Thursday Tune #34: You Carry Me by Moriah Peters

Last Friday night was one of the most refreshing evenings I’ve had recently. Aside from the fact that I was showered with raindrops, my heart was humbled and renewed after attending a workshop by Joy Mendoza. She graciously facilitated a seminar entitled “Writing Your Personal Story”. It was a humbling experience for me as I looked back on what God allowed me to go through in the past and see how He continues to use those moments for the good and for His glory.

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Out of the 80 people in the room, I only knew three: Joy (the speaker), Edric (her husband), and my friend who attended the seminar with me. However, even though we were in a room full of strangers, I easily felt at home because of the conversations that we freely shared with each other.

In between Joy’s tips and stories, she asked for volunteers to share about the outlines that they prepared during the workshop. These outlines, of course, showed the personal experiences and action steps that the participants went through or are going through right now. One of the outlines that Joy encouraged us to draft that night was about our lives before Christ, when we discovered Christ, and after experiencing Him.

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As each participant shared, my heart churned even more because these were real people who humbly opened up about their personal stories and gave God their thanks and glory that evening. Not only was I inspired to be more intentional in remembering and writing about how God has been moving in my life, but, I was also motivated to encourage and pray for the people around me — who are most probably going through tough and faith-stretching moments in their lives right now.

 

It has been six days since the workshop, but, I still can’t get it out of my mind and heart. Joy mentioned that we all have a personal story that we can share and each story is a unique account of God’s redemptive work in us. By God’s grace, through this, I hope that we will be able to share the gospel to others, encourage and comfort them, pass on a godly legacy, and ultimately give God the glory.

 

I would like to share a song with you that is very much related to what I’ve been learning from Joy’s workshop. This song “You Carry Me” by Moriah Peters reminds us of God’s sovereignty in the midst of pain, mistakes, and even loneliness. It encourages me to continue trusting in the Author of my life, who will never leave my side. I hope it gives you comfort as well.

“Through the wind and waves
Through my worst mistakes
Through the times I thought I walked alone
You were holding me
You were whispering
I will never leave you on your own”

Psalm 23:4 says: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for YOU ARE WITH ME, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

 

Special thanks to the ff.:

  • Joy Mendoza – for giving to the Lord and sharing your heart and life to us.
  • Darren Soriano – for our photos with Edric and Joy and for humbly and courageously honoring God through your testimony that night.
  • OMF Literature – for organizing the workshop with the help of “Christian Writers Fellowship”.

OMF Lit Bookstore – 776 Boni Ave. Cor Pinatubo, Mandaluyong city (5314303)

 

Thursday Tune #33: Steady Me by Hollyn

An SUV almost scratched my car while I was on my way to work this morning. We only had an inch of space between us as we were turning a corner. The driver of the SUV must have been distracted by what was in front of him that he didn’t realize how close he was to me until I pressed on the horn for four seconds non-stop. When he realized that he had almost hit my car, he quickly steered left. We only had a few seconds of eye-contact just before we parted ways. And in that moment, I looked at him through his semi-tinted windows and I gave him an irritated stare that said: “Are you serious?! What were you doing?! You almost hit my car!”

In order to pacify myself, I turned up the volume of the song that I had been listening to since I left the house and started to sing the lyrics as I drove away.

“No matter what the pressure, pressure
You will always be the answer, answer

Only you know how to steady me
Ready my heart for everything that’s coming my way
Help me trust that you’re ahead of me
Going before my feet with every step I take.”

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While I was singing this song, I suddenly felt a slight burn in my heart because I was heaping coals in my head. Why was I so irritated at the driver? Why did I have to give him a stink-eye? Why was I so angry???

Then, it hit me. My proud heart was so concerned with the car’s condition that I forgot about my heart’s condition this morning. 99% of the time, I pray before I start the car’s engine. I pray for wisdom and protection as I drive. But, this morning, because I was focused on memorizing songs on my phone, I forgot to pray and thank God first before driving to work.

I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”-Psalm 16:2

It was also ironic because one of the songs that I was memorizing was the song I mentioned above: “Steady Me” by Hollyn. I did experience God steady my angry heart as He revealed to me the unnecessary things that I did this morning. By God’s grace, I pray that I will learn to seek Him first, depend on Him moment by moment, and humbly trust that even in the midst of stress and problems, He is always with me.

Whew.

I discovered this song while I was searching for new ones on Youtube. I hope that as you listen to it, it will encourage you too.

Thursday Tune #32: Press On by Mandisa

I guess it’s an early goodbye to the lovely summer skies because they have been very gloomy lately. Most of the time, on my way home from work, I see the surroundings through “natural filters”. It’s almost like everything is set in sepia mode. It’s pretty amazing how the mood of the sky quickly changes and reflects on the buildings, cars, and the people walking on the streets.

I wonder… If the sky can create such an impact to the things and people around us, can our gloomy hearts do the same too?

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I thought about this because I noticed how easily I allowed my heart to be gloomy lately. Specifically, I’ve had moments where I became easily annoyed and discouraged because of difficult people. This lasted for days and it was terrible since it did have an effect on the people around me. One of my closest colleagues even told me that I was becoming moody. In our almost two years of friendship, it was her first time to say something like this to me and it struck a chord in my heart. Without me realizing it, I was already carrying a stormy cloud over my head and it was zapping lightning bolts all over the place.

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I knew something was up (or down, in this case). So, I called for help. Since I had an extended rest time today, I humbly asked God to reveal the concerns of my heart that I needed to deal with and surrender to Him. By His grace, He reminded me of how important it is to be grounded in His truth, love, and promises instead of dwelling and sulking on my issues. I realized that in life, there will always, ALWAYS be problems and discouragements. But, by the grace of God, He gives us the courage and strength to overcome these as we trust in Him who is more than able to work in and through our hearts.

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Earlier today, we experienced a heavy pour of rain in the city. When my mom and I heard and saw the rain, she said to me: “Yes! At least, I won’t have to water the plants today!” She beamed with delight because the rain did one of her “Things to Do” for the day. That simple moment showed me that we can find purpose in the rain. Maybe, we’ve been going through a lot of difficult situations lately. Maybe, we’ve lost our motivation along the way. Nonetheless, we know that God is ALWAYS with us and we can find comfort and hope in this truth.

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”-Psalm 28:7

“Press On” by Mandisa

“How many storms have I been through
How many led me right to You
You’re using the pain, the hardest days
For my good, my good
So what do I fear
God, You are with me
Guiding my steps today
Through the mountains, valleys, sun and rain
Lord, lead the way, lead the way.”

THURSDAY TUNE #31: To Love You Back by Jamie Grace

I was having a conversation with one of my officemates a few hours ago when he said something that caught my attention. He said with a smile and a deep sigh: “You know what, Nicole? Recently, I feel that God has been pursuing me. It’s amazing because even though I’ve been struggling week after week, He still continues to pursue me.”

When my officemate shared this to me, it reminded me of how humbling it is to be pursued and desired by God. He made the heavens and the earth. He made every part of our bodies. He can even make miracles happen in a heartbeat if He wants to. And yet, this same God is our God who loves us; who knows exactly what is in our hearts; and who desires to have a personal relationship with us.

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“If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.  How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

(Psalm 139:8-10, 14-18)

As I read through the Bible verses mentioned above, I find myself thanking the Lord for His relentless love for me. Yes, He has been pursuing you and me. But, have we been pursuing God? Have we been delighting in who He is and in His Word?

I’d like to share a song by Jamie Grace which has been very instrumental in encouraging me to draw near to God and pursue Him more than anything. I hope that this will bless your hearts as well as you seek the Lord this week.