D R . E L R O I


Thursday, October 17, 2013

When God Speaks and Calls Me to Obey

The Lord never fails me whenever I ask Him to either just simply let me feel His presence strongly or speak to me very clearly whether with specific words or simply about anything just to hear from Him that He's there for me always in times of struggles, joy, and loneliness. Romans 8:28 was brought to me in a different level with a reason that I still do not know yet but that's okay for it is an opportunity to trust Him more! And then I thought God was done with me speaking through this service message last Sunday but I was wrong.

After church, I paid a visit to my couple friend just to use their WiFi and have a chat with them but the Lord has a different plan. Well, I was able to use the Internet and saw this on a status from a Facebook friend. "If You Continue To Do What You Always Done, Then You Will Continue To Be Who You Have Always Been! Nothing Changes Until You Make It Change!" I just read it in a passing manner and liked it then moved on scrolling down. After surfing the net and done with the emails, the wife and I talked with the permission of her husband, just the two of us, regarding her very personal problem. At the end of the counseling, not as a counselor but as a friend, I was glad that it truly helped her and I felt the Lord’s Spirit leading me all through out the conversation. Also I realized, I do really enjoy listening to people and be an agent of change! So I left their home feeling happy, to have dinner with another good friend. It was a long waiting invitation and finally it happened.

Over dinner as I was sharing with him my financial dilemma for this coming semester and decisions I have to make...he told me something that was exactly has the same meaning with the FB status I just read! Although my heart was a bit resistant because I know what is this “new thing” I have to do to make a change - only I really do not want to do it.... suddenly I was reminded by this status. I guess the Lord is truly serious to test my faith and obedience this time on the financial aspect of this life and I really need to pass this test. My heart skipped as he talked about this because this “new thing” I was referring to was actually the suggestion of my Pastor when we had our talk several months ago, which is to send letters to people asking for financial support so I can finish my graduate studies without struggling much with money. This is something, knowing my capability to make money on my own, that I do not want to do. In short, it is more of a pride and self-dependence or self-sufficiency on my part, which is the kind of autonomy that God does not want for us wherein we always fail. God’s message is clear; He wants me to trust in Him – fully – with my finances as I finish my master’s degree.

God has called me for His purpose and I love Jesus. Hence, all things will work all together for good. I just need to act on and increase my faith in Him through obedience. I have got to do something new to make changes, big change actually to take place. Oh dear Lord, please give me the courage, wisdom and strength to do what I have to do.

It was indeed a super blessed Sunday! Lord you are truly good! Thank you Lord for giving me a gift of discernment, a listening and more sensitive heart. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

First Time as a Sunday Preacher, School Stuff, and Health Update

Whew! It has been a couple of months since the last time I posted an entry here. The truth is, this semester’s courses have used up most of my time. Lots of readings and papers are normal I guess for graduate school students but what really stressed me out and stretched me out a little bit more was the comprehensive exam.

Oh yes, I simply cannot believe I came nearly this close to finishing my masters in Pastoral Counseling and it will be earlier than I have set and expected when God brought me in the Bible school two years ago! The exam was held more than three weeks ago and a couple of weeks prior to that were spent reading and studying the eight major counseling courses. With the help of classmates and prayers, I thank God for the wisdom, strength, grace and the opportunity to appreciate more the ministry of helping people through counseling by allowing us to understand more and integrate the skills, theories, techniques and knowledge combined with the personal gifts He has given us, which all helped us to get through and successfully pass this test. And I was so happy to get a high grade for this! It was the grade I aimed and prayed for so thank you Lord Jesus! The hard work of studying and praying truly has paid off.

Another surprising thing that happened just recently was when I have my first experience to deliver God’s message in a Sunday! Two weeks ago I have accepted an invitation from a good friend with the usual mindset each time I receive a request to speak. I thought I said yes to an ordinary gathering in this church just to share God’s goodness and faithfulness into my life but I was astonished to find out few minutes before the event that I will be the main speaker of their evening Sunday service! The challenge came when I realized it was a liturgically formal kind of service and I did not dress up for the occasion! But that did not matter at all for people were so blessed and the elder of the church affirmed it. The service has finished and I still can’t believe that I just have my first experience as a Preacher on a Sunday service! I have enjoyed and kind of like it to my surprise. God got me there!

But somehow it was not all good things. If you can remember, early this year I have posted about a certain author quoted by my professor in this class on homosexuality and sexual ethics in the Bible that has disturbed and got me confused (Blog entry March 26, 2013). Well unfortunately, I have encountered it again this semester with another professor and astoundingly, it has the same impact on me. I have struggled again honestly but this time at least I was able to converse with this teacher, which actually resulted to a term paper that I have finished and submitted just last week. It led me to look deeper with the passages and came up with an honest self-narrative account on how God has really spoken to me and where He called me. I just hope and pray that it will not only get a high grade but whoever who will read it will be blessed too.

Semester break has just begun but I have three more requirements to finish including the real work with my internship. I only have 12 units remaining to graduate but I am still praying for God’s clear direction this coming semester for my savings are not enough to carry me through till the end of the program. My finances are telling me to work again and still unsure where. God wants me to finish my studies as a full time student according to our last conversation and I do not know yet if He wants me to test my faith and depend fully on Him financially until this time. Of course I have got something that I have been and keep on praying for so please do pray for me as well.

As for my health, I have not got sick for quite some time now and I continue to pray that the Lord will keep me healthy and maintain my CD4 count normal and viral load undetectable, and free me from any illnesses or infections. My last CD4 count was last year for I am waiting until this time to have this test for free again through my Philhealth package. It is really a bit tough when you are financially challenged and there are regular laboratory tests that you need to do. But I know God will provide for He is Jehovah Jireh! God bless you all.