Saturday, October 1, 2016

What it is like to live with us: Appreciating Christ’s Work inside Our Home and Our Hearts


9 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.10 For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. 12 And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.-- Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12
This is a testimony-tribute for my beloved sisters, who show their love for Christ in countless ways within our relationship of love and sisterhood in Him.
There are people in my life, that when I think of them, I am fully convinced that I really truly love and delight in. They are two of those people who warm my heart so well when thoughts of them come to me.
This post, I believe, is nothing but appropriate and timely since we are celebrating the 2nd year of living together as housemates this October 20. Another reason to that is because of what had transpired last night. I went to bed, praising and worshipping the Lord for having placed me in this home with these sisters. (But because my present personal dealings from the Lord is not the focus here, reasons for my gratefulness to the Lord for having these sisters beside me would be discussed in a general manner as you hang on with me til the end of this post, hopefully.)

Living together with my sisters is God’s sweet blessing to me at this season in life. There are countless of reasons why, but there are also pretty evident ones which are, only by God’s grace and enabling power, seen regularly.
1. One-anothering
You know this! There are so many one-anothering verses in the Bible! And living with fellow believers, boy, we have a lot of opportunities to apply them! *wink* Honestly, we fail in many ways (and aren’t proud of it), but there are also a lot of the fulfillment of God’s Word going on at home. For this we are grateful... and we are humbled and glad to see them. This is our joy in the Lord even as we continue on. 
Praying for one another, rebuking one another, loving one another, showing kindness to one another, extending generosity to one another, encouraging one another, correcting, exhorting, comforting, teaching, looking after, carrying burdens, enjoying, discipling one another....... and the list of one-anothering continues!
2. Growing together
We are sisters in the Lord and we also belong in the same local church-family. (I like to call it church-family or faith-family, because it really is that -- FAMILY of people whose lives are hidden in Christ! Col.3:3)
We learned how to depend on God for our relationship at home. When we pray together, we frequently acknowledge that only God is able to hold our frienship intact. We admit that apart from God’s help, we wouldn’t be able to keep our relationship at home in a way that honors God because of our sinfulness. We pray that God will be the one to protect our friendship and keep us in loving harmony at home to the glory of His Name!
Over the days, weeks, months, years we spent, we grew in being more and more cautious about pleasing our Rock and Redeemer with the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts (Psalm 19:14). Especially in the times that we just spend time together and talk about different things.
We attend one discipleship group together with other ladies in the church, and are enrolled in the International Bible Institute (IBI) diploma program on Biblical Studies. We thank God for the opportunities to grow deeper in His word and in obedience. 
We desire to see the character of Christ be more clearly seen in each one’s life as we journey together in the present season of our lives.

*****I am thrilled in witnessing God mature me, and then also mature you in His different dealings in our lives. I’m learning a lot from how He is also moving in your lives, beloved housemates. Praise Him. :)
3. Prayer and Accountability
The Lord knows that in our limited capacity, we need human agents to help us obey God and pursue His original design in creation. It is here where the fellow believers enter.
We open up things to each other especially the struggles that we have and the things we desire for each other to look after each one. Our weaknesses, our resolve, our sinful tendencies/ patterns, sins we repented of, things that the Lord is currently dealing with us, areas that we need to obey, responses we are to develop, character we have to strengthen, fruit of the Spirit which is not very evident in our lives, etc. Then we help each other obey the Lord by constant updates about the Lord’s specific instruction to us.
My sisters had been a great provision of God’s help to me. It is a blessing (although difficult for each one) to be in confrontation -- both the confront-er & the confront-ee (if there’s such a thing.haha). But anyway, the one confronting and the one being confronted. [Just a word with this, we really can’t avoid confrontation. So we might as well be good at it by practicing!] And true enough, as part of growing together too, we have matured a step further in handling loving confrontations. Upholding the Word and character of Jesus as we exhort and rebuke one another in different aspects. Some are quite formal ones, some are informal ones. But the Lord had truly been our Ebenezer [stone of help] as we obeyed Him in this. 
We would check on each other and remind one another about the truths of Scripture along the way, and how we can well apply it in the present circumstance.
I remember times when both of my sisters had to help me obey Jesus in the area of guarding my heart, waiting upon the Lord, and being prayerful along the way. Yet at another time when they pointed me to Christ and how I may become like Him in my responses. They did not tell me what my flesh wanted to hear/ do, they’re faithfulness to Christ had been their wisdom in giving me a counsel that is clearly God’s truth and is to my greater good in my journey to Christlikeness.

*****Even as you read this, my beloved sisters, thank you. I worship the Lord with the remembrance of your love for Him that flows to me abundantly. The Lord’s comfort is true in my heart right now because of the two of you. I have new strength to continue in obeying Him.
5Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. 
6Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. 

--Proverbs 27:5-6 
4. Serving together
I have the distinct privilege to be together with my sisters in the same ministries I serve in (one sister in Choir & the other in MM). Sometimes, they also serve together, like when they had to organize a wedding for our other siblings in faith, etc.
There are times, like in the featured photo here, we serve together!
Home ministry
We sometimes invite people and cook for them, and fellowship with them. My sisters are really gifted with kitchen skills! (I hope to be like them and as they tell me -to add my own personal touch in the dishes I make-, but as for now, I am their apprentice cook.) We really love this ministry. We enjoy planning on who to invite, what to cook for them, consider their health as we plan, budget, etc.

We love praying for each other and we also love burdening one another to pray for other concerns. When we hear a news about another person that we need to pray for, or when we have the freedom to share another burden. We serve together through prayers. We pray for missions work, some urgent news, randomly, and during our own personal quiet times with the Lord.
We thank the Lord that He had been guiding us even as we disciple other ladies, and continue to abide in Him in this calling which He has given to each and every believer. *wink wink*
Special opportunities
Like in the picture, we were able to serve together in our backyard ministry for a DVBS. Or the funny moment when we got involved in the program committee of our 20th Church Anniversary Program last July. And we’re looking forward to more opportunities!
*****My heart rejoices with the different opportunities where I can serve with both of you. :)
5. Sweetness & fun
We all have a sweet tooth and we can’t get enough of each other’s sweetness. hahaha. My sisters are sweet. Surprises happen at home. Generosity is all over the place. Loving hugs are my favorite. Laughter is a priceless indulgence. Sharing tears is definitely liberating.
*****No matter how busy we can get at times, our hot coco/ matcha/ tea/ coffee/ juice/ cakes/ snacks/ meal times together are times of rest and comfort. I am thankful to the Lord for the times we can enjoy board games/ karaoke/ late visits to 7 eleven/ watching Korean TV series, etc. while watching over each other, making sure to keep things at bay (or in our terms “hindi dapat maging idol”), so that we may honor and enjoy Christ above all in our hearts.
For Everything A Time
There are so many wonderful things and there are some dull times too. There are quiet moments. There are bits of misunderstanding at times. There are times when we sin against the Lord and against each other. There are times when we gather or when we part. Times when we are encouraged and discouraged by the things of life. Times when we honor the Lord and then times that we fail. There are many times of unfaithfulness to the Lord, a stumbling and standing up again. Times of laughter and tears.

In all of this, our Lord remained the same.
He never stopped being faithful.
His love? Steadfast. Perfect.
His commitment to our sanctification remained.

I dedicate this to Him as a matter of testimony, praise, worship and appreciation of His blessing...
To Him who ever lives and intercedes for us that our faith may not fail.. (Heb. 7:25; Luke 22:32)
To Him who is and who was and who is to come.. (Rev. 1:8
To Him who is our light, life, and salvation..
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you unblemished in His glorious presence, with great joy — to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all time, and now, and for all eternity. Amen.
--Jude 24-25
If you may, dear reader, pray for us when you remember us. That we will continue to grow in obedience to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission which covers all things above. God bless you.

And to my beloved housemate-sisters, Happy 2nd Anniversary! :D
I love you! <3