Tensile Strength

I’ve learned something new today in my quiet time: it’s the term “tensile strength”. I think I’ve heard of this before, but I understood it better this time and even learned something more valuable than just the definition itself.

By definition, tensile strength is the maximum tension or stretching a material can withstand before it tears. If an engineer miscalculates the tensile strength, a structure may collapse under certain pressure.

When we are under the weight of stress and hardship, we may wonder if the Lord has miscalculated our “tensile strength”. Feeling natin bibigay na tau sa mga problema nating dinadala. Parang di na natin kaya. But God never makes mistakes, and He knows everthing about us. He knows our weaknesses. God, being our Designer, knows exactly the amount of weight we can handle. Best part is that His overflowing grace is sufficient for us to handle our problems. This is what God has promised in His Word from 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

7Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me–to keep me from exalting myself!

8Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.

9And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness “ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

The very purpose of the trials and burdens we have is to keep us from being proud. “Thorns in the flesh” are reminders to us that we need God. If we don’t experience those trials, we will become self-sufficient and will not cling to God. Andami ngang times na nakakalimot tau kay God if everything’s going well. We sometimes forget to thank God when everything’s okay. We think we’re alright on our own. God doesn’t like that kind of thought. That’s why we experience hardships in our life. Besides, these are also being use by God to mold our character. He loves us so much that He wouldn’t allow us to stay as we are. He wants us to grow more into His likeness.

God’s power rests in our weaknesses. Paano pa Niya tau isstrengthen if we are already strong on our own, diba? Kulang na kulang naman ung strength natin. It will never suffice. Kaya dapat okay lang sa atin ung difficulties and hardships na nararanasan natin kasi dun natin maeexperience ung strength ni God. He will be revealing His glory in His time if we will only be patient to wait on the Lord to act. Siya naman ang bahala sa lahat eh.

Just like what Paul said in the above verses, palagi din akong nagpplead kay God na ilipat na ko ng department sa work. He knows my struggles where I’m at now. But then, wala pang way out sa ngayon. He just wants me to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). And grabe, araw-araw hindi nagfefail si God sa pagsesend sakin ng grace Niya. I get through everyday kahit may persecution sa work, all by His grace. Feeling ko minsan di ko na talaga keri ung situation ko sa work, tapos dagdag pa ung emotional stresses ko ngayon coming from a breakup and missing Jack so much, but then I am carrying on because God is helping me out. He is just a prayer away. Iiiyak ko lang sa Kanya and He understands what I am going through. Tapos I would find comfort in His Word. Sabi nga Niya, “Never will I leave you, nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Haaay…I am just so grateful to God. Amidst all trials and persecutions, life is still beautiful and worth-living because we have an Almighty Father who loves us so much and won’t leave us hanging. He is just there ready to rescue and deliver us. What can I say? Being in a relationship with God totally rocks! ^^

Closing Cycles by Paulo Coehlo

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end.  If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the
meaning of the other stages we have to go through.

Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters

Whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave the past the moments of life that have finished.  Did you lose your job?  Has a loving relationship come to an end?  Did you leave your parents’ house?  Gone to live abroad?  Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?

You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened.  You can tell yourself you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that.

But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved:  your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us.  What has passed
will not return:  we cannot forever be children, late adolescents, sons that  feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away.  That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs,
move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home.  Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.

Let things go.  Release them.  Detach yourself from them.  Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.  Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood.  Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss:  that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the ideal moment.  Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished:  tell yourself that what has passed will never come back.  Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person.  Nothing is irreplaceable.  A habit is not a need.  This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles.  Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life.  Shut the door, change the record,
clean the house, shake off the dust.  Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.

It’s gonna be okay.

Dear God,

You know how I’m feeling right now. You know how hurt I am. Masakit kaya ung mawalan ulet ng relationship with someone you have learned to love even in a short span of time. Alam ko saglit lng ung naging relasyon namin, pero within those 7 months, I loved him…so much. Kaya nga nagkaron ako ng strength to hold on all those months. Those 7 months have never been easy. Hindi mabilang na mga misunderstandings at away sa loob ng maikling panahon. Pero sa kabila ng lahat ng un, sabi ko sa sarili ko okay lang ang lahat. Naayos naman eh. And I am glad for those times na we would have just given up, yet we chose to hold on and save the relationship.

Kaso dumating na sa puntong natuldukan na talaga. Hindi ko na idedetalye dito ang mga nangyari. All I wanted was some space, yet he saw this as the end of it all. I cannot contest his decision. What I have to do is to accept things as they are now. Wala akong regrets sa panahong iginugol ko sa relasyon namin. Nagmahal ako at naging masaya. We have tried our best to honor You with our relationship. We may have failed at one point or another, yet I can say we have grown in our relationship with You during the time that we were still together.

Lord, alam ko may purpose Ka sa ngyari. May purpose ka kung bakit ko pa siya nakilala at kung bakit naging kami. I just pray that You will help us change what needs to be changed in us. I strongly believe na may naging purpose din kami sa buhay ng isa’t isa. Malungkot lng na baka hanggang dun na nga lang tlga ang lahat. Pero dapat tanggapin namin kasi You well know what You’re doing in our lives. You definitely have a purpose for all of these. I trust in You, Lord. Help me stay strong during this hard time. I also pray for him…that he will grow more like You. That he will become a better person as You prepare him for your purposes. May we just get over ourselves and shift the focus on You. That is honestly what my heart desires now…for me to just delight myself inYou. After all, You have a plan for all of us. Plans to prosper us and not to harm us. Plans to give us hope and a future.

Haaay Lord, it’s just so awesome to be living under Your grace! Where will I be without You? I thank You for all that You’ve done, and for all that You are still about to do. Salamat po, Lord. Being Your daughter totally rocks! I praise and thank You in the name of Jesus. Amen. ^^

Love, love, love…ayun naman, magva-valentines na!

I sometimes can’t help but have thoughts that loving is really dangerous, it’s difficult, even stressful. Perhaps it’s just the selfish and egocentric part of me that makes me feel that way. Nakakatakot magmahal kasi hindi tau perpekto. Hindi ako perpekto at hindi rin perpekto ung minamahal ko. At dahil jan, merong mga disappointments. We can’t always meet the expectations of others. And they can’t always live up to our expectations as well. Laging parang may kulang. At one point or another, we would fail them, and they would fail us. Nakakapangamba. Nakakabahala.

But by God’s grace, my sweet Jesus once again gave me peace. I’ve been insecure lately. Dagdag pa ung thoughts na nakakatakot magmahal at masaktan. I have always been an optimistic one. But apparently,  the negative in me unleashed for the past few days. One person so dear to me can attest that I can get so negative at times. But it’s good that God uses him to rebuke the negative spirit in me.

After wrestling with negativity and insecurity, I found peace in what God says about love. Back to basic ako. Love 101. This is what the Bible says about love, in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 8Love never fails.

Well said. Not even a hint of selfishness in this definition. I want that kind of love. I want to exude that kind of love. God commands us not only to walk in the Spirit and to walk wisely, but also to walk in LOVE. The above passage is a great guide and example of how it is to walk in love. God loved us first. We ought to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We also ought to love one another. How I love the way this passage describes what real, authentic love is.

God gave me peace through this passage. He calmed the storms in my heart. The screaming negativity and insecurity in me was somehow silenced. God is still working to make me a loving person. It’s not always easy, but by His grace I will endure. After all, it’s  not about me, or my insecurities, or my fears or my paranoia, or my negative thoughts. It’s all about God and His sovereignty. I now choose to love based on God’s standards of loving. I wanna obey Him when He commanded us to walk in love. I long to make God smile with the love He wants us to show…all for His greater glory. ^^

Kamusta naman?! It’s been awhile…

Woah! It’s been over a month since I last posted here! Kinda gives you a clue as to how busy I got since I started working again. Yup, by God’s grace, I’m surviving amidst the demands and pressures in my new work. Di bale, sa simula lng naman yan. God is good. I know makakayanan ko naman kasi His overflowing grace is always there. Never runs out. Asteeg!

Drop the Paranoia and Just Trust God

Isa sa mga struggles ko eh ung paranoia ko. Masyado akong paranoid sa maraming bagay. I know God is dealing with my paranoia. Extra paranoid ako kapag nagkakaron ako ng misunderstanding with a special person, a loved one. Pakiramdam ko nabahiran na ung relasyon, o kya things will never be the same again. Maraming tumatakbo sa isip kong posibilidad lalu na sa future. Kesyo maraming magiging problema at magiging mahirap na burden ang future. At syempre pa, attacks lahat yan ng Enemy. Satan is the father of lies. Sabi ni God, everytime Satan throws us lies, we have to run to Him for the Truth. God is the Truth. We have to listen to Him kasi Siya ang source ng Truth. We have to saturate ourselves with His Word for us to overflow with His promises, especially for the future.

And by God’s grace, that’s what I did. I ran to God. I listened to His voice. This is what He told me through Matthew 6:34, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (The Message version) This reminded me of what my friend Denise told me just this Monday, December 22. She told me that the future is God’s responsibility. I shouldn’t stress myself out being bothered about what will happen in the future. Also reminds me of the message to us during the worship service last Sunday: about HOPE and FEAR. Both are asking us to believe in something we can’t see yet. Pareho tau nag-eexert ng energy sa hope and fear, but it is better to hope. Hope is a belief based on the promises of God. He is faithful to fulfill His promises.

So now, I am choosing HOPE. I choose to trust God, and drop my paranoia. Live one day at a time. Live for today for tomorrow is God’s responsibility. I don’t want to worry anymore. Bukod sa nakaka-stress, wala naman magagawa ang pagiging worry-wart para mabawasan ang problema sa hinaharap. Instead, worrying will only sap our strength for today. How can I ever witness to the greatness of God if I worry and fret? Remind me Lord of all the things You have taught me everytime I stumble and forget. Thank You, Jesus!  I ask this in Your name, Amen. 🙂

I am a Work-in-Progress

Nagpapasalamat ako kay God for sending people to reveal to me those things na mali na pla, pero hindi ko narerealize. Mga bagay na akala ko okay lang at normal sa pagkatao ko, pero hindi na pla tama sa mata ni Lord. Talagang God is continuously working in our lives. Just when I thought okay lang ako, God revealed something to me yesterday. Meron pala akong hindi magandang habit na akala ko ayuz lang. I praise God for my discipler for boldly rebuking me. Well, God has already used somebody prior to my discipler in rebuking me (si Jack), pero I just took it lightly, thinking, “Ganito ako eh.” But God is persistent. Lalu pa’t para rin ito sa ikabubuti ko. This is for character-molding, kaya God wouldn’t just give up saying, “Ay, di na-gets ni Joni. Di bale na nga lang.” No. God wouldn’t give up on us just like that. Instead, He used greater force para sa rebelasyon sa kin. My discipler used stronger words and I admire her for being bold enough to tell it to me upfront. Ung parang nasampal ako o kaya nauntog sa pader, tapos may dugo na. Sobrang sakit, it brought tears in my eyes. I never thought I was already being disrespectful lalu pa’t ung na-disrespect ko eh isang taong mataas ang respeto ko, him being my God’s Best. Reality bites.

Suffice it to say, God is setting things right. He is preparing us all for something grand. For that to happen, a lot has to be changed. There must be evident changes. Human beings have the tendency to resist change lalu pa’t komportable na tau sa kasalukuyang kondisyon natin. Pero sabi nga sa message sa worship service last Sunday, since we have already been given new life when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we have to take off our GRAVE clothes. God is helping me out in taking off ung mga iba pang kapirasong grave clothes na nakadikit pa sakin. All for His glory.

Thankful ako, God. Sobra! Alam ko, malayo pa ung destinasyon ko to get to the place on having a heart just like Yours. Pero I am trusting Your leading and guidance as You take me there. You will be with me. Every step of the way. Thank you, Jesus. 🙂

Inlab Ako! ^^

watashi mo aishiteimasu. itsumo aishiteru

JONI: Aishiteru Wa +++ JACK: Watashi Mo Aishite Imasu... Itsumo Aishiteru

 

Less Like Scars by Sara Groves

I so lurve this song! Talks about how God can use our pain and hurt to mold our character. God is indeed forever faithful! ^^

It’s been a hard year
But I’m climbing out of the rubble
These lessons are hard
Healing changes are subtle
But every day it’s

Less like tearing, more like building
Less like captive, more like willing
Less like breakdown, more like surrender
Less like haunting, more like remember

And I feel You here
And You’re picking up the pieces
Forever faithful
It seemed out of my hands, a bad situation
But You are able
And in Your hands the pain and hurt
Look less like scars and more like
Character

Less like a prison, more like my room
It’s less like a casket, more like a womb
Less like dying, more like transcending
Less like fear, less like an ending

And I feel You here
And You’re picking up the pieces
Forever faithful
It seemed out of my hands, a bad situation
But You are able
And in Your hands the pain and hurt
Look less like scars

Just a little while ago
I couldn’t feel the power or the hope
I couldn’t cope, I couldn’t feel a thing
Just a little while back
I was desperate, broken, laid out, hoping
You would come

And I need You
And I want You here
And I feel You

And I know You’re here
And You’re picking up the pieces
Forever faithful
It seemed out of my hands, a bad, bad situation
But You are able

And in Your hands the pain and hurt
Look less like scars (x3)

And more like
Character

Extreme Case of Unconditional Love

An extreme demonstration of UNCONDITIONAL love is found in 1 John 3:16 which says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” Tlgang extreme nga! We can totally understand if someone would die for an utterly good person. Or someone giving up his life so someone else can live. Oo, selfless. Pero kamusta naman ung ialay mu ung buhay mu para sa strangers? Strangers: people who have the option to ignore, deny or even curse your sacrifice. Ganun ung ginawa ni Jesus Christ. He gave up His life for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). Nothing can substitute this. Any substitute is already second best.

We must rely on God’s love. God gave us His Word to help us understand the full love of God. We can use the same understanding to bring comfort to others. Tandaan, we are living in a world where there are people who are broken, hopeless, and helpless. We have to know God’s love, so we can let that love flow through us, then onto the lives of others. We must rely on God’s love, not merely on our talents, abilities and zeal. Meron ding talents, abilities, and zeal ang mundo eh. Anu bang pinagkaiba natin sa mundo? We have Jesus Christ. He is the “salt” which makes a Christian salty. He causes our lives to preserve and change the world. Jesus is God’s perfect love in us. We may try our best offering counsel to other people out of our own terms of love. Substitute lang un. Others may not hear what we tell them, unless God’s love is flowing through us. Dapat tlga magrely tau sa love ni God at un ung love na gamitin natin when we reach out to other people. Offer the Scripture as counsel, but offering it in love. Bottomline talaga: Rely on God’s love for He is trustworthy. He is able to change lives and heal broken spirits. 🙂

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