On My Playlist: Need Jesus?

I pray that this playlist will speak to you as much as its speaking to me, leaving me to want AND NEED more of Jesus.

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Thirty -five days to go before camp and there are SO many things that I want to write and share but I cannot find time yet — I know no excuses but…. 😪. (Note to self: I will find time this week to sit down, meditate and finally come up with a decent blog. So help me God.)

But I still have a few minutes to spare so I’m sharing my playlist today.

The past days, I found myself needing the Lord all the more in my life. Not only because its camp season but because I just know for a fact that I have been not faithful in talking to the Lord the past days. Just like what Josh said last night in our YPC meeting, yes we all pray but that’s us talking to the Lord — how about the Lord talking to us? And the only way that the Lord will be able to speak to us is through reading and meditation of His Word. You might find yourself reading self-help or spiritual books, checking online devotions or listening to worship songs (just like what I’m doing, thanks Spotify!) BUT if we don’t stop, remove ALL the distractions, open our bible and really seek the Lord then stop fooling yourself, you’re not spending time with Him. (And I am not exempted, I also speak for myself.)

So I pray that this playlist will speak to you as much as its speaking to me, leaving me to want AND NEED more of Jesus:

ON MY PLAYLIST: NEED JESUS?

  • All I Need Is You – Hillsong United
  • The Stand – Hillsong United
  • Search My Heart – Hillsong United
  • Broken Vessels – Hillsong Worship
  • Fill Me Up – Jesus Culture Ft. Kim Walker-Smith
  • In The River – Jesus Culture Ft. Kim Walker-Smith
  • How He Loves – Jesus Culture Ft. Kim Walker-Smith
  • 10, 000 Reasons – Jesus Culture Ft. Kim Walker-Smith
  • Touch The Sky – Hillsong United
  • Stay And Wait- Hillsong United
  • Sinking Deep – Hillsong Young & Free
  • Wake – Hillsong Young & Free
  • Love Is War – Hillsong United
  • Spirit Break Out – Kim Walker-Smith
  • I Want To Know You – Jesus Culture
  • Come To Jesus – Planetshakers
  • Cry In My Heart- Starfield

Hope that this week you will be able to find time to sit at the foot of the throne. Wifi off, phone on silent, closed eyes, no distractions. Just you and the Lord. ❤⚓

PS: Broken Vessels has gotta be my favorite. 💛

On My Playlist: Ft. Stay and Wait

Whatever circumstances you are in right now, I hope today that as you listen to this song you will be encouraged to just stay and wait. To hold fast in His word. To praise His name even in the darkness. To trust His heart and lift up His name. To fix our eyes on Jesus, the God of wonder and the God of grace, and never look back.

Good morning. 💛 I was planning to blog about something yesterday but last week has been so busy with all our camp preparations for the devotional materials that all I did was just sleep. 💤 But I promise, on Saturday, I’ll post another entry. 😺

Its Monday today and I’m starting a habit to de-clutter my mind first before I start working – by listening to a worship song, reading a good book or blogging. And today’s song feature is: Stay and Wait by Hillsong United. I loved the lyrics the first time I read it! I was just actually scanning through Hillsong’s Zion album and saw the title (shempre may wait part so baka love song about waiting itey lol but I loved it all the more when I read the lyrics cos it talks about being steadfast in trusting the Lord and His grace.)

Here it goes:

*****

“Stay And Wait”

Who spoke the Earth and sky to form
Who sets the sun and calls the dawn
Who breathed me out of dust to life
With the will to trust or run and hide

I will stay should the world by me fold
Lift up Your name as the darkness falls
I will wait and hold fast to Your word
Heart on Your heart and my eyes on Yours

Who loved me through my rebel way
Who chose to carry all my shame
Who breaths in me with endless life
The king of glory Jesus Christ

I will stay should the world by me fold
Lift up Your name as the darkness falls
I will wait and hold fast to Your word
Heart on Your heart and my eyes on Yours

God of wonder and God of grace
Let my soul stand always to praise You
Fix my eyes on Your perfect way
And I’ll never look back

I will stay should the world by me fold
Lift up Your name as the darkness falls
I will wait and hold fast to Your word
Heart on Your heart and my eyes on Yours

Who lifts the poor and heals the blind
Who trampled death for all mankind
Who stands for all with arms stretched wide
My King forever Jesus Christ

 

Whatever circumstances you are in right now, I hope today that as you listen to this song you will be encouraged to just stay and wait. To hold fast in His word. To praise His name even in the darkness. To trust His heart and lift up His name. To fix our eyes on Jesus, the God of wonder and the God of grace, and never look back.

Enjoy the song and God bless the rest of your week! 💙⚓

Overcoming Fears From The Past

We all have fears we need to conquer. Some we can move on from in an instant, some we’ll need forever to understand. But the same God who has carried me through the most meaningful experience of pain I had when I lost my dad is the same God who can show you that there is hope after every losing battle.

jesus

Disclaimer: This will be a long post since I’ll be sharing a personal experience. Please be patient or not, you decide. 😆

Last week has been the longest week of my life – okay I’m exaggerating, but you get the point. 😂

Josh had dengue. His fever started Saturday after lunch and continued on until Sunday. He went to the hospital Saturday late afternoon but was told to go back Monday since he still cannot be tested for dengue (he was told that it takes 2 to 7 days incubation of the virus before it manifests, or something to that extent, please don’t quote me though 😁). By Monday morning, he had a blood test and was said to have a 129 platelet count. He was then asked to return the next day for another blood test so they could see if his platelets will go down from there. Monday night came, he was already vomiting. So Tuesday morning, his parents already brought him to the hospital, had a blood test and yep, his platelets decreased to 110. That same day he was admitted.

So with all that happening, of course the girlfriend got terribly worried. Overthinking and paranoia does not really go well together. (So friends remember, don’t feed those thoughtsBe careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. – Proverbs 4:23 NCV) But I am not here to talk about myself as a girlfriend, or about how hard it was for me choo-choo. This is not a mushy post about my boyfriend. I wanted to highlight something else here. I am writing about this because I want to share something more important, I want to talk about fear and what the Lord has revealed to me about my heart through this experience with the hope that it could help you in some way.

[The very reason why I am overly affected is because] Ever since my dad died, I had this fear of sudden death. When my dad died, it caused me too much pain. Too much that in every corner of our house, I would stop and just cry. I also stopped keeping a planner and remembering happy moments. For years, I protected myself by practicing to easily forget anything that makes me happy. I thought to myself that at least when someone else dies, I won’t remember that much and the pain won’t be as much as well.

[Here’s the backstory, allow me to waste your time a little bit longer] My dad died while he was away from home. He was aboard ship in Russia, veryyyyyy far from us. Heart attack, as his death certificate indicated. But based on the hospital’s record, he was admitted for more or less 8 hours before he passed on. And the battle of not knowing what actually happened was the hardest. That feeling that you just have to accept things as they were and just move on. My mom, my sisters and brother did not have much choice but to move forward and just accept the fact that dad is gone THAT FAST. Thirty-three days after niya sumakay ng barko, twenty-one days after his birthday and just nine days after my college graduation. It was a terrible terrible terrible feeling. Even up to this day, I still remember how heart-wrenching that experience was for us – personally for me, especially as I was the closest to him, I was the youngest daughter, his favorite [they say]. It was then an ongoing battle in my mind. It was a struggle. To trust the Lord and to get over what had happened. I realized how short life was. How things can change in just a span of 8 hours. How your plans can never go your way and how sometimes, you won’t have a choice but to work your way out through the dreadful circumstances life throws at you. After three years, by the grace of God, I was completely healed. I can declare with all of my heart that God is still good. His plans are sovereign even at the times that we do not understand, and by faith, all things work together for the good.

But you know fear has its own way of slowly creeping in. When Josh told me, he was positive for dengue, my mind got way ahead of me. I started thinking of the worst scenarios (blood transfusion, critical blood test results etc.) based on the stories of the people who had dengue. I started worrying so much and before I knew it, fear has already taken over my mind and my heart. I could not get any sleep. I woke up every two hours, checking up on Josh even if I know he wouldn’t be able to reply because he feels too weak. I was even checking up on my mom if she was okay, checking if everyone in the house is still alive and breathing. I was just so paranoid to lose another loved one that I already forgot about God – to submit to His sovereignty over my life and the lives of the people around me.

And the hardest thing about the whole situation, dengue has no definite and medically-acclaimed cure. Day after day, the nurses will just check you for a blood test, check your blood pressure, check if you have no signs of bleeding and check for signs of neurological changes or if you’re already becoming lethargic. They’ll double check if you still know your complete name and birthday, in short, kung aware ka pa sa sarili mong katinuan. And as the patient, all you have to do is….. Well, wait until the platelets will go up again and make sure your immune system is strong enough to combat the virus. Drink water, eat fruits, get enough sleep. But because the nurse comes in and out of the room for the daily check-up and blood test after 12 hours (every after 6 hours on Josh’s day 4 and 5 as it were the critical phase, his platelets went down to 44 and 38), its not easy to get that enough, uninterrupted sleep.

Now here’s what I realized from the entire waiting experience – a different kind of waiting experience I must say:

1. You have to leave your fears of the past in the past. The wife of our NewGen pastor told me, “Not all situations are the same”.  Yes, you may go through the same things at different times. You perhaps experienced a same situation in the past and the outcome then was heartbreaking and painful (just like what happened to me) that it has now created fear in your heart. It greatly affected you, the way you think, the way you relate to people, the way you react to situations. You’ve built walls, you’ve been consumed by your worries and doubts. And without you noticing it, fear already has a foothold in your heart and have overpowered your faith. I repeat, NOT ALL SITUATIONS ARE THE SAME. Learn how to trust the Lord as you go through that trial (again), learn to surrender the pain and the anxiety it caused in the past so you won’t have to carry them to the present. The same God that have saved you then is the same God that will lead you through the current valleys in your life.

2. Prayer changes our hearts. Most of the time while we wait, we pray not because we come to God with a genuine heart of submitting to His will. We pray demanding that He should do something for us and expecting to have something good to come out from it – “because we prayed”. Day after day, I was praying to the Lord that the next blood tests will have better results. And day after day, I was let down. Platelets are still decreasing. While it is good to have faith in the Lord, to declare Him being in control of every situation, we have to realize that prayers are not magic pills. Not because we prayed about it, we’ll already get the result we expect to have. Prayer does not work that way. Instead, we should pray because we want to invite the Lord as we go through a disheartening or challenging situation. We should pray because we want the Lord to give us peace. We should pray because we trust the Lord and His will over our life. Yes, we may not all the time get our expected result but it will give our heart peace and courage to face what we are and will be going through.

3. Wait with faith. I was doing my own research and consultations from my friend in med school and while everything Josh was experiencing was really part of the dengue phase, I was getting impatient. I wanted to fast track everything. I believe in my heart that Josh will be safe and he is in good hands, I was telling myself, its just dengue Mae, compared naman to other sicknesses and diseases some people are going through. (But I cannot also dismiss the fact that in snap, a lot can happen) My bestfriend, being the supportive that she was, sent me a verse and was rebuked by the Lord through Psalm 112:

Praise the Lord! How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. [Psalm 112:1, 6-8 NLT)

Even if I have been a Christian and have become a leader for more or less 6 years now, the Lord is continuously teaching me new things. I was reminded to not let current circumstances dishearten me. He revealed to me the importance of having to wait with faith – to be faithful in prayer even if the situations don’t get better. Wait on the Lord with faith. Whatever your fears are, lay it down at the foot of the cross and believe in the power of His Word: Put your confident trust in the Lord for He will take care of you.

We all have fears we need to conquer. Some we can move on from in an instant, some we’ll need forever to understand. But the God who has carried me through the most meaningful experience of pain I had when I lost my dad is the same God who can show you that there is hope after every losing battle. 

My fear from the past still stings from time to time but I know for a fact that it could not and should never hold me down. Remember if God is for us, who can be against us?

PS: Josh has been discharged already last Sunday and is now in Cebu with our NewGen pastor ministering to a youth camp. Thank you for everyone who prayed!  💪

josh asian.jpg

💛⚓

Psalm 90:12

I hope that today, as you read this (if you actually will), you will find that urge to pray and seek the Lord for wisdom. I pray that you will grasp the brevity and shortness of life and finally take action. Life is too short. Make wise decisions. You’re here to live and not just to survive. There’s a huge difference between the two.

“Teach us to realize the brevity and shortness of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12 NLT)
Woke up with this question in my head:
“If I’m about to go today, am I ready?”
Then I read that verse. Life is too short, really. One day you’re okay then the next day, you’ll receive a text from your sister about losing your dad to a heart attack. (True story by the way) And all of a sudden, your whole life will change forever. And this had happened not only to me but to friends I know who lost their loved ones either to an accident or to a sickness. As cliche as it may sound, life is too short to waste on things that is not worth your time. We wake up everyday and go on with our same routines, then when you check your phone calendar, weeks – sometimes months – have already passed. And yep, your days just went by like that. Then you think about where did all those months go… You’re still at the same place, have accomplished little by doing the same things over and over and have not felt fulfilled all those times. You check your life and you still have all those anger, regrets, baggage. You still haven’t went to that place you wanted to go to, you still haven’t saved, you still haven’t made amends with that person you’ve had broken relationships with, you still haven’t pursued that goal you wanted ever since you started your career, you still haven’t talked and forgiven your mom or dad. And you still have not opened your bible, you still do not know what your purpose is and where your life is headed. I hope that today, as you read this (if you actually will), you will find that urge to pray and seek the Lord for wisdom. I pray that you will grasp the brevity and shortness of life and finally take action. Life is too short. Make wise decisions. You’re here to live and not just to survive. There’s a huge difference between the two. Find your purpose, seek direction for your life. Do not settle with just waking up to do the same things over and over again. Live your life wisely and live it well (Psalm 90:12 MSG).
💛⚓

On My Playlist: Set 1

So I’m starting a new blog string where I’ll share my playlist  wherever and whenever I’m listening – whether I’m in the office, running on the treadmill at the gym or just at home reading or blogging.

And since I need some motivation today and something to lift my spirit up, here’s today’s set while I do my paper works in the office.

ON MY PLAYLIST: SET 1 

  • Good Good Father – Christ Tomlin
  • Unashamed – Starfield
  • Give Me Faith – Elevation Worship
  • Holy Spirit – Jesus Culture & Kim Walker Smith
  • Your Love Never Fails – Jesus Culture
  • Rooftops – Jesus Culture & Kim Walker Smith
  • Set Me Ablaze – Jesus Culture & Katie Torwalt
  • Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) – Hillsong United
  • Lead Me To The Cross – Hillsong United
  • Anchor – Hillsong Worship
  • Touch The Sky – Hillsong United

I needed to hear these songs today, really.

(Next time if I have more time, I’ll insert video links so you can check it out. It may lift up your spirit too. 😊)

❤⚓

25 Get to Know Me Q’s

Since my site has a new theme and I feel like doing a new post before I head to the gym, let me introduce myself to you more. 😉 I searched for some about me posts and here are answers to what I found from someone’s blog post 25 Get To Know Me Q’s (just edited a few questions though). 😁

25 Get to Know Me Q’s

1. What is your first name? Svetlara Mae 💙 And I think you won’t find anyone with the same name as mine (or if you do, the probability is like 1 out of 10). 😸

2. What was favorite subject at school? When I was in highschool, I’ve always loved my Speech Class primarily because we did essay writings, speech choirs and debates there. And sige, Calculus. Haha! Not because I love Math (cos I am not actually good at it) but it challenged me to the core. My classmates in highschool can attest to that. 😂 In college, I love International Law. And I thank God I got one of the best INTLAW professors ever! 😁 (Actually I’ve been thinking to go to law school after college, but I don’t think I can live with the sacrifice of going to one.)

3. What is your favorite drink? Starbucks Peppermint Mocha and Wendy’s Strawberry Frosty 👌

4. What is your favorite song at the moment? Yellow by ColdplayGood Good Father by Housefires II and Dead Come Alive 💚

5. What is your favorite food? Taco Bell’s soft tacos and quesadilla Sbarro’s zitti and Chilli’s fish and chips 😍

6. What is the last thing you bought? Gym leggings and gym socks 👅 Seryosohan na talaga to sa gym! 😹

7. Favorite book of all time? That would be Harry Potter 1 to 7 and the bible 👌

8. Favorite Color? Well now, its Pink and Gold. Its usually the brightest or darkest shade of Pink and Gold (or anything that sparkles) 😁

9. Do you have any pets? None. Honestly, I’m afraid of dogs and cats so I will probably get a fish for a pet.

10. Favorite Perfume? I don’t like perfumes that much, I’ve been using Johnson’s and Johnson Powder Mist baby cologne for as long as I know. 😊

11. Favorite Holiday? Christmas holidays! WITHOUT A DOUBT 💙 I love the spirit of joy and kindness it brings, I love buying and wrapping gifts, all the reunions and all the family times. 💗

12. Are you married? No, not yet. 😉

13. Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?  Not yet. Actually, I really want to but I want to travel with Josh. But we want to travel together once we get married. 😸

14. Do you speak any other language? I studied Spanish back in college but it did not stick as much as I want to. I’m better at writing though, than speaking it.

15. How many siblings do you have? I have two older sisters and one younger brother. So yep, I am a middle child with all the middle child syndrome and issues. BEFORE. Thank God He changed my heart. Really. Read my post about it: Freedom Reigns 👌

16. What is your favorite shop? Japan Store, no kidding 😄 And any bazaar that features washi tapes, pens and other art crafts. 😍

17. Favorite restaurant? Without a doubt, Chilli’s. 👌

18. When was the last time you cried? Last week? During worship time in our youth service. 💙

19. Favorite Blog? Well actually I’m just new again to the blogging world so I haven’t found any blogsites that I really like and follow yet. Of course, except Maine Mendoza‘s. 😻

20. Favorite Movie? The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, Blended. 💛 Actually all Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler movies! And Harry Potter, Avengers series, Batman. Fast and the Furious series, The Hunger Games, Gone in 60 Seconds. Actually, I have a lot of favorites. But the movie that I can watch over and over again without getting tired is really The Wedding Singer. ❤

21. Favorite TV shows? FRIENDS is probably on top of my list! But I also binge-watch Grey’s Anatomy, The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother. 😸

22. PC or Mac?: Any good use laptop will do. I don’t know much about gadgets, hehe.

23. What phone do you have? Samsung S5 (I’m waiting for Samsung S7, hope the price is friendly enough for me to swipe my card for it lol 😂)

24. How tall are you? 5 feet (crying inside 😹)

25. Can you cook? People think I don’t but I do. And I think its an innate talent in our family cos my dad is really a great cook. 👌

So there you go, time to head to the gym. Wish me luck. 😸 ⚓

 

My Two and Seventy Five Cents 👌

My two (and seventy five) cents that I’ve been seriously thinking about for days. Not to convince anyone of my belief or force them to side with me but this is for me. For me to rightfully assess where my faith and stand is. Homosexuality has been there since Sodom and Gomorrah, but the main point here is about marriage. The way God designed marriage – for a man & woman – in accordance to their callings as husband and wife. And yes, the bible is offensive. Especially if you are a sinner, whether or not you’re a homosexual. I actually get offended by the bible, even by preachers. And that ‘s totally fine, because we have to identify what’s right from wrong, good from evil. So no need for condemnation, there’s the bible for it. I am sure one of these days, same sex marriages will be legalized and the norm would be totally different from what it was before and what it is today. And by law, that is their human right, to be equally acknowledged and to get the freedom a man or a woman gets to enjoy. Still, let’s respect the fact that my desire (as well as most Christians) for my future kids is to stand true to their faith and be Christ followers according to His teachings. Yes, no person can ultimately follow everything that is written in the Word but Christianity is not about being perfect. It is about pursuing the Lord – that in all our shortcomings as a sinful human, we find peace in repenting from our sins and deciding again to follow Him. A daily pursuit of our faith in Jesus and obedience to His Word. That’s all it is. Bottomline: I want a marriage (and promote one) where the man functions as the husband and the woman functions as the wife – emotionally, mentally, spiritually and EVEN sexually. I want that because I want to experience the beauty of it all the way my God designed it to be. 💙

(And no, I will not engage in any discussion about this. Either you just read it or just read it. 😉💛)