The Journey of an Asthmatic

Asthma made me realize how precious it is to breathe again one more time.  

Every morning in usual days, when I gasp for air, I thank God for the ability to breathe normally and for having a day without having to cough and sniff for such a thousand times. I thank Him for the days that I never have to wheeze so as to put that annoying machine onto my nose and mouth, or to take medicines for days. But those struggle-free days—I seem to forget them whenever I come face-to- face with one of my adversaries , which I was battling with for many years now, Asthma.

If you happen to know the feeling of heavily panting, having clogged nose, cough and cold all at the same time, you may happen to comprehend with my distress. I have Allergic Rhinitis that makes it worse. Storming my nose first, the first phase of my asthma attacks lasts for a whole day. It usually starts with a runny nose and itchy eyes that is caused by allergens.  Such allergens include smoke, dust, animal hair, powdered stuff, pollen, even strong perfume among other things. Next thing is that dry cough that if gets worse,  stays for days.

I only know two kinds of Asthma. The one that strikes fast and leaves fast, and the one that lets you endure for at least a couple of days—that’s my guy.

Time slows down when you have this kind of ailment. A day feels like two or even three since sufferers struggle to sleep.  One  can barely leave his room for a reason of  awful weakness  and pants for just trying to go somewhere else.  Given that, Asthma sufferers could not make daily household chores happen, and even suspend  one’s schedule for work or school —it would double the trigger if the patients would not find time to rest.

Not being able to go to school, or not seeing my friends and loved ones during those days is somewhat  depressing. I thank God that I have my family that knows my distress.  They genuinely care and love me; even sacrificing their own strength, time, money , effort or their own health for my sake.

Most of us say not to admit the thought of having great problems, instead claim the greatness of God and His power.  There’s nothing wrong about that.  In fact, that’s absolutely the perfect thing to do. But in my case, it feels like the enemy is staring at me right in the eyes. Asthma still gets me down and depressed.  My asthma could have ruined my future but God rescues me. Yet, I am sure that God will give me a breakthrough.

What I am saying is, I accept the fact that my adversary is great. I accept the fact that I have no control over it. I accept the fact that this infirmity is gigantic for me. But you know what? The greatest, reliable fact that I believe among those facts is that GOD IS GREATER. He is able to do immeasurably far more than we could possibly ask, think or imagine. He is stronger than any sickness , disease or infirmity. Believing and dwelling on those things with all of my heart and mind, I gain new strength to persevere, fight and to refuse to be defeated .

Our weaknesses and the greatness of our walls and mountains, do not make God less stronger. In fact, the greatness of our harms and struggles exponentially magnify our perspetive of God’s power, strength and ability over all of it.

When a cough or cold is healed by God, we barely notice it. But when God heals cancer, we praise Him greatly for it. Why? Because we know that cancer is great. We know that cancer is lethal. We know that cancer is a real and deadly threat.

I consider asthma as a high wall that I could not overcome.  Maybe for now.  I asked God for healing for many times but still haven’t received it.  I asked Him as well for the reason that I have asthma,  like most people ask, ‘Why me?’ I ask myself, “ Is my faith insufficient? Is it defective? Have I failed God at trusting Him?”

Many people, when faced at life’s hard situations , ask the same questions. Most of the times, we only want the best things from God. We demand them from Him. But when the times come that we need to be tested or challenged, we become angry and question Him about His love for us.When Job’s wife told him to curse God after all that has happened to him, he said,”…Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?”(2:10). There is a reason why I have asthma. I know there is. One day, I will be able to see clearly. I don’t have the right to question Him about His will. I know that He knows what He does and He has a perfect plan. Jeremiah 29:11 keeps ringing in my ears, “ For I know the plans I have for you, plans for welfare and not for calamity , plans to give you hope and a future.”

Right now, this is my mountain—and with my own ability, I don’t know how to overcome it—I couldn’t help myself. I’m helpless and  I need rescuing from God. One day (sooner), at the time of deliverance, I would crush this mountain from above and everybody would know that my God is the God who really heals!

Indeed, I don’t  love this, but I never hated it either. I just take it as a challenge to my faith like that of Job,  Abraham, Moses, Daniel, Joseph, David, Paul and most especially Jesus; believing that the testing of the faith produces endurance.

There is a purpose. I will not stop believing that one day, God will deliver me. I will not stop believing that God will strip my asthma away from me. I just can’t wait!   Let me share with you my life verse:

                And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.         2 Corinthians 12:9-10                                            

Today, the world calls me asthmatic. Forever, the Lord calls me His own—  new and whole. To God be the glory!

Change your heart to change the world

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To change the world. That is the calling of SOARLIKEEAGLE, my one and only beloved blog. It is true. One can change the world by beginning with himself. Renew the mind, purify the heart, change yourself before attempting to change the world. As the song said, “If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself then make the change” -Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson.

Changing the world, in its own terms, may not be so easy. But I think, it may not be as hard as well. Not impossible neither unreachable. If every man and every woman will change for the better, maybe thus the world will change. If everyone will make an impact even to only two or three persons in his lifetime, maybe that two or three people will make an impact also to two or three people. We don’t know. But that’s better than doing nothing. Remember, nothing is impossible to him who believes.

ART FOR NOTHING

This world is like a mountain.
Your echo depends on you.
If you scream good things,
the world will give it back.
If you scream bad things,
the world will give it back.
Even if someone speaks badly about you,
speak well about him.
Change your heart to change the world

~ Shams Tabrizi
watercolor on paper-selfportrait-Change your heart to change the world watercolor on paper-selfportrait-Change your heart to change the world

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To my Everdearest,

grassi

Hey! Do you know that I am so in love with you? Do you know that I am deeply and greatly in love with you? From even the first of firsts I have loved and adored you. You are the apple of my eye. I love gazing at you day after day, each and every moment of your life. My thoughts toward you are countless. You are precious. You are wonderful!

Has anyone told you that you’re unloved, alone, useless or pathetic? I tell you, you are not. How do I know? I know all things! and I know you. For I, with my own bare hands, have made, formed and created you. You are not a mistake. No, never! You are a super masterpiece. You are my treasure! Never believe those who tell you that you’re ugly or unattractive because I, in my own image, have molded you, fearfully and wonderfully. I delight in you!

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By this time, perhaps you already know who I am. I want to lavish this love on you. I want you to know me; who I am and what I feel for you, so please continue reading.

Some people think of me as a fabrication of the mind. Others say that I’m just a person and some acknowledge my existence but deems of me as distant and unfriendly, snobbish or even deaf. I am not. I even hear your heart. Happiness, excitement, feelings of warmth and love, all of your sobs and wails, your losses, hurts and disappointments, even your fears, suspicions and worries. It doesn’t mean that when you don’t hear or see me, I am not there. I have always been by your side–waiting for you to notice and know me. Always able and available; with open arms, I will accept you as you are.

Feel your heart. Each beat comes from my hand. I am your life-giver. The air you breathe and the food you eat are all for you to have life. I sustain you and give you strength. Every good thing that you see around you comes from me. I know all that you need and  will provide for them because I care for you. Even the best of your future is in my hand. A future that has been always filled with hope.

I am a friend. I am a brother. I am the Perfect Father. I want to comfort you in all of your troubles. I want to fill you with peace and joy. I desire to make you stronger and stronger through the trials that you face. I am faithful. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I will never let you go. Unlike people, I am always, ever-true to my promises. Are you weary? Come to me and I will give you calming and comforting rest; for I am kind and I am gracious. I am good. I will never stop doing good to you. I am who I am. I am love itself. I love you more than you could ever know. These words are not enough to describe how much I care and adore you.

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My child, I hurt when I see you hurting. Every time you cry, I always feel your pain. That is why I always desired and longed to be with you. I can give you joy in the midst of your trials. Cling to me and you will feel peace like you never, ever felt before. These things I can give you, if you would just let me.

Child, I can show great things if you would call to me. Seek me with all of your heart and you will find me. Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. I can do all things and I am able to do immeasurably far more than you could possibly imagine.

I love you and I will never stop loving you. I died on the cross in your place, not wanting anyone to perish but for all to come to repentance. To tell you that I am not counting your shortcomings;  and to save you from the bondage of sin. I love you this much. I gave up my life so that you and I could be reconciled.

If you will accept my gift of salvation, nothing will ever separate you from my love again.

I am your Father and will always be your Father.

P.S. I am waiting for you.

 

With an Everlasting Love,

Daddy, Almighty God

Our Heroes

Eyes are filled with tears, thousands of homes and hundreds of lives are lost. Almost the entire Visayan region here in the Philippines is devastated by Typhoon Yolanda. Streets are impassable due to debris of ruined houses. Corpses are rotting, leaving a reeking stench everywhere.  Most survivors are starving and dehydrated, hospitals are jam-packed with patients and children are already dying from sicknesses that require medicine that their families couldn’t afford.

The whole picture is very discouraging; crammed with utter chaos and soiled with sorrow. However, there is a bigger sight that we need to witness, an awakening, the stirring of heroism and unity is becoming the new hope for the sufferers and for the whole country as well.     

More than being dispirited and cynical,  I became much more confident that the Philippines will get by this mishap easier. I was in awe seeing all kinds of people and ages, from all walks of life, with different social status, stand hand in hand helping the Visayan Region and the Philippines to be on its feet again from its unexpected fall. Every private and public organization is doing their contributions to boost and quicken the relief given to the victims. I’ve heard about different countries doing more than just pouring their sentiments but really helping, lending hands, sending help and donations from all around the world. I saw different people sacrificing and lending everything they could give. Celebrities and people we look up to are there in the site, encouraging people and telling them of hope and endurance. 

Every little thing that we do to help our brothers and sisters will go a long way. Surely, our sacrifices may go unpaid off, but still, the help we’ll give will be priceless to those who will receive it. It will forever remain in their hearts and memories that for the moment they needed us, we were there. 

Our heroes, we can never thank each of you for all your efforts to help the Philippines to rise again, one thing is for sure— from the bottom of the heart of the Filipino, “Salamat sa kabayanihan mo, kapatid!”  Thanks for your heroism, brothers and sisters!        

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” Hebrews 13:16

Acts of Kindness

Certainly, one of the simplest ways to make a day much brighter is to award someone a random, genuine act of kindness. Simple smiles given in return may mean much more than mere appreciation or thankfulness. Most people are thirsty for thoughtfulness and kindheartedness, but to some, kindness and compassion is treasure, a beautiful panorama that is by only means audible to the heart.

What makes these simple deeds so pleasing,  awe-inspiring and scenic? As no blood relation or tie of friendship bonds people who give to those given, random kindness proves real care and concern. Even personality and character are often disregarded when it comes to giving out; most of the time, what’s important is “I’ve helped someone today” *smiles*.  This is so simple yet rather unexplainable. We, human beings, have something innate that makes us hungry for good values, morality and kindness.

That is, we are created in the image of God, good and righteous. God’s nature and character are flowing through our veins, in our whole beings. We are made and born to love, give, impart and share.

Indeed, God Himself is Love. He is kind to us just because He is; its not because of who we are or  what we’ve done. Do you want to see kindness? Look at this.

Philippians 2:5-8

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Surely, this is kindness. But this is more than mere kindness, again, this is wholehearted, unreserved love. God perceiving our impurities and sins, came down and took off His glory and draw closer to sinners as a man to bear our sins and transgressions and die on the cross.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves,not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  Philippians 2:3-4

Pray for the Philippines. We need your help. On behalf of the victims of Typhoon Yolanda here in the Philippines, Salamat po sa tulong! #Haiyan #YolandaPH

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Loving the Unlovable

Seriously, how hard is it to love the unlovable—I mean, those people who consistently get you in a bad mood, those who always take time to mistreat you, or those who have hurt you before?

The bible states “…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44).” But again, isn’t it dreadfully difficult to love and accept the people who relentlessly ignore and disregard you? It sure is.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:46, “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?…Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” That’s right. Even shoplifters and hijackers love those who love them.

One thing that makes a righteous person different is his response to hurt caused by other people. A person who loves another person is natural; but when he loves a backstabber, a traitor or a liar unconditionally and shows how he cares for him despite that person’s faults, he is now making a big difference.

All people, no matter how hard-headed and unfaithful, have need for real, genuine love. Whether we accept it or not, sincere love is a necessity for a real, happy life. If a person does not acknowledge this need, he may turn out to be a self-sufficient, egotistic and self-centered individual who only loves and lives for himself. On the other hand, if a person admits that he needs other people for him to feel loved and accepted, he will grow interdependent with other people; seeking and repaying love knowing that other people has this need also.

If someone will feel loved despite his lapses and weaknesses, he will try to overcome these weaknesses to payback and retrieve the unpleasant things he has done to the person—thus, resulting into a changed life, a changed family, a changed world.

Whenever we feel treated unfairly, let us turn to what God has done for us. Jesus came down to this world knowing his fate; to be insulted and slaughtered by the same people he came to save. We, grumbling sinners, unfaithful and selfish people are loved by a God so high and exalted.

This representation is enough to forgive and forget. We are all the same. We are all sinners; yet God loves us. He loves all of us completely despite of our constant disrespect and rebellion against Him.

“…He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”  Matthew 5:45

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To Save a Life

Blood-letting, life-giving

Have you ever saved a life? In many ways, I think you did already.

Saving a life may mean rescuing someone from an afire and collapsing building or pushing a child out of the way of a speedy vehicle, but there’s more to saving a life than just pulling out someone from literal danger and peril.

Sharing a joke, tapping a shoulder, offering help and just plain appreciation could mean pleasantly different to other people. Most of the time, these acts of random kindness and affection come from the very heart of hearts; they don’t need or want anything in return or ask a simple ‘thanks’. These things show how much we care~and when people see this sincerity, things may never be the same again.

A helping hand stretches out from a sincere and willing heart.

Simple words and kindly, generous efforts can change a lifestyle. They fashion a better person, a better family, a better society, a better nation, a better world.

Shine your light, share The Love, save a life.

©SOARLIKEEAGLE, 2013