Discipleship, Spiritual Family

Great Faith

It’s prayer and fasting again! Nothing like starting the year right as a family. Using the kids’ manual, we talked about the great faith of Abraham and then Sarah last night.

When asked what could be keeping them from hearing God’s voice, perhaps distracting them during their quiet time, Danae and Noelle gave such honest answers. Funny that Noelle included Gianna in her list. Her little sister really is a distraction because they like to play with each other. 😂When asked what one step she can take to help her hear God better, she said that she would lock herself in the room when it’s time to read her Bible and pray. Great action plan.

Danae’s answer was funny too, but profound. She said that her own thoughts distracted her from hearing God. I found it funny because she does get sidetracked easily with things that pop in her head. Then for her one step, she said that she would focus more and WONDER about God’s word more. I thought at first that was a pretty vague answer, not much of an action plan. But when we started praying, I realized she was on point.

To wonder more means to be more curious, to be more interested. To want to know God more.

Wow. I say amen to that. I pray that wonder, that desire grows as they/we continue to read the Bible. We have also been talking about writing God’s word in the tablet of our heart, so I pray that that growing wonder will translate to unwavering faith, straight paths, and great love for the Lord. ❤️

Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. Romans 4:19-21

Just My Thoughts, Spiritual Family

Just Be Faithful

So last night was Every Nation’s Induction and Ordination Ceremony 2016, where new pastors were ordained and new campus missionaries inducted. Three of our own from Alabang were ordained as pastors — Ptr Ed Caducio who now serves in one of our Japan churches, Ptr Rein Tatlonghari who serves in Alabang, and Ptr David Bernardo who serves in Muntinlupa. Ptr David used to be part of King’s team of campus missionaries when King was Alabang’s youth pastor 10 years ago. Michelle Galarosa, who was once part of my victory group, was inducted as campus missionary as well. She serves in Sorsogon. Ptr Ferdie Cabiling, who was overseeing the youth in Ortigas during King’s Youth on Fire days, was ordained Bishop after 25 years of serving in church!

Our whole family was there because King (along with other pastors who have served 10, 15, 20, 25 years) was appreciated for his 10 years of service in church. Gianna was relatively quiet for the first maybe 20 minutes of the program. I had to get her out of there when she started calling ate Jiggy, tita Iris and tita Janice loudly while one of the pastors was speaking! It was a good thing that I opened the door when I heard our senior pastor Ptr Ariel talk, because it was then that he called King on stage! I was thankfully able to take a few pictures of him up there. After that, I was outside with the girls, along with many other moms and little kids haha. I’m sure the bishops and pastors had great, inspiring messages. My season will come when I can sit, listen, and concentrate. 🙂

Proud of you, babe! 🙂


The Victory Alabang pastors and staff were so sweet and supportive. They gave more than 3 hours of their time, not including travel time, to be there. They even wanted to have dinner together, which we did in Army Navy.

Thank you for the photo Iris! 🙂


When they all had left, King and I got to talking. I was happy to support the hubby, but at first I didn’t quite understand the recognition. Neither of us has been counting his years of service. Like what King says, he’s just always “happy to serve!” But it dawned on me as I was articulating my thoughts that yeah, 10 years in the ministry IS a feat! I realized that through the victories, breakthroughs and all the good things that have transpired, through hardships and the uncertainties, through discouraging and disappointing situations, the Lord has been faithful AND King has been faithful. It’s easy to be encouraged during the highs, but my constant words to him during the lows are “just be faithful.” Even when it hurts me too, I would encourage him to just be faithful.

By God’s grace, here he is, still in the ministry after more than ten years. By God’s grace, he is growing and maturing, continually laying ambition and self at the feet of Jesus. He wakes up each morning ready to fulfill his God-given calling, thankful for the opportunity to do what he loves to do. With the trust given him by our leaders, he is able to lead and serve God’s people. With godly counsel, discipleship, and brotherhood, he remains a rookie, willing to learn and be taught. By God’s sufficient and enabling grace and for the glory of God, he is able to be the many things he needs to be and wear the hats he needs to wear, while being a loving and faithful #productivehusband to me and being a great father to our daughters.

Thanks everybody! It’s an honor and privilege to serve with this team. We love this church! 🙂


Wow. God is indeed good. We did not expect the recognition, but we receive it with humility and much gratitude. And we are so encouraged by it! So to the tune of Dory’s song, we will, only by the grace of God, continue to “just be faithful, just be faithful, just be faithful, faithful, faithful.” 🙂

 

Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24

My Kids, Parenting, Spiritual Family

Summer Camps

I know, I know, it’s nearly the end of July. Summer in the Philippines ends in May. I just want to finish writing about my girls’ summer activities (this is mostly for me and our family, but keep reading if you’re still interested) before I move on to my next posts. And I’ve been busy, but I figure I’d better get my blog in order before I give birth.

The girls & their friends
The girls & their friends

Danae and Noelle went on the Joshua Camp with King last May 1 and 2. Our church has an annual Me and My Dad Camp, but this time apparently, the moms could join too. Too bad (or good thing? hehehe) I was, still am, pregnant that King and I decided it would be too hard for me. I’m pretty sure I would have survived, but anyway, we wanted the girls to bond with their dad, especially since this is Danae’s second time and Noelle’s first time to be sleeping in a tent up on a mountain. It was also King’s first time to be out on camping grounds alone with the two girls. Haha, it was fun seeing King squirm a little, knowing that the younger one is kinda squeamish about bathrooms and stuff.

 

 

Noelle planting a seedling :)
Noelle planting a seedling 🙂

Noelle was a little sad when she left home because she usually likes to stick close to me, and

Danae planting a seedling too :)
Danae planting a seedling too 🙂

she, as usual, cried for me a little that night. Signal was non-existent there, and so we weren’t able to communicate at all until the next day. I was very happy though, that she and Danae came home happy and excited! She said that “Me and My Dad Camp was soooo fun, mom!” I love that not only did they “survive” the cold water, the bathroom, the heat during the day, the cold and darkness at night, they more importantly enjoyed bonding with King (sleeping in a tent, eating marshmallows and hotdogs around the campfire, participating in the games together), and they got to spend (more) time with their BFFs Ana, Andrea, and Coleen.

 

 

camp equipFrom May 13 to 16, Danae joined Camp Equip, a 4-day daily morning training for kids aged 8 to 12 (if I’m not mistaken). They were given 3 options — dance, theater, or singing. Danae’s initial choice was theater, but because there were only a handful of students, the class was dissolved. She chose singing with her friend Ana, though it was clear that she would have also enjoyed dance. She was actually the smallest and youngest in the class and in the alto group. They were taught not only to sing a couple of songs, but to vocalize, sing correctly with the diaphragm (something I know nothing about) and what true worship means. She made new friends too. They sang their songs as a group during their recital, and though I know she enjoyed every bit of it, she could not help but move and groove when it was the dance class’ turn to perform. And as I expected, she told me afterwards that she will be joining the dance class of next year’s Camp Equip haha. She will also join me as I go back to volunteering with the VBC dance team next summer. I am hoping I can convince Noelle to do the same.

 

 

The following week was Vacation Bible Camp — Danae’s 4th time and Noelle’s 3rd. I’ve VBCalways been able to count on Danae coping well in classes or activities, but this was the first time I had no problems with Noelle. She stayed in her class all morning during the entire 3-day event. That’s I think thanks to her BFF Coleen. I don’t think she would have been as enthusiastic and consistent if she didn’t have a constant friend there. I am very proud of her nonetheless. Of course, the girls enjoyed this year’s theme Boomerang Express – It All Comes Back to Jesus. New songs, new lessons, new crafts. We’re excited for next year too!boomerang express

These are summer activities that we look forward to each year. I thank God that our church gives much importance to teaching and discipling children. We as parents are passionate about this and we are happy to be part of a movement that is passionate about the next generation as well. Thank you to Victory Alabang’s Kids Church Team for making it all fun and incredibly worthwhile. Thank you Ptr Carlo, Lea (and Eli :)), Merlee, Grace, Leni, and your amazing volunteers! God bless you all. 🙂

Family, Spiritual Family

My Singles Getaway 2013 Highlights

Victory Alabang had its 4th singles retreat out of Luzon (the 7th over all) last October 10 to 13. The first 2 retreats I was able to join, one as a single in 2003 and the other as an engaged single in 2004, were held within Luzon, in Tagaytay City. The 3rd was held in Quezon, also in Luzon, but I was married and pregnant in 2005.

The first 2 retreats outside of Luzon were held in Boracay in 2007 and 2009, the third in Bohol in 2011. Both islands/cities are located in the Visayas. This year, the retreat was held in Mindanao. It was a first for the retreat to be held so far from Manila, and it was a first to have it away from the ocean. We stayed in Forest Park in Dahilayan, Bukidnon.

I’m sharing my personal highlights of the retreat, including the events before and after, through some of my photos.

We had two travel buddies from church (Joyce and Gel) who made our trip all the more fun for us the parents and the girls! The 6 of us went to Cagayan de Oro 3 days before the singles getaway and went straight to Camiguin Island.
Highlight 1: Travel buddies! We had Gel and Joyce with us who made our trip all the more fun for us, the parents, and for our girls! The six of us went to Cagayan de Oro three days before the singles getaway and went straight to Camiguin Island.
It was a long land trip from Laguindingan airport to the pier, and a rough ferry ride from Balingoan port to Benoni port in Camiguin. We got to the island by night fall, but this is what we enjoyed the next morning. :)
It was a long land trip from Laguindingan airport to the pier, and a rough ferry ride from Balingoan port to Benoni port in Camiguin. We got to the island by night fall, but this is what we enjoyed the next morning. 🙂
Beautiful Camiguin :)
Highlight 2: Camiguin Island! View of Camiguin and possibly Mt Hibok-hibok (I could never tell which peak belonged to the famous volcano) from White Island. Camiguin is dear to our hearts because it is where King and I had our honeymoon, and it is where Danae had her first beach experience at 2 months old. 🙂
Beautiful blue water on White Island, a sandbar ten minutes away from Paras Beach Resort via small boat.
Highlight 3: Beautiful White Island! A sandbar ten minutes away from Paras Beach Resort via small boat, that never fails to take my breath away.
I would travel to beaches like this, no matter how tiring, just to see these precious smiles and listen to giggles and laughter from these two. :)
Highlight 4: Happy water babies! I would travel to beaches like this, no matter how tiring, just to see these precious smiles and listen to giggles and laughter from these two. 🙂
Highlight 3: Dahilayan, Bukidnon.
Highlight 5: Dahilayan, Bukidnon! We travelled back to Cagayan de Oro that day, stayed overnight, and proceeded up the mountain to Dahilayan. Beautiful!
We stayed in Forest Park, where the accommodations are great and the surroundings are beautiful.
We stayed in Forest Park, where the accommodations are great, the surroundings are beautiful, and the amenities (activities — the luge, the playground, tree top adventure, etc) are super fun. It was also right next to Dahilayan Adventure Park where the zip lines are.
Tall, lovely pine trees everywhere.
Tall, lovely pine trees everywhere. Nice, cool weather. No need for air-conditioning.
Highlight: Dexter! He took care of our needs in the resort, going the extra mile each day and having a consistent smile on his face. The food was yummy too.
Highlight 6: Dexter! He took care of our needs in the resort, going the extra mile each day and having a consistent smile on his face. The food was yummy too.
Some of the committee and the early comers :)
Highlight 7: Bonding! It was great spending time with these singles a day before the actual getaway.
Being with King is never a drag. :)
Fun!
On our "free day," a bunch of us went on the Luge. It wasn't my girls' first time, but they still enjoyed it. The fast and the furious in me did too. :)
On our “free day,” a bunch of us went on the Luge. It wasn’t my girls’ first time, but they still enjoyed it. The “fast and the furious” in me did too. 🙂
Photo credit: Ptr Chico or King
Bonding with my friends!
Bonding with my friends! With the Pena family and del Rosario family!
Photo credit: Noelle Lucero
Highlight 7: Our kids' bonding! Danae, Noelle and Julio really bonded over the 5 days they were together. They had no choice haha, but they had loads of fun together.
Highlight 8: Our kids bonding! Danae, Noelle and Julio (Ptr Chico and Maryanne’s youngest) really bonded over the 5 days they were together. They had no choice haha, but they had loads of fun together. 🙂
Highlight 9: My girls' firsts! This is Danae's first time to ride a carabao. :)
Highlight 9: My girls’ firsts! This is Danae’s first time to ride a carabao. 🙂
Danae's first time to ride solo on a horse!
Danae’s first time to ride solo on a horse!
Noelle's first time to ride solo on a horse too!
Noelle’s first time to ride solo on a horse too!
Noelle's first time to do the zipline EVER! This is a huge deal because she almost cried the previous day when she was about to do it with me. This time, for some reasons she agreed to ride with her "sister" Nina. She conquered her fear! We were so proud of and happy for her!
Noelle’s first time to do the zipline EVER! This is a huge deal because she almost cried the previous day when she was about to do it with me. This time, for some reason she agreed to ride with her “sister” Nina. She conquered her fear! We were so proud of and happy for her!
King and I talking about putting Phil 4:8 in our friendships :)
Highlight 10: The privilege! It’s a privilege for me to be teaching with my husband, a privilege for me to be working with Ptr Chico and Maryanne, a privilege for me to speak to the singles.
Photo credit: Ptr Chico Pena
Highlight 11: The singles! I met many new singles, bonded with some of them, and got amazed by all of them. I saw new friendships established. I saw people stepping out of their comfort zones. I saw humility. I saw camaraderie. I saw unity. I am so blessed to be even part of the ministry, and to be available for these men and women when they need me.  Photo credit: Ptr Chico Pena
Highlight 11: The singles! I met many new singles, bonded with some of them, and got amazed by all of them. I saw men and women who were eager to learn about God, about themselves, and about one another. I saw new friendships established. I saw people stepping out of their comfort zones. I saw humility. I saw camaraderie. I saw unity. I am so blessed to be even part of the ministry, and to be available for these men and women when they need me.
Photo credit: Ptr Chico Pena
Highlight 12: Fears conquered! Noelle was not the only one to conquer her fear of the zipline. Our very own Ptr Chico did too! Despite his apprehensions, he went for it anyway. We were all so proud of him!
Highlight 12: Fears conquered! Noelle was not the only one to conquer her fear of the zipline. Our very own Ptr Chico conquered his! Despite his apprehensions, and maybe partly because of our encouragement/bullying (haha), he went for it anyway. We were all so proud of him!
Highlight 13: Courage of a 7-yr-old! Danae was scared,  screaming from time to time, but she never gave up. She never said she wanted to stop. She finished the tree top adventure within a considerable amount of time, by herself. There were more than 20 stations. I was there taking pictures, videos and encouraging her. I am one proud mom. :)
Highlight 13: Courage of a 7-yr-old! Danae was scared, screaming from time to time, but she never gave up. She never said she wanted to stop. She finished the tree top adventure within a considerable amount of time, by herself. There were more than 20 stations. I was there taking pictures & videos, and encouraging her.
the height was considerable as well
The height and the uncertainty were considerable for a child. I am one proud mom. 🙂
Highlight 14: Family! A trip to Cagayan de Oro is never complete without visiting our family. Danae and Noelle got to spend quality time with their cousin Beanie. :)
Highlight 14: Family! A trip to Cagayan de Oro is never complete without visiting our family. Danae and Noelle got to spend quality time with their cousin Beanie. 🙂
FEATURED, Spiritual Family

Singles Getaway 2013

The last time I was at a Victory Alabang singles retreat was nine years ago in Tagaytay. It was my second ever. I was single, but already engaged to King. We were given the privilege to share our love story then. This year, King and I were given another privilege to impart and teach the singles of our church at our Singles Getaway in Dahilayan, Bukidnon. We had always wanted to join or help in the getaways, but of course my husband would be needed in church. So we thank God for letting us be part of this one!

GIVE HONOR TO WHOM HONOR IS DUE

King and I talking about putting Phil 4:8 in our friendships :)
King and I talking about putting Phil 4:8 in action, in our friendships. 🙂

I want to honor first my husband. Seeing you in action makes me admire you more, babe! You serve with a glad heart, and I see it on your face and in your body language. There may have been a few stressful moments, but you never let any of that get you down. Tiring as it was, I know you loved serving the singles. You were always willing to do what was asked of you. You went the extra mile even, all while making sure I and your kids were doing okay, and making sure we had something great to teach in our session. And you never forgot to have fun! You enjoyed the place, the amenities (rides, if you will), being with the participants, being with the committee, and being with your family. You had many hats on in those 3-4 days, but you never forgot to enjoy all of it. You’re the man, babe! Servant leadership at its finest! It gives me so much joy to see you do what you love to do. 🙂

Being with King is never a drag. :)
Being with King is never a drag. 🙂
King's joy and humor is infectious. :)
King’s joy and humor is infectious. 🙂
Ptr Chico and Maryanne Pena :)
Ptr Chico and Maryanne Pena 🙂

I also want to honor our family ministry pastor Ptr Chico and his wife Maryanne, for being such good friends to us. You always encourage us and support us in the things we do. Thank you for trusting King to help out with the singles. Thank you for trusting us to impart to the singles in one of the sessions. I see your humility and security, that the “singles ministry” is not about you. The singles are not yours, but they are the Lord’s. You are stewards, and great ones at that! Your desire to get personal is so admirable — you guys sitting with different victory groups every so often is just amazing to me. You don’t mind the work of meeting people in small, intimate settings. You make time for the singles, even with such busy schedules of parenting, counselling, doing marriage preparation programs, doing marriage journey programs, and officiating countless weddings! King and I look up to you guys, and we always appreciate what you teach us. And to make everything sweeter, we love all three of your kids! It was a joy for each one of us to be there with your family. 🙂

I want to honor our discipleship pastor Ptr John and his wife Joyce, who took care of the singles for four years! You have taken the

Ptr John and Joyce del Rosario :)
Ptr John and Joyce del Rosario 🙂

singles to Boracay and Bohol, two beautiful cities in our country. And just like our recent trip, I am sure they were also life-changing for the participants. I see your love for the singles, and your desire for them to be great men and women. I know you are excited to witness them enter the season of marriage too. You have made a great impact in so many lives with your knowledge, your passion and your faith, no matter how differently they are “packaged” in each of you. I am so proud of you Joyce, for the woman that you have become. I am so excited to see you as a mom as well! We’ve been travel buddies twice now, and I appreciate both your love for our girls. Thank you. 🙂

I want to honor the committee — Nathan, Maeriz, Ninoy, Mark, Joanne, Marvin, Ivin, and Janice!!! You were only a handful, but you guys did a great great job. There are no words to describe how amazed we are by your hard work and service. I may not have seen firsthand what each of you did, but I know each of your roles was essential to the success of the event. There were no big or small jobs, and I saw that all the more from each of you, because you were so humble and joyful. You had no air of entitlement or arrogance due to position or amount of responsibility. It was not perfect, as nothing ever is, but there was not a critical spirit in any of you that it was a joy to talk to and work with you. And I am so happy that even though you were working as volunteers, you were able to truly enjoy the retreat! The work was balanced by so much free time to play! Well-deserved too! Thank you all, for making the Singles Getaway what it was — enriching, relaxing, invigorating, fun, and life-changing! 🙂

The committee and the marshals :)
The committee and the marshals 🙂
Nathan and Mark :)
Nathan and Mark 🙂
Maeriz :)
Maeriz 🙂
Some of the committee and the early comers :)
Some of the committee and the early comers 🙂
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 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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20130523-172800.jpg

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

S.T.O.P.

Youth, singles. Please. Just stop. STOP….

S.elling yourself. You are not an item, a thing, a possession. You are not a piece of meat. Do not degrade or belittle yourself. You are valuable. Precious. Worth waiting for. Blood-bought by no less than the King of kings. Loved. Accepted. There is no need to advertise, to sell, when you are secure in your identity in Christ.

S.elling yourself short. Raise your standards! Remember who you are. Remember whose child you are. Don’t settle for anything less than the Father’s best for you.

T.esting the waters. Don’t waste a person’s time just so you can have fun. Don’t play around with their feelings, just to see if there’s a possibility for a relationship. If you’re not sure (ladies) and if your pursuit is not pure or purposeful (gents), stop. Stop making excuses, saying you’re just making friends, when you know your motives are not necessarily pure. Stop saying that it’s not your fault because you’re not really doing anything, when you and I both know that doing nothing can mislead another. If you want to be honored, you’ve got to be honorable yourself.

T.easing. It can influence a person to see another person differently, good AND bad. We don’t want friendships to unnecessarily grow apart, and we don’t want relationships to develop at the wrong time. If you are a true, caring friend, stop teasing!

O.verthinking. Never assume that another person’s actions mean something more than what it is, unless of course, ladies, the man (yes, man — of age, single, working, financially responsible, spiritually mature or maturing, provided you yourself are of age, single, working, financially responsible, and spiritually mature or maturing) has specifically laid down his intentions. The same goes for you, MEN (yes, men, not boys). Never assume. The only way to know if she likes you too is by laying down your pure and purposeful intentions. It’s not for the faint of heart. Only a man, who is truly ready for commitment or rejection, can and should do this.

O.verestimating your own ability. Get real. Seek counsel if you don’t know or are not sure of what to do. If it’s something you realize you can’t handle or you don’t want to be part of, pull yourself out of the situation. Don’t pretend you’re okay when you’re not. There’s nothing wrong with “friendship,” you know the kind where one likes the other or both like each other, but if it derails you from your God-given purpose, then keep your distance. If anything disables you from guarding your heart, stop it. Put up those boundaries!

P.utting your best foot forward. Don’t perform. Don’t pretend to be better than you actually are. You won’t be able to sustain it. Chances are, people see right through you anyway. Be real. Be yourself. Be the person God is transforming you to be. Let people get to know who you are. You are flawed, but they will see and appreciate your humility.

P.laying “the game.” Whether you’re in a relationship or not, there should be no “game.” No playing cool, playing hard to get, playing coy. No sending mixed signals, no best foot forward, no testing the waters. Relationships are not a game, and they shouldn’t be treated as such. Sometimes we need to be strategic, sure, such as when we share some news or when we plan a surprise or when we want to motivate another, but that’s done out of love and honor. Playing “the game” or any game is the complete opposite, operating in deceit, dishonesty, pride. Find out what God’s will is in the season that you’re in, so you can make wise decisions. That is your best strategy now.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8

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

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Discipleship, Just My Thoughts, My Kids, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, Spiritual Family, THE BRAINY BUNCH, YOUTH MINISTRY

What’s The Point?

It was King’s birthday the other day. I was thinking all day what we could do for him when he’d get home from work, until I decided to use the money I had set aside, to give to him as our gift. Noelle told me to just buy him a gift, but I really didn’t know what King wanted. I knew that it was something he was not used to, yet he would appreciate.

I explained to both my girls that the only budget we had for our trip to the mall was for their dad, and that we were not buying anything for them. Danae immediately pointed out that she had money. Noelle also had money. We agreed that they would buy according to how much they had.

King was shopping in the clothes section, while the girls kept pulling me to the school supplies. Danae finally chose a set of oil pastels, which was well within her budget. Noelle chose an art kit, 20 pesos beyond hers. I agreed anyway, figuring Danae’s money would be enough to cover it.

Lining up at the counter, Danae realized that she had left her 200+ pesos at home. She was upset, but I had to remind her of our agreement. I really did not have extra. And it wasn’t the end of the world anyway. She could still get them another time. Noelle on the other hand, had her 100 pesos in her wallet, which she had placed in her bag immediately after we counted her cash. I asked King for the 20 pesos that she lacked.

The whole thing reminded me of what Pastor Steve Murrell shared at our church’s Metro Manila staff meeting regarding passing the baton, after connecting it to a funny experience he and his brother had when they were teenagers. You can run the relay the fastest, but it won’t count for anything if you leave the baton at the start.

Exactly. Danae may have had more money than Noelle, but she got nothing out of our trip to the mall. Since she didn’t have it with her, it was useless.

What’s the point of all this learning, growing, equipping, if we don’t bring it and use it? What’s the point of running the race fast, if we don’t bring the baton and pass it? What’s the point of knowing the Gospel, of experiencing the love of Christ, of learning to live life to the full, of being discipled, if we don’t GO share and teach it to others?

Let’s not miss the point. Let’s not miss our mark. Honor God. Make disciples. #Discipleship2013 #Victory #EveryNation

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. 1 Timothy 2:1-2

My Kids, Spiritual Family, THE BRAINY BUNCH

Our Awesome Friends

God has blessed us with great “babysitters” — single friends who love our kids and are willing to take care of them for us when we cannot bring them to important overnight events. Last October 12 and 13, 3 of them slept over in our house to be with the girls while King and I attended the Couples’ Getaway in Tagaytay City. We set them up in our tent for some indoor camping! Our helper was also there to help them out, of course.

Last October 29-30, King and I attended another marriage retreat for pastors and their wives in the alabang area, quite near our home. We were able to leave the girls with our helper on the first day, but we decided that King get them in the evening. Once again our “babysitters” came to our rescue the next day! They agreed to come to the hotel to take the girls swimming as we attend the last sessions. They took care of bathing and feeding them, and we ended up spending the whole afternoon up to early evening together.

It is so reassuring that we can leave our daughters with people we can trust — people who love our children and people our children love. They understand how important our children are to us and how specific we are about our instructions. Since King’s family is far from us and we didn’t want to disrupt their schedules, our friends are the next best thing!

Thank you Nikki, Steph and Jo! We really really appreciate you ladies. God bless you for your generous hearts! 🙂

Disclaimer: Our friends were in no way coerced or bribed to do this. They did it willingly according to their availability. This is the first time King and I had been out for two days while friends, not family, took care of our children.