Sirao Flower Garden

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How to get away with Ungodly Fear

“IF YOU ARE ALWAYS AFRAID AND ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING… THEN, THERE’S ONE ANSWER TO IT… YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD.”

Those were the words that struck me hard when our pastor was preaching during our Sunday service. This month was full of fear and anxiety. To name some reasons are my concern to Marawi city, near my hometown, was attacked by heartless Maute group, next, I was waiting for a very big news in school. There’s not a day that I think of what could happen in the next few days. There are nights that I feel hopeless and sad and afraid. There are days that I doubt His greatness. There are days that I think I deserved to be punished because of my wrong doings. Days passed by, the burden became more heavy that I can no longer bear. So, I poured out my heart in prayer.

Here’s what I learned from my reflection: God does not want us to live in fear. Fear definitely does not come from Him. It’s this world that teaches us to fear. The things that we see in movies, newspapers, and books are what make us afraid. The things we hear people say and see them do causes us to have fear. The enemy can make us afraid of everything, including our future. It wears us down worrying that something we fear is going to happen anytime and anywhere of the day. BUT we don’t have to be tormented by fear.

There are two kinds of fear: godly and ungodly. We must pray that we live in godly fear, which is good, and not give place to ungodly fear, which is tormenting.

One of the most common types of ungodly fear is the fear of man or a fear of rejection (one of my greatest fears). It’s a trap we can fall into without ever realizing it. In order to protect ourselves from it, we have to care more about what God says than what anyone else says. WE must look to Him for approval and acceptance and not to people. If God does not have first place in our hearts, we are constantly fearing, like myself. I admit my relationship with God that time was shaky. I was giving more time with my studies than my quiet time with Him. That’s why with a single petty problem, I freak out and get worried A LOT, I get paranoid A LOT.

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But remember that the Word reminds us that fear of man brings a snare, however, for those who trusts in the Lord shall be safe. There are so many things to be afraid of in this world. Sometimes all it takes is one news report to fill us with fear. Our imaginations alone can frighten us. TRUST ME. I hate my imaginations. I can make a horror movie in just 10 seconds.

So, there are 4 good ways on how to get away with ungodly fear that I would like to share to you.

PRAY.

Philippians 4:6-7  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

These are one of my favorite verses and these are famous ones, too. Many people memorize it wholeheartedly but when fear strikes, it is easily forgotten. Everyone feels afraid at some point-whether it is an anxious feeling in taking an exam or a phobia. Any change, even positive changes like marriage or a promotion, can prompt feelings of fear. But it just depends on how you respond to that fear.  To me, when I am afraid, I immediately pray to God because pouring out my emotions to the One that loves me so much is very comforting. Talk to God about your fears because He cares and He will without a doubt is ready to help you and guide you. I consider this as a blessing because it draws me closer to Him.

So when you’re afraid, always ask God to guard your heart and mind from the spirit of fear. Ask him to take that fear and replace it with His perfect love. Go back to His word. Cling to His word and His promises. Get hungry for His word. God is powerful and when you ask Him to take that fear from you, He will deliver you from it.

CONTROL WHAT YOU RECEIVE INTO YOUR MIND.

This week, I kept on entertaining thoughts from different people about how afraid they are on what will happen in the future. Some people are sharing me “What if” stories like what if we fail or what if our final exam grades weren’t enough. I kept on entertaining negative thoughts that also heightened my fear in failing. At times, I try to get away with it by watching tv but when I watch, I see many bad news and it adds more to my burden. So I decided to lock myself in my own room and spent my whole day listening to praise and worship songs, talking to God in prayer and meditating His word.

You see, the things of the world often make us afraid. Your fear depends on what kind of input you are receiving from the world. If you are a kind of person who listens to negative thoughts, watch scary  movies or frightening television shows, or anything that’s not good to us then you better decide to stop it now or else it will add on more fear and it doesn’t even help at all.

Do whatever you can to stay close to God. Fear disappears in the presence of the Lord.

BE IN THE WORD OF GOD.

Many times in my life when I am afraid, I found that all fear left me just from reading the Bible. In Medical school, it is filled with pressure and hardship and when I feel like I’ve been choked by all the circumstances. I try to pause for a while and then open my bible to read scriptures that encourage me. When I do, I tend to forget all my problems and my fear. Knowing what God’s Word says about our fear and the promises He has given us can make all the difference. In the face of fear, speaking the Word out loud is a powerful weapon against it, too.

LIVE IN THE FEAR OF THE LORD.

The more you get to know the Lord and understand who He is, the more you will reverence Him and fear His displeasure. This is called the fear of the Lord, and it makes you want to obey Him. It’s what draws you closer to God and increases your longing for more of Him. It makes you forget all the things that cause you fear, because they pale in comparison to His awesome power. When you have the fear of the Lord, you fear what your life would be like without Him.

A letter to my sister who’s getting married

 

Cherish each other in big ways and in small ways,

and never forget the magic of those three little words “I LOVE YOU.”

In marriage, remember that it is the little things that make the difference…

Don’t forget the birthdays and the anniversaries (an occasional note means a lot!)

Share each other’s life-even the small details- for too often we forget that day-after-day becomes year-after-year, and then it’s gone.

Give each other room to grow…

We all need our time alone.

Keep strong your faith in each other; time has a funny way of testing us, and it’s faith that gets us through.

And most of all, don’t forget to respect one another. This world could always use more of that. Speak your mind honestly, openly, but with kindness, for angry words are scars that may never heal.

Trust each other; let your trust be your rock. Most of all, each day be sure to hold each other and fall in love all over again. 🙂

 

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Taipei, Taiwan Day 1 & 2

Dec. 17, 2016

Like Thailand, Cambodia and other Asian countries, Taiwan is the kind of country that you can always fall back to when you want culture, nature and food.

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My family and I arrived 3:00 am in the morning at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

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Yes, it’s indeed a family goal!

We spent the next few minutes queuing up at the immigration counter and as soon as we got out of the airport, a van picked us up and brought us to our hotel.

We actually stayed in Go Sleep Hotel-our home for the next 3 nights. I actually did search about the hotel when I knew where we were staying before the trip and found some undesirable pictures. However, because we were on a tight budget I just prayed that it wouldn’t completely disappoint us when we get there. Surprisingly, the place is good for a budget hotel. It has a great location, there are lots of shops and restaurants right outside and the Metro is just a short walk. We occupied 7 rooms and it was clean and spacious. I also loved the modern-look.

Day 1

Dec. 18, 2016

We had too little sleep that day since we were expected to be all ready and prepared around 8:00 in the morning. Good thing we were able to wake up early despite the 2-hour sleep. It’s okay, a little sacrifice won’t hurt.

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There’s free breakfast in the lobby early in the morning and I must say they serve good food.  You can also avail their free drinks 24/7 whether it’s coffee, tea, juice or soft drinks. Just visit their lobby and go straight to their vending machines.

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Another day, another wall. Lol

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Happy New Year!

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalms 103:1-5

Before the yearof 2016 fade away and say goodbye. I would like to have a quick pause and mention the things that I’m thankful for the past year. So here’s a quick one:)

FAITHFULNESS

received_10206928522161790I’m always in awe of how faithful is the Lord to me and my family (even when I’m not faithful to Him all the time). In good times, God is faithful. In bad times, God is faithful. In times of uncertainty, God is faithful. In times of doubt, God is faithful. During transitions and changing times, God is still faithful to His promises. He has always been with me through ups and downs even when I don’t deserve this.

I’m also thankful because God granted my dreams to become a future doctor. I admit I always complain how tired I am in studying but what about my parents? They’re also tired of working hard to pay for our education. So instead of complaining I should be grateful because my parents allowed me to study in a prestigious school. It was not easy for my parents because often medicine and dentistry are among the most expensive courses. So just imagine how hard it would be to allow me and my 2 sisters pursue our dreams in becoming doctors (the other two are taking Dentistry and Medical Technology as pre-medical course) but like I said, God is always faithful and He finds a way for us to pay for our tuition fees. He pours us with so much love and blessings. And because of that, I thank you, God!

FAMILY

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I’m thankful to God for giving me a family so loving and caring. Growing up in a big family was the best thing that ever happened to me. My childhood was so happy and I can’t stop reminiscing those good times.

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I’m thankful to God for giving me parents that never fail to show us how much they love us, parents that really work hard for our future and parents that teach us good moral values (they really walk the talk). Dad and mom, thank you for making us who we are right now. We wouldn’t have made it this far it weren’t for your love, encouragement and support.

NEW ADDITION TO THE FAMILY

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Around 2014, our eldest sister got married. This year, our 2nd eldest and her boyfriend went home from Abu Dhabi and got married on the month of December. I just can’t stop praising God because He has blessed my sisters with handsome, hardworking, responsible and God-fearing men. Men that love God first. As what they say, men who love God first are the ones that properly lead a woman. Therefore, I won’t be having any trouble entrusting my sisters to these wonderful men!

Other than that, I’m also thankful because I just realized that my family is growing in number. I already have 2 brothers-in-law now and I can’t help but feel very glad cause I can already call them my “Kuya” (it is used in Filipino for older brother). I just hope and pray that my other sisters will also marry godly men so we can carry on the legacy of our parents which is to honor God with all our hearts, mind and soul.

TRAVEL

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Thankful to God because I get to travel to many places this year and one of the memorable places I’ve been to is Taipei, Taiwan. It was a vacation to remember because it was my first time to travel with 4 families. Thank You Lord for blessing me much more than I deserve!

Happy New Year, Friends! ❤

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When a good God allows adversity

Have you experienced the most painful and faith-rattling circumstance in your life? A circumstance that left you anxious, desperate, frustrated and disappointed?

2 years ago, I was struggling in my studies. It made me so down like it hit me rock bottom ’cause I felt like God wasn’t answering my prayers. The struggle was hard to bear and it took me quite a while to accept the things that had happened because never in my entire life did I struggled in my academics (well, not until I studied medicine). The pressure’s really real especially when you are currently studying in the country’s #1 medical school. However, I realized that the Lord taught me to be humble and to rely on Him because I was too proud of a person. The situation also taught me a lesson about the scope of the human’s ability to choose acceptance over denial and faith over fear.

Just this week’s reflection, little did I know that what had happened to me was not as destructive as I thought it would be. I have always thought that my problem was worse than everyone else’s. I was very self centered and only cared about myself. I have not thought about the thousands of people who had experienced worse situations than me, just like Joy Mendoza, whom I knew from her personal blog and book. She was an innocent and beautiful lady of God. She had parents who were very active in church and all out to share the gospel, she lived a happy life but unexpectedly their house was ransacked and she was raped by 10 people in her bathroom and bedroom. Naturally, we always ask the Lord, “Why did this have to happen? I am a good person, I have always followed You, God? I have been a good child meanwhile the bad people are living in relative happiness. Why?” We question God’s goodness and fairness. Sometimes we even doubt His existence. How can an all-good and all-powerful God allow good people to suffer and bad people to prosper? We are tempted to think about these negative things.

But, there were 4 pillars of non-negotiable truth that I just learned that would help us all in turning each adversity into victory shared by Peter Tan-Chi:

GOD IS SOVEREIGN

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Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.

Our Father in Heaven is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. And with that, He is in full control of everything; that nothing in the universe occurs without God’s permission. He has the power and knowledge to prevent anything He chooses to prevent, so anything that does happen must be allowed by God. Yes, He could have prevented us from any adversities, tragedies and even problems but He allowed it to happen, then we must trust that it is ultimately for our good.

Therefore, the only way to survive is to turn to the Lord, not away from Him. What option do we have? To give in to the despair or would we choose to look at the possibility that divine orchestration was involved? Let’s just cling to the verse Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, those who are called according to His purpose.” A sovereign God makes no mistakes. Tragic circumstances are ordained for a reason. While this is difficult to comprehend in the midst of suffering, it doesn’t change the reality that God desires our greatest good.

GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING

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1 John 3:20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.

Like I said earlier, our God is omniscient. He knows the number of strands in your hair, He has counted and even named each stars in the night sky, He can count every grain of sand and before there is a word on our tongues He knows it all. And because He knows everything, He was not caught by surprise when the adversity stroke. We may never understand His wisdom, but we have to simply trust His will.

GOD LOVES US

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Thankfully, I found my hidden container with handful of encouraging notes and verses from my youth camp days inside. Here are some of the verses inside that reminded me of the Lord’s love for us. First, God loves us unconditionally. His everlasting love for us was demonstrated at the cross through His Son, Jesus, when He died for our sins and suffered for our sake. He showed His love through action and not just emotional feelings. James 1:17-18 says “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.” He has given you many scriptures that overflow with illustrations of His love, giving us assurance and promise.

God assures you in Psalm 100:5, “For the LORD is good and his love endures forever, his faithfulness continues through all generations.” This verse not only tells us of His goodness and love, but says that it is for us today, generations later. God is faithful through all generations.

GOD IS GOOD

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We must firmly believe that God is good ALL THE TIME. Wait, but what about the bad things that just happened to me? Yes, while the bad things may happen to any of us, bad things don’t have to define who we become or whom we choose to be. We can still choose to believe that God has a divine plan. We can still choose to love and forgive. We can still declare God’s victory in our lives to bless others and glorify God.

The reality is all of us go through trials, difficulties and hardships. Some are temporary illnesses, while others are long term, even incurable. When we cannot understand the why, we must look to the Who. So, despite the unimaginably hurtful circumstance that we may have experienced, our relationship with God, strengthened by God’s sovereignty and Word, should shine like a rainbow after a storm.

Always try to turn every adversity into victory. Remember that there’s a purpose why we were given such adversity; that there’s always beautiful surprises that can bloom from painful seeds.

Are you discouraged by circumstances? Are you broken by sin, by tragedy? Are you trap by chains of shame, unforgiveness and bitterness because of the trauma that you experienced in your life? You know what, Jesus can set you free, Jesus can heal you. All it takes is a prayer to surrender everything to him. Your life, that pain, that trauma and He will set you free. It’s only the Lord who can heal us, who’s going to make us precious. He is The One who makes us whole again.

You can pray with me if you like 🙂

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Does this mean I will be problem-free from this day forward?  I don’t know. I do not know what trial we may still encounter in our lifetime. But God still affords the same bountiful grace He has supplied. He has given the assurance of His presence with us in times of trouble.

Just Do Something

“I’m still waiting for God to give me a sign on what job to apply.”

“Should I choose this path or the other one?”

“Should I court her or not?”

Have you ever been frozen with fear of doing the wrong decisions in life or waited in vain for God to give some confirmation? Whether it be deciding what course to enroll, what path to take, what job to apply or where to live. All of us have been in that area of our lives where instead of making a firm decision, we just wait instead or better yet ask for signs.

A few years back, I was in that area of navel-gazing what to do. It didn’t take long that I received a book entitled “Just do something” by Kevin De Young from my best friend which finally answered all my questions. I used to be afraid of deciding for myself because I might be wrong or I might have been going against God’s will for my life. But this book was different and it completely opened my eyes. It invites us all a complete liberation, setting us free to do the work of the good Lord with joy in our hearts. It encourages us to go out there and just do something. The points are so simple, clear and straightforward.

So here’s what I learned:

God has a specific plan for our lives

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Rusty fingers

I started playing the piano when I was 6 years old. At first, I was never interested of the idea of playing the piano. I loved the fact that it sounds undeniably beautiful to listen to but I had 0% interest. I was just fulfilling my parents’ wish to let us learn piano. I remember the days when I have piano lessons every Saturday morning and still think of the times when I feel so lazy that I don’t study and read the notes but memorize how my teacher played the piece (Yes. I was a clever 6 year old.) or I always try to pretend that I’m sick or having deep sleep when she arrives. My piano teacher was kind enough to just leave and tell my mom she’d visit again next Saturday.

That one night, I woke up from a long afternoon snooze after hearing the most beautifully played piece. Out of curiosity, I went out of my room to follow where the sound came from. Slowly, the mechanical feel of the piano fell away and transforms into a richer, more real piano sound as I went nearer to the living room, and more and more natural sounds were introduced as the melody repeats. I was staggered to see my mom playing the piano. It was so exquisite that I didn’t even notice I was just looking at her for who knows how many minutes it went by. She looked so beautiful and passionate.

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Stargate Dream Vacation Resort

Star Gate is a vacation resort in Cagayan De Oro. Upon arrival, it was my first time to see a resort with creatively designed dream houses. I was like having a world tour for the reason that every house has its different theme. From White House, Mediterranen House to Victorian House and more! Here are some of the pictures that I got.

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The Colonial house

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The Mediterranean house

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The Victorian house

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What I look forward to every dental check up

A lot of people’s favorite part of their dental appointment is at the very end when they get to choose what color their braces would be for the few weeks until their next appointment. Who wouldn’t be guilty about this?

It’s kinda nice and really interesting to study psychology behind the color choices. Some people choose their favorite color or just a color to match their mood. I usually choose the dark colored ones because it makes my teeth appear brighter or most of the times, I choose red and dark pink because it makes my lips look redder. Sometimes when I want to get festive I choose pink and turquoise. It’s just so cute!

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On my recent dental appointment, my dentist changed my upper braces with self ligating type so now my upper teeth won’t be having colored bands.. Sad. But I’m good, I still have the lower ones which I can spruce up the look of my braces the next appointment.

Do you have braces? What colors do you usually choose and why? 🙂