All Non-Christian Things

Blogging about Jesus is my own way of discipleship. Most of my essays’ sole purpose is to encourage readers to become Christians. I disclose my flaws to testify that God loves even the unworthiest. I write for skeptics, atheists, for Christians like me who understand, for the curious, interested and searching. Passion for writing and for God motivate me to continue blogging throughout the years. But to be able to write a Christ-centered post worth sharing I must listen to preaching, read and savor God’s Word like mouth-watering delicacy and be filled with His spirit. We can’t give something we don’t have. I must fill the void in my heart in order to fill yours too. Sometimes I also don’t feel like writing because I feel empty. Sometimes my doubt is more potent than my faith and I let rage overpowers love. I keep my laptop and Bible shut in those times. But now is a different thing, I would like to write no matter what I feel. For change, I would blog not to encourage, inspire, or explain Christianity. I don’t want others to think that the blogger who writes Godly stuff and this similar person in the real world have different personas and everything written here is a work of fiction, created only to fix my reputation, to delude world into thinking that my life is Godly and holy, to serve as a clean mask to cover a filthy face. I have shortcomings. Christianity doesn’t mean sinlessness. So this time I would write not about God or anything related to holiness. I would write about my inner demons and all non-Christian things.

Since I was as young as six I’ve been writing prose and poems. I’ve always been amazed by the meanings of words and how a piece of writing can change moods, feelings, perceptions and ideas. For me, someone who can write sensibly and effectively is something else. Jose Rizal was my first favorite author after I read the whole El Filibusterismo when I was in grade four. Years back, I was blogging anonymously with a pseudonym. Profanities were my expressions to add spice to my raving. To express yourself without thinking that someone you know will judge and misunderstand you is liberating. And if anyone does, who cares? They don’t even know your real name. Overwhelmed and driven by dark emotions such as hatred, angst and bitterness I put my feelings into written words. I was Alla Francois in Aftertaste, spoke perfect sarcasm and was on the verge of depression.


Long time ago I was existing but I was dead. I was tortured by life’s callousness then murdered by having no purpose to carry on. I remember when I suspected myself suffering from Hypersomnia. I wasn’t feeling lazy or exhausted but I was sleeping for more than an average person can. My body was abnormally urging me to doze off to desperately escape reality and I knew it was getting serious when it started to affect my activities of daily living. I struggled to stay awake to study lessons that eventually led to low marks in class. My dream of graduating with Latin honor vanished like a bubble. Underweight and ugly were the exact adjectives to describe my appearance when I was in college. I was an honor student in my younger years but I always was lacking confidence to entice teachers. Take for example, even if some of my classmates applauded for my speech I personally wrote I received a lower grade than my classmate who stammered. Annoyance and hatred towards dumb, austere and stern professors were the reasons why I often was hiding my face from teachers who were belittling me or never knew I existed. “Nakasimangot ka na naman. Wag mo pasanin ang mundo.” (You always frown. Don’t carry the weight of the world.) My classmates were teasing me for always frowning even though my lips were curving into a smile. What’s inside of us reflects outside. I didn’t know what they saw but I think I had an idea. They saw melancholy and misery. Or perhaps I’m just too negative about myself. Maybe they just saw a scrawny gal with serious facial expression.


Above was written by Alla Francois in 2013. Now I am more comfortable using my real name on cyberspace because the Alla Francois in me eventually died. She killed herself. Her fear of being misunderstood by someone who knows her caused her to conceal her identity. She was enslaved by her emotions and committing suicide was the best decision she made in her life. To perpetuate her existence is to cultivate my inner demons and nurture negativity. I liked to think that she hung herself with a rope under a flourishing tree on wondrous summer day. Birds were chirping as if rejoicing and celebrating the death of an evil antagonist.


I have been fond of books since I started to read. I read all the reading materials kept in our shelves at home when I was a child. I started to collect comics and classic and bestselling books when I grew up. I thought reading the Bible didn’t make sense because only gifted ones were able to comprehend. I tried reading the King James version but my head bled. God didn’t answer prayers because if he did, my father didn’t die when I was 18 and my brother lived a normal life without sickness. Life was no magic. All can be explained by science and logic. Science can explain everything that God can’t. Science explains my sibling’s ailment and why he had to die as young as 24. Science explains why sufferings are endless and why some diseases can’t be cured. God can’t explain why my brother wasn’t healed because it contradicts Himself as a healer. He didn’t heal him. I remember I was holding my white tiny Bible when my mother cried out, “He’s dead!” Betrayal was the first thing I felt at that moment because I was reading God’s Word (though I found it difficult to fully understand some contexts in the Bible that time) and praying for healing when he died.


When I was being sarcastic and harsh I knew there was no love because love is compassionate and understanding and hatred is rude and hurtful. Hatred can be the opposite of love. Long time ago, I was disgusted by so many things I couldn’t count. A hideous girl wearing very short skirt you can glimpse her soiled panty. A snobbish guy full of pimples. Classrooms full of pasikat idiots. I hated everyone. My old sarcastic blog was an evidence.


I can imagine now what the one who wrote this paragraph looks like. She has unpleasant wrinkles on her forehead for excessive frowning and her complexion is gray and pale as if it is always gloomy and no sunshine. Her face is pleasant but her facial expression which is cold and full of contempt ruin it like a beautiful place with a stinking poop.

Believe me, I might be worse than you imagine but certainly all of these had happened in the past and today is a different story. But sure, skepticism, grudge and unhappiness still visit like an old enemy and ravage the peacefulness of my soul and my heart. One thing is for certain, since I’ve changed the theme of my blog I’ve become a new person, a kind of person I like more. I found an antidote for all of these non-Christian things like a cure for all the deadly diseases that plague a weak body.


Flawed But Forgiven

I couldn't earn it. I don't deserve it. Still You give


A feeling of unworthiness hindered me to blog for the last eight months. Who am I to blog about the kindness of Jesus when I am not even kind? Who am I to blog about loving one another as God loves us when I easily lose my temper and so easily succumb to anger and hatred? Whenever I was inspired to write about my faith I could hear my mind saying “You are such a hypocrite! Nobody’s going to believe in everything you’re about to write because look at you, Karen. Think about your flaws. You aren’t as loving, as forgiving, as nice, as holy as Jesus. You’re trying to sound like a good Christian through your written words but your actions show how evil you are.” In short, I lost my confidence in writing my personal story of faith and as I reread my old posts I cringed with guilt and shame. I promised to myself that I would make myself deserving to blog about my Christian life. But making myself deserving is like making my hands completely clean all the time. I wash my hands numerous times in a day and I still couldn’t guarantee that my hands are uncontaminated after pressing the public elevator button or grabbing the telephone in public booth. I touch filthy doorknobs every now and then. I hold my food as I eat and flush toilet bowls and turn on and off faucets from time to time. Time passed and I didn’t make myself deserving like my bare hands which need frequent cleaning. I am flawed human being.


When I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and savior, I received salvation and forgiveness. I became a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) because I was born again. I became a child of God. I was changed and so was my life. Genuine Christians are called to be like Christ who walk in righteousness and holiness. Whenever I met unpleasant Christians who spoke harshly and thought ill of others I thought to myself, I am more deserving of your love than this people, Lord. They are not worthy.

Recently, I yelled at the taxi driver because he couldn’t understand English so he didn’t get the right direction I told him. I rudely paid higher than the usual bill. I am still ill-tempered, intolerant, and self-centered. I am still human with human emotions. Am I still worthy Lord? I am just like all of them. I thought to myself and grieved.

It took me eight long months to finally decide to write again. So what if I am not worthy? So what if I am not like Jesus? Pare-pareho lang tayong masama. (We are all sinners.) I heard Pastor Bong preached. I now understand the reason why I felt so undeserving to blog about my Christian faith. I was condemning other Christians’ shortcomings. I was sensitive to everyone’s sins. Christian pa naman siya pero ang sama ng ugali n’ya. (She’s a Christian yet she has a bad attitude.) I said. Hindi ako kagaya n’ya. (I am not like her.) I was comparing myself to others and thinking I was better, faultless and deserving. Then I remorsefully made mistakes and my dignity earned from my good deeds abruptly vanished. Shame, guilt and a strong sense of unworthiness took place. I forgot that the love of God, the forgiveness of God, the grace of God is not earned nor deserved. It is written in Ephesians 2 : 8-9 (NLT), God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

Pastor Bong said, “Yung character sa Bible kapareho lang natin.” (The character in the Bible and we are all the same.) King David committed adultery. Jacob deceived his brother. Peter denied Jesus. They sinned, repented and God forgave them. I forgot that being a Christian doesn’t mean we no longer sin. We sin but we confess it all to God and He is so forgiving and merciful, He will forgive those who sincerely repent. I forgot that walking in the light doesn’t mean sinlessness. God knows our sinful nature. Before we were born He already knew the sins we would commit. That’s why Romans 5:8 says But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Christ already paid our sins in the cross because we cannot pay. Who am I to condemn others and myself as well? Christ died for our sins so that there will be no condemnation for us. That’s how beautiful the grace of God is. We, children of God, are saved by grace. We are not perfect but still qualified through His grace. We are flawed but still worthy. We are flawed but forever forgiven.

The Soundtrack of My Life

PicsArt_08-06-02.40.45All of us have particular songs which speak to us at certain moments of our lives. These are not the kind of music we became fed-up of listening after abusing the play button. These songs are our life story, our unique history. These are us. My music playlist has a hundred songs but I deliberately picked ones which have a huge impact on me. I can’t imagine how I could survive the mess of life without having these songs to listen to. I would like to share with you my life’s 10 songs and each reason behind and I do hope that you will enjoy listening to them like I do.

1. All For Love – Hillsong United 

I was brought up a Christian but truly experiencing Christ was first happened on the day I attended True Love Waits youth seminar held in our campus and organized by our university’s religious organization which aimed to teach the youth about the importance of waiting for the right time to kindle love. I was high school sophomore when I first experienced shedding tears of joy as I sang All For Love during praise and worship part of the seminar together with my classmates. Listening to it brings back that beautiful event inside of our university’s chapel, knees bowed down, eyes closed and hearts overwhelmed with a different kind of unexplainable bliss no one can ever fathom but the one who experienced it.

Favorite lyrics:

How many times have I broken your heart

But still you forgive if only I ask

How many times have you heard me pray

Draw near to me

2. Still – Hillsong United

I was in college when this song began to make sense to me. Back then I’ve quickly become emotional whenever I’ve heard it sung in the church. This music reminds me that I am not alone in this battlefield called world because there is God in every storm.

Favorite lyrics:

When the oceans rise and thunders roar

I will soar with you above the storm

Father, you are king over the flood

And I will still know that you are God

I’ve often sung it with misty eyes when I was around 19 until I graduated from college. This song is like a warm hug from a father, the Heavenly Father (I lost my father at 18) reassuring me that He is sovereign in every hardship of life.

3. One Way – Hillsong United

As a teenager this was my favorite upbeat Christian music. I feel nostalgic listening to it today. I was angsty and skeptic before yet I couldn’t help but sing along every time I heard it played.

Favorite lyrics:

You are the way, the truth and the life

I live by faith and not by sight

For you, we’re living all for you

It became part of my teenage Christian life. This good music contains wonderful memories of my youth and hearing it again always gives me the same and familiar excitement and fascination my adolescent heart used to feel.

4. None But Jesus – Hillsong

This was my song for God when I was still single. I never looked for a partner because I was preoccupied by a lot of things. I seldom had crushes and committing to a relationship was my last priority. I sometimes regard myself as a plant, living and growing but no physical attraction, no apparent gender. It’s ridiculous to admit but I thought I was too ugly to have a boyfriend. I have been comfortable with plain jeans, t-shirts and sneakers and feminine clothes don’t suit my malnourished and curveless body. Like a plant, another plant isn’t required to get through life. Sunlight and water are all it needs and God was my sun and He ordered the clouds to pour water on me. I was boyish and a NBSB but little did they know, I just had poor self-concept. I thought nobody would love and accept me as who I was because I was hideous, nobody, no one, none but Jesus.

Favorite lyrics:

There is no one else for me

None but Jesus 

Crucified to set me free

Now I live to bring Him praise

5. You Are For Me – Kari Jobe

I found comfort from this song in my first months of working abroad. Frustration and exhaustion at work, culture shock, adjustment period distressed me tremendously but this music helped me carry on. I used to listen to it 10 times a day for many months. Every time I listen to it again I remember how weak I was, how I cried out to God because I needed strength to go on with my life. I remember my darkest days and through this music I found light. I remember how this music lingered in my ears like a voice of angel (Kari Jobe’s voice is angelic) from heaven reminding me of this fact: God will never forsake me in my weaknesses.

Favorite lyrics:

I know that You are for me

I know that You are for me

I know that You will never

Forsake me in my weaknesses

And I know that You have come now

Even if to write upon my heart

To remind me who You are

6. Your Love Never Fails – Chris Quilala

In 2015, I searched good music on YouTube and found this. This music sounds so good and its lyrics hit me like a bullet straight through my heart, bull’s-eye. I admired this curly-haired and handsome Chris Quilala of Jesus Culture for his passion for Jesus. I have listened to it when taking shower, eating meal, heading to my duty, going home from work, every hour and every minute of the day until its melody became the natural beat my heart.

Favorite lyrics:

You stay the same through the ages

Your love never changes

There maybe pain in the night but joy comes in the morning 

And when the oceans rage I don’t have to be afraid

Because I know that you love me

Your love never fails

7. For the Lord Is My Tower – Steve Kuban

To me this is special because this was included in Steve Kuban’s concert on August 8, 2014 which was the first concert we attended together with my significant other. The next day, on August 9, 2014 we became a couple. Yes, I convinced myself to become an old maid but God has better ways and plans for us that we don’t expect. He does care about my love life, doesn’t He?

Favorite lyrics:

For the Lord is my tower and He gives me the power

To tear down the works of the enemy

In a difficult hour He will crush the devourer

And bring the power of darkness underneath my feet

8. Steady My Heart – Kari Jobe 

This is my heartbreak song but as my relationship with God grows maturer, my relationship with my boyfriend also grows stronger. God indeed steadied my heart. He taught me how to handle relationship because I was a novice. He taught me the true meaning of love. I wrote about it on my blog post 3 Things I’ve Learned from My Relationship.

Favorite lyrics:

Even when it hurts, even when it’s hard

Even when the world just falls apart

I will run to you ’cause I know that you are 

Lover of my soul, healer of my heart

You steady my heart

9. Give Me Faith – Elevation Worship 

I wished I was the one who wrote it. This song is my prayer to God when my faith wavers and my doubt increases. Give me faith, Father God. If I would sing my prayer to Him, it would be Give Me Faith.

Favorite lyrics:

Give me faith to trust what You say

That You’re good and Your love is great

I’m broken inside, I give You my life

10. Here In My Life – Hillsong

The first time I heard it my soul knelt down to God and worshipped and since then this song got stuck in my head for several weeks. I am happily diagnosed with Last Song Syndrome. I can still hear my mind singing it if I will just listen. Its lyrics are my unspoken words for God. Jesus, You’re the reason why I live, I breathe, I love, I hope, I forgive, I strive, I persevere, I trust, I pray. You’re the reason why I blog. Without you here in my life I probably will jump off a cliff or ingest poison because there is no reason to exist. I can’t thank you enough so let me kneel down before You.

Favorite lyrics: 

You are my freedom

Jesus you’re the reason

I’m kneeling again at Your throne

Where would I be without You

Here in my life, here in my life

I may add more and more songs to this list as time goes by. God has been using these songs and many other Christian songs to bring us back to Him, to win our hearts, to know Him more, to remind our forgetful souls, to heal and restore our spirit. The song writers and singers are certainly talented people but without Christ in them their songs are merely noise. I am grateful for their lives.

When Praise and Worship Felt Fake

This photo is from Elevation Worship.

I grew up seeing church people freely dance, shout, clap and raise their hands while singing Christian songs in church. I’ve heard a lot of reactions from people with different religions. “I was shocked because I wasn’t expecting a live band,” I heard my friend said who is raised Catholic and is used to solemn Christian music. He was pertaining to our worship team with complete musical instruments include drums, guitars and keyboard. “It’s like a cult. They raise their hands and they murmur weird sounds simultaneously. It’s absurd,” some say. Others tell that born again Christians are insane because they notice that such people aren’t ashamed to express emotion like jumping with joy and shedding tears during praise and worship service. I’ve belonged to a born again Christian family since birth so this kind of church activity isn’t new to me but I tried to put my feet in the shoes of first timer attendees with dissimilar beliefs. I can imagine that they may feel self-conscious with their gestures. They may likely to clap awkwardly and reluctantly not to appear out-of-place with the crowd and they might lift their hands only if asked by the worship leader or a pastor. They may verbalize, “I’m not comfortable,” and decide not to come back again. I understand their comments and also understand the nature of our church service. I am one of the ‘crazy’ Christians who aren’t embarrassed to show emotions while singing. I clap my hands till my palms turn red and sing out loud till my throat hurts. I lift my hands high like I can touch the heaven and my eyes are often misty.

One time, everything seemed weird. I found myself in the midst of singing crowd. The worship leader was out of tune and the back up worshippers were staring blankly at the sheet of paper. The sound of drums were too loud I could barely hear the sound of keyboard. I felt like something was wrong. What were these people thinking as they were raising their hands? Were they doing it out of habit or pressure? Some appeared bored. Others looked like they were just obliged. Was this practice really a cult? Was this how a cult functioned? The way they were swaying their bodies and twisting their heads erratically were urging me to cringe. Was God pleased seeing us like this? I questioned all that I was seeing and I was standing still, stiff, uneasy, and unwilling to move. Was I deluding myself into thinking that this was how genuine Christians were expected to act? The worship leader was a snob before and she was praying like a total saint here. She was singing with eyes shut but I saw her rolled her eyes at me last week. All of a sudden the whole scene felt fake. My hands were too heavy to clap or raise. My eyes wandered every corner of the room like this was some kind of a joke. I couldn’t hear my own voice or someone’s voice next to me because the music was too loud it sounded like a noise. I couldn’t wait to sit down because my knees were sore. I wasn’t enjoying anymore unlike the good old times and I doubted if these people were enjoying too. The next song wasn’t a great choice because its melody was impossible to learn or was it because the musical instruments weren’t synchronized? Lord, if I didn’t dance and sing with them does it mean I don’t love you anymore? I thought. But You see my heart, God and You know that I have adored You since I have accepted You as my Lord and savior. Why do I feel like this? Am I turning away from You? My mind was troubled and images of food flashed in my memory and I was in the church but my heart was at home eating egg pie and melon shake. A song of Elevation Worship snapped me back to reality. I wasn’t like this before because the last time I remember I didn’t want to stop singing. I was ecstatic then. I closed my eyes now because I was distracted by colorful lights which resembled disco lights in the club which was odd because church must occur holy. Lord, show me the truth, I started to pray though everything was a distraction to me. Were You really here in this place or was everything futile? Words from scriptures flashed in my mind.

Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. -Psalm 150:1-5 NIV

The music was escalating.

I need you to soften my heart and break me apart

I need you to open my eyes and see that you’re shaping my life

I wanted to focus on the song and taste every word of its lyrics and my lips slowly curved into a smile for it was sweet. My tense muscles begun to calm as the beautiful music filled the atmosphere. The truthfulness and sincerity of the lyrics soothed my heart and I started to feel at ease as though a heavy load within was pulled out. Every beat of drum, every strum of guitar, every singing voice was now making sense. I kept my eyes closed as I opened my heart to discern the truth because my heart could see what eyes couldn’t. My eyes see what is visible on the outside but a heart sees what is beyond. Are You here, Lord? I opened my mouth to sing my prayer to Him.

Give me faith to trust what you say

I was singing along on top of my lungs and allowing my skepticism evanesced. If it was fake then why my heart and soul were now convinced that it was right? I was owning the music like a personal message to God. Lord, give me faith because there were many things I liked to doubt. Teach me to trust in You. Remind me of Your goodness and love.

Give me faith to trust what you say that You’re good and Your love is great

All the great things God has done and has given to me instantly ran through my mind and my heart was completely overwhelmed with delight.

I’m broken inside I’ll give you my life

I was broken and He made me whole and my heart might be broken again and again and He will not stop picking up the broken pieces of me and create something beautiful out of it. I heard everybody was singing in unison. I heard everybody was crying out to Him. I heard everybody was making sounds of praises. They felt it too! I wasn’t alone. These people were as broken as me but God also made them new. These people understood the pain of life and the happiness in Christ. These people love God as I love Him. I opened my eyes and everything I saw was spectacular. I felt like I was in a heavenly party and everyone was having a great time of their lives. We were passionately singing in harmony. These people were bold in their faith. These people were sinners but God changed their hearts. These fellows were the people I love to spend eternity with.

I may be weak but Your spirit is strong in me

My flesh may fail but my God You never will

I glanced at the worship leader and instantly desired to be like her. I wanted to sing for God. I wanted others to know that I was singing to God so that others would be encouraged to sing. I wanted to please God with my music like what she was doing. I couldn’t see anything in her but passion for Jesus. She was unashamed to be out of tune. She sang with confidence and grace.

All I am I surrender

With eyes shut I look into myself and I was reminded of my flaws and ugliness. Do You see the scars of my heart, Lord? This is all I am, this is all I’ve got. Will You still accept me and love me? My soul was rejoicing because I knew His answer all along. I felt this place was where I belong and this was the truest thing that happened in my life. The next thing I knew was my hands were lifted high in total surrender.

All I am I surrender

This was not insanity because insanity means irrationality. But worshiping and praising God reminds me of the most logical thing in this world: I am a child of God. I am not a piece of crap that stinks. I have a God, a good and merciful Father who knows me more than I know myself. Insanity is a condition of losing sense of reality. But only the heart can see rightly. My mind would persuade me that all was fake and I could criticize and doubt the genuineness of every living soul and went home tired and restless. But when I started to close my eyes and listen to my soul. My soul was yearning for the existence of its Maker. I couldn’t deny the longing in my heart that only my Creator can satisfy. When I began to open my heart and soul, everything looked perfect. Everything occurred marvelous I wanted to holler my thanksgiving, my praise, my worship. Insanity is a state of being sick. But worshiping and praising God refresh my soul. The heavy burden in me is lifted up as I lift my hands to God. I feel healing. I find refuge. No drug can cure a weak spirit. No medicine can cure a weak soul. But only the One who made it.

This is the song, Give Me Faith by Elevation Worship.


Tired of Working for a Living

PicsArt_05-25-06.04.04This is my fifth week of working in graveyard shift for twelve hours a day. I’m not complaining, just giving you an idea of what I’ve been up to lately. I am sometimes light headed when I reach home after work, around ten in the morning and I can’t do anything but crawl into bed and shut my eyes. My body is as vulnerable as a tiny slipper that gets worn out after twelve hours of walking in a rough and muddy road. Sleeping is like a precious gem to me, rare and valuable because it is certainly a blessing if I can manage to sleep in the day for straight four hours uninterrupted by harsh rays of sun or growling stomach without lunch or sometimes breakfast too. Sleeping is also like a clean water, necessary for survival because I’m not a fictional superhero with super resilience and though sometimes I think I’m strong enough but my weak and scrawny physique always betrays me. My weight can’t help but decrease.

I put my earphones on while I was headed to work and I randomly chose a song in my phone. The lyrics went on…

Nothing else matters,
Nothing in this world will do
‘Cause Jesus You’re the center,
Everything revolves around You
Jesus You,
At the center of it all

I was astonished. I heard that song for a thousand times before but at that moment the lyrics hit home. It seemed like I was doing a tough school project for many nights and days. I earned eye bags, gastric ulcer and malnourished body for the sake of the project which was impossible to perfect. Then one day before the deadline came my teacher said, “Who told you that there’s a required project? No need. I already gave you perfect score.” I froze in disbelief and I wanted to shout because I couldn’t contain myself. It felt like I was planning to have a plastic surgery on my face and body because I thought nobody would love me because I was hideous. I was also extremely fearful and anxious about knives but the longing for someone who can adore and value me was stronger than the horrible cuts of blades. But before the procedure a handsome man brought me flowers in my house and told me, “I need to tell you this before it’s too late. Please don’t alter any single part of your body because I love you for who you are.” I was close to tears because of relief and overwhelming bliss. This kind of emotion was the same thing I felt when I heard the song ‘Jesus At The Center’ by Israel and New Breed. I was often thinking about money for the past few months. Money was my reason for enduring sleepless nights. We are all working hard for money, aren’t we? When I was too ill to get up and continue my life I would stare at my passbook and I could muster enough strength to go on. The list of the things I want to purchase was my motivation to work hard even though I was weary and unhappy. I was thinking that those commodities would satisfy and comfort me. Then all of a sudden, I heard a beautiful music saying, “Nothing else matters. Nothing in this world will do. Nothing, nothing else matters. Your money doesn’t matter. Your latest gadget doesn’t matter. Your brand new car doesn’t matter. Your trendy shoes don’t matter. Your bank account doesn’t matter.” My heart cried not because of disappointment but because of solace. I thought earning more money could make me happy and content but I ended up more and more tired and devastated. If money would make me happy then why do I feel like I’m drowning in the deep abyss of misery? I realized that focusing so much on material possession caused me to neglect the most important thing which is eternal. “Cause Jesus You’re the center. Everything revolves around You. Jesus You at the center of it all.” I can’t remember when was the last time I earnestly read the Bible. Nowadays I find it hard to concentrate when I am praying because the world is such a busy place. Wealth is essential in the world but I forgot that when I die everything else that I see now doesn’t matter.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. -Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

The above verses are crystal clear to me. I was tired of working for twelve hours a day and six times a week to earn a living, to build my dream home and to buy the latest DSLR cameras. I can’t just stop working but God put in my heart now and in your hearts as well that these things are not the main reason why we are breathing. We are living for eternity. We are more than this. We are entitled for something more. We are living in this world but we are citizens of heaven.

This song is the message of God to us today:

Run To You

PicsArt_03-31-10.22.34Is there a song that becomes a theme song of your week? During your idle times you find comfort from its lyrics and the melody makes your heart beat in happy rhythm. When you’re on the way for work you put your earphones on and listen to it eagerly and you become two times alive and for a minute you forget the stress and the burden becomes less heavy. I do have a theme song weekly. A song that I keep on listening for a week and I would like to share with you the song “Run To You” by Kari Jobe.

God created us with ability to enjoy good music. It’s like magic how people dance and sing along with a good sound and it amazes me how a song can change our mood and disposition.

“I come alive when I am in your presence.”

Amidst of the chaos and noise of the world which wrinkle my skin and weaken my physique I find myself going back to my hiding place, in God’s presence. I heard a preaching about hiding in the presence of God. Know where to hide. When everything seems dark, hide in God’s wonderful light. When everything seems unbearable, hide in God’s protective hands. I remember a pastor asking why people are running away from God. If only they would know how peaceful and comfortable to be in the presence of the Lord. I understand him because I know the difference of being away and being with God.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of theLord forever.” Psalms 23:2-6 ESV

If your soul doesn’t find contentment and bliss in God’s presence perhaps you haven’t felt the real presence of God yet. Because nothing in this world can give a kind of peace God gives, a kind of security Jesus provides, a kind of zeal God promises.

“Lord, I’m running… Lord I’m running to you… Draw me closer.”

Sometimes work and responsibilities steal us away from Him but Jesus assured that He is just a prayer away. Here is the song.

Everything Is Meaningless

Thanks for my model and my love, Marlon. You are an ornament on my blog.
I couldn’t remember how many pages of books I tried to memorize and summarize, how many cent I tried not to spend so I could give compulsory contribution for school projects and how many sleepless nights and hectic days I spent cramming for test and recitations. Passing all the requirements and examinations to be able to graduate on time is the ultimate goal of a student. When I was a studying I was dreaming of graduating and having a high-paying job to earn money so that I could buy all the luxuries I was deprived of. As a teenager I was so excited yet anxious about the future had to offer because I was looking forward to achieving all my ambitions that I knew could make me utterly happy and content. I couldn’t wait to finish school because studying was so much stressful and I couldn’t stand being a burden to my parents anymore. When I graduated college I dreamed of passing the board exam for nurses after a month of preparation. After I passed the exam I dreamed of a good job in abroad so I applied tirelessly in different agencies. After tears and sweat I got hired and flew to Qatar. My journey in this foreign land is another story. Life never ends after you completed certain goals because there will be another objectives after another which urge us to wake up every morning despite reluctance.

Clock is ticking and I can still remember the moment when I looked at my reflection in the mirror and I saw a timid and malnourished gal with sadness in her eyes because she had no budget to buy a new pair of sneakers she was drooling over for so long. She thought that getting that dream shoes would give her such happiness that she would forget how it feels like to be miserable again. Now, approximately five years passed I sleep with multiple pairs of sneakers sitting under my bed and the bliss I had right after purchasing the commodities was like everything else in this planet, expires. Felicity dies so our insatiable heart longs for bigger things to attain which will surely satisfy us more. Why should we settle for a pair of shoes when we can afford a department store? My eyes sparkle in merriment whenever I imagine myself dwelling in a house of my dream with enormous parking space for my polished black sports car. But there were moments when I felt like I could barely keep up the pace of life. My reflection in the mirror scares me now. I see things which aren’t there before, the fine lines in my forehead and under my eyes, constant eye bags and dry skin that scream how fast I have aged. Is working half of our lives to reach our ambitions enough to make us really fulfilled in life? I praise the Lord I got to encounter Him because if I don’t, perhaps I am still searching for the meaning of life. I may wander aimlessly to find real happiness only to find out that happiness the world brings is all temporary. Perhaps I can achieve my biggest dreams but still feel empty because at the end of the day, all the wealth of the Earth doesn’t matter. We will all return to dust and if I haven’t known God I was terrified of death because without Him, death is darkness but understanding His Word, death is going home. Rick Warren says ‘at death we won’t leave home, we’ll go home. In Philippians 1:21 says “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Perhaps if I don’t know God, my life is driven by selfish inclination and I may end up with depression because everything in this world is pointless.

Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. -Ecclesiastes 3:19 – 20 NIV

Ecclesiates is written by King Solomon in his old age. If we read the book of Ecclesiates we will discern his depression that resulted from seeking happiness from temporary things. He was like most of us, seeking meaning of life in every worldly pleasure but none has given him sense of meaning.

So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. -Ecclesiastes 2:17-18

Then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it. -Ecclesiastes 8:17 NIV

Solomon was a king of Israel who was very wise and very rich but despite all those things that God had given him he had hated life. He had everything but he said that everything had no meaning. In conclusion he had written these:

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. -Ecclesiates 12:13-14 NIV

In conclusion, without God in our lives everything has no significance. We are born to study, work, get married and have kids, work and work some more until we cripple and die. There’s no huge difference between human beings and animals because both have same destiny: eternal oblivion, death. But with the presence of God we see things differently. God is telling us that we are more special than any living creature because we have soul and spirit. When I lost my loved ones I asked myself, why is it very hard to move on and accept that we will no longer see the person who died? Then I understand that God put eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) because we are created to spend eternity with Him. We are created to live forever but sin separated us from God (It is in the book of Genesis) but not anymore now because Jesus saved us from condemnation (Romans 5:9). Everything in this world is meaningless because everything in here is perishable but as children of the Lord, we are created with a purpose and a value. Our physical bodies rot but our souls will go back to where we belong.

and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. -Ecclesiastes 12:7 NIV

Let’s end this with a music.