Life Thoughts (Sermon Series): The Privilege of Prayer

Jeremiah 33:1-3

Heb 10:19-22

The privilege of prayer. Ngayon, ang unang tanong na pwede nating isipin…. bakit siya privilege? Pang iilan lang ba ito at hindi para sa lahat ng tao?

So our passage today ay dalawa. And The first is based sa Jeremiah chapter 33. Si Jeremiah ay isang prophet na tinalaga ng Diyos nasa sinapupunan pa lamang siya. And very important ang role ni Jeremiah as a prophet dahil siya ung messenger ng Panginoon during that time na ibubuhos ng Diyos ang kanyang galit sa bayan ng Judah. Galit ang Diyos dahil sa mga kasalanan ng mga Hudyo. At ang naging dulo nun ay exile nila to Babylon. Pina alis ng Diyos ang kanyang bayan sa kanilang lugar para sila ay alipinin for years dahil hindi pinapansin ng mga Hudyo ang kanilang Diyos. Nandiyan na sa harapan nila ang tunay na Diyos pero naghahanap pa rin sila ng iba ibang Diyos. Kaya siguro sinabi ng Diyos, “i am glorious, i am Holy, pero naghahanap pa kayo ng iba?” Kaya a part of the book of Jeremiah ay naka laan para sa Warning at judgements ng Panginoon sa bayan niya, ngunit dahil sa naturang ng Panginoon na mag restore ng mga buhay at pusong dati ay sira, ganoon din ang kanyang ginawa sa mga anak niyang Hudyo. So part of the book of Jeremiah as well ay tungkol sa promises of restoration ng Diyos. And chapter 33 ay kasama doon sa promise ng restoration ng Diyos. Kaya makikita natin sa Verses 6 to 9 ng chapter 33 yung mga promises ng Panginoon sa bayan niya. So napaka importante na maalala natin today yung context ng passage natin: wrath ng Panginoon, His punishment, and most importantly, His restoration. So it was a crazy time for the Hebrews. They might be telling God, why are you forsaking us? Why will you allow this to happen? At sa night devotion natin sa book os Isaiah, kita natin yang mga masasakit na nangyari sa bayan ng Israel dahil sa mga kasalanan nila. At ito na,  in chapter 33 it was the second time that God spoke to Jeremiah concerring the future plans for His people, His deliverance and restoration. Ung unang beses was in chapter 30.

 

So in chapter 33, we read that the Word came to Jeremiah. And just from that verse, pwede na natin makita, that in relation to prayer, it starts from God. Prayer starts from God. Prayer cannot exist without God. Prayer cannot exist without a recognition of God. And this tells us na ang pagdarasal natin hindi talaga mababago ang kalooban ng Diyos, kundi ang ating attitude at buhay ang nababago sa ting pagdarasal. And what’s more is that when we pray, we recognize that God is the almighty God. Sa totoo lang, kaya tayo nagppray kasi napaka powerful ng Panginoon. At kaya tayo nakakapag pray kasi napaka powerful ng Panginoon natin.

 

At yan na yan ang unang unang bungad ng Diyos kay Jeremiah sa verse 2…..

Before even going to His point and our message this morning which is in verse 3, ang point ng Panginoon ay siya ang Diyos, and He can make things happen, he makes things work, he allows prayers to be answered, he allows for us to pray.

 

And today we will be getting our points from verse 3 which says….

Jer 33:3

  1. Being invited by God
    1. The Lord told Jeremiah in verse 3: Call to me! Halika! Tawagin mo ako. It is an invitation. It was an invitation to Jeremiah to call to God. And this invitation is the start of everything. Ito na yung simula ng pagpapahayag ng Panginoon ng restoration na gagawin niya which is in verses 6 to 9. Hindi siya nagsimula sa Prayer ni Jeremiah.  Kundi nag simula ito sa invitation ng Diyos to “call to me”. Sabi ng Diyos, “hahayaan kitang tumawag sakin” at pag tumawag ka, I will answer. At sanga sanga na yon, then comes blessing, then comes restoration. All because God has invited Jeremiah.
    2. The same thing sa atin ngayon. God has invited all of us to pray. God has invited all of us to believe. John 3:16>>>>
    3. God loves the world! Ang imbitasyon ay open for all. Ngunit iilan lamang ang tumanggap ng kanyang paanyaya. Iilan lamang ang nagsabing gusto kong maniwala na ang Diyos ang magliligtas. Iilan lamang ang nagsabi na ikaw Diyos ang iisang Diyos na akong dadasalan at paniniwalaan. Dahil marami pa rin sa mga pamilya at mga kaibigan natin na alam naman nilang may Diyos, at sabi sa Bibliya na Rom 1:19-20>>>
    4.  All of us were invited. Lahat tayo ay inimbitahan ng Diyos na magtiwala sa kanya. Hindi tayo forced to believe. Pero because of our free will, we responded to that invitation at tayo ay naligtas because of His grace through faith when we believed. Ang ating kaligtasan ay galing sa Panginoon. Eph 2:8 says….
    5. So the privilege of prayer is being invited to pray by who? Now bakit big deal ito? Big deal ito dahil Lagi nating babalikan ang verse 2. It is being invited by God, ang pinaka mataas, at pinaka makapangyarihan sa lahat ng bagay na tingin ko ay makapangyarihan. He invites you to pray by inviting you to believe na siya ay makakapag ligtas sayo sa depression, sa kasalanan and ultimately sa kaparuhasan sa impyerno. Hindi lahat sumasagot sa invitation na yan.

 

The privilege of prayer is only for those who know Christ as their Savior and have the awareness that their sins are forgiven.

 

Clarence Herbert Benson, Biblical Faith : Doctrines Every Christian Should Know, Biblical essentials series (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2003), 54.

 

At kung ikaw ay naniniwala sa Panginoon, yung pribilehiyo na ito ay full use mo. You can come to the Lord with confidence.

 

 

  • And the principle is this: God is opening His line to you through salvation. Ilang beses ko na sinasabi dito sa harap ninyo na ang Diyos hindi nanatiling Diyos lamang na nanood sayo mula sa langit, ngunit siya ay nagpaka-baba para iligtas ka. Sa totoo lang hindi naman niya tayo kailangan iligtas dahil kahit hindi niya tayo iligtas, Diyos sya. Pero ginawa niyang iligtas tayo dahil ganun siya ka dakila. At ito siya, gaya ng transition niya from verse 2 to verse 3 sa passage natin, I am God, I am strong, I am powerful, I am creator, I am magnificent….call to me!

 

  1. Sabi nga nila privilege ang pagkakaroon ng license. Para siyang imbitasyon din galing sa gobyerno na pwede kayong gumamit ng sasakyan pero kailangan mag comply kayo sa batas at requrements before anything. So the same way, I need to have something. I need to be a child of God to have this engagement sa Panginoon through my prayer life.
  2. James 5:16
    1. according to James na ang panalangin ng isang banal na tao ay may kapangyarihan. And we are made righteous through the blood of Jesus. Kaya kung feeling mo dasal ka ng dasal at walang nangyayari, luhod ka ng luhod sa kung san sang simbahan at parang walang nangyayari, baka naman kaibigan, hindi ka pa talaga nagtitiwala na ililigtas ka ng Panginoon. Baka naman may kasalanan ka din sa puso mo. Bago natin isumbat sa Panginoon lahat ng masasamang pangyayari sa buhay natin, bakit hindi natin tignan ang ating sarili muna.
  3. Ano ang kailangan mo gawin?
    1. Answer the invitation
      1. Answering the invitation unlocks God’s power in your life through salvation. Ilang Sunday ka na ba nagpupunta dito? Baka matigas parin puso mo, kaya para hindi lumlagpas ng bubong ang mga panalangino mo. Ps 66:18>>>>
    2. Pray!
      1. The first step to praying is praying. Sinagot mo ang imbitasyon siguro last week, siguro last year, siguro 5 years ago, mag pray ka. You were invited! Magpakita ka naman sa party! Tumupad ka sa usapan niyo ni Lord. Pray!
  1. Being answered by God
    1. Jeremiah 33:3, the second part says “I will answer you”. So first, si Jeremiah was invited to call on God, at syempre an invitation should be answered, so kung sinagot ito ni Jeremiah at sya nga ay tumawag sa Panginoon, God will answer. In fact, sa passage natin, nag invite palang ang Panginoon pero may mga naghihintay nang mga pagpapala kay Jeremiah at sa mga Hebreo. So another privilege of prayer is being answered by God. At napaka importante talaga yung invitation ng Diyos at ang Act ni Jeremiah to call to God dahil kung wala lahat yon,  there will be no restoration to the people.
    2. At isa ito sa mga lagi tayong nacoconfuse. Dahil may mga kanta at mga teachings online, sa youtube and FB nowadays na ang labas ay kung hindi ka mag pray di sasagot ang Panginoon. May mga kanta nowadays na pinapalabas na ang Diyos ang nagrespond sa panalangin natin. Well in fact hindi! Nauna ang Panginoon. Sa totoo lang naghihintay lang siya lalo na kung anak ka niya. Pero in the Bible, if we respond to God through prayer, HE will indeed answer. And take note of that, IF WE RESPOND TO GOD THROUGH PRAYER….. And for our second point, may dalawa akong naisip na principles in prayer being answered by God. Una, Prayer is response to God. Again, we don’t pray and wait for God to work. Dahil God is already working kahit na hindi ka mag pray. Pero, we see then and again sa Bible that He waits for our response in prayer and then he blesses us abundantly. So kung ang panalangin natin ay response sa imbitastyon ng Panginoon, imbitasyon niya dahil He first loved us, He died for us while we were yet sinners, magiiba tingin mo sa prayer diba? Mas magppray ka! So we pray as a response to God.
    3. Ps. 34:4>>>
      1. At napakadami pang ganitong passages sa psalms. Lord I call on you. Lord help me. Lord save me from my enemies. Anong nangyari kay David? Because of his intimacy with the Lord through prayer, He was called a man after God’s own heart. He was changed. And sometimes, kung will ng Panginoon, He answers our prayers.
    4. Jn 15:7>>>
      1. Christ was talking to His disciples dito. Ito ay mga tao na naniniwala na sa kanya kaya sila ay sumunod at naging disciple nya. Sabi niya ABIDE in me.. Kung ikaw ay nananahan sa akin, at ang mga salita ko ay nananahan sayo, ASK.. And what??? It will be done.. He will answer!
    5. So here’s another principle from this point: God answers the prayer of the righteous. God will answer you if you abide in Him. Babalikan natin ung jer 33:2. This God na gumawa ng langit at lupa, ang Diyos na nagpapatigil ng bagyo, nagpapalambot ng mga matitigas na puso ay sasagot sa panalangin mo Kung patuloy mong isinasabuhay ang kaniyang salita. Kung patuloy kang nag dedevotion at pinapahalagahan mo ang kanyang salita. At dito nagiging isa pang privilege ang prayer, because He answers prayers. Amen po ba?
    6. Now siguro nasagot mo na yung invitation ng Panginoon through salvation dati, pero ngayon marahil ang kailangan mo ay bumalik sa kanya and abide again by His word. Abide in Him. For those involved in the ministry, we spend so much time preparing for Sunday and for Cell groups and for events, but how is our time with God?
    7. Ano ang kailangan mo gawin?
      1. Abide in Him
        1. Literally live within His Word. Kung may pinagpray kang matagal na hindi pinayagan ng Panginoon na mangyari, He has something better for you. Or maybe He’s teaching you something.
      2. Pray with excitement
        1. Tayo ay nagdarasal sa ating tatay na punong puno at umaapaw sa kapangyarihan at kayamanan. Kaya alam mo hindi ka mawawalan kung ikaw ay anak ng Diyos. Hinding hindi ka mauubusan. There is so much for each of his children. At pag lumapit tayo sa Diyos wag natin bali-walain ang pagiging Diyos ng ating Diyos. Minsan kasi binabaliwala natin yon. We pray at doubtful tayo. Bakit? Kasi naka-focus tayo sa sarili natin. Naka-focus tayo sa request natin at hindi sa pagiging intimate sa Panginoon.
      3. Focus your prayer more on God.
        1. Kasi let’s get real. Hindi lahat ng prayer mo ay sasagutin ng Panginoon. Kahit gaano ka kalapit at ka-intimate sa kanya, He has a plan for you. And sa prayers natin maybe sasagutin niya, maybe hindi. But if we focus on God sa ating mga prayers at hindi sa mga gusto natin, we will be more open to what God wants for us rather than what we want for ourselves.

 

  1. Being blessed by God
    1. Sa same verse, in verse 3, third part, sabi ng Diyos, “I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Now another privilege of prayer is being blessed by God. Maaaring usual na nating naririnig dito yan. Pero Jeremiah 33:3 again it all starts with God’s invitation, Jeremiah’s calling of God, and God’s answer. Ito naisip ko–we want to pray for something, kasi we are searching for a specific answer from God na pwedeng sagutin niya, pwede ding hindi depende sa will niya kagaya ng nakita natin kanina. But here sa verse na ito, God said kay Jeremiah, call to me and then:
      1. I will answer
      2. I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not know.
    2. So in essence sabi niya kay Jeremiah, sige sasagutin ko prayer mo, tapos sasabihin ko sayo will ko. The word “mighty” means inaccessible, or cut off. Iba yung translation sa NASB. Sa ESV it says>>> sa NIV it says>>>>>
    3. So he told Jeremiah, na yes sasgutin ko yang prayer mo, and there’s more. Jeremiah, you will discover more things in store for you and the restoration of the Hebrews. Ano itong hidden things? Ano itong unsearchable things na ito? Remember na ang Panginoon nagpataw na ng parusa sa kanyang mga anak, kaya punong puno ng pagluksa, unbelief, yung mga tao. So God told Jeremiah in verse 6 to 9, that if you pray >>>>>>
    4. AMAZING! And for them this is unthinkable. May parating nang gyera. Aalis na kami sa Jerusalem. Mamatay kaming lahat. And then God promised these… at anong kailangan gawin ni Jeremiah….respond in prayer. At nandun talaga yung konsepto ng pag unlock. Hindi ibig sabihin noon na talagang naka-lock ang will at blessing na Panginoon sa atin kundi when we pray, God will at blessing na Panginoon sa atin kundi when we pray, God pours out.
    5. And here’s the principle: Prayer unlocks God’s favor. At ang pinaka-mind blowing dito, when God answers our prayers, pati yung ibang aspeto ng buhay natin na hindi naman talaga natin pinagpray sinasama na niya sa outpour ng biyaya niya. Now this a wonderful privilege. Again, babalik tayo sa Jer 33:2…. Ang Diyos tumawag sayo para magdasal sa kanya, na sasagot sa panalangin, ay siya ring Diyos na sobra sobrang magpapala sa iyo, sobra sobrang magpapala sa trabaho, sa pamilya, sa business, sa personal life, sa ministry mo. What a mighty God we serve! Kung itong nakaraang weekend bumabagyo, sa Panginoon din, when he answers…bagyong bagyo din.
    6. Sabi ni Martin Luther,
      We pray for silver, but God often gives us gold.
    7. Nangyari na ba yon sa inyo? Nag pray kayo para sa isang bagay, and then sinagot ng Panginoon tapos andaming kasamang ibang bagay na hindi mo ineexpect. Ako pinagpray ko lang 2 years ago iready ng Panginoon puso ko to preach. Di ko alam ang isasama pala ni Lord mapapang-asawa.
    8. Ps 34:8
    9. Ps 31:19
    10. Deut 28:1
    11. Ano ang kailangan mong gawin?
      1. Expect God to answer your prayers in an amazing way.
        1. Ang amazing ni Lord. Kasi He will answer your prayers plus plus plus. Kagaya ng sinabi niya kay Jeremiah, HE can answer your prayers and make you realize maybe His plan for your life, maybe through your answered prayer, you can bring someone to Christ. Maybe through your answered prayer, malaman mo yung purpose niya sa buhay. At ung mga bagay na tingin mo dati ay naka-lock away from you, He will unlock for you. So pray pray pray!

 

Our second passage this morning is from Heb 10:19-22, which says>>>

And from this passage, we continue to learn ung privileges ng prayer

 

 

  1. Being confident to talk to God
    1. Heb 10:19 says>>>> we are confident now Dahil sa dugo ni Kristo. Again, this passage shows that it all begins and ends with God. Prayer begins and ends with God. And this passage greatly shows what Jesus has done for us. Hindi na natin kailangan lumuhod at maglakad gamit tuhod para marinig ng Panginoon. Hindi natin kailangan makikpagsiksikan sa Quiapo para marinig ng Diyos o sa Baclaran para maipa-abot sa Diyos mga panalangin natin. Hindi na natin kailangan idaan yung dalangin natin sa ibang tao na mas malapit daw sa Diyos. Hindi na natin kailangan magpatatak at magbayad at magbyahe sa kung san san para lang marinig ng Diyos ang ating panalangin. Dahil ngayon, kung tayo ay anak ng Diyos, kasama natin ang Diyos lagi at maaari tayong lumapit sa kanya kahit anong oras, kahit anong panahon natin naisin. Kung dati nung Old Testament ay kailangan pa nilang dumaan sa high priest, kailangan pa nilang mag-alay ng hayop para makausap ang Diyos, dahil sa dugo ni Kristo na namatay sa krus, tayo ay maaari nang lumapit sa kanya. Again, kung babalikan natin ung Jer 33:2., itong Diyos na makapangyarihan, banal, manlilikha ng langit at lupa ay pwedeng lapitan ng isang taong makasalanan tulad ko dahil niligtas niya ako.
    2. Jn 1:12
      1. Bilang mga anak ng Diyos, we can come to our Father in heaven. At siya ay nakikinig sa kanyang mga anak. Kaya alam niyo, kung tingin natin hindi naririnig nga Panginoon ang mga panalangin natin, hindi siya ang problema. Kundi tayo. Our confidence comes from the fact that we are His children, and a good Father listens to His children like how God is.
    3. Eph 2:18
      1. And this access is the privilege that others who do not believe in God do not have. We have access to the heavenly throne. We have access to the creator and ruler of the world. We have access to the one who holds our future. Yung ibang mga faith wala silang access sa Diyos. Bakit? Kasi una, hindi sila naniniwala sa iisang tunay na Diyos. So denied access agad. Pangalawa, iniisip nila na kailangan pagtrabahuan para lang marinig ng Diyos. Hindi. Wala tayong ginawa. Tandaan natin na ang Diyos ang nauna. Ang Diyos ang nag imbita sa atin na manalangin, siya ang nag imbita sa atin na magtiwala sa kanya. At dun nanggagaling ang access natin. Dun nanggagaling ang confidence natin na pwede tayong mag pray sa Diyos Ama natin kahit anong oras at panahon.
    4. And this is the principle: Prayer gives us direct access to God. And all we need to do is to respond gaya ng ginawa ni Jeremiah. It’s amazing how all these things about prayer ay maaaring mangyari by just recognizing and responding to his invitation. So we have direct access now to the Lord by the blood of Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that:::

 

“…every person can now have access to God because Jesus’ death on the cross has opened the way. Such access is actually experienced by those who express personal trust in Jesus and rely on divine grace.”

 

Chad Brand, Charles Draper, Archie England et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), 17.

 

  1. Freshman students in UP:: direct access to popular teachers…..
  2. Ano ang kailangan mo gawin?
    1. Rest in the fact that God hears your prayers
      1. And yes. God hears your prayers kung ikaw ay nagtiwala na sa Kanya. Siya ay laging makikinig sa kanyang mga anak at sa mga mahal niya. Mahal ka ng Panginoon, at siya ay nakikinig. In fact, may sagot nang nakalaan para sayo. Ang gusto niya lang ay matuto ka at mag mature ka. Kaya maganda na paghandaan mo din ang ibubuhos ng Diyos sayo. But of course you need to believe in God, and you need a right heart when you pray.

 

  1. Being cleansed by God
    1. Heb 10:22 says>>>>>
    2. So the passage says that we draw near. Why? Because we now have confidence dahil sa dugo ni Kristo. AT kaya sabi din ng writer ng Hebrews, na kapag lumapit ka, lumapit ka with your whole heart, lumapit ka ng sincere. And yes, sabi nga natin kanina that the reason for that confidence is the blood of Jesus that allowed us to have direct access to God. Pero what’s more ay yung dugo ni Kristo also allows us to be cleansed from our sins. Nung na-save tayo we were justified–pinawalang-sala tayo. But sa mga kasalanan natin araw-araw, we can still come to the Father in prayer when we confess our sins. So pwede tayong lumapit sa Diyos at hingiin na muli ay linisin niya tayo sa mga kasalanan natin.
    3. 1jn 1:9
      1. And we need to remember, lahat ng priviliges na yan ay konektado. We can pray because we responded to God’s invitation. Therefore, we can also confess our sins to Him dahil pinapayagan niyang gawin natin ito. At ito pa ang isang bagay na makakapagturo sa ating panalangin pabalik sa Panginoon dahil siya lamang ang Diyos na nakakapag-patawad ng mga kasalanan natin dahil din may direct access tayo sa kanya. Yung iba, kailangan maglakad na nakaluhod. Yung iba, ipapaubaya mo pa sa ibang tao. Yung iba gamit insenso. Yung iba ngang mga diyos hindi sila nagpapatawad ng kasalanan, kaya ang ibang tao namumuhay sa takot sa maaaring gawin ng Diyos nila. Pero ang Diyos natin binigyan tayo ng privilege in prayer para linisin ng Diyos sa mga kasalanan natin. It all begins and ends with God. Again, Jer 33:2. Ang Diyos na makapangyarihan, na banal, na hindi maaaring magkaroon ng kasalanan malapit sa kanya, na siyang gumawa ng langit at lupa at nagpadala sa demonyo sa impyerno, ay maaari kang linisin sa kasalanan mo para makasama mo siya. At lahat yan ay dahil sa kanya at hindi dahil sa atin.
    4. So here’s the principle: Prayer allows us to ask forgiveness for our sins. Very simple di ba? Pero because of our access to the Father through the blood of Jesus, we can be forgiven of our sins. Therefore, no more guilt and shame dahil tayo ay malinis sa kanyang harapan. At dito makikita natin that God is merciful. We deserved to die right away dahil sa kasalanan natin. Pero instead of doing that, ang ginawa ni Lord, yung kanyang wrath, yung kanyang galit, binuhos niya sa kanyang anak na si Hesu Kristo para siya ang maparusahan at hindi tayo. Para siya ang mamatay at hindi ikaw. At marahil, ito ang privilege sa ating pananalangin na hindi natin narerealize hanggang ngayon. That it is possible for us to pray because of the blood of Jesus Christ.
    5. Ano ang kailangan mong gawin?
      1. Confess your sins
        1. Because God is able to forgive and cleanse you. At ginagawa natin ito through prayer. Walang ibang Diyos ang makakapag-patawad sa kasalanan mo kundi ang Diyos nating buhay. Kung matagal ka nang nabubuhay sa guilt and shame, kung ngayon ka lang ulit pumunta sa church dahil sa hiya mo sa mga tao at hiya mo sa Diyos, talk to the Lord today and confess your sins. At kasama sa pag cleanse niya sa mga kasalanan mo ay ang pag-alis sa guilt and shame mo through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. It all begins and ends with God.

 

And let me leave you with this main principle na naisip ko din while preparing for this: Prayer makes us realize how great and mighty God is.

 

Napaka daming model prayers sa Bible, isa na don ang book of Psalms. Isang short example ay sa Psalm 54.>>>>

The petitions or the requests are short, pero napaka dami nang sinabi about God’s majest and who God is. Kaya alam niyo sa pananalangin talaga natin, walang anything about us ang nahihighlight, kundi ang Diyos lamang.

 

Kaya sana sa mensaheng ito ay magbago ang pananaw natin sa pananalangin. Kung binabaliwala natin ang panalangin, mga kapatid, it took the blood of Jesus Christ at the cross to make it possible for us to pray. Ang Panginoon ang nag invite sa atin na mag pray at magtiwala sa kaniya, siya rin ang sasagot, siya rin ang magpapala sa atin ng lubos lubos, siya rin ang nagbigay sa atin ng confidence na lumapit sa Diyos at siya din ang maglilinis sa ating mga kasalanan all through prayer.

 

Sabi ni Dr. Timothy Keller:

 

The very fact that we have access to God’s attention and presence should concentrate the thoughts and elevate the heart.

 

-Timothy Keller

 

How much and how often we pray reflects our hunger for God. The best way to learn to pray is by praying.

 

How is your prayer life? We can go on and on, pero kung hindi natin nakikita importance ng prayer, this is all worthless. I hope and pray that today we are challenged by the Word of God through Jeremiah and the book of Hebrews. And I hope that all of seek God more in prayer.

 

 

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Life Thoughts: Things I’ll tell my 18 year old self

    1. It’s not gone be easy. The life you dream of entails so much hard work, frustration, sleepless nights, and so much failure.
    2. Read more
    3. Even if they say you’re gifted, work more.
    4. Invest time on what matters. Practice. Read the Bible. Establish relationships with people who will stick by you.
    5. Love your parents. You have no idea how much they love you.
    6. You’ve already met your future wife. Just wait a little longer. She’s so beautiful.
    7. Not everyone will stay. Just be ready.
    8. Save up. Adulting is real.
    9. You are bound to have failures as well.
    10. Your failures will make you appreciate life. You will be blessed because you will be a blessing.

Life thoughts: My year in a nutshell

I just want to use this post to thank God for all the things that he has done and taught me this year also as I look forward for the coming new year. I’m gonna try to attempt to do a monthly looking back starting

January
-started the year with a very great project with a jazz pianist
-I had dengue that month til February
-was also mentally and spiritually preparing for the launch of our church album for February

February
-was still recovering from dengue
-dengue left me with Vertigo which was so dreadful for me. The 2 sundays after i got home from the hospital was very unforgettable because i passed out those 2 sundays after morning rehearsals for church.
-a big blessing would be the launch of the album which i produced. Everyone loved it and the Music during the launch was the best or church music ministry has done so far

March
March to April were the most painful months i have had this year. I rejected from having a scholarship that would allow me to have my graduate studies in composition in Germany. I was given full assurance that i would have it so i actually never planned for anything else when i started the year. It was indeed painful but God has other plans that i did not know during that point. I felt like my whole world shattered in front of me since almost everyone was expecting that i leave at the middle of the year (or at least that’s how i felt).

April
-my April will much be the same as my March until the last week.
-was hired to a piano studio to teach voice and piano.
-during the last week of that month, i received an email and a text message asking if i would like to work in de la Salle- College of st. Benilde which is a very prominent school, and in UP college of music extension program. Both of these are my dream work places aside from Febias College of Bible where i was teaching since last year.

May
i got all those jobs. My self esteem was boosted again.

June
-shuffling 4 jobs and a couple of projects at the side ain’t easy. But it certainly is a blessing.
-my friends start teasing me of getting married with my girlfriend because of all the work i have

July
-was surprised to receive an email inviting me to perform in Malaysia.

August
-probably the busiest month of my year.
-international silent film festival
-and a couple more events that needed some new works. This month i pushed myself to the limit and wrote 1 piece of new music a week.

September
-my birthday month
-spill over of work from August

October
-went to Malaysia for the sound bridge music festival
-after the last concert, went straight home for ara’s special project with my piece also to be performed. That weekend was one for the books. No sleep, but had 2 works premiered on just one weekend.
-ara graduated with honors. Super proud of her.

November
-started with maybe my biggest project ever. I had to do arrangements for a theatre production on December. That’s 16 songs in 3 weeks.

December
-i joined a jingle writing contest for the Philippine dental association, and surprisingly won the thing with a jingle i did in just 6 hours (all arrangement and recording and mixing and all)
-blessed to have a lot of work which made it a very merry Christmas for me. Hehe

Next year, great things are already lined up for me. I am excited, yet anxious of those things that i have no assurance of. But looking back this year, i think i dont have any reason to be afraid of the coming year. He has it all planned out already 🙂

Merry Christmas and a blessed and exciting new year to you!

Life thoughts: a day with my parents

Back at June, I was being restless with the fact that I just had 12 units required this term, that I had nothing else to do at home, and that I am getting old not to help my parents with house expenses. So I applied for a job…got accepted. But I’m still not satisfied. I only teach on a Saturday which would also mean less pay. I never really realized that it was God’s way of telling me, spend more time with your parents. You’ll never know when you’ll be leaving.

True enough. These past few months were a witness to how much closer my relationship with my parents was more developed. Since I’m the only child still living with them (my eldest bro is married and has a son; my sis is living in Paranaque and is getting married on October), I might as well do them all the love that my other siblings couldn’t give at the moment of their absence.

So here’s today:

We went to SM because I was insiting to. It can get really boring at home sometimes. We used a discount voucher that I bought 2 weeks back that would allow us to consume 200php worth of taho and ‘soy-moothies’. We actually had some bit of difficulty consuming the 200phps. Then we watched Cars 2 in these posh recliners that were so comfortable my folks slept on them when we watched Captain America 2 weeks ago! We really enjoyed the movie.

After dinner back home, walked out to the grocery store (Puregold) nearby and bought yogurt and an ice cream cone for dessert.

Twas just fun to be with them. I really would never know if I could still do this with them next year (if God would allow me to study abroad).

Alexander John ‘AJ’ Villanueva
posted from my Blackberry

Life thoughts: hope in Jesus

I’ve been very very anxious–disheartened–lately. I’ve been looking for answers left and right, asking counsel from people I look up to, trying to squeeze God for any sign of where He wants me to go after I graduate college. I have plans already of going out of the country and earning my masters degree, but so far, I have found no scholarships. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know this.

I almost thought that everything was in place til this week when I received a couple of emails from people I inquired to about the scholarships. My mom was already asking me about any plan if ever I don’t get one. Well, there’s no other plan! I’ve been imagining this since before I went to college. And now…nothing!

Tonight, I was studying our material for church tomorrow, Experiencing the Heart of Jesus by Max Lucado. The title of the lesson was Experiencing Hope in Jesus.

2 things really spoke to me:

1. He has ample space for me

If in this world, we experience a lot of rejection, a lot of “WE HAVE NO ROOM FOR YOU”, well, God has! If He has some space for me, this means that I am part of the journey–I am part of the family–I am a child–He has a plan! It’s really difficult to say that I trust God COMPLETELY, but…I guess I have to. He already has things planned out for me. All I have to do is either wait, or ask what He has in store for me.

He doesn’t just have some space, but
2. He already prepared a place, a MANSION for me

If I have a mansion, that means that what He plans is good…GRAND! Although I see things in the perspective of the here and now, God understands not just that but the perspective of YET TO COME.

Jer. 29:11
I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you…

Although I still don’t understand everything, like Abraham, I should take a leap of faith and trust that someday I can be a Joseph who didn’t understand everything, yet he obeyed, and became mighty.

If it is God’s will, He will give me a scholarship, if not, He has better plans. My hope is in God, He holds my future.

If you’re reading this, pray for me. God bless you!

by Max Lucado

by Max Lucado

Alexander John ‘AJ’ Villanueva
posted from my Blackberry