When you’re not okay and yet you have to show up and be okay.  I don’t know which is worse, that or not being okay.

 

Pray for the Books You Read

When I need some distraction from thoughts I cannot run away from; when I want a companion who doesn’t judge and just let me listen because at times I have no words left to say; when I want perspectives and life-lessons given me without even the hint of trying hard and or justification – I pick up a book and read.  And I am always amazed at the things I get out of it.  The things speaking right at me, telling me what I need to hear.  That when I put down one, I have the sense of a renewed mind and spirit.

The books we read, that we pick up, matter.  And it is as important to pray for those that we read as praying for other necessities in life.  Because what we read affects us, influences us, changes us.  May God lead us to more literature that will help us become better and not bitter, at peace and not tempted, joyful and not depressed, informed and not deluded.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

Living on a Prayer

So you should pray like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts,
as we have forgiven those who are in debts to us.
And do not put us to the test,
but save us from the evil one.”

– Matthew 6:9-13

And this is how we ought to pray.  Not by memorizing the Lord’s prayer but by truly understanding what it meant.

To declare His glory and to make known His love; to submit to His will; to ask not only for the daily provisions of life but for the bread of life as well – the Word of God, the presence of Jesus in our lives; to forgive others and acknowledge that we are sinners and humbly lay down our sins at the feet of the cross; to pray for strength for we know that our flesh is weak; to acknowledge our salvation.

When we find it in our hearts struggling to submit to His will, or to forgive – let us pray for these struggles because we are weak and He is strong.  Let us not depend on our strength but rely on His.  And in times we do not know what to pray, or when we even cannot utter a single word to pray, a tear drop is a prayer that the Lord fully comprehend.  A deep sigh from a tired soul, a silence, a sob from a broken heart – all these and more the Lord sees and hears as our prayers.

The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness.  For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our heart knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.
– Romans 8:26-27

Pray, and listen.  The Lord delights in speaking to us when we pray.

When we take our time and delay before acting, that can be prudent and wise, but then that can also be plain laziness.  When we consider something over and over, that can be prudent and wise, but then that can also be indecisiveness.  When we hold our tongue when insulted, that can be prudent and wise, but then can also be cowardice in disguise.  The reason behind our actions, the state of our hearts when we decide, is the true indication of wisdom and prudence.

Who is the prudent man?  He is cautious, shows discretion, has discernment, and makes sound judgement.  He does not delay for the sake of delaying or think long because he cannot decide but he is tactful in his considerations, decides with discernment and considers not only the now but what his action or inaction can lead to.

Prudence cannot be without wisdom and vice versa.  In fact, in Proverbs 8:12 (NIV) Continue reading

Amate i Vostri Nemici

Love your enemies.

Simple.  Direct.  Crazy.  But, why should I?  How could I?

In theory, it’s already hard to postulate.  In practice, what more?  The world sees this as the craziest idea – a world that demands justice, revenge, vengeance sugar-coated into something we sometimes use as ‘I’m just teaching him a lesson’ or ‘He deserves it’.  Oh, how kind of us, teaching lessons, giving deserving presents!  And the world who loves gossips and dramas would be against a person who quietly accepts persecution and forgives – corny, boring, stupid.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for an eye, and tooth for tooth.’  But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.  If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.  And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.  If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.  Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” Matthew 5:38 – 42

Personally, I struggle with this command.  It’s just too hard to comprehend and it goes against lessons the society has taught me growing up.  I look at a society that demands Continue reading

Just a word, sometimes two. But when it hits you, it penetrates through the walls you build to protect your self and filter the chaos around you. It breaks them down and opens a hole that it yearns to fill. It touches a nerve that sends signals to your brain that even when it tries to reject it cannot reject the truth. Because your Soul knows it’s true. And your Spirit affirms its truth. It awakens them. Love. Mercy. How I am forgiven and loved, that the Lord moved heaven and earth to save this wretched soul of mine. 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:9‬

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:8‬


Got lots to work on but I enjoyed practicing with this song from Hillsong. ❤️ 

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭136:1‬ 

I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 

When we view life as a race, we have this tendency to compete and win at all cost, sometimes even forgetting our values and trampling on other people’s worth just to emerge as winners, successful or powerful people. God gave us a life to travel along with Him, to journey and enjoy each moment. When we race through life, we do not stop and smell flowers. That is contrary to what life is about. Learn to slow down, to enjoy each moment, to rest in His love and to trust in His purpose. Learn to trust the journey. ☺

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

Psalm 59:16

Lettering & Water Colours

Doodling on my notebooks during classes or meetings had been an act out of boredom.  I have always thought that I am made to read or write or both.  And that was what I have been gladly pursuing.  However, we have such a generous God.  As I was not contented with just reading and I have been struggling with writing as I often find myself on dead ends or literally no ending, a new journey opened up for me.

So I expanded my horizons and started exploring lettering second half of last year.  There were moments where I felt like I’m getting nowhere, and whenever I compare my work to those amazing works of people I follow on Instagram I sometimes get frustrated.  But since lettering relaxes me, I pushed on.  Later on, I worked with water colours, which at first I was hesitant to try because I felt it was messy and I’m not really artistic, I couldn’t draw properly, all the excuses thinkable.  But I love colours and so I dived in the water colour adventure and it was soooo satisfying!  Even when I couldn’t draw an identifiable stuff, just spreading those colors all over the paper was like a massage! ((:

I still have that “I will publish a book” in my list.  I scrapped everything from the first draft of the book and restarted on it again few months back.  But at times that I do not feel any inspiration or idea that I can add to it, I take comfort in the stuff that I can do and  that relaxes me.  You can say it’s like trying to feel useful and productive, maybe. (:  And I found that lettering is like sharing about stuff of my interest in a lively, colourful and simple way.  With that, I am adding another category to this wordpress of mine DJLetters where I will share my lettering journey/blog.  Or you can follow me @djletters on Instagram where I do post more often. (:

BLEST ARE THE MERCIFUL

BLEST ARE THE MERCIFUL

Truly, God, in His Mercy, takes care and provides for His flock.  For me to be able to join the recent World Youth Day in Krakow is a miracle in itself.  He has converted the ‘yes’ into a possibility.  I had my reservations going into this trip – with all the chaos going on in most parts of Europe, then as we were nearing our departure via Turkish Airlines, there was bombing in the airport followed by a failed coup less than a week before we leave.  The trials never stopped there but with the loving mercy of our Lord, He has went ahead and prepared a way for us.

20160725_141526

St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Litomerice, Czech Republic.

 Everything that comes into our lives is a moment of encounter with God.

From the homily by Fr. Bert during the Eucharistic celebration last July 25, 2016 at the St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Litomerice, Czech Republic.

It’s not only in the extravagant events or in the ‘fireworks display moment of our lives’ that we encounter God but also in the little moments and sometimes, for us, trivial events that He is there, nudging us, knocking in our hearts, presenting Himself to be recognized by our soul.  And it is easy to be distracted and to not see God in the midst of the noise and the activities, with the world presenting you with so much diversions, with sceneries and oh the potatoes. When we were reminded that Continue reading

These are the Moments

Lent. Easter. Missions. Election.

Each moment went by, and I’m left to ponder on what I took from each one.  Have I been repentant enough during Lent?  Was I victorious in Easter?  Have I given enough in our Sunday missions?  Did I vote wisely in the election?  What’s next?

Sometimes, we go through life watching moments pass us by.  We live in the moment yet we forget afterwards. And I do not want that.  I want to always have something to go back to and remind me of how it was, whether it was good or bad.  If it was bad, it’s a reminder to change and make it better the next time around.  If it was good, it’s a reminder of victory, a motivation to do better and an encouragement in times of doubt.

I hope we go through life aware and alive, not living like zombies going from one gesture to another, moment to moment, without investing anything and taking anything from it.  Whether we grieve or celebrate, falter or winning, may we always see God’s goodness and faithfulness in every moment we go through.  After all, our lives are made of these moments.

Easter

Winter is over, spring has come
The flowers bloom
There’s an empty tomb
Crossing over death, He’s done
From cross to grave
He defeated death
Lent is over, Easter has come
Alleluia, He’s risen
Christ is truly risen!

22:51 03.30.16 ©

Merciful Father

Whenever I reflect on God’s Mercy, I cannot help but be amazed of the love that He has for His disobedient and stubborn people.  I see how unworthy I am of such love and how faithful He is for keeping His covenant in spite of all that the other party, we, does.  Seeing this love always drives me to tears and gratitude and makes me see that all other things matter less in this world.

One parable commonly told is that of the prodigal son, in other texts it is entitled the parable of the Merciful Father and rightly so.  Often the focus is on the son who Continue reading