Where’s Jesus?

Let me tell you a story of that time men were on a boat during a storm, in pitch black darkness, with howling winds and strong rains. And they were missing one person in the boat. The horror. Spoiler: the “missing” one got them out of the storm

To steady the fears of the disciples in the boat, Jesus did not say “You guys can weather this storm, hang on.” (Trusting on our own strength isn’t enough. And maybe he won’t use ‘guys’.)

He did not say “This storm shall pass, trust that it shall pass.” (Sometimes it’s hard to gather peace from a circumstantial silver lining that is still distant despite how sure it may be.)

Instead, he said that it is him with them during that storm. The rock. The maker and holder of all things. The compassionate father who hears every prayer.

“It is I.”

If the great I AM is for us, who can be against us? Neither strong wind and rain outside, nor any raging storm inside us. That’s his promise. And the only way to find out if a promise is true is holding on to it until it happens.

Who are you trusting with your storms?

(T)his Love

Ever had that one person you’ve fought so hard for? That you did everything to keep that person? Your heart ablaze, your mind set. Justified in our heads that “I love (blank). (Blank) is worth it”.

Some years ago, someone did what it would take to win you back.
From enemy to child. From fallen to found. From rebel to royalty.

Some years ago, someone did what it would take to keep you and nothing can take you away from his love. Not your past. Not your fears. Neither death nor life, nor things present nor things to come,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation

He fought for you and I. He fought a good fight. He fought hard, fought on our behalf because we’ll never be in fighting form nor win left to ourselves. He fought death.

He gave his best on the cross, was buried and–proving He is the Son of God– rose three days later. He gave nothing less than what it would take to pay for, not his debts, but ours. To win YOU back, because YOU are worth it.

But now He’s close. And you are His again.

When we fought for that one person, we dropped everything, did whatever it would take. I pray that as we fight to keep God front and center of our lives, we set our eyes on doing whatever it takes to keep the Love of our lives. It would take a lot of trusting and faith, but worth it. May we fall in love everyday with he who is so in love with us.

Jesus replied, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” -Matthew 22:37 (ESV)

Patintero

Tumakbo,
Nadapa,
Bumangon.
Hinahabol ng anino
Ang nakaraang hindi na sana maulit
Mga maling nililimot nang pilit

Nakinig,
Nalungkot,
Nalito.
Nagtaka kung naririnig Mo ba
talaga ‘ko
Bawat hinaing ng damdaming walang magawa
Sa pagkalugmok ng mga taong mahalaga
Iniisip kung hanggang saan kaya
Hanggang saan ko kaya?
Nang maalala kong walang-hanggan nga pala
Ang pangako Mo nang pinili mong magpapako

Pinili Mo ko at ang krus
Pinili Mong bawiin ako sa lungkot at dilim
Pinili Mong makita ang takip-silim
Pinili Mo kami
Pinili Mo sila
Pinili Mo… ako

Ako na isang batang hindi alam minsan ang ginagawa
Isang musmos na lahat ng makintab, maganda at mainit sa palad ko’y ikinatutuwa
Isang tulad kong nahulog mula sa dati nating pagiging magkapareha
Pero pinili Mo pa rin… ako

Tinanggap Mo ang pagiging tulay
Sa pagitan ko at ng aking Tatay
Pinili Mong mabuhay dito sa mundo
Kinutya ka man, pinaghinalaan, tinakwil ng mga kaibigan Mo
Hindi na ko magtataka
Na alam Mo ang puso ko pati ng iba
Dahil naging tao Ka at nagpakumbaba

Kapag gabi ay napakahirap
Lahat ng problema patuloy akong inuuga
Ayaw patulugin kahit pagod na
Lahat ng nangyari’y bumabalik
Lahat ng dati ay tumatabi sa akin
Tila bang eto na naman
Tila bang wala akong matatakbuhan
Tila bang wala akong ligtas
Walang pag-asa sa mali’t nakasanayan
Nang maalala ko…

Hindi ‘to totoo,
Niligtas Mo na ‘ko
Hindi ‘to totoo,
Mahal Mo ko
Hindi ‘to totoo,
Tiyak ang pagbabago
Tiyak ang bagong buhay na posible dahil Sa’yo
Tiyak,
Totoo,
Ipinangako.

Sa bawat Salita Mo ako’y hahawak
Sa bawat araw na tila huli ko na
Sa bawat oras na parang sapat na
Hihinga ako
Hihinga pa
Hihinga nang malalim
Babanggitin ang Iyong ngalan
Ang ngalan ng Ama
Ang tanging pangalan na nakapagpatama ng lahat
Ang tanging pag-ibig na kailangan ng puso kong nasaktan
Ang tanging tinig na saki’y nakakapagpatahan
Ikaw lang.

Tumakbo,
Nadapa,
Bumangon.
Ang sikat ng araw ang haplos Mo s’aking mukha
Na tila ginigising ako,
Binabatid na ang araw ay magiging maganda
Na tila hinele ako sa gabing akala ko’y huli na
Walang huli
Walang maaga
Lahat sa perpekto Mong oras
Walang sayang
Walang itatapon
Lahat nagiging maganda
Lahat ayon sa plano Mo
Na ang buhay ko ay hinding-hindi na magiging tulad nung una
Na ako’y magagamit para sa buhay ng iba

Napagod,
Nagduda,
Natauhan.
Sa pintig ng aking kalooban
Parang bulong na kaya ko pa
Ang boses Mong pamilyar na pamilyar
Hindi ko alam
Hindi ko alam kung bakit mahal Mo pa
Ang mapag-alinlangan Mong anak na laging nasa putikan
O di kaya’y nagtatago sa kuweba
Hindi ko maintindihan
Kahit saang lupalop ako kumaripas,
Nakasunod Ka
Kahit saang mababang lugar na akala ko’y walang nakakaalam
Nandun Ka
Hindi Ka daw napapagod
Marunong Ka lang daw magmahal
Dahil Ikaw ang Pagmamahal

Nabuhay,
Namatay,
Nasa kanan ng Ama.

Midweek Music: Never Stop by Urban Rescue

Re-post from Saved.ph

urbanrescue_wildheart_plain_banner_2560x14401copy

Feel-good, light, joyful, festive.

From Urban Rescue’s full-length album WILD HEART, Never Stop is the perfect song for anyone who finds themselves in a dip or a slump. Does your bes feel like God doesn’t love her anymore? Put earphones on her, play this on your iPod and see a smile etch across her face. The song reminds us of God’s relentless, endless and persistent love. Regardless of the place we find ourselves in—the valleys and the shadows– God will chase us and bring us back to His love, conquering canyons of fears and oceans of tears. He will be there in the lowest places and darkest hours because compared to His love there is “no mountain higher, no river wider”.

Never Stop perfectly depicts the awesome God who is bigger than anything and yet closer to us than anything else in this world. The song describes God as the sunshine on our skin, as the moon that pulls anything close to it, and—much closer—He’s closer than the air we breathe.

Following the simple but meaningful verses, the song’s bridge perfectly depicts the finished work of Christ in which we are victorious over sin as He has paid the price on the cross, making sin lose its foothold over us.

“I see my chains unraveling
All of my shame for victory
I feel my heart run wild and free
There is no place I’d rather be”

The song’s upbeat melody balances this impactful reminder of God’s love for us.

Never Stop helps one sing praise for the daily renewing of our souls, the re-installed communication line we have with God and the hope against all the world’s hopelessness, all made possible through Jesus Christ.

For the wages of sin is death,
but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. –Romans 6:23


Writer’s Bio: Joy is a freelance marketing consultant who writes songs about Jesus, and curates play lists on Spotify, outside of work hours. She keeps a blog (joycamillegomez.wordpress.com) to journal her days of being young-in-the-Lord.

Read more encouraging stories and devotionals. Visit http://saved.ph and subscribe via email!

Untitled

You’re in every sunset and sunrise
You ordain each day’s start and end
You’re in my every breath that which yours began
From nothing, you made this woman

You’re in the silence,
You take me when the quiet gets loud
You’re in between the cracks of my heart
You heal and restore what no one can

You fill me up at my emptiest,
You chase me at my most scared
You’re here when I thought you’ve gone
You’re in the darkness where I doubt your presence

You’re in the light I cover my eyes from
You’re in every thought of my loved ones of me
You’re in every kind gesture and disciplining
You’re in places I don’t see

Your spirit lives in me
You died that you may never leave
What have I done to deserve your holy presence?
What work did I do to deserve a life with you?

In my fallen nature you loved me, still
At my worst, you sent your son for me
There is nothing man can do to be forgiven
But you did, through Christ, you did

Your wrath had to be upon Him
That your love may fill earth again
That your children may be back to your arms
You run and clothe them, took the steps they should have taken

Remind me of the good things,
Bad places you delivered me from
Speak louder that I may hear
What you’re trying to make me reckon

I try and fail, O God
At times I ask why I even try
And yet it’s in you I have found reason
I can keep trying because with you I can

The Marketing Team is Composed of Everyone

It was hard to believe at first: All businesses are in the marketing business, all employees are marketing specialists.

This perspective helped me see how marketing is a collaborative effort for everyone in the company. And how marketing efforts will only succeed if everyone is in it. It doesn’t stop with the company shirts printed out and worn by the employees, with the layout, supplier and cost approved by the marketing head. It matters, too, how the employees wearing the shirts are doing. Say, in an event, a grumpy employee wearing the shirt with tatterred jeans can set a different notion about the company compared to that of an employee wearing the same shirt with a blazer and cheerfully greeting everyone.

In John Jantsch’s book Duct Tape Marketing, he defines marketing as the system in which you make people:

  1. know
  2. like
  3. trust
  4. contact
  5. refer

you.

In a company, it isn’t just the marketing team who wants these 5 things to happen. More so, they’re not the only people who get to meet clients (Hi, Account Management.); improve on the product and service (Product Management, looking at you.); or get people fit for the role and the culture (Hello, HR.) Everyone in the company would want their company to be known, liked, trusted, contacted and referred. And the good news is everyone can take part in making that happen.

Some may probably ask, how can that happen? Every touch point of business-to-client is an opportunity to either make them know, like, trust, contact or refer you, or drive them away.  Which means every email you shoot, every meeting they agree to, every interesting website article you post– all this can help or botch your chance of bringing them closer to entrusting you in providing solutions for their needs. It lies on how you do it. How thorough the planning was before execution, how able and empowered your people are, how consistently applied your company’s values are throughout your team. With the right how’s and the the 5 goals above as your why, marketing shouldn’t be a daunting task .

But how about small businesses? They’re not part of this, right? Small businesses actually have a pool of low cost marketing in their hands– their own product and service, and word of mouth. They don’t need to throw in a lot of cash to be successful at marketing their business. While everyone is trying to figure out what marketing really means and which agency to tap, the excellent work you do will speak for itself. This will be the backbone of every marketing effort. Dare I say that the excellent work is part of the marketing effort.

Marketing is a fun day-to-day grind for everyone in the company. You just might not know it, but you’re already doing a great job at it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enough

When we accept our shortcomings, or the fact that we cannot be perfect, it’s a path to setting expectations– for other people and most especially ourselves. However, in a world with so much competition, so many badges and titles out there to earn, we can’t help but get lost in the rat race. There’s a desire to be the best not just professionally but even at home or in relationships . At least from my end, I did want to be the best in everything. It’s where I hinged my value then as a person. I’d take criticism at work personally and spend hours too many slaving to finish everything. (But since it’s work, it never ends. That’s just how it is. They won’t need us employees when work actually ends.)

It was a dangerous place for me to be in, wanting to prove my worth in every aspect of life. We don’t even have to as we were already made with worth. All of Creation, everything, was created by words except for one. God dirtied His hands to form man and breathed life into us.

Then the Lord God took some soil from the ground and formed a man* out of it; he breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live. -Genesis 2:7

It’s a blessing to have people in our lives– people we love and love us as much — who understand that everyone’s a work in progress. It is only through acknowledging that any role we are gunning for (or already have) will never feel sufficient that we allow the Source of all things to empower us and continuously fill us. He’d remind us we need not be promoted to feel special. That we need not be in a romantic relationship for us to feel loved. That we can and should rest on the 7th day as He made this for us and it doesn’t lessen our value. He didn’t need to rest. But even that He blessed us with.

Labels on earth are temporal, as they are material and can get banal; You won’t always be the Employee of the Year. They’re historical, as belonging to the past; You’d be something to someone only in this life.

Not to say that accolades are bad. Just that we don’t have to kill ourselves over something just so we can say we’re the best. In the end, if getting there only made us miserable, have other parts of our life falter and sent our principles down the drain

what’s the trophy for?

Does the trophy symbolize the joy of the process? The surprise that your silent excellence was noticed? Or does it symbolize everything we had to compromise?

I wanted to be best everything. The problem is the world has limited resources to fill a void of self-worth. Only the Source of all things that which never runs out can fill that void. We may have felt that we’ve given everything but it didn’t seem to be enough. Relationships, career, solving problems of society or our friend’s. It’s futile. It’s like wanting to fill their cup with  wine from a bottle that has a hole on the side. Our worth is and always will be from the One who made us. It’s not a one time big time. It’s everyday that I need to return to Him who made me so I won’t forget, or on days after I forget.

The good thing about finding worth in Christ is He’s *The One* who could have a say on what I really am; Not other people. He made me, saved me, looks after me every waking hour and when I sleep, searches the deepest trenches where I hide, gives me grace in every step I commit to take with Him. He’s my Maker, Father and Keeper. I can be called many things. But above all, loved by God. And He loves *you*, too. Immensely. More than anyone can ever. You don’t have to be the best in everything. You’re enough.

A good friend’s mom told me once, the day her husband shared the gospel with me, that there’s a Jesus-shaped void in our hearts. I guess that’s why we find ourselves in an endless cycle of longing-acquiring-longing as we try to patch it with the wrong things. Guess who’s the One who is (more than) enough to fill that. 🙂

 

good things

My 2015 self giving some advice

*Genesis 2:7 The Hebrew words for “man” and “ground” have similar sounds.