Friday, March 25, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
|Our path to the cross is one decision away, but it takes|
a lifetime to traverse.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
- Content: I thought that Random thoughts covered too many topics. While there is nothing wrong in taking a holistic approach to blogging, I think it's better to narrow down my topics, and concentrate on a niche. Content, from now on, will concentrate mainly on the ministry that I work in San Francisco. The blog will retain its personal aspect, however.
- Design: I had worked somewhat in improving the look of Random thoughts, and never felt satisfied with it. It seemed too simplistic. I think the new design is better and fits perfectly the new theme of the blog. Of course, I will work on improving the design as the blog progresses.
- Posting: Random thoughts was my first serious attempt in getting somewhat serious in blogging, but it was nothing more than a hobby. The blog was neglected, and there was time that I paid little attention to it. This will change, as I will try to be more constant and serious in my blogging. After all, I want to glorify God in this blog, so while the blog will retain its personal taste, its main focus will be God and the ministry.
P.S: Yes, the title of this blog is inspired by the song "God of this City" by Chris Tomlin, one of my favorite songs. If you haven't listened to it, here it is:
Monday, March 14, 2011
But, as the years started to go by, and life's experiences brought me back to even where I was before I converted, that feeling started to "die" slowly, so slowly, that I was unaware of its own death.
I tried to revive this feeling, and while I made some progress in terms of devotion, the feeling was hard to resurrect. It seemed that no matter how hard I tried, the feeling remained dormant, with little hints of it surviving. Until now...
These past events in my life, including the current storm, has brought me into an intimacy with God. "I feel" I told my spiritual director once "I feel as if God and I are in a honeymoon at this moment". This intimacy has gradually increased with time, and as the tribulations rise, His love is even more abundant.
Even though I don't feel God is calling me to be a priest or a religious, even though I'm probably headed to marriage, in despite of all this, I feel so strongly in my heart that I must be a saint, and nothing else would suffice. I feel God is tugging strongly in my heart, this sense of tranquil urgency; I must be a saint, there is no way out of it.
But I believe all of us are called to be a saint. We must receive this calling in our hearts as well, while we are looking for Him, our Beloved, in prayer. Will I fail? If I trust in my own strength, in my own habits and humanity, I will surely fail. With God? I cannot fail.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
My life has changed substantially in the past few months. I now find myself trying desperately to adjust to a difficult schedule. I'm sleep deprived, tired, and best of all busy.
I have to admit, I like being busy, but as of late, I'm starting to dread being tired. I have noticed that my emotional level goes down considerably when I'm tired. I tend to dwell more on pessimistic thoughts, my faith gets bombarded by doubts, my anxiety betrays the sense of peace I thought I had. In a nutshell, everything seems to simply suck when I'm tired!
I'm working 32 hours per week and studying part time. On paper this is not a disagreeable situation at all. Only that I have to work the graveyard shifts on Mondays and Thursdays. Mondays (and consequently Tuesdays) are the worst days because I have to go to school the next day in the morning, getting off from school in the late afternoon, to finally go home and rest! As I shared in a Facebook update not too long ago, despite the fact that I'm walking around campus as if drunk, and my biggest academic achievement is to stay awake during classes, I seem to be managing well!
Thursdays are a bit more manageable. I go to school almost all day, then head off to the youth group for ministry, and finally end my day by working the graveyard shift right after the youth group. We usually have some time for fellowship after the youth group, which I unfortunately am obliged to miss because of my work schedule. This is rather unfortunate, given that this fellowship is essential in establishing relationships with the young people who attend. And since the ministry deals with gang members, this relationship is even more important in order to gain their trust and share the Gospel in a personal way. Friday morning I have to commute back to my house, which is 50 minutes away from where I work. Staying awake during this commute is a massive undertaking!
But I'm getting used to this schedule. Staying awake seems easier. And while I like being busy, I'm still getting used to being tired.
Friday, March 4, 2011
I have a desire to pursue marriage sometime in the future, but this desire comes not without its struggle. I feel called to full time ministry, and I'm worried that If I get married, my ministry would suffer. There is also a sense of guilt over leaving seminary, even though I don't feel called to the priesthood or the religious life. But as the anxious person as I am, I'm constantly thinking of the repercussions that this decision can have in my ministry and life. Would I be able to serve the youth in my full capacity, without the status that a priest or a religious person enjoy? All these questions, given their hypothetical nature, are difficult to answer in a personal level. But, despite the emotional struggle that my decision brings, I still have peace over it.
I'm also struggling with my grieving over this girl. My feelings for her have not changed, and at times, seeing her is painful. She is part of the same ministry I work with, and there are many opportunities to see her. In dealing with past disappointments, I would simply detach myself from that person for a good period of time, until the memories lost their painful aftertaste. I have asked God permission to leave the ministry for a while, but I keep getting the same answer: He doesn't want me to leave. He is giving me the strength to deal with this situation, and by His grace alone I have been able to continue in the ministry. He keeps telling me to trust Him and to leave everything in His hands, even my future with her. I don't understand exactly what He is doing, but I'm putting my trust in Him, even though I have to admit, it is not always easy.
But not all is gray and sour! God has blessed me immensely! I finally have a job and things are going well. Studies are going somewhat smoothly. There are many blessings that God in His infinite mercy has bestowed upon me. And, even in the middle of the pain, His joy and peace are there to remind that indeed I'm not alone, and I will never be alone.