the bærfot soul

to wonder and to wander aimlessly

Perfect Timing

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God has been filling my days with such indescribable and uncontainable stuffs that I could not simply fathom what’s going to happen in the coming days. He has been faithful and wonderful that my emotions can’t seem to process everything and just pauses in amazement. And I may not completely understand everything that has happened, but I know in the depths of my heart how truly amazing our Father is.

This entry will have 2 parts, and it may be quite long. So if you’re taking a time off in your busy schedule just to read this post, I can only say how much I appreciate it. And I hope that somehow this will show you how truly amazing God is in our lives.

Part 1

A few nights ago, I read in a blog about how this guy prayed to God to reveal Himself in his dreams and thoughts for that night. He said that sometimes God waits for us to ask it from Him even though He unselfishly gives it to us. That got me thinking. I’ve been wondering for a while why God hasn’t spoken to me yet. I’ve been praying, seeking Him and meditating on His words every day and yet I feel like He hasn’t replied.  So that night I asked the very same thing to Him. And I woke up with this verse -so vivid, so clear – on my mind that I woke up jumping and excited to read what it was.

I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not.
Song of Songs 3:2 ESV

At first, I couldn’t understand what it had meant. The only thing I knew about the book, Song of Songs, was that it was Solomon’s love stories -that’s it. But I continued on, reading verses 1 to 5; thinking maybe if I read the whole context I would get a grasp on the situation and maybe understand what God was telling me. It took me almost the entire day to somewhat understand; and even now as I’m writing this, I’m still realizing a lot about it.

If you have read this passage (1-5), it talks about  the Shulamite woman’s dream where she was trying to look for her beloved. The first 3 verses told of her searching for him but did not found him. But on the last 2 told of how she had found him. Don’t worry. Solomon didn’t write it this way. It was so much more poetic than this. Haha! Anyways, there are a lot of ways we can interpret this passage but here’s mine.

If there’s anything in this story that caught my attention, the line “I sought him, but found him not” was it. You can just imagine how great her love must’ve been for her beloved that she sought him out until she found him. After the first time this line was said, the phrase “I will rise now” came afterwards. The woman rose from her bed resolved to press on and look for him still, her love never faltering but still didn’t find him the second time. But she searched for him until she finally did.

On the night I asked Him to reveal Himself to me in the place where I go to get lost and hide from reality -my comfort place- my dreams and my thoughts, I didn’t realize that I finally had let Him in everything in my life. I know that He knows every bit of my being, but I have yet to let Him come in to every part of myself. And with that I knew He had heard my question: “Are you still listening God?”

Sometimes, we find ourselves with the same question, the same doubt about God. Is He still listening to our prayers? Is He still there for us? There’s too many of us and only one of Him. Can God be with all of us at the same time? And the answer is yes. He is always there for His children. He is Omnipresent. And I’m pretty sure this question follows immediately. But why does it feel like sometimes He isn’t there?

There’s a lot of factors that I could think of as to why. I’m not sure if they’re even correct but I will only write about what I came to realize.

I’ve been occupied with so many things that it filled most of my thoughts. Even though God wasn’t much away from my thoughts, these other thoughts flooded my mind, and whenever I came to talk to God, it would only be of prayers seeking immediate answers. I would rely upon His words for encouragement but never as the definite solution. In short, I wasn’t satisfied until I saw the results. What I didn’t realize was God was already working His wonders (I’ll tell you all about it in part 2). The days that I thought He seemed withdrawn from me, I thought maybe God got tired of listening and just moved on to another person. But being the stubborn person that I was, I tried not to get it discouraged me and continued to pray.

I guess this is the part where I could say my stubbornness was of help. If it wasn’t for it, I would’ve probably have given up and moved on myself. But praise God, He made me this way. He reminded me that the days of trouble must be days of prayer; that instead of seeking diversion, we must seek God and his favor and grace.

In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without worrying; my soul refuses to be comforted. When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints.
Psalms 77: 2,3 ESV

Let us be like the Shulamite woman who did not give up but pressed on looking for her beloved until she found him. If we truly love God, let us not get startled at difficulties but instead, seek Him more until we find Him. Whatever it is that we pray for, it will come in its appointed time. If it seems slow, we should wait for it , it will surely come, it will not delay [Habakukk 2:3]  as God said in His words.

Part 2

On my last post, I shared with all of you one of things that I was worrying about. Money. And I also shared of what God had told me, that is to be still and know that He is God. And know that He will fight for me.

In the days after I had written that, I couldn’t explain the state of hope that I was in. No matter how things seem to get worse and time passing by so fast, I was hopeful that God will be faithful. If not for me, then for His other children whom I know deserve it more. Maybe this was the reason of my stubbornness (from part 1). Maybe this is what persevered me to seek Him more even though I felt like He wasn’t listening. Maybe. But that definitely fueled me this last few days.

His words, His promise, His love endures forever.

And He did exactly what He had promised!

At first, God had provided people to donate for our fundraiser, a garage sale. Then He provided customers. There wasn’t a time when our makeshift store lacked customers. In 3 days, we were able to save a quarter of our goal (our end goal was 20K PHP) -that’s like 4 of our youths that could attend camp. And by the end of Sunday night, me and my good friend, NR (who’s also a youth leader, the President even!), were in such good spirits that I thought to myself things can’t get any better.

But I was about to be proven wrong.

this morning, I woke up by the sound of a conversion going outside my bedroom. They sounded excited, ecstatic and somewhat astounded that I obviously wanted to know what all the halabaloo was about. And here’s the part that really blew me away. Someone had donated to us the same exact amount we still needed to complete everyone’s fees for camp. Praise be to God!

I was beyond words. My emotions definitely were running haywire to the point that it took me so long to take everything in. I called up NR to tell her the news and I could tell just how overwhelmed she was too.

GOD IS AMAZING.

He is the one who created the Heavens and the earth by His great power, and nothing is too hard for Him [Jeremiah 32.17]. Nothing is greater than Him. And as NR said: When God acts, there’s nothing you can do but to kneel down and weep. That’s how mighty our God is.

There’s only less than a week before our camp starts, and I’m so excited to what has God planned out for us –for me. From the things He has been doing these past days, I can only conclude that the best has yet to come!

Tonight my dear friends, I pray that you get to see the greatness of our Lord God in your lives and be grateful for it. I pray that you would continually seek Him, in times of trouble and even in times of peace. I pray that Lord hears the cries of your hearts and answer them in His own perfect time. 

On behalf of SCMI Youth and Shekinah-UB’s Yeshua Militia, I want to say how grateful we are. From the ones who have donated clothes (brand new and pre-loved), people who retweeted and shared our posts on Facebook and on Twitter, to the people who continually prayed for us leaders and to all of the youth, and to those who have given financially, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts! And to our Abba Father, all the glory and praise be for You!

If you want to know more of our church and youth, you can check us out:
SCMI Youth
Yeshua Militia
Shekinah Christian Church – University Belt

or email us at
scmi.youth@shekinah.com.ph
ub@shekinah.com.ph

photo by Miko Go

 

Being Still

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The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Exodus 14:14 NIV

To be still.

I must admit. This is a difficult one. But not impossible to do.

We all suffer from anxieties. Especially in this day and age where the world is just too busy, too fast. Too… And we have to do our best to be able to catch up and not get left behind.

And yet, here is God telling us -me- to be still.

Being a youth leader in my church, I’ve learned so much not just about leading. But I also learned how to serve first. I’m sure for those youth leaders, you know how tough this job description is.

Summer camp is upon us -2 weeks to be exact!- and we’ve been preparing and planning for months now. And as this things go, we are stressed out to the max. It didn’t help that most of us are in university and finals were just right in the corner. But of course, we only have ourselves to blame because we started planning a bit late.

But thank God because program wise, we’re good to go. We only need to smooth a few wrinkles but it’s as good as it can be. But what got us pacing around and around is the financial aspect of things. We still need a big amount of money for our fellow delegates.

As they say, money makes the world go round. Well in our case, it made us literally go round and round with worry. And ever since March started, our stress levels definitely kick into gear.

Of course, as a leader, we want our youths to be able to attend our events especially youth camp. It’s the time for them to be in a different place with people of the same age where their only focus is God. There’s just something about youth camp especially these kinds that really helps in the growth of a youth. I for one have been going since I was 12. And now, 10 years later, here I am, still going.

Me and my fellow leaders have been trying to come up with fundraisers to help the delegates get the amount they need in order for them to attend.  We have a lot of ideas but we often ask ourselves if it will work out. And time is running out for us.

I know we can’t really help but to worry ourselves. And for me, whenever something like this happens, I can only do but pray my very best and believe that God will provide just as He always does. So today’s devotion really speaks to me.

Like what He said in Psalms 46, “Be still, and know that I am God.” This tells me to stop worrying and be still, and let Him be God in my life -in our lives. To listen to what He says not what we think we know. All we need is to be still, and He will fight for us.

Be God in our hearts.

Be God in our lives.

Lord, I pray

In Jesus Name

Amen

Btw, for those who are wondering, I’ve been following the #shereadstruth reading plan. It has been really helpful with my everyday devotions. Go check it out if you want here.

No Greater God

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Last night, I found myself sleeping really early. I had planned on waking up early in the morning to do devotion and go running afterwards. Now, if you know me, you’d know how much I’m  not a morning person, and for me to do something like that requires great discipline. And also, a miracle.

To make this short, I wasn’t able to wake up early because I wasn’t able to get some sleep. My insomniac self laid awake all night, tossing and turning. My mind was restless and reeling, thinking about the work I still needed to finish; worrying about my future plans; and the list just went on. Even when I went to my parents’ room which was more comfortable and darker, I wasn’t still able to sleep one bit. So I gave up and just decided to let the morning win.

There was an article I read in Thought Catalog where the writer wrote:

One of the most liberating discoveries I ever had was that thinking has an insidious snowball effect. Thoughts trigger other thoughts, and if your initial thought carries even a hint of insecurity or worry, subsequent thoughts can explore it and magnify it until you’re profoundly agitated. You can end up pulling your hair out and dreading the rest of your life, just from idle thinking.

Obviously, that’s what had happened to me last night.

And as much as I want to say “I’m only human”, you and I both know that that’s not good enough reason.

During my devotion today, I came upon Matthew 6: 25-34 where it says:

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

That felt like a slap right across my face.

Because not  long ago I told God: Your will be done. But there I was just last night, having all these worries -having little faith in Him.
And yet, here He was, telling me not to worry; comforting me through His words that everything will be okay. How great is our God -tell me!

So my prayer for today is this:

God, thank You
for comforting me
and reminding me
through Your Word
Not to doubt Your plans
Not to worry about tomorrow, but
to seek You first.

photo source

New Season

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It seems to me that the new year is just beginning for me even though the first quarter of 2013 is nearly in the end. Funny how the 1st of January seemed more like an ordinary day compared to the other days that came after it.  Thinking about it now, I would’ve liked to say how I’m looking forward to a new season on the very first day of 2013 and truly meant it, but thank God I didn’t. I couldn’t fake it even to save my life. I was just not done in the season that I was in starting from the last quarter of 2012.

I think the best way to describe where I was during those times was that I was hungry and thirsty. Like a man lost in the desert for a long time, thirsty for water and hungry for food. But unlike the man, I wasn’t looking for food or water. I was hungry and thirsty for something more.

At first, I felt restless. I had mostly everything that I wanted and yet, I felt like it wasn’t enough. Then, I became angry with myself. I couldn’t understand why I was so discontent with everything that’s going on. In the end, I gave up and curled into depression in my mind and in my heart for the rest of the season. Stubborn as I was, I didn’t realize that the food and water I needed was already placed in front of me. I was blinded by my own disappointments, that I didn’t want to believe that someone still believed in me -even though I was barely holding on to my own faith. But God being our faithful God, never gave up on me. And it is because of Him my hunger and thirst were filled [and are still continuously being filled].

Now,one of the many things that I came to realize as soon as I had gotten out of that season was that of my desire to reach out and touch the hearts of others. Something that I wasn’t really a stranger with but this time felt more personal. Like God had called me -my name- amongst the sea of people. But the first thing I did was to let my insecurities get the best of me and asked: why me?  And I tried looking for answers on my own but obviously came up with none.

But after some time, I was reminded of His Word -to trust Him with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding [Proverbs 3:5]. And assures me that the plans He has for me are good and not of evil, that it gives future and hope [Jeremiah 29:11].

To be honest, it has been a long time since I opened the Bible and really meditated on it. I actually believe that I have forgotten how to do a devotion that I even Googled it –haha!

I know, I know.

But I obviously missed it. And obviously this is what He’s telling me to do for quite some time now.

So know this, my dear friends. As of yesterday, I decided to start a reading plan. I believe this will actually help me not get sidetracked or whatever, and actually finish it. I know God will reveal a lot of things to me through His words. And so I ask that you include me in your prayers as I will include you in mine.

Ice Cream is God’s Blessing

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You think just because you have been living on a tropical country all your life doesn’t mean you’re used to having summer all the time. Summer’s pretty fun when you think about it… but then Summer finally happens and you’re like: “Gah! I hate summer. It’s so freaking hot and humid!”, and you wish you were living somewhere cooler.

Well, that’s pretty much like I have been for a few days now. Summer’s finally here and we all can feel it. And when I say it, and I mean the scorching-you-can-actually-fry-an-egg-on-the-street-heat. And the simple joys during this time comes in different and many cold products. And ice cream is one of them.

Let me just share something really quick.

Two days ago, me, my cousin and my brother were all hanging out while working on something. In between conversations and laughs, we would say in Bane’s (Batman’s masked enemy) voice: “Me want some ice cream.” And we kept saying that the whole day. Eventually, that night our Uncle -who I think saw how much we were all craving for it- decided to treat us with one. So we ended up calling Mcdo (McDonald’s, and yes, we do have delivery here) and ordered 7 chocolates Sundaes and a McFlurry; 3 of us having extra sundaes to eat the next day. Talk about cravings! Anyways, so I thought I was through with ice cream since my cravings were solved that night and I had another one for this morning, but lo and behold, my mom just bought a tub just for me a while ago. And I couldn’t be any happier.

The days are just getting so hot that walking a few feet feels like a workout already. And having to eat or drink something cold feels like heaven. Simple joys!

Anyways, I guess what I’m trying to say is how good -and funny- God is. You ask for a sundae and he gives you one or 2… and then a whole tub just because He can. I realized then how much we take things for granted until we are put in a situation where that thing becomes so important. If it wasn’t a hot day, would I still want an ice cream? Maybe. Would I be happy and content? Maybe. Would I see and understand its worth at that time? Maybe. But here’s the thing, most of us would probably never truly appreciate the goodness of the ice cream until we have eaten it on a hot summer day when we are in need of some cooling.

Everyday, we get to receive God’s blessing -that’s the truth. It may be grand. It may be not. The latter often gets unnoticed. But all those blessings are those we need the most. The sad truth is that most of us take that for granted. I, for one, did.

Back then, all I thought about His blessings were of the physical world. You know, money and fame, etc. It wasn’t until not so recently that I came to realize the -not really- simple blessings are the most amazing and wonderful things a person can ever have.

Being alive.

That’s one blessing we should always be thankful for. It may not be like winning the lottery but it definitely is better! I’m proud to say that I’m learning to be grateful for everything He has given me every single day. Whether you think you have something to be thankful for or not, He deserves to be praised.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalms 107:1 (ESV)

So I want to challenge everyone to say at least one thing you’re grateful for in your life everyday.

There’s distance in the air and I cannot make it leave
I wave my arms round about me and blow with all my might
I cannot sense you close, though I know you’re always there
But the comfort of you near is what I long for
Brooke Fraser, Faithful

Let’s Start From the Beginning

I’m not entirely sure how this post is going to end up but I’ve been itching to write tonight. It’s as if the black book I’ve been working on for these past few days wasn’t enough for me. But here I am, awake at 5in the morning with thoughts that obviously wanted to be made known.

If you’re reading this now, you have probably stumbled upon my new blog. The old one is still running though, just on a break. I’ll still be updating that one too but this is my baby for now. You might be wondering why on earth I’d created another one. I guess to answer it simply I have to borrow the Heraclitus’ line.

The only thing that is constant is change.

It’s a fact. We grow up. The season changes. There’s always a new trend happening. Blah blah blah… But here’s what I think: if there is one thing that is really constant in this world -in our lives, that would be HIM.

He never change. He stays the same. His love remains.

Change is inevitable. It happens all the time. I agree. But He remains faithful. I believe He wins over change hands down.

Now, I’m not here to try and sound all preachy and stuff. You can click that little x on top of this window anytime. I’m only here because I wanted to write down just some of the thoughts in my head. So if you’re still reading this, then I am grateful.

Now, I guess you’re probably thinking something definitely happen to this girl for her to write something like this. Oh, definitely there is. And as much as I want to tell you all about it, I clearly don’t have the patience nor the time to write it all down. But here are some of the things you should know:

  • It didn’t happen overnight. We’re talking about years here.
  • I was obviously as stubborn as a rock. Explains why it took that long.
  • There was a great ensemble of cast that is included in my story.
  • And when I finally did understand and accepted His plans for me, I felt this sense of peace in me.

Don’t get me wrong. I felt scared when I realized how big of a change it was going to be. But the presence of peace –of Him– in my heart, and the assurance He has given me through His words, washed all my fears away.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41.10

Change is definitely in the air. I can feel it -starting in my heart.
xo