FEATURED, Just My Thoughts, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY

I Am Torn

Honestly, I am torn. I have been frustrated with the slow deployment of necessary help for our countrymen that our government is supposed to provide. I know that there were huge amounts of relief goods sent to Tacloban and they were not getting to the Haiyan/Yolanda victims as quickly as everyone hoped. There was (not sure if there still is) a hold up somewhere. I understand that logistics is a nightmare. It is not that easy to get goods and people in, and to get victims out. The devastation is massive. Manpower is low. But friends from other nations have come, with their own aircrafts, equipment, and people. So I really could not understand what was taking so long. I hate that politics is the apparent reason for some of it! I all the more do not understand how they can refuse to help certain victims because of political affiliation. I do not understand how they can push their political agenda at the expense of so many lives. It’s infuriating.

On the other hand, I also wonder why other cities were able to evacuate their people, knowing that a super typhoon was coming, while Tacloban did not. I believe they prepared, but they probably underestimated the power of the typhoon. The local government did their part, but obviously it was not enough. The local government became the victims themselves. I am inclined to have more compassion for them, rather than frustration, because they have lost so many lives already. They can learn from this tragedy, but they don’t need to be blamed. They need to be helped.

I appreciate the honesty of news reports, but I didn’t appreciate the negative angle that it was coming from. At times, especially with initial reports, it felt like there was no hope. It was chaos, and there was no hope. I understand why people lauded the honesty, but I wondered why news crews focused only on a few cities in their reports. There were many others who needed the attention and aide. Because of the negativity, however, so much help came in internationally.

I understand why people are angry, why people criticize. I am sometimes one of them. I also understand why people stay quiet and choose to just appreciate what is already being done.

Like I said, I am torn and many times confused. And I could rant all I want, since I have the freedom to speak. But will it do any good? So many others have already written and expressed their distaste of what has happened or what is happening. Will my chiming in help others? And I really have no authority on the matter anyway. I cannot judge anything from where I am sitting, and I cannot judge anyone based only on what I see on TV or read on the net. If my intelligent ranting/writing could give facts, important and helpful information, I would do it. But since I am not an authority on disaster prevention, disaster management, or government policies and such, I should not. I will leave that to those who know better than me.

I will, however, continue to read, watch, and be informed. I will direct my efforts to sharing valuable information to people on how they can help. I choose to focus on actually HELPING. We can raise funds for the victims. We can give to efficient, reputable organizations. We can collect goods within our neighbourhood or community. There are so many relief operations that we can lend a few hours of our time to and shed a few drops of sweat for. Whether we have money to share or not, we can help with carrying, packing and distributing. We can also cook and give food to the evacuees in Villamor Airbase, or drive them to their families in Manila. Let’s be part of the solution! I don’t know how long this will go on, but enough talk. Let’s just do what we can. PRAY. DONATE. VOLUNTEER.

Register to be a volunteer in Villamor Airbase here.

Donate unlimited water to typhoon victims via Green Focus, Inc here.

 

Just My Thoughts, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY

Let’s Keep Going! For Yolanda/Haiyan Victims!

Super typhoon Yolanda (or Haiyan, internationally) hit us hard last Friday. The pictures and the reports about Tacloban and other parts of Leyte were just unbelievable. I have never seen or experienced winds like that my entire life. I had never heard of storm surges till that day. I expected the floods to be bad and for weak houses to be damaged, but I never expected concrete houses AND buildings to be knocked down. I cannot imagine being there with my family, especially with my two girls. I wonder if our house could withstand such weather. I wonder if I am equipped physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually to survive such an ordeal.

Relief operations began on Monday at our church in Alabang. King and the girls were there, while I was attending a training. On Tuesday, we were all there in the morning because King and I had to get our blood drawn for the annual physical exam. It was incredibly busy in the office that day, as the staff had deadlines to meet and relief operations to take care of. Seeing videos and reading articles, waves of helplessness and sadness would come to me. I wanted to go to Tacloban to help, but aside from my husband’s own disapproval, I questioned whether I would be an asset there or a liability. God sees our hearts, but we always have to move with wisdom. Prayer is our greatest weapon at a time like this.

Instead of feeding my own feelings of helplessness, listening to reports and waiting, I invited the girls to help in packing goods. It was such a joy to see them and our senior pastor’s daughters (I’m sorry I have no pictures) jump at the chance. And it was such a pleasure to be one in heart and arms with the volunteers, young and old alike! I must say that I was so tired when we got home late that night (haha, it might be my age), but it was completely worth it. Our labor will never compare to what the victims have had to endure the past few days and have to go through for the next months or even years.

I thought I was going to be able to stay home and focus on homeschooling yesterday, but reading blogs and news articles made me really antsy again. More cities were being reported to have been affected by Yolanda. I couldn’t stay home. I had to do something, even though I had no power to make things happen there in the affected cities. I have my own frustrations and sentiments, but I figured I could just do my part. I brought the girls with me and participated in the relief ops again. There were more volunteers and so much more goods!

I appreciate what Christopher de Bono of UNICEF said on an interview on BBC, when asked what he would say if he had the ear of a government official. He said that it is EASY TO CRITICIZE but he would say GOOD JOB and KEEP GOING. I agree that it is very easy to criticize when we are outside looking in. I agree that the officials who are victims themselves are doing a good job coping AND helping others, considering their plight. The officials who are sincerely helping, not politicking, are doing a good job. And I agree that we ought to just keep going, and do what we can where we are. PRAY. GIVE. VOLUNTEER.

I love the heart of the Filipino — always willing to give out of his own pocket and of himself. And not just in our church or our own country, but world-wide! Filipinos everywhere are raising funds and packing goods to send to the Philippines. Other countries are sending aid to us as well. The love, generosity and compassion are overwhelming. THANK YOU SO MUCH FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS. God bless you! God bless the Filipino people!

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Click here if you want to donate to Yolanda victims via Victory Christian Fellowship.

Click here if you want to donate to Yolanda victims in Tacloban via Tindog Tacloban.

Click here if you want to donate to Yolanda victims in Coron, Palawan via Hilbert Enriquez.

Discipleship, Just My Thoughts, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, Relationships

You and Your Lists

It’s no secret that most singles want to get married. I hear women, not sure about the men, say that they have a list of qualities that they are praying for. Some of them have an actual list. It may sound absurd to some of you, but to be honest, I had a list when I was single too.

My list had physical attributes specified, as well as pretty specific character and personality traits. I wrote down that list to know what I myself wanted in a husband and as a prayer of the qualities I wanted in him, as opposed to just wanting to BE married and praying for ANY husband.

I realize, however, that we women can take this to a dangerous extreme. We have a strong tendency to be DEPENDENT on this list, to be stuck on this list. What if the man that God is already presenting to you does not fit your list? What if he misses the mark, misses YOUR mark, in terms of looks, personality, family background, financial status, or character?

Don’t get me wrong. Standards are great. They speak about the value that we put on ourselves. They help us stay on the right track, remember our priorities, and make the right choices. They help us set boundaries that prevent us from putting ourselves in compromising positions, positions that will lead us to sin against God. We need standards. High ones.

As daughters of the King of kings, we ought to have high standards as He placed such a high value on us when His Son died for us on the cross. But make sure your standards are high when it comes to character. Put a premium on character and the man’s growing relationship with God, and not so much on his looks, height, weight, job, ministry, money, or last name.

Yes, there are many considerations in choosing a husband. Of course you want one whom you will enjoy looking at and waking next to. I am quite forgiving when it comes to that, NOT to say that I am not happy with my husband’s looks! I love his eyes and his loving ways. He has grown more handsome because of his love and his character. That’s way more important to me. I’m just happy that he is taller than me! And I can’t do anything about weight, as that fluctuates haha, just as mine does.

You want a husband with a good family background, not just a nice family name. All families have issues, but what matters is how your man treats his family, because it is an indication of how he will treat you and your family. It matters also how his family treats you, though it shouldn’t be your deciding factor. It’s his loyalty to you that will matter when conflicts arise. I happen to love King’s family and my last name.

You want a financially responsible husband, whom you are willing to support and cheer so that he can achieve his dreams and goals. You want a man WITH dreams and goals. Honestly, I did not even consider my future husband’s occupation. I didn’t desire to be a pastor’s wife. In other words, whether or not King was a pastor or was going to be one, I would’ve still married him. I don’t think I even thought of that. My “concern” was my freedom to continue to serve in church, therefore I needed and wanted a man who loved God more than he loved me, and a man who would lead and provide for me and our family the way God calls a man to. King didn’t have to be a pastor to be such a man. It just so happened that he was called to be one.

You want a husband that jives with your personality. I know I wanted a man who made me laugh, but when my eyes were opened to King, I thought we didn’t have the same wave length. I really thought there was no way we would work because I love and am good at word games, while he was (not anymore) pretty slow haha. It initially didn’t make sense to me, though it made sense to our friends. Today, our personalities still clash sometimes, but our commitment to God and to each other is more important to us than our petty issues.

My favorite item on that list, though, is: THAT HE WOULD DANCE WITH ME. And you know, God is just wonderfully amazing that he gave me a husband who does. A small detail it is, but it all the more has shown me what an intimate, PERSONAL GOD He is. He truly knows my heart’s desires.

You may have more considerations, but don’t ever assume that your list is God’s will for you. Chances are, your list is already based on someone you are eyeing (I wrote mine before I met King though). Don’t set yourself up for disappointment. You may not get exactly what you want or expect. Don’t be blinded by your list either.  He may not match a couple of the items on your list, but he could be the best man for you. You have been given the free will to choose, but exercise wisdom and rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you instead.

Better yet, STOP MAKING LISTS! Pray. Seek godly counsel. Get into the Word and let your mind get renewed by it, so you can see God’s good, pleasing and perfect will.  Have a grateful heart. Be grateful that you are single at the moment.  Be grateful that God has your future in His hands and He knows what and who is best for you. He knows more and better than you. Be grateful that His timing is perfect. Be grateful that you are not useless, not worthless, or have to be joyless while you are single. On the contrary, God saw you worthy of His Son’s bloodshed. He desires to use you in advancing His kingdom. Joy is from Him, not from marriage or a man or a relationship. You have God NOW. Love, grow, serve. And all these “things” will be given to you as well. 🙂

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

Discipleship, Just My Thoughts, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY

The Honorable Woman

Since I wrote about the honorable man and the courageous man, I think it is only fair to write about the HONORABLE WOMAN. If I was bold enough to write about “a few good men” and my husband,  I will have to start off with a disclaimer for this one haha.

Disclaimer: I was not always the honorable woman and I do not claim to be everything that is written. I am still learning too. I cite some of my experiences, but I also share what I’ve learned from wise men and women. 🙂

With courtship defined, what does an honorable woman do before that? She prays as she waits. When I was a single woman, at age 24, it was a struggle. As a new Christian, I struggled with my IDENTITY. Having a relationship with a man and even the thought of marriage was what made me happy and whole. I didn’t realize that relationships was my god, until God opened my eyes and I realized that NO ONE CAN COMPLETE ME EXCEPT JESUS. Even though, like King, I liked someone else in the beginning, I prayed. I prayed for GOD’S WILL for my life. I did not want to get into any relationship anymore until it was the one that God planned for me. I decided to WAIT. That was my faith.

What if you already have a hint about someone who likes you? Honestly, with the first Christian guy I liked, I was kept guessing. I was getting mixed signals, but I was never sure if he was sending me signals at all because he never said a word. That was annoying and hard, but it made me pray more. It taught me to NEVER ASSUME.

With King, I already knew he was “crushing” on me because our friends teased us individually, apart. Thankfully there came a point where they decided to stop. (take a hint, friends: stop teasing!) We would go out in groups, but because I learned to WANT WHAT GOD WANTED and I really did not want to make a mistake, I kept my DISTANCE. I would assess myself if I liked him too, and there were times I did and there were times I didn’t. The respect was there, for sure. And in terms of character, I had no issues. But there were just times that I didn’t think it was going to work, IF EVER. I thank God King did not text or call me, or ask me to even eat with him alone, as he was also TESTING HIS EMOTIONS on his end. (take a hint, ladies and men: texting/chatting and spending time with each other can stir your emotions. Test them first and seek counsel before you men initiate or before you ladies respond.)

I never rode his car because I was afraid, not because I didn’t trust him, but because I did not want to PUT MYSELF IN A COMPROMISING POSITION. I chose to use my own car. I have learned, however, that if in situations that a man and a woman have to ride a car alone, the woman sits at the back. I have seen my husband do this when he has to do funeral services and bring a female worship leader or musician with him. (take a hint, ladies and men!)

What if he seems to be really into you, doing things for you that he normally doesn’t do for other girls? I didn’t experience this myself, but I learned that if you are uncomfortable with it, you can actually confront the man. You can QUESTION HIS MOTIVES. His answer or silence will reveal much about him and his intentions. The danger there is if he tells you he does like you. Then what? If he is a man with PURE AND PURPOSEFUL INTENTIONS, he will be honest and he will pursue you. If he is a man who is not, I believe the honorable thing to do is put the distance between the two of you until he figures it out for himself. You ought to pray about your end too, most especially if you like him. Again, test your emotions. “Feels right” doesn’t necessarily equate to the right thing. “Feels good” doesn’t equate to the good either, let alone the best.

What if a man has been bold enough to tell you that he has been praying for you and he intends to pursue you? If you like him or want to give him a chance because there might be a possibility, say yes. Chances are, you’ve been praying about it (though not necessarily about him), too. As mentioned, courtship may or may not lead to marriage. The goal is to SEEK GOD and HONOR HIM in the process. Don’t be afraid, thinking you’ll be stuck. You are just going to allow the man to get to know you and allow yourself to get to know him.

Sometimes all it takes is one date to discover that it’s not going to work out. As an honorable woman, you can honestly and politely let the man know. No need to let it go on longer than it should. Just be honest AND polite.

If in the very beginning, you already know that it’s a No, maybe because you don’t believe it’s your season yet or you don’t like him period, then say so as well. The man is being honorable in pursuing or in trying to pursue you. The least you can do is face him. RESPOND WITH HONOR as well.

What if you’re in a relationship now? Your honor and character are not for me to judge just because you are in a relationship. You can be in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship and remain honorable. You can also be in a “friendship” and remain honorable. In the same way, people can hide behind courtship to look honorable even when they are already deep in sin. As long as you know that your HEART IS RIGHT BEFORE THE LORD and this relationship is not derailing you from your destiny and NOT DRAWING YOUR HEART AWAY FROM GOD, (although I honestly would prefer that you are a single professional, at least 21 years old — I would say the same to my daughters since I’ve been there and done that haha), then I cannot say anything against it. It really is BETWEEN YOU AND GOD.

So what on earth am I talking about, you say? As with everything I write, I am talking about my personal convictions, my stand. And I’m sharing it with anyone who wants to learn the easy way, what we have learned the hard way.

Bottom line is HONOR GOD in everything you do. No one is perfect, but your desire to do this especially when it comes to relationships, with the invaluable help of the Holy Spirit, will keep your own motives and actions in check.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Just My Thoughts, Marriage, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, THE BRAINY BUNCH, YOUTH MINISTRY

Courage of A King

If there is one thing I want to tell men — youth, single and married alike — is that they ought to be men of courage.

We all know that courage is not not being afraid, but going ahead and doing something despite the fear and despite the challenge.Courage after all, stems from faith. How courageous one is, is directly related to how great his faith is.

I have been seeing many youth stepping up lately. Young men who used to be the poster boys for “worldly christianity,” who have left their old ways and old relationships, and now are obeying the Lord.

I have been seeing single men stepping up, acting on their faith to pursue the woman they had been praying for and exercising great wisdom to remain pure and holy before the Lord.

I have been seeing married men stepping up, being vigilant and staying committed to their wife and their marriage. I have even been seeing married men who have made mistakes, but are stepping up to keep their family intact and restoring their relationship with their wife.

In fact, I have been seeing courage firsthand.

Read more:http://www.actlikeaman.org/courage-2/#ixzz2XxXYqpcW

Just My Thoughts, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY

Courtship and the Honorable Man

Courtship. It’s the stage in a man and woman’s life where they get to know each other better. The HONORABLE MAN lays down his intentions to the woman whom he has been praying for (take a hint, ladies: he has a relationship with God), and if the woman agrees (take a hint, gentlemen: it has to be mutual, she has to like you too), they go out on dates by themselves. And no, it is not the same as boyfriend-girlfriend relationships, nor “mutual understanding” between two people.

Courtship has a GOAL. The man and the woman SEEK THE LORD and learn more about each other, with MARRIAGE IN MIND. (Take a huge hint here and everywhere, gentlemen!) The honorable man doesn’t court a girl for the heck of it. He does so with much apprehension and fear of possible rejection, and at the same time with much boldness and conviction, sure that he wants to pursue the woman (another hint, ladies: the man pursues you) and possibly marry her.

The honorable man is emotionally ready and is spiritually mature. He does NOT let his emotions rule him. He seeks God first and he guards his heart AND actions. The honorable man has a PLAN! He clearly lays down his intentions to the woman. He does not mislead her by hanging around her often and not saying a word about what he’s doing. He courts her IN THE OPEN, not hiding behind “friendship.” And he lays down his intentions because he is READY TO BACK IT UP with a marriage proposal — ready for a lifetime commitment, ready to provide, ready to lay down his life for his wife just as Christ did for the church. (Take a huge hint here, ladies: If a man is spending way too much time with you, getting to know you without even stating his intentions, HE IS NOT HONORING YOU. Don’t allow any man to dishonor you, no matter how much you actually like him.)

Whether or not the two end up together, courtship will still be a success. It will accomplish its goal. The only time it is not successful is when the man and the woman cross the line, when they stop honoring each other. They cannot go back to friendship or even civility if they do not remain pure and holy before the Lord. They cannot go back to friendship if they do not maintain mutual respect for each other. They will have a difficult time healing from unnecessary heartache caused by broken promises. (Hint, ladies and gentlemen: courtship is not a license for you to let your guard down emotionally, physically and spiritually. Guard your words, guard your actions, guard your heart.)

I am inspired to write this because I am seeing this before my very eyes. Honor and nobility are not dead among our men! 🙂

But the noble make noble plans,

and by noble deeds they stand. Isaiah 32:8

Discipleship, Family, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, Parenting, Spiritual Family, THE BRAINY BUNCH, YOUTH MINISTRY

10X

10xOur new series in church is 10X, all about the next generation. While listening to the preaching yesterday, I was close to tears. Aside from Ptr Jonathan’s touching story about his brave teenage daughter KC who went through so much as a child, operations for her cleft palate and scoliosis, bullying and isolation because she looks and sounds different, I got reminded of my own daughter.

Danae has not gone through half of what KC has, but the preaching brought me back to my pregnancy and our first year as parents. You see, Daniel is my absolute favorite person in the Bible (Old Testament). We would have named our first born after him if he were a boy. But because we had a girl, we found a not-so-common name in a Baby Names book that was the same as Daniel — Danae. In Hebrew, both mean God is my judge, although apparently Danae is also a princess in Greek Mythology. I do not like her story there. Just saying, haha.

Anyway, I just remembered why I love Daniel so much and how we wanted Danae (and Noelle of course) to be ten times better than us, just like Daniel was in his generation. We were so passionate about praying and declaring this to Danae even while she (and Noelle) was in my womb.

This is truly our heart’s desire. We hope for our children to be ten times better than me or King — that at an early age, they will love God, hold fast and remain in Him. This is why we spend time with them, we teach them God’s word and about life, we homeschool them, we discipline them, we pray with them, we build memories with them, we talk to them. We love our children so much that we want more for them — not so they will be trapped in what we think is best for them, but so that they will seek the Lord, grow and walk in their God-given destiny.

This is why we step up as parents as well. What we teach our kids, they must see in us. It is completely unfair that we expect them to be ten times better, while we remain mediocre or indifferent or passive. If we want our children to be ten times better than us, we must be active in parenting them. We have gone ahead of them and we are continually learning. It is our responsibility to not only download it to them, but set the example for them. This way, we will be better, and our children will be ten times better. 🙂

The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. Daniel 1:19-20

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:5-9

Just My Thoughts, My Kids, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, Parenting, THE BRAINY BUNCH

“I don’t know.”

There are many instances where my kids do things that make absolutely no sense to me — things like doing again the very thing that has gotten them hurt or in trouble, or getting upset that they’re being”blamed” for doing something they actually did, or filling their bags with all sorts of things they don’t need making it too heavy for them to lug around, or fighting about pillows when it’s time to sleep.

I often ask them why they do these things, which more often are not at all worth the trouble, because I want to try to understand where they’re coming from. I often hear “I don’t know” for an answer.

It annoys me greatly and I eventually got tired of it. I still hear their “I don’t know”s of course, but I have since reminded our girls that they should first ask themselves why, before they do something. If their answer is “I don’t know,” then they shouldn’t do it. They should stop.

At times they tell me they do something because so and so did it, and I have heard myself ask them the age-old question “If someone told you to jump off a cliff, would you?” Haha. Not everything their friends say and do, they should imitate. If they know better, then they should go with what they know. If they don’t know better or at all, then they should pause and seek help from those who do know.

We want to teach our children to be aware of themselves, not to be calculating and stiff, but to be wise. Yes they will make mistakes, but I believe they will avoid many sticky situations if they learn to assess first before they dive into anything.

If they don’t know why they’re doing something, what’s the point of doing it? If they don’t train themselves, or if we don’t help train them, to think about their own motives regarding their decisions and actions, they may end up doing anything. They may end up being influenced quickly by others. They may end up having no conviction, no integrity, no backbone.

“I don’t know” to me, can mean three things — the first two are uncertainty and indifference. I don’t want our kids to be unsure about something they’re doing. I don’t just want them to be sure about something before they do it either, because being sure doesn’t necessarily mean being right. You can be sure yet be surely wrong. More so, I don’t want them to be indifferent, following others blindly or not following anyone at all, not caring enough about what they’re doing and caring less about why they’re doing it.

The third one is the one I want for me and my children. Obviously we don’t know everything and there will be many times that we will not know. It is always good to admit when this is true, because this kind of not knowing does not make us insecure or indifferent. It is the kind of not knowing that, though sometimes keeps us guessing, makes us get down on our knees, seek God, and trust in His plans. The kind of not knowing that makes us relinquish control and submit our lives under God’s authority. The kind of not knowing that makes us grow in our faith and have a more intimate relationship with God.

I am grateful for the privilege to train our children, and when the day comes that that kind of “I don’t know” comes out of my girls’ lips, I will all the more praise the Lord.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke. Proverbs 13:1

 

Discipleship, Just My Thoughts, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, YOUTH MINISTRY

Who are you?

About a month ago, I had the privilege to teach about Identity to the youth ladies of our church. As I was studying my notes and figuring out how to share my testimony, God reminded me about a tweet I posted: PURPOSE determines your priorities. In your IDENTITY lies your security. It was a nugget of truth I learned from a preaching by Ptr Bernhard Wewege of our New Zealand church.

Whatever or whoever it is that you identify with, you get your security from. Whatever it is that makes you feel secure OR insecure, is an indication of where you get your identity.

Do you feel very insecure when you don’t have make up on? Don’t feel pretty because you don’t have nice clothes, shoes, or bags? Can’t show yourself to anyone unless you are all dolled up? Can’t leave home without being all decked out? Do you look in the mirror every 5 seconds? Do you feel prettier or uglier, more accepted or less accepted, because of your skin tone? Do you feel good about yourself when people look at you and feel rejected when no one notices you? Your physical appearance may be a source of your security & identity.

Do you feel like a complete failure when you get one mistake in the quiz? Do you feel like you are a disappointment because you came second in the science quiz bee? Or if you didn’t get into the school or company you wanted? Do you have a difficult time moving on from a failure? Do you feel significant when you are recognized for your skill? Or insignificant when nobody recognizes your abilities? Your achievement, intelligence, or talents may be a source of your security & identity.

Do you feel insecure when you don’t have the things other people have — toys, gadgets, phones, cars, money, club memberships? Conversely, do you feel more secure, more complete having these things? If you have them, are you afraid of losing them? Will your world crumble if you lose one of them? Or are you at a loss at the mere thought of it? Your security may lie on material wealth and the comforts it brings.

Does one person make you deliriously happy? Do you feel lost when he or she is not with you? Does this person’s presence make you more confident in yourself? Or, does his or her absence leave you in despair? Do you feel empty when you are not in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship? Your security (and identity) may lie on one specific person (friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, parent) or on having a relationship.

Are you riveted by the fact that guys or girls look at you and want to be with you? Does it make you feel good to see that men or women still show interest in you, despite your age or unavailability? Does it make you feel good to know that you can get the “un-gettable,” unavailable man or woman? Does the chase excite you? Being desirable or desired may be a source of your security & identity.

Do you feel useless when you’re not doing anything? Do you feel the need to always serve or please people? Do you find significance in getting smiles and words of appreciation from people? Do you feel rejected when you are not appreciated, not recognized for your efforts? Maybe being needed is your source of security & identity.

The list goes on. Our identity, whether we know it or not, dictates how we live our lives. The question is, what IS our real identity?

We were made in God’s image and likeness — glorious, beautiful, pure, holy. Sin ruined that. Satan stole our identity and left us lost, but God made a way, more accurately the way, the only way to bring us back to our original identity — Jesus, who while 100% God allowed Himself to be 100% human at the same time, died on the cross so that He could exchange our unrighteousness with His righteousness, therefore giving us the ability to be reconciled to the Father and have direct access to Him, and lived on earth for 33 years so that we could identify with Him, and be led back to who we are and what our purpose is.

You are glorious, beautiful, pure, holy. That is who you are. That is how God made you. Your purpose is to be with God, in His presence daily, and because many are lost, your purpose is also to help them know the truth about Jesus and about who they are in Christ. Believe it. Once you view yourself according to how God views you, your actions and decisions will change. Once you view your life according to God’s purposes, your lifestyle will change.

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

For he chose us in him before the creation of the worldto be holy and blameless in his sight. In love  he predestined us for adoption to sonship  through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace,which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1:4-6

Just My Thoughts, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, Spiritual Family

VBC 2013

It’s been a week since Victory Alabang’s Vacation Bible Camp and my kids still sing and dance to the songs! I have LSS, last song syndrome, of the songs too. Even as an adult, I am so blessed by the lyrics. The worship song Master of the Universe ministers so much to me. Another favorite is God Does Miracles.

Like I said in my previous post, Danae and I volunteered to be part of the dance team. What we did was lead the kids to dance to the songs of this year’s theme, Cosmic City. We danced the theme song on stage, and danced it, along with other songs, in the classroom. There were 5 groups of kids — the 4-year-olds (Noelle’s group) named Red Comet, the 5-year-olds named Green Planet, the 6-year-olds named Yellow Star, the 7-year-olds (Danae’s group) named Blue Moon, and the 8-to-10-year-olds named Orange Sun — who came into our room. We had time to teach the kids around 3 to 4 songs per group. We danced practically all morning for 3 consecutive days!

During lunch after the third day, our Kids Church pastor Ptr Carlo Santos thanked all the staff and volunteers for their contribution to make the whole event a success. He thanked me too for being involved, and I just smiled because I didn’t really know what to say, until now.

I am so grateful for the honor and the privilege to serve again in Kids Church. You thank me, but I really thank you more, Ptr Carlo, Merlee, Grace, and Leni for allowing me and Danae to volunteer! Teaching the pre-schoolers was my very first ministry involvement when I became a Christian and an active member of our church 12 years ago. I love Kids Church! I was so inspired by last year’s VBC that I made sure I volunteered this year. It was my first time to be part of the dance team, and I loved every single minute of it! It was tiring but it was so much fun and so rewarding, seeing the kids enjoy praising God through their songs and dance moves.

Some of us ladies experienced health problems before or during the event, but none of it stopped any of us from showing up and dancing. I just want to honor my team mates for honoring their commitment to God and to the kids. I am so blessed by you!

I have truly missed being a volunteer! Not that I don’t do anything in church. As a pastor’s wife, I am a full-time volunteer. But there’s just really nothing like volunteering with church mates, making new friends, bonding with them, working together, learning and getting impartations from one another. I love being part of a team and “getting down and doing the dirty work.” Now that my kids are older, I can actually do more of it and get them involved as well. I am excited for more!

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35 ESV

Master of the Universe

You are the Master
Of the universe
Of the mountain, seas and sky
You’re the Master of
Every beat of my heart
You put rainbows in my eye

You’re the God
Who keeps on loving me
No matter what I do

In Your world without end
You call me friend
Oh Master I love you

God Does Miracles

My God does miracles
He is strong and powerful
He can do anything
He is Lord of everything

He is awesome
He’s my friend
I can believe in Him
I know that God does miracles

When Jesus was preaching and teaching
A lame man came for healing
Jesus had mercy and forgave his sins
And he could walk again

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