Tuesday, January 29, 2013

On Being God's Witness

I wrote previously in one of my posts here that I volunteered to share in Feast Sucat because of a strong prompting from the Lord after I received blessing upon blessing from Him last week.  I shared about God's blessings and miracles for my family here in this previous post.  That's basically what my sharing in Feast Sucat was about last Friday night.
I was so happy already to be given the opportunity to witness for the Lord last Friday.  I was happy because I felt God's invitation to witness for Him and when I chose to be open to that invitation, He paved the way for it to happen.  I felt so blessed!  Obedience to God was for me already my reward.  The compliments and good feedback from some of the attendees and other Feast Sucat servants afterwards were bonuses.  I went home with my family happy and content that with our simple story that I shared, we have inspired and made many people happy.
Yesterday, I got a big surprise from God when Feast Sucat's Feast Builder, Brother Adrian Panganiban, called me and asked me if I'm willing to share the same testimony at The Feast in PICC.  He said that Feast Sucat was richly blessed in donations in the form of love offering from attendees after my sharing. He said that it was the highest ever since they started more than a year ago.  Amazing!  I almost could not believe what I heard from him.  I didn't imagine or expect that my simple story could be used by God mightily to yield very good results for His ministry.  All I wanted was to give back the glory to His name as my way of expressing my gratitude to Him.  I did not expect that He will also honor me in this way.
I said yes right away to Brother Adrian's invitation to share my testimony at The Feast in PICC for ALL the morning sessions this coming Sunday.  That means I will share in the 8 am to 10 am session, 9:30 am to 11:30 am session and 10:45 am to 12:45 pm session.  The assigned servants who coordinate the sharings at PICC Feast got in touch with me right away and gave me additional information.  So, my scheduled sharing was confirmed.
Later in the day, our maid shared an observation about The Feasts in PICC that I didn't consider when I said yes to Brother Adrian and Brother Audee who coordinated with me.  She said that I will be speaking in front of a lot of people because The Feasts at PICC are usually filled or overflowing with people.  Her remark made me pause for a while and made me a bit nervous.  That fact did not enter my mind when I chose to say yes to God's invitation to share again.  Then, I reminded myself that in the same way that God has empowered and guided me in my sharing last Friday night, God will do the same for me on Sunday morning.  I recognized that it was the Holy Spirit putting words into my mouth as I spoke last Friday night for if it was only me, the hearts of the attendees and the servants would not be moved to give generously to the work of the Lord.  I knew that it was God's Word that pierced their hearts and not my words.  I was simply His mouthpiece.  So, with those thoughts in my mind, God slowly dispelled my nervousness.
And as I type this reflection now in my laptop, I realized why God allowed my husband and I's radio guesting with DZME which was scheduled originally this February 3 to be rescheduled.  (Note: I'm still waiting for advice on the new date of our radio guesting for February.)  It's because God wanted me to witness somewhere else.  He wanted me to give my testimony in PICC on February 3.  Amazing!  God's hand is really at work here in this unfolding of events!
Today, as I get ready to write my sharing anew to improve on it and add the sudden bursts of inspiration God gave me last Friday night, God affirmed and encouraged me once more through the same sites that inspired me last Friday.
Let me share the inspirations I got from Loyola Press 3 Minute Retreat today entitled Being a Witness.

The verse from 1 Peter 4:11 is simply perfect for with all my current concerns at home and in my projects, it would be difficult to focus on preparing for my sharing.  But this verse reminded me that God will supply the strength and wisdom that I need.  Around a week ago, God supplied me and my husband with the necessary spiritual gifts we needed so we can faithfully give from our need to the work of the Lord.  He supplied us eventually with more spiritual blessings and financial blessings.  This week, He promises to supply for my needs and that of my family's needs once more. 

The reflection in Didache and the readings today as published in the Kerygma Family site inspired and spoke God's Words of encouragement to me, too.

I was particularly struck with this line from Didache reflection: "I learned from this experience that the only way to live is to give everything to God -- to say a heartfelt yes to His divine will."

The question for reflection was also aligned with what I was thinking and feeling: "Do you want to be happy?  Say yes to the Lord always." 

The commentary on the First Reading from Companion also inspired me to always obey the Lord and be ready and willing to make sacrifices for the sake of obeying His holy will.


Obedience to the will of God is more important than abstract sacrifices. This does not mean that we do not have to make sacrifices but that they should be related to God’s will, rather than abstract sacrifices for the sake of sacrifices. The best sacrifice we can make is embracing God’s will for us, which often means denying our own desires, particularly those that are directed to our pleasure. 

The Psalm for today aptly expresses the song in my heart.

I was struck with verses 8-11 for that's what I spoke at last Friday's assembly at Feast Sucat! I quoted Hebrews 6:10 which says, "For God is not unjust..."  I told the Feast attendees that God will show His faithfulness to us as we choose to be faithful in supporting His Works or the ministries devoted to win more souls to the Kingdom.  I shared how He showed His faithfulness to my family and how He has blessed us with His mercy and kindness.

The reflection on the Gospel in Kerygma Family reminded and encouraged me as well.  It says, "It is obedience that is at the heart of the call of discipleship." I pray that God would grant me the grace to always obey Him and be one of His faithful disciples.

Let me end by sharing the story of the widow of Zarephath.  She was also invited by God to bless and help a prophet, someone who preaches about the Kingdom and strives to bring people to conversion.  Her challenge was that if she shares the very little food that she and her child has to the prophet, she might not have food in the coming days.  But the prophet assured her that the Lord will not let their food supply run out.  She chose to have faith and shared from her need.  And as promised through the prophet, the widow and her child did not go hungry because God did not let their food supply run out.  On top of that, they became instruments of God's provisions to God's servant, the prophet.

I could relate to this widow again for when God invited me to support Feast Sucat from our need, I chose to entrust my tomorrows and that of my two kids and husband to the Lord. Through that act of faith, God blessed not just my family with survival but abundance in the days and weeks that followed.  He even used our simple story to bless The Feast! Awesome!  God is so good! God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow!

Here's a poem I composed years ago which I hope would inspire you, dear reader, to also entrust all your tomorrows to God.  I wrote this poem on December 29, 2004 and was eventually published in my book When My Bridegroom Comes in 2005.  This was inspired by my meditations on Jeremiah 29:11-14 and Judith 9:5-6.

I woke up one morning
Not knowing where to run
Stumbling in the darkness
Groping for the sun
God, where is tomorrow?
I asked, "What lies ahead?"
My heart filled with sorrow
These questions in my head
Then you came with answers
I've waited for so long
You brought light and meaning
Now I can sing this song
Your hand guided all that happened
Everything was part of your plan
Past, present, what is yet to come...
Who am I to challenge your wisdom?
Who am I to question your plan?
Your Word, once spoken, is as good as done
Now all my tomorrows
Are in your mighty hands
You who hold the future
Now also hold my hand

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