|Posted on November 22, 2017 at 6:15 PM||comments (0)|
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, cafes, 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 choose people not because of our 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.
Going back 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 travelled 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 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.
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
|Posted on November 7, 2017 at 3:00 AM||comments (0)|
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 heart. 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, surenderring, 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!
|Posted on November 4, 2017 at 4:00 AM||comments (0)|
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 ...
|Posted on November 1, 2017 at 4:00 AM||comments (0)|
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 travelling 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 ...
|Posted on October 31, 2017 at 4:00 AM||comments (0)|
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:
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, 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.
|Posted on October 31, 2017 at 4:00 AM||comments (0)|
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 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 ...