The Foundation

Photo Creds: Yours Truly ūüôā

Do you know that the foundation of Burj Khalifa is composed of 45,000 m3 of concrete weighing more than 110,000 tonnes to create concrete and steel foundation that features 192 piles buried more than 50m (164 ft.) deep. Amazing, right :).

Imagine that and it’s only the foundation. I have read once that the purpose of foundation is to hold the structure and to keep it upright. It was also said, “the strength of a building lies on the foundation.” *

To hold and keep it upright.

Foundation is the one that keeps it together, one that let’s a structure remain standing amidst the pressure of outside & inside circumstances. Interesting, hmm.

This is very much relatable for us human being, foundation is not only significant with structures but even for us.

It’s very important for us to identify what is our foundation made of¬† or who rather. In the same way with the building, in order for us to be held together and remain upright our foundation needs to be rock solid.

 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:11

Unlike buildings our foundation is not made of concrete and steel. -It’s hard to imagine us being founded with steels and rocks.:))

Our foundation is Jesus Christ, He who has already been laid inside of us from the beginning. When your founded in Jessus Christ, storms may wreak havoc in our lives but we’ll remain standing. He is the one who hold us together amidst the circumstance of life and the one who kept us upright.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 

According to the experts, a foundation must withstand the “dead load” and “live load”.

Dead load is the weight of the structure itself. On the other hand, live load is the weight of people and objects that comes in it.

Dead load represents us, the weight of our burdens and battles and live load represents other people that we are walking together with, the situation in our surroundings, burdens that were unintentionally or may be even intentionally passed on to us. Having Jesus as our foundation, we are rest assured that He can carry us and even the “live load” that we are carrying.

We were given a command to carry each other’s burden but I realized that it’s not us whom that carries it, it is Jesus who endures the weight of whatever burden that we are carrying¬† for he is our foundation. Jesus commanded us to carry each other’s burden but in reality he’s still the one who carries it. Isn’t it amazing how much he loves us? Indeed, it truly is.

In the end, our strength is not defined by the things we went through and will go through in our lives. Our strength indeed lies in our foundation, Jesus Christ.

Source:

For the foundation of Burj Khalifa – http://www.burjkhalifa.ae/en/the-tower/construction.aspx

*1 https://sahomes.in/blog/the-importance-of-strong-foundations-for-buildings/

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Slow Down for a Minute

Source: https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/people-rushing

Time flies so fast and everyone seems in a rush.¬† Life’s moving so fast you didn’t even realize what happened to you if you don’t take your time to sit and ponder on it.

Life will not slow down for you hence sometimes you got to pause for a while to take it all in.

What happened to me last week? Last month? It seems as if the year has just started but I woke up to realize that it’s just 2 months left and this year will be over.

I have read a quote before and it just came back me to me again today. It goes something like this, ” People are not scared that they have limited time here on earth but people are scared what to do with their time.” (Not exactly the way it was said but the thought was like that, credits to the one who said that.)

That somehow made sense to me. I’m not scared of death nor if our time here on earth is short. For me, the scariest part is leaving earth knowing we didn’t use our time wisely. With so many distractions going on around us it’s easy for our attention, time and energy to be consumed by things that don’t take part of who we really are. Most of the time our body reacts in a same pattern whenever we are triggered by outside circumstances in the end losing sight of who we really are and then at times we wonder why we keep on going in circles.

It’s crazy how much time passed by and looking back at it you can’t even remember what went on with those days. That scares me big time. It means I’m either doing things that are insignificant or I’m not aware of the actions I take.

It is our responsibility no matter how we decided to spend our time that we are aware of it. We do things because we choose it not because we feel like we don’t have a choice or this is something we are used too. If we choose to spend our time binge-watching on netflix make sure that we are aware of it and think if it’s congruent to who we are. Don’t do things for temporal pleasure it can give you but rather do things that will benefit you in the long run.

There was this time, I was telling one of my friends that it felt like the week that has gone by was too hectic for me but as I recounted with her what went on, there were a couple of days that I can’t remember what I’m busy with.

It makes sense, at least for me. I cannot speak for everyone but for me, it makes total sense. I complain at times that I don’t have time to do the things I love but then whenever I have time I don’t know what to do. For the past months, it came by so fast to me but I can’t remember what went through those days that have passed. My biggest fear is not dying or life is too short that I don’t have enough time to do all the things I want to do. My biggest fear would be if I have wasted all my time to things that don’t really matter that I allow myself, my time and my energy to be consumed by the demands of my needs that our society has decided to be important but in reality have enslaved us to what they have called standard of life.

Hence, slow down for a minute. Think about what’s going on, where you are now and where you want to be. Start doing things that are in line with your goals, things that are in line with your identity. There are seasons and appointed time for everything but make sure that from the point of where you are now to where you have to be that you never stop growing.

Time is the highest commodity of all not because we have limited time but with every second that has passed we can never turn it back.

Back at it :) (Random blabber)

Long time, I didn’t make any entry here but it doesn’t mean I stop writing. I’m still writing from time to time but I have been caught up with many destructions & discouragement but as I go through my quiet time today what was impressed to me was knowing when enough is enough.

I think there was one comment that got into me. The comment though was said in a way that could help to improve my way of writing. I’m aware that the intention of the person who said it was coming from a good place. On the other hand, unaware of it, it had affected me. When you are doing something that you love and sharing your own personal story somehow for me it makes me overly sensitive to what people will say.

I let myself become a victim of other people’s opinion and let it dictate my reaction. It took me this much time to realize why I decided to write in the first place. I have always been in love with writing. I’m not good at expressing myself when talking but when I’m writing I find myself being able to put out all I wanted to express. I could spend a whole day writing even with my notebook and pen. (I have done that actually, I spent a week in my room writing all day only stopping when I feel hungry then going back at it again.) I could get lost in writing and I think it’s because I have lots of thoughts going around in my mind all day.

I don’t consider myself a writer but I do love writing. I know there’s a lot of room for improvement so all the more I should continue on writing.

It frustrates me that I can’t seem to do what I’m passionate for but then my reaction to my frustrations lead me further away from it.

I believe we owe to ourselves to live this life with authenticity. Being true to ourselves and doing things in congruent to our identity and with our passion.

So, I’m making a pact with myself from this moment that even though outside circumstances right now may seem different to what I’m passionate about that I will take one step a day to that dream with the grace of God for I know that without Him it’s impossible.

My job right now may be far from writing but that shouldn’t stop me from writing, right. ūüôā As of the moment, it might be not possible yet for me to go to different places and do volunteering but then that shouldn’t stop me from helping other people in my own little way.

When I was a kid, I have always imagined myself going to different countries staying there for certain period of time volunteering to an organization of a good cause then some days I would spend it on writing. Being able to soak in the culture of that country, connecting with people, writing my experiences and be able to share with other people as well. Be able to share a glimpse of hope especially to children who have gone through difficult times even at an early age, to be able to let them know that their past doesn’t define them and there’s more to life than that.

Then ultimately now that I know how much God loves me, I want others to be aware of it too and be able to experience it.

So, here’s my random thoughts that are going through my head right now.

To someone who will read this post, I hope you are having a great day. To those who seem to be so far off from their dreams do not worry and instead of worrying put your energy to take a step forward to your dreams. If you stumble and fall go and stand up again.

It’s not how many times we fail in trying to reach our dreams but what’s important is that whenever we fall we stand up.

I want to end this entry with below verse to encourage you who will read this that God acknowledges the desires of your heart and will grant it but we must surrender our ways to Him. God bless you.

Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

-Psalm 37:4

 

 

 

Father’s Love

kartik-father-daughter

It’s a rather emotional entry for the first one. I was just even looking for a picture I could use for this one but I’m already tearing up.

I’ll be there in your heart when you’ll carry on
Like moonlight on the water, and sunlight in the sky
Fathers and daughters never say goodbye

Just like what Michael Bolton, said in his song Fathers & Daughters, ” Fathers & daughters never say goodbye” and that is a father’s love. Our Father is our first love and they’re the one we ran into most of the time when our Mom gets mad at us. I’m a true at heart Daddy’s girl. Writing this is hard for me but I need to face what I’m going through and I know someone out there have lost their Dad’s too or a loved one.

This is still fresh for me as my Dad passed away 21st of July, not even a month ago. I remember my younger brother was already telling me couple months back before our father died for me to prepare myself. He has liver cirrhosis and his condition was already worst and was progressing at a fast pace. When I saw him when I went home sometime around May, I can’t even look at him for that long. I can feel he’s having a hard time but he’s not even complaining about his condition. I felt helpless at that moment cause I can’t even take away half of his pain. Looking at him, I don’t even see my Dad. I saw a man who cannot even stand up on his own & ¬†walk without someone assisting him. I saw a man who’s looking so far as if he’s so much loss in his thoughts and those thoughts were not even good. I saw a man with so much sadness in his eyes.

When I saw that man lying in that bed, my heart shattered into million pieces. I left the room cause I just couldn’t look at him. I was thinking what happened to my Dad. My Dad always reminded me of Mr. Bean cause he will always do silly dance moves that will make me laugh so hard. He will always tickle me on my chin cause he knows that is my weakness and I always remember how we have these talks at night that lead us both crying every time. I’ve got a lot of things from my Dad and my Mom will always tell me and my brother’s that we didn’t get a single trait from her.

Growing up my Dad and I were pretty much close, he definitely spoils me cause my Mom told me I am a dream come true of my Dad. She said, my Dad always wanted a daughter and then I came but¬†a time came that we drifted apart. His alcoholism has set us apart. I just don’t want to do anything with Him unless he is sober. My Dad is not perfect but I know he did his best. When I was a teenager, I remember we always had this conversation where we both are crying because I was asking him to stop drinking. I know he wanted too but he’s too much dependent on alcohol. It’s not an excuse but I know it’s hard for him. Now I see no matter how much I tell Him to change I couldn’t change him because it was his decision to make and it’s with God’s guidance he’ll be able to do so.

Then as I passed my teens I become more understanding of my Dad. Slowly we’re restoring our relationship. Years passed by we’re regaining our relationship but I still prefer to have interaction with him when he’s sober. I remember months before I went here in Dubai, he even taught me how to drive even though it was one time only. Then, when I came here in Dubai and started getting to know more God, I was starting to forgive my Dad.I think even before that I was already easing¬†up and on the process of forgiving him but it was last year August when God talked to me and told me to forgive my Dad, to forgive myself for holding the bitterness with my Dad for a long time and that He forgive me and my Dad. That day I talked to my mom and asked her to tell my Dad I forgive him and he should forgive his self too and that God forgave us.

Ephesians 4:31-32
31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

At that very moment, I let go of bitterness and anger and forgive myself and my Dad.

All along I was fighting the battle the wrong way, I was trying to fight with my Dad and not for him.

I am grateful for God’s grace and forgiveness for if he didn’t give me that my Dad could have passed away without me saying sorry and telling him that I forgive him.

Somehow, I knew my Dad’s time is coming. A few week’s before he passed, we talked about his faith in God and how he had entrusted his life ever since with God. He was asking for forgiveness with God from all the sins that he has done and he asks for my forgiveness too. I just didn’t understand why it came up cause I already told him long before that I forgive him and my Mom even told me that my Dad was crying after that. After that conversation, I knew somehow that it won’t be long so I tried to call my Dad as much as possible and checked on him.

I thought I was being prepared with my gut feeling telling me that my Dad’s time is about to come and with my brother telling me to prepare but no, it’s still hurt. It hurt so much to lose a father and no matter how much you think you did there’s still a lot of I should have & I could have done this and that.

I know it will be a process to move on with the pain and accept things. I’m still mourning the loss of my father but what comforts me is that I know I have God my Father in heaven that I will never lose and that has been and will always be with me.

Colossians 2:5
5 For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
Isaiah 41:10
10 fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

These are the words that God gave me from the past days and I’m truly amazed how God talks to me (to us). The moment he told me this, I just felt Him hugging me and taking away my pain.

 

I didn’t ask God why he took my father because He told me that beyond the reason it’s about the¬†revelation.

Some things had to happen in order for Him to reveal his self to us.

I just want to encourage any one out there who’s going through the same situation or anything that is too much to bear to lay it all down to God and ask Him what He wants you to learn out of this season. Continue to have a faithful heart even though everything doesn’t seem to make any sense cause as he said

1 Peter 4:12-13

12¬†Beloved, do not be surprised at¬†the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.¬†13¬†But rejoice¬†insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad¬†when his glory is revealed.

 

To Daddy,

I will always remember you at this state, jolly, free spirited, someone you can always rely on, funny, handsome Daddy yo and God fearing. Rest now in the arms of our Father. There’s no more pain and everything is just beautiful. No goodbyes for us for I will see you again when the time comes. I love you, Daddy. We are mourning here on earth for losing you but the heaven rejoices for your arrival. You have been misunderstood by other people but God know’s your heart. Until we meet again Daddy.

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Father in heaven,  thank you so much.

Treat Em With Kindness

15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil,
but always seek to do good to one another and
 to everyone.
-1 Thessalonians 5:15
A lot of times it’s hard to treat people nicely when they¬†do something against you or when they treat¬†you bad for no reason.
From personal experience, it really takes a lot of patience and most of the time you want to bite back. I can honestly do it but I chose not too because that doesn’t make the situation any better.
It’s not a sign of weakness but it was actually a wisdom that you chose not to respond rage with rage, anger with anger but then you choose to forgive and treat them with kindness.
Most of the people treat others the way they were treated. I have seen it my own eyes. I saw a “brother” talking with someone on the other line and I can’t help but hear the person on the other line because he was shouting.From that, I understood. Other people treat him that way, that’s why whenever he talks to someone else he seems¬†always mad and in a rush.
Another instance was a story from my friend. She was working with this person¬†whom always make her feel like on a pressure. Until they got to a point that they have to talk about it because things are not going well. What strike to me is¬†what her colleague said, “That is how I was trained, that’s why I’m doing the same.”

See, people reciprocate how you treat them.¬† If we treat rage with rage, anger with¬†anger, we will all be living in chaos but if we follow what Jesus said that “We should¬†see that no one repays anyone evil with evil or wrong with wrong but instead always seek to do good to one another and¬†to everyone”, wouldn’t there be harmony.

It is hard, yes. No one ever said it’s meant to be easy but come to realize how the Father
treat us whenever we do something wrong, something against Him.
I remember one pastor said, “God might be mad to the wrong things that we have done but never to us.”

So, let us learn how to fight our battles and always treat one another with love.

When you start reciprocating anger with love, one day that anger will turn into love too.

(Photo Source:http://1.bp.blogspot.com/EBG2O9ZYciY/UOqyEyrVuHI/AAAAAAAACVs/sZ4kl0B8P1Q/s1600/Jan+2)

Little Things

 

Yesterday, I was having dinner with one of my friends and we were catching up with one another. (Shout out to Aiko!!!) I guessed we’ve really missed each other so much, we didn’t even notice that we’ve gotten so late.

It’s so nice to talk a friend, sharing your lives together, the things you have been through and even the things that you are not proud of but still, you can share because you know that there is no judgment or condemnation. These are things that I appreciate the most because not only you got to learn from each other experiences but now you got to laugh about the things that have hurt you in the past.

It’s crazy looking back on the things that I’ve been through and how I become. I’m glad too for the things that have remained in me and that is my appreciation for little things, for simple¬†gestures.

 

(Source:https://reverandandys.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/little-things1)

Little things that don’t¬†seem to count.

Little details that tend to be forgotten.

Little moments that seems to be unimportant.

Simple gestures that seem nothing.

 

Those little things are one of the things I appreciate more.

A simple squeeze of the hand that tells you everything is going to be okay.

A tap on the back that says you’re not alone or you did great.

A simple “Hi” out of the blue that meant a thousand word.

Those are things that seem meaningless but speaks volume.

 

Let’s not forget to do little things that even though it may seem little it might be a grand gesture for others.

A simple Hi or a smile or even just a wave could make a difference¬†to someone’s day. ūüėČ

 

 

There is Life in Lifegroup

Hebrews 10:24-25

24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Lifegroup simply means fellowship, shared lives with co-believers. The very purpose of it is to grow together with one another’s walk with God, simply sharing lives and encouraging one another.

I’ve been attending the church since I came here in Dubai, last year March 20th and the first time I attend the service was 26th and it was in Sharjah. The first question I’ve ever received after the service was if I already have a life group. I have no idea what is life group so I said no I don’t have. Then, the girl who asked me told me what life group is all about and she asked if I wanted to join in. Unfortunately, I turned her down politely. I told her that I just came here in Dubai and I would love to join in once I got settled and found a job.

A few weeks later, someone from the church took mine and my friend’s number and gave it to one of the life group leaders who was living in the same area as I am. She contacted me and my friend and little that we know it will be the start. Cut the story short that’s the beginning of me being a part of the life group.

It was a great help for me actually to be part of a life group during those times. It helped me to have a positive mindset while I was looking for a job and it had open a door for me to know more about God. We don’t only meet just to catch up with one another but also to build a stronger foundation of our relationship with one another and most importantly with God. Although, I still have my reservations because I’m not that comfortable talking about my life with other people. I actually have these walls up that I built to protect myself.

I think I have been disappointed early back on in life that I tend to keep everything that’s going on with just by myself. No one really knows what’s going on with me because I have chosen not to open up even with my closest friends. It’s not that I isolate myself, I have friends that I open up too but only a few and I only share bits and pieces of what’s going on and it usually takes time before I do so. I enjoy listening to my friends and I felt privileged when they run to me whenever they’re going through something because that means that they trust me and that they value my opinion. I, on the other hand, is a piece of work. I wanted to put down these walls and open up to other people but my biggest fear is that there would be judgment. I felt like no one would understand and I have this pride of not wanting to be a burden to other people.

The first life group that I had put a dent on that wall. I find myself sharing little by little but still, I have reservations like I said. A time came I shifted to Dubai church and my leader connected me to the life group there but I decided I will take a break from that. It did me good but still part of me is not yet ready to be out there.

Every week I attend church but I’m trying not to mingle that much cause I’m trying to avoid people asking me to join the life group. I don’t want to lie so I limit my interaction. Months and months had passed, 7 months to be exact and I didn’t join any group and those were the months I felt like I’m lost.

I felt like a buoy floating in the ocean, just stuck there in one place. I felt restless during those times. I wake up in the morning, go to work, go home, do whatever that will consume my time, sometimes go out, then sleep and the same routine the next day. It’s tiring, I felt like I’m wasting the life that God had given me. I was going in circles, I don’t have direction and I don’t know my purpose. I just feel like I’m lost in the trance and what I didn’t know was that it’s about to change.

It’s as if like God told me that’s enough.I don’t know what came to me that day but suddenly I just ask my friend who’s going to the same church as I am if she’s already connected to a life group and I was like why did I ask that. Guess the answer, she said yes and she even invited me. I felt like I was trapped that time and felt no choice but to agree.

I decided, okay I will attend if I don’t like it then I will not go further but it was amazing, it was perfect and it was more than what I expected. God truly works the mysterious way and everything is really beautiful in His time. Everything just fell into place, it was the right time, the right group, there’s nothing I can even complain about.

My fear, my walls, my pride one by one God had broke that. Before I even know it, I was there sitting with these wonderful ladies sharing my life and getting inspired by their encounters as well. Now I understand why God wants us to have fellowship and that is to encourage, empower, rebuke, be accountable, be present and to grow stronger in Him with another. Having a friendship where God is the foundation and very center of it is one of the best things that happened to me.

Life will never be the same without the fellowship. I have gone through a lot of things and having a fellowship have helped me go through it. It doesn’t make your problems disappear but to have someone encourage you, be there with you in the middle of the storm it becomes bearable. Life group has also helped me realize my mistakes and the wrong decisions I have done because being in fellowship is not only about being there for someone in a good and bad times but also helping one another to prevent being in a bad situation, guiding one another, being accountable for one another and even rebuking one another by the guidance of Holy Spirit.

Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

 

God’s want us to be in a fellowship with one another, so that we may encourage and build one another and to share even our sufferings with each other. Isn’t it God is so amazing how he used the fellowship to build us up, to discover more about Him and even about ourselves and be in awe on how he works in our lives differently but with one moving force which is His love for us. ( As Pastor Pete said, ” Different, different but same same :)”)

Find a friend who shares the same faith, be in fellowship with that person so that you may encourage and build one another and pull back one another when one of you is hanging on the edge of the cliff.

 

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(Photo Credit: Photos were taken by yours truly and my sisters from the Lifegroup :))