My heart cries… and I believe only the Lord knows how loud it is… :( but even in this, I trust Him… I trust Him to keep my heart tender… for it is better to cry in much pain from a brokenheart.. than not to cry while holding the chin up in pride.… Help me, Lord… . I grieve for my own sinfulness before you, and the suffering I am experiencing as a consequence of others’ sins against you as well…. </3 I cannot do this anymore… and that’s where you are an expert… in the impossible things… Help me Lord, help me.. I ask for wisdom, and strength, and love to be like You in my earthly dealings…. You know how painful things are happening recently… Hide myself in Thee… Hide me… . Lift mine eyes to heaven that I may have a sustained high and exalted view of You…. Help me, my Lord…
Salmon (Summer) Festival
- Student: I'm going to the summer festival!
- Jill: ..... wow! ... fish? Salmon? festival?
- S: No, no, no.. summer, summer.. .
- J: Salmon?.. Salmon?..
- S: *laughing a bit*
- J: oooooooooohhhhhhh!!!! I get it now! summer! summer festival!!
- S&J: *laughed soooooo hard*
- J: *facepalm self* .. hahaha. ^______^
Musical Piece of Life: Pleasing the Composer
July 16, 2014 - Wednesday, 3:31 AM
I went back to my heart for playing the piano.. in an interesting way, the Lord is allowing me to learn much about life from it…
Please read on… :) and see what the Lord is teaching me through this… I pray that these things will be used by the Lord to bless your heart, dear reader.
Last week I restarted playing the piano for the first time after a few months of rest.. I had a different feeling in my heart — it is that I had to be more mature in my approach to my piano playing, so I decided to commit myself to finish the pieces that I will start playing from now on (as much as I could, and within the bounds of my ability).. For a fact, I committed to very few of my piano pieces in the past, because I got used to selectively play those parts of a piece which are easy, even though I know that every part of the piece makes such beautiful melodies… I have allowed myself to be content with just hearing myself play the easy parts and not committing myself to the entire piece (for better or worse, ‘til death do us part. :3 — this is such a terrible remark, by the way. :p ) The point is, in a way, it somehow reflects my character in dealing with real life situations, right?
So, then, I committed myself to a certain [challenging] piece [for me] which is the instrumental to the song “The Splendor of His Holiness” by Thomas Fettke*. The Lord was faithfully instructing me even while I was at it… A realization that responding to life circumstances is similar to playing a musical piece…. There are parts which are easy, and pleasant to play… Easy enough that I can immediately learn what I needed to for that moment and play the part over and over again without much effort…
But there are also those parts where there are just too many notes to be played in other consecutive measures, and it’s soooo difficult to learn.. I have to stay in a particular measure for a longer time than the other parts.. Those parts are usually the unpleasant ones to play because it takes much more time to learn and much more mistakes before finally learning it.. It requires much patience — not only with the musical piece, but more so with myself… It takes a long time to practice and master.. I have to go through a part again and again with so many errors everytime I repeat it. (These moments were really bad that I can almost already hear my previous piano teacher saying, "Will you listen to what you are playing?", in my brain once more. Yes, she had that impact! haha! But I learned well from her, you know. I praise the Lord for her.)
The only time I can play the notes correctly, and with both hands, is when I play them reeeeeeeeally slow. The whole experience only gets pleasant when I finally learn where my fingers are supposed to land at a particular time, and with proper speed. (Yey!)
See how playing a musical piece reflects life? In response to how the Lord is orchestrating things in my life, I have to learn this: I cannot keep on lingering around the easy, breezy, comfortable parts of the piece — the parts which I have mastered pretty quickly.. On the other hand, I cannot keep on skipping the difficult parts of the piece… of this life… There has to be proper balance.. We also know that sanctification happens during the tough times, because only there can we find room for better God-glorifying responses.
Consequently, as I committed myself to that piece which is pretty tough for me, I realized that the difficult parts really take much more time than the other parts.. Sometimes, not only twice as much time and effort, but even more… It really takes patience, perseverance, endurance…
During those difficulties, many times, I honestly felt like giving up and moving on to another piece which is probably more familiar; or perhaps, playing the easy parts more and just enjoying the experience of having mastered certain parts of the piece.. But then if I do this, I cannot see the beauty of the big picture, the harmony of the entire musical piece.
I really haven’t finished learning the piece yet, but be encouraged from my recent experience that most difficult parts I’ve painstakingly learned (so far) are not that difficult for me anymore… Yes, those parts took a lot of effort, time, failures, frustrations, ambivalence over pressing on or giving up, a lot of wondering whether I had enough training to play it or not.. I was also praying for help… but by God’s grace, He didn’t allow me to give up and even helps me to continue on..
Continue on with the difficulties of life… Fail I will, but He remains faithful (2Tim.2:13).. The Lord, He is with me when I am tired of my own mistakes, He renews my strength (Isa.40:31) and He is my rest (Matt.11:28).. He lifts me up and allows Himself to be my hope when I am downcast (Ps.42:5) and discouraged by my own sinfulness.. When I feel like giving up, I can trust that my help comes from the Lord, the Maker of the heaven and the earth (Ps.121:1-2). When I don’t know what to do, He gives me wisdom without finding fault (Jas. 1:5). He prays for me (Heb.7:25; Rom.8:34). Even in seemingly impossible circumstances in my life, He will never leave me, nor forsake me (Heb.13:5). When I am weak, He remains strong. His grace is always sufficient. (2Cor.12:9)
Have you noticed my Lord’s character of being such a wonderful counselor (Isa. 9:6) and faithful teacher? It amazes me at how much instruction He gives every moment of my life. I, nothing, am grateful for being a recipient of the Lord’s mercy.
Lord, I cannot do it alone.. please help me be committed to the ‘life piece’ you have prepared for me.. Help me not to focus on the easy parts alone.. Help me persevere through the difficult times that You lovingly and sovereignly allow in each season of my life.. So that at the end of the musical piece of my life, I’ll look much more like You, a pleasing melody as I go through the entire piece of my Composer.. Joined with others, a harmonioius orchestra for Your pleasure and delight. <3
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Phil.1:6)
Help & Heart notes:
*"The Splendor of His Holiness" by Thomas Fettke (listen to it here), will be our ministry song offering for this month. (And I want to make it clear that I’m NOT the one who will be recording the instrumental for our song offering.) :D
From Paper Sorting, to Choir Song Offering, to Loving ♥
July 10, 2014 - Thursday
Yesterday’s task was quite heavy for me, initially sorted out many papers, reading materials. I think that the major divisions were:
- IBI (International Bible Institute) Europe exam papers, lecture materials, study guides, certificates, and class cards;
- Musical Pieces — songs and piano instrumental;
- Biblical Womanhood (women’s conferences, women’s ministry* TGIF* and retreat materials;
- World Christian Movement (mission’s, nations, & persecuted church prayer concerns; Kairos Course* materials and facilitator’s files; missions conferences & seminars, missions ministry Bible studies);
- OIC Biblical Counseling Course materials and projects for growth;
- Materials, and journals when I was under church discipline (tremendously blessed time with my loving Lord <3);
- Health Care related books I got from studying BSNursing;
- Uncategorized Bible study and discipleship materials;
Look at how horrible this room was, with lotsa papers scattered and divided:
I thank the Lord for enabling me to manage them all yesterday before choir rehearsals, I ended pretty early and I didn’t have to rush in preparing, I even still had the time to play the piano (tried to practice playing the piano version of the reverent and beautiful worship song, “The Splendor of His Holiness” — spoiler alert!! ~This is our ministry song offering for this month). wink! Not so much spoiling done, eh?
So here is the room after yesterday’s sorting task..
I hope that you saw the difference (or even just a teeny weeny bit) from the very first picture of this post, my dear reader! :D
Because of this activity yesterday, I am contemplating on starting another personal project*. :) <3 (Will post on that later on, the notes below will suffice for now.) I still have some few other papers and materials needed to be sorted out apart from this batch. :) Got my hands full recently. Thanking the Lord for the motivation and a lot of time to reflect, think, and commune with Him even while doing these things. :)
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” (Eccl 3:1)
Help & Heart notes:
*Women’s ministry in our Church Family is called ILAW (Inspired Ladies at Work). Just a trivia: In the Filipino language, “ilaw” means “light”.
*TGIF (Together Growing in Faith), this is the women’s fellowship-Bible study series in our church which also happens on a Friday night, usually the 3rd in a month.
*Personal project plan: to handwrite letters/short notes to the people dear to me. (Lord willing.) Redeeming the time. :) If we love them (especially our siblings in the Lord Jesus Christ), let’s show them. We don’t really need to give stuffs (well at least I also can’t anyway). haha! But, we should offer whatever we have. Like time, smiles, tight hugs, kindness, encouragements, loving corrections, care, counsels, comfort, gentle rebukes, short phone calls, pray for them, draw for them, cook for them, listen to them, write to them, teach them what we know about anything that can help, etc. I’m praying that the Lord will enable me to love Him in a much much deeper way, that will manifest itself towards my brethren and the lost.
Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35)
The mess! I look like I just moved to a new house! Haha. But really, I’m just doing general cleaning and rearranging things from the way I already got used to them. Remember when I posted about simplifying my life? Yeah, this is part of what’s going on in me I guess. :) I’m also sorting out things as I mentioned in that same blog post.
These things are interestingly pleasurable for me though, I believe it’s because this is part of how the Lord had designed me to be as a woman. :) The Lord is allowing such things recently. Honestly, I’m sooo surprised with the grace the Lord is giving me to have motivations to do pursue such things. ;)
Prayer for the World Project
This is the first time I felt soooo excited to buy my own World Map. haha! I didn’t remember feeling too excited about it when I was in secondary school. :))
I’m planning to start a project.. I’m not sure what that is.. yet.. But I feel like it would help me a lot in praying if there’s a visible world map here at home. :) So please pray with and for me on how I should go about this prayer project for the World. :) I need guidance and wisdom to be able to pray according to the Lord’s will. I know that praying is an integral part in discipling the nations (ethne). I pray to take the Lord’s Great Commission to each one of His followers seriously and daily.. so… starting to learn and pray daily (by God’s grace) would be a great way to start being consistent. In my heart is a desire for God’s glory among all nations, to the ends of the earth — He is most worthy of it!
"Our call to war, to love the captive soul,
But to rage against the captor;
And with the sword that makes the wounded whole
We will fight with faith and valor.
When faced with trials on ev’ry side,
We know the outcome is secure,
And Christ will have the prize for which He died—
An inheritance of nations.”
—O Church Arise, Keith&Kristyn Getty
"I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.” (Psalm 2:7-8)
Oh….. uhhmm… the… well… ‘cause… how… hhmm… uhhh… hey uhhh… hmm.. ohh…. sigh… but…. hhmm… sigh… okay…. hhmm… awww… ohh.. well… I… uhh.. hhmm… yeah… sigh… sigh… hhmm…
yeah…umm.. well… sigh..
It’s okay… It’s alright…
*I sort of, like, want to say something I don’t exactly know what that is? But I know that the Lord perfectly understands what I’m saying loudly in my heart, even though I really don’t. I praise Him for that anyway. <3
If He chooses not to reveal this to me the coming days, then this is another one of the questions I’ll ask Him when I finally can see Him face to face in eternity. <3
"Let It Go"/ Arino Mamade ♪♫
June 28, 2014
I always enjoy the lessons with my student whose family is closest to me.. He’s not around, but I still got to talk to his wife and kids..
Student N’s wife: Eh, Jill-san, please sing “Let It Go” (Arino Mamade) ne, Yotaro-san (her son) will listen…
Jill: (started singing the Japanese version at the chorus part only)
Yotaro-kun: (sang together and continued until the end of the song)
*After he sang..
Student N’s wife:I’m surprised, because he don’t sing when there’s other person. It’s first time to you.
Jill’s thought: awwwwww……. heart melt. ^_^
See how the “Frozen” bug has spread? haha! :))
Check out their sweetness:
Thank You Lord for granting me a wonderful last lesson after very long hours of teaching earlier before the evening. <3
June 26, 2014
I’m not sure what just happened earlier. hahaha! But for the fun that I had, I thank God for His 3S’ and 1H: His s-overeignty, His s-ense of humor, His s-urprises, and His h-elp. :)
So anyway, in the choir ministry, we are divided into groups and every week, a certain group is assigned for cooking and washing the dishes. In our group, 1 person usually does the cooking (kuya Al), and in normal circumstances, I wash the dishes together with another member (ate Nida). Today though, kuya Al sent me a text message telling that he doesn’t feel well and he was asking if I can cook for tonight’s practice!!
I didn’t know how to answer that because I know deep within me that my schedule would definitely allow me to. And I know that I can cook somehow (I’m not saying that I’m an expert).. but I’m not sure if I can cook for a big group and it’s my first time to cook dinner for them! (Well, with that, I mean during regular practices. So… that excludes my pesto pasta and Chocomarble Renaissance birthday treat for them a couple of years ago. haha!) And can you believe that? I’m a member of the ministry for 8 years already on July! haha. Oh, and going back….
Then… I sent an affirmative message to kuya Al and then I unpacked the OIC Biblical counseling stuff in my bag (I was actually supposed to continue my Projects for Growth in our church building library), and headed to the supermarket to shop for ingredients of a Filipino dish called Pork Sinigang/ Sinigang na Baboy. Either way, I cannot translate “Sinigang” in English. haha.
I got so nervous and sooo excited at the same time, because I know that the circumstance came from the Lord. And I’m just interested in how things will end up.
I’m glad that when I already got started, one of our fellow members, tita Merriam, went to the church center pretty early and volunteered to help out with cooking the rice and cutting the other veggies and the like. If not for her, it would have taken me a longer time to cook! (Just in case you get the chance to read this, thank you tita Yam! ;) )
And everything went as planned. :) For the pork, I learned something from tita Merriam, and that is to marinate the meat with salt and pepper first before boiling it.. If I were the only one cooking there, I wouldn’t have done the marinating thing because my mom also doesn’t. :p
Then, I also thank God that my plan not to use any seasonings (instant Sinigang mix or any kind of granule or broth or MSG), was implemented. :) We used fresh sampalok (tamarind)! I love cooking Sinigang with tamarinds because then it becomes really sour, just the way I like it. ^___^
I appreciate tita Merriam’s kindness when she agreed to my plans of using fresh tamarinds, and using patis (fish sauce) to counter the sour taste of the tamarind. ‘Cause she told me earlier that she doesn’t usually put fish sauce in her sinigang and she usually also uses Sinigang mix especially if she lacks time. I’m so blessed by her offered help and her flexibility to my “cooking plans” (for lack of a better term), even though she cooks for the choir too often already.. And me? Well.. uhh.. yeah, we know it, don’t we? :))
I prayed for it like a child. haha. :) I just told the Lord to please help me enjoy it just like when I do it at home. There’s some sort of tendency to do things to please people and when that happens, I usually fail and get frustrated with myself and feel as if I’m not doing anything right anymore. It shows pride and arrogant independence from the Lord though, doesn’t it? That’s why I’m so grateful because the Lord has been allowing me to trust in Him even for the very little things recently, as little as what happened today.. :)
I thank Him for keeping and guarding my heart.. It’s soooooo far from the ideal, it’s soooo sinful that I get discouraged by it many times, it’s soooo rotten that it brings me back to my need of the cross everyday.. but even with this heart, I thank God for His grace.. I thank Him for showing Himself to me more and more to the smaller and smaller matters of my life. I thank Him for even giving me the privilege to be in a vibrant and living relationship with Him. All of these blessings are possible, only through His sacrifice. He bought my life (all else included) with the shedding of His blood on Calvary.
’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!
—'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus, Hymn
June 27, 2014
Today, I cooked Pork Sinigang again but for our dinner at home this time since I shopped for ingredients yesterday. :) Here’s a snapshot:
Let’s eat! ^_^
One Afternoon Walk, Enjoying Creation
I decided to walk going to the jeepney line to my church family’s building in a not-so-busy-road in our city last Tuesday (06.24.2014), then I almost went passed the city garden where we can buy various plants and flowers. (I just don’t know why this place is called “Orchidarium” since it’s not really dedicated for Orchids alone. haha.)
But anyway, I’ve got time since our choir practice call time is 5:30 and I think it’s about more than an hour early (we were to testify at prayer night and we decided to sing after testifying… not to mention our intention to promote the ministry and invite people to serve with us! *wink wink*) :)
Unfortunately in the garden place, I needed to pay to take pictures of the flowers so I just didn’t! (At least I didn’t think I was in dire need to take pictures. :p) I only closely looked at them and appreciated them with my eyes and heart in worship.. :) So here, I just wanted to share some few things I’ve seen there.
I especially liked this view from below. ^___^ (Seriously felt like I’m in a rainforest. haha)
Whoever thought that we have these in the orchidarium? Since it looks so limited from the outside:
Felt like entering Narnia through this:
When I was exploring in peace and quiet, I felt how much I missed walking alone with the Lord.. I really love walking, probably not many would understand. But as short as it may seem, it was such a wonderful time.. :)
I was just telling the Lord about how great He is in creating the beautifully patterned prickly cactuses/cacti, fresh pretty flowers, and interesting herbs&plants. It blessed my heart to walk with the Lord and discuss my thoughts with Him. Only through the precious blood of Christ.
"All things came into being through Him [Christ], and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being."
Simplifying My Life
Some few weeks ago, I sorted out some of my clothes and made a decision to pack even those I still use (just not very often), to give away.. Now, I’m covering all of my treasured books… For the others, sorting them out to either throw, burn or give away.. What’s going on with me?
I’m actually simplifying my life… releasing many of my stuff to the Lord… I feel like it’s good to be detached with many things I’ve had for a long time.. I feel like, it’s a sort of symbolism for my detachment from this world and from much memories that I look back to when I see traces of them… (Maybe I’ll reserve memories in my blogs; then it would be in just one place and more organized, right? :p ) I feel like these are baggages that I have to let go and stop maintaining through material things…
I’m releasing them so that I’ll have lesser stuff, lesser things to maintain… lesser things to look back to.. more time to look to the Lord.. grow in faith, pursue Spiritual disciplines.. make more memories… spend time with more people…. serve more! love more! care more! The highest of all, look like my Lord Jesus more everyday..
May I not be too attached to the things/ people in this world, Lord… but to focus in serving You and others with a sustained and increasing passion.
Draw my heart to long for you with an unquenchable thirst — the thirst of a satisfied soul! <3
"Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word."—Psalm 119:37
Book Cover Project
I started this project last June 19, 2014. I dovetail covering books with teaching during certain lessons which are not busy. As I’ve heard before, “People are more important than projects,” And so this principle applies, teaching is my priority and covering books — just on the sides. This is the reason why it takes more time as compared to just being focused on covering itself.
So the goal of this personal project is to cover the books that I consider dear to me in an effort to care for these (mostly) Spiritual treasures. As of today, June 23, I’ve finished covering the following books:
Coming from the same batch, these (already pre-covered) are the only ones remaining and my target date to finish is tomorrow:
After these would be second batch:
Believe me when I say that it took me a loooooooooooong time to finally start with this! And well, it would be funny to include that it took me a painful experience to start this. haha. :)
Lord is a purposeful God. I’d be laughing to say that this is one of His purposes for some few things I’m going through recently.
Of course that’s not primary! The highest purpose will always be for me to be more and more like Christ (Rom. 8:28-29) in my responses to situations, and dealing with my earthly relationships, if this is so, His Name is glorified in me. It’s always about His glory! His excellencies we proclaim through these limited lives. <3
Plus, we can be more effective, more compassionate Biblical counselors to our siblings in the faith who may go through similar situations. We can most surely comfort them with the same comfort that we received directly from the Lord (2 Cor. 1:3-4). We’ll be the Lord’s vessels of comfort.
No matter how we fail, or how unbiblical our responses might have become at times, or how painful things may get… be assured… that if we are true followers of Christ, nothing is wasted. His purposes are always multidimensional. Lean on that. :)
“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
—2 Cor. 3:18
It saddens my heart to see a “Biblical” film twisted this much from the truth. It shows me how much America has sold its soul to make a quick dollar at the box office. As a Christian who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ it hurts my heart to realize how many people will see this film and be lead astray because of it. For all those wanting to see Noah this weekend, please reconsider. If you value the Bible and walk with the Lord it will only leave your heart hurting and in utter disbelief.