“Happy Lang….”

READ: Psalm 139:13-16 (TLB)

How many of you have watched this TV series entitled “Little Nanay” on GMA-7? If you have done done so, I’m sure you do miss Tinay and her favorite expression, “Happy lang….”. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Kudos to GMA-7 for such a wonderful Teleserye concept! For those who do not know, Tinay’s character (portrayed by Kris Bernal) is a mom with intellectual disability. Carefree as she is, she was not spared from the ordeal of being ridiculed and rejected even by her loved ones (so-called superhero Archie and daughter Chie-Chie) a few times. Her family (Loloy, Lolay, Bruce, Peter and Gpap), however, has consistently shown their love and support from the start until the final episode (aired on March 23, 2016).

Parents, siblings and relatives of PIDs (Persons with Intellectual Disabilities) should have watched this. The last part is so touching—you’ll shed tears even if you don’t have a family member with disability.

“We may not be street smart or highly intelligent, but we can still do a lot of things…. We deserve love and respect from everyone, much more from our family.” — Tinay (paraphrased speech)

The entire video reminds me of the message of my book and of our negative attitude when we are not secure and content with what we are blessed with physically and intellectually. That steals our happiness. With our critical spirit, we see what’s wrong and lacking with this and that person. We have so much to learn from a simpleminded mom like Tinay. To her, “Happy lang….” means to be happy is our only choice. It does mean we refuse to give room to worries and sour graping, but we choose to be thankful for what we have—no matter the situation.

Happy lang surely includes being appreciative of each one’s uniqueness as God’s creation. While intellectual pride manifests itself in looking down on others who may not have the same intelligence or professional status, such pride is out of place or inappropriate for someone as grateful as a special child and the Psalmist.

We may not have wished we were special. But just how happy are we these days?

🙂 🙂 🙂

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit them together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
It is amazing to think about.
Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it.”

Psalm 139: 13-14 (TLB)

Our Spiritual Eyes

eyes

READ: Philippians 4:8-9

As an OC, I get irritated at times with mess, and I grow tired of too much unwholesome talks. Thank God that by His grace, He has given me eyes which dwell on the positive.

Whenever I see unpleasant or unfavorable situations, I normally get disappointed in a moment, but not after “wearing the eyes” that cool me down and bring me back to my normal adrenalin level. Thanks that these eyes are available whenever I need them.

The problem, though, is that sometimes I turn to be too independent. I forget those eyes, and I depend credulously on my own defective eyesight. The result—my surroundings and I repel, because both of us are “negatively charged.” I see somebody’s irresponsibility, and I get impatient. A brother or sister seems careless and unreasonable, and I become cynical. I glean through an unfulfilled dream, and I get bitter and depressed. Someone is in trouble, and I am too insensitive. Here come discouragement and disappointments.

Either an interpersonal or an intrapersonal conflict is present, simply because the God-given eyes are forgotten and left somewhere else. I have suffered a number of times the consequences of my neglect of these eyes. I treasure the lessons I’ve learned as I am still in the process of learning.

But God is not pleased when we keep on using our own eyes that center on ourselves—what we want and what we expect. Conflicts will be here and there if we won’t make use of the gift God has imparted.

Every Christian is just gifted with spiritual eyes. These eyes, which transcend superficiality and every form of facade, enable us to look not only to our own interests but also to the interest of others (Phil. 2:4).

Are we often caught grumbling as if we were carrying the whole world on our shoulders? Are we quick to detect imperfections, shortcomings and inconsistencies? Do we feel so discouraged and disappointed?

Perhaps we must learn the habit of “wearing our spiritual eyes.” These eyes focus on the positive side of everything and make us thankful under whatever circumstances. They represent the eyes of the Father. Do we look and see with His eyes?

“… Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

– Philippians 4:8

The Real Winner

READ: Psalm 37

A severe headache attacked late Friday night. I thought I wouldn’t make it to the 4:00 a.m. Dawn Prayer in our church. But after a short good night rest and deep sleep, I woke up Saturday at 3:30 a.m. feeling pretty well with an utterly vivid dream I just couldn’t forget. . . .

In my dream was the Pound for Pound King, Manny Pacquiao. He won the fight against Bradley, but he did not get what he should have gotten—something that’s supposed to be his!

Knowing that God sometimes gives revelations and warnings through dreams (in accordance with His Word), I told my husband confidently that Manny would win. While watching the Pacquiao-Bradley match, I even declared to my hubby and daughter the interpretation of my dream: that it’s a “sure win” except that Manny wouldn’t get Bradley knocked out.

After the 12th round, when everyone of us including our boxing hero was confident of the result, the announcement of the winner brought a big shock and disbelief. Bradley won (115-113) with the judges’ split decision. One sports commentator exclaimed, “Whew! It’s unbelievable! I am flabbergasted.” Manny Pacquiao himself voiced it out, “I respect the decision, but one  hundred percent I believe that I won the fight. . . . I don’t know what happened.”

The whole world (only in exception of Bradley and the two judges) has been so upset. I myself was fretting over a completely disgusting result, until the accurate interpretation of my dream surfaced:

Manny Pacquiao actually won. That something he was deprived of–that’s supposed to be his–stands for the Welterweight Champion’s belt. It belongs to him. For some reason that the two judges succumbed to, the belt was instead given to the undeserving Timothy Bradley.

Who is not smart enough to smell deceit or detect an outright questionable decision? We can go on with endless sighs and grumbling. But at the end of the day, we need to go back to our Sovereign God who is a God of purpose.

When the moment of truth gets shaded with lies and deception, it’s time to ask, “What does the Word of God say? What does God want us to do?”

Thank God that the winner knows how to respond. He’s indeed shaped for victory as depicted in the second to the last chapter of my first educational and inspirational book, Rediscovering Your Intelligence.

A winning attitude makes a real winner. A timely reminder from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (TEV) goes, “Be joyful always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.”

“… Do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. A little while and the wicked will be no more, though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace. The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.”

–Psalm 37:7,10-13

Please feel free to review my book “Rediscovering Your Intelligence” on askDavid.com

His Mighty Servant

READ: James 3:13-18

MH900230766She has been one of our most awaited guest speakers in our Family Ministry School (FMS) in Baguio and Taipei for the last few years. God has been using her in the area of healing and prophetic ministries. She’s a rather soft spoken lady with her British accent and probably in her 50’s.

Serving as speaker for the week, Diane joined in one of our FMS staff meetings in Taipei in 2006, for her to minister to each of us staff members. As she started to pray and speak prophetic words for each one, I must admit that I was guilty of not being quite awestruck. Perhaps I had just gotten used to hearing “anointed prophets” who would come on so strong with their prophecies that you could right away fall spellbound with their sharpness and accuracy.

With Diane, I felt what she was speaking to each one (at that time in Taipei) was far too generalized. . . . I had to repent for my bias, though, when my turn came. As I closed my eyes and raised my hands, it surprised me to hear something different. What I had expected to sound imprecise—simply came too specific and sharp!

We were not able to voice-record the prophecies. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t forget these words that brought me to tears:

You have dreams. . . . God gave you dreams. . . . People may have asked, “Who are you?” But the Lord says, “Keep on dreaming . . . Going through various tests doesn’t mean you’re not on the right track. . . . Others think you’re not, but you cannot please everybody. . . . Seek to please God, not people. . . .”

Being in Taipei for a few months sort of marked the end (or long delay) of a dream to officially publish my book, Rediscovering Your Intelligence. Despite the very good feedback on a number of copies we had printed out through desktop publishing, I felt helpless and discouraged with my laptop that crashed without remedy and files that couldn’t be retrieved.

At the height of enjoying a new culture and environment during our Taiwan FMS, I was at the back of my mind grieving the loss of a big dream. There were times when I thought, “If only I could have my book published. . . . But what am I doing in this expensive city of Taipei?” A little depression crept in as I listened to the voice of disappointment. All the while, I was moving on with my responsibilities in the school, despite my struggles.

Thank God that He met me at the point of my need through the low-profile yet spiritually remarkable woman prophet named Diane Pearce! Along with her timely prophetic words, Diane also prayed for the joy of my salvation to be restored.

It was such a valuable lesson that I should be humble enough to receive and not quick to judge. While Diane is well-known in Australia and Korea, God doesn’t speak only through people with big names or those with big eloquent voices. He can speak through the soft-spoken Diane Pearce, the forceful Cindy Jacobs, Billy Graham and the like–or anyone He chooses to meet us at the greatest point of our need.

“But there will be glory, honor, and peace for every person who does what is good. . . . God does not play favorites.” – Romans 2:10-12 (GW)

Pacman is a Fertile Soil

READ: Matthew 13:1-23

Hand-with-Soilweb

Who doesn’t know Manny Pacquiao (aka Pacman)? Not only that he’s every Filipino’s pride, even Hollywood celebrities and NBA stars would take a break just to meet the World’s Greatest Boxer.

I am not exactly a big fan of boxing, but I see Manny’s life as an inspiration. My book Rediscovering Your Intelligence highlights in Chapter 6, “The Real Thing that Counts”:

. . . There’s something about the phenomenal boxing champion that really draws my attention. . . .

When asked how he managed to come out victorious in 2008 over another boxing legend, Oscar dela Hoya, Pacquiao shared one thing he had learned that applies to everyday life: “Don’t tell God how big is your problem. Instead, tell your problem how big is your God.”

Although it sounds like the boxer got the quote from a Christian book, a preacher or a spiritual adviser, the statement goes to unveil his heart. Making it a point to pray before and after every fight and to acknowledge God on worldwide television for every victory—is more than just being religious. I believe Manny Pacquiao has a heart that seeks and reveres his God.

When a pastor had left this comment (on my post “Lesson from Pacquiao and Marquez”) that Manny is the humblest boxer he’s ever known, even though he doesn’t share the “same faith” with him, I replied: “I believe it won’t be long and he will soon be one of us.” Although honestly speaking, I was inclined to assume then that he was already a believer. But thank God that while I was wrong with my presumption, my words that he will soon become a Christian have been fulfilled! Online news and social media updates reveal that the Pound for Pound King has just recently met the King of All Kings.

The boxing icon is not someone who could forever be overwhelmed with what the world has to offer. While some extremely popular and wealthy personalities do not see their need for God, Pacman now confesses, “Without Christ, I am nothing.” A video circulating through Facebook even speaks of the champ quitting his vices and now getting addicted to Bible studies.

Fame and the deceitfulness of wealth are still out to choke anyone to death and destruction. A genuine seeker of the truth, nonetheless, will be free from those thorns.

“But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they  hear. . . . But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

– Matthew 13:16, 23

  Please feel free to review my book “Rediscovering Your Intelligence” on askDavid.com

You Have A Future

READ: Jeremiah 29:11-13

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Becoming a stay-at-home mom for about two years seems to be the longest and most difficult stage I have gone through. Don’t get me wrong. Being a full-time mom is a wonderful 24/7 job. What made me struggle was the absence of my husband (who worked abroad during those years) and my “leave of absence” from work or ministry.

I am not a plain housewife material, but I survived doing household chores by myself (except for marketing and cooking which were my eldest sister’s work duty). My life was still convenient with an automatic washing machine and an electric sterilizer. No amount of technology, however, could ease the depression that was slowly creeping in. How I missed those times when my family was complete and we were active in mission work.

We went out of YWAM (Youth With A Mission), hoping to embrace a new role as a sender or financial supporter to missionary friends. But I guess no transition stage is easy. And here is where people either move forward or retreat.

Whatever happened to God-given gifts and dreams?

I moved backwards by starting a habit of recalling the place and season where I was most dynamic and effective. If only I could relive those moments. . . . If only . . . but all I could do was go back to the past until a still small voice put me off. It gently whispered, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” In the spur of the moment, the all-too-familiar Jeremiah 29:11 resonated a special promise. 

The well-known verse has brought a new revelation that enabled me to stop a counter-productive habit. It spoke to my heart and lifted up my downcast spirit.

Maybe your present situation has been flooded with disappointment after disappointment. . . . You need not be tempted to dwell in the past. . . . God knows what He’s doing. He has greater plans for you and me.

“I will bless you with a future filled with hope—a future of success, not of suffering. You will turn back to me and ask for help and I will answer your prayers.” –Jeremiah 29:11-12 (CEV)

Save

If God is For You

READ: Zephaniah 3:14-20

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My first formal book launch on Friday afternoon (December 2nd) in a technological college made me a bit anxious. The librarian who coordinated the event with us reminded that the school could only provide the venue and that the program should run for an hour and extend for another 30 minutes for a question and answer portion and book-signing.

With all the preparations and details to be finalized, my heart pounded and my mind started entertaining these thoughts: “What if no one will show up? What if only five or ten students will make it to attend the launching program?”

All I could do was ask, “Wait Lord, did I make a mistake here?” I knew it that God normally answers through His Word when our minds are flooded with questions or doubts. So I grabbed my devotional guide and Bible. The passage for that day goes: “He will rejoice over you. You will rest in his love; he will sing and be joyful about you” (Zephaniah 3:17). The verse simply came to life and silenced all anxieties. It assured me that while the number of my audience may not reach 100, I have One who is more than enough. My Facebook page fans (or likes) may not increase dramatically, but I can take joy from the Greatest Cheer Leader one could ever have. He is worth more than a million fans. His commendation is priceless!

Turn to the sidelines; that’s God cheering your run. Look past the finish line; that’s God applauding your steps. Listen for him in the bleachers, shouting your name. Too tired to continue? He’ll carry you. Too discouraged to fight? He’s picking you up. God is for you. –Max Lucado

Get Rid of those Remnants

READ: Isaiah 43:18-19

Every intimate and serious involvement with another person creates soul ties that cannot be easily broken by time, distance or mere physical separation. My previous post entitled “Moving On” brought up this issue on soul ties. But just what are soul ties and how are they formed?

Stephen Gola, in his site Divorce Hope, describes that soul ties are like connections or bridges in relationships; they are formed many different ways as by willing or forced sexual relations, by speaking words of commitment or vows like “I will always love you,” “I will never forget,” and by accepting things that may be symbols of a covenant, commitment or a love relationship.Bonfire

Speaking confessions and prayers from the heart are not the only essential steps in breaking soul ties. The same site above stresses the need to get rid of the things that remind you of the person and the broken relationship. While I had already returned (fourteen years ago) the engagement ring from my ex-fiancé only a week after our breakup, I must admit that several months back when I wrote my previous post, I still had a few small things kept somewhere.

So I resolved to take off a few leaves (with written notes related to my ex) from an old notebook…. I also pulled out a leftover picture from an old photo album…. What else? Some more post cards…. They all deserved to vanish, so I threw them into the fireplace. They are “to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt” (Deut. 13:16). The emotions they tried to rekindle have been ushered to death, never to resurrect or bother once again.

Moving on necessitates a symbolic and decisive act. Isn’t it a lot easier to move on without any visible baggage from the past?

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” — Isaiah 43:18, 19a


Moving On

READ: Philippians 3:12-16

Marrying your first boyfriend or girlfriend is quite romantic. Having an ex, though, or a number of them gives you experiences to learn from.

To think and say that “Past is past…” sounds appropriate. But believe me, sometimes it’s nothing more than a cliché—overused and abused—while it doesn’t really speak of the truth inside your heart. If you have an ex, chances are, you might have had a few recurring dreams about the unforgettable guy or lady from your past. You may have wondered how it would feel to see him or her again, now that you are happily married.

Guess what…. The real test whether you have moved on or not doesn’t actually lie on having a new partner or a spouse. An unplanned personal encounter will reveal the real score.

Six years ago, I happened to meet my Korean ex-boyfriend in Baguio City where my family and I were supposed to attend a three-month training school. He was not one of our fellow students, but unfortunately, he served as interpreter for a Korean couple who were our classmates. Somehow, I knew it that I would see him there, but I wasn’t expecting he would be a part of the school.

My husband was even teasing me as to how my reaction and feelings would be. We had gotten married a year after the breakup. My ex did three or four years later…. I was just curious how it would feel, since our relationship was ended only through a series of communication by phone calls and letters. As far as my knowledge, I had completely released forgiveness and let bygones be bygones despite the lack of a formal breakup.

The first time I saw him in eight years, I just couldn’t explain how awkward and uncomfortable it was. I must admit having mixed feelings…. Angry? Yes, for finally seeing the coward—the man who did not have the guts to break up with me in person. Ecstatic? Yes, sort of, because there was still a soft spot in my heart for him.

Thank God that my hubby has been blessed with security and understanding! He knew it that I struggled for days and weeks with my mixed emotions. There were also times when I would get to see the wife of my ex. With a bit of jealousy, I thought, “Good for them! They want to have a baby, but until now they are childless….” All the while I was so proud then of having a lovely four-year-old daughter.

Guilty of all my negative thoughts, I consulted a professional counselor who was also our speaker in the school during that week. I went on with my confession about my ex … that it was a relationship that was hoped to end up in marriage eight years ago…. The third party was no one but God … and that I couldn’t help but still be resentful … and yet at the same time it’s crazy that I would often catch myself secretly staring at him….

The counselor smiled and assured me that what I was going through was normal, considering the lack of a proper closure in my previous relationship. Also, it became clear to me that every intimate and serious involvement with the opposite sex creates soul ties that cannot be easily broken by time, distance or mere physical separation.

So we did cut off my soul ties with my ex verbally and spiritually in prayer. I wanted to settle things out with a formal heart to heart talk and tell him right on his face, “I’m releasing you…. I’m moving on with my life… I speak blessings to you and your wife….” I was told, however, that it was unnecessary. But even if I wasn’t able to do things as I wanted, I thank God that He has brought real healing in my heart through bumping into the man who caused my heartbreak.

I can only look back and smile at the past for all the precious lessons it has blessed me with. With no bitterness and regrets, I can say that I have moved on. Like the Apostle Paul I declare, “the one thing I do…is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead” (Phil. 3:13).

What Really Matters

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READ: Romans 9:14-18

 

Who do you think you are? A brilliant scientist? A multi-awarded teacher or researcher? A popular pastor and speaker? A successful businessman or a self-made entrepreneur?

As for me, I am nobody to the world. But the truth is—in the eyes of my Father–I’m not a nameless, insignificant person with an equally insignificant message.

Even as I’m trying to promote my first book as a newly published author, there are friends and acquaintances who are happy for me. I’m grateful to them for being there to cheer and share the joy of attaining the first step to a big dream. I feel honored that they wouldn’t mind spending a few minutes to take a look at my book page, click LIKE or even write some encouraging notes.

I also thank God for those friends and acquaintances who simply shrugged off their shoulders or even raised their brows…. That’s part of life. You can’t please everyone and you can’t expect one and all to share in your joy, or much more, support your endeavor.

While I am not hurt or offended by those who ignore my book campaign, I just couldn’t help but wonder what’s causing their indifference…. Maybe people change. They are too busy…. They have their own lives to live. I could be right or wrong with the answers I have in mind….

I am only sure of this: I am His daughter. My joy and success do not depend on the approval of men. What is most important in every pursuit I take is the endorsement and favor of my Father God, the King of All Kings. I can hear him say, “Your hard work is meaningless…. Everything is useless if I AM not with you, more so if I AM not for you.”

So then, everything depends, not on what we humans want or do, but only on God’s mercy. For the scripture says to the king of Egypt, “I made you king in order to use you to show my power and to spread my fame over the whole world.”

Romans 9:16-17 (GNB)