Work

A dear fellow servant and an educator reminded me today to offer our work as our worship to God.

It was raining cats and dogs when the classes were suspended today in upland Cavite. My new textmate was NDRRMC.

With the gloomy bed weather, this thought came to mind: our work is a way to worship God. It has intrinsic value and can demonstrate God’s character when we do good work. Faith and work are to be seamless. Work is an expression of our life in Christ. Separating the two is like separating “being” from “doing.” How do you know who you are being without considering what you are doing?”

Work

Worship and work should never become two different things. We worship when we work and we work when we worship, especially when our work is derived from God.

Moreover, this very insightful sharing from Work Life online inspiration prodded me to ponder deeper.

In his book Holy Sweat 2, Tim Hansel tells the story of some body builders on a television talk show. They were showing off their muscles when the host asked, “What do you use these muscles for?” One man answered by flexing his muscles in one of those body-building poses.

“No, you don’t understand me,” said the host. “What do you use these muscles for?”

The body builder answered, “I’ll show you,” and flexed again, posing another way.

“No, no, you still don’t understand what I’m asking. What do you use them for?” and the guy posed again.

Many of us are like that. We attend church, go to seminars, conferences and Bible studies and keep building our spiritual muscles, but we do not use them for the reason for which they were created. We end up like the body builders, with well-defined muscles for show, just to look good, but they are good for nothing.

Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:32). When we participate and experience this truth, we make it our life story.

As Hansel puts it, “Your theology should become your biography.”

We learn to mesh our beliefs into everyday reality. Although it sounds simple, it actually is one of life’s greatest challenges.

We seldom understand that God is not just asking us to be spiritually committed to him. He wants our total commitment; every fiber of our being.

We use every dimension of our being when we work, so we worship him as we work.

As Christians we find our basic identity in Christ but seldom consider what this means.

We are more inclined to dwell on what we do and who we are – the urgent and the superficial.

Our identity in Christ is once and for all established when we put our faith in him, yet many of us don’t consciously dwell on this profound reality.

We simply go about living our lives, rather than thinking about our significance in Christ, thus blinding us from knowing who we truly are.

We develop this sense of identity and security in Christ as we spend time with him in prayer, offer our conscious praise to him and give him credit for all we are and have.

The more of his Word, the Bible, we put into our lives, the more aware we become that he is our prime motivator.

When we simply take God at his word, we find he is utterly trustworthy and creates opportunities for his Spirit to be manifested in our lives and work.

Feline

A family of cat that went to church together, stays together.

This was the unforgettable feline family bonding I witnessed inside the Baclaran church during the 9:30am mass last Thursday.

A more loyal pet? Cat or dog?

I am not a pet type person.

But here in the house they thrive together.

My mother have several cats.

Unfortunately, they became missing for the past few months.

Di ko alam kung natokhang.

Feline at Church

Feline family worship together

In history, there was a heroic cat that etched a mark for her bravery.

Faith the cat was one of the most remarkable mother cats we’ve ever read about. She lived in London during the late 1930s, and her story really puts into perspective how incredible cats really are.

This story takes place at St Augustine’s Church in London, England. During the late 1930s, the priest at the church, Father Henry Ross, noticed a cat kept sneaking into the church day after day. After much consideration, Father Ross decided it was a good idea to adopt the homeless cat, whom he later named Faith.

Faith routinely attended the church services, often sitting right on Father Ross’s feet as he preached.

After living in the church for four years, Faith gave birth to a single kitten. Shortly after giving birth to the kitten, Father Ross noticed Faith’s sudden fascination with the church basement.

One day Faith even decided to carry her kitten into a small corner in the basement. Father Ross became concerned for the kitten’s health because the basement was quite dirty, so he decided to move the kitten back to its basket in the church.

Faith followed Father Ross all the way upstairs, protesting loudly to his moving of the kitten, and as soon as he placed the kitten back in its basket, Faith had taken the kitten out of the basket and headed back downstairs. These events recurred several times before Father Ross decided to give in, and move the kitten’s basket to the basement.

September 7, 1940, the Germans began their Blitz on London – the day after Faith had taken her kitten down to the church basement.

400 people died during these bombings, and the church was in flames when Father Ross returned the next day.

Despite warnings that the church’s roof was about to collapse, Father Ross struggled his way to the basement where he had last seen Faith and her kitten.

To his amazement, Faith was huddled over her kitten protecting it from the disaster above.

Father Ross retrieved the cats and brought them out of the church.

Shortly after this rescue, the church’s roof collapsed.

Five years after the bombing, when World War II had ended, Faith was given the Silver Dicken Medal.

This medal was created specifically for Faith for her courage to protect her kitten from the disaster in September 1940.

Tribute
Fr. Ross had Faith’s photograph taken, framed and hung on the chapel wall. He put underneath it this text:

“Faith”

Our dear little church cat of St. Augustine and St. Faith.
The bravest cat in the world.
On Monday, September 9th, 1940, she endured horrors and perils
beyond the power of words to tell.
Shielding her kitten in a sort of recess in the house (a spot
she selected three days before the tragedy occurred), she
sat the whole frightful night of bombing and fire, guarding her
little kitten.
The roofs and masonry exploded. The whole house blazed. Four
floors fell through in front of her. Fire and water and ruin
all round her.
Yet she stayed calm and steadfast and waited for help.
We rescued her in the early morning while the place was still
burning, and
By the mercy of Almighty God, she and
her kitten were not only saved, but unhurt.
God be praised and thanked for His goodness
and mercy to our dear little pet.

Waiting

March 6, 2015 was my first major surgery. Nine (9) hours of God’s embrace in the operating table. I surrendered everything and the rest was history.

Last Sunday, during The Feast at Manila Hotel, God’s big message was “I am bigger than you are. Trust me!”

Who am I to question God’s way in my life?

I may never know the reason why but I entrusted everything to Him.

I may have a lot of questions but God is bigger than all my worries.

Waiting

I used to have a habit of trusting myself. I formed this habit through years of trusting people, getting hurt and finding out I couldn’t trust them. This caused me to believe, If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. If you don’t ask anybody for anything or open your heart to them, they can’t hurt you. But this mindset just kept me from trusting God. It was a bad habit I had to break. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (NKJV). When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Spirit of God comes to live inside you. This is one of the greatest blessings of salvation: You don’t have to go through someone else to get to God. He dwells in your heart and you can learn to hear His voice.

Have you ever had to wait for something? I’m not very good at waiting, I’m not a very patient person. I don’t like waiting at the doctor’s office, I don’t like waiting for a table at the restaurant, I don’t like waiting in line at the grocery store or waiting in line to get on ride at the theme park. If I’m going to the doctor I want to schedule my appointment first thing in the morning. I will leave a restaurant if I have to wait very long. I love theme parks but refuse to go on weekends because I hate waiting in line. For me, waiting is a total waste of valuable time.

Yet, I have come to learn that there are times and periods in our lives when God says wait and through personal experience I have learned that when God is saying wait we need to wait, be still, be silent, listen, and let God do what it is that He must do. I have learned that if I will just serve Him while I’m waiting, worship Him while I’m waiting, and simply trust Him while I’m waiting; then when He has finished whatever it is He is doing in me, to me, through me, and for me is better than I ever thought or dreamed it could be.

If God has you waiting it is for Good reason and it is for your good. Be patient and let God do what only God can do in you, to you, through you, and for you. As you wait be obedient, surround yourself with the fellowship of other believers, be prayerful, search the Scriptures, and trust God to do exceedingly abundantly more in you and for you than you have ever dreamed he could do.

If God has you waiting this morning then you should simply say, “Lord, I’ll serve while I’m waiting, Lord, I’ll worship you while I’m waiting, Lord, I’ll trust you while I’m waiting. Lord, I don’t know exactly what I’m waiting on but I know it is for my good and your glory therefore I will wait upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised.”

I would like to share with you this praise and worship song from the movie ‘Fireproof’ entitled While I’m Waiting, an anthem for those actively waiting on the Lord.

While I’m Waiting

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will waitI will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord

Job

Last Sunday, the children at Awesome Kids Ministry learned about Job. The kids enjoyed a video presentation about him.

Book of Job

So what would happen if we start to trust God during the raging seas of life? During the times we question, still thanking God like Job did, even though outwardly it appeared there was nothing to be thankful for, no reason not to abandon our trust in God and grow angry at Him. Why? Because God is faithful and just; He sees the big picture. He loves us enough to not always give us our way, to give us reasons to search for Him.

Job had 7 sons and 3 daughters. He also had 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 oxen, 500 female donkeys and a very large household.

One day, Satan told God that the only reason Job was faithful was because he had so much and he had an easy life. So, God told Satan that he could do anything to Job, except lay a hand on him.

Then Satan caused terrible things to happen to Job. A messenger came to Job and said that enemies had attacked Job’s flocks and stole his oxen and donkeys and killed his servants. Job was just thinking about how terrible this was when another messenger came and said that lightning had struck and burned up all his sheep. Then another messenger came and said that more enemies had raided the camp where all of Job’s camels were. All of the camels were gone and the servants who had been watching after them were dead.

Job was very sad. All of his riches were gone! At least he had his family! Job knew that all of his children were visiting his oldest son’s house. They were all together and they were safe. Then, a terrible thing happened. Another messenger came rushing up to Job’s house with more bad news.

“Your sons and daughters were feasting at their oldest brother’s house, when a very strong wind came up and knocked over the four corners of the house. The whole house fell down and crushed everyone in it. All of your children are dead!”

Job was so upset that he tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell down on the ground and began to pray. But he did not hate God like Satan said he would. He prayed to God and worshipped Him.

When Satan came before the Lord again, he told the Lord that Job would curse God if he did not have his health. Satan wanted to test Job again. The Lord knew that Job would pass the test so He allowed Satan to make Job sick.

Big sores appeared all over Job’s body. Even the soles of his feet and the top of his head had sores on them. The sores hurt and they itched. Job used to use bits of broken pottery to scratch his itchy sores. Even though Job hurt he still did not curse God. He did not understand why these things were happening to him but He did not hate God for it.

Job’s wife told him that he should just give up. He should curse God and die. Job’s friends came and visited him. They thought he must have been doing bad things for all of these bad things to happen to him. Job knew he always tried to do well. He told them that but they did not believe him. Everything was going wrong. Job loved God but he did not understand God. He began to ask God ‘why?” “Why was I ever born?” “Why didn’t I just die when I was a baby?” “Why am I alive?”

Everything was going wrong. Job loved God but he did not understand God. He began to ask God ‘why?” “Why was I ever born?” “Why didn’t I just die when I was a baby?” “Why am I alive?”

Finally, the Lord spoke to Job. He told Job that He should always trust God . . . even when he did not understand God.

After all, how can anyone understand everything about God? No one can know as much as God. God knows everything!

People may know about birds but God knows how to make birds fly. People may know about the sun but God causes the sun to come up and go down each day! People may know about animals but God made the largest animals and can control them!

Job learned and important lesson about God. He already knew God and loved Him. Now He knew that God is wiser and stronger than anything on earth. Job knew that he could trust God.

The God caused all of Satan’s wickedness toward Job to be stopped. He gave Job twice as much as he had before his suffering came upon him. He also had other children—seven more sons and three more daughters. Job had 14,000 sheep, 6000 camels, 1000 yoke of oxen, and 1000 donkeys.

Job lived to be a very old man and he was always happy and loved and trusted the Lord.

Job does not fail to praise God, even in his bitterest laments: “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.” (1:21) and “With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding.” (12:13) Praising God in the most desperate of situations is quite difficult, and challenging even if one’s trust in God is great.

Sometimes it may seem that everything is going wrong in your life and that maybe God has quit caring for you. But remember the story of Job and remember that God always cares and will always help you through your problems if you remain faithful to God.