When You Love the Lord More

Three months ago, I was on the floor playing with our schnauzer when I overheard my parents’ conversation as they were having dinner. They were brainstorming about their action steps toward a certain issue which involved a temptation to do something which wouldn’t bring glory to God. If we think about it, that specific action wasn’t really a big problem. In fact, if we look at the world today, unfortunately, it has been a common practice by many. But clearly, that night, my parents did not have peace about it.

img_7605

I don’t think they knew that I heard what they were talking about but because I was only a meter away, I did hear everything. After five minutes, my mom said “I told the people involved that it wouldn’t be right and pleasing to God if we did that action step. Even if it is more convenient to do it, I know that this would not honor God.”

My dad then encouraged her and said “It’s good that you were able to say that to them. I agree with you. We should follow the standard procedures even if it would mean incurring additional costs, etc. Praise God, Darl!”

Their voices faded in the background as I continued to play with our dog. “What a relief!” I thought to myself. “It would have been very difficult if one or both of them wanted to do what wasn’t glorifying to God.”

img_7606

I learned a few things that night:

1. FUTURE PARTNER – For us single ladies, when praying for a partner to marry, it is crucial to choose someone who loves the Lord more than you, himself, or anything in this world. When someone loves the Lord more, by God’s grace, everything he will say, do, and think of will be for the glory of God. This desire and act of obedience will be out of the overflow of his love for the Lord. As a result, he will not only resist sin and pursue righteousness, but he will also lead his wife to pursue this and God as well.

In the same way, if we are given the privilege of becoming wives in the future, we must constantly build them up and encourage our husbands to continue loving the Lord and fleeing from sin.

2. ACCOUNTABILITY – Communication is key. Even if my parents have been married for more than 30 years, they still talk to each other and discuss concerns together. I learned that this is not only healthy for the relationship, but it also acts as an accountabilty system for a husband and his wife. Through this, they can process the situation together and encourage each other to become better for the Lord.

3. PERSONAL GROWTH IN THE LORD – Yes, it is only by God’s grace that we can say no to temptations and pursue God. But, I am learning that we still need to be intentional in growing in our walk with God; in abiding in His word. How can we obey someone we don’t trust and respect? How can we trust and respect someone we don’t know? How can we live for the Lord if we don’t even know who He really is? If we don’t study His word and accept Him as our personal Lord and Savior?

“Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” -Matthew‬ ‭22:37-38‬

We can do this! By God’s grace, let us love the Lord more each day. :)

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.

IMG_65331

“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.

 

Showing Love through Larcy’s Cupcakes

A few days ago, our parents informed us that they were having a double date with our former neighbors, Tito P. and Tita A. When we were still living in the same village, this couple graciously shared their food and gifts to our family. They even let us try their new products before releasing them in the market. What a privilege! Years later, we eventually moved to another village, but, we still get to experience God’s grace and goodness through them.

 

Larcy's Cupcakes
Larcy’s Cupcakes

When they invited our parents for a double date to celebrate dad’s birthday last week, I remember how my dad was so encouraged by their thoughtful gesture. One of our parents’ good, couple friends remembered his birthday and sincerely wanted to enjoy it with them. It was definitely encouraging! But, it didn’t end there. Surprisingly, when our parents came home from their double date that night, they also had a box of Larcy’s cupcakes with them. Tito P. and Tita A. also thought about us (children) and treated us with six, beautiful and delicious Larcy’s cupcakes!!!

Larcy's Cupcakes
Larcy’s Cupcakes

When I found out about it, my heart was so blessed. They even went the extra mile! It was so inspiring to see others share God’s blessings and goodness to the people around them. But, it also made me check my heart. Do I also have a sincere heart for others? Or am I stingy when it comes to sharing the resources that I have, time, or even words of encouragement?

Banana Cupcake
Banana Cupcake

Pastor Peter Tan-Chi once said: “Why are we still selfish sometimes? Maybe it’s because we forget how much our Father God loves us.”

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcake
Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcake

By God’s grace, I hope that I can also sincerely share God’s goodness and love to others, just like our former neighbors. If you’re reading this, Tito P. and Tita A., thank you very much for your kind hearts! May God continue to bless you even more as you walk with Him and share Him to others. :)

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” –John 15:12

IMG_0238.jpga

IMG_0252

IMG_0243

LARCY’S CUPCAKES

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LarcysCupcakerycafe

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LarcysCupcakery

Phone: 4782849

 

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

Your Mistakes Do Not Define You

“Aaagghh! No, no, no, no, no, no, nooooooooo! Man!”

I shouted and panicked as I stared at the melted piece of fabric on the hot iron while I was ironing my top this morning. After five years of using and taking good care of my favorite pink top, I accidentally burnt a part of its delicate fabric which created a hole in front of it. I couldn’t believe it! Suddenly, I had flashbacks of the times when I used it and I remembered how much I loved its femininity and beauty.

IMG_9405a

In the recent years, by God’s grace, I challenged myself to shop less and less. Because of this, I rarely buy clothes and shoes so I could save a bit more. So, I really, really do my best to maintain what I have in the closet. However, what happened this morning gave me a mini heartbreak. I felt so annoyed with myself for being so careless. I looked at the hole in my top and thought to myself “I can’t take back time. I can’t undo what I’ve done. And I don’t even know if it’s still possible to repair my top. Ughh!! This is so, so sad.”

After taking a bath, I sat in front of the fan and I silently poured my dampened heart out to God. I felt that the pretty top with a hole in front of it wasn’t usable anymore. I couldn’t even imagine stitching a patch with a similar fabric on it because it would look weird. I just felt like I ruined its beauty and I could never bring it back to its original, lovely state.

IMG_9403a

But, as I was trying to cool myself down in front of the fan, my mom (who was near our room), noticed and mentioned that the hole wasn’t exactly in the middle of the top. By God’s grace, it was located at the side part, which wasn’t too obvious. True enough, when I tried to wear it again, it didn’t look that bad – unless, of course, I raise my arms to the side. Haha. Somehow, in spite of my carelessness, God still showed His grace to me by allowing me to burn a hole only at the side part of my favorite pink top. I wish that it didn’t have to happen, but it did and I know that God used it to get my attention and teach me something important.

DSC_0323

While I was on my way to work, I still thought about my burnt top and I asked God why He allowed it to happen. He then reminded me of one of City Harbor’s songs where it says: “I am not my failure. I am not my flaws. I am not defined by my mistakes, only by Your love. It’s a constant battle to believe what’s true, that Your love is unconditional no matter what I do.” As I started to sing the lyrics of the song in my head, my heart began to melt because I knew that He was encouraging me to focus on His goodness, love, and grace in spite of my carelessness and regrets this morning.

“I constantly trust in the LORD; because he is at my right hand, I will not be moved.” -Psalm 16:8

DSC01243 (2)

Yes, my favorite pink top will never be as good as its original state, but I can still thank God because at least, the iron didn’t burn the whole garment… nor my hands/our place.

Yes, I loved the pretty, flawless piece of clothing because I felt good, girly, breezy, and comfortable whenever I wore it. But, I am also reminded that it is still just a piece of clothing and it will not define my beauty or value.

And yes, I made a mistake today and I will obviously make more in the future. But, I am encouraged to constantly put my trust and security in the One who never will. :)

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time.