Posts Tagged ‘live’

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Gloria in Manila

December 16, 2019

U2 | The Joshua Tree Tour 2019

The Joshua tree, which in fiercely adverse conditions, was seen by U2 as a symbol of faith and hope in the midst of aridity. The tree was named, by early Mormon settlers, after the Old Testament prophet Joshua as its branches reminded them of Joshua raising his arms to pray. — Valentina Magli

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After four decades, U2 has finally found its way to the PH.

I literally cried when they sold out 2 nights in Singapore. I mean these are legends, and it might be the only time I will ever get to watch them perform live and I missed my chance.

Blessed by the universe, they decided to add a PH leg closing their tour and I was so so so happy. I was like, GOD thank you for listening to me! And what was interesting, their VIP floor tickets sold cheap! It was like the universe was saying okay go on, watch and have fun.

Dec. 11 – Concert Day

Woke up at 3am to catch my 5am flight to Manila, it was pouring but I was too full of excitement, it didn’t really bother me. What turbulence? lol.

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After lunch, we drove through the almost 2-hour traffic up north to Bulacan, to the Philippine Arena where they will be holding their concert and was greeted by the blaring pipe-in of Where the Streets Have No Name on repeat for the next 4 hours. The crowd was very diverse, from Boomers to Gen Z, it was a picnic at the parking lot with all the collapsible chairs and coolers of beer, while waiting to queue.

Started queuing at 4:30ish to claim our tickets and get into the venue.

We finally got inside after queuing for more than 3 hours and was welcomed by a 200 ft × 45 ft state-of-the-art 8K video screen that flashed a loop of varied poetry from acclaimed poets and novelists from around the world, even featuring poetry from our very own Bino Realuyo, Eric Gamalinda and Dr. Jose Rizal as a prelude to the concert that started a little past 9pm.

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After The Whole of the Moon played by the Waterboys, I knew it was cue that the concert was about to start and we made our way through the mosh pit to the front of the stage. Just as the lights went out, Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam took the stage and kickstarted the show with Sunday, Bloody Sunday and everyone was up on their feet, hands swaying, singing, screaming.

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After a couple of songs, Bono paused to greet the more than 45,000 people in the arena “Mabuhay!” And likened to a church service, Bono made known his prayers for an epic night of rock n roll transcendence.

Then they started singing Bad from the 1984 album Unforgettable Fire, and I got so overwhelmed, I started crying. How wonderful that one of my favorite songs was being played live by legends right in front of me.

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As the concert progressed into the Joshua Tree album, the ginormous wall morphed into a backdrop of American deserts, endless highways, emblematic mini movies and a play of psychedelic visuals towards the end.

At one point, U2 dedicated the song Ultraviolet (Light My Way) to pay tribute to women game changers, to women who came together to rewrite history. To quote Bono: “When women in the whole world unite to rewrite history as her story that is a “Beautiful Day.”

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This included Filipinas Lidy Nacpil, Cory Aquino, Lea Salonga, and Maria Ressa. And so much blah has been thrown at U2 being political and shit. The band’s been playing freakin punk rock since 1976. For those unaware of the genre (and are so called fans up until..), it’s supposed to be political, look it up. They’ve always had a reputation for their strong humanitarian conviction and activism, so get over it.

Playing their encore, some songs were accompanied with Tagalog subtitles, just shows how inclusive this band is.

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After thanking everyone who came and stuck with them throughout the show, expressing their admiration of the indoor stadium, making mention that the Philippine leg is their 2,050th show, that not having come sooner, they have no excuse, and Bono saying ”from our single island to your thousand islands, thank you for making us feel so welcome on your islands, you’re making a new history for yourselves but the truth is, none of us are really an island and what happens in one country affects the other side of the world. From typhoons to drought, the way we live in one country affects life in every country. There is no them, there’s only us. We are…,” they closed with One, from their 1991 album Achtung Baby.

The concert ended at almost midnight and up to leaving the arena, I’ve been singing love is a temple, love the higher law, we got to carry each other, carry each other, some serious case of LSS.

And through the grueling exodus exiting from the car park that lasted around 1am to arriving BGC at almost 3am — took a shower, ate a bit of breakfast (dint realize I was starving from the concert) and went to the airport at around 5am to catch my 7am flight home and straight to my seminar.

Literally no sleep for more than 24 hours, but having endured the traffic, long queues at the ticket booth, food stalls, comfort rooms and the arena, and coming down with fever and all, just to experience an impeccably choreographed 2-and-a-half-hour show and hear the uncannily seamless voices of the band performing live and up close, was golden. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

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Here is their PH setlist:

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Gloria

New Year’s Day

Bad

Pride (In the Name of Love)

The Joshua Tree:

Where the Streets have no Name

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking for

With or Without you

Bullet the Blue Sky

Running to Stand Still

Red Hill Mining Town

In God’s Country

Trip through Your Wires

One Tree Hill

Exit

Mothers of the Disappeared

Desire

Encore:

Elevation

Vertigo

Even Better than the Real Thing

Every Breaking Wave

Beautiful Day

Ultraviolet (Light My Way)

Love is Bigger than Anything in its Way

One

 

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Thank you U2 for the once in a lifetime experience and thank you Poi and Jobelle for sharing this epic night with me! Truly magical.

xx

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Enemies of the Heart | Guilt

April 9, 2019

Subscribed to this devotional recently and I’m just gonna leave Day 2 here. Just in case you stumble across this, read up.

Andy Stanley: Enemies of the Heart 

Devotional Day 2

“Fessing Up”

Scripture: 1 John 1:5-10

The first enemy of the heart is guilt. Guilt is the result of having done something we perceive as wrong. The message from a heart laden with guilt is, “I owe!”

Consider the man who runs off with another woman and abandons his family. Without realizing it at the time, he has stolen something from every member of his family. He has robbed his wife of her future, her financial security, and her reputation as a wife. From his children’s perspective, this man has stolen their Christmas, traditions, emotional and financial security, dinners with the family, and so on.

Now, the man who did all this doesn’t think in terms of what he has taken. Initially, he thinks in terms of what he has gained. But the first time his little girl asks him why he doesn’t love Mommy anymore, his heart is stirred. He now feels guilty. Dad owes.

Nothing less than paying that debt will relieve a guilty heart of its burden of guilt. People try to work it off, serve it off, give it off, and even pray it off. But no amount of good deeds, community service, charitable giving, or Sundays in a pew can relieve the guilt. It’s a debt. And it must be paid or canceled for a guilty heart to experience relief.

How do you get your guilt canceled? The answer comes in one of the first Bible verses I memorized as a child: 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (kjv).

Confession has the power to break the cycle of sin. And like most medicinal remedies, it works when applied properly. Proper application happens when we confess our sins, not just to God, but also to the people we’ve sinned against.

Guilty people are usually repeat offenders. And as long as you’re carrying a secret, as long as you’re trying to ease your conscience by telling God how sorry you are, you’re setting yourself up to repeat the past. However, if you start confessing your sins to the people you’ve sinned against, odds are that you’re not going to go back and commit those sins again.

Confess both to God and others, and you will slay this enemy of your heart.

What are you feeling guilty for? Confess your sin to God and to whomever you have hurt. Do it today.

“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:5-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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When Love calls you Home

October 7, 2016

A likely reunion on a rainy day.

 

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For Maika and JP (March 27, 2005, October 6, 2016)

Have an awesome trip to paradise you two!

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Life in Tiny Box Thingies

November 25, 2015

We live in such a technology driven age that our lives are determined by likes and follows and views and re-tweets. Social media has taken over our dailies and the advanced technology makes it so convenient, it’s somehow become a “something we can’t do without.” Telcos provide you with the latest smartphones and gadgets and data plans on a minimal monthly cost. You get real time, first hand, whatever information. Almost everything is up and live.

And the more advanced technology becomes, the more dissatisfied people get. We carry technology everywhere, it is conveniently shaped and sized to fit our pockets, collapsed into tiny media powerhouses we could just grab and go.

Our feeds enable us to see what goes on in the lives of others in real time and when we find that it looks good or so much better than our perceived dull ones, we feel like we are missing out or is getting left behind and we’ve to do something about not being in “the trend” because we compare. So here comes in the filters and the slimming apps, editing our realities into what we want others to envy. What we fail to realize is that what is shown on these media platforms are only pieces of people’s lives they want to show. Reality is a far cry.

Why then are people struggling to be a “somebody“?  What is so intoxicating about being talked about or being “in” or feeling so important? It seems like everyone is so obsessed with attention. I will never fully understand. Discontentment is synonymous to unhappiness. Every time you compare your life to someone else’s, you only frustrate yourself.

Your life is not measured by how many signature brands of bags and clothes and shoes are in your walk-in closet or how many miles you’ve accumulated in your frequent flyer rewards card or how many sets of diamonds are in your jewelry box. Nobody cares.

Your life is not measured by having the latest, most expensive car in the market or the latest most advanced smartphone and gadget or the likes on your Instagram post or how many views your video has on YouTube or how many friends you have on Facebook. Nobody cares.

Life happens in seasons. Sometimes you have none, sometimes you have plenty. During lean times, pray and make do with what you have. During abundant times, be grateful, be humble and share.

Don’t let technology overpower you and dictate your life’s purpose. Put that cellphone down, stop scrolling and focus on what is important. Stop being a digital slave. We’ve to quit #hashtagging our lives and actually try living it.

You can chase after everything you’ve ever wanted and get it all. It won’t be enough. At the end of the day, every day, you’ll still feel empty. – Craig Groeschel

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xx

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#KiyiyaVuranInsanlik

September 4, 2015

When I opened my Facebook account today, feeds about a drowned boy kept popping up. I know it’s click bait, but I clicked on the bait.

And I’ve been ugly crying here.

“A 3-year-old boy named Aylan Kurdi and his 5-year-old brother, Galip, were photographed face down in the surf Wednesday morning. They both reportedly died on a boat that capsized while carrying them to the Greek island of Kos. The brothers were attempting to reach Canada, where their aunt lives.” – BuzzFeed

(Also see: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/02/europe/migration-crisis-boy-washed-ashore-in-turkey/)

The images are so heartbreaking. I cannot even begin to think about my almost 2 year old boy experiencing the struggle from the violence this little Aylan must have faced in a place he supposedly called home, escaping and fleeing in terror, hopeless and cold in a tiny boat until it tragically capsized and he and his brother washed ashore to a foreign land, lifeless.

3 years old. It’s so unfair.

How privileged are my children for they do not know war or terror or starvation or death and they have the opportunity to laugh and play and learn. How fortunate are they to be sleeping in a warm bed at night and to wake in the morning and embrace another day of their young lives.

This too was little Aylan’s universal right. To wake up in the morning and greet the face of his family. To help himself to a sumptuous meal. To bask in the sun, play and get his hands dirty. To read nursery rhymes and fairytales. To learn how things work, how plants grow. To go to school and have friends. To grow up. To experience love and pain. To live.

All these taken away too soon because of selfish and heartless government and laws. We live in such a cruel world and at the expense of the innocent.

So tonight, after an eventful day at work or from wherever you are coming from, do a little extra. Shower your little one with kisses and hug him a little tighter. Appreciate that you have the TIME to watch their chests rise and fall when they sleep, to read to them, to sing to them. To see them learn to crawl and walk and jump and utter their first words, to call you Mama. To hear them cry and laugh. To look into their eyes, to hold their tiny hands. Express your love and be thankful.

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How his story should have ended…

Photo source: Steve Dennis

And to the rest of the world, there’s something that needs to be done soon NOW. The urgency is palpable.

We don’t have to live in hate.

xx

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Face the Truth About Yourself

October 15, 2014

In attaining peace, the first step is acceptance. Human as we are, we find fault in other people, things or situations when something goes wrong. What we fail to see is that we are given the choice to make happen what we want to happen; our misery and our joy depends on the decisions we make. Our tainted past or blurry present all have an impact on how we choose to live out the rest of our lives but it doesn’t define us, it is not reason to stop pursuing dreams or do good, it is not a hindrance but instead an opportunity to discover ourselves, our weaknesses and capabilities and what we can do about it. We have to accept that we are not perfect, the world is not perfect, but there is hope for all of us if we learn, let go and move forward. Things always happen for a reason and if it doesn’t work out like we expected it should, believe that you are called to a better purpose. Choose to accept these obstacles, these challenges, and peace will be in your heart.

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Sharing Day 137 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

Face the Truth About Yourself

Someone once asked how I live free from my oppressive past. My answer is very simple: God has given me the grace and the willingness to face the truth about myself.

I grew up in a war zone. Because of my quick temper, I was upset most of the time. Because of being upset, I grew up depressed, disappointed and discouraged. I wished I could have a better life, but my wishing didn’t solve anything. It wasted my time as I kept blaming my problems on my bad family background.

Finally, God helped me realize that I had to stop wishing and start taking responsibility, to quit blaming other people and my circumstances, and quit making excuses for myself.

You might be in a similar situation. Facing the truth about yourself is scary, but you don’t have to do it alone. All your flaws are exposed to God, and if you ask Him for His perspective, He will help you pick yourself up, take responsibility, and live a peaceful life. Today, don’t be scared to face the truth about yourself, but let God guide you into a new tomorrow.

Prayer Starter: Holy Spirit, I need Your help to face the truth about myself. It’s time to stop blaming my problems on my past and on other people, and to meet them head-on with the power of Your Word. Empower me to take responsibility and to change for the better.

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭4‬:‭13‬ NLT)

xx

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Photo courtesy: SDL

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June Bride

June 18, 2014

“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not insist on its own way. Love bears all things, believes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13

Marriage is not about the overly sized petticoats or the giant peonies or the Jimmy Choo shoes.

It’s not also about the Lancome finished makeup or dreamland reception with all the drapes and hanging lanterns and cherry blossoms.

No it’s not.

Marriage is a commitment. A promise supposedly made by two people “in-love” to be together in what they believe is called “forever” (despite whatever odds or something like that). For richer or for poorer, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.

Marriage starts after your wedding day; when you wake up the day after drunk (or sober) beside your partner with smeared makeup and messy, sticky hair and you find him still looking at you longingly, smiling with an I’m-so-lucky kind of look.

And you move in together into a new house that you will eventually build into a home. That is WHEN you both start living.

Yes, you will discover a lot of things about each other and you will not like some (or all) of them, but you will eventually learn to live with it and settle into a new kind of normal only the two of you understand.

Yes, life afterwards will not be what you’ve expected. You both will have to learn to adjust. You will fight a lot of times over the littlest and most unreasonable things (like shower curtains or squeezing toothpaste or tile colors or who makes breakfast), these are inevitable.

Yes, there will come a time that you find your self asking if you’ve made the right decision, questions like “What the hell am I doing in this relationship?” or if who you are with now is really “the one” are normal. We all have our own shortcomings and no one is perfect in marriage. There will be times when one may fail the other, mess up, or do something hurtful.

No, marriage is not your fairytale come true. BUT marriage is making a fairytale come true with someone you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with.

You see, it is not about you anymore. It is about you AND your partner. It’s a work in progress and a learning process and it requires BOTH of you.

How do you make it work?

You find out along the way.

But keep this in mind:

You both deserve someone who will be there for you, who has your back and takes your side, who takes care of you, looks after you; someone willing to sacrifice for you and fight for you; someone who believes in you, encourages you, pushes you not to stop dreaming and brings out the best in you; someone who doesn’t walk out on you during difficult situations; someone who stays simply because he choose to.

Be that person.

Be honest, brutally honest. Do not keep secrets, do not lie. Understand and compromise. Voice out. LISTEN. Pay attention to details. Involve each other. Be each other’s cheerleader, counselor, critic, nurse, confidante and best friend. Be each other’s priority. Be considerate, always. Be selfless. Watch your words, you will never be able to get them back. Be patient with each other, you do not think alike. Appreciate, even the littlest things, especially the little things.

It doesn’t hurt to say good morning and good night. It’s never too much to tell each other I love you everyday. Enjoy each other’s company. Make each other feel beautiful. Hug, kiss, cuddle.

Be random. Go on trips, travel, discover something new together. Experiment. Surprise each other. Be spontaneous.

Most importantly, have a spiritual life together. Go to church or prayer meetings or subscribe to reading plans. Feed your souls. Be blessed. When God is at the center of your marriage, grace pours in and believe that everything will come easily.

You never know who is that someone you are destined to be with. But trust in fate’s decision in bringing you together. There is always a reason we meet the people we meet eventhough sometimes we may not know why. There are no coincidences. Build on “together moments,” your happy times will be your anchor during the most trying days.

Always remember you deserve to be with someone who loves you. Love deeply and wholly. Set aside the clashing personalities, the twisted principles, the different point of views, if you are truly confident with each other’s love, you two will get along just fine.

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xx

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Marriage: If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by. – F. Burton Howard

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Half Year Bliss

May 5, 2014

Dear Juancho,

When I knew I was having you, I was scared out of my wits. I did not know how to provide for another child. But now, I understand why God gave me you.

You came at the point in my life when everything was dull and gray, full of tears and pain, when everything was heavy and dark and hopeless.

I never expected that you would bring me so much joy.

Six months and you’ve brought in sunshine and color and laughter and hope back into my life. When I am around you, all my sorrow fades away.

The way you touch my face and look up into my eyes; the way you smile when you see me come home from work; the way you laugh when i make all sorts of ridiculous faces; the way you roll over and try so hard to sit straight; the way you coo when you wake up in the morning; the way you form bubbles with your mouth; the way you hug me back when I carry you; your steady breathing when you finally sleep, I could just go on — these make up the moments of my life now.

Thank you so much Juancho for saving me. And I will continue to live everyday for you. I love you langga. Happy half year to you. 😘😊😍

Love,

Mama

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xx

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Trusting and Believing

March 25, 2014

I would like to share with you the reading plan I am currently on. The plan aims to help you grow in trusting and believing God’s promises.

Trusting and Believing: Devotions from Time of Grace. (www.timeofgrace.org)

These are readings from Day 1 to Day 13.

Knowing is not yet believing. Believing is not yet trusting. Some people can’t accept the concept of God’s existence. They see no particular order in the universe that would demand the existence of a grand designer behind it all. Some people know that there is a Creator, but only as someone to acknowledge from a distance. Some acknowledge the creator’s existence simply to satisfy the thought that all living things came from something. Some people have come to know about the one true God by hearing the bible’s message yet they still feel alone and disconnected.

And then there’s trusting. Life makes it hard to trust and believe the way the bible calls us to do. I cannot deny that I’ve felt so many times that God has abandoned me during my most trying times and I have questioned his existence. I have shed countless tears and felt very desperate. But hearing, listening and trying to understand God’s word has done so many things. Life has a purpose, and all we have to do is trust God to lead us to that purpose. Trusting means living in the serenity that everything will be okay. Trusting means that you know a smiling and utterly competent God will be waiting to catch you when you fall–and also when he invites you to jump. Trusting means that you are totally convinced that you will emerge a winner no matter what happens in your life.

Why is it so hard to trust God?

1. Fear.
Fear holds us back from trusting and believing. Fear paralyzes. Fear makes our painful memories much more intense. Fear breeds despair about the future and makes us not like our present very much either. fear makes us blind to the blessings we have and fear makes it difficult, even impossible, to believe that there will be good things to come. But during these bleak times, Isaiah has some wonderful words to say. You could trust and believe in a God who is not going to let you lose your true treasure. In fact, God would actually be using the hard things in your life to help you!

He said in Isaiah 41:10, “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 hand.”

When you find yourself being afraid, take a deep breath, listen to these words of God, and remember that you are being cradled in God’s very big hands. You are safe.

2. Guilt.
It’s really hard to trust God when you feel guilt in his presence. Guilt comes on two levels: there’s head guilt and heart guilt. In our heads we know that we have broken God’s rules for our behavior. But guilt is also the wretched feeling of shame and failure in our hearts. Sometimes we let God’s Word get us halfway there. We hear the gospel message and know that we have been forgiven, but we don’t feel forgiven. We still feel dirty; we still feel the intense disappointment we must be to God.

The bible tells us that personal confession is a necessary part of healing the emotional baggage of guilt. 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Confession is God’s way of getting the poisons out. It’s like draining a wound, it cuts through all the pretending, denial and defense. To get rid of guilt, we first objectively hear what Christ has done for us and subjectively, by confessing our sins, actually naming them, saying them out loud to our God without blaming others and without pretending, cutting through the denial–then we will get on the path to emotional healing as well. Our minds will know forgiveness. Our hearts will feel forgiven.

3. Self-Hatred
Everybody has been bullied. Everybody has been pushed around, ridiculed and mocked. People assume that those doing the putting down must feel powerful, but actually it’s the reverse. People who hurt other people really don’t like themselves much, and so they want to drag others down to their own level of emotional misery.

Honestly though, we’d all have to admit that there are things about our own lives that we don’t like, and so we don’t like ourselves all that much either. Here’s why we need God so much. We depend on God’s high opinion of us to give us a reason to believe not only in him but in ourselves again.

Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

The Lord thinks you are so precious and valuable that he was willing to die for you in your messy state. He didn’t wait for you to clean yourself up first. He died so you could belong to him. If He thinks you’re valuable, then you must be! If he thinks you’re worth dying for, then you must be precious indeed. If he sends His Holy Spirit to live within you, then you are not helpless. If he loves you, then you can love yourself again.

4. Doubt
Is it good to be skeptical? If you’re a scientist, skepticism is considered a badge of honor. Scientists live to prove things and it’s by doubting, trying and testing that the great principles and laws of the universe are uncovered and the properties of matter better understood. Is it good to be doubtful and skeptical of God? Is it a good plan to devise tests to prove God’s existence, love, wisdom or power? Not such a good idea. Doubting God was the first human sin. In the string of things that Satan planted in the minds of Adam and Eve, the first step was to doubt God’s Word.

The Lord’s words banish doubt. When our life shakes with doubt, listen to your God talking to you. Let his calm voice assure you that nothing is too hard for him and that everything is going to be all right.

5. Fatigue
Think how much harder it is to feel confident when you’re exhausted. “Good tired” is how you feel at the end of a productive day. But you also know “bad tired,” don’t you? Bad tired is when you are physically and emotionally drained by the selfishness of others, or worse yet, by your own foolishness and bad judgement.

Fatigue wears down your cheerfulness and patience. Fatigue breeds pessimism and bitterness. The Lord Jesus knew personally what severe exhaustion felt like, and he wanted his tired brothers and sisters to know that there was relief for them.

He said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

6. Prosperity
You can understand and even sympathize with people whose poverty and hardships have made them suspicious of God’s love and power. Has it ever occurred to you that prosperity is an even greater spiritual burden?

Jesus told his shocked disciples once, in Matthew 19:24, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

He said this from sad experience, because his encounters with the wealthy were usually not pleasant. God gives money to people as a tool to make his agenda happen. He provides treats because he is kind and loves to see us happy. Alas, money can easily become god to be pursued and worshiped for the power it gives.

7. Denial
Children love to pretend. They have a rich fantasy life and effortlessly slide into their own parallel universe. The plan is to quit pretending when you are an adult and learn to see and accept reality.

If only. I bet you know plenty of other adults who are still pretending. Single people move in with each other and pretend to be married. Married people act as though they are single. Sedated by drugs or alcohol, people pretend that their lives are fine. People pretend to be financially successful but behind the scenes they stagger under enormous mortgages, home equity loans and maxed out credit cards. The worst kind of delusion is to pretend that you are morally good enough for God. You can blame other people for your sins. You can compare yourself with people farther down the food chain and feel superior. You can indulge in selective memory, remembering only what makes you look good.

God’s view? Living in a state of spiritual denial is deadly. 1 John 1:8 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” You need help. God’s help.

8. Blindness
It’s hard to trust in God for the future if you think that your present life is a dry, parched desert. That’s not reality though; it’s just ignorance. Or worse–blindness to the wonderful things that God has been doing for his believers.

In Ephisians 1:3,4, St. Paul wrote to some Christians who were being tempted to think they had nothing, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world.”

As you put Jesus’ gospel glasses on, as you see yourself as loved and forgiven, you can start noticing the good things that have been there all along: faithful friends, dear family members, skills and gifts, daily bread, flowers and sunsets, and a faithful Savior whose promise of everlasting life cannot be taken away from you.

9. Pain
Whatever intense emotion you are experiencing right now will color your entire worldview. If you are in pain right now, it can be very hard to be optimistic, to trust that your future will ever be better.

In John 16:33, hours before his death and resurrection, Jesus predicted terrible hardships for his disciples, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Here is our hope–not in our tired and aging bodies, not in our brilliant minds or wealth, but in the words of the One who has suffered like us and for us and who has conquered death, hell and pain for us all.

10. Confusion
Some people find their trust in God draining away because he doesn’t seem to be doing what they want when they want it. Think for just a moment what God’s greatest desire for you is. It is not to make you wealthy, famous, powerful or even comfortable. It is to get you through the minefield of your earthly life safely hoe to heaven.

Let God’s ultimate goal for your life be your goal too. Replace confusion with this kind of clarity: 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

11. Self-Sufficiency
People want badly to believe that the world is steadily evolving into a higher state. It is a wonderful thing to be self-sufficient and to work at bettering yourself. It is a terrible thing, though, to suppose that we don’t need God. We are not evolving into better people. If anything, people are slowly devolving into beasts.

There’s a better way. The wise counsel from Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Every day in every way we are loved and blessed by our dear Father, Savior and Counselor.

We need to let go of the things that hinder our trust in God. You don’t always have to be in charge. Let go and let God work. He knows what is best for us. Trust that he knows.

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Despite doubting, cursing, and blaming God for all the unworldly experiences I’ve encountered, He has received me with open arms and loved me without any apprehensions. He has blessed me beyond belief and I have so much to be thankful for. Learn to live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Trust and surrender to him, let him direct your path and hear him say “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life,” (Psalm 32:8).

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Photo courtesy: Google Images

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Doors.

January 14, 2014

Life is full of doors wherein we get to choose which ones to go through. What is behind each door? One does not know unless one opens and sees for himself. Each door leads to different events that compose our lives. It solely depends on us which doors to open and enter and which doors to close and lock.

Some thoughts about doors by Paulo Coelho (one of my favorite authors).

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God gave us the ultimate power: to choose the life we live. We make our choices and our choices make our life. Whatever the outcome, no one is accountable but us. So choose wisely.

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Choose to be happy.

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Check Paulo Coelho’s BlogPaulo Coelho.

Photo courtesy: Google images

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