Posts Tagged ‘Life Revised’

Ru dela Torre was the cool guy who had everything – women, money, success. But one day, he lost everything. In this one-on-one interview, Ru dela Torre recalls his journey to true significance and how he found his greatest need in Jesus.

Q: What was life like before knowing Jesus?

Ru: I used to live life according to the world’s standards. I was consumed with what our culture dictated as the normal life. I used to believe that one’s goal in life was simply to:

  • Excel in school. Graduate with honors. Get good grades and have a better shot at landing a job in the future.
  • Have girlfriends in order to get “in” the boys’ club. The “more the merrier” meant me getting the thumbs up sign from my best buds.
  • Have a car. Have a house. Get a wife. Have kids. Have grandchildren. Then die.

And I was well on my way to becoming all these.  I thought I was the luckiest guy in the world because I had the following at age 24: 23 ex girlfriends, 1 hottie girlfriend, a cum laude medal from the University of Santo Tomas and a silver medal from Ateneo de Manila for my Master’s Degree in Business Administration, 1 super black sporty car, 1 fat bank account, 1 thriving business and a good paying job. And an ego as huge as the Titanic.

But all of these were not enough. I was constantly looking for the next high. I was unsatisfied . . . unfulfilled. I was bored.

 

Ru dela TorreQ: How did things change?

Ru: In January 2004, I lost my business, my job and my girlfriend in three consecutive weeks. I was shattered. I was lost . . . depressed. I didn’t know what to do. From lucky, I became a loser. Until I found Christ. When I saw what Christ did for me at the cross, I realized His great love for me. This love made me understand that Jesus is worth my all. He gave His best first. He loved first. And I wanted to give him my life too. So that day, I surrendered and gave my life to Him.

I found a new identity. From loser, I came to know that I am loved by God.

 

Q: How has knowing Christ altered your life?

Ru: From a self-centered, egocentric life, I prayed to God for a God-centered, purpose-driven life. I wanted to use my talents, my resources, my gifts and my life to serve and glorify him. That’s why I sought for a lot of grace to obey and honor Him.

In February 2004, just a-month-old Christian, God asked me to share to some 40 young people about my decision to seek God with all I’ve got that year. I opted to abstain from having a girlfriend and I signed a contract called the Manifesto with God. That day, 90% of the crowd signed too.

In 2006 it evolved into a movement, as churches and schools started inviting us to share with them this wonderful contract. In 2007, we were able to reach (by God’s grace) some 12,000 young people. This paved the way for us to be hailed as a national finalist to the 2007 TAYO (Ten Outstanding Youth Organizations).

Today, the movement lives on. And thousands more are making the commitment to stay pure and put God first in their lives. An estimated 500,000 young people all across the nation have heard about the movement, and a good percentage of them signed up for the covenant.

I became a youth pastor in 2005 and the Lord also used me to write books. I’ve written four books: A Date with The One, Road Trip, Back on Track and Refuel.

Now, I’m living my best life. Truly, I found life when I found Christ.

 

The Risen Lord changed history and He can also change your story. Join the life revised conversations this Lent on Facebook: omfliterature and Twitter: @omflit using #liferevised.

 

Has the Lord transformed your life? Share your life revised story with us at digital@omflit.com

 

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For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now.

Today is the day of salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:2-3 [NLT]

 

One Saturday afternoon, I went to the youth service bringing two big bags. Here are the contents of the bags:

Blue bag – All my clothes for the past week due for washing. One word: laundry. Some were seven days old. It should’ve been brought to the cleaners, but I opted to carry them that day.

Black bag – This one’s my sports bag. It had my clothes for the next day’s worship church service (jeans and long-sleeved polo) plus my basketball uniform and rubber shoes that I was to use in the Sunday afternoon’s ballgame.

While I carried both of them, I felt their weight. The crowd whom I was preaching to was probably thinking I was nuts. I was an eyesore. In their heads, they’re probably asking, “Why’s he bringing his laundry bag and sports bag in preaching?”

I then made my point: What usually gives us unnecessary stress and unwanted heaviness in the NOW are the unwanted baggage of the past and excess luggage of future.

Dwell in the pains of the past, and you become a prisoner of depression. Just like my laundry bag, what’s in the painful past is usually smelly and dirty. And whenever we entrap ourselves in thinking about bad memories of offenses and bitterness, we are not able to nourish what God is doing in the present. God brings good news when He said in Isaiah 43:18-19a (GNT),

 

“Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already you can see it now!”

 

A similar principle holds true when we carry the worries of the future today. Just like the stuff in my sports bag, I did not need to bring all of it until tomorrow. And sometimes in life, what pushes us to anxiety are the worries we have about tomorrow. Lord Jesus says we have to learn to live in the NOW when He said,

 

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

Matthew 6:34 [MSG]

 

Do you know that the word now appears more than 1,200 times in one translation of the Bible? It’s actually enough to remind us three times a day for an entire year that God wants us to enjoy what He is doing in the NOWs of our lives.

 

Jesus, when He taught us to pray the Lord’s Prayer, said, “Give us today our daily bread …”# Notice that He didn’t tell us to ask for tomorrow’s bread or for yesterday’s bread. He instructed us to pray for today’s bread and needs.

There are a lot of things that God is doing in the present. Let go of the bad things of the past and the unnecessary worries of the future and focus on the NOW.

Cherish your relationships today. Seize the godly opportunities to do good that God allows for your life today. Feel at peace knowing that God has given you enough strength to overcome today’s hurdles and He will give you another bucket of strength to do the same for tomorrow’s challenges.

Get rid of the someday syndrome. Drop the laundry bag of the past. Drop the sports bag filled with tomorrows needs. Change for the better now. Start serving God today. Right now is the best time to start pleasing God.

 

ONE ON ONE WITH GOD


Dear Jesus, today I’m choosing to let go of my unwanted baggage. Help me to let go of the pains of the past. And help me, too, to free myself from worrying about what’s gonna happen tomorrow. Instead Lord, teach me to appreciate today and what You are doing now. Guide me so I won’t miss out on the beauty of the present. As I do this, I know You are relieving me from a lot of stress and anxiety. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

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First, you went on a road trip. Along the way, you got lost and had to steer your life back on track. Now your tank is running low on gas. You need a fresh infusion of wisdom and inspiration.

You need to REFUEL

In Ru dela Torre’s 3rd book with OMF Literature, he shares a mix of personal reflections and devotional entries or “reflectio-devos” to energize you while you’re spending quiet times with God

A life revised conversation with Author and Missionary, Andy Smith

andy smith03

Although religious as a child, Andy Smith felt like there was something missing in his life during his teen years. In this one-on-one interview, he recounts his journey towards knowing God in a personal way and how it transformed him from the inside-out. Today, he serves as an OMF International missionary and plants churches in Albay.

Q: What was life like before knowing Jesus?

Andy: I grew up in a large family.  My first goal was to please my parents.  Since they stressed morality and good deeds, I tried to be moral and to help others.  We were faithful members of a certain church.  The message I heard it preach was about earning salvation.  So, it also urged me to be good.

On the surface, I appeared to be very good.  But in my heart, I knew otherwise.  I helped others for my own sake.  I did it so that others would praise me.

In my teen years, I became restless.  Two things shook my foundations.  First, science could not answer life’s biggest questions such as “Where did we come from?” and “What is the purpose of life?”  Second, although people loved me, I hungered to experience a deeper love.

Q: How did things change?

Andy: In my last year of high school, a friend invited me to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting.  Thinking I was a Christian and being an athlete, I thought I would fit well in such a group.  I was wrong.  The others knew how to worship God and gain wisdom from the Bible.

After the meeting, I mentioned my observations to my friend.  He replied, “Andy, you know a lot about Jesus, but you don’t know Him.”

I returned home and meditated on his statement.  After several hours, it struck me.  I had considered Jesus just another historical figure.  But if He really is God, then He is alive now and forevermore, and therefore He can be known.  I wept in repentance.  Then I asked God to let me get to know Him through Jesus Christ.

The next day, I went to school.  We had a classmate that everyone avoided.  When I saw her, a love for her filled my heart.  I froze in shock and processed what was happening.  Not only did God love me deeply, but He also gave me a deep love for others, including the unlovely.

Q: How has knowing Christ altered your life?

Andy: Since then, God has enabled me to serve others for their sake and in joyful obedience to Him.  Further, He has taught me much from His Word.  As a result, He has answered many of my biggest questions.  I now know that He is the Creator.  I have discovered that the purpose of life is to glorify Him, primarily by being the Church and by making disciples.  That knowledge has fixed the priorities for my life, first as a student, then as a working person, and now as a missionary.  It helps me choose the best activities from a large number of good options.

By grace, God continues to transform me.  I used to exaggerate to get attention.  Since His love for me meets my need for attention, I now tell the truth.  Much of my time used to go to playing sports.  But He disciplined me, leading to a significant injury.  Most of my energy now goes to serving others.  Meeting goals used to be my passion.  He has made me more balanced.  Although I still work towards goals, I now do so in ways that show my respect for people.

I am not the person I used to be.  I have not yet become all that God wants me to be.  But He has promised to keep making me more like Jesus.  I only hope that I remain like clay in His hand, being molded into His desire.

The Risen Lord changed history and He can also change your story. Join the life revised conversations on Facebook: omfliterature and Twitter: @omflit this Lent. Use the hashtag #liferevised

Has the Lord transformed your life? Share your life revised story with us at digital@omflit.com

“Yet now He has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in His physical body. As a result, he has brought you into His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault.” 
Colossians 1:22 (NLT)

God has never given up on His original creation. An entire Biblical vocabulary makes this point obvious. Reconcile. Redeem. Restore. Recover. Return. Renew. Regenerate. Resurrect. Each of these biblical words begins with the re prefix, suggesting a return to an original condition that was ruined or lost. For example, redemption means to buy back what was formerly owned. Similarly, reconciliation means the restoration or reestablishment of a prior friendship or unity. Renewal means to make new again, restoring to an original state. Resurrection means becoming physically alive again, after death.

These words emphasize that God always sees us in light of what He intended us to be, and He always seeks to restore us to that design. Likewise, He sees the earth in terms of what He intended it to be, and He seeks to restore it to its original design.

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Life Promises for Eternity by Randy Alcorn

Inspired by Randy Alcorn’s best-selling book Heaven, Life Promises for Eternity provides readers with more than 100 brief, inspirational readings on the topic of Heaven and the New Earth. Each reading is coupled with a trio of complementary Bible verses designed to further illuminate what the Bible has to say about the extraordinary place we will someday call home.