On Losing Count

For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.

Proverbs 24:16

Last night, I couldn’t sleep and stayed awake till dawn, (thank you insomnia, my old friend) and no matter what I do, sleep is just hard to grasp. I prayed, read the bible, meditate, listen to preachings online, I even tried to read a book. Sleep didn’t come. And so I stayed awake, eyes on the dark, seeing nothing but few sliver of lights seeping through the curtain from the street lights outside. I had a lot of thinking.

I consider myself a deep person who thinks very deeply. 🙂 🙂  (again, let me thank my old friend, insomnia for this) Last night instead of counting sheep, I ended up counting sins. Maybe sin is far too serious term so let’s focus with mistakes.

I am not surprised to realize that I couldn’t. I lost count of my mistakes. Mistakes that are the reasons of all the wrongs in my life, right now. I can’t say I have a bad life, but it certainly isn’t a good one either. And for me, it’s worse. A bland life is a life isn’t aligned in a purpose. And isn’t that terrifying waste…

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,..

Philippians 3:13

Past is past, and maybe Paul said the above lines in his letter to Philippians to push the believers to keep going no matter how many mistakes they’ve made or how hard it was for them. But his sentence didn’t end on pushing them to forget the past and push forward, he kept going saying…

I press toward the mark for the prize of the calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

mark for the prize… this made me think. No one wins a prize as a fool. Wisdom is necessary and so I’m sorry Paul, I might forget some thing but not all. For I need my mistakes to gain wisdom…

Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

1 Corinthians 10:11

Some mistakes I’ve made were intentionally, I admit. But most are unintentional because I know nothing and i seem to never learn from my mistakes. And so last night as I close my eyes, my brain is wide awake, I tried looking back. I lost count of how many times I failed. Maybe i wasn’t really counting but one thing I’m sure, they were too many to count. But I did a recount anyway.

When you lose count of anything, may it be good or not, try a recount…

—-Lili Marcus

You know how it helps? It’s a good motivator. I see how many mistakes I already committed and so I’d be ashamed to make another one. Enough is enough. I’ve done so many mistakes already, I’m gonna try making good things from now on.

Another thing is that upon RECOUNTING, I am revisiting. And I am learning. It’s like reviewing a lesson given to me by the greatest teacher there is. Maybe proverbs 24:16 said the righteous falls seven times, and rises again. I don’t think the author of it doesn’t really mean, falling and failing is limited to seven, what matters is rising after falling.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.

Proverbs 11:2

I believe that there is humbleness in acknowledging that you’ve made mistakes, and as stated above, with the humble is wisdom and like I said earlier, in pressing toward the mark for the prize, wisdom is needed.

🙂 🙂 🙂 There you have it guys.

LET’S THE RECOUNT BEGIN.

God Bless You All…

____Lili Marcus 🙂

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Carry Someone Today

Have you guys ever watched the Lord of the Rings film series? Well, that film series(three movies) is one of my most favorite movies of all time. I spent eighteen hours yesterday binge watching them along with its prequel, The Hobbit which is also a film series with three instalments. And really, even after re-watching them countless times ever since they came out, I’m still blown away. I still love those movies (not to mention the books).

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What really make me love these movies are the lessons and virtues it gives to the audience. And this time, what stayed in me long after finishing the last film is a scene with Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee.

 

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To those who haven’t seen the movie, Frodo carries this so-called LORD OF THE RINGS which is a real burden to him since it’s filled and made with evil. His goal is to take the ring to Mordor, where it was made, and so there it should be unmade. And Sam is his ever loyal, ever brave companion all throughout the story. But as Frodo and Sam gets nearer and nearer to Mordor, the ring, the burden, gets heavier and heavier as well.

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In the scene I’m talking about, they’re just several feet away from the door that will lead them to the fire of Mordor, which is exactly their destination, when suddenly, they both fell down due to exhaustion, hunger, and hopelessness.

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But Sam tried to get up while Frodo’s still on the ground. He couldn’t seem to get up anymore. They had this most amazing and touching conversation that you’d have no choice but to care for them but also be inspired by their courage and friendship. Their conversation ended up with this lines from Samwise Gamgee aka ‘the best fictional sidekick/bestfriend’ in the whole wide world.

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He’s talking about the Ring that burdens Frodo. He can’t carry it for it will sure ruin him the way it did to others who carried it. And thus, Sam knowing he can’t carry the ring, he had a better idea to help destroying the ring…

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…And it’s awesome. He carries Frodo instead. This scene stayed with me because it reminded me of Jesus and this verse…

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We all have heard this verse. I, myself, has this pinned on my cork board above my writing desk. This gives me strength whenever I’m weary, hope when it seems everything is gone and that I can’t do it anymore. And relief when I’m burdened.

And I’ve always wanted to return the favor. Of course, God doesn’t really need me to carry him, but I believe that it would please God to see us helping others carry their burdens. I know we are not God, and we can’t say to others to give their burdens to us. No. Their burdens are theirs to carry and overcome. They have that burden for a reason. What we can do, I believe is to carry them instead.

Just like Samwise Gamgee…

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Each has a burden to carry and each comes to a point where it is impossible to move forward because it just gets too heavy. And most just stop at that point, give up and remain stuck.  I say that we look around us and see who are stuck and can’t move forward. Let us carry them, toward God, and so it will help them reach their destinations. Because only God can take their burdens away or give them the strength they need. Only God do that and all we can do is carry them to HIM. We can help each other. I believe it would make God overjoyed to see His children helping each other, and much better carrying lost hopeless souls towards him.

May this fictional scene from my favorite movie somehow motivates each of us to help others. CARRY SOMEONE TODAY.

God Bless everyone.

Hopeful,

Lili Marcus. 🙂

 

How God Talked to Me Through My Playlist

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God talks to me. Always. Through verses, movies, other people, songs. But it was the first time He talked to me through a series of songs in my playlist. And once again I realized how amazing God’s ways are.

I often listen to music while having a shower. No, we don’t have a fancy bathroom with stereo installed on the walls. 🙂 I actually bring my cellphone with me, place it on the counter by the washbasin, and set a certain playlist on shuffle. And then I’m good for the next thirty minutes. That’s how long I  usually have my shower.

I have more than ten playlists in my phone and I play each depends on my mood. About a week ago, I was feeling so discouraged and hopeless. If you guys read my previous posts, you’d know by now, that I’m battling depression. Anyway, that afternoon, I was NOT OKAY. And there’s only one playlist suited for that kind of mood. A playlist I named HIS ALONE.

It is a playlist filled with all the Christian songs I have. When I’m depressed, that’s my playlist hoping it’ll lift me up. And boy, did it lift me up. The following are the songs that I am certain God used to talk to me while I was in the shower, depressed.

  1. From The Inside Out by: Hillsong 

I love this song from the first moment I heard it, mostly because of the first verse…

A Thousand times I fail,

Still your mercy remains,

Should I stumble again,

Still I’m caught in your grace…

I can only speak for myself but I’m depressed, I can’t stop blaming myself with everything that went wrong about everything. Upon hearing this song, I felt like God was reminding me of HIS Grace. Like He was telling me that there’s not a thing I did, do or will do that can make him love me less. Or that can make him cast me out of his mercy. That no matter how many times I stumble and make mistakes, His love remains.

2. Blessings by: Laura Story

There’s a perfect reason behind every tear, every trial, every unanswered prayer and every failure. Surely with this song, God wanted to assure me that everything’s going to be alright because everything is a part of a grand plan.

‘Cause what if your blessings come through Raindrops?

What if your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?

What if trials of this life,

Are your mercies in disguise?

Thus, there’s no need to torture myself.

3. You Belong to Me by: Grey Holiday

When I’m depressed, it’s always ME AGAINST THE WORLD. Or at least that’s what I think. But God doesn’t agree with me. He won’t let me feel like I’m by myself. He won’t let me goes astray. This is a promise of another chance, telling me that no matter how much I want to walk away from him, he’ll keep on waiting for me. He made it clear that I am His and I belong to where He is.

Just take the rope
I won’t let it go
Give in
We can start again
I’m life, I’m hope
And I?m ready to explode
With how bad I want you back home
So come back to the light
To the love, you will find
It’s been here all along
So come back to the start
And you’ll find in your heart
That you always belonged
To me

I do believe that every message from God has a bit of a gospel in it. And this is gospel. He died for us, for me. So I can live. If someone died for me, who am I to waste my life? How ungrateful I am to God every time I think of death. He gave me the most wonderful gift anyone can ever give to me and yet do I ever show Him how thankful I am for it?

Sent of heaven God’s own Son
To purchase and redeem
And reconcile the very ones
Who nailed Him to that tree

Now my debt is paid
It is paid in full
By the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled

Now the curse of sin
Has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed

This is redemption. This is God giving me another chance and always, I grab it with all of my heart, body and soul. God understands everything I’m going through and He knows how exhausted I feel; how close I am to death. God is Life. There is always a reason to breathe, and be glad of it.

Tell your heart to beat again

Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
You’ll live to love another day
Yesterday’s a closing door
And you don’t live there anymore
So say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again
And finally,

Everything should end with praise and worship. And when I heard this, no I didn’t get up, I fell down on my knees and wept. But deep inside me, I was overcame with joy. God gave me a reason to get up again. I’ll be fine. I am alive, still alive. And that’s something to be thankful.

Everybody get up
If you love Him!
Everybody get up
Get up and praise Him!
Everybody get up
If you’re free
And give Him the praise!

 

God talks to us in many ways, we just have to be attentive to listen. Most of the times His ways are a bit peculiar but always special.

How about you guys, how does God usually talks to you? Ir what’s the most odd way He used to say something to you? I love to hear from you all

 

Lili Marcus

 

A Picky Churchgoer

I’ve been to 8 churches. EIGHT!!! No kidding. Worse, it’s been only seven years since my conversion. And you might think, since becoming a Born again Christian, I’ve been simply leaping from church to church every year. NO. It’s not every year. I usually leave a church just after few months as attendee. So that means, there are months that I don’t attend church services.

And those months aren’t great times. 😦

But then why do I even get to church hunting? I’m never contented. You see, I’m a very observant person, and as a Christian, I’m even more observant. It has something to do with me being an introvert.  Whenever I see something unpleasant or something that makes me uncomfortable, my initial reaction is always to step back, leave and isolate myself. Because it’s better to be alone. That’s always been my way of thinking.

During the months of no church, I force myself to be contented with streaming online preachings every Sunday. And though the Holy Spirit was never absent whenever I watch preachings on the net, still, it feels like something’s amiss. And now I finally understand what.

It’s Fellowship that’s absent. God commanded us to…

…consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not neglecting to MEET TOGETHER, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and so much the more, as you see the Day drawing near. 

Hebrews 10:2425

I need to fellowship with other Christians. And though as a mere person, it’s okay to isolate myself and let my introvert ego always win, as a Christian, it might not work. If I want my faith to grow, I need others. I can’t stop being observant but I can sure stop being such a perfectionist. We’re living in flesh, so perfection is an absolute impossibility.

2 Timothy 2:20 taught me the reasoning I should’ve learned long time ago. And I hoped that someone(from the churches I’ve been to) have taught it to me. The verse says that there are also vessels of wood and of Earth along with the vessels of Gold and Silver. And that there are always some to honour and some to dishonour.

But what really caught me in the verse is this phrase: GREAT HOUSE. No matter what’s inside it, good and bad, unpleasant and not, God’s house still remains a GREAT HOUSE. Besides, I heard someone said before that a church is not a museum full of beautiful things, but a hospital filled with injured, imperfect people who need God. If the people in the church are perfect, they wouldn’t need God anymore.

This realization really impacted me in an amazing way that I’m willing to forget who I am or what I am. I’m willing to set aside my natural introvert self to be the Christian who God wants me to be. Because maybe it’s the only way for me to be the exact person He created me to be.

How about you guys, any experiences with the churches you’ve been to. I love chatting especially if it’s about my walk with God. Let’s chat. 🙂

Love,

Lili. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the Paper’s Fault

Sometimes, it’s the pen’s fault, but there are times, it is the paper’s.

When I was younger, my mother and I always fight over her big mouth. Seriously, she’s too loud, always talking and reprimanding. It’s as if she always sees something wrong to whatever I do. Especially at mornings, my alarm clock was her lectures. Oh how I hated her for that.(don’t judge me)

I didn’t realize then, that it’s not always the pen’s fault.

When we’re mad or hurt, we always think it’s somebody else’s fault. It’s them who has a problem, it was never us. At least that’s what we often think.

I was writing one afternoon. It was an open letter to God. I was using this newly-bought pen that is really expensive for a student. And as I write, the pen kept on pissing me. The ink kept on fading. And every time it does, I would wave the pen a little, and it’ll write again. But it kept doing that. And I knew I must do something if I want to finish the letter.

I thought of using another pen but before I did, I tried using it to a scratch paper. Just to be sure. And the pen writes so well, as well as it should. Looking at my handwriting, something snapped  at me. The paper I was using was a little glossy. Since it was a letter to God, I thought using that paper was just appropriate.

The thing is, that kind of paper wasn’t appropriate to the pen I was using. And I was right. When I changed the paper into a stationery, the pen’s performances changed as well. The ink wasn’t fading anymore.

I realized this; it’s not always the pen’s fault, sometimes, it’s the paper’s.

There are too many kinds of papers. There are plenty types of pens too. But not every pen inks well to all kinds of papers. (Glossy papers are usually the hardest to write on.)

I think, we, people, should learn this lesson: sometimes, it’s OUR fault. Granted, some people really hurt us, wronged us. But before we point our fingers to anyone, before we said something to others, let’s THINK first. Try to think of what might be the reason why that somebody did it to us.

Reflect!

When I think of the fights I had with my mother when I was younger, I wince. Maybe it was her fault being talkative because hello? She can always choose to reprimand me in a nicer way. But it was my fault that she talks too much in the first place. If I just do the chores properly, or if I just wake up in the morning before breakfast instead of before lunch, maybe my mother wouldn’t have been as talkative as she was.

It wasn’t her fault, it was mine. But that time, I was so annoyed and too mad because of her reprimands, I couldn’t see my own faults. I was focusing on hers.

We often heard that famous break up line: It’s not you, it’s me.

I wonder what will happen if we use that line most often rather than just using it when breaking up. What if every time we’re in disagreement with somebody, we tell that line to ourselves first?

What if, indeed, it was our fault, and not theirs? I wonder how many relationship are restored. I wonder how many friends will still be friends? How many lovers would still be lovers? How many families would’ve been still intact?

I’m not saying we should blame ourselves, I’m saying that we stop blaming others for everything. By reflecting on what happens, we get to know ourselves more. And by that, we’ll be more motivated to change ourselves for the better, not only for our sake, but for the sake of our relationships.

This is true to my relationship with God too. Most of the times, it seems like God doesn’t hear my prayers because most of my prayers were unanswered. It pains me to think that he hears all my supplications and yet do nothing. The thing is, I do believe that God is almighty so He is capable of everything. There’s no prayer that he can’t grant.

So why he doesn’t answer all my prayers? I used to get mad at him because of that. But now, I use this principle. Maybe I’m doing something that isn’t according to his will. And whenever I reflect on my actions and intentions, especially intentions, I learn that it is indeed my fault. Believe me, I am a changed and better person now because of this?

Why?

Because I learned about myself more. And the best way to reach one’s highest potential is knowing oneself well.

Next time, think twice(or more) before putting the blame on the pen, maybe it’s the paper’s.

 

Reflecting,

Lili Marcus  🙂

How and Where I Want to Die.

I feel good.

The kind of good that someone feels after reading a book, especially a good book, and I just did. I just finished reading “Words In Deep Blue” by Cath Crowley like thirty minutes ago. I actually have to post a book review on Goodreads and on my new blog site intended only for book reviews and other bookish stuffs, but I spent the last 30 minutes munching peanut butter sandwich rolls(which I made) and THINK.

And I am STILL thinking…

“Words in Deep Blue” made me think, this book did. I won’t talk about what I think ABOUT the book but rather what I think BECAUSE of the book.

There’s this part that sadly, I need to paraphrase to avoid giving spoilers about the book. Here it is:

“He died in a place he loved the most. It was quick, it would have been. And the last thing he did before he died is for someone he loves.”

NOTE: No, the novel hasn’t a tragic ending. And I give all the credit to Ms. Crowley for every part of the book that I used here, and even the mere mention of it. 🙂

Anyway, what have I been musing about after finishing the book?  It’s my Death. Here’s the thing about people like me who have been diagnosed with Clinical Depression, and let’s not forget, Anxiety Disorder: Death is a word constant to us, as constant as LIFE itself.

Personally, death has always been there; at the sideline, sometimes behind me, sometimes ahead of me. the point is, it’s always WITH me. I hate to compare LIFE with DEATH but I couldn’t help thinking or acknowledging the fact that Death like Life is always present.

Death is never absent in my life. (Somebody tell me please, what figure of speech I just used.) Maybe it’s kind of a paradox that have been solved. Life is the absence of Death. And Death is the absence of Life. Yet, they coexist.

Moving on…

Death will happen to me. Intentionally or otherwise, I will die. But tonight I made a very important decision:

I WON’T JUST DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will die in a place I love, doing the things I love, and doing them for the people I love.

But what do I love? Oh I know this since forever. I love Reading and Writing.

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Maybe it’s nobler to say that what I love is making people happy, instead of mere Reading and Writing, but making people happy is something I’ve been doing not by choice, it is something I do, and love doing because it’s in my being. It’s what makes me human. I’d be still be doing it even if I choose to do it, or simply if situation demands.

So Reading and Writing then. It’s okay if I die either of the two. It’s okay if I die while reading the worst book ever written. It’s not the book, it’s reading itself that matters. It’s okay if I’m not writing a masterpiece of Literature while having my last breath, as long as I’m writing.

Ah what a good time to die…

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And where? I think any place where I can read or write is a place I’d love. It would be  a perfect place.

And how, one may wonder, am I doing this for the people I love? Well, when I die, they wouldn’t be THAT sad. As simple as that actually. Most of us know the agony, how hard it is when a loved one dies. Most often we have regrets. A death of a loved one is one of the most severe causes of regrets. I don’t want this to happen upon my death.

Thus, I’ll die happily. It would surely make the people I’ll leave behind sad,  but it wouldn’t be the kind of sad with regrets. They won’t regret losing me if they know I died happily.

I’m doing this for myself as well because I consider myself as one of the people I love. No matter how shitty I often think of myself, I still love ME. I choose to love myself, still.

And maybe I wouldn’t feel this way tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll feel shitty again and suicidal. But I don’t to be bothered by that possibility. What matters is tonight. Tonight, I feel good and I want to record it for future use. 🙂 Tonight, I love myself, enough to make a decision, choosing to do something that makes me happy until the day I die.

LIVING HAPPILY,

LILI MARCUS 🙂

 

Faith smaller than a mustard seed: An Open Letter to God.

My Lord,

Hi.

Actually, I don’t know what to say, or perhaps I’m not sure HOW to say it. Remember when I told you I want out? I was serious that time. I still want to be out, you know. It’s because I’m tired of feeling hurt and ignored. I’m tired of disappointments. Not just in your part, mine as well. I am hurt every time I feel like you disappoint me, though I know, in my heart, you’d answer me, I just have to wait. But see, I’m too weak to wait. And for that I am disappointing you, in return. Every time, I disappoint you, I end up blaming myself to the point of condemnation.

And every Christian knows only worse things come out from condemnation.

I wish I can tell you I’ll be stronger this time, that I’ll be more trusting to you this time. I’m afraid I can’t. I need help. I’ve been in sought of that HELP from you ever since I learned how serious and hopeless my case is. I’m drowning, Lord. I’m also falling. I can’t breathe.

Here’s the thing though, even though I voluntarily turned my back on you, I never felt like you left. No, that’s too much faith. What I mean is that you’re being too easy on me. You don’t give me so much struggle just to force me to get back to you; to accept you again. No, I am in perfect faith you won’t go that far.

Is this faith enough?

I thank you for I think you’re giving me time for myself. You want me to be calm, to relax for a while and get rid of this anxiety that’s been gnawing at me for a long time now. You want me to get some rest, abandon my worries for a while. You want me to clear my mind and be not pressured or stressed of my adversaries and afflictions. You want me to find myself again.

But my Lord, I don’t think I’m having success in the matter. Did I find myself already? Do I know myself more now? Do I understand what’s and have been happening to me all these time?

I don’t have the answer Lord, I’m afraid.

Maybe, somehow, there’s a little faith still left in me for you, but I’m not sure if it’s enough. It must have been even smaller as a mustard seed. And so it must be the littlest faith any Christian can ever have. My faith, it’s too little and meager. Would you want it?

I know you have other children who have faith bigger than the Milky way, so maybe mine would be so insignificant. It may seem not needed and no place in your kingdom. Would you give me at least a place on your doorway, or maybe the windowsill. Any place would do, I just want to be in your presence again.

I want to be with you. But then, would you  have me, Lord?

I can’t promise to be different from what I was before. But then again, I’m not entitled to make any promises, only to rely on yours. It’s your job Lord, to make promises and see them to pass. Would you still have me even if I act like this? With little faith and too much complaints, would you have me?

This depression, this anxiety, I want to get rid of them, yet it’s not that easy. How can I rid of something I’ve been carrying ever since I realized that the world isn’t the best place for weak ones like me to live? It’s been my companion most of my life Lord, and maybe I should be tired of it to get rid of it. But it doesn’t go.

I’m tired of it, alright. I hope my relationship with you, our closeness, did the trick. It didn’t. I still wake up every morning and sleep at night helplessly thinking something will go wrong eventually. Tis what anxiety does to me. And I want it to stop. But how?

This little of faith of mine, if you would have me back my Lord, ’tis only I can offer. The littlest faith you’ll ever know and yet I am not ashamed of it. I somehow believe this. This will take me far enough to be happy. I’ll go as far as from here to THERE. Even the smallest dust can travel far, given the right guide from the wind.

I need the right guide. Would you provide it for me?

This, I realize, is hubris-an overbearing arrogance. How can I ask you of this after everything I’ve done, after I turned my back on you in the most deliberate manner, every devout Christian could ever imagine? Frankly, I feel like I’ve done worse than all the mistakes and sins of all your beloved disciples combined.

There, talk about anxiety to the highest level. 😦

Lastly, My Lord, if you would have me, I have one question. Is it possible for embers to catch fire once again? After the initial fire has died? ‘Cause you see, My Lord, that’s all I am now-an ember. And I’m so scared no fire would ever rekindle in me again and I’d end up to ashes.

Just as my faith a dust-size, myself as ashes. Dust and ashes, if they have something in common it is DEATH.

And that’s what I’m afraid the most. Thus, I’m turning back to you. You are life-so I’ve heard.

 

—-LILI