Category Archives: Faith

Let’s talk about anger and temper

In a span of a few hours this morning, I’ve already felt a roller coaster of emotions. From being eager to come to work despite the thunderstorm, to being grateful for my husband for driving me, to impatiently waiting at the line in the MRT up to losing my temper over an insensitive couple within the car.

How can one person transition from being ‘best behaved’ to the ‘notorious tita in public transportation’ in such short a time?

Yesterday at church, the pastor talked about all sorts of things including having a “double life.”

“Don’t fool yourselves,” he says. “Don’t live a life that is good outwardly but you have a secret life when you’re all alone.”

Am I living a double life? I strive to study God’s words but sometimes fail in my deeds. Not a proud moment. No justification there.

But the pastor also says… although Christianity doesn’t give us the license to sin, as humans, sometimes we fall. We feel trapped and we find ourselves slipping and swiveling down rock bottom.

But the beauty of this is that we can always set our eyes back to Jesus. Consider our sins, repent and ask for forgiveness to strive to become better the next time. And by God’s grace, fully turn away from sin.

We also ought to know our weaknesses and protect ourselves against it. For instance, if I know I hate the crowd, I could have just waited for the next train than squeeze myself into a full car. Pro-activeness is key. :))

Looking back, I learned that I reacted the way I did because I felt inconvenienced. I made the situation about myself instead of thinking they’re having a difficult time too.

I could have also gotten help from a verse:

Proverbs 19:11 The Passion Translation (TPT)

11 A wise person demonstrates patience,
for mercy means holding your tongue.
When you are insulted,
be quick to forgive and forget it,

How do you deal with such situations – where you need the Holy Spirit but forget to call on Him?

We don’t want a double life. Let’s find out together.

 

The 5 Dangers of Truthless Rock and Roll

There are movies that make us go aww and wah and there are those we just need to blog about because of so many thoughts that need discussion. Such is the movie A Star Is Born by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.

This is the third remake, which means the story has reached generations of viewers who have been fed lies from the film. Don’t get me wrong. I did like the film and even got “kilig” with the idea of love amidst the noise and fame of rock and roll.

Sure I may have shared its heart-gripping clip of “Always Remember Us This Way” when it appeared on my Facebook feed even before I’ve seen the film – totally great performance by Gaga and all  — but I want to discuss more of the movie’s relationship, marriage, and ‘true happiness’ angle.

Jackson (Bradley Cooper) is a successful rockstar who met aspiring singer Ally (Gaga – the star that was born). In the beginning, Gaga was wise enough to tell his dad “F off, he’s a drunk. I don’t want to go with him” when Cooper invited her to a major gig. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be with successful hottie rockstar right? But she knew. From the beginning, she knew how drunks are and it’s not pretty.

But of course, when we’re in the moment.. like hot with adrenaline, power, and lust for change in our lives, we follow our hearts, right?

So she ties up her brain to a chair, takes that plane trip that will change her life forever. As you know, she sang her original song from the first concert, had sex with Jack on the first night, landed her own gigs herself, made a name for herself, married Jack and wow.. they lived happily ever after. Am I right?

DANGER #5 BELIEVING IN YOUR HEART

“The heart is deceitful above all things
And it is extremely sick;
Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

The impulsive shopper has her own regrets – what more the impulsive lover?

DID YOU KNOW that about 14 Million Filipinos are Single Parents and about 50% of children born in the Philippines (2015 PSA Report) are Illegitimate. This number rises every year. And media and social media is making it seem like a normal thing.

What is the reason for this continuous rise of unmarried men and women who fail to believe in commitment or fail to plan for the future? Their hearts are sick.

They may have believed that at one point, having sex with someone is the answer to their problems. Or that they got involved in the wrong relationship in the first place. Some who did get to marriage eventually separate because they fail to recognize the truth in the roles of true husband and wife.

ASTAR-01r-1024x844

The danger of going with someone who is dependent on drugs and alcohol instead of God is very real. Those who are wise enough to spot this from the very beginning is saved from all the trouble.

A wise, shrewd person discerns the danger ahead
and prepares himself,
but the naïve simpleton never looks ahead
and suffers the consequences. (Proverbs 27:12-14)

Sometimes when all the noise of the present is too loud it clouds the real deal. The truth that what we may be feeling now isn’t exactly the right thing.

DANGER #4 BELIEVING THAT YOU CAN FIX OTHER PEOPLE

DID YOU KNOW that more than 50% of people who marry end up filing for annulment in the Philippines. And a law firm claims that a whopping 94% of these filed cases get approved. These are just the reported cases. There are more married couples that separate who opt not to file for divorce or annulment anymore.

graph

If you are not bothered by this then well, let’s pray for eyes that see and hearts that hear. This is an alarming number and could be one of the biggest insults thrown at a sacrament as valuable as marriage.

Sometimes, single men and women get too excited to marry thinking that they’d finally be saved from their own broken families, problematic parents, sadness, feeling of being alone, work, or monotony in life. But when finally they get married they realize it’s better and feels happier to be single all over again.

download

WHY? Because we’ve been wired to believe in the lies of Same Day Edits where family and friends gather in beautiful gowns and tux. Great food is served and the unli booze bar is opened. But what we don’t know is that it takes a lot more to make a marriage work. And the truth is, we can’t rely on our own expectations or on our own self when we want a marriage to work.

It’s purely a spiritual union, designed by only God himself. So if you don’t believe in God then marriage on our own terms can’t save it. Who we are even before we get married plays a huge role in what kind of marriage we’re going to run.

Are we even willing to give up our own addictions for the growth of our marriage?

Jack is an example of a character who may be dwelling in the past for too long and relying on drugs and love for a better version of himself. Sure, he loved that she was a singer and a songwriter. He got excited about her talent. But he could have done more. No amount of success could help a person unless he denies this success and acknowledges that he is poor. And that he needs help.

In fairness, he did try. He checked in on rehab which could have been a start. But his healing was not complete. Which leads us to number 3.

DANGER #3 BELIEVING OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS ON YOUR MARRIAGE

This part is the one I hate the most. A person who is clearly of course just doing his job, STAR MANAGER Rafi Gavron approaches Jackson in his own home; catches him straight outta rehab, happy and smiling with a bright disposition almost ready to move on from an embarrassing mistake.

Lady-Gaga-and-Bradley-Cooper-in-A-Star-Is-Born

Gavron then destroys this fresh beginning by telling him that other people are displeased with what he’s done to Ally’s career. That she continues to embarrass herself by staying married to him. That he was the reason for derailing HER CAREER. A career she’s willing to give up just to be with him. But to someone else (or the world) who’s just there to watch, it’s “an embarassment”. 

People, (let me just calm myself down), what right do we have to get involved in someone’s marriage like this? This goes out to all couples who are married and struggling. Yes, husbands and wives have their own shortcomings. But stay out of the way especially when the news we have is only self-serving.

This goes out to everyone who may have good intentions but who do not understand marriage. In-laws, friends, officemates, churchmates, random grab driver. Always, when people seek advice, the first thing to do is tell them to DISCUSS WITH THEIR PARTNERS FIRST.

And this is the reason why married couples are advised against getting advise from other people. BECAUSE THE TRUTH IS, there’s no better advice than what the bible says.

“What God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Mark 10:9)

If we know and believe this truth, that couple could always come through every problem stronger together.

IF ONLY Jackson Maine fed on the word instead of the world, he could have responded to this moment better. Which leads us to the next….

DANGER #2 BELIEVING IN WORLDLY SUCCESS

I just hate how this movie depicted that success onstage means unsuccessful marriage or vice versa. I’m telling you, we can all have successful careers and marriages if only we put our trust in God. But in the event trouble comes, remember that we cannot serve two masters. (Matthew 6:24)

God has warned us to be careful with the desires of this world. Instead, to always check on our hearts.

HOW COME people who chase their dreams sometimes end up sad, depressed or even miserable despite the success in their goals?

Maybe, consider that they’re chasing the wrong dreams?

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)

Sometimes, our hearts feel like we want to get married. Or we want to go abroad. Or maybe become a singer, an artist, a lawyer, a husband, a manager, etc.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THESE. But let our plans be approved by God first. The one who determines and blesses our goals in life. Trust that He will guide us along the way – so that in our setbacks, we learn and in our successes, we glorify His name.

The world’s lie is to follow your own plans but God’s truth is, He determines our steps.

“seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

God will bless our heart’s desires if we seek Him above all.

Lord, will I be glorifying you if I become the President of this company? Will I only be serving my selfish wants when I choose to marry this person? How can I improve my relationship with you so I can be a more responsible adult/wife/husband/boss/employee?

Through this, let Him guide you.

DANGER #1 NOT BELIEVING IN A GOD

The world’s lie is that there is no God. He cannot be proven. “Unless you prove that a Jesus ever walked the planet, then all these are mere stories for stupid people who are too weak to live life themselves.” This is a real comment I found on the Internet one day. And I’m not gonna lie, it did affect me. It prompted me to search for more.

But just looking at the reality of life today… some people who don’t believe in the change and the blessings that God has planned their way end up turning to drugs, isolation, sadness, and suicide to cure their problems.

In my understanding of the Bible, proof of the kingdom of God lies in us. We cannot say today, God if you are real, part the red sea.. take out the trash and let us live a billion years more.

While it’s true that he’s always watching us, we need to do our part to effect His power in our lives.

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 148:18)

We need to acknowledge Him first. Call on him and ask Him to come to us in spirit.

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. (Acts 10:44)

In the movie, just right before Jack killed himself, Ally was seen and heard praying for her husband. She’s a faithful girl I can see. But it could have helped if she understood her role as a wife and became more intentional in sharing the gospel to his husband earlier on. Instead, she’s been busy chasing the wrong purpose. (More about this on the next blog.)

What’s the point here? God is very real but his reality appears on changed hearts. Hearts that choose to follow Him and effect His message into the world. Faith is nothing without action. In other words, we need to werk gerl!

ASTAR-02r-1024x683

Jackson had faith. He did. But he needed someone to help him acknowledge that the pain or the sorrow he’s been feeling for a long time towards his father or his brother could be surrendered to someone more powerful than he is. He needed someone to tell him that his wife was a blessing from God designed to help him in all his ways. That their marriage is special and that no amount of fame could ever replace that kind of special union.

He needed to hear the truth that one embarrassing mistake doesn’t mean the end. It doesn’t mean he failed his wife. If only he had someone or a group to support him to know God better, maybe, he could have realized that his wife’s forgiveness is far more important than other people’s expectations of him. That he can rise above this through the grace of Christ from whom all power overflows. 

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 43:3)

There are some things that we cannot explain. That is why it’s called FAITH. It’s always a leap. It’s believing that something does exist despite the reasoning and the lack of proof.

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)

Sometimes, children believe in things that encourage them to dream and become the best version of themselves. The Bible promises that if we become like a child with a pure heart, we will see God in this world.

You may be thinking: HEY JAZZ YOU ARE AWARE THAT THIS IS JUST A MOVIE RIGHT? WHAT’s WITH THE MADNESS? Lols. Na-carried away lang kaw naman. 😀

Baka lang kasi, if I could help in the discussion of the film, we could focus on the one thing that happened in your life, during a troubled or a blessed time, that you can give God the credit for. And be the witness to His truth.

Jack and Ally could have been the perfect couple. Talented, ambitious, rich, famous, and they had each other. They were almost complete. But one thing is lacking – the strength of the spirit.

Rocking and rolling life away is great but the path is dangerous for those who don’t recognize the truth and our purpose.

What do you think of this movie and this danger list I shared? Message me or comment!

Testifying vs. humble bragging.

Perhaps the most common problem Christians face today is being thought a braggart in the midst of sharing God’s goodness and grace to others.

If becoming a witness is what we’re called to do, then at the expense of being dubbed a hypocrite, a perfect person (perfect ka eh), jollibee (bida bida ka ba), or a humble bragger, we continue helping out spiritually.

pic

Recently, I just appreciated the message in giving. I’ve always skimped on money, reveling in the fake assurance that keeping all the money for me to selfishly use anytime could make me feel safe and happy.

I failed to realize that everything I have come from God – He who gives. And so, I started believing in tithing. The amount that could have been used for some personal whim, I give cheerfully to church, an instrument of hope and salvation to other people.

money

Little did I expect that this small gesture of giving allowed my heart to help others financially as well. Without greed or malice or the feeling of being cheated on. I am also able to make financial decisions based on my faith and not let money or lack of it dictate my life. And as alive as God is, I never ran out of money since. God has known exactly what I need and has been providing everything since.

So one day I shared this amazing discovery to a friend, in good faith, saying how tithing has helped me in the past months. But in an awkward response, there was silence.

I would never know for sure how he took it. But I, later on, realized that I must have sounded like a boast. At first, it made me feel bad. But I also thought I couldn’t keep silent especially when someone asks for advice and I am experiencing the answer every day.

So for the purpose of discussion, I have made a table of comparison to better help us

1. check ourselves each time we testify to others and

2. Check others when they testify to us.

table

Until today, I hear some people think of me as, in Pinoy term, “Plastik.” And for a moment my wild self thought about being offended. And then I realized, “Who am I?” I am nobody. If I were “plastik” then I’m a plastik dust (Genesis 3:19) Haha.

Then it made me calm. Truly, God’s peace surpasses all human hurt and our own understanding (Philippians 4:7)

It doesn’t matter what people call me. If I were self-conscious I’m only making things about me when it’s really about Christ. (John 3:30)

me

Also, through this, I am always reminded to check on myself. I am not perfect, I fall every day. But I try and there’s no turning back (except for this photo). God has been gracious.

Have you ever felt judged because of the messages you share with pure intent? If so, do you think we’re doing something wrong? How could we improve and be more sensitive to other’s current perception?