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What I Learned From Captain Marvel

So I posted something on Facebook but it turned out to be a spoiler 😂 I took it down and decided to write it (and more) here instead. Consider this your warning!

I didn’t know about the bad rap Captain Marvel or Brie Larson was getting so it did not influence me at all as I watched the movie. I know nothing about the comic book stories, and no one spoiled the movie for me 😬. I enjoyed it! The story, the characters, the action, the heart, and the MUSIC! I don’t normally watch movies more than once in the theater, but I would totally see this one again because of the music. High five to all who love 90s music (save for most boy bands 😬) like I do!

Awwww and the opening…the tribute… THANK YOU STAN! I’m so glad to learn that he was able to finish his scene for this one. I thought they just CGIed him into it. Even our girls, also pseudo daughters who watched with us, were almost teary remembering Stan Lee. It’s bittersweet to see his cameos in the Marvel movies.

So what did I learn from Captain Marvel? Quite a few actually.

THE POWER OF MANIPULATION.

Self-serving motive under the guise of friendship and mentorship.

Yon-Rogg (Jude Law’s character apparently 😂 thank you Google 😂) was fully aware of his goals, his intentions, and his actions. To Vers aka Carol Danvers/Capt Marvel, he was a trusted friend and mentor. Because of the trust and friendship that was built, she not only believed in their cause, she fought alongside them. She was aware of (some of) her power, her gift, but she was not aware that she was being used as a pawn in an unjust war.

Imagine the power Yon-Rogg held over Vers. He had her in the palm of his hands, and she had no clue. He appeared so good and trust worthy. He seemed to genuinely care about her. I mean didn’t you love him at first? I did. And Vers was all in, believing she was one of the good guys. For 6 years. Amazing how deception could last that long. How sad that the person she looked up to was not who she thought he was. Proximity and love can create blind spots.

But I believe that truth is more powerful than lies.

THE POWER OF TRUTH.

The truth always has a way of coming out. In this case, the key was Carol giving Talos the benefit of the doubt and giving ear to his story. She gave him a chance, and she listened!

The truth freed her from the lies that she once completely believed. The truth gave her the freedom to choose for herself — not dictated to her or because she was manipulated — to make her own decision about whose cause she would fight for. To choose to use her powers for what was right and for what was truly good.

The truth freed her from the power of Yon Rogg. Oh how I loved when she blasted him and told him that she had nothing to prove to him! Yessss! It’s like when we overcome our past, our old patterns, our sin. The lies of the enemy are given no more power in our lives because of the Truth!!! The truth of who Jesus is and what He did for us to be forgiven and to be new. We break free and we break through!

And she discovered that she had been fighting with one hand tied behind her back, because they constantly told her to control her powers and told her that her powers could be taken away from her. I would generally agree with that because it takes great character to use great power responsibly, IF they were training her to use her powers wisely. But their intention was to keep her at bay, keep her controlled, so they could continually manipulate her to do what they wanted her to do. What greater powers were unleashed when she refused to be controlled by that chip and by the Supreme Intelligence’s words!

What greater power we have when we refuse to believe the lies of the enemy. What greater power we have, to do all things, because of Christ in us!

THE POWER OF IDENTITY.

But even when Carol already knew about the lies fed to her, she was still lost. She still did not understand what she was supposed to do, until her best friend Maria reminded her of who she is. It was then that she regained her confidence and made the decision to continue Lawson/Mar-vell’s fight to end the war.

All the great stories have this element. Losing one’s identity, consumed by whatever in the world consumes them (hate, love, greed, career, relationship, fame, drugs, ambition, and so many more), and then remembering, going back to who they are, regaining their identity. This one’s no different.

We are no different. Once lost, now found. Once blind, but now able to see. Loved, valued, saved, forgiven, redeemed, accepted, secure. Identity anchored in Jesus alone.

How powerful it is to know exactly who you are in Christ and be 💯 committed to Him and His purpose for your life!

Sometimes what we know and believe are actually not the truth. Sometimes who we think and believe we are, or who others think or say we are, is not true. Sometimes, we get lost. May we be open, and learn to be sensitive, to the leading of the Holy Spirit, who guides us into all truth. May we find our way back to Jesus.

Just My Thoughts, Parenting

What did you learn from the movie?

Every time we watch a movie, we ask the girls what they learn. We did the same after watching The Greatest Showman. One of them said that we shouldn’t care about what other people think about us, only what we think about ourselves. My immediate response was, “What if you think you’re ugly?”

I think this is a common mistake that we make. We may not allow other people to define us, which is good, but we choose to define ourselves. What’s wrong with that? Well, in the movie, the oddities believed that they were ugly and worthless all their lives, and they operated according to those beliefs. They hid. They were ashamed. They kept to themselves. It took a PT Barnum to awaken them. It was like Barnum gave them their worth and their identity, when he called them out to be part of one great show. He was the only one who saw them for more than just “freaks,” more than the labels people put on them. They started believing and living according to what Barnum believed about them — that they are useful, talented, that they have a purpose in life and they can bring joy to people.

We too need to anchor our identity onto Someone. But not just anyone. Not even ourselves, for we are flawed. Our views of ourselves vary and fluctuate, depending on mood or circumstance. We need to anchor our identity to One who is constant. Perfect. All-powerful and all-knowing. The One who created us, the One who created us for a purpose. The One who knows all, who knows every minute detail about us and cares for us. Infinitely good, infinitely wise. Limitless. Trustworthy. The One whose ways are higher than ours. The One whose love for us isn’t and cannot be changed. We believe what and who He says we are, and live accordingly — His child — valued, loved, accepted, blessed, forgiven, safe, secure, significant, useful for all kinds of good work. FREE.

Anchor yourself to Jesus. Build a relationship with Him. He will set you free from the shame and the fear. He will teach you and mold you into the best you can possibly be. ❤

 

Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3

 

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8 

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Cor 5:17

 

Discipleship, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, Parenting

3 Life Lessons from Cars 3

Even though I was standing for probably half the movie, because of course, Gianna and her desire to move struck again, I liked Cars 3. It spoke to me.

1. “Truth is always quicker, kid.”

I completely agree. We get to the heart of the issue if we just tell the truth. No mincing of words, no beating around the bush, no sugar-coating or trying to cushion the blow. Always with love, but clear and straight to the point. It will lead to better understanding.

Also, the quicker we hear the truth, the quicker we accept the truth, the quicker we deal with the truth, the quicker we heal, make changes, and move forward. Lightning didn’t like hearing that he was old, but the sooner he accepted it, the better he was able to train for the race. Denial, because of pride, just delays the inevitable. It’s counterproductive. It does not solve the issue. It may even make things worse. We should seek the truth with humility. Be open to correction and advice.

2. “My last chance to give you your first chance.”

Lightning McQueen prepared the way, showed the way, and though that wasn’t his plan, he got out of the way. In his pursuit to become faster and better, he taught his trainor, Cruz, to race. And in his last chance to win and continue his career in racing, he gave her the opportunity to shine. Even if it meant she would outshine him. Her youth, her speed, and her passion were an advantage. He even continued to coach her during the race. This ought to be our attitude in discipleship and parenting, but deliberately and with a goal. We lead, we teach, we let them grow, we tap their potential, and we let them soar. We take a chance on them, support them, root for them, believe in them. We celebrate when the “rookies” (our children, both biological and spiritual), turn out ten times better than us. We continue to be there to guide and mentor.

And like Lightning, we don’t quit. We don’t quit life. We don’t quit church. We don’t stop discipling others when our mentees outgrow and outshine us. We don’t stop because we’re getting old. We keep running the race with them. We make disciples together. Better and stronger, together.

3. “You got into his head.” “You’re a racer. Use that.”

Storm was a fast racer, but he played dirty. He fought dirty. Not with how he raced, but with his words. He would act all supportive and pleasant, but he was really speaking death to Lightning, implying retirement, the end of his career, the decline of his talent or skill. He used the same tactic on Cruz, when she was catching up to him during the race. He told her the lie that she did not belong there, that she did not have it in her to be a racer, that she was just a trainer/motivator. All while smiling and appearing to encourage her. Cruz almost believed him. But Lightning told her that the only reason Storm was trying to get into her head was because she had already gotten into his. He was afraid she would beat him. Satan is exactly like that. He is the expert at planting seeds of doubt, fear, hopelessness in our hearts. He does that because he is afraid of us. He is afraid of our potential to ruin his plans. He is afraid of our calling, which is to advance God’s kingdom. He is afraid of our design, which is to bring glory to God.

If Satan fights with lies, we fight with the truth. We must always remember and be secure of who we are in Christ. The power of Satan lies on our belief in his lies. When we are armed with the truth of who our God is, of who we are and whose we are, we can overcome. Cruz overcame when she believed in who she was. She was a racer. No amount of lying or berating Storm did, changed that. She did not let him go on “winning.” She did not cower in defeat. She did not give in to discouragement. She fought back and came out victorious.

 

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Eph 4:15

And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:14-15

 

MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY

Hey, pretty girl!

Hey pretty girl,


Nice outfit, nice hair too.

Yeah, you!

You always look put together. 

From your eyebrow down to your shoe.

 

Hey pretty girl,

Stop fussing, you look great.

Look in and around you.

Your heart, your character…people hold more weight.


Hey pretty girl,

That’s enough. Don’t try so hard.

True beauty comes from within.

Hair and makeup can’t hide it. 

Toner or wash can’t erase it.


Hey pretty girl, 

I know how you look is important.

It makes you feel secure.

It makes you feel confident.


Hey pretty girl,

Your looks will one day fade.

No reason your security should fade with it.

No reason your confidence should wane.

 

Hey pretty girl,

You’re not just pretty.

You are beautiful.

Did you know?

But not beautiful as the world perceives or dictates.

Not beautiful that is all for show.


Beautiful girl, 

You’re beautiful because you were made with such a grand love.

You’re beautiful because you are patterned after your Maker.

You’re beautiful because you are made for a purpose.

You’re beautiful because you are loved and cared for by your Father.

 

Hey beautiful girl,

Take care of your heart.

Don’t let the world lie to you and destroy you.

Instead, let the Word grow and transform you.


Hey beautiful girl,

You are whole, you’re complete.

Jesus died to save you and give you a full life.

Though you are imperfect, He says you are worth it.


Hey beautiful girl,

Don’t be afraid. Take your true identity. 

Be you. Be true beauty. Be who God designed you to be.

Live fathered. Live forgiven. Live loved.

Live favored. Live grateful. Live free. 

 

*written sometime August, but finished today 🙂

Just My Thoughts, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, Parenting

#proudmorena

So I saw some posts on Facebook about this girl who disrespected celebrity mom Bianca Gonzales on social media, by insulting her baby. I didn’t get to read the comment, but the article said that her baby was called negra (dark-skinned) and ugly.

I cannot believe that someone, a woman at that, could say mean things about a baby…A BABY! And I cannot believe that a Filipina would insult another Filipina, A BABY Filipina(!), about her skin color.

Bianca responded graciously in my opinion, and I agree with her. Morena is beautiful! It’s 2016 and it’s high time we own and be proud of our natural Filipina skin tone. We should teach our kids to be comfortable in their own skin by loving them, accepting them, and verbally appreciating their beauty, no matter the color of their skin. I am annoyed by these commercials of whitening this, whitening that. Why do Filipinos want to be white anyway? Or why do beauty lines here in the Philippines keep promoting these products as if to say only being fair-skinned is beautiful?

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I grew up loving swimming and going to the beach. I never cared about getting dark because my cool parents never made it an issue. My mom always told me that caucasians love getting a tan — something I naturally had. When I got a bit older, I did care about how my tan looked. I didn’t like swimming in the pool because the chlorine made my skin look grayish, while the beach gave me a nice brown. I eventually learned to apply beer on my skin so that I would get that beautiful glowing tan afterwards. It stank, but the results were always awesome. I don’t do it anymore because I don’t want my kids to smell and taste the beer, plus I don’t really have time to sunbathe these days haha.

Being a proud morena myself, no way am I going to let my 2 morena daughters (out of 3) buy into the “lighter is more beautiful” nonsense. They tan pretty quickly the way I used to, even with sunblock, and we have never told them to stop swimming or to get out from under the sun because they were getting dark. To rest and not suffer from heat stroke, yes. But never because they were getting “too dark.” Before summer vacation officially started this year, Danae commented that she didn’t want to get dark, but was quick to take it back when I offered her the alternative, which was little or no swimming. Thankfully, she cares more about having fun with her friends than about what her skin looks like haha. About the same time, she told me that she knows somebody who would comment (though I’m sure not insultingly) about her deep tan. I told her to tell the person that she is making good use of the sun and is enjoying summer. She laughed and agreed.

I believe it starts in the home. Our daughters learn their identity from what we their parents teach them. We always remind them that God made them beautiful — all of His creations are beautiful. When they are focused on their looks, we remind them that man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. We remind them that inner beauty is more important. We remind them that what God thinks is more important than what people think. We tell them that they are princesses, not because they have a tiara on their head or because they have riches or beauty, but, besides being daughters of their daddy King, they are daughters of the King of Kings. They are loved, valued, accepted, and blood-bought!

We pray that our children will not look to the world for their identity, but find it in Jesus Christ. That way, no matter which way the world swings, our kids will remain steadfast and secure, knowing who they are and knowing their God-given calling. No matter what the world thinks or says about them — negra, ugly, stupid, worthless, OR radiant, gorgeous, intelligent, admirable — they will be secure of and be humbled by God’s love for them and they will remain steadfast in their faith.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, 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. 1 Peter 3:3-4

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:26-27

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God John 1:12 ESV

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

Just My Thoughts, Parenting, YOUTH MINISTRY

Back to B.A.S.I.C.S.

Because it’s the love month, I promised my victory group that we would be talking about relationships. Last Saturday, I taught them about the basics that I believe would equip them to make the right decisions when it comes to relationships.

BOUNDARIES. If you don’t set the boundaries, there is no guarantee that the boys will set them for you. We have the power to draw that line. At Danae’s young age, we are already teaching her this. DRAW THE LINE OF RESPECT. Do not let others cross it. If you do, like letting a boy kiss you or be rough around you, you are allowing them to disrespect you. Teach them to respect you. If you yourself cross it, you are disrespecting that person and yourself. Learn to respect others and most importantly, respect yourself.

“Everything is permissible” — but not everything is beneficial. 1 Cor 10:23. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with chatting for hours. Nothing wrong with spending so much alone time together as “best friends.” If you’re already in a relationship, there’s nothing wrong with holding hands. They are NOT SIN PER SE, but if not done with great care, they CAN lead to sin. Make a decision to live well within those boundaries, not pushing them and hiding behind the technicality that it’s not a sin. Make a decision right now, so that when that time and that situation arrives, you already know what to do or what not to do.

ACCOUNTABILITY. You are accountable to God. No one can make you do anything, therefore you cannot blame anyone else for your own actions. “I had no choice,” “He was so persistent and insistent,” “I couldn’t break it to him” are mere excuses. You always have a CHOICE TO SAY NO. If you don’t like him, tell him. Do not lead him on. If you do like him, think before you act. Nothing “just happens.” Where you end up is a result of choices that you make. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for your own actions.

Be accountable to people you know care about you and want to help you. If you’re struggling with something, seek help. Having accountability partners does not mean you’re giving them permission to lord it over you. You’re giving them permission to check on you, to give you a different perspective, to give you godly counsel, to pray for you. We can’t do everything on our own. We need the help of those who may know better.

STANDARDS. What is your vision? Do you have a vision for your life, your future? Without vision, people cast off restraint. Prov 29:18. If you don’t have a vision of the kind of man you want to be married to, the kind of woman/wife you want to be, the kind of family you want to have, the kind of marriage that you want to have, the kind of life you want to live, then you won’t have serious standards. Whatever looks good, feels good or seems good will be okay with you. Your standards get compromised once the guy is good looking or seems kind. Sometimes, even when it’s clearly a bad idea, because it is presented to you and because it is what’s available, you allow such things or people in your life. Get a vision. RAISE YOUR STANDARDS. Uphold them.

IDENTITY. KNOW WHO YOU ARE in the eyes of God. Not who you think you are, or who others say you are. If you know who you truly are, who God made you to be, it’s easier for you to make decisions. You won’t be easily swayed by the influence of others. You are the daughter of the King of Kings. You are a princess – precious, special, highly esteemed, admired, accepted, respected, loved. So act like it.

CHARACTER. Part of our identity is our personality, which God made different in each of us. Some are meek, gentle, soft-spoken. Some are loud, funny, talkative. I am one with a strong personality and I may rub some people off the wrong way. In the past, I hid behind my personality, using it as an excuse for my behavior. But God has been teaching me that I cannot do that anymore because CHARACTER IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MY PERSONALITY. Yes, I am still the same person, but now with more wisdom and hopefully grace (haha).

Being exposed to boys and relationships, or even being in a relationship is a time of testing. Times of testing build our character. Being victorious over temptations builds our character. Giving in to them can too (not that I’m encouraging you to learn the hard way, because trust me, it is hard). Such mistakes remain as failures when we don’t learn from them. When we blame others for our mistakes, we get stuck. We’re not able to move forward. But mistakes become lessons when we take responsibility for our decisions, get up, make the necessary changes, and move forward.

SECURITY. Where does your security lie? Is it dependent on the love of a man or of any man? Is it dependent on the acceptance of a certain group of friends, your parents’ approval? Or is it dependent on the love of God for you? This is our prayer for our girls every night, that they will be secure of God’s love for them. No woman/boy/friend/man can complete you. One incomplete man plus one incomplete you, still makes an incomplete him and you. Only God can make you whole. Never enter into a relationship to fill the void. GOD’S LOVE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH to fill it, if you just allow Him to.

Security also means your safety. It’s better to be safe than sorry. It doesn’t matter if others think you’re overreacting or bordering on legalistic, because of your high standards and self-imposed boundaries. What’s more important is that you GUARD YOUR HEART AS IF IT’S A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, because it is.

My Kids, Parenting

GOD VS SATAN

Just before Danae went to sleep, I reread the story of Adam and Eve to her. In her THE JESUS STORY BOOK BIBLE, the title of the story is The Terrible Lie. There were many lessons for her which I related to what she sometimes does, and by the end of our discussion, this is what she told me…

“Mom, pretend this is my heart (pointing to her chest and writing on it). SATAN Vs. GOD.”

I was so amazed at her revelation. There IS a struggle in our hearts. A struggle whether to obey God or not. A struggle to please God or do the opposite. God wants to “win” our hearts because He loves us and because we belong to Him. Satan wants to win our hearts to steal, kill and destroy it. He hates God and because we are God’s beloved, he’s after us too. He is so afraid that when we discover our true identity as children of God, he will have no more lasting power over us. That when we discover our God-given purpose, we will do mighty exploits for God.

There are times, after getting the rod and while having a discussion, Danae tells us that Satan tells her to disobey. SIX YEARS OLD and Satan is already after her. He must be shaking in his boots, knowing this girl is going to do great things for the Lord.

We teach Danae to fight. She knows what is pleasing to God. She knows what God says. She can fight Satan with God’s word and with her faith.

Six years old and she is already aware that there is a struggle in her heart. She said she wants God to win her heart. Hopefully, one day soon, she will not just want God to win her heart, but she will CHOOSE to really give her heart to Him.

FEATURED

FRANTIC and FRUITFUL FEBRUARY 2

A friend and church-mate, Ms Evelyn Ong, and her group built this tradition of blessing the girls of Marillac Hills, Muntinlupa every year. This is their fourth year of doing this outreach, and they gave me the privilege to share God’s word.

Because it was February, the theme was God’s love. I had the liberty to choose what message to share and because the girls there have sensitive cases, I chose to share about Identity, but the bottom line of every point was how much God loves them. My brilliant husband gave me the idea for a prop to use as the object lesson.

I made a mini cake out of clay. I created it myself and I thought the outcome was pretty good. It was my first time to make one. I loved my creation. It was valuable in my eyes. It was complete, whole, beautiful.

God created us, therefore He knows every single little detail about us. God created us beautiful, whole, at peace, and with a purpose. We are His creation, His most valued, His masterpiece, His beloved.

Everybody thought my creation was nice. As I ended my “preaching,” I asked a volunteer to come up and destroy the cake. A couple of them didn’t want to do it because it was too pretty to destroy. The whole place echoed with shouts, as they seriously tried to dissuade the last volunteer from touching it. But she finally did, at my encouragement.

When sin, whether our own or others’,  destroys, devastates, depresses us, we end up different from how God made us, how God sees us. No longer beautiful, no longer whole, no longer at peace — broken, bitter, disillusioned, lost.

My cake looked trashed. The princess was on the floor and cut in half, the decorations were a mess. Some even said it had turned ugly. Many agreed with me when I asked, that that was how they felt at times after bad things happened to them.

Just as I can easily recreate what my volunteer destroyed, GOD CAN EASILY RESTORE AND RENEW WHAT SIN AND SATAN HAS DESTROYED. Just as only I can fix the mini clay cake and make it look exactly the way it used to look because I am its creator, GOD IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN MEND US, mend our broken hearts and bind up our wounds BECAUSE HE IS OUR CREATOR. He is THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN MAKE US COMPLETE, make us beautiful and whole again. The only one who can give us peace. The only one who can bring us back to our original purpose. The cake cannot fix itself. We cannot mend ourselves. But I can make my cake look even better after it has been destroyed. And GOD NOT ONLY CAN, BUT WILL GIVE US A NEW HEART even after we have been destroyed, and MAKE US NEW CREATIONS!

That is the great hope we have in the Lord. That is how great His love is for us. 🙂