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Birthday Thank You

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Thank you to everyone who remembered my special day! Each note, PM, message, text, call, prayer/greeting really meant a lot to me and absolutely made my day. Thanks to internet / social networking for making remembering our special days and sending a greeting much easier, lol! Hehehehe!

 

My appreciation  to all my  friends who joined me  for the virtual celebration of my special day since I’m working the whole day, lol!  I really had a great time doing what we like doing best – chatting, browsing and reminiscing old times together! Hehehehe!  Thank you for the cool  AVP made by my ex-boyfriend , now dashing better half, my one and only husband Mr.Henry Boyles. As for the delicious cakes that I’ve been picturing on my mind all day long… hmnn, I might give in for a one day of cheat day..kahit maging chubby cheeks pa ako lalo! I’m going to eat some or more after I’m done working. Hehehehe!  Special thanks to my spiritual family for all the prayers and love.

 

Of course, thank you to my dearest family who has always been there no matter what.  Nikki, Caleb, Mom, Kua, Jing and Abby..and all my other pamangkins…thank you for always taking the time and making the effort to make me feel special!

 

Thank  you Lord for giving me another year to be  loved, be an encouragement to others, be His instrument to send hope to others as He helps us become better people everyday. May I be more productive, commit to share my life and be a blessing to other people as I desire to put a smile on your face on my simplest ways possible.  Thank you for the bounteous blessings that You continue to shower my family with..  again..thank you♥

 

OUR TIME IS COMING

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time…though it tarry, wait for it.”  (Habakkuk 2:3, KJV)

If you’ve been standing in faith for the promises of God, I want you to know today that your time is coming!  The dreams and desires in your heart, the things you want to accomplish, the situations you want to see changed will happen.  Don’t give up just because it has taken a long time, or just because you’ve tried and failed.

I encourage you today — get your fire back!  Don’t be complacent about pursuing what God has placed in your heart.  It may be taking a long time, but God is a faithful God.  No matter how long it’s been, no matter how impossible it looks, if you’ll stay in faith, your time is coming.  Every dream that’s in your heart, every promise that has taken root, God not only put it there, but He has every intention of bringing it to pass.

Declare today, “My time is coming…God is working behind the scenes on my behalf…I will fulfill my destiny…I will fulfill the plan God has for my life!”  As you declare, expect, and wait for the appointed time, your faith will grow.  Your hope will grow.  And you’ll step into the destiny God has in store for you

Repost: W.O.W. (Words of Wisdom)

…. Lord, thank You for this encouraging word. Give me the strength to hold on to Your promise and the desire to pursue Your perfect plan in my life as I completely depend on You for the things to come. I receive it by faith as I claim Your truth.. Continuously search my heart and may You cause my words and my thoughts to be agreeable to Your plan in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

A Love Letter… A Reminder

Last Wednesday, August 31  was the release date for Nikki’s class card. As I got it, attached was a love letter she wrote for Henry and I. if I’m not mistaken she wrote it as a response to our letter to her last July for their retreat. As I scanned it’s words, I was moved by what she wrote… “that she wanted to thank me for becoming a Christian”… “that she came to know the Lord because of me”. (sorry Nikki, I shared some parts of it)

At first, that sounded so good. Her appreciation of the life I shared to her was a reminder that all the more, I need to be responsible (as I am indeed) for the life that I model… that I also testify my faith as I and Henry parent her. More than the responsibility, it’s a sounding alarm for each and every one of us to really take part in advancing His kingdom. From the simple acts of kindness, to sharing His word… we can never gauge how our lives can make an impact on every heart that we touch. May it be our family, friends, or even simple acquaintances. Whether out of obligation or responsibility… it sends the message that we need to constantly desire for the same compassion that Jesus had for the lost… and act out boldly as we share our life to others.

Discipleship is a relationship and me being a mother to Nikki is also discipleship.

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. – Psalm 55:22

I too had flaws..blights… I am not perfect but I’m grateful that His grace sustains us… that His grace is sufficient for us and we will only be able to live a life the way He wants us to be if we’re anchored in our faith to God… if we decide to have complete dependence on His will.

Nikki, 1 year old

Nikki’s love letter to us brought me back to the time when I first brought her to church, she was just 3 years old and can barely say name. I bring her along on vacation bible school… she sits in on every puppet show that I used to volunteer in… on every music team’s rehearsals… prayer meetings, etc. She even climbs up the stage whenever I play the guitar for praise and worship. Those were precious moments for me… when I let her see what I love to do… and expose her to the kind of life that I desire for her to enjoy too… because that too is discipleship.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.  – Proverbs 22:6

Nikki, 2 years old

 

I know on her growing up years, there were also times that she only felt obliged to join us on Sundays, but still she joins out of respect and obedience to us. Now that I watch her also serving in the ministry… indeed our labor in the Lord will never be in vain… we see fruits and she’s one of it. Introducing Jesus into her life is not just a plain response to the call of parenthood but it’s also a way of living out to God’s promise of salvation for my family and the generations to come. On our own, it ain’t easy to train up a child, our resources were limited but with God’s standard… the Bible… there’s great possibilities and the ways were limitless , not to mention the leaders who mentor us as they mirror their life to us.

Nikki, 3 years old

Nikki, 6 years old

God is indeed faithful to His promises and it’s a motivating factor for us parents to strive more and never get tired of allowing God to mold us and make us the kind of parents that He wanted us to be. He’s the one in charge and will always be. We just have to continue to tap on the source of all wisdom, and pray as we claim that He would continue to uphold the destiny He has in stored for Nikki and for our family.

Nikki, 10 years old

LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. – Psalm 16:5

 

As for our dear Nikki… she’s still a work in progress just like each one of us but I’m confident that ahead of her is a great future because she had known a great God too. Gone we’re the days that I almost gave up in prayer… because just like her love letter, God gave His love letter to us too… the Bible. It fuels my desire to read and obey His word all the more. I must say… Parenting is also a Discipleship. If not for our own standing before the Lord, I’m sure there we’re also times that we feel we fail each other… we too had our shortcomings and imperfections but it’ll always be a blessing that we are a family and we share the same faith… it adds more value into it.

Nikki, 14 years old

We help each other grow in love. There’s forgiveness, acceptance, miracles, breakthroughs and great things happen when we act out in obedience to His word. Nikki will always be our answered prayer and God will always be our inspiration, our source of joy, of strength, of hope and of love.

 

Nikki, 15 years old (water baptism)

Nikki, 15 years old (kids worship team)

~ We love you Nikki and we’re proud of you… of what you’ve become and what you’ve hoped to be 🙂 

 

 

 

 

 

These Women…

~We’re there people in your life who encouraged you, showed you the ropes, and helped you become the person you are today? Most successful people say they had mentors along the way who guided and encouraged them. Take time to thank them, appreciate them and honor them.

Ate Paz left a mark on me that cannot be erased. I could talk to her about anything then, she is not the one who introduced me to Christ but she is one of those who helped strengthen my faith in Him.

I can remember so many times, sitting at the table laughing about something, throwing corny jokes, and discussing anything about life. She also gave my first bible and as I question what does my reading means, she would offer words of wisdom.  She would also encourage me and lift me up in prayer. Many we’re my mentors but she is mentioned first due to being the motivating factor for me to step out the boat and walk on water. Over the years I’ve come to realize that so many women don’t have mentors in their lives, and that’s so sad. So by God’s grace, He’s shown me a way to turn that sadness into gladness for others as I started to build new relationships and gain friends. As she shares her life, I appreciate more how does having somebody mentor you has done in my life. God has shown me a way to help bridge the wisdom that older women have to the younger women who need it so desperately just like me. And the things I learned, we just have to be obedient and available, purposeful and creative as we build relationships, shares our life and mentor others.  Spiritual relationship begins with a commitment to communicate the truth of God’s word so let’s be willing, delighted as we take time to share His truths.

1 Thessalonians 2:7-12

7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. 8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. 9 Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his

With no occasion at all, I just want to honor the women who took time to mentor me over the past 12 years, namely Paz Tarray, Carol Almadin, Edith Cablao, Myla Moran, Annie Yap, and Anne Sapinoso. You’re all doing a great job in His kingdom, continue to be an encouragement, a source of strength, and an inspiration to us.  God bless you more & more.

A Command or a Promise

A Command or a Promise.

A Command or a Promise

I’ve never seen a vineyard all my life, except from pictures, illustrations and the like. And whenever I read that powerful verse in John 15.. I cannot help but picture how vineyards we’re hemmed in rows, how new spring grows, and with all it’s woody stem and it’s branches.. There lies a grape fruit that Jesus used to communicate to his disciples. Hats off on how a gardener or vinedresser cares for his vineyard, because that’s how Jesus Christ cares for us too.

John 15:1 I am the vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.

When I first encountered these words Jesus uttered in the vineyard, I got confused. I didn’t       understand either because I was new in my faith then.  I wrestled with God,  often felt low, disappointed and in doubt because I always want to do things my way. But looking back, I’m still hopeful that God would always come to my rescue. I failed to lean close and listen to His instructions. I did things my way and tiringly fail again and again. But through the years, God never gave up on me, and I too never held back of His promises. I listened closely time and again, until I really heard from Him and finally understand.. I was set free.. and was overjoyed. God wants from me and from every one of us.. A fruitful harvest.. a harvest that will glorify Him.

As I pondered upon John 15, I understood clearly what God wanted to tell me. Each of us is a branch that is producing a clearly defined level of abundance and His command is not to simply ‘bear fruit.’ Bearing fruit is His promise. The command is for us to “abide in Him”. When we abide in Christ and Him in us, we will bear much fruit. And it will be good fruit, the kind of fruit that He is pleased with. Unfortunately, I instinctively heard this the wrong way when I first encountered the word. That’s what happens when we focus on the fruit. The fruit becomes our idol, our measurement and we allow it to gauge how well we respond  to Him but  this robs us of our life and our faith.

“As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  We can apply His promise to our lives as we stop counting and just enjoy His presence. Christ has done it all by His death and resurrection. We are the fruit of His atoning sacrifice and victory over the sin, death and the devil. No need for us to struggle, no need for us to perform nor conform. God the Father will see to it. Abiding in Him and Him in us, we will bear much fruit not because of anything we do, but because of everything that He has done.

“My father is the vinedresser.” The vinedresser is the caretaker. He takes care of the vine and its branches. We’re not left on our own to grow and be fruitful. The Father takes care of us. He’ll prune us if our pride needs to be cut back. He’s always ready to nourish us with His Word and the sacraments that will fertilize our faith. When branches fail to bear fruit, the vinedresser cuts them from the vine and burns them. When branches do bear fruit, the vinedresser allows them to abide in the vine, but he prunes them back so that they will bear even more fruit.

This illustrates that being a disciple involves discipline, and that discipline is strict.

I myself experienced how God disciplines and I can see clearly that He’s been holding me on the palm of His hand, He’s at work since day one..and is still working till now. I understood that life’s purpose goes beyond my desires. He’s not yet through with me, every step of the way, every area of my life..He’s always working on me from glory to glory. God wants to bless us and we need to accept His care for us. There may be some pruning but He’s with me every step of the way. He’s watching us closely. When He said those words to His disciples, He was thinking about me too..it’s because He loves me. And as He reveals Himself to me, I’m amazed and in awe as I witness His wonderful plan in my life unfolds. I am confident that as the gardener lovingly cultivates each branch, He too is focused on me, He is my keeper. He never gave up on me, He wants me to bear fruit, fruit that will last forever.

~Connected to the vine, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son and courses through our veins producing His gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

~To be Christlike (Galatians 5:22) and to bring Him glory even from the simplest things I was called to do. In my family life, career / business, service in the ministry and as I share His word. Now I see fruits.. and for God’s vineyard to produce, we as branches have to respond to the gardener / vinedresser…to God..

“Abide in Me” by which Jesus means to continue in obedience to “the word which I have spoken to you”. We cannot bear fruit of ourselves. Only by Christ and His word can we bear fruit acceptable to God.

Which one do you prefer… No fruit, with fruit, more fruit or much fruit?

The Father wants more fruit from us, so much that He actively tends our lives so we will keep moving up—from a barren to a productive branch, from an empty to an overflowing basket.  And more is always possible because we we’re created to bear  fruit, more fruit.. and still more fruit. This is our destiny!

Everyone is expected to bear fruit commensurate with the advantages, blessings, and gifts we are given. This is a call, a marching order for all of us. And as I share His life, I pray to be an empty vessel that He can always fill. These things will not be possible have I not yielded on the true vine, Jesus. And up until now I’m expectant of greater things to come as I commit to follow Him…and decide to always remain and abide in Him.. I claim and I receive it by faith. Fruitfulness is one of the many characteristics of true obedience to God and we can start with JUST ONE! and let’s all have more deposits in heaven.

Thankful?

 

 David, a 2-year old with leukemia, was taken by his mother, Deborah, to Massachusetts General      Hospital in Boston, to see Dr. John Truman who specializes in treating children with cancer and various blood diseases. Dr. Truman’s prognosis was devastating: “He has a 50-50 chance.” The countless clinic visits, the blood tests, the intravenous drugs, the fear and pain–the mother’s ordeal can be almost as bad as the child’s because she must stand by, unable to bear the pain herself. David never cried in the waiting room, and although his friends in the clinic had to hurt him and stick needles in him, he hustled in ahead of his mother with a smile, sure of the welcome he always got. When he was three, David had to have a spinal tap–a painful procedure at any age. It was explained to him that, because he was sick, Dr. Truman had to do something to make him better. “If it hurts, remember it’s because he loves you,” Deborah said. The procedure was horrendous. It took three nurses to hold David still, while he yelled and sobbed and struggled. When it was almost over, the tiny boy, soaked in sweat and tears, looked up at the doctor and gasped, “Thank you, Dr. Truman, for my hurting.” ~ 

Monica DickensMiracles of Courage, 1985.

 

 

Do we thank God for our testing? For our pains?

God not only knows everything that’s taking place in our lives, but he is also deeply touched when something bad happens to us. The Bible says that Christ was “a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering” (Isaiah 53:3).

But why does God feel this way when we’re going through hard times? The reason is because he loves us and cares about us. God isn’t indifferent to our hurts; He loves us! And just as you hurt when someone you love is hurting, so God — in a far greater way — is hurt when we are hurting.

But God not only loves us, he wants to help us and encourage us when hard times come. This is why we can turn to him in prayer, and trust every situation into his hands. Sometimes he answers our prayers by taking away the burden we’re carrying. But even if that doesn’t happen, he is still with us, and he’ll give us the strength we need to see us through the hard times. The Bible says, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22).

God tests us so we can experience victory. He walks in faith and believes we will win every  test. He is like a proud parent who tells their child to “Go out there and show them what you can do,” expecting them to win.

 

God allows us to enter into faith combat so we can see His deliverance and victory over our adversary. As we are faithful where we are (the test), God will give us a larger sphere of responsibility and His grace will always sustain us, no matter what.

2 Corinthians 12:7-12   Jesus says, “MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, for MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT in  WEAKNESS”…Paul says—”Therefore I take Pleasure in Infirmities, in Reproaches, in Needs, in Persecutions, in Distresses, for Christ’s sake. For WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG.”

 Understanding the nature of God … “If it hurts, remember it’s because He loves you” … we can then say, thank you Jesus for our pain, for our hurts.. we offer them up at the foot of Your throne.