Day 1: God’s Love

Ola!

So, a major decision in my life was made yesterday, and it is to step up in my service, from a Youth For Christ member to Singles For Christ, because I am not getting any younger.

Yesterday, I had a fresh start in Singles For Christ: Christian Life Program. The first talk was about the God’s Love. Since I came from the family ministry as well, I am already aware of God’s love to me, but then, I just felt that it is all a fresh start and renewed faith.

The speaker emphasize God’s love through others. Making the people around us the channel of His love.

Then I started reflecting,

Do I thank those people enough because they have been with me in every ups and downs in my life? Or do I just take them for granted? So as well as, am I a channel of God’s love to others? Am I being a blessing to others? Do I share God’s love as well to the people around me?

After the talk, the challenge was, we could give back the love God has given to us by loving others, but how can we love others?

When I just thought that I had the God’s message already by that afternoon, right after the program, I had a date with my co-Youth for Christ in a cafe. From our seat, there is this decor that says,

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

My heart is still broken from a relationship, but I am reminded today to be back in the waiting game, and be His princess again. I believe in His timing, perfect timing.

Going back to the message of embracing others as a sign of loving God. Just this morning I received a phone call from my grandmother, saying she needs me to be her companion for two weeks. I will be back to her house, where I was during my high school days. So responding to God’s love, I believe that I must show my love to my Lola.

And also, this morning, I received an invitation from my college friends to have a mini catch ups, I never really contacted them since our graduation, and I now is the perfect timing to catch up things with them.

 

I just can’t believe how God is moving accordingly to His messages to me. He told me to bring back the love to others, then here comes my grandma situation. He told me that everything is beautiful in His time, the he gave me the invitation to catch up things with my college friends.

And what’s more interesting and loving about myself today? It is that everything is starting fresh and it is all because of God’s love to me. ❤

Here’s for the new start with the people around me, new beginnings with the feelings within us, and new challenges of life with God.

 

If you’re reading this, I also challenge you to bring back God’s love to others. Let us be a channel of God’s love to our surroundings.

 

G?

G!

 

 

 

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21 THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR BEFORE I TURN 22

In two days, I’m turning 22! Horay!!!

22 years old is actually my dream age. I feel like I can do all the things I can and want. I am really excited of what life will bring me, or where would life will lead me.

My previous birthday has been days of expectations, and yes, I still expect this birthday to be a memorable one, not until a man told me, “Just be thankful for the years of your existence. Appreciate what you have.” And then from that day on, I never expected any surprise from any people in my life.

So today, I decided to list 21 things I am thankful for!

 

21 THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR BEFORE I TURN 22.

 

LIFE

Who would not be thankful for the gift of life? Life has thought me so many things, how to deal with ups and downs, how to trust, love and so many more. I thank God for being alive, I could experience more and more. Life is so wonderful! ❤

FAMILY

My family may not be perfect, but, who has a perfect family either? But I am very thankful for having them by my side to support and love me in every way they can.

WORK

The gift of work of course, I am very thankful for it. I may not be on the top of my career right now, but who cares? I am still young, and I am girl with so many dreams, it is not yet too late to pursue all of it.

DREAMS

Yes, as I said, I have so many dreams, and I am thankful for these dreams because they are the ones who kept me motivated in life. I love to dream so as much as to explore.

TRAVEL

Yes of course, I thank for the gift of travel, I am really blessed that at my young age, I had the chance to travel, to know and understand other provinces’ culture and beliefs. I’m 21 and traveled 21 provinces, I am really looking forward for more now that I am turning 22!

SERVICE

The gift of service, in which I am so much thankful of. Service gives purpose to my life, seeing kids, and youth being encouraged, and sharing God’s words to others is really my passion. I am glad to spend my 21st birthday in a mission trip, and there’s nothing I can wish for. Serving God is where I think I excel the most, expanding my love not only for the kids but as well for other people.

MISSION

This year, I’ve been to Mindoro twice, and to Cebu. And I love the feeling of going beyond our borders to spread God’s word. But there is still a mission or calling perhaps, I still need to pray for, indeed this is a bigger calling but I also believe that this calling could bring me so much joy and content in my life. *If you are one of our core reading this, yes, I am still praying for that calling, you know what it is.*

PARTNER

Yeeeees!!! I have my service partner this year, and he’s is so MAKULIT. Nevertheless, I am so much thankful for him for being by my side when it comes to funky missions, he is one reliable friend!

BOYFRIEND

I may not be in a relationship now, but hey, I’ve been in a relationship while I’m 21. And I thank God for that relationship. I learned so many things from him, and I believe God sent him to me to learn new things, and I did. I learned to love in the capacity I didn’t even imagine! I never thought my heart was capable of loving that much, and even it ended up with a break up, I am still willing to love another chance, dahil, MASARAP MAGMAHAL. 😀

RESPONSIBILITIES

You might want to ask, “Who wants the gift of responsibility?”, Yes, its me! I never thought that God would be so generous to me that by the age of 21, I could help my parents send my brother to college. And my brother is now 20 years old. I am proud, that at my young age, I am able to help my parents. This is a responsibility that I love.

FRIENDS

I thank my low-key and high maintenance friends. hahaha. They helped me to be more open to others, to adventures and to opportunities. How those biglaan moments with them turn to be one of the memorable moments in my life. I love them, and my life won’t be complete with out them.

PAIN

My 21st journey was not always good, but I experienced the pain I never had before, the Heartbreak. But, I am also thankful for that, because I am still alive. for a second, I thought pain could kill me. But here am I, happy and contented of what lady I became after that pain, a stronger and more matured one, so, I owe you one, God! Thank you for this life lesson!

BRAVERY

Bravery! I also never imagine how brave my soul is! I remember when I jumped in the waterfalls in Cebu without knowing how to swim, I am so proud of my self! And thank you God for giving me the gift of bravery!

LOVE

Love!!! Thankful of the capacity of my heart to cherish love and not anger. Yes, Love conquers all, and I am deeply rooted in love with God.

RACKETS

(I don’t know if the spelling is right. haha) But I thank God for the sideline works, Ienjoy all of the events and planning I’ve done this year! And planning to go more, from debuts to weddings! Horay for dreams and sidelines!!

KIDS

Don’t misunderstood, I don’t have kids of my own yet, but, just today, I heard a kid counting 1-20, and I remember, yes, Kids brought purpose in my life, they are the cutest human being, the way how they discover things, how they speak and how their chubby cheeks feels when I’m touching it, *It’s so fluffy, I wanna dieeee*

CAMERA

Cameras! Yes! Life is boring with out a camera. I love how camera teaches me to capture beautiful moments and creations of God. I love how this little thing can change my perspective in life.

NOTEBOOKS

Notebooks! They have been my best friend this year, they knew all of my funky things in life, goals and even my feels. Ooops, I also knew what am I praying for, always. They witnessed my life, my prayer life of course. And I love them together with …

BIBLE

Thank you for being there when I needed some advise in life. It is you who I always hold on to, Your words bring clarity and wisdom to me, in every decision I made this year, you were with me. I love you every morning! ❤

COMPUTER

I included computer because I can write this blog through a computer. haha. 21st year and I spent it all day with my computer in office. So I guess, this is one thing I should also be thankful for.

ADOBE PREMIERE

Yes, yes yes!!! Thank you for this software because I was able to edit videos again. haha. Eery time I try to edit videos, the feels, the music, the excitement, I love how all of it combines, and even if I end up sleeping late, its all worth it. And I am looking forward for more videos this 22nd journey!!!

 

Surely I missed out some of the things. haha. As I end up this blog, I realize what kind of girl I am. I was refreshed of the people I love and the things I enjoy doing!

22nd journey, I am very much ready for you!!! Here’s for journeying with God to wherever path He is leading me!!

Thank you, Lord, I know you are now whispering me a very “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ARA! I LOVE YOU” up there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Stand For Jesus

Have you ever experienced staring at children and a certain question suddenly pops in your mind? Like “What could be the future of these kids?” or suddenly prayed “I wish I am a kid again, no worries and all fun”. If you are the kind of person who always reflects, I bet you already experienced it.

As for me, I always experienced it. I always ask, “Can she still remember me years from now?”, “What could be their work when they grow up?” “Would they stay as kind and sweet as they are now when they turn to teenagers?”

Last weekend, a conference was held in Legazpi, Albay. (behind the scene photos are already posted in my previous posts) And I think that my questions above are already answered.

Who would imagine that these person was once our Kids For Christ?

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And now, they are with me serving the Lord. Yes, it really sounds I am an adult now, but I think it is one thing I am proud of, I grew up serving the Lord. And I am gladly to serve the Lord with the people who I used to served for.

As I grew serving the Lord, I realized that I am standing for Jesus already. I will still stand for Jesus as much as I can.

These kids we used to serve are now also serving other kids. And it answers my questions. Kids can be a servant of God as well if we only pray continuously for them. Kids can be a servant of God if we never let go and never give up to them. Kids can stand for Jesus if We can also stand for Jesus.

As for my stand, I wanted to share these photos of kids that our team captured during the conference.

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Something I liked the most to kids is their innocent faces. It is so innocent that all I want to give them is the love of God that needs to be shared. I always pray that their hearts and minds would be open for Christ, instead of worldly things in life. I pray that they would also have the heart of a servant just like those who were once kids and now serving the Lord with me.

Here’s a calling for us, servants, we need to stand for Jesus.

Since these kids can see us as their role model, they would also imitate us, so as We Stand For Jesus, these kids will also Stand For Jesus.

Just like last year’s conference, this year’s family conference has been so personal to me again. It is also a calling for all to strive for our family, just like these families.

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This emphasize the need for a family to catch up, even every dinner. In our family, it is a must to have a dinner together while our mother asks us “Kamusta ka?” / how are we in our aspects in life, a daily catch up, like, how was my day at work, how was the day of our younger brother at his school, how was my elder brother’s client deals, simple questions that really meant a lot for us. And there were times when I was away from them over the weekend to attend conferences like this, they always say that they miss me, and asks how was the conference. As soon as I get home, there’s the need to catch up with them and I would tell them how happy the conference was.

Family should be the major strength in us, when life gets rough, I know there’s a group of people (my family) who has my back.

So I say, Family Dinner is very important.

I thank the Lord for this conference, and I am excited for what’s next for us.

For us, again, Let us Stand for Jesus and finally declare that

WE STAND FOR JESUS.

Endless Staircase

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” Isaiah 43:19, NIV.

Throughout my walk with Jesus, I have experienced many ups and downs. There were days when I felt as though I was in perfect sync with God, and others where I felt nothing but condemnation for my shortcomings. Every time I would mess up, I set myself back. I imagined myself on an endless staircase with no destination or end point. In my mind, I kept heading upward on the good days, the days I felt holy, and filled with a heart of praise and thanksgiving. Then, on the days I didn’t feel so great about myself or knew I missed the mark and blew it yet again, I imagined I fell down a considerable flight of stairs. One step forward on the good days, ten steps backward on the bad days.
I felt unworthy, would beat myself up over my mistakes and thought I had to serve my “time-out” and perform better before I could come into the presence of my Savior again. This is a nuclear defense of the devil. When we mess up, his condemnation and guilt sweep in to put a wall between us and our Father. But what does Jesus do? He makes all things new. He hung on that cross so that when we fall short, we can receive His sweet forgiveness. He is ready to forgive us, before we even come before Him to ask for His mercy yet again.
Sister, there is now no condemnation to you because you are in Christ Jesus (see Romans 8:1). That mistake you made, He casts it as far as the east is from the west, and He remembers it no more (Psalm 103:12; Hebrews 8:12). The sin you committed, He washed in His blood. The mess you made of things, He has made new and is creating a divine purpose. He is focused on your future, it’s time to let go of your past.
He is saying to you today, “I will carry you forward. Stop punishing yourself. The price has already been paid. I carried away your shame, your sins, your insecurities. I rescued you from the power of darkness and placed you in my Kingdom. You are mine and I’m taking you to higher ground now.”

Prayer: Father, I thank You for your endless mercies and Your forgiveness. Lord, I ask You to forgive me of my sins and the times I have failed You. Help me to put the past behind me as You already have. Help me to stop punishing myself, and step into Your righteousness that You have given me through Your finished work. Carry me through, Jesus. I welcome Your sweet presence to fill me, and make whole every part of me that is broken. In Jesus name, Amen.

(Read Isaiah 46:4; 1 Peter 2:24; Colossians 1:13)

 

Credits: http://www.dot-k.com/

Thank You, Legazpi!

May 18-21, 2017

We traveled for almost 12 hours from Cavite to Albay just to attend our 2nd Family COnference: We Stand For Jesus.  And if you ask me how did I managed it? Of course, I have my pain reliever ready with with me.

We Stand For Jesus is something so personal for me. Something that came up to: How long could I stand for Jesus? How much strength could I give to Jesus? And in the whole conference, Jesus just reminded me to I am not standing alone, I stand with Him and also for Him.

As I stand for Jesus, I also knew that I am with my family, my Kids For Christ Family. I thank God for their humble hearts and everything feels so easy for me because of them.

Right after the conference we had the chance to stroll Legazpi. And here are some photos I wanted to share. ❤

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The 156-meter high Ligñon Hill (also spelled Lingñon, pronounced as /li-NYON/) is one of Legazpi’s most famous landmarks. For years, Ligñon Hill is known only for the PHIVOLCS observatory located in its flanks and an old lighthouse on its summit. Today, it has become one of the city’s prime destinations for sightseers, adventurers and even fitness buffs.

Because we have our van with us, it was easy for us to reach the top. And there, you would see the breath-taking views of Mayon, perfect for photo-op. YOu can also see the city view from the top.

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We also entered the Japanese Tunnel. But there’s nothing in there, honestly.

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At the top of the hill, there are also Sili Ice Cream.

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It is one of the must-try in Bicol!

Of course, we can’t go home with out visitng the famous Cagsawa Church.

Here are some photo ops, again.

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This trip wouldn’t be fun without these brothers!

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and have you ever experienced this, you wanted a photo of you, but your team doesn’t know how to use your camera. so here’s the output. huhu.

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Nevertheless, from the whole Cavite Team,

THANK YOU, LEGAZPI!!

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Matthew 19:14 : Life of a ROCK Ate

“Let the children come to Me, do not prevent them for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these”

Matthew 19:14

 

That is the verse that would be forever tattooed in my heart. Have you ever wonder what is your purpose here in Earth? Have you found or knew it already? Because for me, I think I found it, and the verse indicates it all.

I may not have an Ate, but I grew up in the community I am serving now, the Kids For Christ. I actively participated in our monthly session until I was 11 years old. I am grateful for this community as well as for the ates and kuyas who guided me along my way to Youth For Christ.

When I was still a Kids For Christ, all I wanted is to be like my ates and kuyas, or what we call, ROCK Ate. I want to inspire Kids, talk to them about Jesus, I want to play with them, be creative with them, I want to hear their laugh, cry to the Lord, I want them to grow on the way how I grew. In short, I love them.

Year 2009 when I started sharing my life to the kids, first times are so memorable to me that I feel the need to share this to you.

Our couple coordinator called me to serve for the kids, when I was still a KFC, all I know is that the couple coordinator are the one who teach all through out the session, but when I came to the chapel, my couple coordinator just said, “Okay Ate Ara, lead the session” and I wasw like, WOAAH! I AM NOT READY FOR THIS!! But I believe, through prayers, I can do it. I was too shy, I can’t believe that a 13 year old girl will be leading the whole session. My voice back then was still tiny as the ant, I am not that creative for the activities, I am shy to dance in front of them, but Praise God! I survived my first Kids Session!!

Next first time is my first talk. While planning for our Kids camp, my coordinator told me, “Ara, you do the talk 4, since you came from KFC, it will be easy for you”, I just say YES, all I was expecting is that it is the life as a Kids For Christ. But when I saw the talk outline, it is THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL HELP ME TO BE GOOD. What could be my reaction?? Of course, WAIT!! HOW AM I ABLE TO LET THE KIDS UNDERSTAND ABOUT HOLY SPIRIT??!!

It was a reflection talk, reflection of the good things we need to do as a child of God. Upon reflection, I saw kids crying, saying sorry to the Lord, saying sorry for their parents, wishing their parents are there not knowing, after the reflection, their parents are standing at their back. They were surprised, and as an Ate, it is the greatest feeling ever, to see the parent and child, saying the power words to each other, “I love you, Thank you, Sorry“.

I’ve been doing that for almost 8 years now, and it feels like always the first time. The goosebumps feels was always there. I always thank the Lord for using me as His instrument!

I am overwhelmed with these experience, but since this is about my life as an Ate to the kids, let me share to you my funny experiences.

Not all the times, kids are behave, I am sure you knew that. There are times that they are totally unstoppable.

A kid wants a piggy back to you, another one wants to hug your leg, I was like in the zoo, and animals are keep hugging me.

There was a time when we want to begin the session, but they are still unstoppable, a kid hides under the table. And I have no choice but to chase him.

If you serve the kids, regardless of what ministry you are, for sure, you knew that there is a need to dance. And to dance with 8 songs continuously, IT IS NOT A JOKE. But when the kids shouts for MORE, IT IS NOT REALLY A JOKE, FOR THE SECOND TIME!! But because they are kids, enjoying dancing for the Lord, you will dance, (also because you have no choice).

Another thing, is taking care of them, helping them to take a bath, to pee and poop (YES, IT IS A NEED), to listen in their endless stories, to always get their water, to always hug them, it is all part of this service. But when you received their priceless smile, all of these things seems to be so fun doing!

At the end of every session and camp, the would say goodbye to you with a big smile full of joy, and you would know that they are talking to their parents how good ate you are to them.

Fun, exciting, challenging, heart melting, these are the words that I can describe in serving God’s little children. I always pray for them, for their future, for their family, for their education and future career, but most importantly, I always pray that they grew loving and God-fearing person.

With my 8 years as an Ate, I never came to the point that I was tired mentally in serving the kids, but physically? ALWAYS. Never came to the point that I served them without being tired after. But it’s always worth it.

I found my joy and purpose in serving God’s little angels. ❤

To you who are reading this, try to serve, even with the kids you do not know. They can help brighten your life and make it more meaningful! I pray for you and your heart!