.

19 And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety.

20 And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase:

21 Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years.

Sometimes the Lord requires us to do things that may compel us to leave our work or studies or our sources of living for a while. It may leave us having a hard time choosing whether to obey or not.

In Leviticus, the Lord was commanding the Israelites, not to sow the land in the seventh year for it shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land. Six years the people may sow their fields. Some of the people might have thought, “But what are we gonna eat?”. In verse 21, the Lord said: “I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years.” The blessing of the Lord will not only suffice for a year but for three years! That is how our Lord works and provides! He gives us more than what we long for if we choose to obey Him.

God is not requiring you to leave your work or stop your study for a whole year. But sometimes God is telling you to stop for a while and find rest in Him. Maybe He’s telling you to pause for a moment, leave your work and make time for Him, to do what He wants you to do.

He won’t leave us lacking because we chose Him over work or study. He’ll leave you having more than you could have asked.

Choose to obey the Lord now and be amazed by how He works!

 

 

Posted in Testimonies and Devotions

God’s Correction even in the Smallest Situations

It was a school day. I was more than prepared to present my assignment to our teacher. It was a small program and it appeared to be an easy task for me. As I was lined up with the other students for individual checking, I was confident. Maybe a little too confident. I felt that I could answer any question or that I can debug whatever the changes our instructor would make in the code. I didn’t feel nervous at all. There was pride in me. Small but present and lurking.

Adrenaline rush surged through me as I entered the department and apprpoached my instructor. She then changed some part of the program and let me debug it to its original state. A terrible thing happened. I couldn’t determine what was changed in the code. And it felt like I was being restrained from the ability to think at all. Because as I looked at my codes, I was confused. I had only a small recognition of the codes. The Lord was teaching me a lesson about pride. It felt like He made me dumb at that moment. I was immediately convicted!

I was running out of time. My teacher was already waiting to check my work and i have not figured it out yet. But the Lord is good! He gave me a second chance for my assignment. I couldn’t remember if i told my teacher to give me another shot but the next thing I know is that my instructor was giving me another chance to debug. She made a new change in the code. And before I looked into it, I prayed a short prayer. I apologized for acting boastful. And just like that, as I opened my eyes, I spotted the change in the code right away! It was like the Lord had given me the answers. God proved that I cannot boast about anything. He gives and takes away.

Pride has no place in a heart where Jesus lives!