Strength to Strength - Day 2

Imagine you are in the midst of battle...

There are enemy soldiers all around you. From afar, they seem to be so much larger than you, their weapons and armor glistening in the midday sun. Their faces are stern and fierce, ready to charge at any moment's notice. They look unbeatable.

You glance at your fellow soldiers, the look of concern painted all over their faces. They seem to be staring at you, hoping they could draw from you the strength and courage they need for this battle. You wonder to yourself: "I am no different from you friends. Like you, I feel the same concern. Like you, I want to conquer this formidable enemy. But we cannot conquer this enemy by ourselves. We need to draw our strength from an Almighty Source."

This is probably what David had in mind when he wrote Psalm 27.

1 Lord, you are my Light and my Savior,

so why should I be afraid of anyone?

The Lord is where my life is safe,

so I will be afraid of no one!

2 Evil people might attack me.

They might try to destroy my body.

Yes, my enemies might attack me and

try to destroy me,

but they will stumble and fall.

3 Even if an army surrounds me, I will not be afraid.

Even if people attack me in war, I will

trust in the Lord.


Trust in the Lord Almighty. He gives you the strength to face your battles victoriously!

Wonderfully Made - Music and Lyrics by Paolo Tirol

I've seen ev'ry tear that you've cried.

The fears and the failures your struggle to hide.

The worthiness doubted beneath all that pride.

The visions and dreams left behind.


I know your remorse and regret.

The secrets and stories you ache to forget.

So many people you'd die to be yet.


I choose you, I choose you.

Do you know I choose you?

I choose you.


Refrain:

If only you could see yourself the way that I do,

And know yourself the way I know you

Then you'd love yourself

As somebody who is wonderfully made.


How faultless you are in my eyes.

So gentle and guiltless, so perfect and prized.

There's so much to love that you don't realize,

My child, My beloved, My pride.


A future with so much in store,

A gift those around you are so grateful for.

Nothing can alter that forevermore.


I'd choose you, I'd choose you.

Do you know why I'd choose you?

I'd choose you.


(Refrain)


Forever and ever I'd choose you.

Just as you are, I'd choose you.

Again and again, I would choose you.


(Refrain)


Wonderfully made,

Wonderfully made,

Wonderfully made are you.

From Strength to Strength Episode 2: Giantslayer

We mentioned the name of King David on our first video. We know that he was a strong and mighty King and one of the greatest leaders who ever lived. But before he became King, he first had to overcome a formidable foe, the giant Goliath who made the rest of the army of Israel shake in their boots, except young David. How did David accomplish such a feat? What can we learn from him in slaying our own “giants”? We share with you a few thoughts in this video.

This is an extended video for you to reflect on Episode 2: Giantslayer

Reflections of Carol Bajar

Learner. Analytical. Connectedness. Consistency and Developer.

I use these talents in my day-to-day but my Learner and Analytical is in full throttle for most of the time. These have helped me to excel in my endeavors. God has given me that unquenchable thirst for new learnings and that desire to keep on improving by finding ways to make things better or more efficient. Put that together with my Analytical, it keeps me logical and objective specially in very emotional situations. Come to think of it, I heavily used all 5 talent themes when I led a team of professional support staff in my corporate life. This has helped me grow a team of 7 people to becoming a cutting-edge department with over a hundred team members and still counting when I retired about three and a half years ago.

I would not have been able to do this had it not been for God’s generous gifts which He continues to bestow me with. He not only provided me with the tools I needed but he also sent me people who complemented my talents. I knew who to count on when I needed the data and facts, or when I needed someone to help me articulate my messaging to our stakeholders. God gave me people who were good at providing more options or solutions and individuals who were good at building relationships. Oh how wonderfully unique we are all made and so interconnected! God didn’t just stop at giving me the talents I needed but He also made sure that I am not alone in it all. He sends me people who would complement what I already have so that together we would do so much more. I just need to keep my eyes, ears and heart open.

Of course, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. There are times when challenges would come but I remind myself that “None of the trials which have come upon you is more than a human being can stand. You can trust that God will not let you be put to the test beyond your strength, with any trial He will provide a way out by enabling you to get through it.” 1 CORINTHIANS 10:13 Truly, our Heavenly Father equips the called. I am able to do it because of what God has already given me and what He continues to provide me with. And by using and strengthening my God-given talents, I glorify Him who giveth to me mindful that it is all by God’s grace.

David used only a sling and stone. When people saw what weapon he chose and the lack of an armor, the enemies scoffed and those who were on King Saul’s camp were terrified. To everyone’s mind, it was a lost cause. But God already gave David everything he needed to win the battle. It may seem small or insignificant to others or maybe even to yourself but when offered and used with God’s grace and power, it turned into a formidable weapon.

Hence, whenever I still feel inadequate or fearful despite knowing my talents and the value I could bring, I acknowledge my feelings and my weaknesses. I embrace them and know that there is one more thing needed to be done. It is to lift it up to God and make it as an offering, trusting in His love, in His providence and in His power. For it is said in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” And even if I fail or fall, I know in my Father’s Compassionate Loving eyes, I am enough just as I am.

- Coach Carol


“Giantslayer” - Guide Questions for Reflection

  1. Identify the “giants” you are facing right now. Have you been facing them alone? Seek God in prayer as you invite Him into your battles.

  2. Think about a major victory or success. How have you seen your Top 5 Strengths contribute to it in actual experience?

  3. Have you been fighting your battles with strengths that are not yours? Ask God for the wisdom to fully embrace how He has uniquely created you.

  4. How have you seen God’s hand in your successes and victories? Take this time to pause and thank Him for the wonderful things He has done for you.

From Strength to Strength Episode 3: Factory Defect

Strengths-based living entails focusing on and developing our strengths. This leads to success. However, we understand too that we do not live in a perfect world, and we are imperfect human beings. We falter and fail. And that is ok. In this video, we explore our strengths when they are used in their raw form so that we can take the necessary steps to prevent them from impeding our progress.

This is an extended video for you to reflect on Episode 3: Factory Defect

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Reflection by Pia Acevedo

Activator. Connectedness. Belief. Woo. Communication

My Lord and my God has been my salvation. I was sexually abused at a very young age. Too young and innocent to know what was going on at that time. The trauma was so severe that it was buried in my subconscious.

Married with two chilren, this brokenness returned to haunt me. They say that your mind and heart know how to protect you. Hence the trauma only surfacing when I was much older, in a safe relationship and ready to face the ghosts of my past. Managing the healing has taken much time, a real journey... we are never really truly over painful experiences. In many ways this wound has fueled me, has anchored me, has made me the strong person that I know I am today. So full of hope and focus on making the lives of others better - becuase I've been there. I have been to the darkest parts of my life when ending it was a real option. Depression and suicidal thoughts were my companions for many years.

Embracing how my painful past has become the deepest and richest source of hope, peace, love and compassion has been the swiftest journey to my Lord's heart. When in doubt of any next steps for me to take in life, I recall how the Lord had picked me up in the deepest, darkest points in my life. How that one traumatic experience that spiraled into other unhealthy and painful relationship decisions showered me with a waterfall of graces to take on life and all its challenges. To forgive, to be forgiven... to continue to ask for forgiveness when I am insecure, broken and afraid. My connectendness and belief are refined and transformed into strengths as I cling to my Lord Jesus Christ's love especially in this time of lent. Even in my darkest hour... I never felt alone.

For no matter what scars my past may have afflicted on my soul...

"We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them..." Ephesians 2:10

I have been made beautiful by the Lord's love, by his embrace, his mercy and compassion. My daily prayer is for my life - wounds, pains, scars and all to of service His Kingdom, a humble and simple witnessing to His faithfulness and love.

“Factory Defect” - Guide Questions for Reflection

  1. How does embracing your brokenness change the way you view your strengths?

  2. Read the barrier labels of your Top 5 Strengths. Have you seen them play out in your own life before? What was the result? What steps can you take to prevent them from hindering your progress?

  3. Meditate on Ephesians 2:10. Spend your time in prayer, bringing to God your brokenness, past pains, and disappointments. Surrender all to Him, trusting that He will eventually restore you to your original intended purpose.