I’ve been taking some time off social media to re-organize my life and schedule, and adapt better habits. I disciplined myself to read more (need to get through my book pile), write more and spend longer time with the Lord. These are just a few of the lessons I’ve reflected on which I thought I’d share with you. I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below!
Is the desire to be famous wrong for Christians to have?
What does it say about our hearts?
“I want to be famous so that I can use MY INFLUENCE for the Lord.”
This sounds good and noble on the onset but focus on the statement “so I can use MY INFLUENCE for the Lord.”
It is not wrong to use one’s influence for kingdom purposes but desires like these need to be filtered at the heart level. Are we really bent on making the Lord known or are we merely using Him as a vehicle for us to be known? Are we forgetting the fact that God is God and if He wants to MAKE HIMSELF KNOWN, He can do so? He can use people like you and me, but that is His discretion. We cannot command Him and say “God, MAKE ME FAMOUS, so I can make you known.”
Who are we to dictate upon God, OUR STRATEGY? Is He not God who can do all things and knows all things?
Does being practical mean I’ll only buy CHEAP THINGS?
Does being practical mean, I won’t go shopping EVER?
Is being practical BORING?
In this video, I answer some questions people have about #PracticalLiving. In case you haven’t caught the first one, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RPy_X-K9wI
If you asked Ingrid three years ago if she envisioned herself tying the knot, she would outright tell you–NO. It’s been an interesting journey from being a lovestruck teenager who couldn’t wait to find true love, getting my heart broken, being made to hope and then finally surrendering to God in the area of relationships. I settled into my single life, enjoying and living every moment of it. I wore the NBSB (No Boyfriend Since Birth) tag like a badge of honor, thinking “No man has ever come close and all the others who tried were just not serious.” I envisioned myself devoting my life to media and ministry, traveling the world and just living the single life to the hilt AND THEN DAVE HAPPENED. If you watched these videos, I talked about how I came to a point of confusion. How I was already happy as a single but then I began developing feelings for Dave. I asked God if I was sinning and during my plane ride to Singapore then, I felt the Lord assure me that it was okay. That Dave was from Him. Some people thought our romance was a whirlwind: We became a couple in October 2017, Dave proposed in January and we tied the knot on the exact day of our first year together.
Looking back, I really saw God’s involvement in everything: from the schedules, to the suppliers, the venue, financial provision and the availability of people we chose to be a part of our wedding day. The wedding planning was also an avenue for God to teach us about the essentials of the covenant of marriage. See, we had a very intimate wedding of just 80 guests. Of course it was daunting to put the guest list together. “Baka sumama loob nito pag di natin siya ininvite.” “Should we include him/her? Kilala ba niya tayo talaga or baka acquaintance lang?” Dave and I both are practical with our finances. We could have gone with a 250-person guest list but how would that affect our life after the celebration was over? We wanted to cover our bases, meaning after ng wedding, kailangan sigurado na may pambayad kami ng housing and utilities namin, our transportation, basic needs and the other things for us to build our home. There is nothing wrong with those who choose to splurge on their wedding day–that is your wedding, this is ours. That is your budget, we also have ours. 🙂
I guess through this whole process, one thing I can impart to fellow brides (and grooms) is to not be pressured to mount an extravagant wedding just because someone you know did so. Do not be pressured to avail of all the wedding trends just because a lot of couples have been getting them too. One question that I found very helpful every time I was tempted to avail of a wedding add-on was this: “Will the wedding not push through, if this were not included?” (Hindi ba matutuloy ang kasal kung wala yan?)
It’s been several weeks since we said our vows. As we joyfully build our home together, we’ve been affirmed that we made the right choice to prioritize our life after the wedding day, without any fear of huge debts or the fear of not having enough to sustain our daily living.
I thought it was highly possible for me to vlog the whole wedding day. I needed help! I’m thankful that our wedding photographers, my bridesmaids and maid of honor were more than happy to step in and tell the story of our wedding day.
Things I learned?
- Matagal pala talaga yung prep shoot. Of course it looks so easy and fast when the photos are put together na for the SDE but… haha let me tell you NO. With all due respect to our photographers, they really did a great job and I know they wanted to get a lot of amazing shots because this is their craft. I guess I just had to properly psyche myself. Hindi kasi professional mowdel si Ingrid. :p
- EAT. AS IN. It’s bound to be a long day.
- We should have taken pictures with our family and other guests in our photobooth. 😦 I’m thankful that our supplier Photomocoh extended their hours just to make sure that Dave and I had shots of ourselves at the photobooth. That was very nice of them.
- Even if you think you’ve planned everything, you have to learn to let go and entrust the execution to the coordinators and people involved. Yes, there will be things that won’t go according to the outline but you just have to let go and ENJOY EVERY SINGLE MOMENT because the time just zooms through so quickly.
Enjoy our wedding vlog!
After months of planning, meetings with suppliers and spreadsheet encoding, everything just seemed to fast forward to our wedding day. We had a quick wedding rehearsal with Pastor Larry (our officiating minister), our coordinator Ate Rose, my maid of honor Jirah and Maow, the best man. Honestly, I never gave the wedding ceremony choreography much thought. Iniisip ko lang–automatic na yan. I’ll do my slow bridal march towards Dave and Papa hands me over to him. There was more to it. Pastor Larry and his wife, Tita Joy coached us on the bridal march–where to look, how to carry ourselves. It’s so different from the Powers walk I learned in JRP!
Upon reaching the altar with my parents, I’d have to kiss them goodbye, Dave would have to pay his respects with a mano or a handshake and then my father formally turns me over to him. I swear, when Pastor Larry was describing that to me, I couldn’t help but tear up. I’d be the first daughter my Papa would give away in marriage. After the rehearsals, Dave and I agreed that we won’t be exchanging sweet, emotional messages nor see each other until the wedding day itself.
This made me reflect. Often, when we encounter something like this, we think “Yes! Somebody hates me but I don’t know why he/she hates me!” then I realized, we have to ask ourselves too:
“Have I hated on somebody for no apparent reason? Like they haven’t really done anything to me nor harmed me, but I hate them?” Hah. The answer wasn’t surprising for me: Yes, many times.
Why do we have the tendency to hate on some people even if they haven’t done anything to us directly? Sometimes these people don’t even know us or have a relationship with us.
“I hate him because he’s annoying.”
“I hate her because she’s such a loudmouth.”
We can come up with a million reasons but we have to get to the root of things—WHAT FUELS THE HATE? Hate is also such a strong word but sometimes when we don’t guard our hearts, a simple dislike could grow into full-blown hatred.
When I recently came across a crass celebrity, I admit I got miffed and some of you my dear friends, have seen me express my utter distaste for her behavior.
But I thought to myself—this girl doesn’t know me. Even if I told her that she has such crass behavior, would she actually listen? Would she take my advice? Maybe not, because we are not friends. Also, even if she goes on with that behavior—that is her issue. She is accountable for that. Will it affect me? Will it impede my daily living? The answer is no. So yeah. I may have been annoyed by her but I had to catch myself quick so it would not cross over to hatred.
What fuels hatred for others? Let us search our hearts.
Is it envy?
Oh the green-eyed monster. Envy can oftentimes lead us to be highly critical of those who have what we think we deserve. Instead of being happy for them, displeasure breeds and it can progress into a desire to destroy them.
“It’s unfair. I deserve what they have! I deserve the life they’re living.”
“They don’t deserve to be happy.”
Take time to ask yourself today: If I don’t like the thought of someone HATING ME for no reason, have I at any point also HATED ON SOMEONE for no reason? Why do I hate them? What is the underlying issue? What do I need to change about myself?
Now if you find yourself on the receiving end of seemingly unwarranted hatred, search your heart as well.
“Is there a valid reason for the person to hate me? Is it something we can talk about?”
“Have I directly and intentionally hurt the person to illicit a response like that?”
If you don’t know the person and you know in your heart that you didn’t intentionally hurt him/her, if the person still hates you, then let the Lord deal with them. Pray that the Lord would enlighten and convict them, bringing to the surface deep-seated issues such as envy and insecurity.
14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
Have a great day, friends!
Sometimes, the simplest Bible study methods bring forth the most enriching one-on-one meetings with the Lord. I have been using the SPECS/SPECK method for about two years now and even if I’ve been going through BSF, inductive study and homiletics, this method never fails to let God’s Word speak where and when I need it most. SPECS/SPECK is an acrononym for:
|S||Sin/s to avoid||S||Sin/s to avoid|
|P||Promise/s to claim||P||Promise/s to claim|
|E||Example/s to follow||E||Example/s to follow|
|C||Command/s to obey||C||Command/s to obey|
|S||Stumbling blocks (or others use Significant Truth)||K||Knowledge about God|
When you are studying a verse (better yet, a passage) during your quiet time, try using this method and as always, begin with prayer—ask God to speak to you through His Word. If there are sins you need to be confronted with, if there are examples you need to follow in your own life. Be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading. At times, personal Bible study can bring about discomfort and in my experience, that usually means that there is something being challenged in me—an area of compromise, a sin I need to confess and repent from or it could be a challenge to obey and trust Him more.
My passage for today is 1 Kings 11, which talks about Solomon’s downward spiral because he allowed himself to be led astray by his pagan wives. Imagine, the man deemed the wisest king of Israel, backsliding because of the compromises he allowed into his life? My initial reading of the passage made me notice the compromises he made:
- Intermarriage for political alliances
- Trusting in these alliances instead of depending on God
- Infidelity to the Lord
- Not using the godly wisdom made available to him to make wise, God-glorifying choices
Now let’s use the SPECK method:
SINS TO AVOID
- Solomon intermarried with nations God prohibited (a clear act of disobedience)
- Solomon loved many (foreign) women
- Solomon let his wives lead him astray
- His heart turned after other gods (infidelity)
- His heart was not FULLY DEVOTED TO THE LORD HIS GOD
- Did evil in the eyes of the Lord
- Did not follow the Lord COMPLETELY
PROMISES TO CLAIM
I don’t want to claim these promises as mine. Although I know that the Lord has many promises in the Bible for those who put their faith in Him, we also have to be aware that some promises in the Bible are given to SPECIFIC PEOPLE MENTIONED in the narrative. Say for example, we cannot claim the promise given to Abraham “I will make you the Father of many nations.” That promise was SPECIFICALLY given to him.
In this passage, I see God fulfilling His promises on the account of David, even if Solomon spiraled downward.
- There were still two tribes left for David
- Solomon reigned until his death
- Rehoboam (Solomon’s son) succeeded him as king
Promises to Jeroboam:
If you do whatever I command you and obey, do what is right in my eyes, I will build an enduring dynasty, I will give Israel to you.
EXAMPLES TO FOLLOW
- Despite David’s sins, God remembered him and thought of him dearly because he was after God’s heart
- David obeyed God’s commands and decrees (v. 34-36)
COMMANDS TO OBEY
Walk in obedience, do what is right in My (God’s) eyes, obey My (God’s) decrees and commands as David did
KNOWLEDGE ABOUT GOD
- The Lord remembers and rewards the faithfulness of his servants (David)
- The Lord was still very gracious to Solomon (on the account of David) despite his disobedience and idolatry and did not take the kingdom away from him
- The Lord appeared to Solomon TWICE. MINDBLOWN. So Solomon had THAT PRIVILEGE, yet he still went astray.
- The Lord can raise up LEADERS AND ADVERSARIES. Jeroboam did not have Solomon’s noble birth, yet God made him a king. God can thward systems that have been put into place just because HE IS GOD, HE IS SOVEREIGN AND HIS PLANS WILL PREVAIL.
- The Lord is MERCIFUL. He could have killed Solomon or punished him severely but the guy still reigned until his death. I wonder if Solomon ever repented when he was faced with his adversaries. Did he call out to God?
PRAYER: Lord, I pray that you would always remind me to rely on you and not on my own strength and capabilities. Seek my heart Lord, and see any offensive way in me. Bring to mind compromises that I need to confess and repent from. Help me to JOYFULLY OBEY YOUR COMMANDS, to be FAITHFUL and like David, RUN AFTER YOUR HEART. Amen.