Some HIGHLIGHTS from A Saturday Kind Of Love Photo Exhibit!
Highlights from my very awesome friend, Lois Campos’ second photo exhibit with Anne Acaso entitled ‘A Saturday Kind of Love’ in which Josh and I sang beside an aircon. It was chill and intimate. I’d love to have more gigs like this :)
*warning: emo post.
I’m not gonna lie, insecurity has been eating me up for the past few days. I’ve been scraping my skin with a pocket knife trying to get rid of my ugliness but on the surface, I’m still the same old Clara smiling and acting perfectly fine.
But I’m not fine. And I can’t continue to act like I am. Here I am now, telling you this—the most convenient way possible(blogging, haha)—that I’m not okay. I am torn and I feel ugly and it’s all for the wrong, stupid reasons. Human reasons. No wait, teenage girl reasons is more like it. Its foolish and degrading but I realized the more I hate myself for being like this, the more I feed my insecurities. It’s ironic. I hate myself for hating myself for hating myself, it just goes on forever. And I can only pretend to be fine just for a little while. I’m tired of pretending. I just want everyone to leave me alone to feel dry and ugly. Yet I can’t help this nagging sense inside of me to let everyone know about my condition. There it is again, trying to grab people’s attention, but not wanting anyone’s help. my insecurity is pilling up and I can’t even see what’s ahead of me anymore so I sit here, hating myself.
Then at the back of my mind, in my awkward silence, a voice ever so gentle humorously whispers, “..so it has come to this.” Yes, I guess it has. And so the vision starts.
It starts off with me pacing the floor, back and forth, ranting out all my thoughts. “Why do I let other people beat me up like this? Why did you create me with such a stubborn heart? Why why why!! I don’t understand anything anymore!”
As I grew tired of throwing all the furniture around and crying and talking, I look at You and You’re patiently sitting on the far end of the couch listening quietly, not showing any sign of boredom or irritation.
“I’m so glad You’re not human.” I finally conclude and sit down.
You let my head rest on your lap and say, “My daughter, I love you. You don’t have to try. Just be still.”
Suddenly, it’s not about me anymore. The reality of the Cross sets in. Jesus sacrificing himself, dying the ultimate death so we can be worthy of being called the children of God. He died for me. Me! The ugly, insecure, foolish, people-pleasing no good teenager!
The more I think about the Cross, the more heart-breaking this all feels. How He died and rose again. I don’t have to earn His, let alone anyone’s approval. That’s the beauty of grace. I am alive to live for You. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone, not even Him!! Jesus loves me, and He looks at my heart. That’s all that matters.
I just pray that God continues to break this spiritual pride I have in me in this pruning season and expose all the dirt and ugliness in my heart thats not supposed to be there and remove anything or anyone that’s keeping me from living for Him as I pursue holiness.
I am beautiful because You made me beautiful. And Im not gonna let the world tell me otherwise. So I might as well give You my all.
(sources: Isaiah 55:8-9, Romans 6, Psalm 86)
We are spirit beings with a soul, living in a physical body.
Feeling is the voice of your body. Reason is the voice of your soul. Your conscience is the voice of your spirit. Your body, your soul, and your spirit solely rely on what you’re feeding them with. If you don’t feed them, they die. What are you feeding your body? What are you feeding your soul? Most importantly, what are you feeding your spirit?
So, when you become born again, you become baptized with The Holy Spirit, right? You start to have the Holy Spirit with you.. But the problem with some of us Christians is that we can’t sense the Holy Spirit that’s cause we don’t exactly know how..
God sent us the Holy Spirit so He can connect with us. He connects with us spiritually! In other words, He connects with us through our spirit through His spirit being the Holy Spirit.
“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship(must live) in spirit and truth.” John 4:24 ESV
But how can you know or be sensitive with the Holy Spirit and what He is calling you to do?
Feed your spirit with The Word, and you will be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading. Your entire being relies on your spirit! Feed it properly.
It’s as simple as that.
Learn to quiet down your mind and your emotions and wait on God. Get to know His Word and get to know His presence. He speaks to us through the Holy Spirit and we hear Him through our spirit, and we hear our spirit through our conscience, therefore our bodies and souls act upon that. (Sorry was that confusing? Hehe)
And trust me, you’re not gonna lack anything when you have the Holy Spirit with you, working inside of you. (Read Psalm 34!) (Listen to Switchfoot’s song ‘Spirit’ <3)
Live in the Spirit! Read the Bible, pray everyday and you grow grow grow! :D
(Other sources: preachings by Creflo Dollar, preachings by The Ramp, Joshua Harris’ Dug Down Deep)
Not Over You (cover) by Clara Benin & DeJaun Lamar
So very thankful that My sister and I had the opportunity to do a video collaboration with The Lamars We where able to squeeze all our creative juices out together and come up with a concept for this Gavin Degraw cover. Definitely pleased with the outcome especially thankful to have the opportunity to work with two very talented actors for this short story.
Directed by: DeJaun Lamar, Lois Campos, Clarissa Campos, Emmanuelle Vera
Cinematography by: Lois Campos, DeJaun Lamar, Clarissa Campos
Editor: Clarissa Campos
Cast: Micah Lamar & Dani CamCam
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You know what they say about worrying? Don’t.
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?..” (Matthew 6)
In Matthew 6, Jesus talks about the things we tackle in our everyday lives: money, food, and clothes. These are the things we all tend to worry about. What to buy? What to eat? What to wear? Think about it.
Consider me, I’m not that fond of fashion, shoes or accessories. As long as I’m comfy with the clothes I’m wearing, I’m good to go. But sometimes I find myself stressing over matching my outfits with my chucks and making sure I look appropriate for the occasion.
During lunch break, the biggest problem me and my friends face is, “where do we eat? What’s your budget for today?”
Clothes, food, and money. We save up money to buy our favorite food or invest in a good outfit. These things are our essentials to living! These are the things we value everyday of our lives.
Jesus tells us not to worry about these things. More than just that, He tells us not to worry at all.
“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (Matthew 6:27) worrying is a waste of time!
Now, lets just make this clear: Jesus never said that valuing these things is wrong.
There’s nothing wrong with buying clothes and wanting to look good or satisfying our stomachs with delicious food. Money is never the problem, greed is. There’s nothing wrong with valuing food and clothes and all other pleasures, its gluttony and lust and materialism that undermine their value. When these things consume you and take up your time, it becomes idolatry. It says in Exodus 3:4, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Anything you put before God is an idol. It destroys not just you but also your relationship with God and your relationship with others. That’s why Proverbs says to guard your heart. Lest greed, lust, gluttony, materialism, etc. sneakily enters into it.
Anyway! Back to the point.
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? ’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.” (Matthew 6:31-32)
Jesus was as human as you and I are today. He knows and understand what we all go through daily. Of course He knows what He’s talking about when He says not to worry about these things! And it’s His relationship with God that assures Him and holds Him securely enough to not worry about anything. He knows His Father will take care of His needs.
Does your relationship with God keep you secure enough not to worry about certain things?
Let’s go back a few verses..
“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” (Matthew 6:26)
Boom! You are valuable to God.
Like what Pastor Joey said in his book The Lego Principle, “God, who is most valuable, values people more than anything else in creation.” God cares for you. He loves you. More than the birds in the sky, more than the fish in the sea, to Him, you are far beyond more beautiful than the stars in the vast open sky. More than anything else in the world, you are His prized possession.
We are so valuable to Him that He gave us His one and only son to set us free from eternal death. (John 3:16 never gets old!)
“You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
“Give all your worries and cares to God because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
God cares for you enough to care about the things you care about. Even the littlest things. Whether its your outfit for today, your homework, financial problems, or your insecurities. God sees these things and He wants you to surrender all your worries to Him because He will take care of them.
“Steep your life in God- reality, God- initiative, God- provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” (Matthew 6:33 The Message) / “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 ESV)
Let’s start the year off by saying, “No worries! God’s got this!”
I’m looking forward to my church’s Prayer and Fasting thats starting next week. It’s a perfect time for me to pray and seek God about my faith goals and what He has for me this year.
I’m believing for a lot of things this year but in the end I want His will, not mine, to be done. I value Him more than anything in life. Even if my plans may fail, I know He never will. I’m so excited! I know God has so much in stored for me and my family this year. I’m ready for another year filled with crazy adventures with You!