Friday, December 25, 2009
This could be my last blog post for this year so let me share the beautiful message to our church for this season which is aptly titled "Why God Chose Mary?"
God chose people according to His own purpose. It is not whom men choose but whom God chooses. God will choose people who will make a difference in your life. God is still choosing "Mary's" today, so why Mary? Why you or why me?
First, Mary established God-values in her life that were immovable. She has unquestionable values-convictions. According to my pastor, the following must be every Christians' convictions in life: the Bible will be my infallible guidebook for living, the main reason I exist is to serve God's purposes and it's not about me, God's plan are always better than my own, and obedience to God is what He will use to grow me and fulfill His best for my life.
Second, Mary was still in the process of learning more everyday. In Luke 1:34, her answer is "How can I cooperate with you?" She's willing to obey and she's prepared. God chooses those who are willing to obey even if they do not agree with Him. That is obedience. Pride is the greatest hindrance for us to be used by God.
Christians are both saved and being saved, still learning through convictions. We are saved and are still under God's work. We are all still being saved for new things are happening, Mary was not just saved but also still being saved that's why she could hear correctly from God. Probably you and I are in our situation because we heard from God before and we just obeyed.
I obeyed Him two years ago when He called me and now I am still learning and being saved. Happy birthday Lord Jesus Christ! Merry Christmas to everyone! God bless!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The Lord had given me a ministry on HIV and AIDS which is the "Channels of Hope". He allowed me to speak before the young people in and out of the country. I have learned so many things from my SSA struggle which I am still scuffling with up to present. But most importantly, I have come to know God more through all of these and still in the process of knowing Him deeper and getting more intimate with the Lord Jesus Christ.
It was also a day for water baptism in our church. It's very timely for the celebration of my spiritual birth but I must admit that I was hesitant at first whether I am going to do it or not. I felt that I am not worthy of it because of the recent happenings in my Christian life. But praise the Lord for He made me realize once again who really I am for Him through the words I heard from my close Christian friends. In short, I have decided to be baptized that afternoon praying that God will truly renew my whole being, leaving my old self and living truthfully a new life.
Baptism is an act of obedience. The scripture said that it is dying to old way of living and being resurrected to a new life. When we are baptized we confirm externally that we are the beloved children of God and He takes pleasure in us. In short, it is a public declaration or confession of our faith in Jesus to all including the demons in this world and in the spiritual realm.
Testing of faith will surely come and I pray that God will strengthen me more to choose Him all the time.
By the way, I have made a decision to gradually stopped seeing and talking to this guy I have an ED with as my counselors, friends and Pastor told me. Yes it is quite difficult because of the compassion in my heart I have for him but it is the best for both of us. I will continue to pray for him that he will truly seek God so the change he wants to happen in his life will indubitably take place.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
These are the words uttered by this guy to my surprise and astonishment in the middle of our cuddling and kissing that day. Oh yes! I almost did it again just the other day. This person is the same guy I have sinned with the third and last time. I met him during the HBC training and we became close friends. He was broken hearted then and need someone to talk to whom he can truly trust. I have offered because honestly, I am attracted to him. I took the chance to know him personally so the mystery of attraction will melt away like what I usually do. Unfortunately this time, it did not work. The more I get to know him, the more I want to be with him that's why since then we became closer. Lord knows I do not want this and I did not expect this to happen.
I have been through with the entire possible struggle that is sex related, from flirting to cruising, masturbation, voyeurism, casual sex and pornography. I never thought that I would have to go through with ED or emotional dependency as well because it is more difficult according to those who have experienced it. I surmise this friendship I have with him can possibly develop into that if I did not put some action plan to stop it. We're both happy when we're together and we miss each other when we're apart.
When I confessed this to one of my pastors and counselors from the church, he said I need to set some boundaries or limitations. Good thing that this friend of mine have made a stand that he don't want me to go back to my old life completely for him; that I am already on the right track of my life and happy with it. He's right with that because from the very beginning I already told him my stand on homosexuality, all the things I have learned why I am trying to live my life away from it and that I am a Christian who is currently going through the process of being change by God.
I think I am falling for him that's why that moment I think I am ready to go with him and backslide. He did not want that but instead, he wants me to fulfill the promises which God has made for me and stick with it.
My counselor advised me that I do not have to evade him completely. Since he made a stand, he believed that I can lead him to Christ only I need to control myself, set limitations and pray for him. I need to follow that because in the first place, the reason why I befriended this guy honestly is to show him that living and suffering for Christ is way much better than living in slavery.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians5:1. Gay lifestyle is living in slavery, sexual addiction, relationships and other habits which make the person more addicted to it, depressed and feeling empty in the end without realizing it.
Thank God that He's truly in control and He's still protecting me despite of my wrong decisions in life. Praise God Almighty!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
It was a two days training for ADP staff and church partners consist of mostly pastors. There are 106 participants who came from different parts of northern and central Luzon. We have people from as far as Cagayan Valley and Isabela. Since the workshop is designed for a maximum of 30-35 participants, we divided them into three according to the area they are working.
Based on their evaluation and facial expressions, they are all blessed and happy to be a part of it. As for me, if they are blessed I am more blessed! Though the enemy was trying to steal some moment when he made me tripped off the stairs, butt first as I went to the other group to share my testimony! Well he can't stop me; I am alright though it gave me a bruise and now it's colored purple.
My mother and sister went with me to church last Sunday. They met everyone in the church including my adopted mother from Palawan and brother, and of course my Pastor and his wife. They have enjoyed the service and hopefully this will be the start of their journey with Christ.
God truly answers prayers. As a matter of fact, I am about to send my application to this job opening directly related to what I am currently doing for His kingdom. A church friend of mine informed me regarding this job via text message while I was in Baguio, hopefully this is God's answer to my prayer and I claim it in Jesus name.
To God be all the honor and glory! Amen.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I have confessed this already to my few church friends including the pastor who disciples me. I became close to this guy I met during the HBC training. He's also HIV positive and he's broken hearted. In short, I became the rescuer of this person which should not have happened. We frequently talk to each other after that training until last Friday; I have spent a night with him at his place supposedly just to talk. We slept in one bed and then you probably know what took place the following morning, which makes him the fourth on the list. I believe I must stop counting because it's not doing me any good.
The poor judgment is when I decided to spend the night and sleep with him. Honestly, I came up with that decision because I myself feeling kind of lonely that time which made me vulnerable enough to loose self control. We should never trust our flesh for it remembers every pleasure we have experienced in the past that we want to forget and that's my mistake. I felt very disappointed and at the same time frustrated.
Confession to BP brothers during the support group last Saturday happened and then on Sunday to my church friends. Second poor judgment is when I still made the decision to meet this guy whom I also met during that training. Well I must admit I am attracted to him, he's the trainer in the session hall next to ours. We had a casual talk and we exchanged numbers. Wait! That's another poor judgment; I should not have done that! Sorry but can't help it.
Anyway, we had a dinner last Sunday with the intention of knowing the person a bit to melt away the mystery of attraction to him. I am quite disappointed for the following reasons. First, he's not the person I thought he was. Secondly, our conversation did not turn out the way I planned it because of how he had expressed himself. Supposedly, I was going to share some part of my life including my health condition but unfortunately it never happened. God has only shown me that there's no Mr. Right Guy to a guy.
The Lord knows in my heart that I am expecting him to come and then I will backslide. It will always be like this so I must stop this illusion and learn my lesson! Though I must say that there's still a physical attraction but I have surrendered it to God praying that it will simply go away. I am not planning neither to get in touch with him nor see him again.
Last poor judgment is when I talked to the guy who flirted with me on my way home that night. Nothing sinful happened but nevertheless I should have never entertained him. I was able to share my Christian life and how I became one and he was able to share his life to. I advised him not to get into a same sex relationship and go back to his wife; yes he's married with two kids.
God has only revealed to me through these events that same sex relationship is really out of his design and I must put an end to all these playing with my boundaries! We prayed for the consecration last Monday at the JREV night and I hope and pray that this will really straighten up my Christian walk for I am so sick and tired of falling into sexual sin over and over again and then asking for forgiveness.
I have no idea what God must be thinking but I still thank Him for His grace and mercy, and unconditional love. I will try harder to obey His teachings and ways according to His words. Brothers and sisters in Christ, please pray with me. Thank you.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
It was a blessed day for me because finally I was able to tell them the truth about me without any fear of losing them. God has shown me once again how blessed I am with friends who are always ready to help and be there when I need them.
In short, the reunion went very well and they have understood and accepted me for what had happened and I have felt that our friendships are meant to last for a lifetime. I know you guys are reading this so let me say a million thanks to you. The Lord blesses you always and you will be in my prayers.
Thank you Lord for the wonderful gift of friends. I just hope and pray that my other old friends who are still clueless to the events of my life will have the same response. God bless you all.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Since I do not have a work, I was able to attend the HBC or Home Based Care Training organized by this NGO for the HIV infected and affected families. Basically it's about taking care of an ill or bed ridden person at home. Information and practical application were shared and demonstrated which made the learning fun and more interesting.
During this event, the Lord did something wonderful. Surprisingly God has allowed me to be a witness to five different persons in just one night! The first person was seeking for answers on how to change and not do the things that brought him the infection.
The second one though did not go well at first. Inadvertently I came across to him in a judgmental and alienating way when we talked about my stand on homosexuality as a Christian. I have learned a lot from this conversation and we parted ways as two mature man.
The third and the fourth person are best of friends. I have met this guy at the mall that night when he smiled at me then we talked and I found out that he used to be a Christian. When I revealed my status to him and to his friend they began to think about their lives now and so grateful that I have shared my life to them. We're good friends now.
God saved the best for last. Before I go to bed that night, I was able to talk to one of my co-trainees. He shared his life and I shared mine and in the end, he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior!
It was tedious but truly an amazing night! To be used by God to save souls or even just simply plant a mustard seed in an unexpected time and place makes this Christian life even better. Thank you Lord.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
After that major fall I have committed two more. That makes a total of three sexual sins from the time I have broken my vow of self consecration. Looking down at the pattern, it turned out that I become more vulnerable after a major victory. Aside from believing the lie of the enemy that since I failed already it's alright to fall again, the Lord has revealed to me that Jesus was not really my shield of protection but my HIV status! That's why when I've found people who accept my condition I can't help but to give in then realizing that I can never trust my own flesh and myself.
Unexpectedly and surprisingly, I only felt a small amount of guilt. In addition to that, confessing to God and asking for His forgiveness was not that hard for me. Bewildered and a bit worried, I began questioning my close Christian friends and the answer they all have given me was....you guessed it right, the amazing grace of God!
It says in the word of God that when Jesus died on the cross, He took all away the sins along with guilt, shame, fear, loneliness as well as condemnation! This is the time when I truly realized in my heart how our Heavenly Father truly loves us! That's why I pray everyday that God will overflow my heart with love for Him and help me to see things, people and sins through His eyes. I do not want to abuse the grace and mercy which are freely given to us by God although He knows exactly when and how many times we will fail and sin against Him. We can never disappoint God! That's how our Heavenly Father who created us infinitely love us all!
A wretched man and a Christian like me struggling with sin can only be saved by His grace! A million thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ!
In connection with that, God have spoken to me through the book by Jim Cymbala "Breakthrough Prayer" about this love. Growing in the Lord will always be characterized by an increase in love. 1 John 4:20-21 says that if anyone says "I love God" yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God whom ha has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Increasing and strengthening our faith is one way of expressing our love for Jesus. Faith is a paramount in the daily life of a Christian. In Matthew 9:30 says, according to your faith it will be done to you.
Loving my brothers and sisters or all the people around me or looking at them like the way God looks at them and increasing my faith are the two important things He has shown to me to grow and mature spiritually through this book. I believe this is the fundamental way all Christians must live their lives daily.
Believing and increasing my faith that at His own pace, God is continuously changing me to become the man that He wanted me to be, I will be healed from this sexual brokenness and fulfill the promises He has made for me. Hopefully and prayerfully, I will be stronger enough with full confidence and trust in Jesus to resist the temptations that will come next and not fall again to this detestable sin.
Despite the fact that the amazing grace and mercy are always available for us, we must not abuse it. Learn our lessons from our mistakes, have self control and love God more and more each day above all else.
This is how our Abba Father loves us very much. Thank you for the amazing grace. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Generally, the "Abstinence and Risk Avoidance" for Filipino youth training went well. In spite of the very bad weather caused by the tropical storm "Ondoy", more than the target number of youth participants to participate on the pilot testing came over. Based on the evaluation of all the participants, they have a wonderful and amazing experience and were glad to be a part in learning even one of the five units of the whole module.
For me, the highlight of this event was when the Lord prompted me to tell my life story during the training of facilitators. At first, I have no intention of doing that because this is not Channels of Hope workshop. But when some of these soon to be new facilitators for this program were having a hard time understanding the homosexuality part, I have no choice but to tell them the truth. To ensure that it was really right to share my testimony, I even asked God a clear signal to go and He really gave me one so I did it.
I don't know if all of them were blessed but it does not matter. I believe it touched their hearts as I saw them crying with me as I shared my life to them. Some of them gave me a hug and a pat on my back. One of them has decided to name her grandchild after me to my surprise! I said wow! I was almost speechless and elated at the same time when this jolly woman approached me to ask if it's alright with me.
Every time I talked about the Christian truth about homosexuality, it always creates a lot of questions out of bewilderment. If you can remember, the same thing happened when I was invited to be a resource speaker in Sri Lanka last year on their HIV and AIDS national youth conference to talk about this issue.
All I can say is that, God has been and will always be good and faithful to me in this journey. Truly I have experienced His strong presence in me during these times which depict the peace and happiness I have in my heart.
Some of them might have understood it and accepted the Christian view on homosexuality through my life but still there are a few who were left unconvinced and confused. Well, that's all I can do for now and I will let God speak to them personally regarding this matter.
Undeniably, this program has a touch of my life on it and I would understand if some of them will leave out the homosexuality part when they began teaching it because it is not easy to comprehend and to grasp in one seating; that's what I told to these new facilitators.
My contract will end three days from now and I have no idea what will happen next. I have made plans already accompanied with prayers of course but I do not know what His plans are for me. Not worried I must say but excited and looking forward to what God will be doing next.
I just want to thank the Lord and praise Him for this successful event. He's truly with me and us all throughout on this. Thank you Jesus and I give you back all the honor and glory. Amen
Thursday, September 17, 2009
First, I got myself into a little flirting and cruising at the malls though they were all unintentional. Second I went to kissing and hugging guys during those times that I can't resist them, without having sex of course and then this sexual release for the first time after a little more than seventeen months of celibacy happened. After that I tried masturbating. And then last Saturday night I guess I had a major fall.
This guy followed me all the way to the ride station going to our house in the province. It turned out that he's attracted to me and well I am also attracted to him. Though I told him that I am a Christian and I have stopped having sex with guys he's very persistent of seeing me and befriending me that I cannot ignore him anymore. Eventually I said yes and I went out with him and have dinner at their house. I know this was a wrong decision because he's alone that time and it was not a safe place for the two of us and yet I still accepted his invitation.
We ate, talked and laid down together at the sofa (again wrong move!) then it happened. We started kissing and hugging each other and then I came to a point that I can no longer resist him and have finally succumbed to the desires of our flesh. I even mentioned to him that I am HIV positive and it's alright with him. There's no penetration happened because I did not want to. After that I said sorry to him and to God.
That night before I went to bed, I told God that this is too much and I hate it. What really stunned me was that, once again I did not feel a huge guilt or if ever I have guilt feelings, it was not strong. I did not understand that until last Sunday when I confessed and talked about this to one of my friends in the church. By the way, I have confessed it to my pastor and other counselors.
When I talked to this friend of mine about all of this, she said that it was the grace of God. Jesus Christ took away the shame and guilt and God allowed me not to feel that. At first I was confused but she told me that's how God love me so much and we're so intimate now that He did not allow me to feel that way. Of course He's against it and grieved over it but the tears I cried during the altar call last Sunday were tears over His presence I have been longing during the time when it's all happening. It's easy for me to ask forgiveness and go back to Him but honestly if I would not be careful, this could lead me to abusing His grace without knowing and I do not want that.
Also, I need to mention that I have believed in the mendacity of the enemy that since I have broken my promise to God there's no use of controlling myself anymore that's why I let myself that night. I have been feeling miserably over resisting the temptations for the past several weeks which I did not understand at first why I have been bombarded by temptations anywhere which I surmise is not normal. I missed being happy. Then later on I found out that it has something to do with my prayers to Him and all these are just part of the test and somehow I did not managed to pass.
I have learned my lessons and I have to stand up, stop believing the enemy's deceptions, dust myself off and continue walking with the Lord Jesus Christ. I just hope and pray that this will be the last and painstakingly to be wiser next time to come up with the right decision. I have decided to be with Jesus no matter what happens for He will never leave me nor forsake me. I will stop being performance or goal oriented with my Christian walk because it's not doing me any good.
"Victory Over The Darkness" by Neil T. Anderson is the last book I read and it seems like I did not learn anything from it so I guess I have to read it again and this time put it in my heart. The book helps the reader to understand who we are in God and as a child of God and how to walk victoriously. I will share my review on this book in the near future here in my blog after finishing it for the second time.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Alright I masturbated three or four nights ago trying to experiment if I can do it without thinking lustfully. Honestly, the only picture which came into my mind while doing it was kissing a guy with a blurred face but it was just a very fleeting moment. I have concentrated on touching and caressing parts of my body until I came.
Did I feel any guilt after? Sorry but I did not feel any guilt having this thought that it is possible to masturbate without lustful thoughts. I have a friend who's a Christian leader of this ex-gay ministry and according to him it is possible indeed that's why I tried it. Moreover, you must be disciplined so you will not be obsessed to it.
Why did I do it? I was tempted to have sex with a guy and I don't want to do it. In addition to that like I mentioned above, I just want to try it if it's possible and then see if I will feel culpable after.
A couple of nights ago, I was feeling the urge again but instead of getting into it I opted to pray and surrender it to Him and then tried to get to sleep. The enemy really knows when to attack because right after that prayer and lying on my bed, the guy I wanted to have done with it sent me a text message but I ignored it and went back to sleep. Also I have decided not to resort to masturbation having the fear that I might be addicted to it.
I have met a person who believes and earnestly advises that masturbation is for married people only. It becomes a sin because usually it is being done with lustful thoughts. The bible does not directly refer on this matter so it is viewed not inherently wrong. Well I guess I will try my best to abstain from doing it and pursue a holy and pure life with Jesus as long as I can with God's grace of course.
Friday, September 4, 2009
This book by Gordon MacDonald talks about how we can weather the storms of life that threaten our soul. Here he compared our Christian life to a sailing boat and its foundation which is the keel below the waterline.
We often set out on life's voyage with little regard to the quality of our vessel. We are more concerned with our ship's appearance than we are with what lies below the waterline - the all important soul that acts as a keel to keep us afloat should the waters turn tempestuous.
Living out of the soul is the term he used to depict how we as Christians give high importance to the quality of our soul. We should have a soul shaped by mission and guides to have a beautiful soul of which I have shared earlier in this blog. I will share later on the mission we must have as Christians and soul's liturgy to be pondered on a daily basis to stay communing with God in our own moment of silence with Him.
The life God truly blesses is simply living in full dependency on Him for protection, wisdom and for resources with deep humility of which will made all the difference according to MacDonald. The soul is meant to be the energy center far below the waterline that provides the power to breakthrough circumstances and situations bogging down the ordinary person.
God Himself comes to dwell in the soul of people who open their lives to Him in faith. That is living out of the soul, a life God blesses. I highly recommend this book to everyone so I must thank my adopted mother from Palawan for giving me this book because I am truly blessed. Thank you mom for this book.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Alright, I hugged and kissed a few guys I am attracted with in the past several months to be honest and that's the worst thing I ever did; of course aside from lustful thoughts and flashbacks sometimes or every now and then. Usually I feel like the need to be with someone when I am physically, emotionally and spiritually tired. Oh yes it is lesser evil and I am well aware that there's no such thing for God simply because a sin is a sin to Him no matter how big or small it is with regards to human standard.
What I did last night was pretty similar to I have mentioned above. I french kissed a guy and we hugged only this time, when I allowed him to caress my upper body parts (sorry I was carried away) I came inadvertently and unexpectedly! Ok, he did not touch me there neither did I on his and it just happened! For the first time I had a release after seventeen months and probably that's the reason why I have failed to control it! I never even had a wet dream as a natural way of releasing it.
I felt guilty of course but what's bothering me is that I have noticed that the conviction was not that strong. It's a little weird though. In fact after that stupid incident, I prayed and asked for His forgiveness. For the past weeks, I have been reading books about whom and how God truly is with the bible. The bible and authors of these books are constantly saying that first we need to correct our perspective of God; who He really is and how God chose to love us in spite of our sinful nature. Could this be the reason why my conviction is not that strong? Probably, but I do not want to think about it. All I know is that I have sinned and I really feel sorry for what I've done.
After that prayer, in some way God has given me an affirmation and confirmation that He still loves me. His burning passion to pursue me and love me has not changed a bit. For some reason, I strongly believe that this thought came from Him.
I just hope and pray that I won't allow myself to do such things again and be wiser to seriously pursue holiness and purity as what in Ephesians 5:3 say that there must not be any hint of sexual immorality. I still love Jesus. I still want to pursue intimacy with Him. I still want to know Him more and more each day. I still want to be obedient while waiting for Him.
To those who are praying for me and following my journey with the Lord Jesus Christ through this blog, I am sorry. Please forgive me too.
Friday, August 21, 2009
The training was successful and we had a great time working all together. My foster mother from Palawan and I were re-united for she was one of the participants as well as my own doctor. We were also able to spend some time together.
I left the city with a heavy heart. Somehow I was attached to this guy from the hotel that I am attracted to and when I showed special attention to him and he did not respond, I must admit my pride and feelings was hurt. This was what I got from doing stupid things like that. I know I should have not done that in the first place. What triggered me to do that was because he was nice to me and I like him. Not only that I have sinned but it also made me feel bad after doing such. I felt so cheap that time that's why I did not even say goodbye to him nor smile at him on my last day there. Yes I cried upon leaving for it's like another death to my own self. Nonetheless, it was over and I am alright now. It's just one of my dumbness when it comes to my SSA struggle. Oh Lord, how long will it take for me to bear things like this?
On the brighter side, I was able to get to ride finally on the world's first edge coaster and have seen the beauty of Cebu city! Next visit probably I will do the sky walk.
It was a memorable trip indeed for I not only enjoyed it but also got the realization that I must really stop acting on my desires for men even in small ways which I think harmless initially. I must stop and focus on Jesus more.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
1. Who am I really trying to please?
2. What needs am I trying to meet? What insecurities am I pampering? And what feelings am I storing up?
3. With whom/what am I competing?
4. What rewards am I seeking?
5. What guilt or shame might I be covering?
These five questions must be answered every time we make choices or decisions or about to do something in our Christian life. It was austerely and yet meticulously answered in the book so I suggest you grab a copy. I'm not done yet reading like I have said but in my opinion this is one of the best books that everyone must read to have a life God will truly blesses! I will share the other two very important subjects on my next posts.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
"It challenged my views and has opened up my heart and mind to the reality of HIV and AIDS. I will definitely share it to my family and friends and encourage other office staff to attend this seminar. All Christians must be educated and get involved in this issue and be a channel of hope!"
The above statement is just one of the many positive feedback and comments of more than twenty participants. What a blessing from the Heavenly Father! He's truly faithful and good all the time. Seeing the transformation of the people after acquiring knowledge and learning from the workshop really puts me in a blissful moment especially when they commit and try to do something to be a channel of hope!
I really love telling my story because it is simply a story of God's grace. People has been touched and realized that all of us are living in the realm of God's grace and mercy. Continuously, I also learn something from them and every workshop were different from each other. God is moving people differently through this ministry.
I pray that the Lord will continue to use me for the advancement of his kingdom and help me to use the full potential of the gifts He had given me. I cannot do this without Jesus so I give back all praise and glory to Him. Amen.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This book of Joshua Harris talks about courtship and romance with a purpose; it's having a relationship in a Christian way.
First I thought, why on earth would I read this kind of book? I have no intentions of getting into a relationship at least in the very near future. Above all else I have no intentions yet of getting married. Yes the desire to have a girlfriend who will eventually become my wife was already there but why now? I asked the Lord.
Nonchalantly, I read it and whoa! I have felt like God was speaking to me though Harris' words and stories. Astonishingly, it's not just about relationship. He talks about how we should live our life as a man and woman of God in order for us to be in a match made in heaven! A God- given gift kind of relationship and marriage.
Aside from the things I have learned on ways of getting into courtship and its significance, what really struck me most was the part when Harris discussed what's being pure and holy is! And also why living pure and holy and without even a hint of sexual immorality is of great value especially for God. That's when I realized and decided that I will try my best to really live pure and holy, of course with confidence in Jesus for I cannot do it alone by myself.
Harris also explained in details the meaning of God's sacrifice and Jesus' crucifixion in relation to purity and holiness. For some reason, not only that I have deeply appreciated it but I have finally come to full understanding of God's love!
I am so blessed and grateful to have read and finished this book. Is it possible that God is gradually preparing me to be in a relationship? It started several weeks ago when I have felt the desire to have a girlfriend and be married, and then I have began to like this girl in our church and now we are somewhat close friends. Could she be the girl? Could this be the start of the new chapter of my life? Am I really prepared and ready for this? Well, only God knows and I am in bliss.
I have decided to pray about this for almost two weeks now and optimistically to hear from HIM in his perfect timing. For the mean time, I will enjoy my friendship with her and continue to get to know her more.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Though I've made up my mind, I told it to the people I am accountable with except to my pastor though he found out later on so that they can pray for me hoping that by some miracle my decision will be changed. Sunday last week I prayed for that miracle and it happened. The Lord has spoken to me about freedom and that's when I realized that Jesus has freed me long time ago. All I have to do is to live by that freedom. In short, I have painfully changed my decision not to do it and chose Jesus instead.
Not only that, I also have decided to do most of the restitution God has asked me to do back in Baguio during the Nazarite training. I asked forgiveness and told the truth about my HIV status to almost all of the guys I have sex with after my diagnosis. They have forgiven me and thank God they are negative!
I have to do the remaining restitution in the coming weeks for I have decided to live holy and pure and will try not to have even a hint of sexual immorality of course with the aid of God's grace, Ephesians 5:3.
Bitter victory because I literally cried inside and out over the death to this desire miserably and I know that temptations will always be there to test me. Sweet victory because I believed I have pleased God and I have felt I am really free from this bondage, hoping and praying that I will be stronger for the succeeding battle. This victory has given me the courage to do the restitution I must do for I strongly believed God has given me the grace to do it.
One of these two guys sympathized with me upon learning my situation. We talked personally and I ended up sharing with him the goodness that the Lord has done so far in my life. God is really good all the time. Thank you Jesus!
Monday, July 13, 2009
I never thought it would be this difficult for me to make the right decision which is to choose Jesus. I feel like I am Achan for I have kept something from my old life and now God has revealed it to me to yield it to him and totally turn my back away from it.
For the past year, I have kept in communication with these two guys with the idea in mind that after a year of my celibacy I would try again to have sex just once. Now that I am beyond that, 16th months of consecration on the 20th of this month to be exact, I do really want to do it. I never mentioned this to anyone until now that I do really want to do it. I told it to my close friends in church and to my friends in the office so that they can pray for me and help me to convince me not to do it.
I know exactly what to do and I do not want to do it. I have to die to this desire once and for all and walk my Christian life straight and there must be no turning back to my old life. My decision could either make me or break me.
As of this posting I am still extremely ambivalent! My God please change my heart and help me to choose YOU! My spirit is willing but my body is weak so help me God. I am literally crying inside and out to God and to my friends, knowing the truth that I have to give them up and choose Jesus. The emotions I am feeling right now is far more painful than what I felt when I found out that I am HIV positive.
May the grace of the Lord be upon me in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
For the past few weeks I have been feeling this new desire in me. A desire to have a relationship with a woman and to get married!
I've got a crush on this beautiful girl in our church but every time I see and talk to her, the more my desire to be with her intensifies. If you're going to ask me, I like her to be my wife but if God has other girl for me I pray that she'll be like her or even better. This girl knows everything about me and we're very close friends now. Lord knows that I am satiated being a single and serving Him because of my health condition but if it His will for me to have a wife and a family then so be it God; but please prepare my heart and soul for this. This is totally unfamiliar to me.
I do not know God's reason why on earth the book "Boy Meets Girl" by Joshua Harris is in my hands and currently reading the 5th chapter. It's about courtship with a purpose that will eventually lead to a God-blessed marriage, like a match made in heaven. God knows I am not ready for this so I have decided to enjoy the book and learn from it. Also I will just enjoy my friendship with this girl pro tempore.
Totally healed from sexual brokenness is what I want when I get into a relationship with a woman but it does not seem the God's plan for me. I believe He will give me a partner who will help me in this healing process.
Honestly, I am a little scared but happy and excited! Could this be the time where God is gradually changing my heart? I hope this kind of feeling perpetuates. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ! Shalom!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
For some people, what I am doing seems to be incredulous and peculiar but all I can say is that it is indeed really possible by God's grace alone. No one can celibate on his own, God's intervention is highly involved.
I must admit as well that I miss having sexual intimacy with a man I am physically attracted to and God knows that for I always tell it to Him and ask Him to turn these sinful desires into a fire burning for Jesus. It is very hard and I almost came to the point that I want to give in to temptations but thank God for His grace is sufficient.
Again I don't know until when I could do this for Jesus but I hope and pray until I get married simply because I don't want to grieve the Holy Spirit by committing this detestable act. Oh God but you know that I still have this desire for this certain man and I yield it to you for I do not want it.
Thank you God for all the blessings for I do believe I have a life God truly blesses. Shalom!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
This is the title of the book I have just finished reading written by Dr. John F. Avanzini.
It is all about faith and thinking beyond what we can see on the real world. It is seeing by imagination what God really wants for us despite of the reality we are facing and then declaring it aloud as if we're very sure that what we have pronounced will going to happen. That is faith.
What struck me most is the faith of healing whether it is physical or emotional or sexual healing. 1 Peter 2:24 says that by Jesus Christ's wounds we have been healed. Also in Isaiah 53:5, it says by His wounds we are healed. We need to pronounce in a loud voice that we are healed from whatever sickness we have in this world including sexual brokenness.
So I say out loud that "I am healed and I am going to be the man that God has originally created me to be! I am going to be the real man of God!" Whoa! That feels great! I feel very positive.
Hebrews 11:1 says faith is the substance of the things we hoped for; the evidence of things we do not see.
Hence, I am going to practice the faith extender and I encourage you brothers and sisters to do the same. God bless you all.
Friday, June 19, 2009
I had a great time for I have learned a lot. Also I took the chance to see the Magellan's cross and the beauty of the city. Only after this the bulk of my work will now start but prior to getting myself very busy with that, together with the other COH facilitators, I was able to lead another "Channels of Hope" workshop to our field office staff in Cagayan De Oro City the week after that Cebu trip.
Again, guided by the Holy Spirit, participants were moved and blessed with my friend's and my testimony when we talked about the phases being gone through by people living with HIV. This makes the whole workshop different from the others for it really strike the hearts of the people aside from its holistic approach on this pandemic.
Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for incessantly using me in your Kingdom notwithstanding of my struggles and flaws in this Christian life I am trying to live out.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Whenever I am passing through the malls, some times I can't help but to cruise and then flirt! I even came to the point of getting their numbers! I know this is wrong and I should not have done that on the first place. Sometimes I just talk to them just to get to know them a little bit so that my attraction will go away. Also one time I was riding in a bus and then this guy sat beside me then he let me touch his crotch! OMG! I know I should have controlled myself but I was too weak that time. I already asked God's forgiveness on these sinful acts and desires.
Lord knows that I have no intention of having sex with some of these guys but I do with the others whom I really attracted to. I am not giving in because if you can remember, I made a promise to God that I will never get myself into any sexual activity especially sexual intercourse! I promised already to Him that I will practice celibacy as long as I can through His grace. I must admit though that it's extremely difficult.
I don't really understand why I am still like this. I know it is blatantly wrong but I am still allowing myself instead of controlling it. My mind is screaming out loud that I don't want to have sex but my heart and flesh desires for it every time a handsome guy or some guy with a nice physique captures my attention.
I am still celibate up to now but I do not know until when for my self control is dwindling gradually. Please pray with me as I struggle to break free from this stupid flirting and cruising addiction. Thanks my dear brothers and sisters in Christ!
Saturday, May 30, 2009
It was my first time to attend such event after being diagnosed HIV positive for almost three years. There were 40-50 people who attended the small gathering sponsored by this particular NGO who has been a partner of H4 for the past several years in helping out the PLWHA.
The organizer who happens to be my doctor asked me to share my testimony because according to her it was a perfect fit for the theme. She asked me to highlight the hope I have seen in God when I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ in to my life and surrendered all of me to Him one year and five months ago. I was not sure if I am going to tell about my struggle with SSA but there were people like me in the audience that's why I opted to share it and how I am dealing it with.
People were blessed I have sensed and felt it even though there were only few people who approached me to confirm. I really thank God for what He's doing in my life, it's not that easy with my struggle but I believe and I have faith that God will sustain and strengthen me to win this race and be victorious till the end.
I am giving back all the honor and glory to our God Almighty and Lord Jesus Christ!
Monday, May 18, 2009
I attended the second phase of the Nazarite training which is about holiness last week from Wednesday to Friday at Teacher's camp in Baguio City.
It was a wonderful experience for I was able to share my testimony to the small group first then to the whole group to give encouragement to the young generation. I can't remember all the things I have said, that is how the Holy Spirit works according to them.
As far as I can remember, I was so moved, touched and hurt by the struggle shared by a couple of delegates and it's more than enough to stand and speak in front of everybody to declare that Jesus can truly heal each and every one of us no matter how disastrous our lives has been! God is absolutely in the business of changing people's lives.
I declared that our generation must not allow the enemy to steal, kill and destroy us but strive harder and continue journeying with the Lord if we want a change of our nation for the better in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I have built new friendships and so thankful to God for this great experience. Though I must admit that on the first night alone, I want to go home for I know that the Lord will require me a lot for this training and I was right. God told me that I need to get serious with my Christian walk and must let go of the things I need to let go which are not helpful in my recovery and do the things I need to do to have a clear conscience in order for me to hear His voice very clearly.
I know it's not that easy but I believe that God's grace is good enough for me to accomplish this. God bless to you all!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Do you remember when I posted here about the discrimination incident happened to me when I applied for a certain position related to HIV & AIDS on this Christian non-government organization? Well, they offered me a job and I started last Monday. I am holding a position which has something to do with adolescent reproductive health.
My friends told me that I was vindicated and the justice has been finally served. There's a truth in it partially but I do not want to look it that way. I just want to be thankful to God for this blessing that at least now I have a work for the next 6 months. I believe that somehow this is just a start of God's promise to me last January, when I was prophesied to speak the truth in love to young generation for I understand what they are going through.
My first week was quite alright and still in the adjustment mode of working again for 5 days a week and entails traveling. I pray that the Lord pour out on me his wisdom, knowledge and physical strength to carry out the tasks of this position. Thank you Jesus and God bless you all.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Here's the link, please copy and paste it on your browser if you cannot click it. http://www.couragephilippines.blogspot.com/
You might be wondering how on earth I can control myself not to masturbate and get into a casual sex for more than a year now. I have decided not to masturbate because it will be fueled by lustful thoughts then I will commit sin; same thing with sex for it is more of a sin. I must admit though that the desire is still there and sometimes the temptation to get into it is so strong especially when I caught my self unaware (or sometimes aware) exposed to something that fuels that desire.
The secret is the 12 Step, first step is to admit our powerlessness over something we are addicted to which hinders our growth in relationship with God such as alcoholism or any form of sexual addictions. Second is, believing in a greater power of God and then turning our life to Him. It means total submission to Lord Jesus Christ and obedience.
For the rest of the 12 steps and more information please copy and paste this link to your browser. http://12-step-review.org/
This is the program of recovery I have been following and striving hard to do as I struggle to break free of my idols of addictions. If you can recall, this was mentioned and followed in "This Way Out" by Frank Worthen which I also discussed here last year every chapter.
Again I do not know until when I can be celibate and consecrate myself for Jesus, only God knows and only by His grace.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I just came back from my trip to Butuan City, Agusan Del Norte last Saturday. My fellow facilitators and speakers and I stayed there for three and a half days for a two days workshop on HIV and AIDS program of this NGO I am volunteering for called "Channels of Hope".
COH is essentially a program that aims to mobilize churches and faith communities to lessen the stigma and discrimination associated to this pandemic. We had 39 participants and 21 of them are Pastors and priests while the others are from DOH, city health office and the NGO's local partner.
This time I lead the facilitation without the program owner and thank God for the workshop went really well. He's truly in control! All the participants were so blessed with my testimony and with my faith in God. Based on their evaluation, it was truly a success!
I am giving back all the honor and glory to our God Almighty. Thank you for the anointing and for the grace. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for it is all for the glory of your kingdom.
By the way, for some of you who missed the SNBO last April 12 please click the link below. God bless you all!
Monday, April 13, 2009
Hello readers! I pray you are in good condition, happy or not, when you come across and read my blog.
I just finished reading this book by William P. Young and I am so thrilled and very happy about this true to life story of Mackenzie Allen Philips! Of course I won't tell you what this was all about but what I have learned and struck me most instead about Jesus.
Every human's purpose in this world is to be in a relationship with God intimately in love. Elousia or Papa as God called himself in this novel does not want a piece of our life or time. Even if we give the biggest piece of us, it's not what He wants. God wants all of us, every part of us everyday.
Jesus does not want to be the first among a list of our values. He wants to be at the center of everything in our life. He wants us to fully rest and dependent on Him in total submission. In doing that, it will give us the real freedom because in Jesus we are not under any law for all things are lawful.
God's loves us just as we are no matter what is your condition emotionally or spiritually. We cannot do nor make any promises in exchange of anything from Him for He knows every minute part of us especially the ones in our hearts. God work around in the choices we made that's why it is imperative that we listen and follow his directions and instructions and not our own will. God truly loves us no matter what period!
I highly recommend you to grab a copy and read it so that you will understand who God is or who Jesus is. If you're in a mess right now, then this book is for you.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I started my session with HIV and AIDS information then I followed it with my testimony. I have seen a couple of ladies crying but most of them were a bit shocked. Then last Sunday, the parents of these young men and women came up to me and told me that their children were all very blessed with my life story especially on how God is continuously changing and transforming me to the man He created me to be.
A friend of mine whom I have invited to the camp had his breakthrough and finally accepted the Lord Jesus Christ! He is also HIV positive with SSA struggle and truly inspired by how I am living my life in a godly way.
God is truly a living God! I praise Him and give thanks to Him for these wonderful recent events and for all the things He has done into my life. You are the best Lord Jesus Christ!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Last Friday, my co-COH facilitators and I conducted a one day seminar on HIV & AIDS for this particular group of Christian churches in Manila. It was indeed truly a success for the participants were blessed and touched by true stories! I hope and pray this is a good start for big churches to be involved in this pandemic.
The following day, together with other PLWH, I attended the Self Empowerment Training sponsored by global fund and organized by PAFPI and Pinoy Plus Association. I learned a lot from the seminar so it was a blessing. I still believe though that the only one who can truly empower us in this kind of ordeal is Lord Jesus Christ. Also I was able to minister to two of my friends there and shared them the gospel as well as on how God is changing my life gradually.
What a great experience! Thank you God for everything in life is a blessing!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
There were 32 participants who were blessed with my testimony and at the same time empowered by loads of information we have presented to them. Three of them congratulated me personally for the courage I have shown by telling them my life story. Real life stories can truly made an impact that went straight to the heart of the people in seminars like this.
I thank the Lord for using me for this purpose for almost a year now. I give back all the honor and glory to our Lord Jesus Christ. Truly, God is in the business of changing lives and I am a living testimony to that.
This week, I will be conducting a one day workshop with the other two facilitators to this huge Christian church.
Friday, March 20, 2009
In my own definition of celibacy being a single man of God, I have decided to abstain from any sexual activity such as masturbation, phone sex, and sexual intercourse whether anal or oral sex.
Wikipedia defined it as a state of being intentionally unmarried and abstaining from sexual intercourse. It is the promise to refrain from all sexual activities including lustful thoughts for the purpose of spiritual advancement.
I must admit it is by God's grace and not by my own strength. Honestly, there were two or three times that I almost did it but it never actually happened because I do not want to. My flesh said yes but my mind said no and I have to stop it for God made a way out, it's really hard but with prayers and prayers of others and Words of God I guess it is possible. The most difficult is the lustful thoughts and Lord knows I am trying very hard working on it. Like I said before, I do not know until when I could continue doing this and only God knows. Thank you God for the grace!
Lord knows my secret desires so I pray that He will be patient with me as I struggle to break free from all of these evil desires.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Anyway, last Saturday I have spoken about my testimony before the graduating high school class of the academy of our church. This is in preparation for them to college. It's like making them aware what is the world look like outside the Christian school, an environment they are so used to. The message of my talk was encouraging them to deal or face the issues they have right now and not to wait for something bad to happen to them before they address it. My pastor and our youth leader told me that they have been so blessed and a lot of questions were raised at the end of the day. Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!
On the evening of that day, I attended for the first time the ALPHA for PLWH at my doctor's house and I was blessed to see my friends who are so interested in searching for God. I told them how the Lord is changing me ever since I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I am glad that they were all blessed and amazed on how my life has changed so far praise God! That was the feedback I got from my doctor.
What a way of living this life thank God!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
First, my good friend who happens to be my Christian doctor paid me a surprise visit and stayed at our house till 4PM. She conspired with my parents not to tell me about the small party they have been up to. There's pasta, cake and ice cream!
Second, an LBC messenger brought my gift from my foster mother in Palawan! The gifts are three nice books, now I have so many to read. I am so elated that I gave her a call to thank her.
Lastly, my Pastor and his wife, my good old friends from my first job gave me a phone call just to greet me while others sent their greetings via SMS and I have received a lot.
It was indeed a wonderful and happy birthday celebration. I thank God for all the blessings I have received from Him and for everything He did into my life. I am so happy! It could be one of the happiest birthdays I ever had praise the Lord!
Sunday, March 1, 2009
I got a slight fever from Sunday to Tuesday then it went away after taking some medicines. Now I am on my way to full recovery from this flu for my doctor has given me an antibiotic. I am feeling much better now.
Going back to the result of my VL test, it is 47 copies per milliliter of blood. This is a blessing indeed for it is very low and very close to be "undetected". Perhaps, after six months or a year I will have my VL test once again to check if the HIV in my blood is undetected. Thank you and God bless the person who paid for my test.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
One of their board members was used to be my audience or participant on previous COH workshop I have conducted and she recommended me to be the speaker for this love month fellowship on their church for young people.
I surmise they have learned a lot and they were blessed when I told them my life story. My life has something to do with purity and abstinence that is why I felt that it was only right to share it to these young people to make it real and made them realize that consequences for sexual immorality such as unwanted pregnancies, STIs and HIV is really happening!
I praise God for his anointing and I am giving back to Almighty Father all the honor and glory for using me on his works on this earth. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ! Thank you Father God! You're truly the best and simply amazing!
Monday, February 23, 2009
Many people who are aware of this find it difficult and impossible! Well, if they only knew that things such as this can be accomplished only by God's Spirit then they do not have to find it hard to believe. Some people think that my life is so lonely and hard but I do not think so.
In fact, I am quite very happy that I am victorious with God's grace on my struggle. I was able to stop for weeks now the dirty chatting and it's great that I do not feel like doing it again.
God is truly on the business of changing people's lives including mine if you would only entrust it to Him. Thank you God.
Monday, February 16, 2009
We have not seen each other for more than a year but we are constantly communicating via SMS and email.
She practically knew almost everything about me except my struggle with same sex attraction or SSA. I have a feeling that she can sense it somehow it's just that she opted not to discuss it with me when we're still working together. Since she's a good friend, I have decided to confess about my homosexuality and I am glad that she did not change on the way she treats me!
I told her everything about what I do now and how the Lord has changed me and using me according to His will and purpose. She's very happy for me and we realized how we missed each other!
Praise God for the blessing of good friends like her. She's really a true friend!
Friday, February 13, 2009
The result of my last CD4 count test was released yesterday. Albeit my doctor told me that it was perfectly alright, honestly I can't help but to feel a little sad because from 469 T-helper cells more than a little six months ago it plummeted to 443!
The doctor said that as long as it will not go down beyond 30% from the last count it can be considered normal for it fluctuates sometimes. What matters most is I do not have any opportunistic infections and I am not sick of anything! In fact, I am feeling strong and healthy and gradually rekindling the fire in my heart for the Lord Jesus Christ!
Thank God because an angel paid for my Viral Load test. It costs 6,000PHP and I do not have a budget for that. This is another testimony of God's faithfulness to His children! Thank you my Heavenly Father! Thank you Dad! This test will determine the quantity of virus in my bloodstream or the ARV I am taking for one year and seven months now is really working. Also it will verify the result of my CD4 count.
I pray that the result which will be released sometime next week is "undetected" or very very low viral load or viral copies per milliliter of blood, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
This time I lead the facilitation of the whole activity and thank God it turned out well. We finished everything on time and once again, the participants were all blessed with what God has done into my life and with everything they have learned. As a matter of fact, they are craving for more and planning to have a second part! Praise the Lord for its success!
I was able to see the tourist spots within and outskirt of the city such as Iwahig Prison and Penal farm, Bakers Hill, Mitra's house and ranch, the Baywalk and the North Hunda Bay. Thank you to my cousin who lives there.
By the way, I've been feeling a spiritual "dryness" lately. My heart does not have the same fire like I used to have when I am still new Christian. Before, I am always excited to attend the Sunday service and to be involved with church activities but now I have to drag myself. I am beginning to engage again on dirty chatting, internet pornography and mall cruising. I know this is wrong and I should not be doing these things that's why my prayer to God is to be patient with me as I struggle to break free of my idols of addiction and admit my secret desires to my counselors.
Last Sunday, I did confess them and asked what is going on with me. They said that there are really season like this and this is the time that I need to attend more the service and be with my fellow Christians. It is just normal. I still do not have a place to stay in Manila and I do not have a job right now that's why I prefer to stay here in the province with my family.
The Lord gave me a word for all of these, the whole Romans 6 and Philippians 2:13: for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.
Monday, February 2, 2009
The first one was given to me by our senior pastor and he said that the Lord will put me in the fifth gear or top gear this year in relation to my growth as a Christian. If I thought that I have come a little far, it was just the beginning for God has so much in stores for me. This was given on the first Sunday of this year.
The second one was given to me three Sundays ago by another pastor and he said that this year will be a defining year for me. God said that my relationship with my father will be restored and I will be a major target of the attack of the enemy for the huge things I am doing for God's kingdom. I think this is because of the ministry on HIV & AIDS I am currently doing and the bigger plans I have for this to our church and to the positive community. I guess I have to watch and pray so I will not fall into temptations. The spirit is willing but the body is weak. Matthew 26:41.
Last Sunday, I received this word from one of my counselor and ate and she is also a pastor in our church. She said according to God, I will be a father either spiritually or physically. I will be speaking the truth in love for I understand the things happening on in the lives of young people today. I believe this has something to do with my struggles in life that young people can learn from.
I received and claimed all these words in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. These are encouraging words but they depend on how I will live my so called Christian life. I know I have to clean up my act and free myself from any form of activities and thoughts and habits which are not pleasing to the Lord in order to fulfill God's will.
Friday, January 23, 2009
It's not easy because the temptations are every where and the call of nature for it is sometimes very intense. If you're going to ask me how can I do this, all I can say is it is not me. The Lord is in control and only by His grace that I can do it so I give back all the honor, praise and worship to God. This may sound or look ridiculous and impossible to many but it is true!
Honestly, I don't know until when I could do this because I am still human after all, full of imperfections and still struggling with same sex attraction! I believe as a Christian this is my cross that I need to take as long as I live aside from being HIV positive. All of us have struggles and we need to be thankful for it because it keeps us closer to God. Therefore, every time I feel a sexual urge I think about the Lord and His words from 1 Corinthian 6:18-20. So far it helps me to be victorious.
Following Jesus Christ is hard but there is this inner peace and contentment and excitement at the same time as to what will happen next into my life. This journey with the Lord is a combination of happiness and sadness, the former due to the assurance that God will always be there for me no matter what. The latter is because of the test and struggle when the Lord wants to bring out something inside me to deal with in order for me to become a good person and steward of His kingdom.
I must admit that I have tendencies to resort to other addictions in relation to my SSA struggle such as internet pornography, cruising at the mall and dirty chatting. The enemy is giving me the thought that I have a huge sacrifice with the celibacy I am doing and I deserve diversities like these, somehow as a human but it is wrong. I know it will only fuel the sexual desires in me which I am trying to avoid.
My prayer to God is to be patient with me as I struggle to break free of my idols of addiction, presenting to Him all my addictions and secret desires and to help me risk believing that He still loves me anyway. I also pray that He will give me the courage to confess all my sins to my counselors in the church. Please pray for me.
I'll be doing the "Channels of Hope" workshop again next week in one of the World Vision's ADP in Palawan and this time I will be leading the facilitation. Praise God!
Friday, January 16, 2009
We visited a bible school there in Benguet and the weather is colder than in Baguio, its like 6 degrees Celsius! The school is very nice and very quiet and the staff members are all nice people. I met a guy there who is very handsome and I have a crush on him I must admit. Well, I know as a Christian struggling with same sex attraction I should not be entertaining things like this but I can't help it. It's just an attraction, it will fade away some time later on.
When I have decided to follow Jesus and leave my past life, I know have to deal with this struggle everyday. For how long? Maybe for a lifetime? Only God knows. I just pray that the Lord will give me enough strength not to give in to any temptation. According to my Pastor and to my devotional bible, a struggle is a gift because it keeps us closer to God. We must be thankful for this struggle because when we stop struggling the enemy will devour us.
Doane Rest is very beautiful place to stay, the rate is pretty low. It is a perfect place if you want to think and spend time with God. Though it is intended for missionaries who visit the summer capital of the Philippines, you can also stay there but for a little higher rate. I am just blessed to be a good friend of a missionary doctor. Praise the Lord!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
This is the title of the book I just finished reading written by Kay Warren. She's the wife of Ric Warren, the author of the book "The Purpose Driven Life".
Kay talked about how she was called by God to be an advocate for people living with HIV & AIDS and how she surrendered her goals, dreams, plans and her whole life to God's will.
I can relate very much to her experiences because when I surrendered and totally submitted myself to Lord Jesus Christ and cried out to God that I am all his to use according to His will and purpose, I never thought that it was a dangerous surrender. After a year of being a Christian, I realized that giving in to God is not easy. It's not for cowards as Kay described, it's the boldest, riskiest step you'll ever take because this dangerous submission can bring both joy and pain, both heartache and ecstasy but it enables you to know God in a far deeper way than ever before.
Like Kay, I also felt that I want to save the world when I learned the realities and facts on how this pandemic affected the world especially those who live in Africa especially now that I am witnessing every month the increasing number of people infected by HIV in the Philippines; not to mention that they are getting younger and younger! Because of this, I became more determined to continue doing what I am doing and prayed to God to expand my horizon so I can reach out to lots of people through the "Channels of Hope" program I am currently involve at.
In our own little way, we can make a difference to lessen if not totally put an end to the spread of HIV & AIDS pandemic. Be educated about the issue and everything related to it and pray to God on how He can use you in this ministry. The people of the church has actually a huge part on this because as God's people, we should give them hope and show them that we have a big God that can take over. Remove the stigma, be a channel of hope and show to people and children living with HIV & AIDS God's love by being compassionate about them, about us!
Again like Kay, I have nothing in myself to offer but Christ in me who does. He has made my life sacramental offering through the wounds I've received in my life, the sexual brokenness I am dealing with, sinful behavior that I could not control, other wounds known only to Him, and of course when I myself got infected with HIV. God's way of preparing me to be an advocate has involved a painful journey. The only difference between us is, she protested many times while I deeply asked for it for the simple reason that nobody could understand or relate to this people other than somebody in their situation. Kay has to visit and see for herself the difficulties and hardships of PLWHA in Africa and in Asia including the Philippines. Without those wounds and God's crushing fingers, I would not be the person I am today. I am not the person I used to be but I am not yet the person God has created me to be. God and I are still working on it, for how long? Only God knows.
God chooses the ordinary to become extraordinary and the most unlikely to serve his kingdom like what He did with Kay and now I believe, He's gradually doing it to me. The call is definitely worth the cost which is higher than we anticipate.
Read this book if you are willing to become disturbed, gloriously ruined, expose evil, make a dangerous surrender and make the invisible God visible by being his hands and feet in this broken world - by doing good. If you are willing to risk it all for Jesus Christ's sake, say yes to God and your world will begin.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Confucius says and I want to say it too, "be a lotus". It means no matter how ugly, how evil, and how sinful everyone around you might become, do not allow yourself to be stained. A lotus remains beautiful even as it lingers in the filthy waters of the pond. Do not be contaminated nor influenced by worthless means. Remain radiant among the shadows of darkness.
Be a lotus, it has to start with one to fill the pond with more.
Honestly, I was struck by this message. I believe that as a Christian, we have to be like a lotus. We live in a fallen and broken world and evil is present everyday, everywhere. We should not be contaminated nor influenced by them but we need and we must shed our light to those who live in darkness.
To all the Christians out there, let us be a lotus!
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Year 2008 was a fruitful year to me as I started the first year of my Christian journey with the Lord Jesus Christ! I have concluded the year by finishing the whole Bible from the book of Genesis to Revelations though I must admit I did not retain everything in my brain. I have memorized several verses which apply to me and to my struggles daily. I just found out that the enormity of God's love and how are we going to live our lives rightfully are all just there!
I started the year by attending and finishing the ALPHA course in our church and given my testimony on the Holy Spirit. The "Channels of Hope" HIV & AIDS program facilitator's training I attended is an answered prayer when I asked the Lord to use me according to His will and purpose. I've been doing this workshop for the last 8 months in different parts of the Philippines and the goal of de-stigmatization of the church community has been gradually taking place. The last one was in Tagaytay City last December 29 when this Pastor friend of mine invited me to be a speaker to their youth camp. Ethereal happiness is what I am feeling every time I do this in spite of how tiresome the travel and schedule is! Also, I came and then went off to Bagong Pag-asa to learn how other ex-gay Christians deal our same-sex attraction struggle everyday.
Now I can say that I am so in love with the Lord more than I could ever imagine that I give back all the praise and worship and glory to our Heavenly Father! I have learned so much for the past year and I give thanks to all my new Christian friends who walked with me and will continuously help me on this journey with Jesus Christ.
I am looking forward to 2009 very positively. I hope and pray that my love for Jesus will grow deeper, deeper enough for me not to entertain any temptations around me and just quietly be obedient to Him. By the way, I am on my 10th month of celibacy on the 19th of January! Praise the Lord! He did it! I hope and pray that I will be able to continue it for Jesus.
Strongly I believe that God has something big for me this year when it comes to the work and ministry I am praying for Him coz He told me to wait, be still and know that He is God.
Praise God in Jesus name. Amen.