A Heart Check and Cleanse

Just as the physical heart requires maintenance and regular check-up, so do our mind and heart, where our soul takes up residence. When we become calloused, critical and thoughts of starting to view ourselves as better begin to enter our mind, it is time for a heart-check. Only our Divine Doctor who can do a supernatural xray can truly assess the well-being of our hearts and minds. And so to Him, we pray:

God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too— your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in! – Psalm 139:1‭-‬6 MSG

Our hearts are known to Him; they cannot escapt His eyes. He knows the root of why we act, speak and think the way we do. Before Him, putting on false selves is a futile exercise. 

“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God , search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.” – Jeremiah 17:9‭-‬10 MSG

Thankfully our God does not only perform diagnostics, but He also supplies the medicine.

Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life. – Psalm 139:23‭-‬24 MSG

He also gives guidelines for preventive maintenance: to seek Him and inquire of Him as our first and vital necessity.

And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father [have personal knowledge of Him, be acquainted with, and understand Him; appreciate, heed, and cherish Him] and serve Him with a blameless heart and a willing mind. For the Lord searches all hearts and minds and understands all the wanderings of the thoughts. If you seek Him [inquiring for and of Him and requiring Him as your first and vital necessity] you will find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever! – 1 Chronicles 28:9 AMPC

Thankfully, He does not leave us alone to fend for ourselves after having searched our hearts. His Holy Spirit within us reminds us that we can always draw near to the Father’s throne of grace in repentance. We can plead for the blood of Jesus and be washed by His living Word. 

And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will. [Ps. 139:1, 2.] – Romans 8:27 AMPC

He assures us of pardon and empowers us by His grace to walk anew in the Spirit. 

And such blessed assurance there is, after a heart check and cleanse. There is a different lightness and peace of heart, making it easier to breathe even. Such lightness and peace enables us to flow in rest, with a quiet heart wholly leaning on our Lord once more. 

Indeed, we cannot be righteous by ourselves. We cannot even know the state of our hearts by ourselves and neither can we find a way out by ourselves as well. But Jesus has made a way, thank God! Only by and through Jesus are we righteous…only by His grace, so that no one can boast. This salvation is indeed blessed, wonderful…truly awesome, as our God is awesome. Praise Him whose lovingkindness and mercy endure forever!


Women’s Day Musings

And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept, And He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in its place. And He built the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, into a woman and brought her to the man. – Genesis 2:21-22, One New Man translation

The One New Man translation, translated directly from Hebrew, notes that God created the universe, made man, but built Eve. In Hebrew, the root word for build has the same letters as the root word for discern. Hence, Hebrew scholars say that thiz is why women are generally more spiritually sensitive than men. 

Notwithstanding such discernment, Eve was the first target of the enemy’s deception. Could it be that she fell prey because she leaned on her own understanding? Hence this reminder from Proverbs:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your Ways know Him and He will make your paths smooth. Do not be wise in your own eyes! Revere the LORD! Depart from bad things. – Proverbs 3:5-7, One New Man translation

To revere the Lord…this is where wisdom begins. What does revering the Lord entail? Google gave me a hint. 😉

The reverence of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of holy things is understanding. – Proverbs 9:10, One New Man translation 

LORD, You are our Omniscient God, our Wonderful Counselor. Thank You for building us with discernment. Thank You for gifting us with sensitivity to Your Spirit. We trust in You, Lord. We are only wise, gaining wisdom when we are connected to You, the source of all wisdom. By Your grace, by Your Holy Spirit, teach us to revere You. As we continue to gaze at You, in full dependence on You, only then can we truly be empowered…empowered with Your wisdom – with Your Word and Your Ways. Amen, in Your name, Jesus.

Through Your empowerment, use us to empower others. As you said in Prov 11:30b, He who is wise wins souls…souls for Your Kingdom

Explicitly Tacit 

The sheet below is a page from a training manual. It sums up my key take-aways from my new law firm’s Knowledge Management Summit. Who knew that even through this (a secular training held in a Muslim country), the Holy Spirit would speak a rhema to my heart? Straight from the heart of God as wonderful Counselor, and the ultimate authority on Knowledge Management. 😇

Explicit and tacit wisdom of the ages:  The verses and Holy Spirit rhema. God’s Word and His ways. Wisdom taught and caught. The Word made flesh and the Way, Truth and Life.  Jesus.


Hard Hearts

People are unable to perceive, see and listen to God though they may look and hear because their hearts are hard. This means that key in counseling others is to ask the Lord to soften their hearts – instead of readily spewing out advice only to be frustrated with their hard hearts, which causes a bit of hardening on your own heart too. The importance of going deeper into the Presence of God, and just lingering there to intercede and ask for strategies can never be over-emphasized, especially when dealing with issues where the counselees’ hearts have, themselves, hardened.

But what causes hardening of the heart, anyway? This is what I’ve been asking God. The Lord has reminded me of a few things that I’ve struggled with a few times. 

What hardens the heart: 

1. Increasing lawlessness – The sin or lawlessness may not be your own; but constant exposure to it may cause a hardening of the heart. 

This is exactly why I went on a FB hiatus, which weaned me off it eventually (though not entirely)

Ultimately, the antidote against increase in lawlessness is to constantly focus on Jesus, and be reminded that where sin abounds, His grace abounds even more. Should distractions get in the way, readjust your gaze to have them fixed on Jesus anew. When you see His eyes, filled with love for you, you couldn’t help but just love Him as a response. 

2. Familiarity-  taking for granted the presence of God. This is a pitfall for most long-time Christians and even worship leaders. They have been so accustomed to the Lord’s presence, that awe and wonder have been relegated to routines. Genuine hunger for God diminishes until it disappears. Hence, the spirit of religion, which strangles. 

3. Disobedience to the promptings of the Spirit of the Lord – This includes delayed or partial obedience. Disobedience stems from choosing your own way, instead or infusing your way with God’s. It reeks of the stench of self-sufficiency and rebellion, both rooted in pride. When you see yourself making excuses before the Lord, justifying this or that, beware of this slippery slope. 

Sometimes, we want to obey, but have a lot of external pressures or internal excuses. Times wn

On the other hand, what softens the heart is going deeper into the Lord’s presence. We may not know how, but we can ask the Holy Spirit for help. The Spirit helps us in our weakness and counsels us how to go deeper into the Lord. Methods and means may vary from one person to another, but these seem like the constants, which can help us refocus on Jesus:

1. Deep worship – I recall the message shared by Pastor Bernie in Windwatch the other week. 

The thing is, one can be a worship leader, but have a hardened heart that has excessively become familiar to the Lord’s presence. This happens when one worships only to practice for the next “performance”.

We worship until all that we see and want is Him.

Deep and constant worship, however, is a lifestyle. It is not limited to music, although music may have a big part in it, as God invented and uses it to soften the heart, attune it to His frequency (take for example, how Saul’s heart softened and became at peace everytime David played the harp).

Progressively going deeper in worship enables one to breach the existing threshholds of familiarity and boredom. 

2.  The Word – This article expounds on how our minds need to be and is renewed by the washing of the Word 

3. Repentance – We simply go back to the Lord and His ways, acknowledging that we have gone our own way in whole or in part, confess this and apologize, thus receiving His forgiveness. God draws us to 

Daily or moment by moment surrender of our complete will and ways complements repentance. This is simply acknowledging that we need God, every hour. 

4. Prayer – we need to pray for soft hearts, ask the Holy Spirit to show us any area where there has been any hardening, and ask the Lord to help us guard our hearts. 


Why Love is the Greatest 

I have always wondered why LOVE is regarded  as the greatest by  1 Cor 13. Pondering on these verses,  the Lord made me realize a few things in the context of events in the world, as well as my personal dealings. 

We know that Faith, hope and love are essential elements for our life journeys with God. Where faith supplies direction, hope is the fuel for the soul. Love enables us to march in step with God in intimacy, as the rhythms our heartbeats align in cadence with that of His. When the timing of our steps align with His, there is no room for impatience (of God’s time). Thank God that because of His love, He always waits for us to catch up with His pace and meets us where we’re at.

Prophecies, signs and wonders, piety, and peace  can be counterfeited, but love cannot. In this age of alternative facts, history can be revised, hence counterfeit history, and even news can be faked; but love cannot be faked. 

As unity can be based elsewhere, lack of true love will give away whether or not it is founded on Christ. 

Love from and for God, and for fellowmen is the motivational spark and the oil which runs and maintains each of the components of the five-fold ministry. Evangelists evangelize out of love. Prophets are mere clanging cymbals without love. Teachers cannot impart and will be puffed up with knowledge without love. Apostles need love to not grow weary. Pastors need love as they shepherd their flock.

Godliness denying the power of God can likewise be found out by the lack of true love, because Only love, is able to activate faith, by which the supernatural miracle-working power of God is pulled from the Heavenlies to the earthly realms.

Love, therefore,  is the element which can help distinguish whether something is merely good or if something is of God.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

This is why God designed love to be the greatest, even among faith and hope: love is the mark of a true Believer – why they’ll know that we are Christians by our love, with unity as a byproduct. This is why, in life, we are often given tests that will refine us to produce fruits of the Spirit in the context of and in accord with love. 

God is love and is the only Source of True Love. Hence, True love, of 1st Cor 13 caliber, cannot be manufactured, but can only flow from the heart of the Father to our hearts through Jesus. This love can only pulse through the hearts where Jesus reigns. It is a love  learned and perfected through situations, where there is a call to love the unlovable (which is why we are not to despise such tests when God is perfecting us, rooting us even more deeply in His love). It is a love, which strengthens us and pierces through boundaries, as it is the ultimate universal language. It is a love that we may never fully comprehend in this lifetime, and thus need to be life-long learners and ready recipients of. It is a love that we do not and cannot claim to deserve, a love that we receive only because of God’s grace. 


As we spend time basking in the Father’s love, may He enlarge our hearts to catch more of His love, such that when life’s tests squeeze us, we produce the oil and aroma of His love. In the face of lawlessness and offenses, may we be truly relevant, as bearers of God’s fierce love. ❤

Just bookmarking more resources on God’s love and its types of manifestation:



Outing Depression in the Broken Road that I’ve Taken

A former direct report asked me some Qs about depression. Candidly and unashamedly, I replied that it is no stranger to me. I can very much relate to the feeling of waking up and not having energy to do anything. I remember wanting to just sleep all day and not wanting to wake up because I felt that it was the same old drill – I felt that I did not have much to look forward to or be excited about.

Pressured by my father’s memory to perform very well in law school, I was merely an average student performing below my expectations [despite my dad’s efforts to prepare me to be a lawyer, since I was 5 (! exag ang dad ko) and utmost efforts I exerted while in law school – I think my blockmates can attest that I was fairly studious]. To say I was not my happiest in my 5 years as a working law student, despite my then-flourishing extra-curricular pursuits, is an understatement.  Year in and year out, I second-guessed my decision to turn my back on a promising career to go to law school.  This is why I can relate to this article.


I realize now that I needed to go through all that because amidst the sadness, I found joy and strength in God anew (not in any achievement nor career plan)…or rather, He found me. Some need professional help to climb out of the pits of depression. For me, what worked (and still does!) is honesty before the Lord (of where I’m at) and daily dependence on Him, the Joy of my Salvation. My turning point was when I  realized that I mostly felt the way I did because I wanted to be in control, which I was never really meant to have. I started to become happier as I yielded control to Him and allowed Him to steer my course, instead of being led by my feelings and limited understanding. In a nutshell, I allowed God to take His rightful place as Lord of my life, beyond mere religion. I am still on this journey. God, alone, helps me overcome the daily battles. Only in Him am I victorious. 🙂


As law schools proliferate, employment prospects have correspondingly diminished.

The pressure to achieve is great and he suspects a majority of undergraduates are engaged simultaneously in study and some form of paid employment, leaving them short of time and subject to serious levels of stress…

Burnside highlights the dissonance between the idealism that attracts many to law school and the reality of big law firms. “Many, including the brightest and the best, see their earlier ideals looking more naïve, more unachievable.”…

With today’s technology, he says the demands to be available and respond to clients, the courts and other lawyers have never been stronger.

“We used to have snail mail. It was expected that the advice would take a week to deliver. Now it is expected you will respond to an email within minutes. Add to this the invention of smartphones, and lawyers are available almost 24 hours a day.


The above notwithstanding, I am returning to where I first began my career. What a crazy, confusing journey it has been…but the Lord was able to make sense of it all. (Come to think of it, if I hadn’t taken that 11-year detour, I probably wouldn’t have met my husband and my life would just be unimaginable.) Indeed, God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. May He bless the broken road that led me back (and all the people I’ve met along the way), after more than a decade.

For now, am just praying that I could get some shut-eye asap (Been trying to sleep for more than 4 hours now!). Could this be excitement of the new chapter which unfolds tomorrow?

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.- Romans 8:28 AMP



Good without God is not enough, as applied

Thus says the Lord Who made [the earth], the Lord Who formed it to establish it–the Lord is His name: Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand). – Jeremiah 33:2-3 AMP

This morning, as I was reading the verses above, it suddenly dawned on me that they further illumine the first phrase of Psalm 27:1, which we meditated on in last night’s Big Tent Bible Study:

THE Lord is my Light and my Salvation– whom shall I fear or dread?
The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold
of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?
– Psalm 27:1 AMP

Though I “left” the verses, God brought them to mind, as the following thoughts were downloaded to me, when I read a few articles. Praise be to God, our light, who illumines our way and clarifies matters!

The God who sees you (El -Roi) allows you to see.

Just read this article about Obama. Obama is such a staunch advocate for Islam. He then segues to motherhood statements about nations working together to solve global problems – not necessarily a bad thing.

Similarly, the Pope has said so many good things, yet rarely mention Jesus, on whom the Christian faith is centered (to think the Pope is  the central authority figure of a church purporting to be the largest Christian denomination). This article, which I just read as well, speaks of that.

Yet good without God is not enough. Through these public figures, the enemy is once more propounding the idea of goodness apart from God. These notions of goodness are but self-righteousness – fleetingly good and akin to the knowledge of good and evil, but without life.

This, the enemy’s age-old game plan, is one that he is once more utilizing – to induce man into forgetting his own finite mind and thinking that he knows good and evil, but all apart from God, the life-giver.  But God has always been steps ahead of him, and by imparting in us, believers, the mind of Christ, He has made this known to us. From the very start, God has emphasized that we need not be relegated to a single choice. We can choose life over knowledge of good and evil, which is not necessarily a bad thing at first glance, but ultimately leads to death.


Knowing that this is the enemy’s seemingly consistent strategy, we must choose rightly and admonish others to similarly choose life. We do so by lovingly emphasizing the truth that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and that no one comes to God except through Him. We proclaim this message through our lives and our words, as led by God’s Spirit, lest we fight this battle by our own strength, in our own flesh, offended and angry. Lest the parties that have yet to be convinced choose false peace and safety over the genuine peace and safety that only comes from the Lord.

This is not a battle that we can fight alone, as this is not a mere battle of the flesh.  Besides, this battle is the Lord’s and He is Jehovah Shalom. Jesus, our Immanuel, is our Prince of Peace. He has already won the victory, our Jehovah Nissi. We are merely to walk and talk in His victory, and in so doing enforce such victory in our own battles and journeys, and even as we go and teach others what Jesus has taught us, as well.

Praise God, our light, who illumines our path so we can choose rightly and in so doing point others to this Way.

[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones), And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places], Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.
-Ephesians 1:17-21 AMP

God wants us to be equipped against the counterfeit (good, light – aren’t they saying that this is the international year of light?, peace and safety) by knowing better the genuine (God, Himself good…our Light, Prince of Peace, our Refuge, Rampart and Stronghold). Experiential knowledge of Him, through increasing intimacy with Him, is our foundation and anchor in this coming season. Only as He shows us the way, through His light – Jesus, Himself, the Light of the world – can we go and grow from glory to glory.

You are my light, You’re the lamp upon my feet
All the time, my Lord, I need You there
You are my life, I cannot live alone
Let me stay by Your guiding light
All through my life
Lead me Lord