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. 🙂

 

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.

 

***
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.

 

AND WE MADE SOME NOISE.

One of my favorite things in today’s event.

WOW. Just, wow.

The ROCK CHURCH (RC) sure knows how to rock the house.  Today is RC’s 3rd year anniversary, and I swear, I felt like I have attended a rock concert, not a church celebration.

I woke up at around 7 this morning. My call time was 8 AM. I rushed on my way to St. Giles Hotel because of an important part of the documentary. I felt relieved upon seeing the 3rd floor has not been set up, yet. So I immediately took hold of my camera and started clicking away. Only a few minutes have passed when people started coming, and get on their particular tasks. I was there the whole day, so I actually witnessed the day’s start to finish.

I don’t want to go into much detail about what happened (because that would be the purpose of the videos and photos, which are to be uploaded SOON), but on our way home, I really appreciated everyone’s effort. From the technical “duo”, to the band, to the worship team, to the Kids Rock coaches, to the volunteers, and to our beloved pastor, Ptr. Rodney Garcia. I personally see their routine every week, but today, I saw something that has leveled up, one hundred times. (No exaggeration here.)

I thought that the tech team are just putting into place the speakers, the projector, and all other stuff that I don’t know what it’s called. They are like walking around the place, checking if the sound system is in its superb state. The band: plucking their guitars, thumping with the drums, playing the piano. I am a frustrated musician, so I am in awe whenever they play. HANDS DOWN. The worship team: they are just getting better and better as time passes by. I am a frustrated singer, too. So I don’t really know where those voices come from. The Kids Rock coaches: your patience! The kids are running and screaming, yet, you have been able to calm them down. It’s very refreshing and inspiring to know that these kids know who Jesus is. The volunteers: we are roaming around, attending to our own duties. If you would stay still in one spot and would just watch us walking and running, you’d get dizzy. Ptr. Rodney: DO YOU RUN OUT OF ENERGY? I’m not really sure, but I am very proud to have a pastor who always does the Oppa Gangnam Style before the service start.

But above everything and everyone else, I am very much thankful, well of course, to no other than our God. We are all doing this because of what He did on the cross, and we are just bringing back the glory to Him. You know what, you may have achievements that are well-deserved just because you’ve worked hard for it. But nothing compared to acts that are done for the Lord. You know why? (Ask me why) Because everything that we do is exemplary in the eyes of God. Even just this blog post, I know, it’s very much appreciated in His kingdom.

I wish you were there with us as we celebrated this RC’s milestone, so you will have a clearer idea of what I witnessed. Well, you can always drop by at the St. Giles Hotel, every Sunday, 10 AM or 2 PM service, and see what I have been talking about. I never blog about something that is only made up. I always share real-life experiences. Join us one time, and see how God will move in your life.

For more information, visit http://www.thechurchrocks.com/and you will know how we do things at RC.

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