Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

“Psalm of a Creation”
(January 20, 2013)

The psalm of my heart is to hear Your voice
In my desperation, I choose to trust You
To love You is a feeling incomp’rable
Sadness comes, but my joy is found in You

Amazing to think, as I open my eyes
Miracles are done, angels sing praises
I move toward You, to know You, my King
Every detail of me, I owe to You

In my weakness and poorness, be glorified
Let my nothingness confess Your power
Let me serve my purpose, to proclaim Your Name
To share the Good News to every lost soul

You, O God, exist to proclaim your glory
Your holiness, it brings us to our knees
I am created because of Your mercy
Your grace is enough, it keeps me breathing

To suffer is to experience Your goodness
To mourn is to be glad by Your comfort
I am secured for You’re guiding me always
With my whole being, I will praise you, Lord

Words aren’t enough, You’re indescribable
I will join with Your creation, they’ll sing
Hallelujah! To You, O Majesty
My life be surrendered to You, Lord of hosts

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(An entry from my notebook.)

What is a lot important? Our heartache or God’s heartache? Instantly, we might say, “Of course, God’s heartache is more important than mine.” But let me tell you this, sometimes we’re just lying because actions speak louder than words. We have the tendency to over-react when we are hurt and not knowing that we give more importance to our feelings than God’s.

Minsan kasi, we just focus on our loss, heartaches and brokenness rather than His. We self-pity and then ask God to restore us from all the troubles we experienced, have a strong faith and get healed. Then what’s next? A cycle? Get hurt again, self-pity, ask for restoration, have faith, get restored over and over again. Don’t get me wrong. It is not difficult for God to forgive us and restore us. There’s no ill-burden for Him. The question is, “Reasonable ba yung binibigay na forgiveness and restoration ng Lord sa atin, if we ask for restoration and healing from our brokenness by such repeated actions?” ‘Cause you know why? We have a big tendency to focus only on ourselves.

The reality is, we don’t matter but He matters. We focus on His heartaches and brokenness caused by our wrong-doings and short-comings. We keep on sinning and sinning, then when we get hurt, we ask for, you know it, forgiveness and restoration. If we love God, we should know the truth and we stop sinning. We stop sinning not because we are afraid of breaking His rules but we are afraid of breaking His heart.

“THE ART OF COMPROMISING”

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” – James 4:17

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”John 14:15

“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.”Revelation 14:12

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Our school is 30minutes away from home that’s why I have so much time to spend thinking about so many things while I ride jeepney.  One morning, I was preparing my uniform for school then I realized that my polo had stain on it.  I said, “Oh boy!  I wouldn’t wear anything that I don’t feel comfortable about.”  Then ideas had started to come from afar.  COMPROMISE!  “What are the common compromises that I make?”  I mean, really, my own compromises.

One book that I read states that, “Compromise is a killer that seems so innocent in the beginning.  Yet when you compromise and do a small thing you know isn’t right, it doesn’t stay small and end there.  It becomes easier and easier to choose the wrong path the next time around.”  It’s true.  It’s impossible to stop a habit if you wouldn’t decide to stop it now.  You can say that it would be the last but you won’t be able to do it.  Compromising is an easy way out from accepting that you’re sinning.  It always defends itself.  It always aims to blame others.  It always wants to zap the energy out of you because you are expected to put up a binder to hide yourself from corrections and rebukes.  That’s why compromising is the first sign of the hidden power of deception over you.  We will discuss about it in a while.  So, here it goes.  My list of a young man’s compromises.

1.  OUTFIT –  “If I don’t feel good about it, I won’t wear it.”
I actually don’t consider this one as a compromise. But then the idea started with it that’s why I put it on the list. It’s true. If you feel uncomfortable with the clothes or dress, you won’t definitely wear. It seems like something’s gonna come out or someone’s pinching you from the back. It seems like you’re loosing your self-confidence and you want it back. You just don’t feel good. That’s why girls have the most problems regarding with what they wear. They spend hours on their closet to pick their attire.  1 Timothy 2:9 says, “I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes.”  This one really applies to them. If they don’t feel good about it, they won’t wear it.

2. SEX – “You can joke about it, but you can never have a serious talk about it.”
“What? We’re talking about sex? Bleep! Quiet. Everyone’s gonna hear you.” We, human beings have this code called, “Sexual Code of Silence.” One book says that this code states that, “it’s okay to joke about sex or even lie about it, but other than that, it’s your solemn duty (as a male) to keep silent whenever a serious discussion about sex takes place.” Sometimes, people will evaluate a film, saying, “There’s no sex. Just some crude jokes, and that’s no big deal.” On the contrary, Ephesians 5:4 says crude joking is “out of place.” That’s the culture we must change. The reality is, we, guys are sexual beings. We are created with it. It’s a part of us. We deserve to know what’s right and true about our sexuality so we can have the greatest chance to have fantastic sexual relationships with the person we marry. Sex is a precious and enjoyable gift from God inside marriage. So, having crude jokes about sex is humiliating or dishonoring the Maker of sex. John Stott explains, “To joke about them (God’s gift including sex) is bound to degrade them; to thank God for them is the way to preserve their worth as the blessings of a loving Creator.” We shouldn’t be ignorant about this matter. We should integrate our sexuality along with the integration of our spirituality and other aspect of our lives. (Don’t worry, I will post new entry regarding this matter!)

3. CHEAT – “As long as I won’t get caught, I would still do it.”
“Oh! You cheated with your girlfriend? That’s awful. Naah! That’s cool.” Cheating is not just about cheating with your girlfriend or boyfriend, it’s about the everything we do. Cheating with your exams, with your parents, with your friends. EVERYTHING. “No one’s gonna see me, it would be the last. Naah! Kidding. I would still do it.” Webster says that, “Cheating is the getting of reward for ability by dishonest means.” You cheat because you get something. You get reward in a wrong way. You cheat because there’s pleasure and when there’s pleasure, it becomes difficult to restraint yourself from cheating. We better stop. From the smallest kind of cheating to the biggest. Proverbs 11:1 says, “The LORD hates cheating, but he delights in honesty.” Remember, cheating is still a sin so there’s no excuse for it.

4. PRIDE – “I won’t do anything until he/she does the first move.”
Boom! Shall I kill myself right now? It’s the hardest thing to do, removing off your pride so that life would be better, putting on the plain you instead of wearing your reputation. Just take it off, your pride. It messes me up so it would happen to you also. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Quit defending yourself. Accept that you’re wrong, ask for forgiveness and forgive also then be good and real to everyone.  Take a quick look at the word PRIDE.  The middle letter is “I” which simply means that when you put on your pride, the center of our life is yourself.  Your life is not about you.  It’s about God.  It’s about how you will use your life to magnify the greatness of our God.  Our life should become reflectors of His glory, not absorbers of His glory.  Remember, self-protection is a hindrance to true fellowship, an obstacle to genuine friendship.

5.  ADDICTION – “As long as I am enjoying it, I won’t stop doing it.”
This one is actually a broad topic. It can summarize everything that is written in here. You can be addicted to smoking, to drinking alcoholic beverages, to work (workaholic), to shop (shopaholic), to online gaming, to social networking and even to sex (sex addict). Addiction is a stronghold (fortress, where you feel comfortable about, where there is pleasure), a possession maybe. You enjoy bad things because there’s satisfaction. It provides you with the gratification you need. When you smoke, you feel cool, you feel hip. When you drink, it feels like you take a break from all of your problems, it boosts your spirit to get along with your life. When you commit sex outside marriage, it gratifies and satisfies your sexual needs. But then the truth is, addiction would do no good on you. All of those satisfactions and gratifications are temporary, only for a moment. In the end, it would damage you. It creates distance away from God. When you sin and keep those addictions, you will just make your distance from God longer. Isaiah 5:11 says, “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!” When you become addicted to something, it would be really hard to get along with the Holy Spirit again.

6. FAKE REPENTANCE – “God is a great God. I could do it one more time. He will forgive me, anyway.”
Oh yes! You can relate to this. We all know the bible verse that applies to this, 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Here’s the thing, “Is it for real?” I mean, “Do we confess because we really beg for forgiveness and we acknowledge our nothingness before God?” Or, “Do we just quote that Bible verse to have an escape from our wrongdoings?” You know, there’s a thin line separating foolishness and wisdom. Are we for real? Let us not waste the forgiveness and grace and mercy from God. Over and over and over again, we commit the same mistake. We keep on sinning and sinning. If we ask for His forgiveness, let us try our best not to sin again. Let us keep on being good. If we love God, we should know the truth and stop sinning. As Ru dela Torre says, “We stop sinning not because we are afraid of breaking His rules but because we are afraid of breaking His heart.”

7. PLEASING PEOPLE – “If they don’t like it, I won’t pursue it.”
Alex and Brett Harris, from their book Do Hard things,  state that, “Our mission as Christians is not to fit in. It is to be faithful on what the Bible says. It is to take a stand.” It is our duty, our mission to make known or famous the name of the Lord. Our mission is only to please God. To make Him proud on everything that we do. If we focus our attention towards other, we will be so distracted. I have this mindset, “Quit pleasing everyone. Critical people do exist. Pleasing people will keep you uptight and indecisive. It’s not about me. It’s not about us. It’s not about them. It’s all about God.” When you focus your attention only to God, you will not be distracted. You will just aim to always give your best because you acknowledge your nothingness before God. So, who deserves our best and extravagant worship? It’s God. Only Him. My goal right now is to hear these sweetest words from God, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:23).

There you have it. Here are just some of the most common compromises we make everyday. We better not make them. But there is one more compromise that is very difficult to remove, our Mañana Habit or Procrastination, “If I can do it tomorrow, I won’t do it today.” So real! I would rather sleep the whole day than bending my muscles to work. Which is wrong! We all better change. “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.” (Proverbs 13:4)

Compromise is the first sign of deception. When you compromise and make it as your daily habit, it is already a stronghold, you are being deceived by your actions.

“THE HIDDEN POWER OF DECEPTION”

Deception is actually more dangerous than temptation. If you’re a Christian already and you fall into temptation, there will be guilt and shame feeling which will eventually lead you to repent and ask for forgiveness. On the other hand, deception is deceiving, of course. The word “deceive” means, from Webster, “to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid.” It’s clear. To make the wrong thing seems like right. To accept something as true even though it’s not. You can know that you are already being deceived by your sinful acts if you make reasons such as, “There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s good actually. It’s okay. This will be the last. It’s only the first time. Don’t worry, we’re Christians already, we know how to handle this.” You see! That’s the clear picture. Don’t compromise. Don’t be deceived. Search yourself. Think again. It’s time to change your game plan.

“Christian Brothers” by Heather Arnel Paulsen

(An Excerpt from her book Emotional Purity; chapter 15, Dating Done Differently, pg. 130)

Paul wrote some wonderful advice to Timothy (a young man) on how to treat younger women—“like sisters, in all purity” (1 Timothy 5:2). The Greek word translated “all” is pas, meaning all things individually and in their totality. A man must treat a younger woman like a sister and “in all purity”. How does a brother treat his sister? I do not have any brothers, but I know that in all family situations brothers and sisters do not pay attention to one over the other, communicating feelings of “you’re special,” nor do they step over the lines of physical intimacy. They also generally have no hidden agendas; where they stand with each other is clear. Do brothers and sisters know one another? Yes. Do they care for one another? Yes. So what is Paul talking about? Paul stated that all women with whom a man comes in contact must be treated with “all purity”. Only God can give the green light to take the relationship to another level of intimacy. And when God gives the green light, purity remains in its proper place.

(You can read chapter 1 of the book for this part)

Some of you may say Mike treated Tracy as a sister, but did he really? He set her apart, made her feel special, and without even knowing it took over her thought life. IN A PHYSICAL SENSE HE DID TREAT HER PURELY, BUT WHAT ABOUT HER EMOTIONS? He was not up-front with his intentions. If he had been, she might not have become so taken with him. Now Tracy allowed herself to become worked up with Mike, so we cannot put all the blame on him. She could have ask him to define their friendship. They had CLOSENESS but no COMMITMENT. He was taking away emotions that should have been saved for her husband.

Since the husband is the head of the wife, he is responsible for sticking his neck out and being held accountable. When an unmarried man sticks his neck out with a young lady, he is preparing himself for the role God has assigned to him IN MARRIAGE. Christ put His life on the line, with no guarantee that we would respond. What a great life lesson men can learn in taking the initiative in relationships.

My Manifesto with God

I, undersigned, commit before Jesus, my Lord and Savior, before man and my peers and my church mates, that I will withhold myself from entering into a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship for one (1) year because I would like to give my undivided attention to loving and serving God. This means that;

1. I will abstain from courtship and dating.
2. I will abstain from sexual intercourse, petting, necking, kissing (on the lips), and any indiscreet contact with any person.

I believe that as a Christian and as a child of God, I want to serve Him and sanctify my body, soul, and spirit for the glory of God.

Signed this _________ day of ______________, ________ at _____________________________________. This MANIFESTO is effective until _______________________, _______.

_______________________
Signature
Over Printed Name

Person/s I’m accountable to;

_______________________
Youth Leader/Ministry Head

_______________________
Best friend/Prayer Partner

FOR GIRLS:

“Modesty Heart Check” by Carolyn Manahey
(Excerpt from the book Worldliness by C.J. Manahey)

“WOMEN SHOULD ADORN themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” ( 1 Timothy 2:9-10)

In His Word, God commands us to pursue the beauty of modesty and self-control both in our hearts and in our dress. If we earnestly apply His Word to our hearts, it will be displayed by what we wear.

When it comes to selecting clothes to buy and wear, however, we can often feel lost and confused. Which items are seductive and immodest and which display a heart of modesty and self-control?

To assist you in assisting a modest heart and maintaining a modest wardrobe, we humbly offer this Modesty Heart Check for your consideration. We don’t intend these questions to be a list of rules or consider them to be a definitive guide to modest dress. The Modesty Heart Check is a tool, to be used in the context of biblical teaching on modesty, and never an isolation from God’s Word.

May these questions assist you as you seek to display the modest beauty of godly womanhood.

START WITH A HEART CHECK

“How does a woman discern the sometimes fine line between proper dress and dressing to be the center of attention? The answer starts in the intent of the heart. A woman should examine her motives and goals for the way she dresses. Is her intent to show the grace and beauty of womanhood?…Is it to to reveal a humble devoted to worshipping God? Or is it to call attentio to herself, and flaunt her…beauty? Or worse, to attempt to allure men sexually? A woman who focuses on worshipping God will consider carefully how she is dressed, because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance.”

* What statement do my clothes make about my heart?
* In choosing what clothes to wear today, whose attention do I desire and whose approval do I crave? Am I seeking to please God or impress others?
* Is what I wear consistent with biblical values of modesty, self-control and respectable apparel, or does my dress reveal an inordinate identification and fascination with sinful cultural values?
* Who am I trying to identify with through my dress? Is it my standard the Word of God or is it the latest fashion?
* Have I asked other godly individuals to evaluate my wardrobe?
* Does my clothing reveal an allegiance to the Gospel, or is there any contradiction between my profession of faith and my practice of godliness? Before you leave the house, do a Modesty Check. What are some things you should look for as you stand in front of your mirror?

FROM THE TOP

* When I am wearing a loose-fitting blouse or scoop neck, can I see anything when I lean over? If so, I need to remember to place my hand against my neckline when I bend down.
* Does this button-down top cause gaping holes that expose my chest? I need to turn sideways and move around to see. If there are revealing gaps, I’ve got to grab the sewing box and pin between the buttons.
* What about this sleeve0less shirt? When I move around, can I see my bra? If I can, I need the pins again.
* Am I wearing a spaghetti-strap, halter or sheer blouse? Not even pins will fix this problem! Most guys find it a hindrance in their struggle with lust. It’s time to go back to the closet.
* Can I see the lace or seam of my bra through my shirt? In this case, seamless bras are a better option.
* Does my shirt reveal any part of my cleavage? Does my midriff show when I raise my hands above my head? Is my shirt just plain too tight? If the answer to any one of these questions is yes, then I need to change my outfit.

MOVING ON DOWN

* Does my midriff (or underwear) show when I bend over or lift my hands? If so, is it because my skirt or my pants are too low? Either my shirt needs to be longer or I need to find a skirt or pants that sit higher.
* Is what I’m wearing too tight around my backside, or does the outline of my underwear show? (You’ll have to turn around to get a look here.) If so, I know what I have to do!
* Does this short reveal too much when I sit down? To see how much of my leg is exposed, I can’t just check them standing up. If I see too much leg, I need a longer pair.
* Does this skirt or dress pass the sit-down check? I must remember to keep my skirt pulled down and my knees together when I’m seated.
* Does the slit in this skirt reveal too much when I walk? If so, pins are also helpful here.
* Does my skirt pass the sunlight check? Is it see-through? If so, I need a slip.
* What do these high heels do to the length of my skirt? I must remeber to do this modesty check with my shoes on. Heels may make my dress or skirt appear shorter.

And don’t forget, the modesty check applies to formal wear as well. A note on swimwear: It’s not easy, but you can still strive to be modest at the pool or beach. Look for one-piece bathing suits that aren’t cut high on the leg and don’t have low necklines.

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For Boys? Just Wait! Coming Soon. Haha!

Good night, everyone! Well, I just can’t sleep yet so I decided to post my devotion for tonight. So here it goes…

Bible Verses:

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” -Revelation 3:20

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” -Hebrews 3:15

A. Message:

God is knocking and continually knocking at the doors of our hearts for the reason that He wants Himself to be a part of our lives. That is so cool. He’s the King of kings, Lord of lords, but then He’s the One who’s so eager to be with us. He is knocking and knocking yet we keep our hearts shut. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.” He said.

B. Promise:

In Revelation 3:20, we see Jesus speaking, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” It simply states that God’s promise is, He will dwell with us if we let Him so.

c. Command:

To fulfill God’s promise, the thing that we should do is to open our hearts to our God. When He knocks and calls for us, let us respond and carefully listen to His voice. Let us yield and be obedient to what He is saying and asking us to do.

D. Warning:

So, what happens when we don’t follow God’s commandment? What happens when we don’t open our hearts and respond to His call? Simple! We are just keeping ourselves from experiencing God’s blessings, greatness and mercy. When we reject Him, we reject the Heavens and hug the earthly matters.

E. Application:

The application is simple. Let us just open our hearts to God. Everytime He is calling us and He’s asking us to do something, let us listen to Him, respond to His call, and obey His commandment. When the conviction of the Holy Spirit is at its peak, do not double your mind or do not think twice to obey God.