gonewiththewoodwinds:

"The solid platinum tubing is paired with solid 14K gold keys, ribs, soldered tone holes headjoint and footjoint receivers. It features open hole keys, an inline G key, C# trill key and a B foot with a gizmo and it’s matched with a stunning Lafin platinum headjoint with solid 14k gold lip plate, riser and vaulted Lafin crown that is accented with a large garnet jewel.”

Ok brannen. Ok.

This photoset just made me long more for a flute of my own. If I have a wishlist, it would be full of this: flute, flute, flute, flute, flute…

Ain’t this gem a beaut?

I never thought I’d reach the point of my life where I’m actually, deeply, strongly wishing I’m a legit pianist. I want to spend the rest of my life running my fingers through the lowest and highest of piano keys and praise and worship the Father until I am religiously satisfied.

This calls for longer hours of practice this upcoming vacation. <3

I can’t believe I just sent my American teacher a letter of appreciation. I wonder how she’ll feel about it.

Deep within my heart, there’s this feeling of longing for trees I don’t usually see around our city. I simply love trees and praise God for creating them.

(via godmoves)

“Reading is probably another way of being in a place.”
— José Saramago

Small Talk With My Heart

O tiny feeble heart,
Don’t sway; don’t stray
Though you feel like flying away!

O tiny feeble heart,
Just pray; just stay
One day He’ll take you away!

I like her honesty, personal choice of words and works of art.

Baguio 2014 | Not so recent photo with a good friend, Mis. Rachel V.
I cherish every heartfelt conversation with her and praise God for my friendship with her.

When Friendship Isn’t Always About You

I like the idea of friendship.

When I was a little girl, I have always dreamed of gaining beautiful, kind, talented and intelligent friends and being surrounded by them all the time. What I want back then were people to catch up with everyday with the basic things of life and people to hold onto when the tangible things on life aren’t reliable enough anymore.

I have a friend whose closeness with me is not THAT deep yet, but I believe we will get there someday if the Lord permits. I have been sharing thoughts, struggles, victories and ideas about personal matters and several heart issues with her already and she’s been doing the same as well. Although hers were mostly just about her personalities and never about “heart issues”, I still hung on the hope that one she will no longer be secretive and doubtful about how trustworthy I could be.

One day she told me she will share something about her personal experiences with emotional purity or frankly, about her serious heart matters. “One day,” I optimistically thought. Soon, I hope.

Days have passed. Even weeks. A month already, it has been, I guess. Not a word about it still although we have been talking. I tried to patiently wait. Extending my eager soul’s holding back ability. I don’t want her to feel like I’m in a rush or so. I want her not to consider me trustworthy to be told about it. I want her to just know.

There was a time last Sunday night that I gave her a friendly reminder about being careful with men who show conspicuous interests just to express how much I care for her and I never knew that it would be the moment she finally decided to spill her treasured struggle.

We talked turkey for hours. It was glittery, sparkly and gleaming in every way possible. Ash she shared her struggle, I offered words of exhortation, Biblical advices and tiny ideas on how to deal with what she’s facing right now.  Our talk has been a tad funny and cute for her, because I am four years younger than her and yet at that point of moment I was the one telling her what to do, how to feel and so on. Yah, ‘twas funny, I thought. But what made that conversation more appealing to me is her choice to trust me with something she tries so hard to keep within her heart enough to tell me about it all.

I don’t just like the idea of friendship. I praise God for it and its unquestionable charm. I love how God worked in and through the two of us the moment we were sharing about life and its contents. I love how He made it possible for us to worship Him through our friendship, never considering ourselves to be self-sufficient and almighty but God alone. It’s through Him that I am able to stand as an evidence of God’s perpetual grace in front of my friend and bring her closer to the Lover of all sinners. It’s through Him that I have been counted trustworthy for He taught me how beautiful it is to wait on something until the right time comes. It’s through Him that I have a friend like her and that I learn so much from her that I’m willing to love her more the way Christ wants me to.

I worship God for creating friendship not because, finally, I am gaining a true friend, but because I am becoming aware that I can the true friend myself – that it isn’t about me but about God being glorified through me.

I worship God friendship. It’s an instrument to practice character, Christlikeness and being a blessing to others.

Before I dreamed of countless friendship because I want people for my selfish benefits; now I pray for true friendship because I want Christ magnified and I want my life to be a fountain of blessing to others – for their social gain (not mine) and spiritual profit.

What Kills Selfishness

From the very beginning, there has always been an epidemic spreading all across the world. In party houses, markets, universities, in streets, alleys, in houses, even in churches – people with cavernous love for themselves are strewn abroad. Wherever you go, the way people display themselves, clothe themselves, introduce themselves, and conduct themselves is undeniably a portrait of selfishness.

There is a thing called group. Every group in the world is composed of people willing to work together to accomplish or achieve something they want the most in life. There is never a group that approves of a solo job. There has never been neither will there be any in the future, for it will break the very law of unity.

Most of the things in the universe work through the law of unity. Some examples of where unity applies are a person’s body, a machine, and even the nonliving things we see everywhere. A body will not be called a body if it contains only an ear, or a foot, or a nose. And if it ever is, then how can the nose walk from one place to another? Or talk and speak about what it wants? Or hear? No. You see, a body is a group of parts containing the feet, the hands, the head, the legs, the ears, etc. Without their working together, they will not get to anything. Another example is the bed. Will a bed be called a bed if it consists only of a single wood often used for furniture stand/foot? Of course, not! It needs nails, ply woods, wood paste, etc. in order for it to be called a bed.

The sad thing is people want to fly out solo these days. They want to build a solo career. Like some artists, they used to be parts of famous bands, but since they want the glory all for themselves, they chose to have separate ways, be alone and climb the ladder of success all by themselves. In churches, selfishness and isolation shouldn’t be practiced, for it is selfishness itself that kills the growth of the church and the joy in serving Jesus.

As Christians, we must already start developing the attitude of being united within the body of Christ, for we are all accountable for the growth of His church.

Examine yourself. Are you causing strife and divisions among the church of Christ? Are you selfish from within? Are you not concerned about how it should be united and working well?

If there is a visitor in church, do you bother to sit beside him/her? If not, then you’re selfish. You think only of yourself and your comfort. If there’s an event in your church, do you bother coming to help? Or do you just leave it to the guys because you think they’ll be fine all by themselves and you’d be no help at all? If you don’t then maybe you’re selfish. You don’t appreciate the beauty and art of unity at all. If you have a gift in exhortation, but happened to be an introvert, do you bother overcoming your fear of getting out of your shell and encourage a sad lady to be happy because He has a Savior Who loves her dearly or do you just sit and stick yourself to the pew you’re braced in? If you don’t choose to use your mouth and the gift God has entrusted you just to help save one hurting soul from sinking and leading them back to Christ, then maybe you are too much of a coward to fight for unity.

Your fellow member came to church with a very beautiful dress and the others started praising her. Will be a snob and ignore her just because you envy her and you wanted to be in her position? Because if that’s the case then not only are you ignorant of unity, but also childish. You think only of yourself that you set aside the significance ofchurch’s being one in Christ. You are more than selfish.

Christ didn’t save us to just be contained within ourselves. He saved us to be a blessing to others and to dwell peaceably among our brethrens.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1

The Bible states clearly the splendor and beauty of working together as brethrens in Christ. It’s the unique design of God to make us all work together in order to function well as a church. There’s always a call to order and that is through unity.

A church wouldn’t be orderly if there’s no unity. Now by simply using your strengths and gifts for the Lord, you are already building unity in the body of Christ. In order to build up unity, you must break down selfishness because unity is what kills selfishness.

Try to look around you now. Do you see selfishness tearing down unity in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ? If yes, then be the one to help crush it down. Be a helper/encourage to those who suffer from it. 

By His blood I am redeemed
No I stand before Him clean
'Cause He forgot to remember my sin!

Hey, guys! Today I’d like you to lay your eyes on my Barbie dolls
Everyday I get to feed on their cuteness and adorableness. How I wish they’d never get old!

A Reminder for a Sunday School Teacher

For three weeks now, I have been examining myself as a Sunday school teacher to see if I am becoming more effective in this ministry or if I’m already on the process of sinking. For the past few weeks, I have observed carefully that my students are becoming late to the point that only few are striving to be on time. And whenever I would teach, I would find out that they are losing their lesson handouts I have given them, have forgotten their Bible or misplaced it, and/or too miserable to smile (even a doglike grin) to portray a soul excited to worship the Lord

Last Saturday on our choir practice, I was sitting beside my two students (who are more likely introverts). We were rehearsing the song “He Gave His All” and I noticed that one of them is not singing really fervently as the other one does. So I tried to ask her what the matter is. I tried to catch up with her.

“How are you?” I asked.
“Fine, Ma’am,” said she with a blank face on.
“That’s good. How’s your spirituality?”
“Just okay, Ma’am.” Still wearing her blank face on.
“Are you enjoying the song?”
And then she tried to respond with a yes by raising her eyebrows flippantly as though she has no tongue and mouth to have the courage to utter the three-letter word.

We carried on with our practice. As we were reviewing the notes, I can really see in her face that her spirit is not in the song. That it’s out there somewhere, flying, flipping, wandering around (what I meant to say was that her focus was not in worshipping the Master through the song we were learning). My heart honestly cried. I felt, for a moment, that I wasn’t being effective in bringing my students to Jesus no matter how hard I try. However, I sensed that pessimism is embracing my heart and mind once again so I tried to pay no heed to the deceitful feeling that was signaling arrival and brushed it off right away. So, to ease the heartbreak I was feeling deep within, I strived to offer her a smile. She smiled back.

I encouraged her by saying how joyful it is to sing for the Lord and to offer to Him songs of praise. I shared to her how I used to feel when I was their age and how I struggled with peer pressure, anxieties, depression, men-pleasing and such stuffs. Her response was plain: a smile with a bit of a friendly nod. And then I saw her seatmate, her classmate in Sunday school – my student. I saw that she was smiling sincerely and trying to meditate on the message of the song. As a matter of fact, she was not hitting the high notes. She’s missing them. She’s out of tune, but the earnestness of her heart is revealed in some way or another. She has only been saved for months, and yet her heart was a heart of worship.

And then it hit me.

Why don’t I encourage my good-hearted student to encourage my low-spirited student? Maybe if I do it alone it won’t work. (It doesn’t always work, we know that.) But if she does, maybe it will. It’s worth the try. I tapped my student’s shoulder and told her of my idea to encourage our fellow sister in Christ.

As I gazed upon them from beside, my heart and soul rejoice together as I witness my student grow in Christ by encouraging her Sunday school classmate and sister in Christ.

Sometimes, I think that I was just in the ministry of teaching Sunday school by chance never knowing that it’s God plan from the beginning to involve me in this ministry and use me to affect other people’s lives. Just recently, I discovered an old note that I wrote to my friend, Angel (who’s in Florida now – God bless that young girl’s heart) a couple of years ago,I guess. I wrote there these same exact words:

Angel,

            I’ve always wanted to be a Sunday school teacher to my fellow teen friends. J This thought makes me miss Ate Nissi & her encouraging me to be a teacher in Sunday school.

Insert a warped smiley and a heart here*

Ate K <3

I was thrilled because before it was just a desire. I got really thankful to God for answering my prayer and for counting me faithful enough to be selected as a teacher. I mean, really? I can’t believe how God brought me from one place to another in order to perform His will. I know that He has a plan why my Sunday school class is not all the time excited and alive. I believe that He is teaching me to be true to this ministry. There’s no reason for me to be sad. Besides, it’s the Lord Who changes and worketh in the heart of every student I have in class. My role is just to let Him perform His will in me by obeying and submitting. Being weary while in the ministry is the last thing I want to do in life.

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;” I Timothy 1:12 I will not allow Satan to tempt me and make me feel guilty or unworthy of the ministry God has entrusted me.

Thank God also for Matthew 11:28 in which the Scripture says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” We need not to fret when something doesn’t turn out to be the way we want it to. There may be moments of getting tired especially when we feel that we are not getting effective in our ministries anymore, but the Bible tells us of Jesus’ promise to us that in Him we will have rest.

I feel convicted that I ever had a question in my heart if God is really leading me to the right path and if He really wanted me in the Sunday school department. I feel convicted, but not guilty. 

I thank my Lord for reminding me that I need not to be depressed over those who seem stagnant in their spiritual lives, but to be happy and rejoicing instead for those who are showing potentials and evident healthy relationship with the Savior.

Ah, there is joy unspeakable in serving God through Sunday school ministry.

Today I realized more how beautiful worship truly is.

When Satan tempts me to despair, 
And tells me of the guilt within, 
Upward I look, and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.