Category Archives: Character Formation

GIVE MORE THAN WHAT THEY BEG

GIVE MORE THAN WHAT THEY BEG
Acts 3:1-10

Giving someone will not change the world but it will change someone’s world.

We can’t give to everyone but everyone can give to someone.

This is what we want to achieve the goodness within us ripples until it becomes a miracle.

Is it not a miracle to see everyday people living happy and content because there is abundance and no one is lacking not because everyone is rich as Warren Buffet; but because everyone discovers the joy and principle of sharing?

There is greater joy in giving that God is teaching this to us. The joy the giver have is more than the joy experienced by the recipient.
That the blessings of someone who gives are far greater than the one who receives.

IS IT A RECKLESS DECISION?

We learned that giving is not a reckless decision at all.
Because we understood that it is in giving that the more we received.

There is more joy in giving than in receiving alone.

OUR PRESENCE is our PRESENT

We can give without loving but we cannot truly love without giving.
We cannot consecrate our all by giving our treasures alone.

Because sometimes, God and other people don’t need your money but they need your time.

Sometimes, our time is better than any dime; our presence is the best present we can give to a person.
Our presence cannot be replaced by any material things.

For those OFW with family miles away, we usually equate our presence with our dear ones with material things. We translate our love for them with goods, gadgets, and comfortable life.

But there are times that they don’t need our money, they long for our presence, tangible love.

Good that in this digital era, we can fill the gap of our absence by the use of social sites through FB, Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, IMO, and skype. Our presence with them becomes virtual.

But no matter how it is, the effort of making ourselves available to them cannot be discounted.

PETER HADE GAVE MORE

In the reading of Acts 3:1-10 12, Peter and John on the third hour of the afternoon for prayer, going up to the temple a man lame from birth begs them for money. Peter looked straight at him and did John, said to the man “Look at us! Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have, I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk.
A poor beggar received more than what he expected.
Because Peter and John, have given more than what the man asked.
They had given what they only have, their TIME and Jesus who is in them.

In this part of the talk, we will share how & why you have to give more than what others beg of you:

1. GIVE THEM RELATIONSHIPS NOT OWNERSHIP
If we want to improve our relationship with others, even if it’s your spouse, your children, your parents, or other people; we need to spend quality time with them.
Because you cannot replace our presence with material things.
Sometimes, people don’t need our money.

They need our time.
Because the time we devote to others sends a message that they are important to us.

The time devoted by Peter and John to a beggar on the street helps the man to understand that respect for oneself is more than a small coin he can receive.

The sense of touch and sight was felt by the beggar when he looked at the disciple’s eyes and that feeling flowed when Peter reached out his hand to the man.

This power of touch and sight is missing in a virtual and digital relationship.

I wonder about seeing couples in a cozy restaurant, dining together but they don’t look at each other their eyes were hooked on their own phone.
Leave that gadget behind for a while and start a good talk, look at each other’s eyes and connect.

This is what the lame beggar felt when he looked at Peter and John.

Connection.

Our time spent sending a clear message that you are near and available on time that they need us.

Another act of good deed is by the Good Samaritan. A businessman and a traveler where time is gold; he dared to spare his time to carry the man to his horse and brought him to care in a hotel and paid for it.

2. GIVE THEM OUR GOD NOT YOUR GOLD

We cannot truly consecrate by giving what we really have by giving our treasures alone because it is not enough.

Share to them our God when we give.

Let them know that we are just a channel of God’s goodness; that every blessing we share with them is not from us but the fruit of God’s goodness and generosity to us.

We let them realize that God is alive through us. We become Jesus to someone.

We become a living manifestation that God is real because they can sense, they can feel that He is working through us.

The reason why many desperate people don’t believe that God cares is that they don’t experience that sympathy, that empathy from people who were blessed.

The ultimate purpose of our blessing is that we become a blessing to someone who is in need.
Because all the things that we have, time treasures, and talents all come from Him alone.

Let them realize that what they receive does not come from us, but we are only sharing the blessing that we received from God.

Don’t ask them to repay you, but let them do exactly what you did to the next person with the same experience and situation.

Ask them to do other what you did to them, let that goodness ripple and daily we will see miracles. The goodness they received shall be the same goodness they will share.

Giving our God to them is empowering them to stand in their own faith and relationship with God.
By sharing with them our God, let them discover a wonderful relationship with our Master and let that relationship be intimate and personal with God.

3. GIVE THEM WHAT THEY REALLY NEED

Sometimes our intention to help is good. However, in the long term, we don’t help but rather let them be lazy, lame, and selfish.

We teach them to be too much dependent on the moment that it paralyzes them and kills us as well.

The problem sometimes with us, we let them paralyze their thinking because every decision should be coming from us. We limit their ability to think for themselves.

Don’t give them the fish but teach them how to fish.

You can empower them by teaching and sharing with them what you know and how they could be able to maximize their time and resources.

Give to our children what they only need. Don’t just give our children the taste of our wealth but teach them what made us wealthy. Don’t just give them your riches, show them how you did it. Teach them your passion, your vision, your mission, the right character, and outlooks in life so that they could have their own.

I think it’s not right that we only give food to the beggar to eat, it is hard work but we need to transform them to be a better part of our society. They need to regain their identity and integrity so that they could somehow be contributors to the common good of the community.

We should give them a chance instead of giving them a label that reminds them of their inability to be part of the community.

4. GIVE THEM MOTIVATION AND NOT DISSUASION

Some people give but they let that opportunity to judge them and blackmail people, their relatives, or even their kin.

They don’t need our judgment.

We should not use our giving to let others look stupid or use them for our own propaganda of being self-righteous.

5. GIVE THEM LOVE NOT PITY

What people need from us is not our pity but our love.

We can only strengthen their belief in themselves if we show them our trust and belief that they can do it alone.

The more we pity them, the more we let them stay in their miserable conditions.

You give not because you expect to receive but because you love.

Like the Good Samaritan, what he had given is the best out of his love and kindness without expecting any form of return.

Some people make friends because they have a vested interest in you.

Do we want to partake in a Mission of God to mankind by giving our time, treasure, and talents?

Do we want to have that happy and fruitful relationship?

Do we want to experience deeper peace of mind with God?

It is not that we are giving our time to God and man but actually, we are seizing that time we spent in our favor to experience His immense and glorious presence.

GOD’S EYE ON THE GIVER

Our giving cannot be hidden from the eyes of God. He is observant.
Every second, every time, every giving that we are doing is known to the Lord.

That is why we give our time and talent with joy.
He knows how much we give and the more, He knows how we value every act of giving we are doing.

May you always become Jesus to somebody,

Mikesendon

WHEN THE WELL RUNS DRY

When the Well Runs Dry

When the Well Runs Dry

Have we experienced that sometimes we thought that serving God messes our life?

That at times we thought that life mocks us.

Being a servant of God, we are not exempted from frustrations, disappointments, and failures.

We are zealous in our service as Ministry heads, giving our best talks as speakers, and spending our time to its maximum but it’s wondering that there is a moment when we asked ourselves, “Are all of these worth the benefits?”.

We are glad to hear that the person we prayed for were their prayers were granted. The one sister you counseled left your session full of hope and energized, but when you’re alone, you realized you still have issues and concerns that you’re hiding and trying to figure out why your prayers are not answered.

Regularly we attended the Gawain but what we expected is not what we experienced. You lost your job; your partner may have left you or until now you are still sick. You always shout and declare “Matagumpay or victorious”, “Mayaman na” or wealthy but is that what you are already right now?

Let us just be real.

Life is easier when everything is fine that is why people reject difficulties, avoid problems, and evade any form of discomfort.

It is easy to serve God when everything is well.

But what if the well runs dry?

Will we still be serving? Will we say it is enough?

WE ARE NOT EXEMPTED

Prophet Elijah was a noble and miracle worker who fought the spread of Baalism in Israel being promoted by Jezebel during the reign of King Ahab.

He had done dozens of miracles and lived a life zealous in serving the Lord of Host. In fact, all the prophet of God was killed and yet he remained standing for God.

But Elijah is a man like us, and despite his strong character and passion for serving God, he experienced the feeling of emotional and spiritual dryness. He felt so afraid for his life that he fled into the wilderness when he was threatened to be killed by Jezebel. He sat down under the juniper tree and he requested for himself that he might die. He said,

“It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life for I am not better than my fathers.”

Remember also Peter and the disciples that after three years of being with the Lord, they felt so confused that they don’t know what to do so they go on a retreat, They went back to where they were relaxed, and they went fishing.

Are we better than the Prophet Elijah and Peter and the disciples in zealous for the Lord? Are we more than these servants who made miracles and experienced God’s miracle after miracle?

Yet, in their lifetime they experience that well runs dry.

LIFE TANK ANALOGY

No matter how arduous our desires serving Him and no matter how passionate we are in our service; we are not relieved from experiencing the symptoms of life’s drought.

Because like a well or a tank reservoir, the water level will always depend on the water intake and the amount of water going out of it.

We consider ourselves as a well or a reservoir or we called it a “LIFE TANK” and the one that fills this life tank to make it full or overflow is the life we received from God and the people that surround us.

Our life is full when we continue to receive the overflowing grace and inspiration from God. The other source of our life that make it full is our relationship with people.  We need human love, connections, appreciation, and motivation.

Without having either of the two, our life is not complete. Our life happiness does not depend only on the amount of water that fills in the tank because life should be a balance.

There should be a balance between supply and demand. Life is wasted when you have an overflowing supply yet you don’t use it to its purpose. We have to divert and channel this life to something worthwhile because if not, it’s either we waste it or the supply shall be cut off from the source.

But it’s not enough that there is supply, dryness, and emptiness happen when the demand exceeds the supply.

WHEN THE WELL RUNS DRY

Maybe we are like the zeal and passion of Prophet Elijah but it will come to a point when we will also be asking ourselves, “Are all of the worth?”

We cannot doubt the supply from God but still, we experience the symptoms of drought when we reach the dryness of level in our life.

We could be having financial dryness, mental and emotional drought, or either physical or spiritual drought.

Out of these symptoms, where you are right now?

The severity of our drought and how we face it will determine in which direction we are heading. It is either we are totally draining or just part of our training.

Let us examine what makes our Life Tank reach the low level because it is either by our own doing or just merely part of our training.

But today, the wells run dry for a purpose.

  1. GOD’S GRACE & GREATNESS IS MORE MAGNIFIED IN OUR DRYNESS

Spiritual dryness is when we feel that God is distant, or we struggle to grow spiritually. Sometimes spiritual dryness is due to personal sins because our sins create a barrier in our relationship with God.

And when that relationship is tarnished, the joy of our salvation in us slowly dwindles.

The symptoms of spiritual dryness become more visible due to people having financial dryness or emotional and physical pain which makes it difficult for us to focus on God or in our prayer.

Our dryness brought by our sin invites us to experience His grace.

But Elijah’s case is different, it came out of his fear of losing his life so he fled into the wilderness and requested that his life would be ended. Elijah manifested his fear; it manifested his weakness.

When we experience a dry season in our life does not mean that we are weak.

We cannot judge people who went through a dry experience because sometimes God speaks to us through this ordeal.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

Elijah experienced God’s greatness despite his weakness.

We leave to God what we can’t control and allow Him to do exactly what we cannot do.

During the drought season for three years, Elijah experiences the greatness of God through his provisions. God sent ravens bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening. 1 King 17: 1-5

And when the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land, he went to Zarephath and directed to a widow there to supply him with overflowing food.

2. GOD’S VOICE IS MORE AUDIBLE IN OUR DRYNESS

In verse 9, he came to a cave and lodged there when he heard a voice from the Lord. He said to Elijah, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord but the Lord was not in the wind.

After the wind, there was an earthquake and after the earthquake was a fire, and after the fire was a sound of a gentle blowing.

But the Lord was not in the earthquake nor in the fire but in the silence of our heart we can hear Him.

We can hear God speaking to us more clearly in the quietness of our dry season.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI back in 2008 says “In these moments of darkness, he [God] speaks through the mystery of his silence. Hence, in the dynamic of Christian revelation, silence appears as an important expression of the word of God” (VD, No. 21).

In our quiet and dry seasons of life, we can hear God speaking clearly to us. Giving us the direction to take.

He gives us the steps to make.

3. WHEN WATER IS DEPLETED, WE APPRECIATE THE WATER WE MISSED

It is only when something is lacking that we missed and appreciate it.

God allows dryness and our resources to be depleted not because He punishes us but to show us the importance of the value of blessings, we received from Him.

You only know the significance of a person when he left.

We only know the value of our health when we are sick.

We only appreciate the importance of our parent’s advice when we are already facing some troubles.

Don’t wait for that person to leave before you say thank you. Don’t wait for 40 before you think about saving for your retirement. Start it now.

Some people felt spiritual dryness because they thought what they are doing is not important. After all, no one recognizes them. Nobody appreciates them.

Sometimes we became the reason for other people to feel that the well is dry because we are so stingy in giving praise. It’s not because they are asking for it, but as a human, we need someone to appreciate our worth.

Be sensitive to other needs. Remember that the other source of happiness aside from God’s grace and inspiration is people’s love, connection, and appreciation.

Human needs not only God’s inspiration, but we human also needs love, connection, and motivation.

For some of us, if they don’t appreciate our presence, make ourselves so valuable that they will appreciate our absence.

4. WHEN LIFE IS SLOWING, IT DOES NOT MEAN IT’S DRAINING, IT MIGHT JUST BE PART OF OUR TRAINING

When everything is slowing, just take a pause for a while because the problem might not be because the source is blocked. It’s not because the supply is less in your LIFE TANK.

Maybe because God is preparing for you to be ready for the next assignment.

God asked Elijah, “What are you doing here Elijah?” For Elijah answer is a manifestation that his life is draining because of his high expectation.

He was a zealous servant yet what he was experiencing was the opposite of what he should receive.

He had done a lot of miracles, but he was running for his life.

But God’s question has a different answer. He asked Elijah to go forth on the mountain of the Lord. God is setting Elijah to the next mission He had for Him, to return his way to the wilderness of Damascus to anoint another king of Haram and train and anoint the prophet who will replace him.

Yes, serving God may have caused us draining of our energy but God teaches us to appreciate His works.

At the moment when everything is dry, we can still see that He never stops.

He asked Elijah to arise and eat because the journey is too great for him. 1 King 19: 7

Even when we are slowing down, never back down. No backsliding.

5.  OUR CAPACITY TO GIVE DEPENDS ON OUR ABILITY TO RECEIVE

We are a limited resource.

Your capacity to give depends on your ability to receive because you cannot give more than what you receive.

We can only give what we have.

You cannot teach forgiveness if you don’t practice forgiveness.

You cannot advise investment if you don’t practice and have any investment.

You cannot teach someone to sing well if you don’t know how to sing at all.

We need to be whole to give to people.

Life is draining us out when we are giving too much more than what we have.

Dryness happened when there is more demand than the supply. I can only give 1,000 AED when the money in my pocket is a thousand.

Our lives become more purposeful and focused when we know our limitations and when we know that we are only a limited resource.

We value our time and connect with people whom we can able to accommodate and ministers.

Our love tank will run dry when more people are taking from you rather than feeding you.

As a speaker, I have more people to feed than feeding me.

For those who have not yet maximized their Life tank, increase your reservoir to bless more.

Expand yourself to accommodate but learn how to balance life otherwise, it will drain your energy and suck the life out of you.

Increase your capacity to receive. God will not judge us for something we do not have. He will only demand us the fruit on the bases of gifts or seeds we received because He is a just God.

There will always be times that our Life tank shall be slowly draining because of outside forces.

Like water coming out of its tank because of evaporation, there will always be circumstances in our life that are out of our control that affect the level of our Life tank. We might lose our job, and our relationships may not be well because your partner had given up holding on to your relationship. Your loved ones might be ill and it is draining your finances, etc…

But remember this, when the level goes down beyond our control, we must go back to our source. Let God who is more than enough fill our Life Tank.

As a servant, we must be sensitive to filling the life tank of others whom we know their well is running dry.

May our God continue to fill your Life Tank always,

Mikesendon

GIVE MORE THAN WHAT THEY BEG

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GIVE MORE THAN WHAT THEY BEG
Acts 3:1-10

Giving someone will not change the world but it will change someone’s world.

We can’t give to everyone but everyone can give to someone.

This is what we want to achieve the goodness within us ripples until it becomes a miracle.

Is it not a miracle to see everyday people living happy and content because there is abundance and no one is lacking not because everyone is rich as Warren Buffet; but because everyone discovers the joy and principle of sharing?

There is greater joy in giving that God is teaching this to us. The joy the giver have is more than the joy experienced by the recipient.
That the blessings of someone who gives are far greater than the one who receives.

IS IT A RECKLESS DECISION?

We learned that giving is not a reckless decision at all.
Because we understood that it is in giving that the more we received.

There is more joy in giving than in receiving alone.

OUR PRESENCE is our PRESENT

We can give without loving but we cannot truly love without giving.
We cannot consecrate our all by giving our treasures alone.

Because sometimes, God and other people don’t need your money but they need your time.

Sometimes, our time is better than any dime; our presence is the best present we can give to a person.
Our presence cannot be replaced by any material things.

For those OFW with family miles away, we usually equate our presence with our dear ones with material things. We translate our love for them with goods, gadgets, and comfortable life.

But sometimes they don’t need our money, they long for our presence, tangible love.

Good that in this digital era, we can fill the gap of our absence by the use of social sites through FB, Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, IMO, and skype. Our presence with them becomes virtual.

But no matter how it is, the effort of making ourselves available to them cannot be discounted.

PETER HADE GAVE MORE

In the reading of Acts 3:1-10 12, Peter and John on the third hour of the afternoon for prayer, going up to the temple a man lame from birth begs them for money. Peter looked straight at him and did John, said to the man “Look at us! Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have, I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk.
A poor beggar received more than what he expected.
Because Peter and John, have given more than what the man asked.
They had given what they only have, their TIME and Jesus who is in them.

In this part of the talk, we will share how & why you have to give more than what others beg of you:

1. GIVE THEM RELATIONSHIPS NOT OWNERSHIP
If we want to improve our relationship with others, even if it’s our spouse, children, parents, or other people; we need to spend quality time with them.
Because you cannot replace our presence with material things. Sometimes, people don’t need our money.

They need our time and the time we devote to others sends a message that they are important to us.

The time devoted by Peter and John to a beggar on the street helps the man to understand that respect for oneself is more than a small coin he can receive.

The sense of touch and sight was felt by the beggar when he looked at the disciple’s eyes and that feeling flowed when Peter reached out his hand to the man.

This power of touch and sight is missing in a virtual and digital relationship.

I wonder about seeing couples in a cozy restaurant, dining together but they don’t look at each other their eyes were hooked on their own phone.
Leave that gadget behind for a while, start a good talk, look at each other’s eyes, and connect.

This is what the lame beggar felt when he looked at Peter and John. Connection.

Our time spent sending a clear message that you are near and available on time that they need us.

Another act of good deed is by the Good Samaritan. A businessman and a traveler where time is gold; he dared to spare his time to carry the man to his horse and brought him to care in a hotel and paid for it.

2. GIVE THEM OUR GOD NOT YOUR GOLD

We cannot truly consecrate by giving what we really have by giving our treasures alone because it is not enough.

Share to them our God when we give.

Let them know that we are just a channel of God’s goodness; that every blessing we share with them is not from us but the fruit of God’s goodness and generosity to us.

We let them realize that God is alive through us. We become Jesus to someone.

We become a living manifestation that God is real because they can sense, they can feel that He is working through us.

The reason why many desperate people don’t believe that God cares is that they don’t experience that sympathy, that empathy from people who were blessed.

The ultimate purpose of our blessing is that we become a blessing to someone who is in need.
Because all the things that we have, time treasures, and talents all come from Him alone.

Let them realize that what they receive does not come from us, but we are only sharing the blessing that we received from God.

Don’t ask them to repay you, but let them do exactly what you did to the next person with the same experience and situation.

Ask them to do other what you did to them, let that goodness ripple and daily we will see miracles. The goodness they received shall be the same goodness they will share.

Giving our God to them is empowering them to stand in their own faith and relationship with God.
By sharing with them our God, let them discover a wonderful relationship with our Master and let that relationship be intimate and personal with God.

3. GIVE THEM WHAT THEY REALLY NEED

Sometimes our intention to help is good. However, in the long term, we don’t really help but rather let them be lazy, lame, and selfish.

We teach them to be too much dependent on the moment that it paralyzes them and kills us as well.

The problem sometimes with us, we let them paralyze their thinking because every decision should be coming from us. We limit their ability to think for themselves.

Don’t give them the fish but teach them how to fish.

You can empower them by teaching and sharing with them what you know and how they could be able to maximize their time and resources.

Give to our children what they only need. Don’t just give our children the taste of our wealth but teach them what made us wealthy. Don’t just give them your riches, show them how you did it. Teach them your passion, your vision, your mission, exemplary character, and your outlooks in life so that they could have their own.

I think it’s not right that we only give food to beggars to eat, it is hard work but we need to transform them to be a better part of our society. They need to regain their identity and integrity so that they could somehow be contributors to the common good of the community.

We should give them a chance instead of giving them a label that reminds them of their inability to be part of the community.

4. GIVE THEM MOTIVATION AND NOT DISSUASION

Some of us offer our help but we use it as a reason to judge people on their inabilities, weakness, and limitations.  

They don’t need our judgment. They need our motivation and inspire them to rise above their situation.

We should not use our giving to let others look stupid and miserable or to use them for our own propaganda of being self-righteous.

5. GIVE THEM LOVE NOT PITY

What people need from us is not our pity but our love.

We can only strengthen their belief in themselves if we show them our trust and belief that they can do it by themselves.

The more we pity them, the more we let them stay in their miserable conditions.

You give not because you expect to receive but because you love.

Like the Good Samaritan, what he had given is the best out of his love and kindness without expecting any form of return.

Some people make friends because they have a vested interest in you.

Do we want to partake in a Mission of God to mankind by giving our time, treasure, and talents?

Do we want to have that happy and fruitful relationship?

Do we want to experience deeper peace of mind with God?

It is not that we are giving our time to God and man but actually, we are seizing that time we spent in our favor to experience His immense and glorious presence.

GOD’S EYE ON THE GIVER

Our giving cannot be hidden from the eyes of God. He is observant.
Every second, every time, every giving that we are doing is known to the Lord.

That is why we give our time and talent with joy.
He knows how much we give and the more, He knows how we value every act of giving we are doing.

May you always become Jesus to somebody,

Mikesendon

THANK GOD IN OUR JOURNEY

THANK GOD IN OUR JOURNEY

Exodus 16: 8-12

Journey
Moses said, “This will happen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, for the Lord hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”

Verse 10: It came about as Aaron, “Say to all congregation of the sons of Israel,’ that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.

Verse 11: The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ” I have heard the grumbling of the Sons of Israel; speak to them, saying, “At twilight, you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread and you shall know I am the Lord your God”

It is easy to praise and thank God when we reach our destination but we should learn
how to praise Him in our journey.

INTRODUCTION

All of us are blessed by God.

What are those things that we are thankful for?

Is it that most of the time we praise Him for what was given to us.

Most people today are thankful and praise God when they arrive at their desired destination.

But the challenge is, can you praise and thank Him in your journey?

THE GRUMBLING ISRAELITES

Looking back on the life of the people of God, He had promised them that they will be brought to a place of flowing milk and honey.

To a land given they will call their own.

The Israelites were being led by Moses to a place promised by God to them, but life in the wilderness is not easy.

In the beginning, they can see their destination but they were disillusioned by their situation.

When you are conquered by your current situation, you tend to forget the destination.

When you are overwhelmed by your distress, you forgot to hold on to the promise.

This is what happened to the Israelites.

They were excited to leave their suffering behind because they believed in God for a promised deliverance and relief, but the wilderness is their test.

Instead of praising God on the journey, they blamed God and Moses for their fate.

So they started to complain, to murmur and grumble.

DISHEARTENED SITUATION

Transition is not easy.

Transition is a challenge.

That is why only a few love change.

We can relate with the Israelites because most of us when we are in transition and when things are not working well, we look for someone to blame.

We put blame even on people who wanted to help us.

We blame our situation on our parents, our boss, our employer, our colleagues…

The people questioned Moses and asked if they were brought to the wilderness to be put to death as there were no food, no water, and no comfort.

Sometimes we focus more on our current experience that we forgot why we are really in transition.

Instead of appreciation, when the blessings become normal, we tend to consider the blessing as an obligation.

LOSS SIGHT OF THE PROMISE

When people focus more on their situations, we lose sight of the vision and a promised provision.

HOW TO PRAISE GOD IN OUR JOURNEY

1. LOOK AHEAD FOR THE PROMISE

Never thank God only because you reach the destination or you achieved your goal, or you have been successful in your life.

God’s promise is like a boarding pass in your hand, believe that you will reach your destination.

When you have your boarding pass and you know you are on the right plane, don’t worry.

The plane will take you to the desired airport even when there is a re-route.

Our hope will be more if we always look ahead to the promises He has for us.

We have to praise Him for there is something more and better that awaits us.

Even in times that we don’t see it clear enough, always believe in His Words for God’s promises are true.

In my Father’s house are many mansions, I will prepare a room for you.

Praise Him because He is taking us to where He wants us to be.

When God says so, consider it done.

As Paul says in Phil 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

2. LOOK BEHIND WHERE YOU COME FROM

Phil3:13 “but one thing I do forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.”

God is always taking us to a better place where we are right now.

We can truly praise God when we know where we are going and thank him more when we look back knowing where we came from.

Looking back gives us the ability to know that we are progressing, that we are moving.

A journey is about movement.

Life is a journey and no matter how slow and fast it is, our life should always be moving forward.

Past is a history to learn. It had a good memory to cherish and to treasures and bad memory to learn and fuel us to move forward.

We cannot make friends with the past if there is someone and something greater waiting for us in the future.

We cannot stay where we came from otherwise we will impede growth.

You will appreciate it now when you look back and see yourself back then.

Isn’t it that a lot has changed?

Isn’t it that today is better than what it was?

3.  LOOK INSIDE FOR THE PURPOSE

We can praise God, even more, when we look within ourselves, for the ultimate purpose of why we are in transition.

Before we grumble and complain, try to see first what is behind the suffering we are into right now.

When we know the purpose and our goal, consider that God is preparing us for something big.

Learn to wait on the Lord and He will renew our strength like the wings of an eagle.

Why? So that in waiting we prepare ourselves to carry the weight of the blessings that He has about to give.

Maybe your situation is hard and difficult because you’re preparing for your retirement. It’s hard because you need to save and be tight on your finances.

Your situation is difficult because you’re supporting your family back home.

But be thankful because, despite your situation, you are strong, healthy, and continually blessed by God to support them.

If you know the purpose inside of you, everything that you face is a challenge to overcome.

The more challenge you overcome, the more you grow in your character.

The more we become excited and the more we will appreciate when the blessings come.

We therefore praise and thank Him for the blessings that are about to be given but also the training and lesson it gives while waiting for it to come.

We thank God not because He is killing us or inflicting us with more pain or difficulty but He is training us and equipping us to adapt to the new territory He prepared for us and me.

Sometimes we thought that God is against us.

So we thought of something that we could do by ourselves and thought we think well than God.

GOD KNOWS BEST

One afternoon there was a man who is under the Duhat tree to take a siesta and He saw a duhat fruit. He said to himself “I think there is something wrong, why did God let this small fruit of duhat grow on a tree while pumpkin buds out on a soft and small vine where it’s larger than the duhat.”

While pondering, a duhat fruit fell on his face. Then he exclaimed “Ah God knows best! If that duhat fruit that fell on my face is a pumpkin, then I’m done. Dr. Belo will be having a hard time fixing a battered face”

God knows best and His purpose is always best for you.

My plan for you is not to harm you but a future.

4.  LOOK OUTSIDE AND BE ENCOURAGE

Most of the time when we look outside and see what is happening on the television, hearing the news, we will be discouraged.

The economy is in recession, the market is down, my stocks are red, and there are news and rumors of termination and much more. All of this will discourage us.

But looking outside will also help us to be encouraged because, despite any global concern happening around us, we are still blessed.

We are still alive and being protected by God.

Looking outside helps us to see how God blesses the ants, the lilies, and the birds.

If they are blessed, how much more that God could not bless me.

Looking outside gives us more reason to thank God

Looking outside shall encourage us to appreciate what God is doing to others and help us to look into ourselves to be thankful for what we have.

5. LOOK ABOVE FOR THE INSPIRATION

When everything goes wrong, always look up for inspiration.

Like Job who lost everything in his life still blesses God and thanks to Him for all that he had.

Look up and thank God for what you have.

Thank Him not only when you received favors but in all circumstances give thanks to God.

Journey in the desert is not easy but Moses reminds them that in their forty years in the wilderness, their feet had not swollen.

For forty long years, God never missed a single day without Manna falling from the sky.

When they were bitten by snakes, God asked them to look upon a serpent rod and they were healed.

God’s presence was with them always for He was fire by night and a tower of clouds by day.

Never question God in our situation till you look up for inspiration. You will be amazed to know that what you have in your transition is nothing compare to what God prepared for you at your destination.

There are many things in this world we don’t have control over, but look up and thank Him who is always in control.

START COUNTING YOUR BLESSINGS

Is it that most of the time we count the things that we don’t have?

I don’t have this latest I-phone, I don’t have a job, I don’t have this, I don’t have that.

It’s easier to count what we don’t have yet we don’t count the value of what we do have already.

If we start to count our blessings, soon we will stop counting anymore.

What we don’t have will outweigh the values of what we have

Count your blessings until you can’t count them anymore.

May you thank God always in your journey.

Mikesendon

THE POWER OF A POSITIVE MIND

THE POWER OF A POSITIVE MIND

Matthew 6:25-37

Mind

Is it not that our life could be more peaceful, successful, and purposeful if our mind is not full of clutter, rubbish, and negative thoughts?

Because the one thing that should be important in our life, the unique gift we received that should be helping us to be different, to be unique, be fruitful, to be good, to be great, and be successful is sometimes the same thing that is KILLING US.

This is a powerful life-changing message that will enlighten us on how powerful and gifted we are among other God’s creatures.

Today I want to share with you that all of us possess and are endowed with such a powerful gift that no other creature has, IT’S THE POWER TO THINK.

The subject is so powerful that can change our life if we will only understand the power of having A POSITIVE MIND.

UNIQUE POWER

God has given all its creatures distinctive characteristics, features that make them distinct from the other creatures.

The Creator has given them certain qualities they need to multiply, live, and survive.

Have we not been amazed at how fast the Cheetah runs? The fastest animal that can run at a speed of 110-120 kph has this nature to help them hunt their prey and escape their predators as well.

When you see massive elephants, they are so huge that you cannot put them in your refrigerator. Gifted with intelligence and strength makes them different as well.

When you look at a lion, they are more mighty than most animals and these animals have no match for the lion. Maybe that’s why they are tagged to be king of the jungle.

When you look at the sky, do you think you see Superman or an airplane flying high?

Nup! It’s an eagle who has a strong wing with an average wingspan of 1.8 to 2.3m and they love to fly above the storm.

This unique power and qualities are innate for them to survive so that when the LION roars, the cheetah could run in the wild.

Lion has no match for cheetah’s speed because it has powerful legs.

So the Lion looks for another prospect and he sees ELEPHANT. But the older elephant is so huge and heavier than your car, the lion just stares at him and asks himself, how I could eat it all?

While looking at the sky, the lion sees the magnificent bird in the sky with its majestic wings spread throughout, but the lion has no match for it because the eagle can fly high taking advantage of the storm.

Now we ask ourselves if God has given the eagles with majestic wings, who can threaten them? And a lion is so strong that when it roars the animals flee out of his sight.

If God has given the elephant with weight, an eagle with wings that can soar, a lion with sharp teeth and a mighty roar; and a cheetah that has a speed with no other; then what do I have to compare with them?

What distinct quality do I have to overpower them?

Ahh! God has given me a MIND.

I have the POWER WITH MY MIND.

WE HAVE MORE POWER THAN WE THOUGHT

How we could match their powers?

With this mind power, we can’t run as fast as a cheetah, but we have the edge to outrun the cheetah by inventing the car that moves faster than a cheetah.

You can say to Cheetah, “I am not scared of you because I can ride a jeep and escape.”

We don’t have a match with the lion’s teeth but we can attack them by using a weapon. We have that genius as well to tame them.

We don’t have a match elephant strength but man invented cranes to lift heavy loads.

We don’t have a match the eagle’s wings to soar above the clouds but man develop an airplane and spaceship that could fly beyond the stars.

WHAT MAKES US POWERLESS

But what are an eagle’s majestic wings if we clamped his wings? What good it will do?

The eagle will fall to the ground.

What is the use of a lion’s teeth if you clamped his mouth? We have taken out his power and it can roar no more.

What is the strength of an elephant in a sturdy cage, they are useless.

If God has given them the power to survive with their unique abilities and nature, then for me to survive, what God has given me is my MIND.

What is the use of our mind if it is powerless?

That is why the mind is an expensive and awful thing to waste and many people are wasting these unique gifts and power that we have.

The battlefield is in our minds, because if the enemy has our minds, then we’re like a lion with no teeth, like an eagle with no wings, and a cheetah without legs.

It makes us useless.

MAKE NO THOUGHTS

 In the King James Version, it says that “Make No Thought of your life”.

But how does Jesus say make no thought of our life?

It’s quite intriguing because we use our minds to strategize, plan for the future, and make a goal.

Thinking is our life.

The highest-paid person is the one who thinks.

It’s the Thinker, the movers who are paid well. But how does Jesus say make no thoughts of your life?

Jesus is not asking us not to be mindless about the future but how we think about our future.

He is telling us not to worry about our future.

Because worry results in anxiety.

When anxiety becomes more frequent, it results in a bigger problem.

The problem with anxiety is that we are afraid of something not happening yet.

And I am not exempted from that because I also worry.

A person who is full of anxiety repeatedly sees the picture of something that makes him worry.

But Jesus said to be anxious about nothing.. Make no thoughts.

Maybe what Jesus was trying to expound in the idea of “make no thoughts” is not because we don’t use our minds to think, but the idea of not using our minds against us.

That the power that I have will be the same power to kill me. That the same power I can use against the enemy can be used to my disadvantage.

THE MIND AGAINST ME

It says that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.

The enemy, therefore, his ultimate purpose is to destroy us using all of his devise and skills to manipulate everything and create situations to make us worry.

The enemy understands how we can be powerful if I use my mind’s power.

It is by our mind that we serve and worship the Lord as we need to love God with all of our minds.

How we could truly serve and love Him if we are not in the right stage of our minds?

He knows how creative I could be if I am on the right stage of my creative mind.

Would it be the enemy is stealing our today by worrying about tomorrow?

Is it that he threatens me with death tomorrow that I cannot enjoy my today?

All the terrorist activities happening all around the globe is enemies’ ideology not only to kill you physically but there are more to that.

More people are destroyed and stolen their lives because of the worries, the dreadful thoughts it creates in the mind of people.

More people’s lives are destroyed and disrupted by worrying rather than the number of people killed by any bullet, an explosion, or terrorist attack.

It terrorizes our minds.

We live afraid, we fear death that we don’t enjoy life. We are afraid to go to shopping malls or even ride an airplane.

We are more fearful of losing our job, how will I retire? How will I survive?

We lost sight of today because we are so anxious about the future.

 

 SINGLE FOCUS MIND.

If we go back to the text before the text that we read Mt 6:22

The eyes are the lamp of the whole body, do then your eyes are clear your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.

It is in the context that we have two eyes but we can only see one image. Why? Because of a single focus vision.

But if the focus is not clear, the image we can picture is blurred and not clear

What makes the eyes to be single is FOCUS.

If the eyes are single then the whole body is full of light. If not everything is there but it’s not clear.

Ah, if our mind is out of focus, everything is there but we can’t see it clearly.

We gave bad decisions and we cannot see the clear details or picture of what good it should be.

In a single vision, there should be a focus.

Even your camera, the lens should be focused on a center or a subject.

For us to be focused, God is asking us to what is the center.

Jesus said not to focus on what are not important in our life.

Is life more important than food or our clothes important than our body?

It’s a trick of the enemy to bring our focus on the provision rather than on the vision.

To the gift rather than to the giver.

DO NOT WORRY

 Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.

That is why in our prayer, ask God to bring back focus in our life.

Your mind is the cheetahs’ speed, it’s the eagle’s wings and it’s the lion’s teeth.

If we are not focused, the enemy is more motivated to paralyze us by crippling our power.

God is teaching us not to worry because the thing that we can’t do He can do…

Why worry about things we cannot fix. Why worry about a sickness you cannot cure?

Why worry about your spouse overseas if you don’t have power over their mind?

Why worry about the food you can’t grow? Nor worry of circumstances beyond your power to control.

BE ANXIOUS ABOUT NOTHING

To be worried is not to be anxious about what will go wrong.

Faith comes from hearing the Word of God.

What people are talking about you does not matter.

What is important is what you talk about and what you say to yourself.

No matter if people say that you are beautiful while you talk to yourselves that you are ugly, what good does it bring?

Likewise, even if everyone says that you’re a loser yet you speak to yourself that you’re a winner, their words have no effect on you because it is what you believe.

What you say about yourself matters.

Life and death are at the tip of our tongue.

We need to choose and that wise decision comes from a clear mind.

The blessings could not be released because of what you say about yourselves.

But when you believe what you say about yourselves, then you’re calling it to your advantage.

Our minds absorb and process what we say about ourselves.

If you worry, the enemy does not need to send a terrorist to attack you because he had already established a cell inside of you.

That cell activates the negativity that could kill you softly.

FOCUS NOT ON THE PERSON BUT ON YOUR PURPOSE

We have to focus on your purpose rather than your person. With positive faith.

Stop thinking that you are still single, that your nose is flat, that you are inflicted with HIV (hair is vanishing, that you suffer from AIDS (Acquired Income Deficiency Syndrome), that your color is black or brown…So what?

What is lacking in you will not kill you.

Is worrying will add a single hour to your life?

What’s wrong with you is not wrong with you.

If you think right there is nothing against your way.

BECAUSE YOUR MIND IS YOUR POWER.

Jesus when He said “make no thoughts of your life” is not teaching us to be thoughtless but NOT TO WORRY.

It is by worrying that you become thoughtless.

Worry delays the processing of our decision.

Worrying is thinking over and over again making us restless.

Thinking over and over again without resolving the issues is useless.

Our life could be more productive, meaningful, and beautiful if we will focus on our purpose.

Saint Paul says, think of something great, noble, beautiful, praiseworthy, and promote excellence and DWELL on these things.

 DOWNLOAD WHAT IS GOOD

Like a computer, it’s usually corrupted by the virus unintentionally we downloaded into the system.

Sometimes we thought that the software we downloaded is essential to our devices because we were enticed by its function and features.

Later we notice that it starts to buffer, and the system becomes slower until it becomes totally crapped.

Our mind is created by God to function as what He intended it to be. However, during our lifetime, our minds are being polluted by the so many things that we put into them.

There is a saying that says, we become what we eat. In the same manner, we become who we are by what we feed our minds.

A doctor became a doctor because of what he reads and what he feeds in his mind, the same thing with an engineer, a pilot, a nurse, or an astronaut.

Entertain negativity and your thought will be negative.

When I was indulge in reading and watching articles and videos that arouse my sexual lust, my mind became lustful.

That is why we need to guard our minds and we need to be always transformed by the renewing of our minds.

LEARN TO UNLEARN

 No one was born worrying.

We have not seen in our lifetime a baby that is anxious about their clothes or the food they will eat.

Worrying is a learned behavior and we learned it from our parents and from the people around us.

If worrying is learned, then we can unlearn it as well.

Be transformed and unlearned the things that are not important in our lives and replace them with something worthwhile, that bring excellence.

Now start to speak to yourself, “Do not Worry…do not worry, don’t worry, and don’t worry”.

Say it again and again so until you hear it by yourself.

Speak to your mind.

You are special, and may you unleash the power of your mind,

Mikesendon

Discovering True Happiness

Discovering True Happiness

LUKE 6:17,20-26happiness

All of us wish to be happy that is why we resort to do things that will make fulfillment and satisfaction of our self that we may consider it as happiness.

Do we really find happiness in what we are doing?

Are we happy and satisfied with all the accomplishment that we achieved?

Do we feel happiness on every small achievement that we have?

Is your happiness really happiness or just a temporary feeling of satisfaction then at the end of the day you ask yourself why there is still something lacking?

Let God teaches us at the course of this article what true happiness really means.

WORLD DEFINITION OF HAPPINESS

We are all aware that even the most famous people who live on earth, even at the height of their success they discovered that contentment and happiness cannot be counted on the quality of life they have, on the numbers of cars they possess, on the position they have, on the stature of being known by everybody, on the amount of their deposits in the bank, and so on…….

We are misled by the notion that happiness can be gained by having it all in this world.

So day in and day out we work hard, burning our energy dreaming someday that we could rest and live a happy  life.  The thought that happiness can be found on the materials abundance but we forget to live our life the way it should be lived.

The world lure us on so many beautiful things that our eyes can see.

The picture that we perceive tells us that if we get all of these things, we will be happy.

This is what we call mental conditioning. Our minds responds to this condition.

HAPPINESS IN PARADOX

But Jesus teaching is contrary to what the world teaches when it comes to happiness.

HAPPINESS is finding satisfaction in everything that we do, in everything we achieve.

In Christ, happiness or the beatitude demands the CONVERSION of the HEART which can only come through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

How can we be really happy when we are in poverty, how can we smile when somebody is persecuting us, how can we be possibly happy when we lost someone, when we are in mourning, hunger and thirsty?

Many will tell that it seems quietly paradox as what the world teaches about true happiness is, but for those who learn this secret are those who truly enjoys this immeasurable blessings that comes from him alone.

CHRIST DEFINITION OF HAPPINESS

For God to be truly happy, we must develop a character that he requires.

That is the reason why there should be a conversion of heart. He wants us to be happy but we need a total and complete transformation of our inner self and everything will work auto magically.

Once we work with our character and heart transformation, we will notice that happiness and joy becomes alive and it comes naturally without noticing it.

What are those general virtuous that we need?

HOPE AND TRUST IN THE LORD

Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor, the Kingdom of heaven is upon them Mt 5:3

Christ on his sermon did not say that happy are you that you are poor instead he said happy are you that you are spiritually poor now. The Lord did not want us to be poor forever. But he specifically point out that if you recognized that you are poor now, and if you put your hope in the lord the kingdom of heaven is in you.

In Ps 1:1-2,3,4,6 Happy the man who has placed his trust in the LORD.

There is a future hope for those who trust in Him, it does not stop on things on this world but it is a hope for a future home. We may not find or experience richly abundance in this world but there is a promise kingdom that awaits us.

That is why in 1 Cor 15:12 says that if our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most pitiable of all people.

In Jer 17:5-8 says that “Blessed is anyone who trusts in Yahweh, with Yahweh to rely on. Such person is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream, when the heat comes it has nothing to fear, its foliage stays green; untroubled in a year of drought, it never stops bearing fruits.

ATTRIBUTE OF HUMILITY

Happy are those who are humble, they will received what God has promised-Mt 5:5

For God for us to be blessed means we shall have a character of humility. Why?

His promise is like this; he will turn down the proud and will raise those who are humble.

Humility is one of the characters or attribute that God is looking in a person. Once we possess this kind of traits God is pleased and delighted in us.

Humility is considering yourself less and not bragging on the things you have but you count it blessings when you received something from the Lord.

PEACEMAKER

Happy are those who work for peace, God will call them His children-Mt 5:9

To be happy means we should have this desire to work for peace or be peace maker not a trouble maker.   Why the world is in chaos because we always want to put ourselves in trouble.

To be peacemaker means making no offense with other, we respect the right of others. We promote goodwill. We embrace unity.

Peacemaker when the love that God has put in us overflow and we want to share it with others.

If we are peacemaker, God will consider us one of his children. Who is happy?… a legitimate or an illegitimate son? A slave or a son? It brings more joy to know if God consider us as one of his children, Why? Because a son is heir of the kingdom. A son that deserves the right of a son.

If we are son of God why worry of the things we need everyday.

God shall supply my needs according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus.-Phil 4:19

PURE IN HEART COUNTS HOLINESS

Happy are those who are pure in heart, they shall see God-Mt 5:8

Unless we become holy we cannot see God. Unless we have a pure heart then we cannot be considered as holy.

Holiness comes when we are in constant awareness on the state of our heart keeping it free from any sin that corrupt itself.

In Romans says, unless you are holy, you cannot see God.

INNER HUNGER FOR THE WORD OF GOD

Happy are you who are hungry now, you will be filled-Lk 6:21

Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Our body is created by God not only physical but also as spiritual being. That is the reason why even we filled our body with all the lavish food we ate, clothes our body with expensive adornment, threat ourselves in a glorious vacation we say it unless we feed our soul and spirit with the word of God that is the only time that we will attain great happiness, because we are truly satisfied.

We are spiritual being of which our spirits longs for the presence of God. Why? The Word of God is God itself. In John 1:8 before the world was created, the Word already existed; he was with God, and he was the same as God.

NOT AFFECTED BY PERSECUTION-ENDURANCE

Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires; the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them Mt 5:10

We have happiness when troubles and persecution does not affect us but rather we count it joy that we suffer with Christ.

We rather blessed those who don’t love us instead of cursing them.

EXERCISE RIGHTEOUSNESS

Happy are those who’s greatest desires is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully- Mt 5:6

Righteousness is what it count for Abraham because of his faith to God he offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice as what God ask him to do.

As David says in his Psalm, If we delight ourselves in the Lord, God will give the desires of our heart.

To be righteous is to desire something good that can magnify God.

SORROWFUL FOR SINS COMMITTED-REPENTANCE

Happy are those who mourn, God will comfort them-Mt. 5: 4

When God says that happy are those who mourn does not literally means that better for you to mourn. But Christ knows that if you feel sorry for the sins you committed God will truly comfort us.

When we repent with our sins, we are in a state of deep sorry for we have hurt others, we have hurt God.

SHOW OF MERCY TO OTHERS

Happy are those who are merciful to others, God will be merciful to them- Mt. 5:7

May your happiness be full,

Mike Sendon

CLIMB DOWN YOUR TREE

CLIMB DOWN YOUR TREE

LUKE 19: 1-10

Climb down you tree.jpg

The story of Zacchaeus is known to all of us.

Here is another account of a man who made it big even when he was small.

A story of the conversion of a man who lived in sin but his encounter with Jesus was a pivotal point for him to start anew and be Jesus’s follower.

A man who climbed his worldly tree of pride, selfish ambition, and life in sin climbed down to meet his God.

A story of a man who climbed down his tree and walks free.

This story is a story that all of us can relate to because most of us have our own fictitious tree.

THE DRIVEN ZACCHEAUS

We can learn from the text that Zacchaeus was little in stature yet his size was incomparable to his desire to be big.

His size did not matter as he grew to be bigger than what he was physical.

No matter how small we are, we can reach our trees, our goals, and our dreams.

Our deficiencies are not a hindrance to our success.

Our smallness is no reason to judge ourselves or who we can become.

Maybe your height is less that they don’t accept you to play basketball but you’re a good shooter. You wanted to be a stewardess but because of your love to fly, you pursue it till you become a pilot.

Maybe during that time of Zacchaeus, there were people better than him, but they did not make it.

Because Zaccheaus was driven.

A man who is driven is unstoppable.

We can see that Zaccheaus was driven to be at the top. A man who was driven to be the man he wanted to be.

You can be led by the Holy Spirit but a man driven is not only led but is fighting a devil inside his heart.

When you are led, you follow the desires of your heart, your passion, you take the path God wanted you to go, but when you are driven, you don’t only walk your way out but you fight all the obstacles that are within you.

You wanted to win no matter what.

THE COMFORT OF OUR TREES

But when we reached the pinnacle of our dreams, we climbed the top of our trees that is when we tend to forget the very reason why we climbed the tree.

When we enjoyed the benefit of having it all, the luxury and comforts, the joy and happiness of being at the state of where we are, we tend to forget the very reason why God put us where we are.

We abuse the power, we neglect the responsibility, we become selfish and pride becomes our number one ally.

Yes, we are driven, we are led but it comes to a point when we set aside all of these in exchange for the prestige moment we are into.

Zacchaeus being the chief became greedy and abused his power by taking advantage of his position.

He cheated people by collecting more tax or either giving favor to a “friend with benefit” and cheating the institution he was supposed to serve honestly.

The comfort of our tree becomes our comfort zone to do what we do that satisfies our desires, our ego, and prestige.

We tend to forget that the very reason why we are blessed is to be a blessing to others.

CLIMBING THE FICTITIOUS TREE

The second aspect of climbing our tree is climbing our fictitious tree.

We pretend to be higher than we ought to be.

We hide who we are by climbing the tree to show everybody who we are.

Have you seen people with jewelry all around, a man driving a big car, living in a very big house yet having trouble paying off his mortgage and loan?

Sometimes we portray the other side of ourselves that others may envy us…. To compete with others. To show on the face of those who judge you so that they cannot judge you anymore.

If these are the case, we climb fictitious trees pretending to be higher than who we are.

We don’t need to compete nor compare ourselves as Saint Paul says consider ourselves as least than the rest.

WHEN LITTLENESS TAKES YOU

People tend to be big yet they are small.

Zacchaeus climbed the tree because he was so small.

We hide our deficiency by hiding our true selves to appear bigger than who we are.

Zacchaeus’ mentality is like that. He appeared to be bigger than he was because people looked at him small not only because of his size but because of his crooked doing.

Sometimes to appear beautiful, many consult beauty experts to repair and enhance their bodies to improve self-confidence and change how people see them.

But knowing that we are a masterpiece of God is enough to establish the confidence we should have.

CLIMB DOWN OUR TREE

There was a story of a man who climbs a coconut tree and wanted to end his life. His neighbors noticed what he was about to do so they talked to him and admonished him to change his mind.

In vain, the man was hard-headed that he didn’t listen to them so they decided to call their village leader. The village leader talked to him but without success so they called the local Mayor to take over.

The mayor pleaded with the man to consider his offer to help and give any assistance he needed. But in desperation, they concluded that this man was decided to end his life so they immediately called for their Parish priest.

The Parish priest came and without any word, he blesses the man by the sign of the cross. The man seeing the priest doing this gesture immediately climbed down the tree.

All the people were clapping in amazement except for the mayor. So he approached the man and asked: “ Why did you come down at great speed when the priest came while earlier all of us pleaded you to come?” The man said, “ I was afraid when the priest warned me that if you will not come down, we will cut the tree.”

I know that we surely laugh at this story because even when I told this to my eight and five-year-old son, they did laugh.

But you know? We are like that man who climbed the tree.

We are on the brink of our destruction when we will stay on our fictitious trees. The fictitious tree of our pride destroys our relationship with our family, our friends, and other people.

We consider ourselves higher than they are. We use our position to blackmail them.

It is only when we come down from our tree that we could reconcile and strengthen our relationships with people around us.

ZACCHAEUS CLIMB DOWN

When Jesus approached the tree where Zacchaeus was, He looked up and said “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay in your house.”

God approaches us in our fictitious trees and asks us to come down.

He will never look us down but God looks upon us.

Our situation is not an obstacle for God to look upon us because He doesn’t see our smallness but rather looks upon the bigness of who we really are.

Zacchaeus come down. Now change the name of Zacchaeus to your own name and let this calling be our own calling.

God is calling us down from our fictitious trees. From our pride, from our mask, from our comfort zone.

Imagine what great and amazing things could happen to you when God calls out your name. Because if you don’t believe, better ask Lazarus.

GOD IS CALLING YOU DOWN

God wanted to stay in our house; He wanted to stay in our hearts.

Unless we hurry up and climb down our tree, we cannot have a complete and intimate relationship with God.

It is for us to choose between the comfort of our trees and the comfort of his presence.

Will we stay in the prestige of our situation or accept His invitation?

Will we forsake the tree of our convenience in exchange for our obedience?

God’s desire to dwell in us is far more than the desire of all of us that we dwell in

His house.

Climbing down our tree is a sign of our humility.

SALVATION HAS COME TO OUR HOUSE

God seeks those who are lost. He seeks those who nested and cling to the trees of their sins.

But Jesus never calls us out to condemn us but to save us.

It is His mercy and great love and compassion that drive Zacchaeus to climb down.

Maybe Zacchaeus thought, “who am I that this Jesus wanted to stay in my house? Nor who am I that I deserve for His invitation?

There were no words of judgment, no words of condemnation but an act of compassion.

Jesus’ act of compassion leads to Zacchaeus’ conviction and conversion. He offered to repay even half of his possessions to those he cheated.

That very act of God’s love and compassion not only brings conversion but also salvation.

“Today salvation has come to this house, because he too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man has come to seek and save that which was lost.”

Climb down your tree and receive Him humbly.

Mikesendon

HOW DEEP IS YOUR DEBT

HOW DEEP IS YOUR DEBT

Luke 7:36-39

Mercy 1

One of the good Filipino values that I learned is to consider the debt of gratitude or “pagtanaw ng utang na loob”.

It’s a debt that is very difficult to repay because no price tag is attached to it.

However, at the proper time, it should be returned when it is expected or wanted.

Filipino Values

“Utang na loob” or debt of gratitude is a norm of reciprocity, Filipinos are expected by their neighbors to return favors when it was expected and wanted at the proper time.

We Filipinos usually don’t forget the goodwill done to us and reciprocate that favor.

When abused, this becomes a burden and creates stress as the person becomes beholden to his debtors.

The only negative about this practice is when being used for some instances wherein the recipient is put in uncompromising situations.

Some people were instrumental to your success, to your victory. They tendered their support when the time you needed them without asking for any return.

However, in some later stages, they will ask you favor and remind you how they contributed and were helpful in where you are right now.

The common practice is in politics that usually results in graft corruption, illegal transactions, nepotism, and, appointing people that are unqualified of rendering good service to the people.

The Parable of the Two Debtors

The gospel shows us two types of people and how they react to and respond to the goodwill of Jesus in their life.

Jesus highlighted a picture of two characters on how they retort depending on how much favor they received.

Here we see a woman who was a sinner when known that Jesus was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought her alabaster vial of perfume and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears and wiping His feet with her hair.

The other character was Simon, the Pharisee that invited Jesus for a dinner yet never offered water or assigned someone to clean Jesus’ feet.

The deeper Your Debt

The parable states that there are two debtors whom both of them were forgiven as they cannot repay.

The greater the debt, the greater is our love for God.

I wonder who among us can repay His goodness.

But, is our response to His goodwill deeper enough to truly appreciate and reciprocate what He has done for us?

The parable, it reflects that the deeper our debt, the more we should love Jesus.

The woman received much so she loved much.

Her gratitude to Jesus was shown by her care and her action toward Jesus for she doesn’t know how she could repay what Jesus did to her.

If we will remember that this woman might have already been dead when she was caught on the ground of adultery and those people were ready to stone her to death.

Until Jesus came to the rescue and dare each one of those people to throw a stone if they don’t have sinned.

Our Gratitude towards God’s Attitude

All of us experience the same goodness from God day in and day out.

But how do we respond and reciprocate this love, mercy, and goodness of God to us?

The woman’s response shall give us a clear view of how we should respond to God’s goodness to us.

Like the woman, we should always repent of our sins and start to walk to where Jesus is. We need to refuse to sin anymore and seek to be in His presence always.

The woman wets her feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair as a sign of repentance.

Being sorry for all the wrongdoing we have done in our life, we cry because we feel sad and sorrowful that we hurt the feeling of God when we sinned against Him.

The woman kissed the feet of Jesus as a sign of humility.

A sign of gratefulness is to be humble before our Lord.

The woman brought her expensive vial of perfume to anoint Jesus’ feet means giving up whatever is important to her just to please her new Master.

When we consider gratefulness for God’s goodness and mercy to us, we are willing to give whatever it takes to show our love for God.

We do it without any hesitations or reservations.

We give it fully; we give it freely.

Liberating Goodness of God

In my introduction, “utang na loob” or debt of gratitude is expected to pay back when expected and wanted.

God wanted us to show our debt of gratitude to him but He never forces anyone.

There is no price tag nor string attached to His mercy towards us.

His mercy is liberating because He doesn’t burden us to pay him in return.

It rather liberates us to start a new chapter in our life by doing what is good, just, and right.

He gives us the freedom to choose the path we want to take, yet the experience we have in Him inclined us to decide to respond and reciprocate His love toward us.

Because when we were still a sinner, God loves us with everlasting love.

Worry-Free Debt

Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins have been forgiven, your faith has saved you; go in peace”.

The most debt we have causes us stress and trouble.

In fact, many cannot sleep because of their insurmountable debt wondering how they could pay it.

When we committed sin, we feel guilt within that robbed us of our peace of mind and joy.

But Jesus redeemed us and He paid the debt that we cannot afford to pay by giving His life for us.

We are now debt free because we were redeemed in full.

We can now walk in the freedom bestowed on us by God.

God’s love is so deep that He doesn’t keep any record no matter how deep is our debt.

No matter how deep is our debt, Jesus paid it in full so that you will not worry about the credit slip.

May your happiness be full,

Mikesendon

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