Seed of faith and RC

No one forced me to be there. I just woke up one Sunday and told myself, “I have to be in RC.”

It happened again the next week. Then next one. Then the next. It just kept on happening until I realized it is no stopping now.

I first went through its doors during its second anniversary. I cannot remember what happened during those times, except that there were balloons, see-through-glasses that enclosed the room, and that I stood in front of what they call as an “altar.” I did not know what was happening. I did not understand why I was there. I did not even care for I was there to do a favor for a friend, and I wanted to be distracted from the pain I was nursing caused by a recent breakup.

During those moments, I never knew that my life would be taking a 180-degree turn. I am becoming speechless when I try to really explain how it happened. But I will try.

The Rock Church, or RC as it is fondly called, has only one goal: Inspire to Impact. And I am one of its many living testimonies. I see how it strives to win more souls for Christ. I see the way it honors the Holy Spirit’s works. And I see how it obeys what the Father tells it to do.

I have been there as the pulpit changed its backdrop series after series. I have heard the band instruments during practices. I have held those little cups during Communion. I have placed the envelopes for the tithes and love offerings on the chairs. I have prepared sweet little gifts for our little surprises.

I have covered water baptisms (even participated in one), anniversary services, and Christmas parties. I have edited a video for a service launch. I have played around images for promotional ads. I have captured moments during special days.

I have been dancing crazily which makes my sprained foot from three years ago hurt. I have been singing my heart out up to a point that I have a course voice afterwards. I have been crying and crying until my body begins to shake. I have heard testimonies after testimonies. I have listened to preaching after preaching.

Then I realized, I have done many things in church. But it has done much, much more for me.

RC has showed me that it never hurts to have a group of people around you who will support you, rebuke you in love, and prays for you and with you. It has taught me that the best companionship next to God and my family are the ones who love Jesus. It has engraved in my heart that being a Christian means being the imperfect being you are for the perfect One.

RC has helped me improved my skills for the sake of my ministry and for His greater glory. It has taken away my fear to talk to new faces and intently know who they are. It has built up my confidence to ask simple questions and start a small talk.

RC has showed me how to honor those who you love (We have planned numerous surprises during birthdays, and I can say that we are pretty good at it *winks). RC has thrown a number of parties that are filled with fun times and good memories. RC has brought me to worship concerts, trainings, small group discussions, CBTL nights, and an outreach mission.

The Rock Church made me understand why I stood on that spot three years ago. I gave my life to Christ and I am never ashamed to say that. And do you know why it seemed easy? It’s because I have a family in RC that can testify to the faithfulness and goodness of our God.

But it wasn’t easy. I have gone through a lot in my life before I have come to this point where I am now. You may say, “Why still believe in someone you don’t even see? What good does it bring you? You are not loved!” I know you have these in your minds. Believe me; I once had them in mine.

Yes, I don’t see Him. But He said that the one who seeks finds (Matthew 7:8). I was once afraid to seek God’s face, but today, I yearn for His presence and embrace more than anything else. Yes, my faith does not bring me any good because it brings me peace with God (Romans 5). That peace, I wouldn’t trade even for the most precious gem of this world. And no, Jesus loved me first before anyone else ever did (1 John 4:19). I won’t even have my next breath if it wasn’t for the love He demonstrated on the cross for you and for me.

I know RC would take just a tiny bit of credit for all the help it has selflessly given me. But I will always be grateful that I have the privilege of knowing Jesus through this family. I will forever thank the Lord for the obedient hearts that took that leap of faith for the four walls of this church be built up to inspire to impact many, many lives. I will praise the name of the Lord for the hearts that never hesitate to demonstrate how it is to live under the authority of the Maker of the heavens and the earth.

I love The Rock Church. I love RC. I am excited for this new season. I am expectant for the greater things. If one day I would be called to be in another church, in another nation (claiming!), I would always look back to where I have started, to where I was planted. I am so glad that I have this family to go back to.

One last thing to share: On the 27th, we are launching our new time slots of the services. Starting this Sunday, we will have 2PM and 4PM services. Yes, we are shifting to the afternoon feels. \:D/

timeshift

I am inviting you to join us during on this day, so that you would understand and experience all the things I have had ever since I said “Yes” to every challenge that has been charged to me through RC. Take my word for it: It is an incredible feeling to have your life surrendered to the magnificent God. See you Sunday!

It does not matter now what time of a Sunday I would wake up. What’s important is where to spend it and be made meaningful. 🙂

 

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Prayers and my faithful God.

With my graduation in less than two weeks, the reality of me becoming “bum” continues to shove my soon-to-be-unemployed self. But just like what everyone else told me, I deserve a break. I’ve earned it. Might as well make the most out of it.

However, circumstances arose that I considered having a job the soonest time possible. Meaning, no vacation, no rest. It was fine for me. I have dreamed of working and earning money and working and earning money… and working. I sometimes ask myself if this feeling would exist now, or will it persist? Because I am sure that I will get tired, get burned-out even. So, yes. I am longing for that chance that I will get hold of my time, and not the other way around–for it has been the way ever since I learned the difference between skirts and jumpers.

Even before this academic year started,  I had many plans on how to spend my summer after graduation. Go hiking, go back to Sagada, meet all my friends and catch up with them, watch all the movies and series I have, finish reading all the books on the shelves, clean up all the papers and books and handouts accumulated in four years in college, and the list goes on. I tell you, I haven’t done 1% of it, HONESTLY. I have so much time, but all that I want to do now is to sleep. I cannot imagine how many hours of sleep I have missed in 14 years of studying.

Well, to get directly to the point (this happens when you talk to yourself), one of the things that I have planned out for summer is the Nazarite Training. Ate Mutya, my church mate at THE ROCK CHURCH, had told me about this waaay back. Given the human’s nature, when someone invites you to join a very exciting event, you can’t help but answer, “GO! I WILL JOIN YOU!” with all the conviction that you have. But when you are asked again after some time, I bet that you don’t even know how to respond.

I had intended to apply for a BPO company when I learned that there was an opening in their Human Resources Department. I had envisioned myself working in here: I love their office, the HR head is a Thomasian graduate, and the starting salary is not bad at all. It is my dream job. But there was something in me saying that I should not grab it, that it is not the path I should be taking. I was torn with my dream and that voice. So I prayed. And I got my answer.

A friend of Ate Mutya has a very kind heart to help out an individual who wants to attend the training. And guess who is blessed enough? *YOURS TRULY WAVES WILDLY* Yes, I will be joining the training. Yes, I am blessed. Yes, my prayer has been answered. I take it as a response to my confused mind. How? Because if I am to start a job, I won’t have the time to be in the training. That job was not for me. God has something better to provide.

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:24 ESV

I know God used Ate Mutya’s friend to tell me that I am meant to be in the training; that I am to learn a lot of things; and that I am called to be a Nazarite. I am very excited for this because I know God truly approves. It feels so good to obey Him, even if that means letting go of a dream you had for the longest time. Really, you have to let go of certain things in your life for the greater ones coming.

nazarite

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
-John 15:7

GREATER

In a matter of days, January will soon reach its last day for 2013 and we are on for a new month. We were all hyped and excited about the things this year have in store for us. We made long lists of New Year’s resolution, told yourself that you will have evening runs which turned into evening movie marathons, promised that you will be better, wiser, stronger, etc, etc, etc.  You may think that this might be too early, but I want to ask you: How long have you gone through your list? Do your boxes have ticks in them already? What are the things you did for you to perform each compromise?

At THE ROCK CHURCH, we do things differently. Our Lead Pastor Rodney Garcia always asks us, “Who wants to be blessed?” A numerous raise of hands answers to this. But we always have the hang up after he follows up a question like this: But are you ready? This church believes that every one of us has an out pour of blessings that will be coming from the Lord; and we’ve got to be prepared.

So to help us with this one step of faith, we had our series called, “Greater.” In all Sundays of January, personally, I learned so much of obedience, patience, and trust.

greater

The first week was all about burning the plows. Basically, this series revolved around Elisha. He was the perfect example for the month’s series. Elisha literally burned all that he has when Elijah summoned upon him and made him his servant. (1 Kings 19:19-21) The following week was for digging ditches. Jehoshaphat showed his deepest faith on the word of the Lord that he was the one who thought of asking from a man of God, Elisha, for wisdom (2 Kings 3:9-20). And last week was about striking the water. After Elijah was gone, Elisha inherited a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. When Elisha called out for what he’s been told as “Elijah’s God,” he struck the water of Jordan river, it divided into the right and left, and he crossed over (2 Kings 2:9-15). For the last Sunday, it was unleashing greatness. In 2 Kings 4:1-7, a widow’s small jar of olive oil saved her and her sons from the ire of the creditor.

Burn. Dig. Strike. Greater. Four mere words. But will definitely impact my being all my life.

In a more personal experience of this journey, I was doubtful at first if I can give up certain things that I dearly hold on to. It’s not a mystery from everybody that I have been longing for a special someone. I have been open about it, sharing my every thought and emotion from it. But you know what, our God is really a jealous God. Thinking back, I have broken more promises than I could have imagine, just because I want to be in tune of the world’s definition of being complete. I was praying for a certain thing, yet, I don’t do anything to for me to have that. All the while, I thought I can just do whatever I want, then God can do His thing. Well, I realized, it doesn’t work that way. I once said I commit my life to the Lord. I once promised that I will do everything for His glory. So I am taking a step of faith towards my greatness.

I don’t know at first what are the plows I need to burn. I was the kind of person who holds on to something I worked hard for. I trust my own judgment that if I exerted effort on it, it’s worth it. But God works in ways that are unknown to me. All I know is that He only wants what will be good for my being. He shows me things that are beyond the capacity of my faith to handle. That’s why everyday, God is providing me revelations after revelations, but I fail to grasp them in my heart for I have this darkness inside that no lamp can ever lighten. That’s when I knew what are the things I need to let go; who are the people I need to distance myself from; what are the habits I need to break. I am telling you, it’s very hard. Not to mention, very painful, too. However, if my God surely keeps His promises, then I will trust Him that He knows me more than I know myself. He promised. I know He will stay true to that.

We are all giddy to start with something that we are more than willing to pursue. We have it all planned out. Day in and day out, it’s all about we want to do, but given the nature of people, we look for immediate results. We hurry to the finish line, that’s why we stumble along the way. Until a great need arises that we become desperate and decided to turn to the Lord. Now, how many times in your life that you did this?

We see God as our shortcut when actually, He is our only solution. We are blinded by our own judgment and pride that we can get through anything without any help, when your wisdom and strength come solely from Him. It is not bad to ask help from God. But it’s only a good thing if it leads to grater dependency upon Him. As for me, I was once a worrier. I was afraid that things might not go the way I planned to because I was ruled by a weak heart. When I learned to surrender all my problems and wearies to the Lord, I have this indescribable comfort that envelopes me from within. He told me a certain command that I was hesitant to do. Then, I thought, if that’s what it takes for me to become closer to God, then I will take it.

I am looking forward to the time when I can finally strike the water very hard that all the earth will feel the waves. I know in my heart that God wants me to have a life that will reflect how awesome He is. I have this fire within me that can’t wait to spread out, and leave it blazing all throughout the places where darkness rules. I want everyone to have that peace that God is in control, that God wants nothing but the greatest things that He can give to us, and that God is that fire that no amount of water can ever put out.

Even if you have the most insignificant jar of olive oil in your kitchen, or a room that cannot house at least three persons, it doesn’t matter. When you openly and willingly give to the Lord even the shortest of candle that you have, He will light it and guide your walk with Him as long as your huge amount of faith serves as your string.

I challenge not only myself, but also everyone else to take a step back and take a look on how your life is going. Are you taking the right route? How many detours have you taken in hope to get to your destination the fastest? Do you have enough fuel to keep running?

You can have a greater life as long as you keep in mind to do everything, God’s way.

 

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As of this writing, I still have this as my mobile’s home screen wallpaper. It serves as my reminder that I’m on my way to greatness every time I feel like reverting. 😀

vScreenshot_1359373174988

Christmas Rocks: Year 3

As of today, there are only 51 days left before Christmas. And as a really big fan of this very special season, I am really excited as the Christmas lights are brightening the streets and sparkling decorations are seen left and right. Who else are ecstatic for Christmas? Let me see a raise of hands!!!

Last year, I attended CHRISTMAS ROCKS of THE ROCK CHURCH. I didn’t have any idea on what will happen, I just knew that there would be a party and that I would be taking care of a kid all throughout the duration of the event. But no. I have been moved a hundred folds. It is true, what they said that you think you are going to bless the kids, but actually, you are the one who will be blessed.

Janice and I

So this is my adoptee, Janice. She is very sweet and I learned a lot from her. Before the party started, I approached her and we had some time talking about different things. Being the 12-year old that she was, I have a high respect towards her since she has a strong determination to achieve her dreams. And her reason of it: “Andyan naman po si God eh.” That gave me a new perspective in life. If a little girl doesn’t run out of hope for her aspirations, what more of a grown-up who is given opportunities to live out her dreams? Even just for a few hours, I’ve grown to love this kid. And I look forward to the day that I will see her once more, even more successful than I will be.

These are just my experiences and realizations. I know that in every person’s heart, there is that longing to help others. So, this year, the ROCK CHURCH will be holding the third run of CHRISTMAS ROCKS.

You can be a part of Christmas Rocks in 3 ways:

  1. Be a Sponsor – A sponsor is an individual/group of people/block mates/office mates/a department who will provide goods and services for the kid, his/her family, and the party itself. You may give food, grocery items, clothes, shoes, school supplies, books, toys, and the like, that will be good for 30 children. If you are going to give toys, make sure that it would not represent any form of violence (e.g. guns, swords) Also, if you are going to provide grocery items (e.g. canned goods, milk, noche buena package), make sure that it will be sufficient for 30 families. Because it is not only the kid that we are going to bless, but also their families. All the goods that will be accumulated will be placed in the “loot baggages” that the kids will bring home. You can also sponsor party services such as magicians, face paint, photobooth, ice cream carts, etc. You may also help financially. The total amount of money to be accumulated will be used for the other expenses in the party.
  2. Be an Adopter. I have experienced being one, and I tell you, it is super fun! The adopter will be the “ate or kuya” of the child during the party. He or she will also accompany his/her adoptee in the games, and other activities. The adopter will purchase a ticket for himself/herself and the kid. It will serve as their pass in the party, for it is inclusive of the food, both for the adopter and the adoptee. If you will adopt, you will have a chance to look at the profiles of the children, so you will have an idea of their age, gender, grade level, and other personal information. Through this, at least you will know what gift to give to the kid. It can be anything, as long as it will be useful.
  3. Help us to look for sponsors. If you know some people or organizations who can sponsor the aforementioned concerns, and who wants to be involved in reaching out to others, please let us know. We need all the help we can get. You can comment on this blog post, or contact THE ROCK CHURCH.

You can watch this music video for you to have an idea on what happened on last year’s Christmas Rocks.

For more informations, visit CHRISTMAS ROCKS.

Be a blessing to someone today. And inspire others through your story that will impact minds and hearts, Christmas rocks style.

 

He surely knows how to love me.

As a psychology major, whenever times come that I cry just because I need to release the heaviness of what I am feeling, I am “recalling” the emotions I have felt so that I can know which one has triggered the urge to cry. You know that moment when you really have that train of thoughts that would lead you to one thing and another, and next thing you know, your eyes hurt because of too much crying. Then, you’ll step back and look at the picture of thoughts and memories and dreams and frustrations you’ve created, and you’ll be able to define at which point you had the moment of trigger. But earlier this evening, at Day 2 of Convergence 2012, I never thought that I will be able to consistently cry for 15 minutes.

As hard as I tried to think and think of what I may have thought for me to cry that hard, nothing came to mind. I guess, God’s embrace have empowered me at the very moment I cried and shouted, “Lord, I am your child. I am your daughter.” You know, there are just some things in life you will not be able to explain even though you have every evidence to support your stand.

And this is what Day 2 of Convergence 2012 did to our eyes.

Jeb and I
Jeb, I, Grace

Two days left for the Convergence 2012, and I am excited for what God will do.

This is more than a personal testimony of how God moves in my life. I may not be able to relay the exact message of the Lord, but I guess it’s time to ask yourselves why you aren’t in church. This generation has a lot of potential to save thousands, even millions of souls, only by just doing the things that we are most passionate about, and putting Jesus at the center of everything you do.

I am aspiring that every post I write about the Lord will be read by a lot of people. That’s the very reason why I continue to blog. And I won’t stop until every soul is saved. I know it’s a big challenge to turn into a reality, but who knows? One post can save one soul at a time, right?

 

And this is why blogging became third.

Talking is the most therapeutic thing for me. I just feel important when someone is willing to listen to what I say. I have a couple of friends of whom I can turn to whenever I get depressed, or I just want to talk my feelings out. And even though I do the talking 70% of the time, they don’t get tired of listening. I just hope they won’t get tired, EVER, because they know about how of a big thing talking to me is.

I know the list goes on when it comes to the most therapeutic things in my life, but I will mention the second one. Blogging. I’ve come to the point of my life where I put on the Internet just about anything that happens to my day-to-day life. I sometimes think that maybe, I am putting so much personal stuff out there. But no. I mean, I control my posts, and I think I am not crossing the line. I believe that as long as this is up in the Internet, someone is reading it.

I have the habit of isolating myself whenever I get depressed. I don’t go online. I place my phone in my drawer. I don’t even get hold of my laptop just so I will not log into any of those social sites. But I can’t stand it. After a few hours of “isolation,” I check all that has been mentioned, expecting that maybe someone has remembered to ask how I am doing. Or maybe someone has thought to leave me a message, saying that “Everything’s going to be alright.” I have lived with all those expectations hanging by my side. Maybe, when it is your own doing, you tend to think that other people will do the same to you. Well, it is not always a two-way road. No offense meant to those persons who are willing to lend a shoulder, but I do feel alone. I know they have told me that it isn’t true, but what can I do if it’s what I am feeling?

A few minutes ago, or seemed like an hour already, I read (or seen) something that literally urged me to throw my laptop and crash it into pieces. Well, that happens when you let it creep into you, then be led by your emotions. Sometimes, human emotions are not that reliable especially when you know you are at the peak of it. When you are happy, you tend to say things, or moreover, you tend to make promises because at that moment, you are sure to yourself that you are willing to have it executed. But when you are sad/angry, you know that you can’t control the words you blurt out. It seems like there’s no filter to everything that you say, and that’s why others are hurt with just the words that pierced into them. You see the euphoria-dysphoria relationship here? Punches may hurt your body, but I think you will agree with me that it is easier to attend to physical pains, but it’s always a lot harder to deal with emotional bruises.

Well, going back to my dilemma earlier. I really wanted to cry. I don’t know, there’s much no reason for me to do it, but I just felt I need to do it to release the heaviness of what I am feeling. But just like any other out there who is indecisive like me, I chose to take a deep breath. I think that’s the deepest breath I took in my entire life. Maybe I am exaggerating a little bit, but it helped me through the process, you know. Then I clicked on my virtual bible, and came stumbling upon this particular verse:

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
– 1 Peter 5:10

Suddenly, I felt a little better, then I find myself smiling. Next thing I know, I am tweeting this: I don’t know how it works, but the word of God helps in ways I have never expected. So, this is what I am missing all this time?

20 years. Statistically, I have already lived 33% of my life. So, I have 77% left. Looking back, oh wait. I think I don’t have any business of what I will find when I look back. What matters most now is about how I will spend my remaining days living up to His glory.

I know I will stumble and trip and stagger more than a hundred times on this path I choose to walk on. But as the movie said it, BRING IT ON. Starting today, and up to the ends of eternity, I will not be afraid to fall short on my knees. Because, I know, the One who is responsible for the tripping, is also the One who will attend to my bruises that earthly medication will never be able to heal. I know it will be a long and winding road, but I rather have His promise buried in my heart than to depend on anyone else’s.

I guess, I have now my three most therapeutic things in life. And some are rearranged. Third, blogging. Second, talking. And the first, reading His word. Because by doing this one, even though a lot of people have turned their backs on me, I feel like I am the luckiest and most important person in the world. Why? Because I love the God who has the perfect definition of love. And with that, I feel more secure. Give it a try. It never hurts to try something new, right?

Rodney Garcia, Lead Pastor of THE ROCK CHURCH

I am so happy with this particular shot, and I don’t know why. That’s our PR.

I had a very great and blessed experience at RC today. I will talk more about it in the following days. As for now, I just want to share to you guys the good news I received today. The devil may remind you of your past, but you can show what awaits him in the future. Just trust the Lord with all your heart, let go, and let Him do the works that will make your living days  as worthwhile as you are in His eyes.

YOU ARE LOVED. Remember that.

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
-Isaiah 43:25