When It Doesn’t Make Sense

I shared this YouTube version of Joyce Meyer’s podcast episode for 25 December on Facebook the other day. A month ago, this Joel Osteen podcast episode spoke to me, as well. If you’ve experienced certain things in your life that you don’t quite understand and want to seek comfort from the Lord, these videos are a must-watch.

On a personal note, I am daring to share a question that admittedly still lurks in my mind, at a time when pictures of families, pregnancies and newborn babies abound (despite being happy for those in the photos): Why are we still childless after seven years and a miscarriage, when we believed by faith that this year would be our year, and that this Christmas will be different? Tough question, huh. If you’ve experienced similar “why’s” –  losses and frustrations in your life, I encourage you to watch this.

As I listened and sobbed, I was reminded that there’s always going to be things in our lives that we don’t have the answers to. If we have to know the “why” behind everything, and we’re gonna spend our life trying to figure everything out, we’re never going to have contentment and satisfaction…we’re never going to enter the rest of God – because trust, at times, requires some unanswered questions in our lives.

We need to resist the urge for control, and to constantly know the answers as to where we’re headed. I’m learning that it helps to not trouble our minds about where we have to go and to just believe that God is in control. We have to trust God more, giving Him plans of what He should do in our lives rather than  spending the rest of our lives being confused because He didn’t give the promise to us the way we wanted Him to. I guess this is a new level of surrender.

As you ask your difficult questions, I also encourage you, friend, to run to God in your pain, not away from Him. Trust God and go through these things with Him, and in time we will be able to say that there will be a day when all this is going to be over. He is the one who heals our wounded souls and emotions. There are things we may not be able to possibly handle on our own; but God’s grace is more than available for us.

May we be comforted with God’s peace and joy amidst frustrations. Beyond only knowing how to talk about God, may we truly KNOW Him and the power of His resurrection that can lift us up from a pit of despair and set us up into joy. This Christmas season, above and beyond any hurts and pains, may we experience His comforting joy-and-peace-giving Presence even more. And as we have freely received (and are receiving) healing for our souls, let us freely give.


Reunion Tips

Reunion tips abound these days, especially with the proliferation of well-meaning but nosey relatives who unknowingly tend to be hurtful. Those tips have certainly covered a lot, and are very funny, as well. One thing has been missed, however: ang pikon ay laging talo. In the words of John Bevere (one of my favorite authors), offense is the enemy’s bait.

Further, during the holiday season when reunions take place here and there, among relatives or long-lost friends or acquaintances, some may feel the need to show off their newest accomplishments and possessions. They may want to direct others’ attention towards them as if saying, “look at me, this is how far I’ve come now” while assessing where others are at. Those behaviors stem from the need for approval and acceptance. As Believers in the Messiah, His very beloved for whom He came down to earth as a baby more than 2000 years ago, we need to be reminded, especially in these times, of how:
1. We are accepted and beloved by God, in Jesus, and that is what truly matters. No need to be approval addicts.
2. Material things and accomplishments are meaningless under the sun, as the author of Ecclesiastes says. We cannot bring these things to our graves. Eternal treasures matter more.
3. If you feel the urge to impress others, remind yourself that you are already accepted and loved by God, as you are. You need not resort to old ways because you are a new creation in Christ. If tempted to resort to old ways, be reminded that His grace is more than sufficient for you to overcome any temptation which is common to man (i.e. pride).
4. If you notice and are piqued with this tendency (or other similarly irritating traits) in others, consider this:

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye but do not notice or consider the beam [of timber] that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Brother, allow me to take out the speck that is in your eye, when you yourself do not see the beam that is in your own eye? You actor (pretender, hypocrite)! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. – Luke 6:41-42 AMP

5. If you, yourself have had momentary lapses as regards this matter, you can always make a 180degree turn and instead imitate God’s ways. His grace is still more than sufficient for you. He is more than able to cleanse, forgive and empower you to do it right the next time around. ūüôā

In this vein, I also remember what my earthly father used to tell me, “simple ka lang”. (Be simple, don’t show off). At this point, I feel God reminding me to allow room for Him to make our light shine, as we reflect His because we’re simply staying close to Him. No need to laud ourselves. Instead, we ought to humble ourselves before Him (and He is everywhere, a witness to everything), and in due time, He will lift us up, when we no longer expect it – all be by His grace so that we cannot boast.

Really, I’m just so thankful that our God is a God of innumerable second chances, and in my next reunion, by His grace, I can have an attitude that is more pleasing to Him.

Attitude Day 7

For 3 weeks, we were in the midst of a “perfect storm”; but as the hymn¬†goes, “it is well with my¬†soul”. ¬†Interestingly, a contemporary version of the hymn was sung in church yesterday…so timely. ¬†I realized that I needed to hear that hymn¬†all over again. ¬†With a battery of tests following¬†one another (at the tail-end of the storm, just this morning, my 2-month old tablet, the device that I’m using for blogging and quiet time suddenly conked out!), I caught myself suspiciously thinking “uh-oh, so what’s next?” ¬†However, I really don’t think that attitude is consistent with having Jesus in me. ¬†I believe that through the song, God wanted to remind me that IT IS ALL WELL because HE REMAINS FAITHFUL and I should continue to have a confident expectation of HIS GOODNESS. ¬†And so, we feasted. ¬†ūüôā

Celebrating God’s Goodness with a Sumptuous Feast

The last 3 weeks could have been the worst in my adult life…if not for God. ¬†It was what Charles Dickens would describe as the worst of times, yet the best of times. ¬†In the past 3 weeks, I was able to really spend time alone with the Lord and just immerse myself in His presence.


To quote Pastor Alvin in yesterday’s message (paraphrased): The Power of God may change you from without, but the Presence of God will change you from within. ¬†Want His Presence more than His Power, because if you have His Presence, you’ll also have His Power.

Three weeks of basking in God’s presence not only healed me; through it, God revealed the state of my heart, and I felt Him transform it. ¬†It was such a life and heart changing experience.

Today,¬†we’re finally in Day 7 of this “course” on Attitude that I found myself taking in the last of those 3 weeks (can we call this Applied Attitude? Or Attitude in the Valley…something like my practicum courses, OLA or BA 123 hehe). ¬†Today’s verses seem to recap lessons from the valley:

The enemy may have thought that he was having a field day when my tablet conked out; but I'm blogging through my laptop now, where I can create my "favorite" tables.

The enemy may have thought that he was having a field day when my tablet conked out; but I’m blogging through my laptop now, where I can create my “favorite” tables.

I believe that as a final word for the season, God wants me to PRACTICE¬†the revelations and instructions that¬†I have learned and received from Him in the valley…that I should model my way of living on it. ¬†He doesn’t want me to be stressed, but wants to preserve this peaceful state of heart and mind, so I can continue to hear Him more, however hectic my day may look like.

As preached in¬†the past 2 Sundays, Revelation follows an Encounter which in turn will be followed by Action. ¬†This cycle is what comprises Life in Jesus. ¬†A revelation of salvation (who He is, what He has done and who I am in Him) causes me to be glad. ¬†Though this salvation involves day-to-day sanctification, the joyful thing is that I can continue to rely on Jesus’ finished work for empowerment and victory even in the midst of the refining fire. ¬†His voice and counsel delights me. ¬† His presence makes me glad and displaces worries in my life.

Our story is not yet over, and we still have dreams for children and a house, as well as desire for favor and continued advancement in our callings. We desire to give the best response in each and every opportunity to be used by the Lord.  Though we may have been through a rough season, we will not be stuck there.

Crossing over

Crossing over is often not easy.  All the more reason to continue contending in prayer.  We are called to make known our definite requests (ergo, each and every little thing) to God with thanksgiving.  This is the perfect antidote against anxiety.  Yesterday, a FB friend posted something re: contending in prayer.



As we cross over to our promise land,¬†the intimidated¬†enemy utilizes seemingly daunting tactics. ¬†He keeps on forgetting that God has the power and the ability to make all things work for those who love Him and whom He has called according to His purpose. ¬†Our God¬†has won the victory, ergo no weapon formed against us can prosper. ¬†Hence, we should not focus on the enemy’s¬†strategies, but rather focus on¬†things that are¬†true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and¬†of good report. ¬†I just realized that since God is the only one who genuinely and ultimately embodies these qualities, we are to ultimately focus on Him. ¬†With eyes of faith, we are to set our gaze on matters that point to Him.

With His peace in our hearts, by His grace, He gives us the ability to respond with a forbearing spirit to whatever comes along.  May such forbearing spirit be tantamount to a shining light for Him.


(Btw, today’s my first day in the office…and so I better go back to work.

Cause this candlestand¬†to reflect Your light, Lord. ¬†In Jesus’ name, amen.)


Attitude Day 6

The Lord has been teaching me (and I believe a whole lot of others in the body of Christ, as well) about compassion and empathy. I’m realizing that without God’s compassion flowing through us, empathy would be lacking, prayers may lack fire and encouragement may be superficial.


Speaking of encouragement, I feel that the Lord has given me this gift (based on my usual role in friendships). There was a time when I detested it, because I just felt so used, but that’s what I ought to be – used by the Lord. In this recent valley, especially in the past few days, I felt Him refine this gift by allowing the tests.


God comforted me, Himself, and through encouraging and not-so-encouraging words and actions from people, I’ve learned, am learning what to do what not to do. I have much to learn.

Today’s verses provide some guidelines as regards the gift: Be careful not to get bossy (listen), keep your eyes open, be quick to respond. Don’t let yourself get irritated with who you’re encouraging or depressed by them. Smile!


A sobering reminder is also found in these verses: we find meaning and function as part of his body. Ergo, each gift is not above another gift. No need for prideful comparison or trying to be something that we aren’t. The gifts God gave us are best not used in solitude, they’re meant to be used in the body and to add to the body of Believers.



Lord, teach me more and fill me with Your spirit. Guide me and lead me. By Your grace, help me prophetically encourage others according to the proportion of the faith that You are giving me. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Attitude Day 5

A reminder for moments when we think that our goodness comes from us, and we pride ourselves on being virtuous.

To be truly introspective is to understand who God is and what He does for us.




I thank God for revealing that I need to be delivered of certain generational curses. I was struggling to pray by myself the whole day, but results were different when I prayed with my mom. Indeed God’s word is true…when 2 or more are gathered together (even over the phone), He is in their midst. I felt delivered from poverty, involvement with occult, adultery, marital strife, even anger vs my paternal grandfather for bringing these things to the family. It all stops with our generation because we are in Christ. We are covered and cleansed by His blood. Who God is, what He has done and who I am in Him defines who I am. Praise God!


Attitude Day 4

To be honest, even with ups and downs of “confinement”, (like my struggle with depression yesterday),¬† I’m enjoying this rest period.¬† There are lots of priceless, quiet moments to just hang out with the Lord and process revelations and lessons in relation to the tests. If only this leave weren’t w/o pay (save for SSS benefits that are barely 1/5 of my monthly pay…still, this is provision. I’ll take it, thank You, Lord!), I’d want the leave to be longer. ¬†ūüôā

A month without pay is fine but I need to get back on my feet soon or else our finances may suffer. As I recounted in previous blog entries, our reservation fee for the townhouse that we were eyeing was also forfeited in part. I really just thank God that the Seller, got convicted into returning the 60%. That’s such an answered prayer! Then again, God is my Jehovah Jireh, my Good Shepherd, and Heavenly Father, who gives my daily bread. All I have needed His hand has provided. He has always been faithful and continue to be so.

Yesterday, when OB examined me, she found nothing wrong with my womb, but won’t give me a fit-to-work certificate unless we get normal results in a urine exam. She says it may be¬† a culprit behind the lower back strain and she just wants to rule out urine infections which sometimes develop in women healing from miscarriage. I’m really praying that the results will be normal. I’ve been praying and laying hands on myself for healing. I’m telling God, “Lord, pagod na po ako…and marami po akong natututunan. Pwede pong awat na muna sa tests?” (I’m tired, Lord, and have been learning a lot. Can we have a ceasefire from the tests, please?)

Last night, a friend shared a very powerful message that helped put the recent tests into perspective.


Though I didn’t hear the message directly, it just felt so personal, describing my journey these past few weeks. The thought that we’re but stewards, and cannot take anything with us when we die is so sobering.

The tendency when we amass possessions, networks, achievements and even revelations is to think of ourselves as better than others. The tendency to pride ourselves ourselves as prettier, smarter, more quick-witted, cooler, friendlier, more attractive, more talented, more well-connected, more sophisticated, more fashionable, trendier, more successful, busier (yes, can be a source of pride!), richer, more spiritual, more well-travelled, and/or more virtuous vis-a-vis others, typically ripens into a habit, a stronghold and even a state of heart.  We may think of this sin as well-hidden if we appear virtuous; but God sees the calloused state of our hearts and detests this form of pride. Such callouses constrict the flow of compassion into our hearts.

The verses in today’s Devo convicted me (here they are, in my favorite translations. I just love comparing one version with another and from there, savoring the richness of God’s message through the Holy Spirit’s revelation)




I reflected on the times that I considered myself to be better than others at each stage of my life, and repented from each one that God brought to mind. As I prayed, I felt release…freedom.¬† I pray for the grace to truly turn back from this habit / tendency. Thank You for gently revealing this to me. Lord, convict me, as You must. I have much to learn. Help me guard my heart against this detestable thing in Your sight.

It strikes me how a humbler heart and considering others as better than one’s self has a correlation with caring and being a deep-spirited friend. One of the things that this experience is teaching and imparting to me is a desire to be a more encouraging, more compassionate, more empathic and more deep-spirited friend. Lord, forgive me for my pride and callousness, and help me to be one and to see people and circumstances through Your eyes of compassion. Help me be more considerate of the interest of others.¬†

In this connection, I posted this on FB.


One of my bestfriends gave an insightful comment about how to be a deep-spirited friend:


Really need the Holy Spirit’s prompting, and from there, we respond.


Thank You, Lord for softening my calloused heart amidst these tests. Thank You for the time to spend with You, as well as the opportunity to hear Your voice.



Attitude Day 3

Last night, I dreamt that I was taking the bar exams for the 2nd time. Upon waking up, I realized that my dream pertains to the tests that my husband and I underwent in the past 3 weeks: miscarriage, forfeiture of the reservation fee for the townhouse, learning that my leave is unpaid (save for SSS benefits, which is barely a third of a month’s salary) for a month. Thank God that the Seller of the townhouse decided, yesterday, to restore part of the reservation fee. Praying that he’ll follow through indeed (We’ll follow up, as well; I believe this is part of contending for the losses. Similarly, I pray and aim to fully recover soon so I can begin working again).

Compared to me, my husband seems less affected by these tests. Probably, it’s because he doesn’t feel any cramping and back strain and he still goes to work everyday, hence a semblance of normalcy for him. Yet, could it be that he’s feigning a front stronger than how he actually feels? Then again, he always takes things more lightly vis-a-vis the normal person, while I have always been the contemplative type…that’s just how I’m wired. I remember that my dad used to admonish me whenever I displayed happy-go-lucky tendencies, but in times of testing, could it be that a happy-go-lucky disposition fares better because, he, at least, has joy, since he (rightly or wrongly) thinks that things are A-okay. In such light, would it help if I were less contemplative and more happy-go-lucky?

In this connection, today’s prescribed text from the Attitude devo is v. 5-8 of Romans 5;


Yet v. 3-4 in the amplified version struck me the most. Be full of joy, exult and triumph in troubles? Rejoice in suffering? I am generally ok (especially when praying), but I’m realizing that when asked how I’m doing, I don’t always sound too joyful.¬† I guess it reveals that my attitude towards the test, itself, is still one of disdain. Perhaps this reveals that in the deepest recesses of my heart, I am not full of joy right now. (And I thank God for revealing this to me). Perhaps this is why the Lord is encouraging me to be full of joy.


As I wrote yesterday, focus is key. Do I limit my sights to pressure, affliction and hardship that accompany the tests or widen my perspective to see the fruits they produce: patient endurance, maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity) and developing the habit of joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. Do I not want these things? Are these attributes not uncommon? Will they not set me apart vis-a-vis the normal person, as well?

This reminds me of a similar argument that my late Dad and I used to have. He’d instruct me¬† to not copy my peers’ ways, saying “iba tayo, anak” (we’re different than them), to which stubborn teen-aged me would respond, “pero gusto ko maging kagaya nila” (but I want to be like them). Right now, the same dialogue seems to transpire between my heavenly Father and me. I feel Him telling me, “Really, my child, do you want to be just like them? But I have already set you apart, sanctified by the blood of my Son. Remember, I have plans to prosper you, give you a hope and a future. I want you to have character that is ready for the responsibilities assigned to you, for the double-portion of blessings that I have likewise set aside for you. Remember that I have placed in your heart a passion, a vision to make a difference. You are an ambassador of My Kingdom and you have an excellent spirit because My Holy Spirit is in you. In that light, You are different.”

And just like that, even as I’m typing right now, I feel a boost of energy in my spirit. I feel that the Lord is reminding me that it all boils down to the joy of my salvation. By grace through faith, when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, I was justified, forgiven of my sins. Now, I am experiencing further sanctification to develop passionate patience (not the lethargic, reactive type), tempered steel of virtue (refined, with polished edges…again I recall my earthly father’s reminder, “maging pino kung kumilos, anak” (be refined in your ways, my child)…I feel my heavenly Father also telling me, “I want you to be refined in your ways”), and alertness for what God will do next. When I go to my heavenly home, I shall experience glorification, thus completing the process of my salvation.


God wants us to have alert expectancy so that we won’t feel shortchanged (yes, hindi ka kawawa, Lorybeth. No to self-pity!). After all, God has and continues to generously pour to our lives through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches, counsels and reminds us of the things of God, especially of His great and precious promises. The Holy Spirit reminds us that Jesus arrived at the right time to redeem us, and His help is likewise timely in whatever situation. He reminds that we are not hopeless and our situations are likewise not hopeless because we are in Christ.

The concept of alert expectancy to God’s next move, to what’s going on around Christ, is something which excites me. In the past two days (and even in the past two Sundays), Col 3:1-4 in the message translation has been highlighted to me:


It reminds me that our God is a dynamic God…that He’s always on the move, though He’s unchanging.¬† It gives me comfort that my current storms are not permanent…and because I am in Jesus, this season shall pass.¬† And I should expectantly be on the look-out for what God has in store.

Most of the time, it really just takes a prayer and a revelation from the Lord to snap out of a moment of gloom and self-pity. While such feelings may be normal in the midst of trials, one should not dwell on such thoughts. Some may be strong enough and able to instantly shift their thoughts (there are moments when I’m like that, as well), but there are just moments when it’s not as easy to shake such feelings off. When those times come, it helps to come before the Lord in honesty (anyway, all-knowing as He is, there’s no use in denying what you think and feel), and humbly ask for His help in shifting our perspectives towards His. While my own joy may not be enough to strengthen me, the joy of the Lord is my strength. ūüôā

In that spirit, I am asking God for revelation as regards my situation. Right now, I am on bed rest, but I can pray and war in the spirit to pray not only for this situation of mine, but also for anything else that the Lord places in my heart.

Lord, give me revelation, as I pray. In Jesus’ name, amen.



Here’s another timely word from a FB post that I stumbled upon shortly after writing this: