Monday, September 24, 2018

I've Grown

I am so thankful that every year, the Lord never fails
to make a better version of Ryan.

Looking back at my posts in this blog was so nostalgic.
The journey I had with the Lord starting from the first blog
post until now is so incredible.

From a sinner to a saint,
a church critic to a church lover,
an end-time messenger to a messenger of God's love,
judgment focused to mercy focused,
church-goer to church leader, 
blogger to preacher.

Some posts don't represent my core beliefs anymore.
Some posts are filled with unseasoned words.
One thing is constant though, the subject of God's faithfulness.
God never gave up on me despite errors and sins.
That's why I'll keep these posts as a memorial to thank God
for lavishing on me His great love.

What Jesus said in John 15:5 is true.

I am the vine; you are the branches.
If you remain in me and I in you,
you will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing.

God gave me the grace to remain
And in remaining, much fruit appeared. 

I may not be the best version yet but I can't help but see
that throughout the 10 years in my faith, I've grown.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Returning to My First Love

I can't believe it was 2013 since my last post.

During the time I chose not to update my blog, my faith was continuously being refined by the Refiner's Fire. There were defeats. There were victories. I praise God for both. He has proven Himself faithful during hard times and good times.

Just to give you an update, I am now assigned Youth Leader of Church So Blessed South working under the mighty man of God,  my spiritual father, Pastor Allen Gallegos. I am also a professional Graphic Designer working under one of the pioneers of Graphic Design revolution in the Philippines, Caloy Trinidad.

It's amazing how the Lord connects me to work with people who are highly esteemed in their respective industries. Yay Olmedo, Grace Chong, Lita Bondoc. Mighty women! Two are on-fire Christians, the other, soon to be. So I can say I get trained only by the best.

Ptr. Allen Gallegos is no ordinary pastor. He is deeply rooted in the Word and teaches the Body of Christ to move in signs and wonders. Supernatural worship, worship 101. prophecy 101, and school of deliverance are his specialties. This pastor carries loads of testimonies of supernatural things the Lord is still doing today.

Yes, many things happened. The trials you have read in my previous posts made me stronger and wiser. It is all by the grace of God. I am so thankful that what I have now is genuine salvation because, for a fact, I am still a Jesus-lover until today. 

Speaking of being a Jesus-lover, I feel I was not as on-fire for Him as I was when I wrote my last 2013 post. When I read it, it gave me the chills. How can I possibly write such Jesus-centered article. On a side note, some of my articles way long ago share some doctrines I don't embrace anymore but I shall keep them for recording purposes. 

Anyway, these past months I have been meditating on this verse from Revelations 2:1-5.

“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.    

The Lord was giving His judgment to one of His church in Asia Minor. The Lord commended the perseverance of the Ephesian church but yet He saw that the intimacy they had for Him grew cold.

I have accomplished a lot as a Christian, as a youth leader, and as a graphic designer. I know the Lord commends me for those accomplishments. But how is my love story with Him going? Is my love for Him and Him alone still that passionate? Or is my desire to see my prayers answered MORE than my desire to just be with Him and spend time with His Presence without asking for anything...

It is very easy to lose sight of what is really important in life. And as Christians, it's very easy to focus on ministry works. But let us not forget that we live for Jesus, we do things for Jesus. In everything, Jesus should be the center. Jesus should be our greatest desire, His very person, not just His blessings. 

Thankfully, the Lord gives us steps on how we can return to our First Love. Remember. Repent. Repeat.

1) Remember the time when you were on fire for Jesus alone. I chose to do it by visiting again this blog. I was reminded of how passionate I was for the Lord with my articles. 

2) Repent by asking for forgiveness that we have forgotten our First Love, the most important thing in our life. 

3) Repeat. Do the things we did at first. Not just one day, but everyday. Soak. Worship.Commune. Maybe, for me, I need to write again. =D

May the fire that symbolizes our passion for Jesus continue to burn before God. With that, I invite you to come with me. Let us return to our First Love!   

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Joy of Sharing

It's been 5 months since the last time I updated my blog. And for the past 5 months, as prophesied, my passion for the Lord is being revived. 

This year, it's been accelerating. As I go near the end of the tunnel of our financial crisis, I am surely coming out victorious and on fire for the Lord like never before. This is in fulfillment of the prophecy Jesus gave me when He told me we're going to go under tests.

Last Friday. for the first time in my life, I was invited to speak to our church's Youth Night. It's a once-a-month gathering of the youth (ages 13 to 25) in our church. Of course, I was excited....and nervous at the same time. But without second thoughts, I wanted my first preaching to be focused on the habit of spending quality time with God on a daily basis.

This topic is something I can share from the heart because I firmly believe that if I did not learn to develop this habit, I would've turned my back to the Lord a long time ago.

I shared the revelation that the Lord gave me while reading the story of man's fall. Ever since the beginning, knowing God and His love for us gave us eternal life. But when we sought to be "like God" by knowing ourselves instead, we died. 

Now I understand why we need to fix our eyes on Jesus. The revelation about Him and the Father's love will sustain us everyday. And how do we get this revelation if we do not spend time with God? If Adam and Eve needed to go near the Tree of Life to eat its fruit, we need to go near Jesus to get to know Him better.

I also shared that everything we learn from our pastors and spiritual mentors only work with the Presence. God's promises are sure and amen in the Presence. God's presence makes everything work. So why do we think it's not important for us to seek His presence on a daily basis.

I shared all these last Friday. But the truth is, most of what I said on the pulpit I already forgot. I was kind of nervous when I was speaking. I'm really not a skilled public speaker. But the Lord told me "Just be yourself. I'm not grading you." 

I shared to them that I enjoy my God in my simple ways. You don't have to be boring when spending time with God. You can laugh, sing, dance, and do whatever you do well. I draw when I'm with God. I'm an artist! That's what I do. And I enjoy doing it even more when with Jesus.

I told them that they can forget everything else I taught them in Genesis just not the commitment to spend at least 10 minutes every morning with God. The time we spend with Him indicates how much we value Him. That if we honor Him with our time, He will bless the remaining.

People call me "pastor, pastor" because I seem to know " a lot" in the Bible. But if the Lord will permit me to talk back, I will tell these people that I just spend time with God everyday. It's normal that as I spend time with Jesus, I get to know Jesus. And I believe this calling is not only for pastors, church leaders and spiritual mentors. It is the highest calling of every Christian - to know Christ and to be molded into His image as the natural effect of knowing Him. Not just head knowledge but intimate knowing. To know God by heart. 

After I spoke that night, my flesh keeps on reminding me to grade myself. There are hits and misses that I remembered. Things I wish I have included. Things I wish I had not. But I do not want to dwell on that. Clearly, when I was speaking, the Lord was with me helping me in delivering my first preaching. He was the one at work, not me. I put on a garment of authority when I was speaking but the moment I went down the pulpit, I put on a servant's cape again because this is what the Lord had taught me.

When I was home, I saw the Lord looking at me in a way He never looked at me before. It's that expression of deep love and thanksgiving without saying anything. His eyes expressed a deep joy while He was washing my feet. I told myself "where else can I find a God like Him. Who am I, oh Lord, that you should wash my feet? But I let the vision continue because the Love He is showing me was a reward beyond what I imagined.

I told the Lord "I will love you more and more each day. For there is no one like You. No one loves me like You do." As I write this, I am still at awe with His passionate love. It is the joy of sharing whatever I can share to the young ones. And I believe my Lord is very pleased with what I shared.

It is my prayer that everyone who commits a daily heart time with God increase in the knowledge of the Lord even more. Like Jesus, David, and every spiritual model in the Bible who spent time with God every morning, they shall be called a people after God's own heart. 

Worthy is the Lord! Worthy is He of our time!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Angel with a White Pamaypay

I ended 2012 with a youth camp at Tanay Rizal with my Church So Blessed family. 

I met two young men who were also my roommates. They shared to me their experience of God giving them visions in their treasure hunting.

“What’s treasure hunting” Tanong ko.

“Finding lost souls.” Sabi nila

I was kind of amazed and envious at the same time. These men were younger than me and yet God is able to use them. Wow! So I asked in curiosity

“How do you get visions?”

Sabi nila “Usually when we soak (worship) in the presence of God, we see visions of people wearing very specific clothes. Pag labas namin sa church, we see those people wearing the exact same clothes we saw sa vision.”

Note to self: Visions are mostly given when soaking.

Let me simplify soaking. May celebrity crush ka ba? Was there a point in time na patay na patay ka sa kanya to the point na siya nalang palagi ang laman ng isip mo. Everything else becomes a blur. Well, you’re soaking in the presence of your celebrity crush. To soak in God’s presence means to drop off all other loads of the mind and think only of Jesus as if He is just beside you and be madly in love with Him.     

So on the second day of CSB youth camp, I saw the worship leaders soaking. Naki-singit ako. I tried to soak as well. I told myself, maybe the Lord might give me a vision. So I closed my eyes. God heard me. There was an immediate picture.

“What do you see?” The Lord asked.

“ An angel”

“Look carefully. What do you see?”

The vision zoomed on the fan.

“A fan.” I replied. Tapos hindi na nag-reply si Lord.

Si ako, feeling Joseph and Daniel (the interpreters), tried to interpret what the fan could mean. But none of the interpretations seemed right. So I told myself, if this vision was really from God, I will have to hear the word “fan” sa mga speaker sa youth camp. 

When Pastor Allen spoke, he mentioned of a story about four blind men and an elephant. To summarize the story, these men were trying to find out what an elephant really looks like. One man only touched the leg, so he concluded that an elephant is like a poste. The two men touched other parts and concluded wrongly. The fourth man touched only the ear and concluded “ang elepante ay parang PAMAYPAY.”

Ting! The vision could mean that as a Christian, I am only seeing in parts. And I admit that it’s true. Pero parang kulang. So I waited for more.

During the worship night, the Lord finally gave me a follow-up vision. I saw an angel, fanning a fire to make it ablaze. Yung tipong pag nag-iihaw ka, di ba ginagamitan ng pamaypay para magbaga yung uling! The Lord told me.

“I am rekindling your passion. ”

Because the year 2012 was a test-filled year for me, my heart seemed to have grown cold.

“ Thank you, Lord. I thought you have forgotten about me. I thought you have forgotten about my dreams and my desires. All along, you kept them and remembered what I already gave up.”

On the last day of the camp, Pastor Hiram spoke about the Great Commission. And he ended his sermon with this phrase “YUNG DESIRE NINYO PARA KAY LORD AY PAG-AALABIN NA PARANG PINAPAYPAYAN. ”

Coincidence? I don’t think so. Another jaw drop moment.

"Bang klase ka talaga, Lord!"

So I was given a vision for 2013.

2013 will be a year of burning passion for Jesus. It’s funny that his year ay nataon na year of the water snake. Because the enemy will try his best to quench that fire.

Yes it may grow weak as Satan puts evil water (trials and tests). But there was a promised pamaypay for all of us Christians. At papaypayan ni Lord ang fire sa puso natin until it blazes stronger to the point na kumalat na ang apoy sa ibang tao!

So I declare: 2013 is THE YEAR OF FIRE STARTERS.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Who is Ryan Without the Graphic Designer?

Last Saturday (yesterday), the Lord asked me this question all of a sudden. I was attending worker’s meeting at Church So Blessed Las Pinas. He knew that I find my worth in what I do. People notice me because of my skills. People want to be with me because of what I am – an artist. And sometimes, I think that the Lord’s love for me is based on the right things I do for Him.

But who is Ryan when stripped off the title and achievements he has gained? Who is Ryan when stripped off financially? A man who used to have a lot, now none. Who is Ryan apart from that facebook friend who always posted “Christian quotes”? Who is Ryan apart from that “righteousness” he strive to live by?

Nothing. I am nothing….not even a good friend. Not even a good servant.

After the worker’s meeting, I was kind of bothered.

I was bothered because it was the truth. I am who I am because of what I can do. If I cannot perform, I am worthless.

After that, I really did not mind it much. The Lord probably rebuked me because of my stubborn heart.

Then just this Sunday, I went to the same church, CSB Las Pinas. I came a bit early. I was sitting there and talked to church mates. But deep inside, I felt useless. So I went out and found some work to do.

They were preparing the juice for holy communion. The service was about to start and no one was assisting them. So I helped.  Suddenly, I was reminded of that question the Lord asked me. 

“People in the church notice me because I assist.” I said to myself.

What the heck! The reason I really want to excel in the things I do is because I want to get noticed. I want to be looked up to. I want to be respected and honored. I know…sounds like an old companion named Pride. Especially now that I am going through a lot, I was requiring attention.

Worship service began. We were singing the song “Beautiful Savior.” Then the devil reminded me of who I am. I am this man who has acquired womanly gestures. This what they call “malamya.”  This is the reason a lot of people mistaken me as gay.And I am honestly bothered by that.

Anyway, to defend myself from what Satan tried to remind me, I told myself. God made me this way. God made me “malamya” to worship Him with my “malamya” gestures. 

I was also reminded of a worship leader with an out-of-tune voice. I said to myself, if her voice was out of tune, then the Lord gave her that voice so that she can worship God with that voice.

If crying to the Lord while worship, and singing to the Lord with dancing and raising hands is gay, then I’d rather be gay to the Lord than to be manly to the world but DEAD. Yes I am broke. I have nothing to be proud of. I have nothing to be happy about.

“You know what” 

I shouted. I got fed off with Satan. So with boldness, I said

 “I call on all the heavens to listen to what I will sing now! Stars, pay attention. Universe, hear my cry. You angels and saints, be attentive to what I am about to sing.”

I sang this part repeatedly and with all that I have, with all that was left

“I will sing forever
Jesus, I love you.
Jesus, I love you.
How wonderful
How beautiful
Name above every name
Exalted high!
How wonderful
How beautiful
Jesus your name,
Name above every name, Jesus”

Suddenly,  I clearly heard the Lord say

“This is who you are when stripped off everything else….a worshiper…a lover of Christ.”

I wasn’t able to control my tears. 

Satan may be able to steal the things I have, but he can never steal my worship.

“Lord, this is what is left of me. My heart crying
I will sing forever,
Jesus, I love you
Jesus, I love you….”

I thought the Lord rebuked me. But He poured out His love for me once again in that small church at BF Resort.

This is who I am when the Ryan Rotor facade is broken down.

I am the Lord’s.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Let it be done according to Your script

The problem isn’t over yet. Thank God, my family’s okay. Now we face the money part. And it’s funny how I was faithful the last time and doubtful again this time.

I feel that I have to do something to solve the problem.

In truth, I can’t. I don’t earn a lot. I don’t have any business. And I don’t plan on adding more loans to what we already have.

The things I felt that I wrote in the previous article all came back.

“Why do I have to suffer? Why me? I work hard to avoid problems. I obey God’s word to avoid future troubles. Bla bla bla”

You can imagine me very tired and heavily burdened once again. 

“Lord, provide for us PLEASE.”

It was also funny I was giving God deadlines. I think it would be a normal reaction for someone who fears. But the thing is, I lost faith….again. I was kind of worried. The faith spark was gone. However how many times I recite the Gospel, it wasn’t working as it used to.

I was never overwhelmed by any problem before. This one was a major thing. And it was sucking my life out. I even got sick and still experiencing slight fever.

One time, a brother in faith texted me. He said “The Lord told me to focus my prayer to you. How are you?”

This simple thing made me feel special in the Lord’s eyes. It made me feel that the Lord is concerned about me.

I told my friend that I want to meet up with him and vent out things that I kept to myself for weeks. He urged me to meet up because it plays an important role in the body of Christ.

So we met up at Gateway Mall, Cubao and had coffee. He ministered to me by reading me verses. When I saw him, I became happy seeing this same guy who I used to minister a year ago minister to me now.

That spiritual pride of mine was stripped off. Note 1: We are all the same in the body of Christ. We need each other. And we need to meet up in a regular basis.

 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as isthe manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews10:23-25

The good thing about this brother is that he doesn’t just give me biblical advice. He shared to me personal experiences and testimonies of other Christians who are going through a lot of things. And one of the things that touched me was when he said

“even though Christians fall, sin, go through trials and fail, they are still on the right path.”

It made me think how God loves me so much that not even my wrong decisions or the burdens in life or wrong turns can separate me from His perfect will. All along, I thought I was lost. But as He said

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. John 6:39

 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. John 10:27-28

“God loves me so much.” I thought to myself in small tears.

The brother also told me that I have been very legalistic in life. That I do the right things and expect good things in return. That is why I said to the Lord

“I don’t deserve whatever is happening to me.”

Note 2: Do the right thing because it’s the right thing and because you love God.

And to complete the holy unburdening process, he urged me to stop looking at the problem as the “problem.” This is the reason all I thought about for the past weeks was the “solution.” No wonder I grew tired.

Note 3: Let it be. Let God do His work. He has a good plan and purpose for all the things that I am going through.

I was able to smile again. Then I remembered what the Great Director taught me while spending time with Him in a park. God told me that my life is like a movie. He wrote the script with a happy ending. Only He can direct it.

Every time we choose to direct our own life movie, it’s not a surprise that it will have a tragic ending. But if we let God direct our lives, surely, it will always be a happy ending.

So why am I experiencing all these? I don't know. I don't need to know. I just know that God will never ever lead me to destruction. He will lead me to greener pastures. 

So Lord, as your son,  I can’t believe I am saying this in the middle of a tough financial battle (a major shift in my prayers) but I say to You 

“Father, let your will be done.....not mine anymore.”

As a future film director of the Lord, I say to You

“Direk, let your will be done according to Your script.”