Israel Houghton & New Breed

I had an opportunity to watch the concert of Israel Houghton & his band New Breed here in Singapore last February 16. It was only last year when I got introduced to the music of this multi-talented artist as we at the worship team of our church would often sing a lot of his songs during Sunday services (and they’re mostly my favorites). His compositions are usually dynamic, inspirational, and very touching to the heart. And did I mention that Israel’s a 4-time GRAMMY Award winner?

What I noticed about him during the concert was, he’s not really an over-the-top performer. No stunts, no gimmickry at all. I think it was intended as unlike most artists, he doesn’t want his audience to focus on him and how good and talented he is. He wants them to just focus on Jesus, worshipping and praising Him through his songs.

Israel Houghton is truly a gifted musician. And it’s indeed a blessing to watch him perform live.

 

 

Deep End

Before it started, I knew that once again God’s about to reveal to me something.

Last Saturday, we were invited to attend a worship activity that our church organized, and called it “Deep End”. It was my first time to attend such activity and I didn’t really know what to expect, though when it was announced a few weeks before, I was already having that feeling of another God’s revelation coming up.

It started with our pastor and worship leader Neli Atiga discussing and giving pointers about ‘prophetic worship’. We were also asked to read some Bible verses, but one that struck me the most was when Pastor Neli mentioned about ‘The Prayer of Jehoshaphat’ (2 Chronicles 20:5-13) as earlier that same day, the mom of a fellow worship team member mentioned and shared a devotional reading about that particular subject as well thru Facebook.

We were then divided into groups, and then after that we started praying and singing worship songs.

I tell you, the presence of the Holy Spirit was so powerful that time as tears began to flow from my eyes. I was raising my arms and hands as I worship and praise Him, and then I also knelt down to my knees as I was giving thanks for the many blessings and asking forgiveness for my sins.

All of a sudden I started to have visions in my mind, which was so vivid and clear it’s as if I was watching clips from a movie or something:

1st Vision

I saw myself in a desert-like place. It was scorchingly hot and dry, I could even see the cracks in the land I was stepping in. What’s weird about it was, I didn’t see my 30-year old self. I was a little, innocent-looking kid, 3-5 years old perhaps. I was looking at every direction, and there was no one in sight. I was all alone. I was trying to be strong and all despite that sense of isolation, but then the tears started to fall down to my cheeks.

Suddenly, someone took my hand. I looked up, and there He was. JESUS! I instantly recognized Him. He has a handsome face, and was wearing a white robe. He was smiling at me. From the moment He held my hand, all my fears disappeared.

Then we started walking as if on a journey, His hand still holding onto mine.

2nd Vision

I was still a kid, and God was embracing me tight. I never felt so comforted and secured. He then whispered to me, “You are both my children, and I love you both.”

Then I noticed another kid beside us. It was a friend of mine and a fellow worship team member, Ranly.

3rd Vision

I saw the three of us walking through this desert-like place, side by side. Ranly was at the left side of Jesus, and I on the right. He was holding both our hands as we walk.

Then I began to notice from behind that people from different directions started to follow us. They were growing in numbers as time passed by.

Finally we reached this beautiful place, with colorful flowers, grasses and trees. Everyone started rejoicing. You can see the joy in everyone’s faces.

***************

It’s just amazing how God speaks to us in many ways. I’m still in awe. I thank Him for that wonderful experience last Saturday, and that very meaningful revelation that He showed me.

Deep End Worship, truly a blessing.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10, NIV

Momski Womski

It’s my Mom’s birthday today. She just turned 68.

I’m quite close to my Mom. Since I’m the only child and my Dad was mostly away when I was growing up, who wouldn’t be? Though she could be quite a handful at times, I just love her to bits.

That’s why it was a difficult decision for me to leave her in the Philippines, and the thought of all those years being away from her still haunts me sometimes and makes me a li’l emotional.

But I know that this is all part of God’s greater plan for the both of us. He has a reason why He brought me here in Singapore, away from her. Despite our situation, I know also that God is continuously guiding her, looking out for her and keeping her safe while I’m away.

I miss my Mom so much. I miss embracing and hugging her so tight. I miss seeing her beautiful smile and hearing her laughter in person. And of course, I miss her cooking!

To the most beautiful Mom in the world, inside and out, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You are truly, definitely a blessing to me.


Faith Goals

I heard about ‘faith goals’ first from some friends at church. They’re somehow similar to ‘resolutions’ and ‘bucket lists’, but more spiritual in nature and aimed towards achieving a closer and deeper relationship with God. After some careful thoughts, reflections and prayers, FINALLY! I’ve come up with my list:

  • Read the entire Bible. A total of 66 books in one year. Doable, right? I wasn’t really a fan of this Big Book before. I’d have attempts of making Bible reading a habit, but unfortunately not able to sustain (one word: BORING). But eversince my boss at work started to conduct Bible studies in the office, every story became much more alive and the lessons more understandable and heartfelt. I have learned, with God’s guidance, how to make Bible reading not just more bearable but also enjoyable, every chapter and every verse.
  • Lead a Life Group. When I started going to a Christian church, I got introduced also to Life Groups, wherein people meet up at least once a week for Bible reading, prayer, fellowship, and encouragement. It’s very interesting and inspiring for me so I made it a point to attend every week, and not only I learned more about the Big-Guy-Up-There thru the teachings and testimonials of others, but also I gained a bunchful of new friends. Now it’s the new season, and this time I know that God is calling me to step up and take that big leap.
  • Missionary Work. Somehow related to the previous one. This deserves an entirely separate blog post.
  • Change that Facebook status. I’ve been single for a long time now, and I must admit, it gets lonely at times. LOL! This time I’m committed to find that right person who does not necessarily go to the same church, but has the same faith as I have. (I need to date more this year, I think.)
  • Become fit and lead a healthier lifestyle. I shed off quite a number of kilos last year due to fasting, and it felt good not seeing that much flabs while looking at myself in the mirror. But now I think I’m back to my old eating habits and starting to regain my ‘obese’ stature. This year I’m committed to a more balanced diet and lots of exercise. I’m planning to go back to the gym, engage in marathons and do yoga. I’m not getting any younger so keeping myself healthy is a must.

How about you? Have you already listed your faith goals for this year?

 

Twenty-Eleven (2011)

Twenty-eleven (2011) is a year of revelations and breakthroughs. This was when I reached the ‘usual-dreaded’ 30th, but still never felt so ‘young’, so ‘new’.

This was also when I discovered what is really essential in life. I came to know again the Lord, and reconnected once again with Him. Now I can say that I’m living my life with a purpose.

Twenty-eleven is my BEST year yet. I’m truly blessed.


Clubbing Memories

I was browsing my Facebook Timeline when I came across some not-so-old photos of myself and some friends clubbing and partying. WAH! It’s been a while since the last time I went barhopping! Other more important priorities? YES. Too old for clubbing? Maybe. Sigh, I guess it comes with age. And somehow I got tired (and lazy) of it.

But looking at the photos really made me smile and reminisce the good ol’ times. Kinda missing the night life actually. Maybe I should go back one of these nights just to check if it’s still the same, and if I still have the ‘groove’. LOL

Good, not-so-distant, happy clubbing memories, they will always be cherished.

Reconciliations

I received a Christmas greeting from a former colleague last week thru WhatsApp. It was quite surprising and unexpected because prior to leaving my previous company, we had this heated argument about some work-related stuff which were left unsettled and somehow put a crack on our friendship also. We didn’t communicate anymore after that.

Well, not until he sent me that message.

Good times!

Reconciliations, truly a blessing.