Jesus Christ  is  Lord  and  Savior

Jesus said to him, "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life
no one comes to the Father except through Me."
-  John 14:6 -

Personal Blogs

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Back In Church!

Posted on June 16, 2018 at 2:10 PM

The picture (left side) that I used was from the web page of my new-found church (IBC). It is outside Oslo (where I live). It is in Bærum. A suburb of Oslo, Bærum is located in the west coast of the city (from Wikipedia). For more information, please visit their website. 


It`s already been three years since I left my previous church due to some valid reasons. To know more about this topic please read my previous blogs which I entitled: "God Answers Prayer", most specially the part two.


My previous church was by invitation from my Croatian friend. This time, I sincerely prayed to God that I could find a church that is of the same faith. By God`s grace alone, I already knew what kind of church that I`m looking for. I did not know anybody before I came to IBC. I believed God led me to this church. The time I found this church on the internet, I just woke up from an afternoon nap and then suddenly picked up my phone and searched on Google Chrome and typed "Protestant churches in Oslo". I found some, but when I looked at their website, there was something that I don`t like. They believe in something which I don`t believe. I was also very intentional to find a church last month because I was almost done reading my entire bible. I promised to myself that before I would go back to church, I had to finish what I started after I left my former church.


I continued searching and typed "Christian international churches in Oslo". There were some Christian international churches in Oslo, but then again when I opened their web page and looked around at their website, I`m not satisfied with their explanations in the about section and they even posted something on their facebook page about infant baptism and confirmation.


But I was thinking maybe I would type Norway rather than Oslo. A friend of mine, a churchmate who`s from Venezuela, told me to find a Baptist church. Like me, she also left our previous church because of a valid reason. Regardless of distance, if I needed to take the train for many hours, then I will give it a shot. As long as, same belief as mine. In fact, distance, money, energy, and etc. are not an issue when it comes to God. We cannot pay God of everything what He has done for us. Even our life is not enough. How much more our good works?!


I thanked God that I found this church (last May 2018) that is quite accessible. I only need to take the subway or metro and then bus. I was thinking to attend to their Sunday service in the first week of June this year 2018. So, I went there two Sundays already. I was not alone. My husband Vegar drove me there. Not only that, he accompanied and attended the service as well. 


What really struck me the most was their confession of faith. Please click this link: Church Information.


It was well-explained and very on point. I could not ask for more. Of course, there is no such thing as perfect church because we are imperfect people. The most important is what they believe. There might be some non-essential issues, but the most important is the essential part. Very important as well, if there`s bible study/prayer meeting/small group because only by God`s Word and also prayer that our hearts will be transformed. Also, through small groups relationships will be built. 


I`m still praying to God for endurance. I was the kind of person who give up so quickly. I use the word "was" but it does not mean that I`m very strong now. My strength comes only from the Lord. Throughout my entire life, I`ve encountered a lot of trials and challenges. But by God`s grace alone, I`ve learned to rely and take refuge on Him. Further, to focus on Him literally. I could not find hope anymore in this life because real hope indeed can be found only in Jesus Christ. We must put all our confidence in Him. God bless!

Baptized But Not Yet Saved!?

Posted on June 15, 2018 at 6:50 PM


October 6, 2012 --- the day I was baptized.


The picture above is a proof that I`m already baptized by immersion in Christianity --- as an outward sign of the new life in Christ. Although, I was not raised up in Atheism, nor in Islam, neither in Buddhism or Hinduism, but I was not a "true" Christian. Automatically, I was raised up in a Roman Catholic church because my parents and grandparents were Catholic. Sad to say, Roman Catholicism is a false Christianity. It is a cult. I`m sad because Filipinos are very proud that we are the only Christian country amongst Southeast Asian nations. Unfortunately, our behavior doesn`t match with our faith as a Christian. Based on statistics: Philippines has the highest infection rate of HIV in Asia-Pacific and among most corrupt country in Asia. Sad reality of my beloved homeland. These are just some of the examples.


I was baptized by sprinkling when I was infant. Which was and is still wrong. The Lord Jesus was baptized by immersion in the Jordan River when He was already an adult during His earthly life. Everything what He did and taught while He was on earth, was for us to follow. Except of course performing miracles. Only Him can do that. He is our Great Model & Example. We must imitate Him. I realized that we can never declare publicly that we have accepted the Lord, professed our faith, and will obey the Lord`s command when we are still infant!


Okay, I`m already baptized when I was 29 years old and already confessed that Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior but --- that`s all. I knew it deep within my heart that although I was already baptized, yet I was not saved. Why? Because I didn`t know the Lord very well nor have a real relationship with Him. I never had a desire to read His Word, to pray, and to surrender my life to Him. I controlled my life instead of giving it to Him.


It was in the year 2016 that I could finally say that I`m SAVED, when I developed a personal relationship with my Lord Jesus through reading His Word and prayer (by God`s grace alone). It was the same year when this web page of mine was born. Truly, everything was a process. Even up to now, I`m a work in progress `til God will take me HOME.

Goal Accomplished

Posted on May 29, 2018 at 7:10 AM

As of today, I`m done reading the entire BIBLE! After many years of firm discipline by God´s grace, at last, I`ve accomplished my goal. Thank God! Even though I have read the entire Bible (Old & New Testament), still not a Bible expert. However, it is very important for me to know the TRUTH. The root and biggest problem of humanity is SIN. That is because we prevent or suppress the TRUTH. 


"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can we be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools."


"So here is the truth that we suppress apart from God’s grace in our lives: There is a God. He is the Creator of all things and so not a god but the God. He is powerful — more powerful than all else — because he made all else. He is eternal because there was nothing outside him that could bring him into being. Therefore, we must exist to display his glory and not to compete with him for glory. And we must exist in absolute dependence on him. We do not supply him, he supplies us. And therefore we are to live in constant gratitude." (Excerpt from: The Wrath of God by John Piper)

The truth will set us free indeed (John 8:32).

Part 3: God Answers Prayer!

Posted on May 4, 2018 at 5:30 AM

This is the last part of this topic!


  • Am I A True Christian? Saved?

First of all, let me discuss about salvation. Without further ado: we are saved not because of our good works, neither our religious activities, nor our own efforts. The Bible says that all of our righteous deeds are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). The word filthy is a translation of the Hebrew word iddah. It means that our good deeds are like a rag for the bodily fluids from a woman`s menstrual cycle. Our righteous acts are still considered unacceptable to God. On the other hand, Jesus´ blood that poured out for us was pure and holy. We have fallen short as well of God`s standard of righteousness (Romans 3:23), and we deserve --- DEATH (Romans 6:23).

Then, what is our HOPE?

Our only hope is to place our faith in Jesus Christ who lived a perfect life, died on the cross to pay for our sins and rose again. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone. Even faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). If we truly repent from our sins, accept the gospel and His gift of salvation (follow and obey Him) then we will be saved. Our sin is imputed to him, and His righteousness is imputed to us when we trust Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Impute in an another word means assign. For the word impute is not really common in Filipino English, but the latter is very common. (Excuse me for this, I just like explaining things.) ;)

Jesus Christ bore our sins on the cross, suffered and agonized from extreme pain, even though He is sinless. When I meditated on this, I have gained an insight that doing righteousness is likewise extremely difficult to even impossible without God`s grace. Both are completely opposite in nature: divine nature and human nature. For this reason, I struggle doing righteousness for I have a lot of weaknesses. There`s pain, sorrow, suffering, sacrifice, agony, despair, distress, and you name it. These are the themes of my life.

My default human nature is contrary to God`s divine nature. It is not my nature to love difficult people, to die to myself, to remain strong when troubles come, to endure hardships when it doesn`t makes sense, to find hope when life seems there`s no way out, and many more. But I am still here surviving and overcoming things in life. Not because I am strong, whether mentally, emotionally, socially, physically, and spiritually. But because of Jesus Christ alone who is my personal Lord and Savior now. Without Him, I couldn`t survive life. It is absolutely true that if without Jesus or if we don`t trust and remain in Him, we can do nothing in life (John 15:5). 

The question is: Am I a truly saved Christian? 

My answer is: YES! We can know if we are really saved! According to 1 John 5:13; "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life."

I am already justified. JUSTIFICATION is a one-time event occuring when I recieved salvation and enter into relationship with God. Through justification the penalty of sin has been eternally eliminated. However, my journey as Christian and my battle against sin is just beginning. Then it follows: SANCTIFICATION. I`m not yet done with this because I`m stil alive. In other words, I`m still in my sinful flesh! Even though I am justified, I still wrestle with a sinful nature that wages war inside of me. God`s sanctifying work in our lives begins the moment we are justified and He continues to sanctify us until His work is completed when we enter into glory with Him. And, it is called: GLORIFICATION.

  • What kind of church that I`m looking for?

If you have read the illustration above, then you`ll know the answer. Since the letterings are quite small, then I am going to write it down here:

• A Christ - Centered Church •

✓ Worship that centers on God`s Word.
✓ A passion for prayer.
✓ Courage to follow God`s leading.
✓ Education that strengthens our faith.
✓ Involvement of our youth in all aspects of church life.
✓ Wise stewardship of all our resources.
✓ Eagerness to demonstrate God`s love.
✓ Commitment to, and accountability with, each other.
✓ Outreach that welcomes our neighbours. 
✓ Activities that encourage fellowship.

Remember: a church is not a physical building or a business organization, but it is the body of Christ, or a group of believers, or the universal group of people who have trusted Christ through ages.

  • Would I still continue to go to that church?

This is pertaining to my previous church. It`s kinda thrilling for my next sentences...

My answer is ---- NO. It is pretty obvious that I will not continue to go to that church since I have been away for too long. But maybe I can just visit to their new outreach which is in Oslo. Somewhat near to my place. I won`t promise but I`ll see.

After I left the church, a friend of mine has a friend who was very active in church gatherings. That woman invited me to attend to their fellowship because they had a guest speaker from Brazil. The church was quite close from where we lived before, so I gave it a shot. She said as well that my husband could join me. When we came there, I saw someone who was quite familiar. It was the Pastor of a church where my long lost friend introduced it to me when I was still a newcomer here in Norway. 

There was a little bit sermon and then a --- show! That church was a charismatic group where they believed in being SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT. They were shouting, screaming, crying, laughing, growling, babbling, and lying on the floor. My husband was very scared. I was not scared, but I didn`t expect those things. I even pretended to collapse after the Pastor touched my forehead. In reality, I still had control or was still in a conscious state. We did not finish it, and the guest speaker told the congregation not to go home yet. And then glanced at the basket for collecting money. Nonetheless, we went home and I prayed to God, asking for forgiveness because I lied to Him. I was pretending when I knew that I didn`t believe those things. I did it just to please men.

After that, I decided to study the Bible first (personally), before going back to church. Until now, I`m not yet done reading the entire bible. It takes firm discipline to read and study. After this, by God`s grace, I`ll be back in church soon. Actually, I`ve already found a church! This time, no one invited me. I should be the one who would check, observe, and know. Most churches that I had attended to were by invitations. By God`s grace, I have learned to discern when it comes to spiritual matters through God`s Word.

  • Does God punish me for not attending church?

Every breaking of the commandment, put it this way, every sin has a consequence. God commanded us to observe and remember the Sabbath day. For Christians, Sunday is a Sabbath day. It is a day to worship the Lord together with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Of course, we are no longer under the law, but rather under grace because of Jesus who came to earth to fulfill the law. Nevertheless, we still need to obey God`s rules and commands because those are for our own good. Like for example: How could I practice or show my love to my fellow believers if I would not attend church? Who would encourage me when I`m in desperate mode? I will not sharpen or improve if I am just a lone ranger. "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." - Proverbs 27:7. Obedience brings blessings. In fact, I could not enjoy the life that God intended us to be if I would not attend church gatherings. It is absolutely vital for Christians to go to church. However, I believe God allowed all those things in my previous church because He is dealing me something with this situation. All are still beneficial. "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28.

  • Does church attendance matters? Is it required?

This is not a question that can be answered by simply "yes" or "no". There are several factors to the issue that must be taken into consideration. In my limited and finite mind, I could not answer everything in a perfect degree. Only God knows everything for He is an all-knowing (omniscient). In my poor opinion: I believe that the most important, even when not in church, is not to stop learning about God and His Word. We are not saved by church attendance but rather by God`s grace. Just like what I`m doing --- abiding in Christ is the key. In so doing, God will give us wisdom and understanding about how important church attendance is! Moreover, the Holy Spirit will convince us that church attendance is really vital and indispensable to our Christian life. One thing I knew, there is no such thing as perfect church attendance. Our age of conversion to Christianity differs. One man accepted Christ in his early 20s, while the other man in his late 60s.

Remember the penitent thief on the cross? See Luke 23:33–43. At the last minute, it was never too late for him to repent and accept the free gift of salvation. Likewise, it is never too late for us, to make things right, to patch up the days you were absent from church after your conversion. The most important for me is to know the TRUTH. The truth will set us free (John 8:32). Free from slavery and bondage of sin, free from doubts, free from confusion, and so on and so forth. 

Finally, the real indication that we are really from God is this: ❤ 

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." 

*TO MY BROTHER IN CHRIST: I had prayed for that day, the time we met. Indeed, God answered my prayer when least expected. You have forgiven me and I have forgiven you since you asked for forgiveness, when you don`t need it to. Thank you for that humble heart. Things went well with me after I left the church. I have learned so much after that and I am thankul and grateful to God. It was an undesirable moment, but God turned it into a good one. As what I`ve said, life is all about learning for His glory and I`ve learned it since that day. We can learn more in pain than in pleasure. This is very true and I can testify to this. According to Ecclesiastes 7:2 - "It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, since death is the end of every man, and the living will lay it to heart."

Thank you everyone for taking your time reading this topic: "God Answers Prayer!"

To God be all the glory! 
God bless!

Part 2: God Answers Prayer!

Posted on May 2, 2018 at 9:30 AM


Note: Above picture says a lot about what I`m doing nowadays after I left the church, as well as, explanations about the true church. Nevertheless, I am still going to answer the questions I left in part one.



  • Why I left church?


First and foremost, let me share about my church life before. Although I was kind of introvert but by the grace of God, I keep progressing as time passes by. When it comes to church, I tried my best to be extrovert and mingle with my churchmates. I even visited them at their home regardless of distance. Further, I must be hospitable to visitors or guests (this is the way it should be).


My main purpose of going to church was to obey God`s command pertaining to Sabbath. I was and am still very serious when it comes to church. I was not there to be entertained every Sunday because my Sundays are boring, nor eat cakes after the service (LOL). It has always been my desire to grow spiritually. I always knew that I have had problem as far as my heart is concerned. My heart needs transformation!


I had learned from my sister in the Philippines that a true Christian must involve in a ministry, small group, and should attend Bible Study or prayer meeting. I tried to comply all of these at church while I was in the Philippines and also here in Norway. Sad to say, there was no permanent Bible study nor prayer meeting at my previous church. I don`t know the reason why. In spite of that, I volunteered myself to join in a ministry like service, i.e., hospitality and media (computer/projector). I don`t have a talent for singing, so I was disqualified in the praise & worship team.

Through out the period since I became a Christian, I have always wanted to work full time in church. Unfortunately, it is not common here I guess in Western world except I think mega-churches. I do understand that it is very expensive to live in Western countries like Norway. Some elders are bi-vocational. Their sources of income come from the church and from other sources like working in a secular world. Unlike in the Philippines or in any third world countries, many especially the elders are living by faith. Their income provided by the church only. They are in a full time ministry. How ironic is that! That`s why mostly have a strong faith. They are totally dependent on God. They can merely focus on Jesus, His teachings, and His Great Commission. Faith is like a muscle and needs to be exercised.

I was available for a service though. I helped them when the time they moved out and moved in to another place. I even asked my husband to join me so that he could help them as well. I painted the walls of their new building and cleaned the floor. I shouldn`t write these things because I did it really for God and not for men. In fact, even until now, I`m still happy I contributed something to that church. Like I said, I`m just sharing about my church life. ;)

So, why left the church?

Actually, I am a bit hesitant to share this but then this is for everyone`s own best...

I left the church because there was a spirit of slander and gossip in my previous church. You may say: "Well these are quite normal in the church because we are not yet perfect." Exactly! I do understand that. However, we should be AWARE of those sins since we go to church for the sake of EDIFICATION and we are WORSHIPING the ONE true, holy, righteous, perfect, and just GOD!

When I confronted my brother in Christ privately and shook his hands afterwards: meaning, that everything was okay after I talked to him (communication is very important). Sad to say, it was I who was bad and told publicly (in the church without mentioning my name though) that someone hurt his feelings. It would be better if it said to me directly or privately to tackle whatever problems we had, e.g., in what way I hurt him and etc. I could not talk to him anymore privately though because maybe I would hurt him again. We humans, regardless of how many times doing something good for someone, but when we fail at one point, everything shatters. I was a part of the body of Christ (church). When there was something wrong or pain in the body, I got affected as well because I was not a parasite or tumor --- I was a part of the body.

Below are the verses that I was holding on before I confronted with my brother in Christ

  • Matthew 18:15 - "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over."
  • Proverbs 27:5 - "Better than open rebuke than hidden love."

If those couple (husband and wife) who left the church and who hurt my brother had a hidden agenda to gain and steal people from my brother`s "own" church for their own new church, then let our hearts not be troubled about that because they (couple) will surely stand before God according to everything what they have done (2 Corinthians 5:10). We don`t have any control about people`s decision if they would transfer church or not. According to Acts 2:47, "Praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Church growth in quantity or quality is never ever our own work or doing. We do our part: shepherding or feeding the flock. God will do the rest.

Further, if the wife was not yet a Christian, as what my brother in Christ told me, then we should understand her. The Bible says, "And, if it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?" - 1 Peter 4:18. I have realized just recently that we must understand unbelievers if they have hurt us because they don`t know what they are doing. If they are just aware and know about the Lord and His unconditional love: dying for us sinners, then they will be discreet or cautious not to hurt somebody. `Jesus said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments.´ - Luke 23:34. We should imitate what Jesus said. And, we must be the light and salt of this earth. To the believers in Christ: we must REBUKE one another in LOVE.

  • When I will be back?

I`ll be back soon hopefully by God`s grace. Also, I will finish first something what I have started since the day I left the church. On top of that, if I`m ready emotionally, and above all, spiritually. What have I started? This brings me to the next question: 

  • What am I doing right now?

After I left the church in the year 2015 until now, I`m not yet done reading the entire Bible. My Bible is a study bible. So, extra notes to read on. I`m always in the library to read my own Bible (NASB MacArthur Study Bible). This is not only my daily routine. Likewise, I have DISCIPLINED myself to pray on a daily basis. I`m one on one with God through READING His Word and PRAYER. In addtion to that, I am DISCIPLING my husband. He must be the one who should disciple me, but he is not yet a true believer. My husband is above than me as God is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23).

Vegar loves outdoor activities, so I accompanied him wherever he would go. I am a wife. Therefore, I have a responsibility to fulfill like doing household chores. My own family is my first ministry. Obviously, I am WRITING blogs also. It took time for me to make and beautify this website of mine. What I mean is that it is not easy to put something on my website, such as articles/blogs, pictures with bible verses, illustrations, ideas, and so on. 

Like what I said to some people: after reading my entire Bible --- "I`m ready to face the world". And maybe go back to facebook!? ;) I am taking a break from social media because it gave me a feeling of addiction. I must prioritize first the Holy Book rather than facebook. It does not mean that I will be a bible expert. No. But at least I have known what`s inside of the bible. In other words, knowing what God reveals Himself through His Word, i.e., His will, plan, purpose, and promises to mankind. I couldn`t remember every details from His Book like the people`s names like kings, priests, prophets, or bible characters. As well as places, dates, events, verses, chapters, or books, and etc. However, God`s Word helps me a lot or is absolutely essential for me to know the TRUTH and be equipped spiritually; so that I will be ready to face the real battle in life ---- the spiritual warfare! 

Eventually, the picture above illustrates what I am doing nowadays: disciplining myself on reading the bible and in prayer. On the other side, an illustration about the church. I am connecting more to the real HEAD OF THE CHURCH --- our LORD JESUS CHRIST. Relationship rather than religion. Love rather than legalism. God allowed all those things to happen in my previous church for our own best. Things might seem bad, but God turned it into good. It is all about perspective. It was part of my learning and growth indeed and maybe it`s the same on their part as well. I won`t know really how it was like ABIDING IN CHRIST despite of storms in life, when I did not experience all of these! I told in part one that not everyone in the church are real Christians. There are wolves among the sheeps. Because they are just connected to the body, and not connected to the most important part which is the HEAD --- WHO gives life to the Church.

I thank and praise God. The Word of God is truly alive and active in my life (Hebrews 4:12)! For sure there are still more to come (challenges like persecution!?), for me to learn and understand God`s Written Word. Consequently, grow my faith in Him. It is expected that we will face many trials and challenges during our lifetime. Jesus said, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."John 16:33. Life is all about learning for God`s glory. This planet earth is our school. We are enrolled at the University of Life. Furthermore, through that unforgettable moment, I came to understand and know what was really my problem on why I did not have peace and to the point I was so stressed and anxious every day and it affected my church life. 

To be continued...

Part three will be posted soon. So keep an eye out for my next blog!

Part 1: God Answers Prayer!

Posted on March 23, 2018 at 3:30 PM

What is prayer?


Prayer simply means talking to God. 


I testify that God truly answers prayer. He answered my prayers in a very specific way, not just once, but many times. Praise God! God is sovereign. He knows what is best for us. He answers prayers if it is His will, if not, He would not answer it. Furthermore, He has His own timing. We just need to wait it patiently, not just days or months, but even many years! Last week, He answered my prayer after 2 years of waiting!


When my husband and I moved into our another apartment in the place called Lørenskog last July 2016 to September 2017, I prayed to God about this specific person that maybe someday I would meet him again in Lørenskog so that I could ask for forgiveness to him personally and not just on sms. I could just contact this person directly, but I was thinking that at this point of time I`m not yet ready to come back what I had left. I have to finish first something what I have started. For I knew that this person would like me to come back. I wanted to meet this person by unplan meeting. That town (Lørenskog) is actually quite far from where we live now. We haven`t met in that place before except there`s one time he and his wife dropped me off at the mall (Metro Senter). Lørenskog is not a tourist area that somehow there`s a greater possibility to meet familiar faces. They do have malls though, of course, and a stunning library where I went there almost everyday (to study my Bible) when we still lived in Rasta, Lørenskog. Now, we moved back into the capital city (Oslo). I no longer go there (library) except that unforgettable day when I waited for my husband after his work.


Above statements are quite intriguing and puzzling, aren`t they? 


Who is this mysterious person? What had I left?


If you have had read my blogs, I`ve shared a bit about my struggle with sleep because of psychological problem (stress, panic, and anxiety disorder). It`s true that it did really affect my church life not in the Philippines, but here in Norway. 


I haven`t been to so many churches in the Philippines after God found me last 2012 (we`re the one who are lost and not God). I only went to two churches after my conversion, but I attended two services in both churches every single Sunday. The other church was somewhat near to my apartment and the other one is where really my family would attend. I got baptized in those two churches. I was so religious because I wanted to obey God`s command pertaining to Sabbath. I joined Bible Study also every Wednesday. Everything what I did was to follow God`s Law. I was a legalistic instead of a real relationship. In that year, I needed to come back in Norway to reconcile with my husband from a 2-year separation. 


When I came back here, I visited thrice or so in a church where my long lost friend introduced it to me when I was still a newcomer in Norway. I was hesitant to continue. So, I searched on the internet Christian churches in Oslo. I found one that I like. It was a Filipino church where majority or 99 percent are Filipinos. I only attended a few times because I was thinking that I must mingle with other nationalities as well since I`m already here abroad especially to Norwegians. My husband wanted me to learn their language and I agreed. Plus, our lady leader in a small group was kind of critic. Despite of sharing to our group that I struggled with psychological problem and it affected my sleep big time, still could not resist to say something that hurt my feelings.


I have noticed that even Christians like to criticize physical appearance, financial status, or ability. I am not perfect, but since I knew the feeling of being upset and criticized, I`m trying to be discreet or cautious. I remember that someone corrected my wrong English grammar when I spoke to her (for we were with someone at that time who couldn`t understand our dialect) even though she is a Filipina. You may say: it is just a constructive criticism. Yes, I do understand that, but white lie is still a lie. And, so with constructive criticism is still a criticsm. Naturally, we humans could not take in something any types of criticisms. Everything is destructive for us. In fact, there should not be any hint of sin because God is absolutely perfect and holy. Of course, we could not attain perfection in this life but that should be our pursuit.


In spite of that, we should be teachable. I have accepted it ever since that I am weak mentally. I am not beautiful enough to world`s standard. I am not an intelligent person, and I am not successful as well, materially. All I can do to improve myself is to increase my love for Jesus. Only His viewpoint matters in this life. If we rebuke someone (believers only and not unbelievers because the Bible says, "For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?" - 1 Corinthians 5:12), it should be a godly criticism for the sake of edification, i.e., faults, shortcomings, and SIN. And, we must rebuke one another in love. We knew that God did not save us from our ugly physical appearance, poverty, or from a bad grammar. Jesus Christ died for us from our SIN!


Nevertheless, I`m still learning to accept it and be humble. I must remember to value others above myself; "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." - Philippians 2:3. I must die to myself, so that others will be exalted. Jesus said that we must love one another. It is a command. So, I should be the one giving love rather than accepting love from others. Likewise, I should not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17 & 1 Peter 3:9).

 

So through that church I met my Croatian friend. I had a contact with her back then. She told me that she found a church that was not so far from where she lived through an advertisement in the newspaper!? She said that she would no longer join fellowhips in FCC due to distance, difficulty finding a parking space in a city like Oslo, and also, language barrier. We (Filipina) talked too much in our own mother tongue (Tagalog) that sometimes we forgot there`s a foreigner.


I already knew ever since that church-hopping is not good. Based on my experience, I did school-hopping during my high school days. I transferred different schools evey year due to bullies. I already had an idea what it was like avoiding challenges all the time instead of facing it. I have learned from my past experiences that life has always been full of trials and challenges regardless of where we are and who we are with. We are living in a curse and fallen world. And so, in a church. The church consists of people who are spiritually dead, or terminally ill spiritually, or simply put --- sinners that are forgiven by God through His mercy and grace. For sure there are wolves among the *sheeps. (The plural of sheep is still sheep. I`ve learned this one just very recently by my churchmate who is from Scotland. She has the right to correct me because she is a native English speaker. Other people who will correct me, though I`ll get hurt but I need to accept it and be teachable. Pride is the reason why get hurt.)


I had heard from a pastor that only 50 percent in the church are true Christians based on survey. Additionally, that we must be a member of a church and stick to it for us to be rooted and grow spiritually. Consequently, become matured spiritually and bear fruit. This is undeniably true if that person is part of the body (church). There are a lot of people who are in the body, but not part of the body. They are called, "parasites" or "tumors". They are not absolutely part of the body and not contributing good to it. The key to becoming matured spiritually is to put into action or practice what we have learned from God`s Word. True wisdom is not only head knowledge but also heart application. In fact, all true Christian churches all over the world belong to one "body" as Jesus Christ is the head. I said true because there are so many false local churches all over the world. 


Going back to my Croatian friend, she invited me to join or attend Sunday fellowship in her new-found church, since she had been attended there before once or twice!? (I could hardly remember it now). It`s not a Filipino church but an international church. In other words, different ethnicities and languages, but same race: the human race.


Answers to the above questions:


The mysterious person that I was talking about and had prayed for was the PASTOR of my former church. And, what had I left? I left --- CHURCH! I attended that church for 2 years or so. Undeniably, God answered my prayer last week after 2 years of waiting exactly in a place that I prayed for which was Lørenskog, while studying my Bible in the library!


These were just an introduction to my real revelation. Not a bad revelation by the way, but a good one to inspire others. For everyone`s own good. This will be my first time sharing here about my church life. Some people asked me about my church, it is hard to explain everything especially to infant or new Christians because they could not fully grasp and understand. I am writing blogs to still encourage people to believe, trust, and have faith in Jesus. It has always been my desire and passion to share about my faith because I have tasted and seen the goodness and faithfulness of God in my life even to the point of my despair and distress. I have understood very well how it is to abide in Christ despite of storms in life.


I`m going to end up with these hanging questions:


  • Why I left church? 
  • When I will be back? 
  • What am I doing right now?
  • Am I a true Christian? Saved?
  • What kind of church that I`m looking for?
  • Would I still continue to go to that church? 
  • Does God punish me for not attending church? 
  • Does church attendance matters? Is it required? 

Please keep an eye out for the answers to these questions in part 2 & 3. Thank you. ;)

To be continued...

Child Training

Posted on March 15, 2018 at 6:35 PM

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."

Proverbs 22:6 -


(I`ve already written a blog pertaining to child training. To read more about this topic, please click this link: Raising Children.)


Proverbs 22:6 means to direct your children towards the right path. By doing this, they will not forget or leave whatever they have learned from their parents. The question is: what is then the right path? 


Before I will answer this question and discuss about child training, let me explain first what`s the picture (above) is all about.


My sister sent me a mms regarding about my nephew Lukas Bacus Andreassen, who is 8 years old. When I opened the mms and looked at the picture, suprisingly, he won the major drawing competition against all pupils or students all over Norway. He won not just a plaque but also a money worth ten thousand Norwegian Kroner! It`s quite impressive. Thanks to all the people behind this event, especially to LOOP, and of course, to his school in Kjelsås, Oslo. Above all, to our God Almighty.


I believe that this event is to encourage and motivate children to be aware about recycling. My nephew drew a beaver. This animal has a characteristic that is very important to our ecosystem. They are known to build dams or canals on rivers and streams. They use their strong teeth to cut trees. I knew my nephew got the right animal to draw, using his imagination to create a colorful and meaningful drawing. 


In Norway, we segregate our wastes. Meaning, we throw separately our wastes into the right garbage bins. I am very serious when it comes to segregation because it is a rule and my duty and responsibility to follow it. By God`s grace, if we have learned to submit to God`s Law which is holy and perfect, then everything else will fall into right places like following the rules and regulations and submitting to the governing authorities in the land.


Even unused small batteries, I don`t throw it in a trash bin, as what the symbol in a battery illustrates, "do not trash". Instead, I deliver it to the Waste Management places here in Oslo. Unused electronic devices and appliances should be deliver it to the Electronic Retailer Shops like Elkjøp. They have their own garbage bins. Common wastes that need to segragate are as follows: food or organic waste, plastics, paper or cardboard, glass, metals, textiles, compost, hazardous waste, and residual waste. 


God created this earth and put us here. We are all steward of what God has given to us. So, we need to take good care of our environment because this is for our own good. It is us who live here. As the saying goes, "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." If we love God, we must learn discipline. Being a good steward of our environment is an indication that we have learned discipline as far as cleaning and minimizing our wastes are concerned. Oftentimes, some natural disasters like floods and landslides were caused by humans.


On the other side, when my siblings and I were younger, we were trained and disciplined by our parents about household chores especially cleaning. That is why I have learned how to clean and arrange things neatly and in order at home. I was a kind of meticulous person first time living with my husband in his apartment. It was never an easy task for me to be changed the things I have learned ever since from childhood. Years passed by, I have changed little by little because I was struggling with stress and by God`s grace alone, I have learned to prioritize God first and foremost. He gives rest to those who are restless, tired, and weary when we come to Him. Please look at Matthew 11:28.


If we have a free time, it is not good to spend more hours on cleaning and arranging things at home. We should do it in moderation. I have learned this from the Bible. See Luke 10:38-42 about Martha and Mary. Everything in life is only temporary. If we would spend more hours on cleaning or anything that consumes most of our time other than God, then that would be our idol. Furthermore, we would be addicted to it. In other words, our focus are no longer on God, but rather on the things that will not last forever. Things that are not meant to be our first priority. God should be our first priority.


What are the things that will last forever? Answer: God`s priorities for our lives. Such as, knowing Jesus through reading and studying His Word, praying unceasingly, doing God`s will in our lives --- like spreading the Good News of salvation to the unsaved, involving in a ministry, avoiding sexual immorality and all kinds of sin, thanking God in all circumstances, helping the poor and needy, attending church or fellowships, loving people especially the believers, and many more about spiritual things. These are the things that will last for eternity. 


It is indeed a stressful thing to be very strict when it comes to cleaning at home. We must clean for hygienic purposes, but not too much to the point of being meticulous. Because we would always worry if our home is clean and tidy enough when we have visitors. In fact, we would always get angry and irritate if the people living with us do not meet our own cleaning standard. We knew that kind of anger is a sin. Based on my experienced, it was very difficult to cope up this kind of stress and be changed suddenly my priorities in life like prioritizing God first and foremost. Because as what I have said that I grew up with this: being trained to be good at household chores. It takes time indeed to be change. But by constant discipline and practice and through God`s help and grace, nothing is impossible. 


One might ask: Why not listen to audio Bible or maybe, listen to Christian music while doing household chores? This is a good idea because it is somehow a multitasking. However, it doesn`t work for me --- but maybe it works for you! I remember that someone told me to read the Bible before going to sleep (for I was struggling with sleep before). In doing so, I could feel tired and sleepy and maybe have some good night rest afterwards. This is okay if you are still in a conscious state. However, if you are no longer aware of what you are reading, then you need to stop. Yes, God could give us rest, but not this kind of rest. The “rest” that God offers is not the kind that you find a couple of weeks in the summer, in a hammock, or in bed. It is far beyond the rest we knew --- physical rest. It is a rest for our souls --- spiritual rest. The Bible is not intended for sleeping purposes, but rather it is intended for us to understand God`s Written Word so that we could meditate on it day and night. Consequently, live the life God intended us to be. We need to concentrate and pay attention to God`s Holy Word. 


Child Training

What is then the right path to train up a child?


The right path to train up a child is to direct and point them to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Bible says, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." - Ephesians 6:4. To make it simple, teach them to know about God through His Word. When they will grow up, they will always remember the things they will learn from you (parents) because the Law of God (moral law) will be written into their minds and on their hearts (Hebrews 8:10 & Jeremiah 31:33). Furthermore, they will become God-fearing children and make wise decisions in life when they will grow older according to God`s will. The most important we can teach to the children is the righteousness and holiness of God.


Typically, parents tell their children to finish their studies so that they would have a good future, to be succesful in life, and encourage them to be competitive. These are good things, but not the best. God knows what is best for us because He made us. So, it is wise to teach them according to God`s discipline and instruction that are found in the Bible because everything else will fall into right places.


Why should it be like that? As we all knew that everything here in this world is only temporary except things that have eternal value. Our relationship to God and obedience to His´ commands will last for eternity. This is the reality: we are living in a fallen world. Sin exists and we are battling with it everyday.


That is why it is very important to teach them about God through His Word for them to be able to handle and overcome challenges in life when they grow older. It will help them to handle bullies, criticisms, relationships towards family and all people, and physical illnesses. Furthermore, it will help them to avoid mental illnesses, such as depression, addiction of all kinds, panic, anxiety, stress disorder, and so on. In additon, it will help them to avoid sin and temptation, accept the death of a loved one, and many more trials and challenges in life. Above all, it will help them gaining wisdom, knowledge, discernment, and understanding about the TRUTH in life. 


Glory and praise be to God alone whatever things I have written. 

Part 2: What Makes You Happy?

Posted on February 15, 2018 at 8:40 AM



(Part 2)

Hanging question:

What and who is our hope when life seems there`s no way out?


Without further ado: our faith in Jesus Christ is our only HOPE when life seems there`s no way out.


God reveals His will, plans, and promises for our lives in His Word. If we believe God then we must intentionally spend quality time with Him through learning His Word and in constant prayer. God is our Living Hope when life seems there`s no way out. God will make a way where there seems to be no way. There`s always a way if we only knew it and God`s plan is always the best. He is in control. Isaiah 43:16 says; "Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters." This verse is not only a metaphor or figure of speech, but it`s literal!


In the book of Exodus, the Israelites were slaves. And, God chose Moses as a leader and promised to them that they would be out from slavery in Egypt and to give them the land flowing with milk and honey which was Canaan. In other words, God gave them a promise of freedom and provision. The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years! At that time, they were so impatient because they were doubtful about God`s promises. They grumbled and grumbled. Turned away from God and worshiped an idol (golden calf). Despite of that, God still provided for them their *daily bread (manna) (Exodus 16:35) and of course water, (Exodus 17:6). In additon to that, God gave them the pillar of cloud by day to lead them in the way He wanted them to go and the pillar of fire by night to give light (Exodus 13:21). Nevertheless, they were blind of how God helped them in the barren desert.


The red sea appeared to be an impossibility for the Israelites (God`s people). It looked like a stumbling block to their promise of freedom and provision, but it was God’s opportunity to perform a miracle for all to see, including their enemies. Moses held out his staff and the Red Sea was parted by God. The Israelites walked on the exposed dry ground and crossed the sea, followed by the Egyptian army. Moses again moved his staff once the Israelites had crossed and the sea closed again, drowning the whole Egyptian army.


He made a way for Israel in the wilderness and sea in the past and will still do the same for you and I today because He is the same God yesterday, today, and forever. He will indeed make a way in the time of testing and trials. All we have to do is call on the name of Jesus. He promises to hear and answer our prayers.


Here are the solutions regarding about the desires of human beings:


#1. Happiness


Our happiness is not dependent on situations. Everything changes and passes away. Our brain is hardwired for God. The Bible says, "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him." - Colossians 1:16. Meaning, God made us just for Him and our happiness is dependent on Him alone! "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." - Psalm 16:11.


This is a deep-seated joy. Regardless of circumstances in life, we can still have this deep-seated joy in our hearts. Our heart is big enough that only God could fit in it. Basically, without God in the picture, we feel the void and emptiness in our hearts. Even Christians, every now and then, could still feel this void if they lost their focus. We should discipline and practice our thoughts to focus on spiritual things and not on worldly things which are temporary. Right thinking will produce right emotion and consequently, will result in right behavior. Philippians 4:8 - "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."


The challenge is we wouldn`t know how to think rightly if we don`t read and study the Bible. God gave His Word for us to know how to live life wisely.


#2. Money


1 Timothy 6:10"For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." Money is not the problem, but the love for it. Some people are successful in their business while others are earning a big salary. After all, it is the Lord who gives them the ability to produce wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18). God blesses some people with riches and wealth. There is nothing wrong with abundance of material things if it is gained from integrity. God is the source of everything and He owns it all. He gives riches to people by His will and for His eternal purposes.


We should be a good steward of what God has given to us. A person is considered rich if he/she could afford beyond their means. If someone is living beyond their means, it means that they are spending more money than they can afford. The problem now is this: we humans never have satisfactions in life. 


We are always comparing ourselves to our neighbor. In other words, we tend to envy others and then --- covet. We desire for money because we knew that money could buy and do a lot of things. Even some people who already have beyond their means, still desiring to gain more and more until they have already reached the top and declared; "Is this all? There is nothing here at the top!" Ecclesiastes 5:10 - "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity."


God sustains and gives His blessings to believers and unbelievers. It is called common grace. Riches and blessings are not really intended for our own enjoyment, but also intended for others especially for the poor and needy people. Above all, it is intended for God`s Kingdom here on earth (Church). If everyone in this world knows and fears Jesus and knows His Word and obeys it, then there will be no more poverty and famine because we will learn to give or share abundantly what we have to others. Sad to say, sin entered into this world and not everyone believes the Word of Christ. In the Bible, Jesus spoke more about money than heaven and hell.


The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil because it motivates us to be greedy, envious, jealous, covetous, sorrowful, ungrateful, hateful, murderous, worried, fearful, and all kinds of sin.  Whatever your situation right now, be content and grateful to God. He knew all your needs before you knew it, so don`t worry instead pray (Matthew 6:31-32). "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." - Matthew 6:33.


I did not mean not to work. Laziness or idleness is a sin. The Bible condemns idleness to those who are abled. God gives people different abilities, talents, and skills for different types of work. Furthermore, it is Him who gives us privilege to have a decent job and earn money. In fact, God deals us differently and we have different life`s calling.


Biblically, the first and main priority of a wife is her household. We would surely know God`s will in our lives through His Word and consequently, He will gives us wisdom through our situations. In my case, I could look for a job nowadays because by God`s grace, I have learned now how to handle problems and know the solutions if there are challenges regarding about work, workmates, and so on. As I observed my economic situation, God is providing us more than our needs! Praise and glory to God alone. Actually, I have less to no money in my bank account, but since I had been trained and disciplined by my earthly father about contentment, it seems like what I have is more than enough. The most important for me right now is to know more about Jesus and grow spiritually. Indeed, it takes eternity to know God and seems to me that this is a lifetime commitment.


Whatever we treasure in this life, our hearts will follow as well. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Matthew 6:19-21


I`m going to stop here because money is a broad topic. One book is not enough. Here is a verse to meditate if we are losing hope about our financial status; "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" - Mark 8:36


#3. Family


Everything in our lives is not an accident. God forknew all things what will happen in our lives. If there are bad circumstances as far as family is concerned, then God allows that to happen. It is never His will for us to sin, but He does allow it. He does this not out of any delight in sin but out of a delight in the greater end which will be achieved. There is a purpose behind everything, even an unwanted pregnancy of a prostitute woman and a baby with birth defect and disability. In the book of John 9:1-3 talks about this issue, "As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him." That is why abortion is not an option. 


No one is perfect. So, there is no such thing as perfect life. Likewise, there is no such thing as perfect family. Unfortunately, we could not find it here on earth. We must accept the reality wholeheartedly. The reason why we have this void and emptiness in our hearts it is because we don`t want to accept what is lacking in our lives. We wanted to have the best life among the rest. There is this sense of pride. Furthermore, we wanted to fill up whatever we desire in our hearts. Mind you, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" - Jeremiah 17:19. We are all so easily influenced by the world around us, our hearts need guarding. We need to guard our hearts with God`s Word.


This is the solution that I was talking about in part one. And, how I cope up being a childless woman? The answer was also written and explained above this paragraph. Honestly, I have accepted it not yet wholeheartedly, but I`m getting there. I have something to figure out first and besides, I am still in my child-bearing age (lol). 


Once again, family is a broad topic. Remember: value people and be happy with the life you have right now! 


#4. Fame


Oftentimes, God uses people who are weak, irrelevant, and unpopular to display His strength and power. It does not matter no one appreciates or sees what you are doing, the important is that God knows and sees it. We are living for an audience of One. After all, the glory, praise, worship, adoration, and honor belong to God alone. It is Him who deserves all the credit. The Bible says in John 12:43 - "For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God."


No matter how famous and powerful a person is; this is the reality: For, "All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls." - 1 Peter 1:24.


#5. Health


If our physical and mental are sick, the only solution is to cure and improve first our spiritual. According to Proverbs 17:22, "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." There is a connection between our physical and mental with our spiritual health. I can testify to this. I was sick physically before due to mental illness (depression, panic, and anxiety disorder). Medical world called it somatic. And the only solution I knew is to heal and improve first my spiritual. I was spritually dead before. I thank and praise God for His mercies and grace. I have a sound mind and body now. 


1 Corinthians 6:19 - "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own." Christians, we must glorify God with our bodies because we were bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). Glorifying God with our bodies it means that we should not be involve in all forms of sexual immorality, physically and mentally. Moreover, we need to take good care of our bodies because the Holy Spirit dwells in us. 


But then again, we need to train and discipline more our spiritual. Because the Scripture says, "Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come." - 1 Timothy 4:8.


At this point, I hope and pray that you have already read all the statements, messages, or paragraphs above. I shared everything to you guys for you to be encouraged and not be discouraged about life. Life is really difficult, but God is good. We have HOPE in Him. So put all of it in Him alone!  


Whatever achieved, all credit goes to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Part 1: What Makes You Happy?

Posted on February 10, 2018 at 4:20 AM



(Part 1)

Common Desires of Human Beings


Here are the top five lists:


#1. Happiness


I believe this is the top one!


Most people who have everything in life are not completely happy. They`re always pursuing something to fill up the void or emptiness in their hearts. Some of them are using drugs and drinking too much alcohol to see if it satisfy them. Just to find out that it cause more problems and complications and completely destroying their lives. Of course, some who are involved in drug and alcohol addiction are just out of curiosity, trying to be cool, and then influenced by peers. For others, it is sex that makes them happy. And the list goes on and on.


From time to time, we have heard in the news about famous celebrities who committed suicide due to depression and alcohol or drug overdose. We asked to ourselves, why? They already had everything in life! It sounds to me that they didn`t find the peace that they`re looking for. They were constantly restless. And, the only solution man knows (if without God) to lessen or ease his agony and loneliness is to kill himself. This is the reason why I put this as number one.


#2. Money


Not having enough money is the problem.


For if we have a lot of money, then we can buy and do what we want, e.g., buy big houses and lot, expensive brand of cars, expensive signatured bags and clothings, eat in an expensive restaurants, beautify or enhance ourselves through plastic surgeries, travel to different countries or around the world, and so on. On the other hand, people who don`t have enough or not content with the money they have, try to steal. Likewise, some people could kill someone for the sake of money. It literally says what it means that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). More of the explanations about this verse will be in part two.


But for the most people, they are working so hard toiling day and night and almost spend their time at work. They are the workaholics and find work enjoyable and some are just compelled to do it because of money. Some people even have a sideline job so that they could have enough or extra money just to buy their wants. In reality, almost all of us are not contented of the basic needs. Our basic needs include; food (including water), shelter, clothing plus education and healthcare. We are always pursuing newer, bigger, latest, more trending things, and et cetera. In other words, we humans never have satisfactions in life.

 

#3. Family


Each and every one of us is unique. So, every family situation is different in so many ways.


There are many children who grow up without their biological mother, but have a biological father and vice versa. They`re longing to have what is missing in their lives. Unfortunately, there are a lot of children as well who do not have their biological parents, they are called the orphans. Although some of these children have their adoptive parents, they`re still longing to find their own biological parents. Furthermore, when they reach adulthood, they could still feel the agony regardless of their wealth and success in life.


How about those who grow up in the orphanage with no adoptive parents? We could not imagine the deep yearning and longing in their hearts. Some adults don`t have siblings and wanting to have a younger brother or sister because they envy others. I grew up with both biological parents and eight siblings, plus I have a lot of relatives. I was still not happy because I had an abusive father.


Sad to say, there are children who grow up with gay parents (man to man and woman to woman). One of their so-called "parents" is their real father or mother. Biblically, this is a weird family structure. God did not design this. I am pretty sure children who grow up with that kind of environment still desiring something to fulfill the missing part in their hearts.


Now, this is the exciting part!


There are a lot of single women who are over their 40s and still single. Not by choice, but by destiny. Maybe, they are not destined to become a wife. Two of those women are my sisters plus one sister of mine who is almost 40 years old. Since they are Christians, it is somehow by a choice because they wanted to have a husband who is genuine and faithful to the Lord. And nowadays, there are only a few of them. Having said that, they`re still desperately (I`m sorry sisters, lol.) desiring to be with someone when they grow old. They prayed for it and have faith about it, but God knows what is best for them. I believe they need to learn more patience. Basically, if they get married and have children, their focus are divided and maybe they cannot manage well. So it is better for them to remain single. Indeed, this is biblical. 1 Corinthians 7:8 - "To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I (apostle Paul) am." This category applies to single men as well.


Okay, they got married and have children and then --- separated or divorced from their husbands or wives. I know some people who belong to this category. They are looking and keep looking for a partner because they`re not fully satisfied with their situations. Honestly, we envy others and feel sad if no one is there for us to keep us warm at night, gives us comfort and love when we have problems, helps us economically, and so on. So, they desire to be married again. But mostly, they prefer to have a live-in partner, so that there is no hassle when it comes to papers, conjugal properties, and responsibilities.


Another category is a family group consisting of two biological parents and their own children (one or more). And it is called, a nuclear family. Although their family is complete but some are not totally happy because of marital and financial problems, or even problem regarding about their children. They`re desiring to have a harmonious, peaceful, and joyous life.


Finally, this category is my category. I belong to this group. I`m married to a loving, respectful, and responsible husband but --- no kids. There are a large number of married couples who don`t have children. Since money can buy and does something, they can afford to adopt, or even spending big amount of money to become pregnant, just for them to fill up the emptiness and desires in their hearts. Some women never give up and very eager and anxious until they will become pregnant. Some are even praying earnestly and unceasingly to their own gods, until their gods will open their wombs (by their beliefs). Of course, Christians should pray to the One true God --- Jesus, if they desire to bear a child. If it is God`s will, for sure it will come, but if not, obviously it is not His will. He knows what is best for us.


Since our technology today is advance, there are options to get impregnated. All of these, sooner or later, they will find out that they`re not yet done with challenges. Our hearts are deceitful and could not contain whatever we fill up in it. The solution and how I cope up being a childless woman will be in part two. So please watch out for my next blog!


#4. Fame


Who wouldn`t like to become a famous?


When I was in my secondary school, I prayed to god (false gods or idols) inside the chapel of our shool (University of Cebu - main) to become famous. For I was so envious of my classmates and schoolmates who were talented and beautiful. They were famous at that time in our campus. I desired to have fans as well. 


When I transferred to another school (University of the Visayas - Mandaue), I was kind of famous. (Sorry for my next sentence, this is not to boast or brag something. I need to share this for the sake of explanations.) Because I got high scores in almost all of my subjects during our examinations, not just in our class/section but in all sections! At that time, they forced me to join Miss United Nations pageant due to my height and because they were pretty sure that I could answer the question and answer portion (lol). I did not win for I was so nervous. I joined spelling bee as well at school. All of these were only temporary, as I transferred to another school and experienced bullies many times. It was more painful than a failing grades.  


In reality, there are a lot of people, especially Filipinos who have always wanted to become famous in their chosen fields such as, acting, singing, dancing, playing different sports and instruments, and so on. Money is not only their motivation, but they also wanted to share their talents and to be the best of their chosen fields. For sure they have always wanted or desired to have so many fans as well. 


I have never been to the point of becoming famous and I don`t really know exactly how it feels. But I think it is not easy to become one. Being a celebrity is stressful and lonely. The tendency is you are always dealing with pressures. Your life is an open book and people could quickly judge you. Probably, you might lost your freedom and peace. This the reason why even famous celebrities are not totally satisfied with their fame. On the positive side, they could influence a lot of people. The impact is very big. People see them as role models. There are advantages of being a famous, but there are disadvantages as well.


Technology rising up and rapidly changing this world. Through social medias, you can be an instant celebrity and become famous all over the world. But it is still not enough, they`re still longing something to fill up the void in their hearts.


#5. Health


Last but not the least, health.


This is likely pertaining to physical health. What is the use of everything if they are not healthy. "Health is wealth", as the saying goes. The life expectancy of this generation is declining because of unhealthy diet and less to no exercise. Almost everything is instant and high-tech and we are becoming lazy. Healthy foods are very expensive especially the organic one, while the unhealthy foods are very cheap and affordable.


Nowadays, there are a lot of people who have serious or malignat diseases such as, cancer, diabetes, tumor, heart disease, and so on. No matter how much big money they have in their bank accounts, sooner or later, they will become bankrupt; if they have these so-called expensive diseases. Having said that, money is somehow a life saver but in reality, could not stop the person from dying. Death is inevitable. 


This is a true to life story about a Chinese man who worked so hard to possess riches. He often left his family due to work. Despite of stress, he continued to work hard for the sake of wealth until his health had deteriorated and die. Because he was rich, they had a family driver who was always there for his wife and children. That family driver inherited a big amount of money from his deceased Chinese boss. Not because the driver`s name was written in the last will and testament, but because he (driver) is now the new husband to the wife of his former boss. 


Diseases could strike to anyone regardless of age, gender, status, and health condition. Where should we put our hope, joy, and peace if our health is our biggest challenge? Surely, we could not find happiness in this situation because we will lose our money or wealth, our family will grieve, some husband/wife will leave their spouse, and fame will vanish because our limelight will become dim, and horribly, we are dying. What and who is our hope when life seems like there`s no way out?


Find out in part two!


To be continued...

Standing Firm In The Faith

Posted on January 31, 2018 at 6:55 PM

Could we actually stand firm in our faith when everything around us is shaking?


Humanly speaking, NO --- this is impossible for us, but with God nothing is impossible, all things are possible to him if a person believes (Mark 9:23). 


Storms in life are not unfamiliar to me. Oftentimes, this is the theme of my life. A familiar scene. Nowadays, I have been bombarded with challenges and negative thoughts. As what I have said, this is not new to me. Ever since, my life is full of trials and challenges. 


My faith is always shaken.


The picture that is shown above is the perfect example of what I`ve been through in life. By the way, that was really me hanging from the Bible. Although, it was only a cropped images and then I attached it together, but it is the exact representation of my life. 


Living in a country where majority don`t believe in God, it seems being a Christian and the spiritual thing that I`m doing is nonsense. But this nonsense thing that I am doing changes my life literally, slowly overcoming my weaknesses, changes my heart and perspective in life, redirects my steps, gives me insights, discernments, and understanding about life, gives me purpose and meaning in life, gives me peace, joy, peace, and contentment, helps increasing my faith, hope, and love, boosts my confidence (not in myself, but in God) to face people (all walks of life) and difficult situations, gives assurance of my salvation, warns me about sin, and many more.


It sounds like that I`m kinda selfish because of what I could get or benefit from being a Christian. But believe it or not, these are the results (fruit of the Holy Spirit; see Galatians 5:22-23) of holding to the TRUTH about God through His Word. The truth of the matter is: God saved us by His grace and through faith alone, not just for ourselves but for the benefits of others. It is not the tree who enjoys its own fruit, but rather the one who consumes it or in other words, the people.


"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me." 

- John 15:4


Abiding in Jesus is the best and only thing we can do. In spite of storms plus obstacles and temptations of life, we need to stand firm in our faith. We must fix our eyes on Jesus alone (Hebrews 12:2). After all, we are living by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). We stay focused on God literally folks!


Remember this: we have an enemy and his title is Satan; the ruler of this world, an accuser, a liar, and a thief! He wants us to disobey God, follow the standard of this world, and destroy our faith. He is very good at it. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:10.


Our real enemy is not the person who looked down, mocked, and attacked us, but rather the one behind that person --- the devil. The Bible says, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." - Ephesians 6:12.


The reality of the Christian life is this: we would be possibly and absolutely face troubles and adversities. These would not end up during our lifetime. Yes! Life is difficult but God is good. In every situations, He is teaching us something to build, grow, and mature our faith. We don`t need to be discouraged about adversities. You might say; why other people seem no big challenges in their lives and they seem happy? First and foremost, we are not with them 24/7 (twenty four hours a day, seven days a week). Those who are not destined to be saved or the non-elect, are the people owned by the enemy. Actually, it is more than "owned", according to John 8:44, "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies." So, no need for the devil to destroy them, but slowly but surely, their souls are already decaying.


Learning biblical theology and sound doctrine affect big time in life. Our Christian life is not about gaining material things, having everything completely in our lives, acquiring worldly success, or getting blessings from God. If we follow Jesus, we get Jesus. Although if we lack something, the Word of God says, "And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” - Matthew 21:22, but by His will (1 John 5:14) and for His eternal purposes. He knows what is best for me and you, for He sees far beyond our time. Those are the non-essential things. God`s business is more on changing hearts and building our faith in Him. These are the essential things. Moreover, we are still on earth living and procreating because we are anticipating the second coming of Christ, and God is giving people chances to come to a knowledge of truth, accept Him, and be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Our real and main problem in this world is sin. It dwells in our whole being. As we all know that God already solved this biggest problem of humanity which is SIN. Having said that, we just need to abide in Jesus Christ alone --- the Saviour of humanity.


As I said that I have been bombarded with challenges and negative thoughts, but since I`m learning to abide in Jesus through His Word, and by His grace alone, I surpass it little by little. It is not easy and comfortable, however, it is our only HOPE. I know that there are still more coming, but I have been trained and disciplined, by the grace of God, to hold fast to the TRUTH, to keep my focus and meditation on Christ, things above, and things unseen which is HEAVEN; our real and permanent home. 


Ephesians 6:17 instructs us, "to put on the whole armor of God and to “take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” I believe that at the end of this narrow road, God is waiting for me and you. We should stand firm when everything around us is shaking. "Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. - 1 Timothy 6:12.


Note: I am writing this blog to encourage others and myself. 

Our Ministry In Cebu

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 3:20 AM

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Note: This is an inspirational ministry. 


Although I didn`t take photos the time we gave these goods to people, this is not to boast or brag something, but rather giving back to God for what He has given me. I am a steward. He is the source. Everything belongs to Him and He owns it all. So all the credit goes to Him! I am posting it here to encourage and inspire people. Praise and glory to God alone!


Every time I`m in the Philippines and with the help of my family members, I have always wanted to give gifts, relief goods, and love offerings to my fellowmen. We are blessed by God to bless others. We don`t own anything in this world. God gives and takes it away. In Job 1:21 - "And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”


Inside of these white plastic bags are 2 kilos of rice (each bag), biscuits, snacks, canned goods, noodles, coffees, milks, condiments, laundry soaps, bath soaps, shampoos, cooking oils, soy sauces, toothpastes, and some other small things like dishwashing liquids and etc. Plus, the most important of all is the --- GOSPEL TRACTS!

Happy New Year --- 2018!

Posted on January 5, 2018 at 3:10 AM


If you`re following my blog every now and then, and wondered I was not online or writing any article for more than a month. Together with my husband, we were in the Philippines for a holiday. We traveled first day of December 2017, and came back the day on New Year`s Eve --- 2018!


It was a wonderful vacation indeed! Did a ministry work (glory to God), spent time with my husband in an another island, got to meet and spend time with my family, and so on and so forth. I`ll come to share some of the things I did there in my future blogs.


For now, I want to greet all of you a "HAPPY NEW YEAR". We ought to thank God for another year He has given to us. It is a new opportunity and chances to come to know more of Him. Consequently, serve and glorify Him. 


It is very common in the Philippines (for we have had influenced by Chinese Horoscope), every new year to know what animal is it in that specific year. As of this year I`ve heard that it is the year of the dog! How dogs can help human in all areas of life?


As I quote this phrase in an article I read about new year and it goes; ‘’It is the Year of the Lord, just like all the past years and even the present year. That means this year and all years in the past and future belong to the Lord Jesus Christ and not some animal or anything else.’’


Thank you all for visiting my site for the past year/s. May God will continue to bless you abundantly. Our soul is the most important because it will last for eternity. This blog of mine is food for our souls, as you can read God`s Word here plus testimonies about the goodness, kindness, discipline, forgiveness, mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Grace and peace be to you. To God be all the glory!


Love,

Jasmin

The Great Commission!

Posted on November 22, 2017 at 6:15 PM

When I was in Oslo`s city centre last week, I met four Thai ladies. I was there because I bought something in the Asian grocery store. When it`s weekend, expect to see a lot of people especially in the areas where shops, malls, cafés, restaurants, and so on, are located. I didn`t notice it that someone tried to approach me and said something that I couldn`t understand. Ah... they thought that I`m one of their folks. "I am a Filipina.", as I responded.


One of the ladies gave me a very familiar booklet. Voila! It was a gospel tract! I accepted it with gladness in my heart and told them that I am a Christian. For me, it is not common to see Thai people who are Christians. Statistics show that about 93.6 percent of all the people in Thailand are Buddhists.



People who are not Jews are called as "Gentiles". Truly, God extends His grace to the gentile nations and has predestined someone to salvation. They are called the "elect". God chooses people not because of good works and righteousnesses, we all fail and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) by the way, but only because of His´ mercy and grace through faith alone.


Now we will return to the ladies I`d met.


When I began talking to them, I had learned that the three of them live in different countries in Europe such as, Denmark, Finland, and Italy! And, only one lives here in Oslo! It seemed that I had known them for so long because they were very comfortable to be with. Moreover, they were so kind, friendly, and accommodating. They even kissed me on my cheeks and said that I am their sister. I noticed that the other one from Italy could harldy bear the cold weather. It is understandable. Norway is colder than Italy. The three were talking to me, but the other one from Finland, continued giving the gospel tracts to the people who passed by on the pavements. 


What struck me the most was their passion and dedication of their faith to Jesus! 


They traveled to Norway just for this ministry. It was indeed a very important mission trip. They were here for a couple of days only. They`d travel back to their respective nations tomorrow after that day. This ministry needs confidence in God. I repeatedly told them that God blessed them for what they were doing. One must have courage and boldness to do this. I personally could say that it is not easy to handout gospel tracts to people, especially here in Europe. Expect the expected possibilities. People would ignore and angry at you, throw the gospel tracts, and the most challenging one is persecution. But nothing is impossible with God. All things are possible with Him. Only Him could gives us this courage and confidence! People will hate us because they hated Jesus first. "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you." - John 15:18.


I value if people give me something. That`s why I don`t just read those gospel tracts that I received, but I`ll write and share it down below the English version and the Norwegian version is on another page. I would somehow try to share the Gospel in the Norwegian language. But I need to study more of this language. I stopped it for the meantime.



Eventually, I got the Good News and pass it on to you who are reading this blog. If someone knows the solution or cure of this deadly disease, should we eagerly tell that solution or cure to the world who are dying of this disease; and that is --- sin. The solution is --- JESUS CHRIST!





ETERNAL LIFE IS A FREE GIFT

The Lord Jesus Christ paid the full price for the salvation of your soul. He "gave himself for our sins," (Galatians 1:4a) Jesus, the Son of God, "loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20b) Now because "by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." there remains no price for us to pay! (Hebrew 9:12b) We are "justified freely by his grace." (Romans 3:24a) "It is finished:" (John 19:30b)



DOING GOOD WORKS CANNOT SAVE YOU

Salvation is "Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:9) God "hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," (II Timothy 1:9b)


The Bible, God`s Word, says, "As it is written , There is none righteous, no not one." (Romans 3:10) "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23) Sin is the problem, and even belonging to a church will not take it away. Jesus Christ Himself said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3b) As the Bible says, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (Romans 3:28) "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" (Ephesians 2:8)



YOU CANNOT TAKE YOUR CHANCES

The Bible says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this judgement:" (Hebrews 9:27) You really don`t know for sure how much time is left of your life. "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." (James 4:14) 



YOU CANNOT SAVE YOURSELF

The Bible says, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law," (Galatians 2:16a) It also says, "we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags;" (Isaiah 64:6a)



SALVATION IS FREE TO ALL

The Bible says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13) The Bible says, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners," (1 Timothy 1:15b) "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God," (1 Peter 3:18a)



IF YOU DO NOT GET SAVED

The Bible says, "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night," (Revelation 14:11a). "For the wages of sin is death;" (Romans 6:23a) This death is more than just physical death. It is an "eternal burning!" The Bible says, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8)



HOW CAN YOU BE SAVED

The Bible calls for "repentance toward God," (Acts 20:21b) Repentance is a change of heart which causes you to turn toward God and away from your present way of life. Accept the Bible facts that you are guilty as a sinner before Him, and you are unable to deliver yourself from the punishment of hell, which is due you because of your sin. The Bible also calls for "faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts 20:21b) Faith is putting complete trust in Jesus Christ as your only means of clearing your guilt and delivering your soul from the punishment of hell. The Bible says, "... Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," (Acts 16:31a) If you will receive Jesus Christ into your heart, by trusting Him to save your soul, you will become a son of God and spend eternity in heaven. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name;" (John 1:12) God promises He will save you if you will trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans 10:9) Please accept the "free gift" of eternal life God is offering you. 



PRAYER

If you will accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, please pray with all your heart:


Dear God, be merciful to me a sinner. I am sorry for my sins, and now trust the Lord Jesus Christ to save me. I now take Him as my Lord and Saviour. I ask for eternal life that he paid for with His own blood. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. <3

Part 3: Applying For Citizenship

Posted on November 7, 2017 at 3:00 AM


This will be the last series of this topic which I entitled; "Applying For Citizenship". 


I know some people who are living here especially Filipinos, who have had their Norwegian citizenship a few years ago. I noticed something that the things that most migrants have had already, quickly they acquired it. Just like for example, acquiring Norwegian citizenship, a career, and etc.  Unlike my life, I`m getting it slowly. Their lives were never been the same after they had set foot here. However, life is not a competition! My life before was in constant trouble and chaos. In addition to that, I was separated from my husband and lived in the Philippines for a couple of years. These were the reasons on why I`m not getting the things that most people desiring to have in this country.


On the other hand, what I am gaining here is availability of my time. Time is gold, as what the saying goes. It is indeed precious. I have an available time to do something extremely important in our lives and that is to grow spiritually. With no worries where should I get my food and clothing, but trusting the Lord for these basic needs because the Bible tells me so. I`m spending my time by God`s grace alone to know more of Him. As a result, I`m desiring to make a difference in this nation, or helping the people by telling them who they really need in life. That is to tell them about JESUS! This is the opportunity that I was talking about. THE GREAT COMMISSION! :)


The real and main problem in this world is not money or material things. Everything belongs to God and He owns it all. But the real problem is our HEART! It is indeed the problem of our hearts. Sin dwells in our hearts because of the effect of it caused by our first parents, Adam and Eve. We all have this sinful nature in us. We are constantly living in rebellion against God if it wasn`t for Jesus. He is indeed Lord and Savior! "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16.


It doesn`t mean that I really wanted to gain those things. In fact, I seriously evaluated it if I am going to apply for citizenship or not. I love my country and have plan to live there again, God willing. There are a lot of opportunities in the Philippines, not a job, but a ministry. Helping people who are struggling and losing hope in their lives. Furthermore, there are a lot of poor people, and are open to listen to the gospel, and willing to seek and receive Christ. However, I need to stay and live here because I am married. It is unbiblical to leave my husband in exchange for a ministry. Even if I am doing it for God`s glory, is still null and void because there`s a conflict between the Bible. Family is the first ministry actually! Discipling (not disciplining; two different words with different meanings) my husband so that he might come to know, believe, and accept Jesus by God`s grace.


I have been given a privilege to live in this beautiful country because of God. It is no longer about having a nice career and earning a good salary, but it is all about knowing God and sharing the Good News of salvation to people here in Norway and all over the world. Indeed, God already orchestrated everything in my life. Because of my marriage, God used it for me to know Him more intimately, all by His amazing grace! 


Consequently, I found the real peace and joy in Jesus Christ alone. When I was in the Philippines, I was depressed. When I came here in Norway, the struggle was real, more depressed than ever before even though I am living a comfortable and abundant life materially. I conclude that it is not about which country we live in, it is all about knowing, surrenderring, trusting, loving, and having a relationship with Jesus. 


Finally, I am still waiting for the result of my application. Whether it will be approved or denied, I would gladly accept it because it is the will of God. He knows far more than I know in my life. He indeed knows what is best for me and you! I should rather put my heart and thoughts, not these two nations, but rather in --- heaven.


As the Bible clearly says in Philippians 3:20-21, "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself."


Praise and glory to God alone! 

Part 2: Applying For Citizenship

Posted on November 4, 2017 at 4:00 AM


To continue, I`ve mentioned in part one about everything behind this opportunity of living here in Norway. The question is --- what is it?


As I observed my life, there are always trials and challenges. Although, I`m living in a country where there are a lot of opportunities as far as socioeconomic status is concerned, trials and challenges are always following me or always present in my life. I could not share everything about it because one blog is not enough, especially those things are still vivid in my mind, but I could write some.


It was a challenging one living together with my sister whom I had not seen for 11 years. I was very close to give up and wanted to travel back home even though I have been here for just two months. Honestly, I considered it that I was much more happier living back home than living here in Norway. And, this pushed me to live together with a person whom I just met twice, and that was Vegar, my husband now! Furthermore, it was also challenging working with my host family (wife) as far as employment and relationship are concerned. As I have mentioned previously that I was an au pair.


I came to understand that the real problem were not them or the situations, but rather it was how I handle the situation. Why I knew this? Because I encountered once again challenges in my marriage --- from my husband to my family-in-law. I would not give details regarding about my family-in-law. In addition, I have already shared here many times regarding about my marriage. In fact, I have written a few blogs. Please do read it.


To summarize, my life was full of challenges. I did find it very difficult even impossible to overcome! If there is one thing I have learned from this situation, it would be a realization about the meaning of life. Plus, I forgot to mention; difficulty adjusting to Norwegian lifestyle and culture. In other words, difficulty fitting into society. I know now that it is not about the lifestyle and culture of this country, but it is fairly to say --- the humanistic culture. I know for sure that whatever country I will reside in, there are challenges. Meaning, living in this dark and fallen world ruled by Satan, we could not avoid the consequences of SIN such as; challenges, troubles, trials, problems, sicknesses, diseases, illnesses, calamities, disasters, crimes, evilness, wickedness, ungodliness, unrighteousness, injustices, death physically, and so on and so forth. The good news is that we have hope in Christ, and can surely overcome and change our perspective into God`s perspective in the midst of these Satan`s schemes and tactics. To those who are Born Again Christians, according to 1 John 4:4 - "Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he (Holy Spirit) who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world."


To be continued ... 

Part 1: Applying For Citizenship

Posted on November 1, 2017 at 4:00 AM


How`s life treating me here in Norway?


If you`re reading my past blogs especially my testimony, you`ll learn some about it. I`ll go straight to the point. Ever since I was young, I never ever dreamed of living abroad permanently. How much more changing my citizenship!


Yes, true. I wanted to travel to another country for work and save up money and go back to my homeland which is my beloved country, Philippines! I could never ever thought either of traveling abroad for leisure and vacation. Also, never in my wildest dream residing in a country 6,209 miles away from my home, which is, Norway!


To recall, I was an "au pair". If you don`t know the meaning of this word, here`s the definition: a young foreign person, typically a woman, who helps with housework or childcare in exchange for food, a room, and some pocket money. As what the sentence stated, you could instantly know that an "au pair" earns a small amount of money, or it is only a pocket money for the most people here in Norway. 


I remember when I was in Manila (Philippines) those days when my sister called me on the phone. I was far away from my hometown because I was searching for a job at that time. Due to my being introvert, pessimistic, and my language skills, I failed to get that job. I was distressed those days because I didn`t know where to go and what to do.


It was my sister`s first time calling me after she was away from us for 11 years. She had not so much contact with my family, so I was a bit curious the reason behind her call. She said that she wanted me to come to Norway and be an au pair. What an opportunity! It sounds like this saying; "When one door closes, another opens."


Fast forward --- I realized now everything behind about this opportunity!


One might say in regard to my above statements that it was a lifetime opportunity to earn, save up money, or acquire material things. Even to become happy in life because I lived my life over there in the Philippines with tears due to depression.


However, there were things happened that I could never imagined!


I never heard of Norway before my sister had set foot in this beautiful country. I saw some pictures of her, as she sent to us some of her photos. Mostly like summer photos where I could see a lot of colors, e.g., trees, flowers, grass, and everything about nature. My expectation about Norway as far as nature is concerned was true. However, as far as my life in general is concerned was not the way I expected. 


To be continued ...

Part 2: Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

Posted on October 31, 2017 at 4:00 AM


Continuation: 


When I read on the internet about the explanations of this topic Halloween, it says that it rooted in paganism. I admit that I don`t know what is pagan or paganism. But I looked up the meaning and here are what I got from www.gotquestions.org:



  • From a Christian viewpoint, pagans are generally characterized as those who are caught up in any religious ceremony, act, or practice that is not distinctly Christian.
  • Paganism can refer to polytheism or the worship of more than one god, such as in ancient Rome.
  • Any form of paganism is false doctrine.


The enumerations clearly stated that it were not from God. There are only two kinds of people in this world; follower of God and follower of Satan. In part one, I wrote something about some of my experiences and I used "scary or scared" word.


What does the Bible say about being scared?


Isaiah 41:13 - "For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”


Joshua 1:9 - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”


John 16:33 - "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”


Deuteronomy 31:8 - "It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”  


And many more...


If it is only causes fear, why celebrate it?!


If someone tells me that they are not afraid or scared, instead they`re having fun and it is normal. People in this world are celebrating and it is fine for them. But the Bible says, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31. Also, the Bible reminds us not to love this world. "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." - 1 John 2:15. Always examine if the things we`re doing glorifies God for this is the main reason why we are here on earth. 


Being scared of, e.g., witches, scary objects, and etc., is from Satan. God wants us not to meditate or focus on unhealthy fear. I say unhealthy because there is a healthy fear; and that is to fear God. And, it keeps us to avoid sin if we have this healthy fear. Satan loves to steal us away from God. Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:10.


I remember that I loved watching horror films. I loved the suspense. So, everytime I was watched movies, it should be horror. In the long run, my mind was get used to fear, e.g., scary objects, sounds or even humans. I focused fear throughout my entire life and it was so extremley difficult to unfocus. Until now, I`m still struggling and overcoming fears. The effect of it is still lingering on my mind. But thanks God there`s still hope in Jesus!


Apparently, that was one of the main factors and it contributed a lot to my panic disorder. Aside from growing up physically and emotionally abused (it was a scary moment during my childhood days) and also being told by my family that there were witches especially during night time in the Philippines. It was already a belief growing up, and everytime I was outside, fear overwhelmed in my mind and heart! The Apostle Paul in the Bible reminded us this one, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." - Philippians 4:8


Celebrating Halloween might costs money, it is best to use that money wisely like giving it to the poor people. In Acts 20:35 - "In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’"


Eventually, it is all about our own convictions. Pray for it. There are a lot of Christians participating Halloween. This may not causes division in the Body of Christ and causes others to stumble in their faith. The best thing to do is to use that time to share the gospel of Christ, e.g., giving gospel tracts to people, "making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." - Ephesians 5:16.

Part 1: Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

Posted on October 31, 2017 at 4:00 AM


Introduction:


October will come to an end, and it is the time of the year where most people living on this planet earth talk about the Halloween. It would be nice to write something regarding about this matter. 


What is Halloween? 


If you`re going to search about the meaning of this, you could definitely find it on the internet. Thousands of written articles displayed on different websites regarding about this topic.


Even myself looked up the definition of this. And here`s what I got from www.bibleinfo.com: "The word Halloween literally means the evening before All Hallows Day or All Saint’s Day, celebrated on November 1. Halloween is also the shortened name of Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Evening and All Saint’s Eve which is celebrated on October 31. The origin and meaning of Halloween is derived from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, but more recently we think of Halloween as a night filled with candy, trick-or-treating, pumpkins, ghosts and death." 


To read more, please visit their website and do read this topic: "What is Halloween and should Christians celebrate it?" (Please click the link.)


Here are my explanations based on my experiences: 


Growing up in the Philippines, I`m not so familiar with Halloween which celebrates on every 31st of October. Most probably, Filipinos who are in the upper and middle classes (pertaining to socioeconomic status) celebrate this one depending on their beliefs or religions. Moreover, maybe there are some Filipinos also who are in the lower classes celebrate this said event or occasion, who knows?! As far as I could remember when I lived there, never heard someone celebrating it. 


On the other hand, we are so familiar with All Saint`s Day and All Soul`s Day, November 1 and 2, respectively. When I was younger, these were my much anticipated time of the year aside from Christmas because of the different varieties of food on our table. We did this to offer the food to the souls of our relatives or loved ones who already passed away. This was and is still the belief of so many Filipinos that the departed souls would come and visit to their living families or relatives during that specific date. 


This was so funny and the same time scary to imagine but it was true! Surely, I would still be a slave of this belief if it wasn`t by God`s grace. Thanks and praise to Jesus Christ that I am already set free from this belief.


In addtion, the day after All Saint`s Day (1 November) which is All Soul`s Day (2 November), my family and I would visit the cemetery to commemorate the death of our loved ones. We offered flowers and candles, and even some people to an extreme degree, brought food, kept vigil, and slept over in the cemetery. 


So, these are my experiences regarding about the All Saint`s and Soul`s Day! How about the Halloween?


Well, I`m kinda expose now to this occasion when I am already here abroad. I never participated it, but I saw some of my friends´ photos. They celebrated it with a scary Halloween costumes and make-ups. Furthermore, everytime when I am in the grocery shops or shopping malls, before and after the nearest time of Halloween, I saw a lot of stuffs such as; scary Halloween costumes, pumpkins, candies, and so on. In addition, when my husband and I visited my mother-in-law, she offered me candies and chocolates in a scary witch candy dispenser. I said no thanks at first. I am not a fan of candies, but to show my respect to her, I picked some not knowing that the dispenser would scare me! I was so afraid when the head of the witch dispenser tried to bite me with an angry and a horror sound!


Also, there were instances that someone knocking at our door, maybe asking for candies during Halloween. We didn`t open it because we didn`t buy candies and had nothing to offer for them. Indeed, I don`t like buying candies. Aside from not eating sugary sweets so much, I don`t want to participate (even a hint of participation) on this celebration. So speaking of participation, I could eventually share if we should celebrate Halloween or not, based on what I have learned, and also from my life experiences.


To be continued ... 

Birthday Celebration!

Posted on October 12, 2017 at 1:40 AM


Last week was my birthday. 


It is normal in this world to celebrate birthdays. Inviting family and friends for a lunch or dinner at home, at the restaurant, to travel together to ideal place, or even to celebrate in a local area. Throughout my entire life, there were only few times I celebrated my birthday whether in the Philippines or here abroad.


In Philippines, we could hardly celebrate it because of financial. Here abroad, it is because of stress. I was a perfectionist type. I wanted that things would be perfect the way I planned. I could think of different kinds of dishes to serve when I had guests. Not only of different kinds, but it should be presentable, and of course the taste should be of the same in a commercial restaurant.


I wanted that my guests would be satisfied. In addition to that statement, admit it or not, this is normal to us, but not to God because it is a sin, we like that people would impress us. We don`t notice it but it is pride and boasting actually. I want to clarify here that not everybody has the same mindset as mine, as what I used to be. Just examine yourself on what is your purpose of celebrating birthdays. If it is only for fun and don`t include God, then it is still useless. "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31.


My parents told us the importance of giving thanks to God when we have our birthdays. It doesn`t matter if we celebrate it or not. The most important is to pray to God and thank Him for another year He has given us. 


This is the truth; life comes from God. He is the source and sustainer of it. 


What did I do on my birthday?


I made fried noodles and spring rolls. Thank God for the resources. Did I invite people at home? The answer is --- nope! Who ate those food? It is good to invite people like family and friends, but it is best to invite people who don`t have so much privileges in life. People who cannot repay us back. I gave it to people who are begging on the streets. In Luke 14:12-14 - "Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”


I shouldn`t write this one because the Bible says, "Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." - Matthew 6:2-4.  But I am telling or writing this one to encourage people. Glory and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ alone!


I couldn`t do this apart from God. I am just an instrument --- a recipient of God`s amazing grace. This thing needs confidence in God. I was a shy person and hesitant to approach people. On the streets, especially the famous street here in Oslo, Norway called "Karl Johans Gate"  is a busy street. A lot of people strolling around because there are a lot of shops, few pubs, or even cafes. I don`t want that people who are walking on that said street might see me doing this stuff like giving something, e.g., money, food, and the most important is giving Gospel Tracts to underprivileged people (beggars) that they might come to know the saving knowledge of Christ. I have Gospel Tracts in their own language so that they could understand it well. 


The underprivileged people flooding on that famous street because there are a lot of people pass by. The more people, the greater chance to accumulate money. It rained that day and it was cold, so the ambience was quite dark. Not so much people at that time and was difficult to find someone begging. Thanks God, we found some. I said to my husband (for he was with me at that time), "It is not about the giving or rather how many people we have given food and booklets (Gospel Tracts) but it is about doing God`s will". Whether we found someone begging on that day or not, the most important was doing what pleases God, all for His glory! 


The same thing here. I am writing blogs without sponsors or donors. To maintain this website, I must pay every month. But God is a Great Provider. He is the source of everything like money, ability, knowledge, and wisdom. He provides everything. My blog site is already 1 year and 4 months old plus counting, God willing and by His grace alone, more years to come. Whether people read my blogs or not, the most important is doing what pleases to my King Jesus! Sharing the Word of God to people, so that what I have learned from God, I could share it to people as well. This is the truth --- everyone needs Jesus. "So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth." - Philippians 2:10. All people including the atheists or antichrist will someday bow down to Jesus and confess that He is indeed Lord and Savior!


I have encountered a lot of challenges --- so much troubles and difficulties in life. Life is hard, but God is good. In fact, I am thankful and grateful to God for all those trials because I have learned so much in life, all by God`s mercies and graces. We learn more in pain than in pleasure. We see it bad, but God sees it good. It is all about perspective, and it should be of God`s perspective. 


Prayer: Thank You Lord, for the 34 years of existence! At my age, by your grace alone, you opened my heart and mind to see the TRUTH in life! I couldn`t ask for more than knowing You. What a privilege that I don`t deserve! I might have something lacking in my life like success and a complete family humanly speaking, and in a worldy perspective, but spiritually speaking, and in Your own perspective, I have already everything for You are my everything!  My heart is big enough that only You could fit in. You filled up the hole in my heart. Your grace is enough for me. "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." - 2 Corinthians 12:9.


I thank God for my ample of time because without it I wouldn`t know God (only by God`s grace). Although I am still in the process of disciplining myself everyday to read and pray but if I am too busy with the things in this world like for instances; success, achievements, and career, I wouldn`t have time to pray, to read and hear God`s Word, or in other words, to spend time with our Creator. I would surely miss the real purpose and meaning of life.


Life is time. No time, no life for time is life. Without giving or spending time with God (only by God`s grace), man misses the real life! Truly, there is a purpose for everything. God knows what is best for me and for you. I am still desiring to know more of Him! All credit goes to my Lord Jesus Christ.


To God be all the glory! Amen.


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