Say Thank You, Satan Hates It

“Contentment means suppressing the desire for more and more. And it means recognizing that we are God’s stewards of our possessions.”

– Donald M. Geiger

Television has a way of making complaining and ingratitude look okay. Look at the chick flicks. The audience pities the 16-year old teenage wannabe who rattles her insecurities to her best friend because she’sย never been kissed. Yesterday, I chanced upon Modern Family and the episode was set on a beach. A couple was swimming and enjoying themselves when their teenage daughter suddenly interrupts them and asks if she could spend time at the hotel of the new friends she met at the pool (friends I assume to be boys). The Mom was very hesitant, but the Dad reminded her to be a “tigress” and to “let their daughter go.” Probably because they can’t handle their precious angel. I’m not judging them, but do they fear their angel would retaliate? Anyway, my point is, ingratitude seems okay nowadays. If that’s the case, then earlier today, I was not okay.

Being a melancholic, criticalness is one of my chief weaknesses. I tend to overย analyze and criticize everything. Earlier this afternoon, the monster got the best of me. Well, almost. ๐Ÿ™‚ Ingratitude is as despicable as the fury in Greek mythology or the first installment of the Percy Jackson novels. ๐Ÿ˜

Utterly horrid. Any sin can turn a good person into the worst monster he never imagined he could be. I have to be careful.

Thankfully, my God is so powerful, gracious and loving. I immediately sought His help, Holy Spirit refill and strength to say “NO!” to ingratitude. A tug-of-war ensued in my heart. Because of His power in me, I was able to count my blessings and not my problems, and attributed all of them to Him: Jesus Christ. ๐Ÿ™‚

“Always be full of joy in the Lord; Again I say, rejoice!” the Lord commands in Philippians 4:4. Joy is the antidote to worry; thankfulness is the pathway to joy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Whenever you feel like the Fury leads you into a private room and attacks you from behind, practice the 222 Principle, based on 2 Timothy 2:22: Run, Follow, Pursue.

Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith, love, peace and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

To close this entry, I shall type a short, insightful story I found in our quote book.

There is a legend of a man who found the barn where Satan kept his seeds ready to be sown in the human heart, and on finding the seeds of discouragement more numerous than others, learned that those seeds could be made to grow almost anywhere. When Satan was questioned he reluctantly admitted that there was one place in which he could never get them to thrive.

“And where is that?” asked the man.

Satan replied sadly, “In the heart of a grateful man.”

All the more we should say…

๐Ÿ™‚

Heaven's Grocery Store

I want to share a poem I found on a website called Imag-e-nation. Read it and be encouraged! ๐Ÿ™‚

I was walking down life’s highway a long time ago.
One day I saw a sign that read “Heaven’s Grocery Store”.
As I got a little closer, the door came open wide.
When I came to myself, I was standing just inside.

I saw a host of angels.ย  They were standing everywhere.
One handed me a basket and said, “My child, please shop with care”.
Everything a Christian needed was in that Grocery Store.
All you couldn’t carry, you could come back the next day for.

First, I got some PATIENCE; LOVE was in the very same row.
Further down was UNDERSTANDING, you needed it wherever you go.
I got a box or two of WISDOM, a bag or two of FAITH.
I just couldn’t miss the HOLY SPIRIT, for He was all over the place!

I stopped to get some STRENGTH and COURAGE to help me run this race.
By then my basket was getting full but…I remembered I needed some GRACE!
I didn’t forget SALVATION, for SALVATION was free.
So I tried to get enough of that to save both you and me.

Then I started up to the counter to pay my grocery bill,
for I thought I had everything to do my Master’s will.
As I wind up the aisle I saw PRAYER and I just had to put that in.
For I knew when I stepped outside, I would run right into sin.

PEACE and JOY were plentiful; they were on the last shelf.
SONGS and PRAISES were hanging near, so I just helped myself.
Then I said to the angel, “How much do I owe?”
He just smiled and said, “Just take them everywhere you go.”

Again I smiled at him and said, “How much do I owe?”
He smiled again and said,
“My child, JESUS PAID YOUR BILL A LONG TIME AGO!”

Reasons To Be Thankful


The temperament I was endowed with sometimes makes me throw a pity party, wallow in depression then suddenly “find myself again” and become really happy. I learned that the best antidote to this tendency is a grateful heart. Before I typed this entry, I was thinking of scars and heartbreaks, and I realized it wasn’t healthy to discuss that (I think I’ve had enough with negativity in my previous post about my “thorn in the flesh.”) So I believe it’s just right and appropriate to write about good stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚

Last Friday, 12th of November, was the 18th birthday of my dear HS batchmate, Nomel. It’s debut season for me–that is, attending debuts. I enjoyed talking and seeing my classmates and schoolmates again.

Of course, there was the Sunday victory. Up to now I still cannot explain the feeling of pride and triumph over a foe I didn’t lift a finger to defeat. We call it national pride. Well, I don’t really care how it works; all I know is that, finally, we Filipinos have something to be proud of. Actually, it’s not just the victory I’m proud of: it’s our HONESTY. Margarito was a cheater. Unfortunately, he had to learn his lesson the hard way and in front of millions of people worldwide.

Poor guy.

Manny, why you so rich?

Yes, the wealthy Pacman ย has become even richer! I hope that he does not fail to give God the 10% and even donate to the building fund! ๐Ÿ˜€

I also received money last Sunday courtesy of my grandmother/aunt (only one person). Of course it’s no match compared to Manny’s 43-million prize (according to reliable sources), but I thank God for it. I needed it to buy gifts for special people in my life for their birthdays.

Lastly, I thank God for today. Using the money I received from my Aunt Zeny, I bought gifts for my youngest brother and a close friend who celebrate their birthdays TODAY! ๐Ÿ˜€ It was a pleasure buying gifts.

Thank You, Lord, for a wonderful weekend and a nice head start. Tomorrow’s another rest day!

unSHACKled

Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?

Countless people ask this question. Some find answers, some don’t. Maybe they do, but they choose to reject the truth because they think it is too unbearable, too painful to simply accept it.

Mackenzie Allen Phillips asked the same question and felt the same way. He was on vacation with his family when his youngest daughter, Missy, went missing. As time and search progressed, evidence found in an abandoned shack in the Oregon wilderness suggested that Missy may have been brutally murdered. Four years later, in the midst of his “Great Sadness,” Mack receives a mysterious note in his mailbox that invited him to revisit the shack for the weekend. Apparently, the note came from God.

Desire won over Mack’s better judgement. Thus, on one wintry afternoon, Mack left home and revisited the shack where all the pain inside him stemmed from. The succeeding events inside that shack will change his life forever.

Let me be the nth person to say it: This novel is a magnum opus of Jesus– next to the Bible, of course :D. He used W.M. Paul Young, the author, to intelligently and wisely connect the dots of the plot, match the right words and create an extraordinary masterpiece. His working in Mack’s life is an encouragement to all His other children especially those who harbor pain, grief and independence in their hearts.

Mack’s story made me smile, think and shed a tear. Although it’s not and never will be as perfect as the Bible, it somehow corrected my wrong notions of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It’s a mystery I have been trying to solve for months, but after reading the book, I decided to just leave it at that. When there is no mystery, thrill does not exist. And who does not love thrills? Okay, maybe you don’t, but I certainly do!

This book is for everyone–Christian or not, in pain or in joy. Never neglect the divine revelation of God–the Bible–but also do not belittle the wisdom and spiritual truths explained in this novel. As I flipped the pages and comprehended every paragraph, I understood the nature of God; His unexplainable and overflowing love, grace, compassion, patience, forgiveness and provision for me and all His children. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are overwhelming but amazing. There is no regret in choosing to trust them. In fact, it’s the only key to understanding the essence of human existence. Depending on Jesus is the first key to being truly human.

Dear friend, as you near the end of this review, I encourage you to go to your nearest bookstore as soon as possible and purchase a copy of The Shack. In the Philippines it’s quite an expensive book compared to other Christian books, but I tell you, it’s definitely worth the buy.

As you read, there will be times wherein you have to stop and think about a statement or principle mentioned in the book. You may not agree with it or find it too difficult to comprehend. It’s okay; I experienced the same thing. You do not have to agree with everything the author says since he has his own values and morals, but as with any other Christian book, The Shack has one main objective: that you get to know Jesus better and in a more personal way. He is the Source of heartwarming, life-changing stories that turns the world upside down.

The Shack. Buy it. Read it.

And may our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ unshackle you from your suffering and pain! ๐Ÿ™‚

Beware of Joy-Stealers

Yesterday I experienced a little bit of the downside as a rookie in an ad/media agency: boredom, feeling of being so unproductive, unnoticed. I had no meaningful conversations with the people around me, only simple yes’s and no’s when needed.

My parents have to bring my uncle to the airport by 7 P.M. so my dad picked me up by 4. I was so bored (and quite sad) that I decided to leave at 3, vanishing from the scene. (But I asked permission from my superiors about my early dismissal)

Today is quite the opposite of yesterday’s dramatic scene. We had lunch at a delicious Vietnamese restaurant (though I did not order anything because I had pack lunch!) and finally, I had something productive to do. I also received free teenage magazines and piaya, a delicious Filipino snack. I had meaningful (more than yes’s and no’s) conversations with the people around me.

Today as I type this entry, I analyzed myself: feelings, emotions, reasons for sudden changes. What was the cause of it all? Hormones? The people around me? Those two things are beyond my control, but even they are not the sources of my sudden change of emotions. The problem lies within my character, perspective and object of joy. I am reminded of a very remarkable preaching by our senior pastor. Who is my god? Is it God, the Creator of the universe, myself or my job? “Anyone that can cause you worry or sadness, or the opposite, is your idol.” I realized I’ve made my job my idol–the god I worship. The job determined what I would feel, how I would act and respond to certain situations. If God was my god, I would respond joyfully even if I don’t get what I want.

If ever you feel downcast, anxious or depressed because of your job or ministry, check your heart. Maybe you’ve lost your joy because you focused your eyes on another idol and started going after it. Beware of joy-stealers. They add lines to the forehead and speed up the ageing process. :))