Waking Up to 2015

Hey!  Happy New Year to all my readers!  Just a quick update of where I am in life: It’s a new year and a new season for me.  It will be the first year where I work in an office.  Growing up, I always dreamed to know how work feels and smells like.  (Okay.  Maybe only “feels like.”)  But it excites me to just imagine every possibility of what will happen in an office: meeting new people, signing contracts, working from 8 AM to 5 PM, attending meetings, getting to know the job, using the stapler on papers…  It’s amazing!  At the same time, I planned that this year will be a year focused on relating to people.  I plan to meet up with the people I disciple who I previously led last summer of 2014, build a coaching group filled with young men who are passionate in making disciples wherever they are, and go out and have fun with people.  Speaking of going out, I just got my driver’s license. Haha!

This year started with lots of new activities and plans.  And as I go through 2015, I can only think of the best is yet to come.  God has great promises for me that I am ready to claim.  If you read through the Scriptures, He has lots of promises for us.  Just to name a few, He has said that he will never leave us nor forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6)  He has also said that not one will withstand us. (Joshua 10:8) And He will give us a wise and discerning heart, wealth and honor, and long life if we walk in obedience to Him and keep His decrees and commands. (1 Kings 3:12-14)  He promised us all these.  While our God is a Promise-Maker, He is also a Promise-Keeper.  Are we willing to take those promises and believe that God will see through it to the end?

One of the places I went to at the start of the year was Baguio.  It was freezing.  Open the window of the place you are staying in and you get free air-conditioning set to the highest level.  That’s how cold it was.  And as you can see in the picture below, I am standing on a steel bar that is for the foundations of a house that is being built in the area.  Under what I am standing is a huge pit where, if I fall, I can break my bones.  So, as I went from a safe land to the place of where I am standing, I was scared.  I did not want to end up in the hospital afterwards.  What I did was I held the branches of the trees while walking on those steel bars.  The branches were not strong enough to carry me.  But these were helping me psychologically as an assurance that I am holding on to something.  Same goes in life.  We have a new year ahead.  Lots of challenges await.  But in order for us to end up in the place where victory lies we have to hold on to Someone who, unlike the branches, is strong enough to catch us when we fall, bring us to where victory lies, and is assuring us everything will be okay.

DSCF2184

I love challenges. So, I decided to walk on these steel structures. If I fall, I end up with a broken bone. Haha. But it was worth it.

As we get to wake up to 2015 and see God’s promises, we can opt to do one of these three things:

  1. Ignore.  We can ignore the fact that God has promises for us and let the year pass without any excitement of the victory that lies ahead.  We can be pessimistic and complain, “Last 2014 was terrible, I received lots of failed projects, grades, and activities.  Hope 2015 would not be that bad anymore.” Or…
  2. Simply know.  We can know God’s promises and even say, “Yes, I studied all His promises in the Bible cover to cover.”  And yet, not believe and trust God that He can do the unexpected and unimaginable way in our lives to grow for the better.  Or…
  3. Trust and Act.  We can, not only know God’s promises, but trust God that He will come through for us in joyful and sorrowful situations this year.  We can believe that God will do the unexpected and act on what He wants for us this 2015.  Not only will we sit and say, “A new year, a new day.”  No!  Rather, we will be saying, “I will believe that God has great and amazing things in store for me this year.  And I am going to claim it and believe that God will make me thrive this 2015 in His will!”  Leave what is behind.  And move forward to what is ahead.  Claim God’s promises.  Honor God.  For He who promised is faithful.

Maybe there’s a plan you have been dreaming about.  And yet, it has not happened for days, months, or even years.  I challenge you today, believe that God will give you everything you need this year.  Hold on to that dream.  Trust God.  When you know your dream will honor God and that He is your loving Father, how will it not be answered?

Just as what the verse says,

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

-Hebrews 10:23

So as you start waking up to 2015, are you choosing to ignore, simply know, or trust and act on what He wants for you this year?

Response to Typhoon Ruby

Great to hear from the news about the storm dissipating. DOST says as of December 8, “”RUBY” HAS WEAKENED INTO A TROPICAL STORM AS IT MOVES TOWARD THE PROVINCE OF MARINDUQUE.” And I could not help but think of God’s power.

Typhoon Ruby when it was heading towards the Philippines

I remember the story when the disciples were in a boat with Jesus and a furious storm came on where they were. Jesus was sleeping. The disciples were panicking, waking Jesus up, and saying to him, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (Matthew 8:25) He replied with a question which he usually does: “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”

It’s easy to choose to live in fear of the storm. The news says that it is the strongest storm that the Philippines has ever faced so far this year. In addition, there are videos that have many conspiracy theories about this storm like there is a face in the waves or something like that.  It’s easy to choose to fear.  And this not only applies to the storm that we are facing today, this applies to the other challenges we are facing as well. Question is are we willing to trust God in the midst of thinking this is impossible?  Trusting God does not mean just standing there and doing nothing while the storm is here.  It’s not about what I want for the nation.  It’s about what God wants.  Trusting God means trusting His plan for the nation and being fervent in what He is doing.

Going back to the story of the disciples and Jesus, Jesus got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. (Matthew 8:26) Who is this man that can command and rebuke the winds and the waves to stop?! This is impressive. Impressive is an understatement. This is amazing! No one does that. But Jesus did and He can. He is Sovereign over every problem. He is Sovereign over the storm.  Let us continue to trust God that He will do great and amazing things in our lives and in this nation, pray for our fellow countrymen who are suffering right now in the storm, and believe that nothing is impossible through Him.  Let us choose to say no to fear and live in wisdom and by God’s power.

Today: Thesis Defense and The Boss Level of A Game Are Quite Similar

I could not find a good title for this post.  So, sorry if it doesn’t sound catchy.  The boss level is not even connected to this blog.  Haha!

 

This morning was amazing.  At 8 A.M., my partner, Andre, and I were to do our thesis defense.  Both of us had 2-3 hours of sleep.  (It’s strange that we slept with little time due to reasons not relating to finishing the thesis paper or presentation.  My reason was that I was anxious for the defense.)  I felt worried that we might not pass the defense due to lack of sleep and of information stored in my brain about our thesis.  While I was trying to get to bed at 2 A.M. in the morning, I asked God, “Please come through for me.  We cannot do this apart from You.”  And this is what He taught me after I asked:  Regardless of the situation I am in (whether lack of sleep or practice on the defense), He is in control and will make His will be done.  And so, I claimed the victory that is set.

 

I was very nervous.  In fact, when I woke up at 6 A.M., I recalled that I had to print the thesis attachments yesterday.  So, I did it as fast as I could.  I was telling myself, “Don’t panic.  Don’t panic.” (While, I am in panic mode.)  Then, God said, “Be calm.  I’ll come through for you.” He will come through for me.  He will provide for me.  We will claim the victory in this defense.  It was 10 minutes before 8 A.M. when we prayed as a team that God will be glorified in this thing we are getting into.  Then, after a while, the thesis defense started.  We presented our thesis topic to the panel.  And, wow.  I was blown away.  Not much questions were asked by the panel.  They agreed that we did a great job.  All the requirements for the defense were met.  Of course, the panelists suggested improvements.  It was great hearing from them ideas that we can improve in our machine.  And I loved the teamwork that Andre and I had.  We were just in sync.  God came through for us.

 

And so, the panelists said, without further a do, that we passed the defense.  It was just amazing.  After, we prayed and thanked God for being with us in this defense.  That this was not done by man but by God.  He took control.  He, despite our 2-3 hour sleep, gave us strength and wisdom to do this.

 

When I arrived home, I watched the movie After Earth, I observed that the son, Kitai (Jaden Smith), had to trust the father, Cypher (Will Smith), in order for him to overcome the challenges in facing the beasts and nature of the planet they are in.  And just like Kitai, we have to trust our Heavenly Dad in order for us to overcome.  He knows everything and is omnipotent in every situation.  Start trusting God that He will come through for you regardless of the situation you are facing today.

 

Here’s a scene where Will Smith (with his serious face and voice) tells Jaden what to do.

 

Now, it’s time for a long weekend of games and socializing!

 

Just Gotten Thought #23

“It’s not complicated to be amazing for others. The first step is to think of others more than yourself. I find that some of the most selfless people I know are not the most flattering or funnest to be with. They are sometimes wrapped in rough edges and tactless remarks but their actions speak volumes. Many times the most selfish people I know are those who seem friendliest and most sociable – but actually give little thought to how things affect others as long as they get to do what they want.”

-David Bonifacio

Just Gotten Thought #22

Birthday-Celebration

 

Birthdays aren’t about you.  It was never about you.  (Haha.  Kind of tough also for me in this one statement.)  It’s about Jesus.  It’s having to be thankful and grateful on what God did in your life:  How he blessed you, made you overcome, strengthened you, protected you, and loved you.  And He still continues to do so.  It’s having to be thankful to God for the people whom He has placed you with and who loves you.  Birthdays are about thanking and celebrating on what Jesus did and still is doing in your life.

 

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

-Philippians 1:21