under the magnifying glass

watch me as i journey to another time and place...

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I'm saved by grace. I have nothing to boast except for the fact that I have the greatest Being on my side.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

for some reason, it's never been the same...

You know, after all that has happened in the last few weeks, my life has never been the same. It all began the day Richard Capili died. It's strange. I didn't know Richard personally (I only know his face), and yet, the impact that he had in my life is surprisingly strong. I think it was the testimony of his life and his service to God that has really affected me in a way I never thought possible.

Servanthood. During the praise and worship retreat, the Lord impressed upon my heart the message of servanthood. What does it take to be a servant of God? Is it easier said than done? Two songs came to my mind regarding servanthood. The first one was from Kids' Praise! called, "Make me a servant." On a whole, the message of the song tells me to stop looking at myself all the time, but to think about other people. It tells me to forget my pride, humble myself, and offer a helping hand to those who need it. In other words, make myself available. I'm not just talking about serving God in the praise and worship ministry, but in every aspect of my life. The second song, "I'm your servant," is a song that we sing in church and I've always loved that song (especially when we're able to blend the tenor and alto parts with the melody: beautiful!). It talks about total surrender to God, telling Him that I am willing as His child and servant to do what He wants me to do for His glory.

I have to owe it to my friends in the praise and worship ministry as well for contributing to the changes in my life that I'm experiencing at the moment. They may not be aware of this, but when I saw their passion in serving God and their commitment to Him, I was greatly "infected" as well. Okay, I'll admit it. I have, for some time now, been somewhat a lukewarm kind of Christian. It seemed as if I was only on fire during the afternoon service (and the youth service whenever I went there), but stale as dry bread the rest of the week. I rarely had my personal devotions, entertained sinful thoughts, swore, and just complained when things didn't go my way. I'm not going to boast that I'm a total saint, because I'm not. It's like I just put up a front when I'm in church so that other people don't see my rottenness inside.

However, after being in the praise and worship ministry for almost 3 years, it's only now that I see how powerful the ministry is in changing my life. Little by little, I saw that these people in the ministry with me (especially the back-up singers) are people whom I can really talk to about my problems, especially since they're going through similar situations. In the same way, I saw myself being used by God to be a channel of blessing to everyone. Before I knew it, I was sending prayers to my friends, blessing them. When I went through a trial in my practicum, I immediately texted my friends asking for their prayers. Little by little, I was starting to realize that I can't do anything myself. There will be a time when I have to ask others for help, and to rely on the Lord to get me past my difficulties.

For these past weeks, my faith has been tested, and it will continue to be tested. Last Sunday, in my prayer request, instead of the usual, "Lord, give me strength and guidance in ______________," I prayed for something totally different: "Lord, direct me in all I have to do in my schoolwork." Direction. I've always considered the end product, but not the process. This time, I did not ask God to bless me with strength or favor, but with direction, because it apparently is what I have been needing for some time. And not just in my schoolwork, but in my whole life.

What point am I driving at? Well, it's pretty hard to explain, but somehow, my eyes have been opened more and more to the powerful and amazing work that God is doing in my life. What is this work? Well, it's still hazy to see at the moment, but I can already feel His presence so much more now in my life. And, would you believe it, it really began to happen the moment I heard about the kind of life that Richard lived. I really wish I met him and got to talk to him when he was still alive. Well, I know I'll see him again. It's just a matter of time and a matter of place.

I'm starting to look forward to the weekend, not just because it's a break from school. I'm looking forward to serving God and singing to and for Him.

I suppose Micah will be delighted to hear that I'll try to regularly attend the youth service again. The Lord has called me back there because I know he has plans for me. In the words of Samuel in his youth, Lord, let me say, "I'm your servant. Here I am!"


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