Thursday Tune #26: Like I Am by City Harbor

A few days ago, a family friend posted a status on Facebook and encouraged his friends to share a line from their favorite praise and worship song that inspired them a lot. I added a comment and shared a few lines from Steve Green’s song “He Who Began a Good Work”. It is one of my favorite songs because it reminds me of Philippians 1:6 and how God continues to be gracious and faithful in my life despite my weaknesses and struggles.

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The past two weeks have been quite difficult for me because I struggled with different things. One of the similarities that I noticed among my struggles was how I believed in lies and not in God’s Truth. Unintentionally, I allowed my mind linger on my insecurities, pride, past mistakes, failure in different aspects, and a bunch of other very discouraging thoughts.

It was crazy! But in spite of these, God encouraged me to draw closer to him especially when I don’t feel like doing so because I know that He is the only One who can make my heart right. Every time I got zapped by lies and negative thoughts, I humbled myself before God and lifted up my concerns and struggles to Him. In the process of doing so, He reminded me of a verse in the bible where it says:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33]

It was such a comfort to know that even though we may be attacked by our struggles constantly for the next days, years, and decades, we know that we are already victorious because of Jesus Christ.

“Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 8:34-35,37-39]

Now, THAT is TRUTH — Truth that I need to hold on to moment by moment. :)

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I’ve been listening to a song lately that best captures what was going on in my heart these past two weeks. I hope that you will be encouraged by it too.

“I am not my failures, I am not my flaws
I am not defined by my mistakes, Only by Your love.
But it’s a constant battle to believe what’s true
That Your love is unconditional no matter what I do.”

[City Harbor – Like I Am]

Encourage yourself one tune at a time. :)

Thursday Tune #25: Heart Like You

When I was in gradeschool, an elderly man would drop by our house in Kapitolyo almost every week with a few baskets or boxes. He was one of the faithful vendors who sold fresh fruits to us and to our neighbors. It was during those times that I learned how to tell if a ripe mango was sweet (just by smelling its top part). Also, at an early age, I was fascinated by how my mom bargained when she bought fruits from the man and how the man used his handy and unique weighing scale to measure them.

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After a few years, our family needed to transfer to a different house (and neighborhood) which was mainly the reason why we weren’t able to see the vendor anymore. Fast forward to end of July 2014 — my younger brother was buying bread from one of our favorite bakeries in Kapitolyo and I was waiting in the car when I noticed a very familiar face. It was raining at that time, so I couldn’t clearly recognize his face. But, when I saw him drag a box of fruits along the sidewalk, somehow I knew that it was the same man who sold mangoes to us when I was still a kid. Because it was raining, he sat down outside a salon and started to segregate the fruits in his box.

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A few minutes later, my brother went back to the car and I told him about it. He squinted his eyes, checked the old man’s things from a far, and he confirmed to me that it really was him! We couldn’t believe it! He was still selling fruits in Kapitolyo – our hometown! Haha.

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I opened the window of the car and called the old man. I briefly shared to him that I remembered who he was since we grew up seeing him sell his fruits in our village. Eventually, I bought a kilo of the mangosteen from him and we gave him some of the freshly baked bread we got from the nearby bakery.

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It was a warm experience for me that rainy day when I saw him again. I very much appreciated how he still continues to be responsible and hardworking in his job. But, what blessed me more was seeing how this elderly man showed integrity even in the smallest things. Before we got to talk to the man, I already noticed him segregating the mangosteen that he had while he was waiting for the rain to stop. Without anyone telling him to do so or without him knowing that someone was watching him, he removed those that were rock-hard/dry and made sure to sell only the good ones to his customers that day.

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This observation was actually one of the reasons why I wanted to share our bread with him that day. It was a blessing to see a Christ-like heart out on the street. Also, he was wearing a shirt with these words printed on the back: “Mahal tayo ni Hesus.” Or in English: “Jesus loves us.” — So cool!

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The elderly man reminded me of a song I’ve been listening to recently. It’s called “Heart Like You” by Love and the Outcome. I hope that this tune will be an encouragement to you too. :)

 

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” [Philippians 4:8]

Encourage yourself one tune at a time. :)