I get it, Lord. :) Thanks. I love you, too. - Arlene
How To Turn Your Good Friday To Your Easter Sunday
Are you a good person?
If you are, do you wonder why bad things still happen to you?
Harold Kushner wrote a book with this same title and it became an instant bestseller. Because people want to know the answer.
Sorry, I’m not going to give you an answer. (Nobody can.)
Because the problem of suffering will always remain a mystery.
Instead, I’m going to tell you what to do.
I will tell you what to do in the midst of your suffering—so that you can overcome your suffering. How you can turn your Good Friday into your Easter Sunday!
Are you ready?
Let it share with you a powerful story…
Your Greatest Curse Can Turn To Be
Your Greatest Blessing
Michelangelo had a persecutor who was very jealous of him.
(I don’t mean the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, but the real Michelangelo.)
The persecutor’s name was Bramante, a famous architect during that time.
By the way, do you know Bramante? I’m positive 99% of you never heard of him. Do you notice how persecutors fade away in the dust, but the one they persecute lives on long after their death? An important lesson to remember!
When Pope Julius thought of making a tomb, he asked Michelangelo to do it.
But when Bramante heard of it—and thought of the acclaim that Michelangelo would receive from it—he discouraged the Pope from continuing with the project. True enough, after Michelangelo searched far and wide for the perfect marble for the project—which took 8 long months—he learned that the Pope had abandoned the project. Michelangelo was very disappointed.
One day, the Pope thought of another project.
Upon hearing about it, Bramante concluded that it would be a time-consuming project and would receive very little public acclaim. So he told the Pope to give it to Michelangelo. In his mind, it would keep the artist busy for years—and accomplish nothing of great value.
Besides, it was also a painting job, and Bramante knew that Michelangelo was not even a painter, but a sculptor.
Michelangelo saw the trap. He knew it was a ploy by his enemy to destroy him. At first, he declined. But the Pope insisted, and not wanting to deny his Holiness, he agreed.
The project was indeed time-consuming. It took Michelangelo 4 years to finish, and he almost lost his eyesight because of it…
I’m sure you know the project by now: The Sistine Chapel. The grandest masterpiece of Michelangelo. More than anything, it made him one of the greatest painters of all time.
What was meant to curse him turned out to be his greatest blessing.
Good Friday was supposed to be the greatest curse.
Yet it also turned out to be the greatest blessing.
No Matter What Trials Come,
Keep Doing The Good You’re Supposed To Do
I reflect on this story and look at my own life.
I’ve been serving God for that past 27 years, and I do get my share of little “Bramante’s” scattered here and there.
But without them, I would have missed my greatest blessings: spiritual growth, opportunities to serve, and the impact I have on people’s lives.
My biggest Bramante’s were the two men who molested me as a child.
Because of these indescribable painful experiences, I’ve been able to heal so many people who have the same inner wounds. (You can read more about this in two of my books, Your Past Does Not Define Your Future, and 7 Secrets To Real Freedom.)
I could also think of my other trials in life…
Oh, why do bad things happen to good people?
Here’s my great theological answer: I don’t know.
But this I know. No matter what trials come, I’ll do the good that I’m supposed to do.
And at the end of the day, I will win.
Friend, remain faithful to God in good times and in bad times.
And you’ll see how all things work for good to those who love Him.
And you’ll see how your Good Friday will turn to Easter Sunday.
Don’t ever give up!
May your dreams come true,
He's still at the hospital and now, he has a ventilator to help him breathe, is undergoing blood transfusion and his lungs on the x-ray has even deteriorated - he has now TB and asthma attacks.
We were asked by the doctor to sign a "Do not Resuscitate" Form already should a cardiac arrest happen. (We haven't signed yet... although we discussed this already - this is somewhat a really BAD sign.)
It's all very painful, especially when you see Papa in pain. And the overwhelming concerns on the costs of the hospital bill is also beginning to be a concern (as the ventilator machine in his room costs P5,000 a day). Although compared to the pain, the cost is actually nothing. And I know God will provide.
It is emotionally very hard, but I am carrying on and know that God is looking after us. It's actually equally hard to be a friend to me right now, as I know you guys also don't know what to say sometimes. Especially that there has been a lot of false alarms and false hopes.
All I ask right now is prayers for strength. His will be done for Papa and for my family. Whatever it is.
This weekend, I spent my days at the hospital while reading Mother Teresa's "Come Be My Light". I finished reading the book last Sunday and felt so refreshed it felt like I just had a retreat. And it really was such an inspiring moment that it made me took notes and made me reflect more of my life and its meaning. I also tried to remember all my promises to God and if I was living up to it.
I've known this book for quite some time already, since Paul introduced me to the book. But for some reason, it was only this time that I asked a friend to buy it for me. And it was timely that I read it while experiencing the "darkness" I was experiencing. Although nothing compared to her "darkness" - it gave light to me, and now I face mine with a BIG smile.
I cannot give a good review of the book - but I really would call reading it a personal retreat. Knowing her pains and struggles, how God works in her and how He showed her His love and then gave her dryness and feeling of abandonment, yet with much conviction, she still loves and would rather die than to refuse Him anything - I believe truly a Saint can only do that. It was also an affirmation for me to read her life - because I didn't know it, but she is my Patron Saint. I realized that now. She was a guiding instrument to me while growing up (I wanted to become a missionary as early as my teen life) and gave me direction to go to Pro-life where I'd meet her again in her quotes about abortion and the culture of life... one of my most memorable is... "The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you, and for you to kill me?"
to guiding my choices in life.
This heavy cross I bear suddenly felt light compared to the sacrifices Mother Teresa experienced, and I cannot help but be grateful that even though this is hard times for me and my family, I know God will never leave us and that this sufferings only could me give joy right now because I am also experiencing "His Passion" and I offer it to satiate his thirst for souls.(Thank you to everyone who continues to pray for me, and I ask for more prayers again as this battle is far from over.)
this emotionally-charged weekend has somehow left me weak and drained when i woke up this morning. i went through the weekend with my grandpa suffering a heart attack (but good thing he's recuperating fast), the funeral of sister-in-law's mom, and papa going to the hospital because of low blood pressure. if it were just events unfolding one by one... i would not feel this way... but because they all happened in one weekend, i kinda feel so emotionally drained and there's a feeling of numbness and pain all in one.
however, i know i must not dwell on these things. i have to look forward to a brighter tomorrow, how cliche it may sound. and true enough, when i woke this morning even though i slept at 4am, i was so happy to receive a text from ja. it said: "i had bo sanchez pray for you too when we met him last night. :) put your faith to our Lord." i was so happy because one, i look up to bo sanchez and am so inspired with his life. second, because i was so happy for jaja, finding inspiration and was so happy in sharing it with me this morning. whenever i hear inspiring stories from people, my heart gladdens because i know God is sending me those inspiring stories to be strong and to remember that He will take care of me and my family. and that HE is definitely bigger than any of the crux i carry.
please keep praying for us. thanks...
1. At what age do/did you wish to marry?
- before it was 28, but now it's 33 :)
2. What color do you like most?
3. If you can have a superpower, what would it be?
- something like jumper, but without the complications :)
4. If you can travel anywhere in the world, where would you want to go?
5. Which part of you that you hate the most?
- lower body
6. When you get sad, what do you do?
- i binge :(
7. What are you afraid to lose the most?
- my mom
8. If you win $1 million, what would you do with the money?
- leave everything and travel!
9. What do you love the most last year (2007)?
- jovy's wedding
10. What is your New Year's resolution?
- try to lose more weight :)
11. What is the moment you regret most?
- i didn't take my mandarin lessons seriously
12. What type of person do you hate the most?
- backstabbers and pretentsious people
13. What is your greatest asset?
- none. everythng i have comes from God.
14. If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
- that my financial status would improve!
15. How did you celebrate the New Year?
- with family
16. Name the one body part your hubby or boyfriend tells you he adores.
- not applicable :)
17. It's 2008. What are you looking forward to this year?
- financial stability, falling in love...
18. Anything in your life that you wish weren't so awful?
- none yet. i believe everything were meant for a reason
19. What's the shallowest thing you intend to do this year?
- to beautify myself hahah
* 20. What is one thing you cant give up?
- my family
I'm tagging Claire, Erika, Jovy, Char, Fred H and Oliver!