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Single and Happy

Finding Your Love Life Every Day





Gelo Balsita

































Single and Happy: Finding your love life every day



Copyright © 2018

By Angelo Bautista Balsita

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations.



Published September 2018 by Angelo B. Balsita

Manila, Philippines



Scripture quotation are taken from New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)





For:



Elizabeth, Roberto, Robelle, Gester, Cristina and Marimar

(No one could ask for a better family)



Mae, Kim, Jovello, Diana, Francis, Jay-anne, Christel, Thea and Rudy

(For patiently reading and helping me with the edit)









Friends, thank you for your words of encouragement.

This is for you! ��





Contents

  1. Introduction 1

  2. Moving On 4

  3. Go to the Other Side 8

  4. Way to Happiness 12

  5. What to Do Now? 15

  6. The Hard Work of Love 19

  7. Live the Life You Love and Love the Life You Live 23

  8. For Those Who Work Hard 26

  9. Born to be Curious 30

  10. Who’s Yours? 32

  11. Your New Clothes Will Not Change You 35

  12. Perhaps We Can Do More 37

  13. You Got a Friend 41

  14. Start Small 44

  15. Ask and Receive 46

  16. It Shall Be Done 49

  17. God Gives Signs 52

  18. Be Brave, Be Bold, Be You! 56

  19. Face, Fish, Fist, Piece or Peace? 58

  20. Who Am I? 61

  21. Don’t Look at Them, Look at Me! 65

  22. Be Childlike 67

  23. True Happiness 70

  24. Happiness at its Finest 74

  25. The World is Bigger Than You Think 76

  26. How Is Your Heart? 81

  27. Freedom 87

  28. What if Your Blessings Come Through Rain Drops? 89

  29. Do Good Anyway 92

  30. Changing the World 95

  31. Adelante (Forward)! 100

  32. Hidden Life 103

  33. There’s a Time for Hoping 105

  34. What Is Love? 107

  35. Why Am I a Missionary? 112























Introduction

I have three disclaimers to start.

First, don’t read this book!

If you are looking for an academic answer, psychological fact, or philosophical argument about the meaning of life, then this book is not for you. The last thing you can do is to base your theology here, as much as you can, please don’t. I’m not a scholar, I’m just an ordinary guy.

Second, read this book!

If you are looking for a friend who is open to share his feelings, questions, and reflections in life then this book is for you. Here, you will read a simple testimony of a little boy searching for happiness – me.

For years and years, I’ve been searching for it. I wonder why I am not happy. I looked at my friends in social media and they seemed to be happy, traveling to different places, achieving goals, and having partners. Why not me?

Do you also feel the same?

One time I talked to a friend, an engineer, with a high paying job, healthy body, an amazing social life, and a girlfriend. He seemed to be the picture of a happy man for me. I was wrong. I was shocked when he opened up to me that despite of all he had and he was, he still felt sad, lonely, and empty.

I was like, “Huh?!” If having the things that we want will not make us happy, satisfied, and complete, then what can?

That’s it! You got the right question! That’s what we’re going to explore. Together let us discover what is it that can lead us to a deep, lasting, and true happiness.

Third and last disclaimer, I am happy not because I am single, it just happened that I am both single and happy at the same time. To add to that, I am also poor and low-profile.

But still, how come I can say that I’m happy?

I am happy because I found a love life today. Yes, today!

This book is all about that. A collection of reflections in finding your love life every day.

My suggestion? Read one chapter of this per day and you will see, regardless of your status – single, in a relationship, married, complicated or confused, for sure you can find your love life too, one day at a time.

I pray that as you read this book, you may find a life to its fullness and a love that is eternal. The love life that you deserve and the love life that God wants for you.



With a smile,



Gelo













Hey, someone loves you!

“Though the mountains fall away and the hills be shaken, My love shall never fall away from you.”

Isaiah 54:10













1

MOVING ON

“God is love.”

1 John 4:8



Have you ever experienced moving on from your past relationship? Or are you that someone who is still moving on even though there has never been an “us”?

Why do we move on anyway?

We move on because we were hurt, betrayed and left behind.

Nagmahal, nasaktan, nag emo. (I loved, I was hurt and I became emotional)

We move on because we were broken hearted. But before that, we loved.

All those who are hurting are loving, and all those who are loving are hurting.

Why do we love?

They say, we will only be happy the moment we find our true love, soulmate, or partner-for-life. That’s why we search for them and love them.

Do you agree?

Me? Of course! That’s why I looked for that love of my life, I looked for a girlfriend.

When I was in high school, I had my first crush. She’s beautiful, smart and kind. In short, she had everything, including my heart. I wanted to tell her my feelings, but every time I see her, I was stunned and paralyzed to the point of suffocation. So, what I did instead was to write a letter saying, “I love you” (you see how fast things were when I was young?). Then one day I gathered up all my courage, handed the letter to her then woooosh, I ran away!

A day after that, I received a note from her in a pink envelope. I smelled it and its fragrance entered into my heart, excitement ran through my veins.

It was written, translated in English, “Dear Gelo, thank you, you are a good man, but, it’s better for us just to be friends.” Ouuuuch! #friendzone.

If she only knew how painful it was to be broken hearted! Charot!

In moments like this, our friends will comfort us and give us pieces of advice such as,

"Kalimutan mo na yan, sige sige maglibang. Ang problema sa babae dapat hindi iniinda. Hayaan mo sila ang maghabol sa'yo diba?". (Just forget them and be happy. Don’t waste your energy on girls. Just let them chase you, right?)

So, with my friends, I tried to go to many places, did many things, and played a lot of games. Sometimes I just chilled and relaxed, avoiding any stress in school. So obviously my grades chillaxed too!

I did a lot of things to the point that I got confused.

I already moved on with her. Every time I see that girl, I don’t feel anything anymore, and I was happy with what I was doing. However, deep inside me, I knew I was still incomplete. My happiness was temporal and fleeting, it was short-lived that whatever I did, I felt empty, as if something was taken away from me that could not be restored. I could fool the world but I could not fool myself.

Be honest, even you, I know you have been in the same situation or you’re in this situation now.

Do you know why we experience this?

We experience this because we are created for happiness.

We are searching for love because we are made by love, for love and to love!

We are searching for love but looking in wrong places, that is why we are hurt, empty and broken.

We are searching for love from what is outside of us rather than from what is inside.

We look for friends, fame, likers, honor, and attention. Yes, all of these are good but they are not the source of true love. That's why we are not satisfied and that's why we look for more. That’s why we are thirsty!

True love can be found not from what is outside of us but from what is inside.

When we start to look from the inside, we will find God, and “God is love” (1 John 4:8), we will find true love and true happiness.

The call of true love isn’t out there at all, it’s inside us.

The place of happiness where we need to move on is not there, far from us, no, it is here, in our heart, so close to us.

Happiness is not about going out, but going in. It's not about doing something new but letting God make everything new by saying yes to Him.

Move on!

Move on to the inside.

Say yes to God today.

2

GO TO THE OTHER SIDE

“Come, and you will see.”

John 1:39



When I was seventeen years old, and in my second year in college, our professor in humanities invited the 2 top students in class for an event. Of course, I was not there. But one of them could not join so I replaced her, not because I was the top 3, but because I was the best friend of top 1 (the benefit of sticking with a genius).

On that event, we had a program about God, where many young people gathered. We had merienda, music and talk. When the program ended, honestly, I didn't understand anything. I could not even remember now what we discussed that time. The only thing I could remember was that my professor, who invited us, asked me, “We have a session again next week, do you want to join Gelo?”. I said yes to her, not because of the program but because of the merienda and new friends.

After that, I continued attending those events, I learned that the organizers were the Verbum Dei Catholic Missionaries, and that my professor was a lay missionary. I started to understand the program and I felt like I'm getting closer to God, not realizing that in saying yes to my professor, I was also saying yes to God, to be with Him and know Him more and more.

Together with my friends and the community, we persevered. Over time, we realized that God is making everything new. He gave us life, direction, meaning, purpose and true love.

I am not saying that I no longer experience difficulties and sadness, no, but I’m satisfied with what I have and God provided a lot. I found true love, and like how the popular song goes,

The search is over, He is with me all this time.

All these are not instant unlike in Instagram, where you just need to put a filter, then you’re beautiful already. It is also not like instant pancit canton or 3 in 1 coffee. Knowing God entails hard work, effort and time.

Going to the other side, finding God and receiving true love requires perseverance. True love waits. That is love.

“Love is patient.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

To journey with God, we need the help of each other.

We cannot do it alone. We need friends who can encourage us to say yes to God every day, even in the most difficult time.

With God, we will find true love.

Even though, let us say, you already have all the things in the world – money, fame, girlfriends, or whatever that may be, but does not know God, then happiness is incomplete.

But even though you only have a little, or even nothing – no money, no foods, no girlfriend, or no job, but you know that God is with you and you have faith, then you have found true love, happiness will be made complete, there’s hope!

From that fact alone that your happiness comes from God, other things will follow. People will be drawn to you, they will help you, be with you and love you too.

Being with God is true love!

There is a story about five monkeys on top of a building and three of them decided to jump to the other building, to the other side.

How many monkeys do you think are left in the same building?

The answer is, still five!

Yes, the point here is, three of them just decided to jump to the other side but didn’t really jump.

Today, we will decide and jump to the other side by saying yes to God, and this is His message to us:

“(Put your name here), move on from where you are, move on to where I am”

“Come, and you will see.” (John 1:39)

He's calling you by name.

Say yes to real happiness.

Say yes to true love.

Say yes to God.

Put your hands on your chest and whisper to God, “yes, yes, yes, I am with you God, on the other side.”



















3

WAY TO HAPPINESS

"If I have all … but do not have love, I am nothing."

1 Corinthians 13:2



May we begin by describing to you the ballpen I used while writing this, if it has a soul, do you think it’s happy?

Definitely yes!

If it wasn’t for this ballpen, I wouldn’t be able to write and you couldn’t be able to read this now. The ballpen is happy because it fulfilled the reason why it was made.

Now, if I use this same ballpen to open a can of sardines, do you think it will be happy?

Of course not!

The ballpen was not made to open a can. Therefore, if we forced it to do so, it will break and the can will not be opened.

The ballpen is happy whenever it does what it is meant to do, its purpose – to write a message, a purpose that came from knowing its identity – as a ballpen, an identity that came from its creator – man.

So are we.

One can only be truly happy and find fulfillment the moment he finds a purpose, a goal, a destination or an end. One can only find a purpose once he finds his real identity, and one can only find his real identity once he finds his creator – God.

There was this one guy in the office who is intelligent, active in social life, and serves the Church. One time he shared to me that despite all the good things he was doing, he was still not happy, to the point of having suicidal thoughts. He knew that something was missing, he needed to find a reason for all that he was doing. He needed to find a purpose. As time went by, the search for purpose confused and stressed him until he got tired of it. Thus, he decided to just go on in life without it. He then led a life like joining a competition without aiming for the prize, like travelling without a destination or joining a program without an objective.

Let us put on the table the same question he asked, "Why am I not happy?". Why do you think so?

For me, we are not happy every time we forget the value of our life and its purpose.

Whenever we just go with the flow and choose to exist but not live.

Let’s admit it, we know people like this, or sometimes we ourselves; we don't want to get up from our bed. Why wake up if the only reason is to work for a job we don't want, to have money to buy things we don't really need, and to impress people who haven’t got the slightest concern for us.

To be happy, we need a purpose.

The search for purpose is intrinsic to each one of us. One cannot say that he does not have it, but one can either get tired of searching for it or even rejects it, like a ballpen wasting its ink or telling itself that it is meant to open a can, thus, breaking its own life.

I will not tell you what your purpose is, but perhaps I can show you where you can look and search for it on your own.

Do not look outside, you will end up depressed.

Like I said, look inside.

Look at God.

God is love, our creator. In Him you will find your real identity as love, and with it you can find your purpose, which is for love.

Yes, you are made for love, for God.

Many of us live for fame, money, power, honor and pleasure. Having these as our purpose in living will lead us to fake happiness. Don’t content yourself with what you have. You are meant for greater things. Go deeper!

I tell you, the one who tastes His love lacks nothing.

Friend, your life is for love!

4

WHAT TO DO NOW?

“Love your neighbor as yourself”

Luke 10:27



What should we do to be happy?

If a ballpen is for writing a message, then, it is happy when it is writing. Therefore, we can say that if our life is for love, then, we are happy when we are loving.

In this part, let us now focus not on the end but on the means, not on love but on loving.

Loving is not just one of the many options we can do in life; in such a way that we can ask ourselves, “What can we do later? Swimming, gaming, running, hiking, or loving?” No, it shouldn’t be in that category. The least we can do is to categorize loving with breathing, drinking, or eating.

Loving is not optional but vital.

We ought to do loving in everything we do. We can do our own business such as talking, teaching, working, studying or even sleeping, but if without loving, then what is it for?

“If I had no love, I would be nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2)

We are tired and sad not because we have a lot of things to do nor because nobody loves us, but because we don't love anything we do and we don’t love anyone.

One does not die when he stops breathing, but when he stops loving.

“He who does not love remains in death” (1 John 3:14)

It is in loving God and loving others that we will find happiness and fulfillment. The summary of all we ought to do yesterday, today, and tomorrow is summarized in one sentence.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)

The love of God we receive and the love we communicate back to Him is like the vertical line of the cross and our love to our neighbor is its horizontal line.

Loving our neighbor is the outpouring of the love we received from God. We can only love others in the measure that we love God; it is only in loving God that we can love others.

One may ask, but how about the atheists? If they truly love others, then they love God. The only difference is that they are not aware of it.

Our life indeed is for loving. But what kind of loving are we talking about?

One can love in many ways, like what we know in the Five languages of love by Gary Chapman – word of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch.

One can love by saying yes or no.

Take for example my writing of this reflection, when I said yes, I was able to make a time to write. However, I had to say no to a good sleep in order to do so.

Saying no to something good can be saying yes for something better.

One can love by asking for forgiveness and by forgiving.

Love can be romantic, fraternal and paternal but above obligation, responsibility, and feelings, loving can go beyond it, namely, a loving that is universal, sacrificial and selfless.

A love that is not exclusive but inclusive.

A love that is willing to offer up one’s own time, money and energy.

Every time I talk about time, money and energy, I am always reminded by one picture I saw in Facebook. When we were young, we have a lot of energy and time but no money. When we grew up as working professionals, we have money and energy, but no time. When we are old, we have time and money but no more energy. We cannot have it all (unless you’re a rich kid without needing to work).

Loving means offering up all that we have today, no matter how little or big could it be.

A love that wills the good of the other.

A love that does not wait for any return.

A love that is not earned but given.

A love so selfless to the point of cleaning not one’s own dirt but also that of the others, like the dirty feet of someone who walked the extra mile.

This kind of loving is not impossible for it has been done for us. Someone demonstrated it before us so that we can do it to others in return. That someone capacitated us. That someone is the face of loving, and that is Jesus.

Jesus is loving.

When one wants to see how it is to love, then one must see the image of Jesus on the cross.

That is how to love – universal, sacrificial, and selfless, and that is how to be truly happy.

This may seem ironic.

But yes.

This is our conviction.

5

THE HARD WORK OF LOVE

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

John 15:13



Indeed, our happiness is not what this world offers, but what God offers.

Jesus said, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34)

This is the loving that is not merely liking, but willing.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:43)

Is it easy? Of course not. We're talking about real happiness and true love here, hello, surely it will be hard.

No man ever truly loved and was authentically happy without experiencing suffering (a cross). That's why it’s better not to seek wisdom from those who hadn’t experienced suffering.

Jesus was the happiest man who lived here in this world and yet is the most who suffered. It is from Him we seek for wisdom and guidance.

There is a song entitled “Look, learn and live with me” sang by Mitziel Toledo, a friend of mine in Cebu, where a part of the lyrics illustrates the guidance that Jesus gives,

So look at me and have no fear
Learn from me to walk through the end
‘coz I understand to love is never that easy.
Fix your eyes on me, look and learn from me and live with me.

With Him we will not just love, but we will love to the fullest!

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:3)

Friend, give your life freely that you may find it fully, as what Jesus has done.

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 10:18)

If we want a loving that is strong and that lasts forever, then we must introduce someone to the real love–God. Guide that person in building a relationship with Him. In doing so, even if we go where God calls us to, that person has already received the love he needs in order to go and fulfill his purpose–to love in each moment every day.

Our mission then is to form people to be loving. Therefore, the best gift we can give someone is not physical bread but the bread of the Word of God where one can find love.

Preach the Word through your mouth as you speak, through your feet as you move, through your hands as you act, through your ears as you listen, and through your eyes as you see. Indeed, it is only in loving that one can find fulfillment.

Let us now answer the question, “What to do now?”

Now, we do loving, regardless of what the world tells us what we need to do, despite of the result that our mere eyes can see and despite of all the questioning of others, keep loving. As Mother Teresa said,

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered; Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God; It was never between you and them anyway.”

Friend, loving is living, so love anyway, not later, not tomorrow, but today, now.













6

LIVE THE LIFE YOU LOVE AND LOVE THE LIFE YOU LIVE

“This is the day the Lord has made”

Psalm 118:24



Life is quite confusing. Isn’t it?

Some says we need to plan it well so we can get what we want. But what are the things we can lose in doing so? Many of us are experiencing quarter-life and mid-life crisis because of working so much for the future, losing the present.

Some say we need to live in the present and let tomorrow handle itself. But when we look at these people who call themselves – happy go lucky, free soul, and YOLO, it seems that something is missing in them. They don't have a goal, a target or a purpose.

How about doing both?

Like a seaman – aim for the port while enjoying the wind. Live the life you love and love the life you live.

1. Live the life you love

What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? Where do you see yourself most contented?

There was once a group of people who dreamt that God will send them a savior. There was once a God who dreamt of a woman who will say yes to His plan. There was once a woman who hoped for the mercy of God to her people. There was a Man who set the world on fire and wished it were already burning!

The story of God is full of dreams, hopes, and plans. Who are we then not to have one?

Dream the life you love. Look ahead, and walk with faith.

All those dreams are such a part of you, they are a mirror of your soul so don't let them go. (“Bridge” by Ana Coimbra)

Dream big for our God is big.

Dream, yet do not live for tomorrow, losing today.

Make your dream a driving force to wake you up every morning then seize the day.

2. Love the life you live

If today is your last twenty-four hours, what will you do? Finish your bucket list? Gather your family and friends? Kiss them goodbye?

In the book Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, Morrie answered in a very strange way,

Morrie mentions waking up and exercising, having sweet rolls for breakfast and then going swimming. He would have friends over for lunch, one or two at a time so they could have a meaningful discussion. Then he would go for a walk and eat duck for dinner. The day would end with dancing and a deep sleep. A simple average day, full of the people and things he loved. He found perfection in the average, which according to Morrie's point of view was the whole point of life.”

Amazing! Indeed, it is not in our hands whether we will still wake up or not. Therefore, seize the moment as if it’s our last 24 hours!

Today is the day that the Lord has made!

Don't wait for next year or so to do the things that are of great importance.

God placed you where you are now and brought you the people you are with now for a great purpose.

Love them to the fullest and do what you’re doing now as if it’s the only thing that people will remember about you.

Friend, live the life you love and love the life you live.

You can be both a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time.



7

FOR THOSE WHO WORK HARD

“Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles”

Matthew 5:41



This one is for you, for your current job and for your dream job. If you are working more than the regular working hours, this is for you. If you are driving the line, this is for you. If you're tired from work, hey, this is for you!

I woke up six in the morning feeling drowsy. It's that season again. That season when I stepped into the office thinking about the checklist of what I must do and meetings I need to attend. That season when I usually leave the office by midnight.

I've been working a lot. But I know I'm not alone. I know that you too. And so I wrote this.

When you experienced the season wherein you're putting extra time and effort at work or what you’re doing is like a burden, worthless and pointless, you felt like you don't have a choice, right? The fact is, you have.

Today I will say to you, get up!

You're not lost, actually, you're on the right track. Crazy? I get a lot of that. Listen, spare me a minute, before you do whatever you will do. These are three things I want to share with you.

1. Do more than what you are asked to.

When you are asked to do a certain job, and lead a certain project, don't just do it, go the extra mile! They say, work-life balance is when you work eight hours a day and have a life after. Hey, not for me! Are they saying that you don't have a life within that 8 hours? Being dead for eight hours every day is not worth it. That kind of a work-life balance is a myth!

Here's the thing, you will only achieve work-life balance if you make your work your life and make your life your work.

That's why, go the extra mile, and when I say that, I mean, do your work with love and purpose. I am in IT doing the job of a project manager, systems analyst and a programmer but see, I'm still alive. If you'll ask me, is it my passion? I tell you, no, my passion is writing and preaching. But am I doing my best? With flying colors? Yes! Because I see my work as the way to my vision. During work, I find time where I can practice what I preach and after work, I make time for writing. That's extra mile!

I don't have time to complain how much my work eats my time, even in that winter, midnight, and dark seasons or whatever you call that time where in you are asked to work overtime for weeks or for months. Instead, let's use these challenges as our stepping stone to our dreams.

How you do your work now is how you will do your dream work. Do it well. Be a good representation of God.

You're passionate, purpose-driven and young. You have the creative ideas, take charge, give all.

2. Do not work alone.

God didn't create you alone so why work alone? There's always someone out there who is willing to extend a hand and reach out if you asked. Unless you ask, you can never receive. It's not easy for me to learn this because I'm used to work my way alone, until I realized how heavy it is. It's,

trying to carry the weight of the world, but I only have two hands”

Sounds familiar? I tell you, it's beautiful to work with a team.

Outside the office, there's also your team, your community. You are not alone in your journey right now.

They say that the best teacher is our own experience, but hey, that's a no again for me. The best teacher is others’ experience. Why go to the same trouble that others have committed already?

Read books and find people who have the right wisdom you need. In our community I shared some of my thoughts and worries about work; they're always helping me by giving me pieces of advice.

Find a team or find a community.

In the end, we are all just working under one ID and under one company, God’s.

3. Give yourself a treat

One trip to Mount Batulao or a Cream-O chocolate will not harm you. You are a job well done, don't wait for your boss to treat you, treat yourself, now.

My tip, the best treats you can give to yourself is a rest in the arms of God in prayer. Attend a prayer meeting, retreat or recollection so that God can always guide you in every step you take.

My friend, work more than what you are asked to, do not work alone and give yourself a treat.

I pray for you. May you achieve that dream and vision in your heart, in Jesus’ name.

8

BORN TO BE CURIOUS

“Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ”

John 17:3



Do you really know God?

I will not tell you who God is, it's your job to figure Him out in your life, but I'll just tell you one thing,

Don't be ignorant!

Don't stop searching for God and being curious about Him.

In my life, I met a lot of people from different places and in different realities – poor, rich, healthy, sick, young, and old. I travelled around Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, a stop by in Europe, and a month in Colombia.

I noticed that people really are different in a lot of areas, but one thing I've confirmed is that everyone is born good. Without an exception, everyone has good intentions in life. It is only the ways and means that are sometimes not proper.

Our problem is not that we are born evil; no, we are just ignorant.

Ignorant about our own identity, purpose, and mission in life. Ignorant about who really God is.

This ignorance about God leads to many consequences, such as discrimination, inequality, and injustice.

Only when we seek to know that we can start to ask. Knowledge awakens the longing to possess. We must know God before we can want Him in our life, before He can transform us better.

Love, believe, and hope for God, yes, but also question, argue, and hate God. All of us needs to pass that stage in order to know Him better and have more faith in Him.

Friend, search for God today.

Every day, be curious about God, ask where is He amidst the different situations, and you'll see Him speaking to you, as love.

Ask me, do I really know God?

This knowledge is not something that will come from my flesh and mind but is a gift from the Father, which I believe I can receive only if I seek and do His will, by His grace, daily.





9

WHO’S YOURS?

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock”

Matthew 7:24



They say, “You are what you worship,” but who is it that we worship? All of us worship someone, whether we like it or not, know it or not.

Let's look at three major realities that we worship.

1. Things

Are you buying things you don't need? With the money you don't have? To impress the people you don't like?

I guess all of us fell in this kind of lifestyle. There was a time in my life that I was working a lot – overtime, weekdays, and weekends. The only thing left to do whenever I come home is to sleep. I'm too enticed by the things I got from working.

One moment, I had lost my motivation and was left devastated by the responsibilities I was carrying. I focused too much in my work that I forgot the real purpose why I'm working and why I'm living.

I was living to work, not working to live.

At some point, tensions and difficulties are part of growing up. We need to work hard to earn, but when it’s too much, to the point of revolving our life around money and material possessions we receive from work, then it’s definitely not right.

There is something more beyond the things lower than our dignity. We have souls. We should control the material things we gain and not be controlled by it.

Work to live and not live to work.

2. People

Have you been left behind by a person you care so much? How did you move on?

After ending a relationship, the longer the time we move on, signifies how deeper we love the person, but some time, it also signifies how we have mistakenly made them the center of our life.

There is a song from Air Supply that says,

"Girl, you're every woman in the world to me. You're my fantasy, you're my reality. You're everything I need, you're everything to me"

If you make someone your world, and that someone left you, then you will really end up "lonely is the night".

It's good to love so much, even loving ourselves. In fact, we are called to love to the most, but we should not let ourselves or other people be the one we worship.

As human, we are unstable, imperfect and fragile. We should not let each other, only be the center of our life.

There must be someone beyond us.

3. God

If we place God as the center of our lives, then we can have that assurance that he will give us what we need (sometimes, even what we want).

In fact, all that we have now and the people we are with, came from Him.

All the things we have can be taken away from us, all the people we love can leave us, but it is God who will never change.

Friend, let us make the daily option to choose God as the center of our life. Worship Him with all our life.

If He is the axis where our world rotates, for sure we will never break down.

Make God our fundamental option.



10

YOUR NEW CLOTHES WILL NOT CHANGE YOU

“Put on the new self, created in God's way”

Ephesians 4:24



Do you want a brand-new car? A latest phone model? A new and improved laundry soap?

Very interesting of us, we always want something new. It's as if we were created for newness. We have an endless unsatisfied appetite and unlimited desire for new things.

Is it something wrong? No! It's perfectly right!

It is our nature to seek for newness because we are made in the image and likeness of God who is a God of newness!

There are two types of newness though, newness from the outside and newness from the inside.

The first aim for newness from what is outside of us, like a new job, new girlfriend, or new place to live, wishing that these things may renew us inside, but ending up in failure. Wearing new clothes will not change who we are.

The second is aiming for newness from what is inside of us, a more profound kind of newness. In this way, one does not seek for something new outside, but for a new relationship with God daily, and from it one sees all things with new eyes, a better one.

This kind of newness was what Paul insisting, “You should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires.” (Ephesians 4:22)

The desire for external newness can be deceitful; we work and work and work to gain something new but end up not renewed at all, regretting the wasted time and energy, and worse, our life becomes a true self-destruction.

“Be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God's way in righteousness and holiness of truth”. (Ephesians 4:23-24)

Friend, the renewal that God offers is the new and improved us.

We ourselves is what He is renewing, daily, by His love, and from that, a newness from the outside will follow, which will also renew others, in love.

Put on the new self, not the new clothes.

Let us pray, “God, renew me in your love.”

11

PERHAPS WE CAN DO MORE

"In Him we live and move and have our being"

Acts 17:28



What is the first thing you do in the morning? Check out notifications on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter? Think about the list of things you need to do for the whole day? Drag about the bad things that happened yesterday?

There are a lot of things we can do the moment we wake up, but admit it, one thing we often forget is to give thanks. Every morning, every breath, and every action is a gift from God.

“In Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)

How come we forget to give thanks? Maybe because a new day becomes so common that we overlook its importance and tend to take it for granted. It shouldn't be, because the truth is, not everyone receives another day!

One thing that may help us appreciate again the gift of today is by looking at some data that we can gather throughout the world. According to World Meters, as I write this, there are already more than twenty million deaths just for this year. As you read this, someone is dying. I'm not trying to scare you but I hope you understand how important this chance is.

The new day we received today is a gift, but it's also a task.

Like what Uncle Ben said,

The greater the power, the greater the responsibility”.

We now have in our hands, a power to do something, so what to do with it? Well, probably we can just go on our day and do the usual things we do, drink coffee, go to work, eat lunch, watch Netflix, play games, walk around, then sleep . . . or perhaps we can do more!

I believe that as humans, we are capable to do more, not just using our day for ourselves but for the good of many and all the living creatures.

There was a disturbing quote by Jonas Salk, who said,

If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.”

And he's right. So, what are we here for?

We are here for a reason, to be stewards of the world. It is our responsibility to take care of each and every creature in it.

Now, as Christians, we ought to be more responsible. We are not just called to be steward of the world, but also to be bearers of the Word.

“He calls on all people to change their ways. He has already set a day on which he will judge the world with justice through a man He has appointed.” (Acts 18:30-31)

But how can we bring the Word of God to the world?

Like what Michael Jackson said,

Take a look at yourself and make that change.”

We can start by bringing the Word first to ourselves, by knowing Him, by praying, by reading the Bible, by attending the School of the Word weekly, by living it out and many more.

Just bear in mind that knowing the Word of God is not a one-time process. It's a daily process, a step-by-step walk with the Holy Spirit who's guiding us. Just as what Jesus said, “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit, he will guide you to all the truth.” (John 16:12)

The more we know the Word of God, the more we can bring the Word to the world.

Friend, let us give thanks to God for another bright and sunny summer day. Take care of the people He placed in our life by loving them and sharing our faith. And together let us know God better through prayer.



















12

YOU GOT A FRIEND

“I have called you friends."

John 15:15



Do you know a person who will laugh if ever you fall down in a tunnel full of dirt, way before helping you?

Can you name someone who enters your house without knocking and suddenly grabs a sandwich from your refrigerator without your consent?

Is there somebody who listens attentively to your complaints and existential questions in life while stargazing on your rooftop?

If yes, then you got a friend! You can meet millions of people in your lifetime but only those who have been close to you, who have been with you for so long and been with you in your ups and downs, that you can truly call as friends.

Jesus is calling you today as His friend.

" I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends." (John 15:15)

Why call us as friends?

Because as he said, “I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.” (John 15:15).

Jesus made known to us his love and the love of God the Father. He came to this world for us and to be with us.

He is the closest person to us, closer than our parents, siblings, classmates, teachers or partners.

He knows us inside out, from the number of our hair-strands down to the number of our cells and even more. He knows our desires and goals.

He’s been with us way before our parents planned us, up until this very point that you're reading this. He's in our happiest, loneliest and most monotonous ordinary days. Jesus has been with us all this time, reminding us, "I got your back, pal”.

In Jesus, you got a friend.

Are we worthy of this friendship?

With all our shortcomings, disobedience, and running away from His commandments, definitely not! But Jesus tells us, “You did not choose me, it was I who chose you.” (John 15:16)

It is this unconditional love of Jesus, given, not earned, that draws us closer to Him to receive joy.

Recall the joyous moments in your life – it can be a hike in a very steep and high mountain, a travel to Singapore, or a wedding celebration. Who were with you in those moments? I bet you were with a friend. The happiest moments in our life are those in which we are with a friend.

If a friend magnifies our joy, then Jesus, our friend, completes our joy.

“I have told you all this, that my own joy may be in you and your joy may be complete” (John 15:11)

In Jesus, you got a friend, a confidant, and a partner. The world may leave us but Jesus never will. This friendship is so true and good that it's not meant to be kept in secret but to be shared to all.

Together, let us share to many this mutual friend of ours, as He says, “Go and bear much fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16)









13

START SMALL

“It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants”

Matthew 13:32



Some people have told me that I do a lot of things – working within 10am-7pm on weekdays, hosting a radio program, preaching, travelling, writing and so on. I’m like, “Naaah”, it is not me, it’s God who is working in me whenever I do good things. In fact, I’m the reverse. If it’s just me working, I don’t do a lot of things that I am supposed to do, worst, I do the opposite!

There are times when I don’t share reflections in my blog. It’s not that I don't have it, it's just that I opted to sleep than to type and post it.

Then one time, while in a spiritual retreat, the speaker mentioned my name, telling to the crowd that what I'm doing sets an example for many – using the social media to share the Word of God. I was like "Wow thank you" and "Oooops!". Maybe it's a sign from God for me to continue and be consistent.

Friend, start small and be consistent, rather than starting big but stopping after a while because of difficulty.

Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants” (Matthew 13:31-32).

The little act of goodness and option to love – like turning off the lights when no one is using, putting additional effort in a dish we cook, or picking up a kitten in the middle of the street, rather looks small, but is enough.

God will slowly work with our bits of seasoning to cook a delicious meal, or let us say, a better life for us and for many, as he continued, “It becomes a large bush and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches”.

In case you're not much a fun of nature, Jesus gave another parable, where for sure you can relate to – food!

The best version of yourself, “is like a yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.” (Matthew 13:33)

You see, it's not the noticeable big things you did that forms you, it's the unnoticeable small things – like a seed hidden underneath the ground and a yeast that is not visible when mixed into the dough.

Friend, make an option to love in a small way today and don't forget, be consistent.

14

ASK AND RECEIVE

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”

Matthew 7:7



Have you tried asking but not receiving?

It says that when we ask, we receive, but how come that most of the time we do not receive? Often, we rather just not ask anymore, we become shy. Hard to admit but most of us are now shy type. We are shy to ask for an extra rice and for the last piece of pizza. We are shy to ask for help and shy to ask God. Sometimes we would rather get lost than to ask directions from a stranger!

If we do not ask then we will not be snubbed, judged or rejected, but, big chance, will not also not receive!

“You do not possess because you do not ask.” (James 4:2)

Don't be shy, ask your friends, ask the strangers, ask your teachers, ask God; in any rate, if you want it, ask for it!

Now, there are two obvious things that can happen when we ask, either we receive it or not.

When we asked God, but didn't receive, does it mean that He cannot hear us? I doubt that.

Let's tap the help of the apostle James here. He said, “You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” (James 4:3)

Maybe it’s because what we asked is wrong, deep inside we have a selfish desire. God is God of all good, He never gives us what is not good. In case we received some, it's not from Him, it's from the world. The difference is, if it's from the world, there will be no contentment, no peace and no real joy, just a fleeting and a temporal one.

Time to check up our hearts, what are my intentions for the things I asked from God?

When we asked with good intentions, how come we still don't receive? For this, I will say, relax.

God has His own timeline. He gives good things in His proper timing to magnify the impact to many. Be patient, this is when God is asking you to be faithful and persevering.

Now, when we received what we asked, congratulations, we got it! But remember, God gave it to us not to exult ourselves, but to help us serve more.

If we serve more, God will give more.

Friend, let us be humble servants.

By being humble, we recognize that we are not the center of the world, it does not rotate only for us, but for each one of us.

We can acknowledge that this life we have is not our own drama, we are not the protagonist of everything, it's God. It’s His drama and He calls us to be the best role player according to His bigger and better plan. We realize that serving Him and others are more fun and joyful than just always thinking of our own good alone.

When we humble ourselves, we open our hearts to accept the will of God in our life, letting Him give us what we need.

In the end, it's not about asking what we want, it's about asking what God wants us to ask from Him. In doing so, we can serve more and live out our life to the most, more than what we asked for.

Friend, be humble, ask, and receive.

15

IT SHALL BE DONE

"Whoever ... does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for Him."

Mark 11:23



Do you do a lot of things in life? Received a lot of things? But still fruitless?

There is an interesting story when Jesus got hungry and saw a fig tree with many leaves. Assuming it has lots of fruits, he went over to see it, but it turned out the other way. There was no fig fruit, only leaves. Jesus then seemed to get angry and cursed it saying, “May no one ever eat of your fruit again!” (Mark 11:12-14)

It reminded me of a Snickers commercial that says,

You're not you when you're hungry.”

Jesus didn't seem to be Himself, who is loving; instead, He was cursing. But upon further reflection, we can see that Jesus is teaching us another lesson, to “let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good.” (Romans 12:9)

The fig tree is the evil that we need to hate. Like in our life, it represents the wrong way we live it.

Like the fig tree, outside we look so happy and successful. We advertise ourselves as someone who is complete, therefore we attract people to ourselves, to taste its fruits, but there is none. We look fruitful but in fact we are fruitless, we are just full of leaves. The leaves represent the things we do and receive to cover up our emptiness; we can be full of leaves but still fruitless.

Knowing that Jesus loves the sinner but hates the sin, Jesus here is not cursing us but the wrong way of living our life. He knew that it does not help us and others.

The day after Jesus cursed the tree, they saw it again and it has withered. Amazed by what happened, Peter mentioned it to Jesus. In reply Jesus said, “Whoever . . . does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for Him.” (Mark 11:23)

After denouncing what is bad, Jesus is giving us a renewal. A chance to turn back from our old way of living and change our life to better. He is giving us the assurance that we can be a better and fruitful person if we will ask for it.

If you believe that you can change then it shall be done to you.

But how can we ask without any doubt in our heart?

This seems to be impossible. Honestly speaking, we have doubt in everything we do, even just a tiny one.

Yes, we doubt ourselves because we knew we are not perfect, but Jesus is telling us to put our trust not only to ourselves but to Him who is the Son of God, the fullness of humanity, the One who created everything.

His love can overshadow all the doubts in our life.

Friend, denounce what is evil, hold on to what is good, and always trust Jesus that He will make all things new.





















16

GOD GIVES SIGNS

“These signs will accompany those who believe”

Mark 16:17



Do you believe in signs? When you don't know what to choose, you start to ask for it. Don’t you? How can you say that it is really from God?

I'm not so fond of asking signs but I remember there was one time when I badly asked for it. I wanted to talk to my office crush but I was not sure if she would respond to me. I asked God to give me signs if I need to push through. On that same day, while walking down the stairs, there, I saw her, going up the escalator, smiling in front of me. What a clear sign!


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