Thursday Tune #30: One Life by Danny Gokey

So, it was just a hoax. Whew! Earlier today, I read tweets and posts online about the death of Cesar Millan, the “dog whisperer”. It didn’t really sink in until after I got home from work. However, after checking his official Facebook page and reading more updated articles online, I learned that it was just a false report. No wonder it didn’t make the headlines of newspapers worldwide. Usually, when celebrities pass away, everyone immediately gets informed — thanks to technology.

From http://wallpaper-actress-beauty.blogspot.com
From http://wallpaper-actress-beauty.blogspot.com

This event reminded me of a song that I heard recently while I was browsing through YouTube. It was written and sung by Danny Gokey (third place finalist on the eighth season of American Idol). I wasn’t able to watch that season, but I learned about Danny’s story online while watching his interviews. Four weeks before he auditioned for American Idol, he lost his wife due to complications of a routine surgery for congenital heart disease. It was a devastating experience for him, but by God’s grace, He used Danny’s darkest moments in life to bring out good and give hope to others who are also experiencing similar struggles. Praise God for you, Danny Gokey!

Danny Gokey (Photo c/o hollywoodreporter.com)
Danny Gokey (Photo c/o hollywoodreporter.com)

One of his songs called “One Life” talks about the reality of death and how important it is for us to maximize the life that God has blessed us with. In the song, he mentions tragic events that people experience all over the world – those that lead to death. However, he also comforts the listeners by encouraging them to be serious in extending love to others while we still can, while we’re still alive and breathing.

I’ve been listening to this song since Monday this week and it has been such an encouragement to me. I love it because its sound remind me of my favorite songs in the 90’s, but more importantly, the message of the song helps my heart re-focus on more important things in life – like, living for God, loving Him and others, and sharing the hope that I have in Him to the people around me.

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” –James 4:14

“How was she to know as she ran and slammed the door
That the angry words she spoke were the last words she would breathe
How was she to see eternity between the red light and the green
It all ended suddenly

Cause tomorrow isn’t promised
All we have is one life, is one time
To live and love and make it right”

[One Life – Danny Gokey]

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” –Mark 12:30-31

 

P.S. Dear Cesar Millan, I’m glad you’re still alive. May God bless you and use you to be a blessing to more people. I pray that you will also know Him more each day. :)

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

Thursday Tune #28: Start a Fire by Unspoken

While I was writing about burnt sweet orange potatoes last Sunday, I was reminded of the song “Start a Fire” by Unspoken. In the song, it talks about how a spark can grow into a blaze and have an intense impact on its surroundings.  In the same way, it shows how God can also use us (even if we sometimes have little faith) to make a difference in the world by sharing His love and grace to others!

A few weeks ago, I was invited to speak on Food Blogging for UP Kristiyanong Kabataan para sa Bayan’s Alternative Classroom Learning Experience (ACLE) in U.P. (University of the Philippines). I’ll be sharing more about it on the blog next Monday. It was a new experience for me, but one of the things that I really appreciate about it was the sincerity of the student leaders in the organization (UP KKB). I witnessed how they found their joy in God before, during, and after the event, and I saw them share their passions to their fellow students in U.P. too.

Photo c/o Lizette Tan
Photo c/o Lizette Tan

It was a breath of fresh air for me (literally too, since we were surrounded by beautiful sceneries and trees in the campus) and it was encouraging for me to see young men and women making a difference in school. I pray that God would bless them even more as they pursue God in their lives. I also pray that He would use the desire and fire in their hearts to share His love and grace to the people around them.

To my new found friends in UP KKB, keep it up! Continue to closely walk with God and be a blessing to others!

Thank you for the privilege of serving with you. :)

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12

Photo c/o Lizette Tan
Photo c/o Lizette Tan

“You only need a spark to start a whole blaze
It only takes a little faith
Let it start right here in this city
So these old walls will never be the same

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there’s no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it’s You, that it’s You that we need
Start a fire in me”

[Unspoken – “Start a Fire”]

For the participants of “Off The Plate” last Thursday, as promised, I will be announcing the winner of our photo contest today. :)

I wrote the names of the participants who joined on separate papers and my younger brother helped me by randomly selecting one.

The winner of one dozen Krispy Kreme donuts is…

From Google Images
From Google Images

 

JIL LISTANO!!! :D

Woohoo! Thank you for sharing your photos online. We hope to see you and your blog soon too! Enjoy the donuts!

Thank you also to everyone who joined the contest. I enjoyed viewing your photos and reading your captions. :)

One of the photos Jil posted this week. :)
One of the photos Jil posted this week. :)

Encourage yourself one tune at a time. :)

Thursday Tune #27: In Me by Casting Crowns

Words cannot express how sleepy and tired I am right now. I haven’t been able to sleep well for the past nights because of my feverish body. Also, having headaches, sore throat, and mouth ulcers every now and then clearly show that my immune system (was and) still is very, very weak, as we speak. However, in spite of all these, God has been faithful in helping me find strength in Him through prayer and studying His Word. Thank You so much, Lord. 

Before I go to bed tonight (and I hope I DO go to bed early tonight. haha.), I’ll be sharing a tune that I’ve been listening to since last week. It talks about how God is able to use even our weaknesses to bring Him glory. It emphasizes the confidence that we have in Christ (not in ourselves) as we do the things that He has called us to do.

From Google Images
From Google Images

Today, God gave me a privilege and an amazing opportunity to talk about Him and Food Blogging to an awesome group of college students in UP (University of the Philippines) — I’ll share more about this soon. And I know that it was only by His grace that I was able to do so.

“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” –1 John 5:14

Hope this tune will be an encouragement to you too.

Have a restful evening, everyone! :)

Encourage yourself one tune at a time.

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.

song

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. :)

beach

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. :)