D R . E L R O I


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Faith, Tithing, and Me

(May 12, 2017)

As a freelance counselor and resource speaker for workshops, seminars, and training, earning comes apparently in uncertainty. At times, it is purely service, which means gratis. In short, there are times that I have, but there are also times that I don’t either working or not. Not that I am complaining about for it is work God has called me into. In fact, I am just simply amazed how the Lord truly works with my faith in this area of my journey with Him. Yet, there is one thing I find difficult not to do...worrying. I worry when uncertainty seems long enough and the resources look emptying out slowly.

However, this fear of running out with resources never happens. And as long as I continue to believe and hold on, I guess it will never happen. Okay, maybe you are one of those who always says that money should be the last or should never be a problem for someone who believes. I totally and completely got that. Believe me! But hey! I am just being honest. This is the reality. As fallen human beings, we have this proclivity to worry all the time. But this is not what I wanted to point out.

What the Lord has made me truly recognized through this calling and career ... is the joy of being able to give my tithes for every blessing I receive. Each Sunday when the time for tithes and offering comes and I have to hold the offering bag to pass it on to the next person, sometimes, I could not help but feel bad when I have no envelope to put in it. I remember when I used to have a regular salary a few years ago. It is so easy to take the tithe out and keep it for the coming Sunday. For you know that after a couple of weeks, there is a certain amount to be already received. Is there joy? Absolutely.

After five years of relying fully on God-given opportunities through these ministries and not knowing but somehow expecting that I would receive something ... the joy is quite different when finally, I would be able to give ... again after some time! There is more joy in it! In fact, lately, I realized that this has become my first thought – finally, I could give to God again! – especially when I received unexpectedly. More importantly, after nearly ten years in my journey with the Lord, this whole experience made me truly acknowledged one reality. That everything comes from God, whether you believe and like it or not. Even the smallest and almost ignorable talent, gift, skills, or abilities that we possess and use to earn, including the capacity to give ... is all because and comes from Him. For apart from Him, we are nothing (John 15:5). So don’t you dare take any credit for yourself, even if you pridefully feels like it.

Apparently, faith really shines and increases when you do not surely know that an opportunity or a blessing is coming. And when there is a tithe to be offered, which came through continuously “giving yourself” to others, the joy is even more and heartfelt. And then me, oh well ... let’s just say that I could not be any happier and contented despite tolerable worrying at times.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The CD4 and Me

CD4, if you would visit my first few entries several years ago about HIV information, is the part of our immune system attacked by HIV. It serves as the host where the virus replicates itself.

As part of the monitoring and treatment, CD4 test is being done every six months. Last March, I had this test in one of the Social Hygiene Clinic in Quezon City. The result read 489. It went up from 469. On April, again I got tested at my official treatment hub. It went up several notches to 539. Not bad I guess for a less than month interval. There was a time that it only increased by three points after six months. Well, like we always say, it is just numbers. As long as I am not sick and perfectly healthy, then there’s nothing to worry. After virtually eleven years from the time I was diagnosed, next month would be my tenth year in ARV treatment! For the second near death experienced I had early last year, I got miraculously healed and here I am ... still alive, happy, and contented in the midst of life’s daily cross.

When it comes to HIV Channels of Hope, I got busy conducting the workshops from December to March to different communities in Luzon and Mindanao. As for the counseling work in our center, I got a client now whom I see regularly a few times in a week. Also, I got counselees from our church. Next month would be class time again for three weeks. Wait, I think I have not shared yet here that I have started my doctorate degree in Christian Clinical Counseling last January. Yes, by God’s grace, I was able to get a scholarship at Asia Graduate School of Theology in which has become my deciding factor for not choosing La Salle. Please do pray with me for financial provisions for my studies, wisdom and good health as I do simultaneously all these work ... all for God’s honor and glory.

Looking back at my journey, I was like, “Who would have thought I could be doing all these after HIV?” Truly with God, everything is possible as we continue this life journey in union with Christ our Saviour. Shalom dear readers!

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Surprise at Officially Forty

Two months ago, I have written whether if life does really
begin at forty. Today marks my third day as an official forty-year-old guy.

Honestly, I am not really fond of celebrating my birthdays. Especially when I became conscious of my fear of getting into geriatric age. So I just let them passed like any ordinary day. However, the Lord has His ways that any man could not stop, including the birthday celebrator himself.

My family and friends spent some time and effort in the past to remember and celebrate it in simple ways. Mostly, I planned to spend this time with family and just stay at home. This year, I chose to be in Bohol and have decided to lead the facilitation of a three-day “Channels of Hope” workshop. The day I thought would pass off like any workshop days I have done previously did not happen. Something I was not expecting took place to my surprise!

At the end of the workshop during the closing ceremony, my dear friend and co-facilitator surprised me with the very thing I exactly instructed her not to do. With the help of the event coordinators, she announced that it was a special day for it was my birthday! Together with the participants, they sang the Happy Birthday song and prayed for me with the chocolate cake on my hands. Truly and sincerely, I was surprised! My plan of lamenting over reaching the age of forty did not materialize. It was exactly the opposite. I was and still overjoyed! Well, it is not every birthday I turned forty and far away from home. Thus, I must say God has made it special somehow and I am grateful for that.

It was not the kind of celebration I have dreamt of a few years before on my fortieth. Only if I have enough finances, I would love to do a mini concert of my own. Accompanied by a full live band, with simple food and drinks, I have imagined myself performing in front of my friends and family in an intimate venue. Oh well, perhaps this could happen in the future. Nevertheless, my turning forty remains special. Like I said earlier, I have lived more than I have expected so praise the Lord for the gift of life!

Arriving on another decade is something to look forward to and get excited for the rest of what God has in stores for us. In fact, I am thrilled to see how this year would unfold with the prophetic prayers I received early this year. I would share it on my next post. Shalom!