My thanksgiving :)

So many things can happen within a day--let alone, a whole year! As we are now down to the last hours of 2012, I've looked back to the days of this year and how it all turned out. I reminisced through my personal blog what I've gone and been through, all the things that I witnessed and experienced, and most of all, what I learned and gained.

Early this year, I experienced such a life-changing moment: meeting Him. True, I grew up knowing Him, but I never truly gave it a thought of who He really is. A friend invited me and a couple of other people to a youth service (to which he's been inviting us for so long) and I could now say that that was a stepping stone for me. Since that night, my hunger and thirst for Him has gone to their extremes--I was kind of addicted and excited about the whole thing! Good thing there are lots of people who helped me as I searched my way through. The more I knew about Him--His life, His works and His wisdom--the more I fell in love with Him. I've never felt so blessed (and honestly, I actually never knew the real meaning of being 'truly blessed' in the past) before! It's like my whole world literally was shaken by Him--in an aweeeesome way--so I could see Him, face Him and know Him.

I've learned so many truths and I do not intend to stop learning. I'm actually still being surprised and is deeply in awe whenever I learn a new thing about Him! Now that I have a relationship with Him, all I wanna do is serve Him. I want other people to know Him and be amazed, too! When you've experienced Him working in your life, you can only pray that may every people experience and feel His greatness as you have. I know He's got a plan for everyone, and all will be done according to His schedule--His own perfect timing. Just as I was tapped by Him that night on the 27th of January, I know every people will have that moment, too. He's preparing us for that. Our whole lives will come to that.

I've received so many blessings this year, may it be spiritual or material things. But I don't find the same bliss and contentedness with the material ones as I do with the spiritual ones. Having known Him, I can now only account for the abundance of my spiritual gain. It's not that I enjoy material gifts anymore; I still do! Specially if they have something to do to help me with my spiritual growth.

© CJ

But above all of these things that God has graced me with, I am most thankful, grateful and in awe of having received my salvation and having started my walk with Him. These truly are the highlights of my year--my life. It'll be--and will always be--the greatest gift I've ever had!

Thank You, God, for showing me these things!
Thank You, Jesus, for being my Savior, Lord and best friend! And for bringing me closer to Him.
For loving me, for forgiving me, and for accepting me.
I am now Your daughter. A princess in Your eyes.

And I shall only please my one and only Father. :)

Thank You - Katinas
Here's a lovely song to which I feel listening to right now. :]

You should follow in HIS steps

May these help those who are struggling and hurting because of how other people reacts when they do things to be righteous. 

1 Peter 2:19-25
19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
“He committed no sin,

    and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
1 Peter 3:8-17
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“Whoever would love life

    and see good days

must keep their tongue from evil

    and their lips from deceitful speech.
They must turn from evil and do good;

    they must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED! Hold on to Him and He will deliver us. Stand up, be firm and smile for Him! :)

School days: Living Righteous

We all know that we must hate the sin, not the sinner. That means that we should care for the sinner, love the sinner. After all, we all are sinners. We are commanded to love one another (John 13:34).

But here's the thing: we claim our righteousness from Jesus and in Him alone, right? We are cleansed and our past sins have been wiped out of our records because of His great sacrifice and substitution. We are enjoying His righteousness--not our own!--that has been placed upon us because He accepted and literally owned all our sins and died for us. So now that we're righteous in our Father's eyes, how are we to react to our fellow sinners who haven't accepted Christ in their lives (or maybe, they already have) but continuous to sin?

Loving the sinner doesn't mean that we should overlook their wrong-doings. We shouldn't just shrug our shoulders and tell them, "That's alright. I still love you!' That's not love! Our God is a loving God. He's actually love Himself! (1 John 4:8) But even His greatness and overflowing love for us did not blind Him. He did not put His hands on His eyes to cover it from seeing how filthy we are; He actually used those hands to pull us out of that dark place called sin. He did not--does not and will not--overlook anything. He is just! (2 Thessalonians 1:6, 8) Yes, He forgave and saved us, and that came with a price. And it was a heavy one! He actually needed to sacrifice His own precious Son for us!

Having that in mind, loving the sinner doesn't equate to tolerating them. If we don't do anything about it, we're as good as supporting them. You might say 'Hey, I ain't supporting any sinner to do more sin!', but when you think about it, saying nothing is a muted 'go ahead' for them. If we truly care for them, a respectful but firm intervention is what we should give. Intervening doesn't mean that we should confront or correct them upfront. I believe that only God could correct them. It is our duty to be an example of how Christ lived and that we must let other people see that in us. Words has lesser impact than action does. If we'd talk to them but they themselves do not see anything good in us, we're being hypocrites and our righteousness is not genuine. We're actually setting a dangerous example for them.

Standing up for what God calls righteous is not easy. We may face bashing and even gain some enemies. But then again, we can never have an enemy if we won't treat them as such. They may treat you badly and mock you, but know that God is on your side and you're doing His will! (1 Peter 2:15) If we have truly given up your life to God, then must live as His son lived! It's our goal to be Christ-like in all our ways. Jesus Christ was the very sample God wants us to follow--and it's not an optional thing! We either live like Him or not truly live at all.

Personally, I'm encountering some struggles at present time about this issue. Other people see living righteously as living weird. But that shouldn't discourage us from pursuing a holy life. People nowadays are more comfortable on doing the wrong than the right. It's easier for them to sin than to stand up for what God says is right! We shouldn't let other's standards be our standards. He's the only One we should please--and pleasing Him does not require that we please and conform with the ways of this world! (Romans 12:2)

Fix your eyes on Jesus! He is our standard, not anyone else!

And though I may have cried about this, I now smile for He supplied me with the strength and courage to go through anything!

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:) count: 7

My inadequacies and His sufficiency.

The other day I started on reading The Purpose Driven Life. I've already started on that book, so long ago that I don't even know when it was. All I know is that I stopped because I didn't feel that urge to continue on it. I haven't met God yet at that time.

But it all made sense to me to read that book the other night. I actually tried to read it that exact night on my bed, but due to my excessive crying (for so long), my eyes were so stressed out that I didn't even know I fell asleep that instant. And so, as I woke up the next day, I read it. I can still remember some fragments of it from my premature reading in the past, but I know that God will reveal more to me now that I'm reading this book in a new perspective. Not only that I'm a new creation in Him, but also as I gained more knowledge about Him, my thirst and hunger for more wisdom to acquire also expanded enormously. It's like I wanna read all the books--classics and contemporary--that may and will help me deepen my wisdom so I can share more with other people.

What I fail to realize somehow (funny that I am acknowledging such thoughts right now) is that I won't learn or gain more wisdom by just merely reading. May it be from the Bible or from any other books done by God's blessings on His servants here on Earth. I can only gain it if I'd live it. And as far as I can get, I do and I wanna do more.

Lately, I've encountered huge problems with my family that it made me actually ask God to take my life away--if He wills it. I know that's not a good thing, but after calming my self and talking to Him and meditating, now that I look back at it, I know and still firmly believe that nothing is ever worth giving up my life with except for Christ. If it's not for pursuing Him, then it's not worth giving my life to. And I know this for a fact because He let me know it. And I'll always thank Him for that knowledge and security He's graced me with.

That was so immature of me to ask of of God, and I know that He knows that. Sometimes, great waves of emotions and other turmoils blinds us. I don't want that. And I asked for His forgiveness about my lack of faith and strength during those times. I was so vulnerable to making sins and irrational things on that moment. But that's when God's greatness may shine more into us. As it is said in Philippians 4:13,
"I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
It is from Him where I get my strength. He is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge (Psalms 18:2). And so, I am not afraid to admit my weaknesses and show it to Him. I lay it all to Him. And I know that He'll help me with it and guide, aid and carry me. My inadequacies will be filled by His sufficiency.

And though I've cried before all of this, I smile for that. :]

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:) count: 6
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