Coming Clean

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Right above is a picture of me, literally buried in the tons of papers- college exam sheets, old notes, etc. I’ve collected through the years. Yes, I’m a garbage collector! But with divine help, I was able to let go many of them and finally throw them where they belong- the garbage can! With overcoming the sentimental value I attributed to some of them (or yes maybe it was most of them but I just couldn’t admit it), it felt like an achievement of a lifetime! Cleaning your room may be tiring but it sure brings you to many realizations for life!

(Laughs)

But seriously, the photo also symbolizes me. In all aspects of my life, I may have collected garbage which has trapped me in a rut. But praise God for He has rescued me time and time again. Through His precious blood, I am coming clean and I am made clean!

P.S. In line with this write-up, I would like to share my second video for my YouTube ministry which I shared in the post prior to this. Be blessed, dear reader now to become a dear viewer! 🙂

General Cleaning Day: “Failure is not Fatal”

 

Responding to the Call

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In my PYC uniform…

Background: I was really planning to write about my PYC experience in Iloilo which started last May 31, 2017. Due to circumstances that made me busy, I was not able to do so. But praise God, He really provides opportunities for me to do so and even more as there is also something I’m going to share, as a result of the PYC experience.

The PYC or Philippine Youth for Christ is an annual event attended by  Seventh-Day Adventist youth across the Philippines and even from countries nearby. It was my first time to attend and you can imagine my excitement.

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🙂

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Pastor Taj Pacleb: One of my favorite speakers….

During a span of days, my sister and I got to listen to very inspirational messages from the wonderful set of speakers, through plenary meetings or breakout sessions. The topics were indeed essential as they were about the very issues we, the youth, face. Though the schedule was tight for me, I still got to embrace the blessing the Word of God brought. Besides this,  the fellowship of brothers and sisters in the faith was strengthened through activities like group dynamics (I was a group facilitator BTW and I thank God for the task He gave me!) and mission outreach which I really enjoyed. (Oh how I intensely desire to share the full details of my whole experience to you, dear reader! But just so you know, my group belonged to the ‘Palit-Yosi’ ministry which was tasked to make exchanges of cigarettes with the fruits and biscuits we brought. We then had an additional work- the Jeep ministry which got us riding jeepneys where we sang, prayed for and gave tracts to the passengers. I just could not overemphasize how big of an impact we made in the city, all by the grace of God!) There was no doubt that with an atmosphere of heartfelt prayer and heavenly wisdom, almost everyone I believe was on a spiritual high. But it didn’t end there, it shouldn’t after all. It was clear that because The Appearing (which was the title of this year’s event, before I forget) is so near, that we as the Lord’s children and watchmen should do our part in the furtherance of the gospel, in preparing the world for the return of the “crucified, risen and soon-coming Savior!”

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Our smiles after serving the Lord…

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With my fellow medical students on the last night… #BeyondBlessed

Therefore, after the successful and historical PYC which blessed me beyond words, I found myself asking this question: “What do you want me to do now, Lord?” I have been serving the Lord somehow with my talents like writing through this blog and smiling while giving Bible tracts (yes, smiling is a talent! Haha). I was fueled up to do much more in God’s vineyard and I still am. And God, in His goodness, gave me the answer! It was revealed to me that with the means and skills He blessed me with, I could serve the Lord in YouTube! Since 2012, I have been making medical parody videos with the purpose of helping my batch mates back then in remembering stuff for exams. My talent in composing such was developed and a couple of my videos received heartwarming feedback from people around the globe. If I was able to inspire people this way, how much more using the Word of God? How much more with the wonderful words of life which could help anyone grow spiritually and be prepared for such perilous times our world is now in? Because after all,  our relationship with God is what truly matters most in the end. Not the number of followers or subscribers one has.  But how could it grow if we don’t share our faith?

Hence,  with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I was able to do an introductory video plus my first one for this endeavor which God has called me to! It is with utmost humility and sincere earnestness that I ask you, dear reader, to please check out these two videos by clicking the links below. And if you feel blessed or inspired after watching them, your subscription would mean the world to me! Thank you…

Another Ministry Begins (Post PYC Revealing)

Independence Day: Freedom in Christ

P.S. Forgive me for videos are not that HQ! If you check out my other channel (the one with the med parodies), you can see how Jurassic my first videos were! (Laughs) But what matters is that you get the message, my friend!

Little, Sweet Reminders

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Forgive the blur. But this is a recent portrait of me: a LOVED HUMAN who is a FIGHTER!

 

BACKGROUND: It’s been a while since I last wrote in my blog! Well, as some of you dear readers know, med school happened and that means more time spent in academic stuff than blogging. But earlier this morning, during my daily devotional time, the message struck me and I had the urgent need to share my heart out. Despite the fact that it’s hell week as some would consider it (it’s the last week of classes BTW= yehey!!), I’m glad to have this moment of keeping my fingers busy. After all, I need a simple break from all the studying and I can’t deny it; I miss doing this!

THE ESSENTIALS: So the message was to “remind the people” and in the process that I was reminded of such a task, it would bring much bearing if I don’t keep to myself these reminders that are worthy to be shared to the world especially for times like these:

  1. You are loved. By God. By family. By friends. By someone.

After experiencing some challenges recently (in all aspects from sickness to stress to failure), I was able to see a clearer picture of God’s love for me. Sometimes, when life is smooth and everything seems to go well, we lose sight of what we have. We tend to forget the Lord and we fail to appreciate His love for us as we set our eyes on other things that seek our affection. That’s why maybe He allows trials to come our way so that this would not happen. And yet during such times, His love endures and sustains us. It is His love that causes Him to heal our infirmities, that keeps us going in the journey He’s called us (in my case, to continue studying though I feel like giving up), that brings us back to Him after we’ve hurt or failed Him constantly. And you know what I like about His love is that it is expressed in so many ways. Like through the people around you, whom He can use to bless you or mold you. Or just the simple necessities we take for granted: food, water, air, clothing.

And let us not forget Calvary. Oh, just to think how the Son of God was more than willing to give His life as a ransom for sinful man! Every time I meditate on this, it is just so overwhelming! Such a reminder is enough fuel for me to make the best out of my life, to live for Him out of earnest love and deepest gratitude. How about you?

2. You can do this! Through Christ Who gives you strength. (Phil. 4:13)

Being a medical student is such a great privilege but most of the time, it may be a burden with all the responsibilities and expectations laid on you. It is inevitable to be overwhelmed with the stock of knowledge to be dealt with in the absence of luxury of time. And I believe that some would even sacrifice their health or family time just to compensate. Well, this does not hold true for future doctors. In this fast paced world where competition thrives and selfish ambition rules, it is easy to give in to hopelessness, fear and loss of confidence. We are all prone to wear out and give up. But as cliche as this sounds, may this adage remind why you can achieve your goals and pursue your dreams no matter what: “If God puts you to it, He will put you through it.”

3. You are human. With limitations. With weaknesses. But with passions and necessities.

Somehow linked to the second reminder, there’s indeed more to life than just studying. Or whatever it is that we’re bound to do, wherever God called us. In order to keep a striking balance, let us not forget that we also have other needs. Giving ourselves a break by participating in sports, music, art, etc. or just indulging in a sweet treat- these can make all the difference. (Look at me now; I could have studied Pathology but I still feel equally fulfilled with this writing!)

So I guess that’s about it! Just three simple reminders. For myself. For you. For the whole jaded world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Baggage-less 2017

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While I was cleaning my room last Friday (this was my much needed general cleaning), I found this piece of an old calendar. It might be a coincidence that through the mess, this was the only exact paper that was detached from the rest. But with the quote written on it, I can’t help but think that this was divine intervention in ways I may never know or explain.

But nevertheless, what really matters is the timely message I received as I was on the crossroads of a new year- which meant a page of a new 365  page book and writing a good one as Brad Paisley puts it. (Sighs). Yes, I feel determined in achieving that end by God’s grace but sometimes, in the long run, I may get too exhausted or wearied down. (You may have read my entry, the one prior to this which was my last for 2016; it somehow reflects how I failed to apply the quote in the photo above) That’s why it is so important for me to fully let go of all the negatives I have carried in 2016 in order to really start another year the right way!

So looking back to yesterday, the first day of 2017, I am peacefully contented and blissfully grateful that I started the process of living life minus the unnecessary baggage. Having surrendered my burdens and committed my will to God, I was able to bring joy (I cleaned my mother’s garden and it brought a smile to her face), perseverance (I got to play my violin again with high hopes that my skills would improve ), faith (I learned to shake off the doubts and just trust the Lord; I’m still learning) and love (This was manifested by all of the following because I wouldn’t want to live right this 2017 if it were not for it. Thank You Jesus for the love!)

(Breathes deeply)

I don’t know how this year would turn out or if all these efforts would end up in vain. Certainly, life is full of uncertainties. But one thing remains certain to me: I’m learning to live life to the fullest now, certain kilos lesser!

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Nanay was not the only one happy on January 1. Look at the plants! How huge their smiles!

2016: A Year of Lessons/Realizations

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PHOTO taken by my good friend and brother in Christ, Jared Kaiser

Fresh from a wonderful Sabbath of serving God and fellowship with my family plus friends, I am so stoked to have this post as my last for the year 2016. I was so blessed with the messages I heard from the Divine Service (it was so timely!) up to the AY Program. And it is my utmost desire to faithfully apply these in my life as the new year begins. (So help me God!)

2016 has been a very challenging year for me. In a lot of ways: physically, mentally (more of like academically), socially/emotionally and of course, as evidenced in recent write-ups, spiritually. I have to say I’ve grown for the good but it would be a lie not to admit that I’ve also grown for the worse. But despite all the happenings I went through this year, God has ever remained faithful and gracious to me. May that be reflected in the things I’m about to share.

Instead of writing about my highlights, let me share the lessons (hence, the title) or the realizations I’ve had from out of the different experiences I was in or circumstances I dealt with:

  1. No matter how hard you try to be good or kind to others, there will always be people who will use you, take advantage of your or hurt you for hurting’s sake. But then again, we live in an imperfect world; we can’t please everyone. So I guess I end up reminding myself that it is God Who I need to please or to focus on. And worse, maybe they thought that by dong such, you will go dark. But you will prove them wrong because you choose to let the good in you remain and improve for the better. Ouch! It seems like the first one is salt on a wound but definitely it’s the one that has the most impact on me. As you may have read in a post in the past, I’ve been through one ‘valley’ which tested my faith in God and my will to survive. But the Lord saw me through. So with love and forgiveness in my heart, I will move on to 2017 with this lesson inculcated in my heart.
  2. I’m a garbage collector, a good one. During the general cleaning of my room, I got to see how many stuff I have kept through the years that needed to be disposed. It made me ponder that I probably collected a lot of garbage, not only  literally but also in my life’s room; maybe people, habits, emotions or other things which I definitely need to let go. So with enthusiasm and for a good purpose, here’s to cleaning up my life! (Plastic also serve as part of my collection but hopefully they’re not the people I know!)
  3. You can never survive anything life throws at you without God. Well, I believe I’m not the only one who understands this fully. From the book of Job (which was our topic for the Sabbath School lesson this quarter) to experiencing many tough times, I came to value how a relationship with God really helps during such and what faith in Him entails. Yes, being comforted by your family and friends is a blessing. But to know that the God of the Universe knows your pain and cares enough for You; to add, that He is always in control no matter what happens, is certainly far better. So here’s to enriching my spiritual walk even more as I enter 2017!!!

There are surely a lot of lessons/realizations for this year but these three are the ones worth sharing and heart tugging as well! I just could not overemphasize how deeply thankful I am for God’s love manifested in His guidance, sustenance, protection, and of course His forgiveness! Your grace is truly amazing, dear Lord!

With a grateful heart, a focused mind and a confident spirit, I move forward to 2017! Happy New Year!

My First Day of School

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When a happening got you thinking…

My first day of school was cancelled.

Ouch! As for most of my classmates I believe that means hurrah, it spells disaster for me and that is what I’m going to share through this post. I felt the urge to share what I went through today before I hit the books.

You see, I was absent on the real first day of classes which was last Monday, August 8. This was a great disappointment for me, of course but what can you do when you get infected with a virus? I suffered from viral exanthema for roughly 2-3 days and I thank God I recovered quickly so that I was able to return to Iloilo yesterday. (Thank God even more that it was not dengue or chikungunya! Spell relief!) So yes, I missed out a lot on the 1st 2 days  of 2nd year which is considered as the hardest and is even dubbed as “Hell Year.” But I got to move on with that!

However, what happened this morning seemed to tell me that I belong to Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. I have to say that what happened wasn’t grievous  but it wasn’t non-stressful. Well, for someone who was absent for two days already (and one lecture on one day to be exact), I was looking forward to having one full, regular class day at Roxas Hall today. To add, we were to have our first meeting for Jericho Walk, an annual event of CCC, a college organization I joined. I was going to speak. So yes, my plate was full and before I forget, I even had to go to my aunt’s house to have her sign my excuse letters.

With my exigencies written, you could imagine how busy my day could have been. And with the rain not cooperating with me, it was a challenge to keep my white pants clean and spot-free. After visiting my aunt, I was on my way to school when I learned that classes were cancelled. Burn baby, burn! Wow. That was hard to swallow. (And yes, if I were to swallow such, it would still be really difficult because my throat still hasn’t cured completely and eating these days is a painful experience.) Anyway, in a time where some would lash out the S word or get mad, I’m glad right now I chose to laugh it off. I can’t remember if I prayed but the Lord knows how dependent I was/am on His will. I wish I did and more importantly, I  wish to be more prayerful. Good thing, the org head was communicating with me and with encouragement, it was decided that we push through with the first session. She and her best friends would come just for the event! (May God bless these precious, passionate souls!) So there I was, walking my way to school while other students were going home. I will not deny that I felt a bit downtrodden but God was good enough to encourage me so yes, I walked with determination along the muddy puddles of water.

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With the wind so strong, my bag looked like it swam in a pool.

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(sighs)

And as if my sickness and the weather/class suspension combo were not enough, some of the people who came for the event had to leave because it turned out they still had one class. Talk about such relentless opposition from the enemy of souls! But it was clear as Rejine (our group coordinator) expressed: we were doing something right as God would be doing something powerful through us and Satan doesn’t like it; hence, all these. But we still pushed through with the first session. We could not afford the devil to succeed with his intentions and plans. With Arvey and Jib (God lovingly provided him to add to the company), I shared my prepared message on renewal and we closed the session with a prayer. Matthew 18:20 comforted me as it says, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.

So yes, that was how my first day of school went so far! With a trial (or was it a test?) that didn’t prevent me, didn’t hinder us from doing what must be done for the Lord and with Him as well. I will still be looking for reasons why the Lord allowed such especially throughout today. But once again, He has gently reminded me that no matter what happens, He is always there, He is always in control.

On a brighter note, I can still have classes at my room. So, let’s study!!

July 24-30: A Week of Losses

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“We may lose something or someone but our loving God would not leave us without gain.” – KBH

For my second post on Simple Recall to be late again really proves how busy I am. I returned to Iloilo City just yesterday to attend a burial and throughout my day, I had no time to sit down and write this post. However, the fact that I can write now is because I’m already through with my important things-to-do for today. Spell relief!

Well, this week started with a big challenge for our family: the heartbreaking loss of my uncle Toting (He was the husband of my Aunt Lydia, the eldest sister of my father.) I remember how deeply sad I was upon learning of the unexpected news that Sunday morning. It was only two months ago when an uncle died, you know. So it was another tough ordeal for all of us. However, despite his death, I thanked God that he died peacefully in his sleep. And the best part? He got to see his youngest daughter who arrived the day before from the US so seeing all his children before dying could have been meaningful to him. Talk about the promptings of the Spirit! I guess God must have orchestrated how his daughters could go home out of the blue and spend time with him. His timing is always perfect, don’t you think?

Besides the familial loss, I had my share of losses which I could not describe in detail here because they are too personal. But one thing was and is sure: God brought me up where I stumbled and by His grace, I am fighting on even with all my scars and wounds. No matter how many times I failed Him, He has never given up on me! His love is so everlasting and His grace, so empowering! (Please pray for me, dear reader as I press on in my journey to where God wants me to go and against the things that must go…)

So throughout all my losses this week, I still praise Him for as I can see, I still gained something which He alone can give! And also, the Lord knows what He is doing so I trust His will.He always knows what is  best!

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 136:1

PHOTO SOURCE: https://static01.nyt.com/images/2010/02/10/health/loss480/loss480-blogSpan