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Text: John 13:1-5, 33-35

Jesus demonstrated His love to His disciples in order for them to understand & obey His commands of “loving one another”. Practicing this will prove that they are really Christ’s disciples.

What kind of love Jesus demonstrated?

Greek words for love:
Eros: affection bet. a man and a woman
Storge: natural affection among family members
Phileo: fond of a person, object or activity
AGAPE: unconditional love – not based on emotions, on what someone/something can give.

Jeremiah 31:33
John 3:16
Romans 8 38-39

How Jesus thought this love?

John 13:15 “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done to you.”

The love that Jesus was referring to is SERVANTHOOD.

Galatians 5:13

Why Jesus commanded His disciples to “love one another”?

John 13:34
“a new COMMAND I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Why must we obey Christ?

John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

If the love of Christ is seen among Christians, that alone is already a step towards witnessing Christ to nonbelievers.

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A year ago, I got inspired by one of online articles of Candy magazines about writing a letter for the future you. I find it really weird but still I tried it. Upon evaluating my 2013 goals, I found a sealed page after and it was there. I found the letter from the past me. I can’t help but smile, I just received an encouraging letter from the past me, things that was almost forgotten.

January 13, 2013
Dear Future Sunshine,
Hey, you just turned 23. How was the whole year? Have you able to evaluate  your year’s resolutions  and goals? While reading this, I’m hoping that you have able to achieved  all your plans for this year. Well, if you haven’t , maybe God has a better plan. Don’t be disappointed if those things that you want didn’t work out, rather be thankful for everything God have done for you. You may have faced failures throughout  your journey but I know how strong you are and how strong your God is. Every fall, I know you would be able to stand up and prove that there is nothing and noone is bigger than our God.

I don’t know what are you feeling right  now . I’m just hoping that while you’re reading this letter, you are smiling. Honestly, you are beautiful when you are smiling. Have you able to enjoy this year? Is this year had been fair to you? If yes, that’s good. If no, I’m hoping that you would be able to look further and see God’s goodness in everything.

Are you still single right now ? That’s good. You’re still young , don’t be disappointed rather use that opportunity to serve God and to strengthen your relationship with Him. Waiting for the “Right One” can never be overrated. Everything that is worth having is always a worth waiting. God will give  the right one in His perfect time.

CONGRATULATIONS SUNSHINE!!! you have able to passed all the obstacles in your life with the help of our God. Just the fact that you are now reading this letter, you are a winner!! There’s no point in regretting for the things that you wished you have done and things you wished you never did. Move on…make it a life lesson and never forget what it taught you.

Happy New Year!! Make your year awesome like it has always been.

God bless you, Sunshine and may Jesus’ love stays in your heart forever . ❤

Love lots,
Sunshine from the past

P.S. continue to stay POSITIVE!

I just realized that sometimes you can really be your own encouragement despite of all the things that happened – failures, fall down, unfaithfulness  etc., God is always up for something.

I have decided to do it every year, just to remind myself that I did a great job and nothing is ever wasted. Everything is for God’s glory.

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I have to admit this, I know I’m not the only one struggling with this, but I have to be honest, in my part I’m really having a hard time maintaining my prayer life. I’d been a Christian for almost a decade, an active church youth member but still so guilty with this.
In a relationship, I know how constant communication is so important. Being able to communicate with my friends and love ones through different ways (like skyping, texting, phone calls) from a far made it for us to maintain our closeness.
So if you’re gonna ask me if prayer does really matter, well my obvious answer would be yes because it’s our way of communication with God that strengthens our relationship with Him. Some people might ask why pray when God already knows everything? why still present my request when He already know what’s the desires of my heart?
Well, I think prayer is a kind of two-way communication, it’s not just WE asking Him for certain things, thanking Him for the blessings He have given us, repenting to Him for the sins that we have committed but also HIM talking to us. We must also take time to listen with an open heart as He speaks through His Spirit.
As what Philip Yancey said in his book Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?, “The true relationship in prayer is not when God hears what is prayed for, but when the person praying continues to pray until he is the one who hears, who hears what God wills.” Prayer plays an role for our desires to be aligned to His by the mean of not just listening to our own heart but to His desires in our lives.

For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 1 John 3:20

The problem is why is it so difficult to pray? Again, like in any other relationship, ours with God requires commitment. There will always be a battle between the flesh and the Spirit. There comes a time wherein your body might refuse to do it because of some stuff (like physical exhaustion, stresses, laziness), but as we filled our life with His Spirit and let Him work in us, He will help us to conquer everything even our struggle with prayer. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, it tells there that we should “pray without ceasing”. How is that possible? What does that mean? Upon seeing the verse, it doesn’t necessarily mean to deny your social life and go to a quiet a place, kneel with your head down and prayer the whole day, not like that. As what Rei Lemuel Crizaldo said in his book entitled Connected ka ba? How to Pray Kahit Lo-batt Ka Na? ” The challenge, actually, is to be in constant awareness of God’s presence, to have uninterrupted thoughts of God, and to live as if there is only God and you in the world.” As we let Him filled our minds and hearts, prayer would become as easier as breathing in us.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcend all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

I’m in a great destruction again, battling against my own emotional self. I don’t know, maybe it’s kinda hormonal imbalance again or some type of mood swing. I’m so tired of this drama honestly but I can’t help it. Other people might think I’m crazy if they found out but I will try not to be bothered by them and by their judgmental act. I feel so guilty for entertaining this feeling of depression or mood swing or whatever you called it. While having a meeting in familiar circle group I’m in, suddenly, I felt rejected, it feels like noone cares or even bother to listen to me, they’re so happy as I watch them conversing with one another while I’m there, a wallpaper again. Then everything follows, I feel so least among everyone else, the thinking that I’m not good at anything, that I’m worthless, not good enough came in. My self-esteem is crushing down, and I’m helpless. My sister told me to consult a psychiatrist, which sounds crazy for me, but I think I will do soon if this emotional unstableness of mine still continues. I tried to unwind myself a while ago by going to the mall, strolling the bookstores and by eating some kinds of doughnuts, I felt a little bit better but as I got home, lie on the bed, I felt the loneliness again so I’ve realized that there’s nothing I could do with it if I’ll do it with just myself. I need someone who will help me, someone who will accept me along with my dramas in life, someone who will listen, someone who will never leave me nor forsake me, someone who will treat me like a precious one, like a treasured possession, okay I admit, I need Jesus. I need more of Jesus.

For the eyes of the Lord go this way and that, through all the earth, letting it be seen that he is the strong support of those whose hearts are true to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9a

My devotion yesterday made me realized that, truly, God sees everything transparently. He evenly blessed those who don’t do His will, how much more to those who faithfully hanging on to His promises and does His will. To the voice of Truth is where we supposed to listen. The enemies are always there waiting for the time of our vulnerability to attack and decieve us, God’s children, but God is faithful. As we ask Him for a firmer and stronger faith, He is more than willing to give it to us and He will not even let us be tempted on more than we can bear.

As of now, I’m writing this at the point wherein I feel so down but I’m choosing to hold on unto Him and His promises, for I know that everything will truly be fine soon. I think, my Lord is much stronger than this hormonal stuff. What I need is just positive thinking and a whole lot more of Jesus each day.

Prompt#3: In light of the nearing All Saints’ Day, I’d like to know what death means to you. How do you view death?

What comes to my mind everytime I’m hearing the word DEATH, is simply the absence of life. Before I become a Christian, I have no idea what is waiting for me the moment I reach that stage. What I’m thinking is, I don’t want to be placed in that box and I don’t wanna see my earthly body being moldy or rotten. But I need to accept the fact that I will surely come to that stage of life, the only difference is that now I am convinced that life doesn’t end there but just the  beginning of new life with God in His Kingdom.

Being a nurse, I’ve able to witness death so many times, able to see people suffer from pain, see people mourn. Death can really be painful for some, I can’t blame them but I think they should know more, that there’s gonna be more to life.

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. -Philippians 1:21

Either to live or to die, we got nothing to lose because Jesus have already given us everything to gain. 

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