—Here Without You
new age piano
<3 weiowww… I’m a captive. They give me a big smile.
All I want to do my whole life is…
This is the cry of my heart. No matter where would the waves take me, no matter how hard the wind would strike me. No matter what… I want to live a life that is a worship to God. I want Him glorified. I want to make Him famous. Sounds like big things when all I just want to do is to make Him smile and all I want to see is His smile. Now that’s subtle. :)
I write this because a friend once asked me why did I cry during the praise and worship (that was during the Teacher’s Summit). I asked myself either. But… I think… it was really God asking me to remind me of a written word in my heart — worship.
Those tears that I had I don’t want to call them tears. I want to call them overflow.
While I was singing to God, I jokingly asked Him what am I gonna do for the rest of my life. He knew I was half serious. Hehe! Half because even though I already surrendered my tomorrow to Him, I was just excited and kind of “Hmmm… what’s in there?” I believe God understands… He knows me. Alam niyang nangungulit lang ako. Haha! My curiosity lead me to a realization of a burden in my heart that, at that very moment, I just heard myself say, “All I want to do for the rest of my life is worship.” It was so heavy. I couldn’t contain it. All I felt was passion, a burning desire to just give my all. Something inside of me screams, “I’m all out!” Those words turned into tears. They were an overflow of awe, gratefulness and love as my thoughts were flooded with memories of God’s goodness, faithfulness, grace, compassion and love. I couldn’t think of any better response than worship.
Worship is not something I still have to create so I can have something to do for the rest of my life or so that I have something to give to God. I cannot create worship but I can decide whom to worship, how, when, where with the guidance of God’s grace and standards. I am able not because I thought of it but because worship is wired in every creation. It is everybody’s function. It is my design. When I say I want to worship, it is not because I want to be blessed but it is saying I am living out my purpose. It is becoming who I was created to be. It is desiring to make my Maker smile.
Knocked out again by the thought that’s haunting me for months — I WANT TO INVEST IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE.
//I’m in a Popeye moment
I watched Soul Surfer last Friday and I was so amazed of the vision that God gave Bethany — a beautiful sea wave. :) So I prayed before I went to sleep that God would also show me the place where He is taking me. When I woke up I didn’t remember any dream except a picture of a desert (its sand dunes were beautiful!) that eventually flashed in my mind. I was wondering what it meant so I asked God again to tell me what is in His heart. I went through my old journal because I remembered God was telling me something about a desert. And His thoughts became more vivid as confirmed in His word: Exodus 15: 22-27.
Monday came and I had a conversation with a friend (I love you, Dana!). I believe it was a divine appointment. She reminded me of how God prepared His people through the desert before going to a transition. People like Abraham, Elisha, Moses, David, etc. Usually, it is in the desert that they find perfect peace with God and where God reveals Himself. I looked for the word “desert” at the index section of my student Bible and here is what it said: it’s a place for testing. I believe NOW is the season of training that God was talking.
Last year, God told me about crossing my Jordan (it’s in Joshua 3). He was talking of a transition, a transformation which He said would be radical. While everything is being orchestrated, God is preparing me before He sends me to that Jordan. My character, my faith, my relationship with Him. I am in a desert right now. Still as if nothing is happening. Quiet and just enjoying what is in the place. Waiting.
I am excited in this season of my life. I am excited to see God at work!
The article below was recommended by Dana believing this will speak to me. :) It did.
If you are in the midst of waiting, in whatever areas of your life, this blog is for you. This is an article from Paul Tripp on “God’s Will for your Wait”.
Waiting can be discouraging and hard. So what does it look like to wait in a way that makes you a participant in what God is doing rather than someone who struggles against the wait? Let me suggest several things.
Remind Yourself You Are Not Alone
As you wait, tell yourself again and again that you have not been singled out. Remind yourself that you are part of a vast company of people who are being called to wait. Reflect on the biblical story. Abraham waited many years for his promised son. Israel waited 420 years for deliverance from Egypt, then another 40 years before they could enter the land God had promised them. God’s people waited generation after generation for the Messiah, and the church now waits for his return. The whole world groans as it waits for the final renewal of all things that God has promised. In ministry, it is vital to understand that waiting is not an interruption of God’s plan. It is his plan. And you can know this as well: the Lord who has called you to wait is with you in your wait. He hasn’t gone off to do something else, like the doctor you’re waiting to see. No, God is near, and he provides for you all that you need to be able to wait.
Realize That Waiting Is Active
Usually our view of waiting is the doctor’s office. We see it as a meaningless waste of time, like a man stuck in the reception area until he has nothing left to do but scan recipes in a two-year-old copy of Ladies’ Home Journal.
Our waiting on God must not be understood this way. The sort of waiting to which we are called is not inactivity. It is very positive, purposeful, and spiritual. To be called to wait is to be called to the activity of remembering: remembering who I am and who God is. To be called to wait is to be called to the activity of worship: worshiping God for his presence, wisdom, power, love, and grace. To be called to wait is to be called to the activity of serving: looking for ways to lovingly assist and encourage others who are also being called to wait. To be called to wait is to be called to the activity of praying: confessing the struggles of my heart and seeking the grace of the God who has called me to wait. We must rethink waiting and remind ourselves that waiting is itself a call to action.
Celebrate How Little Control You Have
Because the constant striving in ministry to be a little god over some corner of creation is draining and futile, waiting should actually be a relief. It’s a reminder that I don’t have as much power and control as I thought I had. When I am required to wait I realize again that I do not have to load my church onto my shoulders. I may have God-given responsibilities in a number of areas, but that is vastly different from pretending I have sovereignty in any area.
The church is being carried on the capable shoulders of the Savior Shepherd, King of kings. All I am responsible for is the job description of character and behavior that this King has called me to in his Word. The remainder I am free to entrust to him, and for that I am very, very thankful! He really does have the whole world in his hands.
Celebrate God’s Commitment to His Work of Grace
As you are waiting, reflect on how deeply broken the world that you live in actually is. Reflect on how pervasive your own struggle with sin really is. Then celebrate the fact that God is committed to the countless ways, large and small, in which his grace is at work to accomplish his purposes in you and in those to whom you minister.
When it comes to the ongoing work of grace, he is a dissatisfied Redeemer. He will not forsake the work of his hands until all has been fully restored. He will exercise his power in whatever way is necessary so that we can finally be fully redeemed from this broken world and delivered from the sin that has held us fast. Celebrate the fact that God will not forsake that process of grace in your life and ministry in order to deliver to you the momentary comfort, pleasure, and ease that you would rather have in your time of exhaustion, discouragement, and weakness. He simply loves you too much to exchange temporary gratification for eternal glory!
Let Your Waiting Strengthen Your Faith
As I think about waiting, I often remember what is said of Abraham in Romans 4:18-21. The passage tells us that as he waited, Abraham was strengthened in his faith. That’s not what we would expect, is it? We tend to think that, having been given a promise from God, a person might well begin to wait with vibrant faith. But as the wait drags on it seems like that faith would gradually weaken. So why did Abraham’s faith on the whole grow stronger and stronger? Because of what he did as he waited. During his wait, Abraham became a student of the character and power of God, and the more he saw God for who he is, the stronger his faith became. He meditated on the glory of God, not on the difficulty of his situation.
There are three ways in which, like Abraham, you can let your waiting strengthen your faith. You can recognize that waiting is an opportunity to know God better through spending time in his Word, thus developing a deeper sense of his character, wisdom, power, and plan. Second, you can recognize that waiting is an opportunity to know yourself better. As you wait, and as your heart is revealed, you have the precious opportunity to become a student of your own heart. What sins, weaknesses, and struggles has God revealed during the wait? Where has waiting exposed the lies and false gods that make waiting difficult? And third, you can recognize that waiting is an opportunity to know others better, as their hearts are similarly revealed. This can offer you precious opportunities for even more effective ministry to those in your care.
Determine to grow stronger, more effective, and more full of faith as you wait. It is, after all, a key part of God’s intention.
Count Your Blessings
Vital to productive waiting is a commitment to resist the grumbling and complaining that often kidnap us all. To fight this tendency, learn to number your blessings as you wait.
I once heard a missionary leader tell a story of how he was dreading an extremely long road trip. Then the thought came to him that this time of being imprisoned behind the wheel of his car was in fact an opportunity. He decided that as he drove he would thank God for every little detail of blessing and grace he could recall, beginning with his earliest memory. As he drove hour after hour, he recounted to God year after year and decade after decade of blessing upon blessing. By the end of his journey, he still had not come up to the present day. As a result, rather than ending his trip exhausted and bored, he ended it excited and changed. He saw his life through new eyes, with the presence and provision of God in his life taking on a clarity and comprehensiveness he had never before glimpsed.
By contrast, waiting often becomes for us an exercise in reminding ourselves of what we don’t have. How much better, how much more fruitful, how much more joyful, to take waiting as an opportunity to recount the many, many good things in our lives that we have been given—things we could have never earned, achieved, or deserved.
Long for Eternity
There is one other thing waiting is meant to do: God intends that waiting would make me long for home. When I consider this, I am often reminded of camping. I suspect the whole purpose of camping is to make you thankful for home. When you camp, everything is more difficult than it would be at home. In the beginning, that can be fun. But three or four days in, you begin to get tired of having to make a fire, having to hunt for drinkable water, and having to fish for supper. You quietly (or not so quietly) begin to long for home.
Waiting is meant to remind you that you live “between the already and the not yet.” Yes, there are many, many things for which to be thankful in this life, but this place is not your final home. You are in a temporary dwelling in a temporary location. In the life and ministry you experience here, there is one aspect or another that can remind you this is not home. The hardships of your present life and ministry speak clearly: this is not the final destination. Waiting is meant to produce in you a God-honoring dissatisfaction with the status quo. Waiting is meant to make you hungry, to produce in you a longing. For what? To be home—home with your Lord forever, home where sin is no more, home in a world that has been made completely new. As you wait, keep telling yourself, This is not my final destination.
Right now, right here, in your personal life or ministry, there is some way, perhaps many ways, in which God is calling you to wait. How well are you waiting? Has your waiting produced in you a faith that is stronger? Or weaker? Has the manner of your waiting drawn you closer to God? Or further away? Has your approach to waiting helped remind you of all the blessings you have been showered with? Or has it tempted you to continually rehearse your list of unmet wants? Has your waiting served to teach you truths about yourself? Or has it only made you more blind about yourself and angry about your circumstances? Has the way you wait enabled you to reach out and minister to others better, or has it simply drawn you deeper into the claustrophobic drama of your own waiting?
In each case, it’s your choice. Take hold of the grace that God makes available. All of these outcomes are contingent on whether you choose God or self, fruitfulness or futility, his powerful grace or your own feeble will. Always remember that God is never separate from your wait. He is the Lord of waiting. He is the liberal giver of grace for the wait. Because your wait is not outside of his plan, but a vital and necessary part of it, he is with you in your wait. And remember God is not so much after the success of your ministry, he’s after you. So as you wait, tell yourself again and again: Waiting is not just about what I get at the end of the wait, but about who I become as I wait.
Your whisper is carried by the breeze of silence
Enduring even in voices of agitation
A riveting hymn of my fullness
Kindled by the streams of Your presence
Do not drop, I beseech
Forbid not Your speech, I plead
A thirsty soul do not forbear
Flood Your twang, give no space for air
Breathe unto the frozen shadows of terror
To rip the strings of tears and untie the melancholic bows
Hum Your dancing notes
Let it ride in the waves
Reach for my yearning ears, the sweet music of Your crest and troughs
Oh! How wonderful are the tales of Your tongue
Each word thumps, my heart jumps
Sing to me Your thoughts
Sing to me, sing to me
I am a captive of Your symphony
A hunter of Your cadence
Seize each streak that my heart radiates.
I want to dream God’s dreams. I want BIG dreams! I want a wider vision. I want my faith stretched. I want to keep moving, keep building and keep advancing. I can’t get too comfortable, too satisfied, too apathetic.. God has placed His own burden and compassion for His people in my heart and the passion in that area keeps growing. I believe this is God’s destiny that He placed in my heart. As I move into this destiny, I believe God has something for me beyond my ability. As for this, I am making a decision to step out of my “boats” of familiarity into the exciting place God has for me. I know I’ve been dreaming dreams that take a leap of faith. Yet by God’s grace I am now ready to say “NEVERTHELESS!” I am now walking the walk to a place I’ve never been before.
I DO NOT WANT TO LIMIT GOD. I let Him be God.
I, therefore, will go to where peace is.
For when God calls me to do something, it works.
[I went over my journal and found this entry for 12July2011. This revelation has made a great impact in every area of my life and reminds me everyday of God’s grace and the path where I stand. I opt to share this praying that maybe the question I heard would also speak to you.]
God brought me back to the picture of where it all started — when he created the first man and woman. He related it to my turning point and as a bonus, answered some of my questions.
When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they realized they were naked. So they hid themselves and made clothes from leaves. Then God was there in the garden looking for them. “Where are you?” God said. But Adam and Eve still hid themselves from God because they felt shame. When God asked them what happened, instead of admitting their disobedience they pointed fingers to each other. The event definitely hurt God; he even cursed them because a father disciplines his children. He is just and sin cannot go unpunished. That disobedience affected the relationship between God and man. Since nothing can separate us from the love of God, he made a way. Adam ad Eve did not live with those leaves as covering. God made clothes for them. God did not get angry, rather, he showed compassion. The curse that God has spoken was just part of God’s discipline to bring humanity back to the status where we will realize God. He knows that it will be the only way that we will realize our need of him. Sin broke the tie between the heart of God and man and it created a hole in the man’s heart, which can only be made whole again when man enters into a relationship with God.
This story made a very big impact to me because it brought me to the day I met Christ. That was the day that God became real to me. It even gave me a picture of what my life was missing apart from God. What struck me the most was God asking “Where are you?” From those three words come many emotions and words. It is like the sound of a bell echoing sounds of different magnitude often heard in quiet places and sadly not heard at all in a crowd, where it is replaced by noise from the past, present, future; from people; from circumstances. Noise from the inside.
Those three words mean a lot. They speak of God’s compassion. It’s God putting these questions into three simple words: Why are you hiding from me? Why do you listen to them, why not to me?
Those three words speak of God’s love and rescue: I love you and I long for you. Come, here I am.
God walked in the garden to rescue us and make clothes for our nakedness. But we refused to come to him, admit that we have sinned, and ask for forgiveness. We instead ran away. Our pride blinded us from looking at God reaching out his hand offering a rescue. We even responded by saying “I can manage.”
Every time I look back to my turning point, I just smile out of amazement because God has to place a trap to bring me to a place where it is dead end. It is because I had no point of moving forward, my only option was to go back. I was empty. I was lost. I called myself “FAILURE”. But God shouted at the other side of the wall, “Where are you?” Seemed like he was offering another option. To have heard that voice was to have been fed with hope. To hear someone talk behind that wall meant there was a way, there was a road at the back of that wall. And there was no need for me to go back. Those walls just needed to be broken and time for me to move forward.
"Where are you?" brought me into a realization of where I am. It showed me my position before God. It reminded me of where I stand at that moment and where I am supposed to be. The feeling of unworthiness and nothingness apart from Christ consumed me. I was released from all pride and came in humility asking God for rescue, asking God to make a clothing for me because I am stained, asking God to chain my heart to his so it could beat the way it should. This is God’s reminder to me everyday. Every time I doubt or fear, when I worry or in despair, when I become stubborn or sinning, when I become faithless. It is God reminding me that I am standing before a big and holy God, a mighty and gracious God, a loving and compassionate Father. I am standing before the Creator of the universe.
"Where are you?" is my checkpoint when I start and end my day. It assesses the status of my heart. It tells me of salvation as my fixed point. It shows me of my reliance to God and the truth that God looks after me.
"Where are you?" for me is another message of God’s love in interrogative form.
I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.
SACRIFICE A FREEWILL. These words struck me when I read the verse. It shows willingness on a deeper level, a total surrender that comes with the denial of oneself — denial of the freewill that God gave us. It is amazing that the Psalmist uses his free will to choose God’s will. This made me assess myself of how totally surrendered I am to God. How much of self-will have I lifted to God? Is it everything? Or there is still something left for me?
God deserves everything even my freewill. As I said before, this is the risk that God has taken. He never designed us as robots. He wanted us to choose Him willingly.
Sacrificing to God our freewill is a right response towards His goodness. See how good the Lord is! Even though he bought us for a price (we are all His), He still gave us the freedom to decide whether we choose Him or not. He does not even demand a sacrifice from us because He is in need of nothing. Yet if we encountered His love and it had been so real to us and we realize who He is and who we are before Him, we cannot help but acknowledge that even the freewill given to us belongs to Him. He deserves everything, we deserve nothing.
Today, I want to lay down again my everything to God. I want to offer Him a sacrifice that will cost me everything — my freewill. I want to live a life that gives honor to the good name of the Lord. Not just more of Him and less of me but everything for Him and nothing for me. I know this sounds so unreachable but by the grace of God, I believe, I am able.
(picture reposted from http://read.iamcarisu.com/2011/05/awesome-friday-carisu-for-shop-goldyn/tumblr_ljn556otay1qzk4ruo1_500/) :)
This picture always reminds me of God’s faithfulness — He is with me all the way… This picture also made me realize that we are not only able to move mountains or stand on the peak of our mountain… we are also able to leap mountains…and it can be fun! When we allow God to carry us… we can be secure… that we can reach our destination without being worn out… when we focus on why we ride and the One who is with us, we would not fear leaping these mountains but just enjoy the pleasure that God is giving us… we can finish every race and battle unaware of how far we’ve come and how tall the mountains are. There is joy in the ride! No matter how far. No matter how rough.
I saw this picture when I was doing my thesis. I became tired… but it did not stop me from holding on to God’s strength… During those times, God was faithful… and this gives me an assurance that He remains faithful even today and the days to come. From that circumstance, God gave me the joy amidst the trial… that ride was fun… and I can be sure that for the next trials to come… with God, the ride would be fun. :)
The Night Sky
(Tribute to 23October2011 stargazing)
When I look at the night sky
I see your smile from up high
You speak to me of your love —-
Your boundless, outlandish love
When I look at the night sky
I hear you sing a lullaby
It makes me lie down in your peace
It makes me rest in your kiss
You romance me with the stars, the clouds,
the thunder and the mountain breeze
My Love, this heart is for your hand to seize
You caress me with the sound of the crickets
My Love, this heart is for you to keep
The constellations bring me solace
Oh, how great is your wisdom to have put them in place
Your fingers are majestic
You hold them together in heaven’s lake
Stars fall down at your breath
Just as you have walked from heaven unto earth
To see such beauty in the veil of darkness
Begets bliss in my nothingness
You… are my delight
The mist of fears gone, you shine so bright
I stay to wait for the dawn to ascend
My God, your love, I know will never end.