Tuesday, May 14, 2013

After God’s Own Heart

“The person after God’s heart is the person whose own heart seeks first the kingdom of God.”
-  David Jeremiah

“. . . I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.”
-  Acts 13:22

You should seek God in EVERYTHING that you do. No matter how simple or of little importance it is, you must SEEK GOD and HIS WILL. You don’t have to only seek Him during those times when you needed Him most, but also in times that you are just simply doing a routine thing or task. Upon waking up, you must first seek Him and be in His presence. In washing the dishes, cleaning your closet, washing clothes, etc., you must seek Him. Do not wait for difficult circumstances or hard situations to come before you go and seek God. You can seek for Him all the time, and you will never fail to find Him because He is just always there, waiting for you to come to Him.
Don’t let the feeling of unworthiness and sinfulness overcome your desire to seek God and be in His presence. All of us commit sins in a daily basis, whether it’s a “big” sin like adultery or a “small” sin like white lies. God doesn’t measure how “big” or “small” our sins are. He weighs our hearts and what’s in it. We are all unworthy and sinful and we don’t deserve to be in God’s presence, however, God’s promises doesn’t change or come tumbling down because of our sins, nor does it change because of our good works. God’s promises are absolute and constant, it would never change and it would never fail, NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO. Nothing we can do can make God love us more or less. Sin separates us from the love of God but that doesn’t mean that He doesn’t love us anymore. He loves us so much He made a way to bridge Him and us in our sinful nature. That bridge He made when He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the Cross for our sins and save us from the bondages of Satan. God is more pleased to see a sinful, yet repentant heart than a heart that doesn’t seem to even feel the need to repent at all. He is more pleased to see a sinful heart that truly repents than a heart that seems to repent yet seeks the pleasures of his/her sinful nature.
There are times that we get caught up by our own earthly desires and pleasures that we don’t listen to what the Spirit of God tells us. We ignore that still, small Voice that gives us wisdom and guidance in what to do and what not to do. It is our own will that gets in the way. We often want to do things our own way, in our own terms. We take risks and not think of consequences. When things go bad, we tend to blame it all on God and His will. When we are about to do something sinful, we say, “I’ll do this, because I want to do it. This is what I want.” When we face the consequences of our decisions and actions, we say, “God has a purpose why He let these things happen.” Yes, God does have a purpose for us, but He never intended us to go through all those consequences and problems we ourselves caused on our own. Consequential problems are different from problems that God put in our way to shape us and mold us. Look at Job, he had problems that God allowed to happen to test his faithfulness and love for God. Those are the kinds of problems and hardships that God allows to mold us to become the person He wants us to be. Consequential problems are like that of King Saul. He lost his kingship because of his decisions and actions. God never intended him to “suffer” all those problems/consequences, but because of his disobedience, he lost everything God wanted him to have. Doing things our way is a disobedience to God, and disobedience leads to sin, and sin leads to destruction.
So, don’t let your own desires get in the way of God’s desires for you. Seek God and his kingdom and you will know His desires for you and that will eventually become the desires of your heart. Desiring what God desires for us is the best desire we could ever have because we know that His desires are the best in the world. Come to God through Jesus Christ and you will find Him, no matter what you have done or what you are right now. God hates the sin but He deeply loves the sinner. He loves you more than anything in the world. You are His most priced and cherished creation.

By: Jaea Conde (January 26, 2013 – 8:20am)

Being God’s Best During The Toughest Time Of Your Life

No Christian has had an easy life. The moment you accept Jesus Christ in your heart, your eyes are opened to the realities of this sinful world and what sin does to your life. You become aware of your sins and its consequences. It becomes a burden in your heart to know how much pain you’ve caused in God’s heart. Your past sins hunt you and sometimes you come to a point when you condemn yourself for making such choices in your lifetime. Being a follower of Christ is never an easy job. There are a lot of ups and downs, twists and turns, surprises and even pain; that sometimes it’s so hard to keep track on things and adjust to situations. But guess what? When you are in that moment of so much pain and vulnerability, you can become God’s best when you obey His commands to you. It is in experiencing so much pain that we become true and sincere in obeying God’s commands. Why? Because we are driven by our heightened emotion of pain and grief, we desire to make things better, even for other people. When we help people in their need and obey God despite our dreadful situation, we find great joy and peace in our hearts. We put our faith in God because we know there’s no one else we can turn to. This obedience in times of pain is what God seeks from us all the time. Why does He allow painful things to happen to us? Well, aside from it being the result or consequence of our own choices and actions most of the time, He hopes that by experiencing that much pain, we learn something from it, get to know who He is and that we would come to realize that there are greater things He can do in us and through us if we just obey Him. More often than not, the turning points of our lives are those times when we are most broken and wounded. Those are the experiences that mold us to become stronger and be more like Jesus Christ. The purest of gold had to go through a lot of heat and purification process; so, to be God’s best is to go through a lot of fiery furnace and purification processes. But all of the pain is more than worth it.

Have you ever noticed that the most fruitful servants of God are those who had undergone so much pain and trials? Why? Because they turned their pain into real life testimonies that tell people who really God is and what He is capable of. Why does God had to allow that? Because all living people in this world is in great distress. Unbelievers just don’t feel that much burden because of their sinful nature. They find it “relieving their pain” if they resolve to earthly and temporary pleasures. But knowing Christ, the scales in our eyes are removed and we see what it really is to give in to human pleasures. We feel troubled and pained by it; but then, we also know of the love of God and Jesus Christ. We find joy and peace in that. We find happiness that we can’t contain and explain. We find contentment and satisfaction in just calling out the Name of Jesus Christ. We find peace and security in His Name. We find everything good in Jesus. And that’s the kind of testimony God wants to use to minister to other people. Our lifestyle alone can be of great and life-changing testimony to unbelievers. Just like what Jesus did during His ministry years, He lived a life full of wonderful, life-transforming testimonies; that still continues to bring people back to God, even up to this point in time and in the many more years to come.

So, whenever you’re in the toughest time of your life, remember that you can still be God’s best and He can still use you mightily for the glory of His Name and salvation of lost souls, if you obey Him. Even Jesus Christ had to experience pain and death on the Cross, though He was blameless and without sin, just so He could save you from your sins. Use your pain to serve God and He will bless you abundantly. Your pain will be turned into joy, praising and dancing. He can turn your sorrows into peace and love. He can make you His best in your brokenness. Eventually, when you have completely transformed to becoming more like Jesus, your pain becomes your joy all the time, because of the grace and love of God for you. Be God’s best in the toughest of toughest times.

Jaea Conde
Nov. 26, 2012

Feeling Special

Everybody loves to feel special. In one way or another, it lifts our souls when someone makes us feel special, let alone when they tell us that we are special to them. But what exactly makes us special, or make us feel that we are special?

Let me explain how I understand the concept of feeling or being special. For me, feeling (or being) special is associated with feelings of acceptance and affirmation. In a parent-child relationship, the parents can make their child feel special if they take care of them, give reward to every 100% score in a 5-item ABC quiz, get a gold star for a stick drawing, tell them they're beautiful/handsome even though they are dirty and stinky, and so on. Parents accept and affirm every thing no matter how simple and little it is. This helps the child gain self-confidence, happiness and contentment. Sadly, not all parents do what I have said above, that's why there are children who feel rejected, unwanted and unloved. These children often have less self-confidence and great self-doubt. Often, they strive to look for acceptance and affirmation in other places, even in the wrong ones, just to feel special.

In a boy-girl relationship, friendship or romantic, one can make the other feel special by showing them different way of treatment. A kind of treatment that has exemplary care, affection and kindness. The thinking "He/She is special to me that's why I treat him/her this and that way" exist in this context. Most of the time, the person will feel happy, overjoyed, affirmed and uplifted when they experience this. The "kilig" and "butterfly-feeling in the stomach" are (to some point) desirable and beautiful to most, if not all, human being. A soft touch, a nice hug, a sweet word - all of which can (in one way or another) arouse the "kilig" and "butterfly-feeling". Sadly, (to some people) this has become the measurement and basis of being special today.

Most people come across something or someone that will make them feel special. It may come as something they hoped for or just a surprise. There is nothing wrong about feelingspecial. It is when we rely our being special too much on something or someone that makes it wrong. Why? Because when they leave, or be gone, they bring with them the happy feeling of being special. Their absence will make us feel disappointed, depressed, alone and worthless. There is no true joy if we rely too much on other people. They are still human, they are not perfect, they are subject to their own mistakes and imperfections. Everything in this world is fleeting and will just come to pass.

Seeing yourself as someone special doesn't have to come from other people. It has to start from your own self and your own way of thinking. A change of mindset will help a lot. Thinking that you are special is way better than letting other people tell you that you are special. It is because you don't have to spend a lot of your time and energy to please other people. Also, it saves you from the guessing game of "Maybe I am special to him/her because he/she treats me this way and he/she did this and that to me". Actions done by other people can be very confusing and deceiving, even some of the words the say too. In addition, accepting what you can and cannot do is also part of the process. It is very helpful and healthy to accept that you cannot do everything and that you cannot have every skill that ever existed. Each person is unique and different, a very common principle but is often rejected or neglected. Many people strive hard just to get that affirmation from other people that they are special. Yes, it's sad, but it's real. It also helps to always remember that you are perfectly special just as you are. You don't have to be someone you are not just to be happy and content. You are special. Love yourself.

Lastly, it is very important that you know and always remember that God has created you after His own image and likeness. Even before this world was created, you have been so special in the eyes of God. He created you unique and different. He has engraved your name in the palm of His hands. He has written your name in His heart. He has known you, accepted you and loved you deeply even before you were conceived in your mother's womb. God is more than enough to make us feel (and even see) that we are special. We are special not because we are models, or good sport players, or beautiful dancers, or magna cum laude, or rich, and so on, but because God has loved us. It is the love of God that makes us special in our own way. You are perfectly special just as you are because of the perfect love of God. The perfect love of God is not earned, it is freely given. You just have to freely accept it.

So, what makes you special, or feel special? :)

By: Jaea Frzyl Hidalgo Conde

This is a personal note. I don't intend to make false assumptions and generalizations.

Date: July 31, 2010 (finished at 1:43am)

Rememberin' the Days: Friendship :)

Friends, they help us live a happy life. Friendship is one of the relationships established by God so we could live with groups of people to whom we can share His love and blessings with. In one way or another, our friends have influenced us - our attitude, character, and personality. We created memories, good and bad, with them, which we treasure most. Memories with friends are irreplaceable and unforgettable. At times, when we remember those memories, we can't help smiling, laughing and even crying to ourselves. Why? Because they have been part of our lives and will always remain in our hearts even as we grow old in life.

There is a season when our groups of friends are inseparable. We are always with them, almost 24/7. We do most things with them, some even going on a shower with same sex friends. Hahaha. Choose class schedules where everybody can come together, making sure that no one is "left behind". Planning and going on outings and "get togethers" almost every week. Sometimes even drinking together during certain occasions, or share someone's heartaches and problems, or for no reason at all. Hehehe. Even when we're at home already, the bonding and communication never stops. We spent sleepless nights on the telephone or cellphone - by call, personal text, or group message. (Thanks to the unlimited calls and texts. Hehehe.) We just can't get enough of our friends. A day without them can be very gloomy and boring.

In this season, we share a lot of our personal lives to each other. Secrets, problems, concerns, troubles, happiness, blessings, and even our comments and feedback on random things and people. (Back-biting? Sort of. Hehehe.) Our friends become the outlet of our emotions and feelings. They help us smile and even laugh hard despite all the problems we have at the time. They share, with great joy, and celebrate with us in our happy times. Our true friends stick with us through the extreme times of our lives.

Also, who can ever forget the times we had fights with each other? Those were tough times, but remembering it is so much fun. (Hehehe.) Words that hurt us so much were released and spoken intentionally and unintentionally. Seemed like it's the end of the world. Seemed like World War III was about to begin. Sudden burst of anger and emotions exploded like nuclear bombs. (Hahaha.) Yes, remembering those fights can really be fun, especially if the reasons and causes of those great fights were very minimal and might even have no sense at all. One thing that is so great about those fights was how it helped the friendship grew stronger. It did test our friendship, and in the end we grew even closer to each other.

But, there is also a season in friendship when each of us has to live our lives separately. Our individual situations and personal dreams lead us to different directions and brought us to different places. Distance separates us in this season. We live the life we want to live. We go and achieve our dreams and goals. We leave so we can do and fulfill our responsibilities. We face what is inevitable and take charge of our personal lives. We leave, even though it is hard to do.

In this season, we miss our friends and we spend hours reminiscing those memories we created with them. But still, despite the distance, our friendship still continues to deepen. We also spend long hours chatting or calling each other. (Thanks to the modern technology; and especially to websites like Facebook, Twitter, Skype and Yahoo!) This season is also a way to test the friendship established. Distance shouldn't be a problem. Communication shouldn't be a concern. If you really want it, you can always find a way to communicate with your friends. The love and support we shared while we're together personally can also be shared even when we are miles apart. This is the season when true words, words that are really sincere and honest, will be more meaningful than ever. Actions are not seen and felt physically, but true words are heard (or read) and felt in the heart. 

Whichever season your friendship is in right now, what matters most is your love for each other. No man is an island - it's time you look around and recognize who your true friends are. No matter how far (or near) you are from each other, you must work on that friendship and let nothing destroy it. Like any other relationships, friendship takes time and effort to grow. It's a 2-way street where each one must work on and put something in it so it would grow stronger as days pass by.

By: Jaea Frzyl Hidalgo Conde
Date: August 11, 2010 (finished at 3:57am)

Friday, July 30, 2010


by Jaea Conde

I am shattered, broken to tiny pieces
No one around to help me pick up
The shattered, broken pieces of my heart
I ran to escape the dark, cold past

Running without direction
I reached the crossroads
And I got more confused
Where to go, I do not know

I looked left, “What’s in there?” I asked myself
I looked right, “Is it safe?” I wondered
I looked front, “What will happen to me?” I asked again
I looked back, the darkness overwhelmed

Then I fell down to my knees
Weeping and mourning
Losing grip of the hope left
Then I heard a voice saying, “My child, I Am here”

I looked left, no one was there
I looked right, it was empty
I looked front, there was nothing
I looked back, still darkness exists

Scared, weary and confused
I looked up and a light came down
Covering me, chasing away the darkness behind
And the voice said, “I Am with you wherever you go”

He said, “I Am your Father, I will never leave you”
Then I knew, I am not alone
I was never alone
He has been with me, I just didn’t look

The Light showed the way
He took my cares away
In the crossroads of life
Jesus is here within me

Date: July 04, 2010 (around 2:30am)