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

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

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

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

Discipleship, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, YOUTH MINISTRY

H.O.N.O.R.

King and I were invited to speak to the youth of Muntinlupa in their leaders’ summit last year. I had the privilege to share about H.O.N.O.R. to the women. And believe me when I say, I preach to myself as well.

H.UMBLE.
A person who comes from a place of honor comes from a place of humility.
Philippians 2:3 says “do nothing out of selfish ambition, but in humility consider others better than yourself.” It does not mean low self-esteem, like putting ourselves down, thinking that we are worthless — that is NOT humility. It means putting our egos aside and treating others with high regard, so that we can listen to them and consider that we can learn from them.

Humility is knowing who we are in Christ and knowing the gifts God gave us, but KNOWING OUR PLACE. It’s not about us or our abilities. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about God, and the confidence we have in Him and through Him.

1 peter 5:5-6 says “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

Humility is having a submissive spirit, giving an ear or taking heed to others’ thoughts, especially of those who are more mature and more experienced than us. It does not mean giving up your own ideas or beliefs, but taking into consideration that they may have a point and what they are saying might help you.

James 3:13 13 says “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”

The more we seek and know God, the wiser we become. The wiser we become, the more humble we become, realizing that it is He who makes us wise, that it is He who enables us to love, that it is He who is in control. It brings us back to our place — WITHOUT GOD, WE ARE NOTHING.

O.PEN TO CORRECTION.
The more we grow and mature, the more open we should be to correction, not the other way around. Sometimes we think that because we are older or because we are in a certain position, we think we know better or we know it all. We are not beyond correction. In fact, we need to hear it all the more. It is critical as our territories expand, as our influence grows larger.

And correction may come from anybody. It’s easier (not easy at all sometimes, but easier) to receive correction from authority figures. But when a friend, peer or even someone younger corrects us, we get defensive. Let’s ASSESS ourselves instead. Let’s not be so quick to judge the person giving us correction. Focus on the plank in our own eye rather than on theirs. It goes back to humility, knowing our place, having a submissive spirit, so we can hear them out and receive the correction.

Proverbs 10:17 says “Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life,
but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.”

We are not the only ones affected when we do not heed correction. Not only do others suffer from our mistakes, we also set a bad example to them.

Proverbs 12:1 says “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but whoever hates correction is stupid.”

Let’s not be stupid. 🙂

Proverbs 15:12 says “A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise.”

Let’s not just wait for correction. Let’s consult the wise. SEEK GODLY COUNSEL.

N.ON COMBATIVE, NON-COMPETITIVE.
In any relationship, it should not be about who is right or who is wrong. It’s not a competition of who is smarter or better. What is important is the relationship, the person, not our ego.

Prov 15:1 says “A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Prov 25:15 says “Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
and a gentle tongue can break a bone.”

Sometimes when we want to get our points across, we tend to be hard and harsh, but a gentle word and gentle tone is really more effective. LOVE IS MORE EFFECTIVE. Tough love, meaning not watering down God’s word and firmly sharing our stand, is necessary at times, but it does not have to be harsh and mean either.

Truth is good, but timing and tone must always be considered.

Ephesians 4:2-3 says “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

Humility, gentleness, patience, love, unity, PEACE. We give importance to these when we come from a place of honor.

Proverbs 18:21 says “The tongue has the power of life and death.”

When we come from a place of honor, we speak life, not death.

1 Peter 3:4 says “Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

God wants us ladies to have a quiet and gentle spirit. It does not mean that we who have strong personalities, have to change our personality. God created us each uniquely and I believe part of that is our personality. He is, however, concerned about our character — that with our strong personality, we know our place, we have a submissive spirit, we don’t need to be aggressive to be heard, but we quietly trust in the Lord.

O.THERS-CENTERED.
Servant leadership.
John 13:12-15 says “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.””

It shows us what kind of leader Jesus is. He is not proud, not lording it over his disciples, not demanding to be served. He is God and yet he washed his disciples’ feet. This is the example He set for us. Serve, rather than seek to be served.

We need to think beyond ourselves and what we want or what we think we should have. We need to think about others even if we’re the leader. In fact, we need to think about others ESPECIALLY BECAUSE WE ARE THE LEADER. Our position should not be a hindrance, but should be the MEANS for us to serve others.

Mark 15:33-39 says “At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”
Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.
With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!””

He is God yet He allowed Himself to be sacrificed so that our sins may be forgiven and we may have access to the Father. He is God, yet He became last so we could come first. Sometimes, as spouses, as parents, as children, as teachers, as leaders or whatever position we may be in in life, we need to be last so others can be first.

R.ESPECTFUL
1 Peter 2:17 says “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.”

Respect EVERYONE, whether they deserve it or not. Human to human. The way we would want to be treated.

Respect in speech and in action, whether behind their back or in front of them. No to gossip.

No to coarse joking. Be careful that we still show respect. Let us not over estimate our friend or loved one’s ability to take a joke. We may already be hurting them.

No to over familiarity. Even if they are our helpers at home, employees at work, or they are under us or they are younger than us, it does not give us the right to disrespect them. We need to treat them with respect all the more, given our position. We gain respect when we give respect.

Sometimes it’s hardest to show the proper respect to our family or closest friends because we think it’s fine, that they love us no matter what, that we don’t need to consider what they feel, that we don’t need to say sorry. Let us show them the proper respect, most especially because they are the people who love us unconditionally.

Notice that everything points to HUMILITY. It is what honoring others is all about. Couple it with INTEGRITY. Honor must not stay within church walls, among church people. It must be a LIFESTYLE.

PROVERBS 22:4 Nasb The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches, honor and life.
Proverbs 29:23 Nasb A man’s pride will bring him low,
But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

GOD HONORS THOSE WHO HONOR OTHERS.

Another blog on HONOR – Manny Pacquiao: A Man of Honor

Other blogs on RESPECT – Overfamilarity and R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Another blog on CHARACTER VS PERSONALITY – I CHOOSE CONFLICT 2

FEATURED, YOUTH MINISTRY

Witnessing Kids Grow Up

It’s such a joy to witness how children grow up. Kids I’ve known since they were little, like 2 years old or so, are now teenagers! One such kid is Trey Remulla.

photo credit: michelle remulla

I met Trey when I became friends with his mom, Michelle, in 2001. He was 2 years old (met him before he turned 3). Michelle, whom I’ve mentioned a few times in my previous posts, and I became really close friends because it was she who ministered to me and taught me about Jesus. I grew up in a protestant home, but I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus until I got discipled. I was single then, and because of the friendship that was formed between us, I just kept tagging along to whatever she invited me to — from grocery shopping and hanging out in her house to prayer meetings and such.

I’ve always loved kids, and so naturally I loved playing with Trey, Michelle’s only son then. He has always been a good little boy. I remember we were at a photo store, and he wanted something that his mom did not allow him to have or do. He cried, but obeyed anyway. He was so cute when he cried because he was never loud. I never really saw him throw a fit.

He had the cutest lisp, and my favorite phrase that he would say was “I DONK YIKE.” I still say that sometimes haha. When he was hospitalized for a tummy thing, I visited and played with him and his dinosaurs. The poor thing had his IV on his little foot, but he was still a happy camper. I know he’ll hate what I’m about to say, but I even gave him a bath in their home haha. I really enjoyed being tita Phoebe.

Trey will also always be part of my love story because he was one of the kids who gave me a rose when King proposed marriage to me. He was 5 years old then. There were 12 kids who gave me each a rose and the last little girl, Elise (Trey’s cousin, by the way), handed me my engagement ring. That was the best marriage proposal ever!

photo credit: trey remulla
photo credit: trey remulla

Now I’m married with two daughters, Michelle has 2 more sons, and Trey just turned 14. He is a 2nd year high school homeschool student (homeschooled all the way — props to him and his parents!). He is one of our youth leaders in church, and taking after his father, Productive Pinoy author and businessman Yeng Remulla, he has recently launched his shirt company called #HASHTAG. He has a couple of awesome statement shirts that he himself conceptualized. (Click here to check them out.) And I hear there’s more to come in the near future.

I’m so proud of this fine, young man! He’s only 14 but already accomplishing great things. Can’t wait for his destiny to unfold and how God is going to be glorified through his life. 🙂

Just My Thoughts, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, YOUTH MINISTRY

Questions and Motives

King bought himself the latest NBA game for xbox just recently. He was playing last night while I was on my iPad, and the girls were all over the place coloring, drawing, playing and checking out what we were doing. At one point, both girls came near me to see my game and then Noelle, my little 3-year old, suddenly blurted out a very interesting question.

“Why do those girls in yellow have to be sexy?”

She was pertaining to the cheerleaders in King’s game. We do not use the word SEXY because they don’t know and they’re not prepared to know what it REALLY means, but she has heard it said about her by other people. I told her that it was a very good question, and King and I both said we had no idea why. Danae, on the other hand, offered a smart answer.

“The owner wants them to dress that way.” (paraphrase)

To which I replied, “If they want you to wear that to be a cheerleader, would you?” Of course she said “No.” Although it did sound like she was already justifying their outfits haha. She wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up. Hopefully by then or way before that, she will have learned classy, tasteful and appropriate dressing.

Anyway, I believe it goes back to motive. I’m sure Danae is right, that the owners/bosses/whatever want their cheerleaders to dress a certain way to increase interest in their product. They’re advertising. Marketing. Selling. And in this world, sexy women are effective tools. But that’s just it. Women are being USED as WILLING tools. As means. As objects.

Are you being used as a tool too? Or are YOU using your own body as a tool to advertise, market, sell? What exactly are you advertising? As a Christian, WHO are you advertising? What kind of people do you want to attract? Who are the people you want to be interested in and buy your “product”?

It’s more than what you wear, what you say, how you act. It’s WHY. Why do you do it? Is it because you know who you are and what your purpose is? Are you trying to prove something, impress someone? Where does your security lie? Are your decisions dictated by your “boss/bosses”? Who IS your boss?

Why do those girls or any girls HAVE to be SEXy? To be sexually appealing? Exactly. Why do they? They DON’T. We don’t.

To honor God and my husband, I reserve my sexiness for my husband ALONE. 🙂

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer 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 12:1-2

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

On Typhoons, Disasters, and Kind Hearts

In the last 6 years, there have been typhoons that caused major disasters in our country. 3 stick out in my mind.

>;Milenyo in 2006. Danae, 11 months old, was in the hospital for Pneumonia when it hit.

>;Ondoy in 2009. It was Noelle’s baby dedication the week it hit, and we went to Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin for my cousin’s wedding.

>;Sendong in 2011 was the one that hit Cagayan de Oro hard.

Oh, now Gener, which hit last July, sticks to mind because we endured almost 20 hours of no power. There were floods all around the city too.

But this week, there was no typhoon, no strong winds. Just strong rains due to the southwest monsoon. The floods that have hit our country are terrible. Dams and rivers have overflowed. So many properties, homes, cars and lives destroyed. They have declared no classes for the entire week for some schools. There are so many evacuees who need food, medicines, and toiletries.

Through all this however, it warms my heart to see Filipinos rallying to help those in need. There are relief efforts just about everywhere. The 12,000 inmates of Muntinlupa City Jail gave up their meals to help the evacuees in Muntinlupa, who are already over a thousand in number. I’ve seen pictures and heard stories of kindness on Facebook and on the news — from a banana vendor giving away his bananas to feed those who were stranded, truck drivers giving rides to people so they could get home, policemen carrying the elderly in their arms, soldiers creating a human bridge for people to pass over the flood, to ordinary people braving the floods to rescue strangers. I can’t tell you how proud I am to be a Filipino. Everybody is pitching in, doing their part. I concur, WHERE I’M FROM, EVERYONE’S A HERO.

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/ItsMoreFunInPhilippines
photo credit: Ana del Castillo
Helping me with “the fish” 🙂

Even my daughters helped with the relief operations in Victory Alabang on the first day. Danae was so eager to help with bagging goods. People were telling me that she kept working, even when she was already tired. Noelle helped too, by helping me load canned goods into the shopping cart. Ever since they’ve also heard and seen the news, they include “the people in the flood” in their prayers. I am so proud to be the mom of these two.

Putting water bottles in bags 🙂
“the fish”
Busy busy busy!
In formal wear haha 🙂
Rice!
Canned goods!

Yesterday, the youth were there all day to help out. Today, some Alabang homeschoolers did volunteer work. These opportunities to teach our kids GENEROSITY, to VOLUNTEER, to SERVE, to THINK BEYOND THEMSELVES, to help and PRAY for others, to work with a team, to SEE AND BE PART OF LOVE & KINDNESS IN ACTION, are priceless.

Photo credit: Michelle Remulla
Photo credit: Michelle Remulla

Biscuits & other snacks![/caption

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

A Bag of Nuts

Last Thursday, we went to a clinic to get some tests done for Noelle. We need clearance from her pediatrician so we can have her dental procedure done as soon as possible. On the way there, we bought a bag of boiled peanuts. My girls have recently taken a liking to them, though they have always been peanut eaters like me (except when it’s in ice cream or food for Danae). Danae enjoys the fact that she already knows the technique in opening it. Noelle just loves to eat them.

I opened one that had rotten nuts in it, and showed it to the girls to teach them what not to eat. After that, when they’d see a nut shell that didn’t look so good (dark spots, soggy), they’d ask me if it was good or not. I’d always say I didn’t know and that we’d have to open it to see.

I love how ordinary conversations like that give me ideas to learn, to teach, and to share.

Nuts and people are the same. You can’t depend on what you see on the outside to determine if the nut (the actual nut or a person haha) is good or not. You have to see the inside first.

Before you make judgments on anybody because of what they look like, dress like, walk like or talk like, give them a chance. Talk to them. Spend time with them. Get to know them. It may take some effort, but you might be surprised by what you will find when you “open” them up. You might actually gain a new friend, and you might learn a thing or two.

They say don’t judge a book by its cover. I say don’t judge a nut by its shell. 🙂