In the Name of Justice and Truth

Since I was young, I have been a firm believer of truth, justice, and fairness. It is as if they are intertwined with my DNA. Throughout my life, I have not been able to tolerate or approve of something that’s not true, or fair. Especially if it involves and affects not only my life, but also the lives of people who are very important to me.

I didn’t know then why I had such strong belief in these virtues. As a child, all I knew was that I would not want to say something that is literally not true, or pretend that I am someone who I really am not, or hide something  that’s supposed to be known by the people around me. The only thing is, as I grew older and held firmly to this belief, I noticed that there are people who misinterpret me for doing so– and I am left with disbelief that some people just hate the truth.

So at one point I questioned my so-called virtues. Is it wrong to be truthful? Is it abominable to stand for what is just and fair? Is it condemning to tell the truth and abhor lies? Why do people love having two faces? Why do they seem to find favor in foolishness and pretensions? Why do they choose falsehood over truth?

Those questions lingered in my mind. They still do. I have always been thinking how come people manage to live in lies for the sake of fulfilling their own selfish desires. That’s it, my own words gave me away- it’s because of selfishness.

But don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to be hypocritical. I am also not perfect and I have my own flaws. I have my own downsides and ugliness within. It is said in the Bible in Romans 3:23 that,

Everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Truthfully, no one is exempted in falling short of the standards of God, for He is perfect. We all have sinned against Him, for He is the only one who’s righteous.

But this does not mean that we can continue sinning just because we know we aren’t perfect. We cannot simply justify our wrongdoings for the sake of gratifying our selfish desires.

God has given us the freedom to live by granting us our free will, but freedom is rather a responsibility. All too often, we misunderstand the freedom as a license to do anything and everything we want. But the truth is, God has given us the freedom from sin, not the freedom to sin. Jesus Christ died for us to atone our sins and save us from eternal damnation- all because God loves us that much and He never wants us to perish. In 2 Peter 3:9, this truth is being demonstrated:

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

When you have the love of God within you, you cannot and will not be able to stand sinning against Him, for love is greater than wickedness. When you have truly made Jesus as Lord over your life, your heart will be automatically changed, your perspective will broaden and your faith will grow. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, another precious truth is written:

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

In the same way, those who continue to walk with the Lord would always seek to do what pleases Him because their hearts belong to Him.

Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is. (1 John 3:6)

God knows our hearts and its motives. He knows its every desire and dream. It is best to stay honest and open to Him because He knows what we want to say before we even say it (Matthew 6:8).

What sorrow awaits those who try to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their evil deeds in the dark! ‘The LORD can’t see us,’ they say. ‘He doesn’t know what’s going on!’ How foolish can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay! Should the created thing say of the one who made it, ‘He didn’t make me’? Does a jar ever say, ‘The potter who made me is stupid’? (Isaiah 29:15-16)

 

When you know who really God is in your life, you would only seek to glorify Him in all you do because His love can change hearts and His words can change lives in ways that only He can do. God is a God of truth and justice. He commands us to live in the light and not in darkness, because He is light (1 John 1:5).

Let us all be careful in choosing our own path. We do not live for ourselves only. As a wise old woman told us once, “(You) don’t tell lies. It is better to tell the truth right from the start to avoid pain in the end. That’s what I always told my children.”

Sure enough, our Heavenly Father desires the same. Or should I say, He desires what’s good for us more greatly than anyone does. He wants us to live a life full of love, freedom, justice, and peace. And yes, that is the truth.

The Golden Sound

Then there was silence. It’s as if the whole world conspired to just watch… for a fleeting moment. It was a moment of change, a turning point. While the world was busy and unrelenting, I, the rather relentless one, was beginning to enter another opened door that leads to my destiny.

The perpetuity of changes in life is a proof that one is maturing and attaining triumph. Each step that he takes is a big leap of growth and strength. Another vision is being realized, another dream is made come true, and a new path is being laid out. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing oneself advancing not in years, but in wisdom beyond his years.

True enough, the distance between life-changing moments and the mundane, depthless things is just… a time of silence.

Silence for grieving. For hurting. For encouraging oneself. For hoping. For believing. For falling down. For standing up once again. Silence for hearing the truth. For listening. For understanding. For being a coward. For being brave. For following the light. Silence for love. For seeing the truth all over the face of one’s love. For courageousness. For dreaming. For not giving up. For living… And continuing to overcome.

One can hear a lot more in silence than when there are sounds, or words. It is in quietness that one can hear a heartbeat, a whisper. And there, in the land that was promised, a still, small Voice is calling out… And only in serenity and stillness of the soul that one can hear it.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak… – ‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1-7‬

A Tribute to my Favorite Storyteller

…Aaaand it hit me. With myself fumbling beneath the veil of shame and guilt, a subtle ray of light struck me. The words of my favorite writer sank into the hollows of my gut, sending me somewhat of an “esteem booster” in the midst of an unlikely place in the metro.

Mr. Paulo Coelho never fails to amaze me. The humble yet empowering wit of this Brazilian man always sends stars on an otherwise clear night sky. He makes the simplest things beautiful; he creates loveliness out of mundanity. He fills dreamless wondering with inspiration. And brings more depth into a slightly shallow and clouded perception.

I wish to see him someday. This might mean that I will travel to Brazil with my man, and if that is the case then let it be! I wish to look into his deep eyes and swim into the wisdom that they contain. I wish to hear right from his mouth the very words that have given me a glimpse of hope, and passion, and inspiration. I wish to have a conversation with him and share with me his secret of living such a marvelous life as a not-so-ordinary-writer.

I wish that soon (hoping it’s sooner), he would know that somewhere thousands of miles away, someone takes delight in the love and faith that he bespeaks.

I might be shooting for the moon, but I am hoping to see you soon, Mr. Coelho. ❤️

“Do You Have Love?”

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it isn’t proud. Love is not rude. It isn’t self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, it always perseveres.

Love is patient. It is enduring. It bears difficulties and understands flaws. When the right time comes, love will always rejoice, it will celebrate its persistence and faithfulness.

Love is kind. Love is generous. It is broadminded and forgiving. It teaches, not degrades. It empowers, not cripples. It uplifts, not pulls down.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it isn’t proud. When genuine love is present, it doesn’t have to be a life compared to that of others’. When there is love, one can live with peace and gratitude in their hearts, because love completes and satisfies.
It doesn’t brag about what it has. Love doesn’t make one conceited nor arrogant, rather, it makes one humble and wise.
Love puts our feet on the ground; it makes us level-headed. It consumes our pride and drains our self-righteousness. It acknowledges the love of others; it is always ready to listen.

Love is not rude. Love is gentle. Love is when one is down on his knees, a hand reaches out and pulls him back to his feet to stand again. It encourages and nurtures. It disciplines in the right way. It gives what it can give, until the end.

It isn’t self-seeking. Love is selfless, not selfish. It isn’t “me first”. It realizes the sake and needs of others before oneself.

It is not easily angered. It is not ill-tempered. It sets allowance for faults and shortcomings. It does not oppress nor unreasonably judge, rather, it shows respect and understanding to those who are honorable.

It keeps no record of wrongs. Love forgives. It forgives right away. It doesn’t take revenge. It doesn’t set boundaries and conditions. It is unconditional. Love is immeasurable, unfathomable, beyond understanding. It does not imprison; it gives life. It does not condemn, doesn’t hold one’s past mistakes against him. Love sets one free.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love knows the truth. Love loves the truth. It does not lie. It does not scoff, humiliate, and abandon. It always seeks, does, and shows what is true, honorable, and admirable. It sets out the path to wholeness and fullness of joy. Love guides and corrects.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. One can trust without loving but one cannot love without trusting. Love comes with trust. They are inseparable, a perfect combination in a world that is otherwise full of lies and chaos.
Love always wants what is best for the other. It does not wish ill of others nor does it bring harm to them. It does what it can for others’ sake.
Love never gives up. It gives hope and shines its light in darkness. It provides a way out; it directs to the right path. It gives what it can. Love never gets tired. It never fails.

God is love.

Inspired by: 

Jaeson Ma’s “Love”, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, and real, personal experiences

Cruel Fate

If only you could see through the eyes of a person,
If only you could hear her silence,
If only you knew her mysteries and revelations,
Then maybe, just maybe, you would understand all the things that were long-concealed.

But I guess, all these deep cries and agony,
All these- and the quiet sorrow
only deserve to be written
and kept hidden
on the slate of misery and forbearance.

I can’t help but speak up.

Amidst everything that is happening in my country, the Philippines, and in the world, only the TRUTH that is written in the BIBLE will be exalted. People have different views and opinions but in the end, the truth shall prevail. As the end approaches, there will be divisions among people and wars among nations. These things are inevitable for they are already written in the Bible.

These are the times when TRUE Christians will surface and will be tested in the flame. These are the times when people who proclaim His WORD are the ones who are persecuted, humiliated, condemned, and even labeled demonic. These are the times when those who stand for what is RIGHT are the ones who are imprisoned or killed.

There’s no doubt that the signs are manifesting already. There is the gradual rise of the ‘New World Order’, the legalization of same-sex marriage, the impending World War III, and other abominations against God (worship of idols, premarital sex, adultery, etc.). Christians should all the more PRAY. We should pray that God gives us more faith, courage, and conviction of the Holy Spirit.

This is not the time to play safe. Let’s get real. The world today is NOT for the faint-hearted. Stick with the truth of God’s word and let us pray that we will not be deceived by the lies of the enemy. JESUS SAVES!

Why I Love Dreaming

I have always been dreaming. Before I sleep at night, I anticipate the time when I have no control over anything. There, I would be in different places and scenarios in the past and in the future. I would be with many different people- people whom I’ve known before, people whom I used to know, people who are currently in my life, and people whom I do not know.

I love dreaming. There, I get to be in a different reality that only my soul can experience. I get a glimpse of something that only my future self can see and know. I also come back to the time what my past self used to hear, feel, and love. I love those things.

What makes me wonder and amazed is when my dreams foretell me of life events that are yet to be seen. And they do happen! To my surprise, I am able to see, hear, and know what I am about to witness the next day or the next few weeks. Sometimes dreams also tell me secrets and untold stories of the past. I do not know how this happens but I love whatever I have.

In the midst of everything, I know there is a reason why I dream dreams. I believe dreams have deep meanings, and only time, space, and fate can tell what those are.

Tonight, I am ready for another adventure and mystery. God bless everyone! ☺️

Would Anyone Care to Listen?

Only by listening can you truly gain a deeper understanding.

I will never forget that line. It’s from a life insurance T.V. commercial that I overheard some six years ago. I say, it was perfectly catchy and meaningful. It was so substantial to the point that I had to stop from what I was doing and turn my head to the television.

Days after, I waited for that advertisement to replay. When I watched the whole commercial, I got to love its essence all the more:

Listen to me, even if it is difficult, even if I don’t speak up, even if you disagree, even when you already know the story, whether it’s sad, or late…

I loved how they formulated the essence of their cause and business right off the bat. They got their audiences’ attention, and at the same time were able to insinuate in their minds that, as an insurance company, they do listen to people’s concerns.

We all have something to say. We do because we’re humans, we’re social beings. We have the inclination to convey our inner thoughts and ideas to others. We may have different ways of expressing them, but we all express ourselves either consciously or subconsciously. Some of us stay silent, or want to be just introspective. Some of us communicate verbally, or through actions and body language. Some people demonstrate their convictions through writing. We use our freedom of expression most of the time. However, do we also make use of our privilege to listen to others at least from time to time?

Listening is different from hearing. We may all hear the words a person is saying, but we can also choose to not listen to those words. Listening comes with understanding. How can we effectively communicate to each other when we refuse to comprehend, appreciate, recognize, and realize what the other is conveying to us?

Communication is not a monologue. It is a two-way process wherein both communicators are able to understand and respond to each other.

It is always important that we exercise and improve our listening skills during social interactions. One can only be an excellent conversationalist if he/she knows how to apprehend what his/her fellow discourser is saying. Your interpersonal skills are measured by how you clearly express your ideas while properly interpreting and responding to the person you are talking to.

Sometimes, I get to think why the world is full of chaos, misunderstandings, and wars. Yes, there may be people who are listening and communicating, but either one of them fails to understand and acknowledge the true essence of what the other is saying. Or maybe one of them does understand and acknowledge but fails to accept what is being said.

It is not only understanding that is needed in communication, but also acceptance.

And accepting is different from agreeing. One can accept but disagree. One can also choose to agree but not accept. The difference lies within the right and necessary way of showing this irony.

It is true that not all of us may agree with a given truth. It is also true that not all of us are willing to realize that the world does not adjust for us, but that we are the ones who should adjust to the happenings in the world around us.

The world does not succumb to our own shortcomings, but we should learn how to adapt to the unfairness and injustice in our lives.

We do not know everything, so it is but fitting to also listen to the people around us. Real wisdom does not only mean knowing a precious truth, but it is also about knowing how to apprehend the wisdom of others.

Listening also means respecting. A broad and wise perception is approved and accepted if the person himself knows how to respect other people’s decisions, opinions, beliefs, and convictions. And when one knows how to respect, then he is all the more being listened to.

We should learn how to listen, understand, and accept. If not, we can never taste the goodness and simplicity of life. You see, life is really simple. It is our own pride and ignorance that make it complicated and hard to grasp. If only there was love, understanding, and humility, then the world would be such a beautiful place to live in. If only there was the giving of chance for others to speak up and explain, then the world would be fair and forgiving as well. If only there was understanding and acceptance, then our lives would be simple and worthwhile.

Now, I have said what I wanted and needed to say. Have you listened? I hope anyone has understood.

 

© CJDP 2016

Credits to: Pru Life U.K. 2010 advertisements

 

At Ocean’s Depth

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

Mesmerized by the words of this song, “Oceans”, I saw myself drowning in the grace of God. Perhaps the reason why the title of my blog is “At Ocean’s Depth” is because when I first heard this song, my spirit was caught up in the loving presence of the Lord. As His words tell us in Ephesians 3:18,

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.

This blog is all about the love and grace of God speaking through an imperfect and flawed woman like me. The musings contained in this portfolio of sentiments and realizations are inspired by the subtle yet powerful love of the Lord for me. As I cannot grasp how deep His love is, I pour it out through my words. Though my words can never be sufficient to at least express His goodness in my life, I try to. There is nothing that can be enough to tell of His faithfulness in my life, even at the hardest times, even at the most fearful moments. 

Even when the tides and waves of oceans are raging. 

His depth and unfathomable understanding can never be surpassed by anything that is great in this world.

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

His words convict me to trust Him in this voyage, without limits and measure. Perhaps what I have always been dreaming of is only a prerequisite of His irrefutably perfect dream for me. No one knows but Him. Perhaps what I have always loved to have is only the start of the unfolding of His indispensably beautiful plan. But surely, everything is going to be completely magnificent and amazing.

For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

Though my life seemed to have no unfurled sails, I know His undeniable love is the compass of my boat. He never abandoned me in this ocean of life.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

At ocean’s depth, He is with me. And though the ocean is deep, I do not drown in the waters, but I drown in His grace.

The Day That I Stopped Believing

Today, I stopped hoping.. and waiting for it to happen.

I stopped dreaming and believing.

I stopped loving what I love.

For what I’m hoping for, waiting for, dreaming, believing for, and loving is in vain.

I stopped forcing my own will to pursue it, and instead I let God’s will make it happen.

Until then, I know that what I stopped doing will begin again.. but not anymore in vain.

For it is God’s will at work and it is as sure as His love that is my gain.