Adopt, Don’t Shop: Animal Love

Hello, WordPress and non-WordPress folks! For today’s post, it will be something light – pets. ☺

Allow me to introduce to you some of the pets we have back in my hometown. If you are wondering why I have no pets here in Manila, sadly, it’s not allowed in the condominium we are renting out. So without any further ado, here are our adopted babies: Peekah (orange cat), Tippy (black and white cat), Polly (black, white, and orange cat), Torti (turtle), and Birdie (lovebird).

All five of them were adopted and rescued from the streets and from our backyard. They all stumbled upon our home looking for a furever home and they indeed found one. Thanks to my 3rd sister, Ate Abeden, for taking such good care of them and for being their furever foster Mom.

I could still remember back when I was a kid, my Mom told me having a pet entails a lot of responsibilities. She made sure I completely understood what I am getting myself into the first time I asked her if I can have a pet cat. I was around 7 or 8 years old back then.

When she finally agreed, I was ecstatic and anxious at the same time because the challenge was real – keeping my pet alive. Through the years, most of my pets died because of an illness and we don’t have a vet available 24/7 in town (even until now).

It was only when I got older and found out by researching on the internet that there are actually a lot of pet illnesses which you can avoid. This can be done through simple pet care tips which will also prolong your pet’s life and improve his/her overall health.

We treat all of our pets as members of the family. They also have different personalities and special antics that can either make you crack in laughter or annoy you big time. Still, we love them all just the same. 😀

I couldn’t really tell how or why God intended these fur babies to stumble upon our home. But I have one clue – I am an animal advocate and it is possible a shelter home is one of His projects for me and my siblings to work on in the land we plan to utilize.

Well, it can or it can’t be. Ah yes, so many plans and yet surely, the Lord will direct our steps. We are just patiently waiting for God’s perfect time to execute His instructions. I am praying the timeline we have set is aligned with God’s timeline as well. ☺

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Let Kids Be Kids

This is a bit late since it is already 12 midnight here as of writing. Hubby and I had to attend to some errands, thus, the late article. 😃 But as always, better late than never. So here’s the Friday post for this week which is a flashback to last January. ☺

Sa isa sa mga after New Year gala sa Baguio City w/ my in-laws, we decided to stay at the Teacher’s Camp at ma-experience and sinasabi nilang may “mumu” daw. 😉

Habang nag-aantay sa baba, may mga batang naglalaro sa bakuran at namimitas ng mga bulaklak. Out of curiousity sabi ko kay Brian lapitan namin sila at usisain kung anong ginagawa nila sa bulaklak. Naalala ko kasi ang kabataan ko sa kanila playing with all things that nature can offer as toys. Yes, I actually preferred these toys over my Barbies and cooking sets.

When I asked them, ginagawa daw nilang confetti or bracelet. Nakipagbiruan din si Brian sa kanila and the kids really had a good laugh.

After picking a couple of flowers, Brian and I went to our room. When we went out to get our stuff sa sasakyan nila Bri, hinabol kami ng dalawang batang babae na nakausap namin earlier and they were showing us something.

They made me bracelets pala out of the flowers they picked. In exchange, we gave them chocolates to show our gratitude. Minsan talaga maa-amaze ka na lang how kids can have this way of making sweet surprises in their own little ways. 😊👍

Knowing Your Purpose: Are You a Godpreneur?

Disclaimer: This is a pretty long message but you’ll enjoy reading the rest of it (I think or I think not). 😀 If you do feel sleepy in the middle though, you may skip the boring ones and just get on to the next pile of stories. 😉

“Are you a Godpreneur?”

Yes, I am a Godpreneur…..in the making. That is, for me and my siblings. 😀

But first, thanks be to God for restoring our landline and wi-fi connection from super slow to nothing last week to just right fast now. Just in time for me to prepare for this article yesterday, write, and post it today. Btw, 1mb for me is fast enough. lol 😀 If you are wondering too if I have no work assigned today, yep, God allowed it my Thursday and Friday be free for this week so I could research and prepare for this article.

So what is a Godpreneur? This might be the first time you’ve heard of it. If you have read my post entitled An Ode to My Grandpa: Memoirs, that was the first time I mentioned the term “Godpreneur.”

AboutGodpreneur

This is the website where I encountered the term first: http://www.dailygodpreneur.com/. When I checked it out, I can only say that indeed, this is what I need for this season. I’d like to reiterate what the owner of Daily Godpreneur said regarding the importance of reading your bible on a daily basis every morning. I do that every day too since I got saved in 2013. It is such a vital process if you want to know what God’s will is for you and in knowing your calling. Here’s how my journal/planner looks like – a combination of daily bible verses, daily devotionals, and prayers:

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Try writing in cursive, it is becoming rare nowadays. 🙂

But before I went to that website, I first got a glimpse of it through IG in its random Search feed where it collates similar photos based on your likes. Most of my liked photos are about bible verses so I thought maybe it got integrated with it. It captured my attention (God’s plan for sure) and I checked out the IG profile. At that time, I just came back from my hometown where hubby and I spent our Christmas vacation.

HowtoBecomeAGodpreneur

You may download his e-book for free: “How to Become a Godpreneur and Let God Be Your CEO.” 😍

After the prayer and fasting, this became one of the topics that the Spirit prompted me to write about – An Ode to My Grandpa: Memoirs. I wrote the article, shared it on Facebook, and tagged my siblings. I did mention in the article I have no idea how to utilize the land without the finances to back it up. The next thing that happened, we were all making serious plans about it. Literally serious plans. 🙂

When I wrote that article I guess I was praying to God that if this is His will over me and my family, may He lead the way and prepare us all for the tasks beforehand. Now, when I look back to the decisions I made, the sacrifices my husband and I had to go through, it seems the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall into place though the entire picture is nowhere near completion.

Everything made sense.

All you need to do is just let go and let God, again and again and again. 🙂 Part of the sacrifices and hard decisions I mentioned is letting go of an opportunity to be promoted to a Managing Editor and earn 30-40k which could’ve brought me and my husband to such great relief financially. But when I prayed to God about it, the question He asked was this, “What is your motivation, Tin, for getting the promotion?”

Don’t get me wrong though, I absolutely love my job now as a freelance content writer. I never enjoyed any work I did in my previous jobs than how I do now. I love how my work demanded versatility as a writer with all the different clients and specific demands we have to deal with. But my reason is mainly that I didn’t feel it in my heart to take on the responsibility. If my motivation is the high salary, we all know it is the wrong motivation. I may be ready to take on editing roles, however, managing people is my waterloo. I wasn’t prepared so to speak and I felt it isn’t God’s perfect time either.

But hear ye, hear ye. God hears prayers even those little voices that our hearts tend to whisper because we are unaware we’re praying for them already. This article (http://www.dailygodpreneur.com/disciplining-employees/) yet again from Daily Godpreneur came just in time along with so many articles that I can totally relate now. I can’t help sharing them with my siblings too. In one instance, my brother mentioned in one of our meetings that if we are to venture into this business, it is not going to be for profit. We all agreed to it.

I also suggested we can use parts of the land as a retreat area and for the vacation home, God already gave us ideas how it should look like. For example, I got this idea of putting tables with bible verses on top of it when we ate at Mary Grace restaurant. Nothing is more spiritually rejuvenating during your retreat than being surrounded by the exact Words of God while communing with nature which is God’s creation at its best, right? 🙂

IMG_20180130_233641_882I was also hooked on this survival game called Ocean is Home. I loved it because the setting is on a deserted island (nature). But the good thing is that you get to design and build your own house just like a real architect’s AutoCAD. I know you’re going to laugh at me if I tell you that I actually made a floor plan for the game like what real architects do. lol 😀

 

Just to share though, this is common in the family. When I was young, I always see my Mom making floor plans. Both Mom (grade school teacher) and Dad (civil engineer) designed our ancestral house. I also have a cousin (mother side) who’s an architect and yet another cousin (father’s side) who’s a talented painter and artist. So I guess sketching and floor plans are quite a normal thing to do in the fam either by profession or as a hobby. 😉

Back to the game, I took screenshots of it after how many days of building it. Then suddenly an idea popped into my head and blurted it out to my hubby: “Hon, do you think it’ll be a great idea if I show this to my siblings as one suggestion for the design of the vacation home?” What do you think? 😀 I highly recommend this game if you’re into building stuff.

 

My eldest sister also suggested the idea of using our business to provide a livelihood in our community. The farmers and their families living near the property which we plan to utilize have work depending on the planting and harvest season only. This means they need to look for other jobs to sustain their families during the times they have no farm work. These farmers and their families have been serving our families for decades since we were young and even way before that when it was my late grandpa who was managing the farm.

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We would like to pay it forward by serving them and their needs too. I did mention in my previous articles that God placed a desire in my heart to put up my own school someday and a foundation that will help students without the financial capability to have a good education. This is actually the reason why I pursued a master’s degree in Special Education altho halfway through my grad study, I did let the opportunity go because God led me to a different path. If it is still God’s will for me to put up a school, this could still materialize how many years or decades from now in the property which we plan to utilize.

I was born a people-pleaser. My Mom once told me it isn’t a good thing. But thinking about it in a Christian context, I believe being a people-pleaser is actually good. Only this time the one I am pleasing is not people but God. How? By serving others not to earn my way to Heaven or receive a reward from God but to fulfill His tasks and to share what He has given me.

My siblings and I have been gifted with skills and resources despite some setbacks and I know they are for a purpose and never for self-gain. All of us, I believe, have been gifted with certain talents and skills because we all compose the body of Christ – everyone has a specific role to play. Just like how 5 of us, siblings, have a special part to fulfill to make our project work. But then again, use it never for self-gain. If God gifted you with so many talents and skills, then He has greater work for you to do.

One of the famous entrepreneurs in history and Microsoft founder Bill Gates also said the same thing:

Bill Gates

Biblically speaking, it can be found in this verse:

“…When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” – Luke 12:48

Speaking of skills, you’ll never know when God will use them for His purposes. It doesn’t mean you have to go through the same experiences others did so you’d “activate” them. But it is all between you and God. He will use circumstances only designed for you and you alone because that is part of His blueprint when He designed you to fulfill a certain task – your calling. Do not try to copy how others lived and what they pursued because that is God’s calling for their lives. If we will always follow what others are doing WITHOUT consulting God FIRST, we are wasting away what God has prepared for us which, as we all know, is always the best. ❤

You may want to check this one out too. Every time I write my Friday article or even articles at work, I listen to worship songs. I sometimes play my guitar and my husband’s guitar as my icebreaker away from any screen (mobile phone or laptop).

So I browsed the internet one time for chords and lyrics of some worship songs I heard during a Sunday service. Voila, I stumbled upon this awesome website and it’s just the perfect site I was looking for. You’ll find most worship songs here with chords, lyrics, and tabs along with music videos and interviews with the composers and songwriters themselves. I am pretty sure they, too, have their own set of testimonials which led them to pursue God’s calling for them.

http://worshiptogether.com/songs/broken-vessels-amazing-grace/

Yes, they are all using their gifts, talents, and skills to fulfill God’s calling for them. Just like our very own Filipina composer, musician, and singer (a beautiful lady too), sis Moira Dela Torre. Here’s her original composition entitled Safe now featured in Victory Worship’s new album. Can you guess what the title of the album is? You guessed that right, “For Your Purpose.” Amazing, isn’t it? 😀

You may watch her acoustic version in the video below:

Going back to God’s purpose, my husband and I are going to relocate yet again to a new place soon which, I am sure, is part of God’s plans too. We have a lot of people to be grateful for in this season and I just can’t help thanking God for them every single day. Along with it also came great opportunities. I already have hints how the plans will play out but I can’t say it is exactly what will happen. Simply because I am not God and “His ways are higher than mine and so are His thoughts higher than my thoughts.” 😀

So finding out what my hints are is something for you to look forward to. I’ll share if my instincts, guesses, foresight, prophecy, ESP, whatever term you may call it, are correct. So stay tuned for my next Friday article. 😀

Also, yesterday a bible verse for the day popped up from my screen courtesy of BibleScreen.com which ignited something that I have been trying to figure out but at a loss what was it. The word came out – prosperity of the wicked. I decided to type it into Google search and ended up reading bible study websites which pointed me to Psalm 37. Upon reading it, Psalm 37 encapsulated what I think now is God’s way of preparing us – how to deal with the money and success through God’s way since we are going to put up a business which, as we all know, is greatly involved with money. Money is the root of all evil, that is a given too. So God made a step ahead to guard our hearts against finding the wrong motive.

For now, I know I am in towards a whole new set of different seasons and I am feeling scary ( no, I should not be) but I have these verses to equip the journey ahead. Yes, God will pave the way too and I need not worry. 🙂

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” – Exodus 20:12

“You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.” – Deuteronomy 5:33

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

“You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.” – Proverbs 19:21

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” – Proverbs 16:3

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” – Matthew 6:33

“The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:6

P.S.

I hope these verses gave you the armor you needed too in whatever quest or crusade you’re set to journey on. The same goes when it comes to discovering the purpose that God has set for you to fulfill. Let’s all pray for God’s leading, our Master in everything, and claim the beautiful promises that He has for you, for me, and for the rest.

“Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:6

From God’s journeyman with love,

Tin ❤

The Journeyman’s Moments: Becoming

Hello there, beloved reader! Yep, hello Friday too! 🙂 So here’s the post for this week’s installment. I was saving it for my blog site’s 6th year anniversary in October. But I just felt like posting it today so here it is. 😀

I am pretty sure most of you are interested to find out why I named this blog as “The Journeyman’s Moments.” I never really thought much about the name of my personal blog when I started to put it up back in 2012. I didn’t even intend on being a consistent blogger. 😉

I just thought I need to have my own space too in the blogosphere and share snippets of what I do. Little did I know God has a purpose behind it all – my blog as a megaphone for my faith. So back to the “journeyman,” I was thinking what will describe my blog which is all about my lifelong learning and my day-to-day journey here in this world. I started doing my research and caught a glimpse of the word “journeyman.” I made a quick research about it then I thought it’ll be good enough for now, I can change it any time anyway.

BUT little did I know too that this word will mean so much more. God never makes things happen for no reason. It is always the other way around and always to satisfy His purpose. As of writing (1/25/2018), I made an in-depth study of the word and it all dawned on me now why it has to be “journeyman.” Here’s the link to Wikipedia’s definition of it so you’d get the context: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journeyman.

If you will notice, I described my blog with this:

“The musings of a wandergeselle about faith, literature, music, dancing, culture, food, travels, art, fashion, photography, life experiences and everything in between from journée to journée.”

A “wandergeselle“ is a wandering journeyman – someone who is always in different places to learn something new. I have been in different seasons and places (locally) since I started this blog. It brought me to new people, new experiences, and new learnings which all made me who I am now. I am still learning, I am a true-blue journeyman in my profession, I have other obligations outside work which require me to be a journeyman too, and through it all, I submit to one Master who teaches me everything that I needed to know – GOD. 🙂

I also never thought about the background photo or the logo for my blog except for my photoshopped picture of a road and my randomly chosen bible verse closer to my life verse:

“I am confident that the good work that God has begun in me will be perfected.” – Philippians 1:6

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Reading it now made me realize that this verse also speaks about being on a journey with my Maker and my Master. It is indeed true that when you let go and let God take charge of your life when you surrendered to Him, He will and He will be the orchestrator of your new life – the One behind the steering wheel. We may not understand His ways at first, but our obedience is a sign of our love and our faith in God. So when the Spirit tells your heart something, always, always take heed and act on it – right away. 🙂

What Matters

Friday blog post, here it is! 😀 I guess I need to start every Friday’s blog post with an attitude of gratitude to God who gives me the Grace always. 😉 Why? It seldom happens that I am idle and doing nothing. This means I need to find time for my blog and of course, find time for God. 😉 But as always, hindi Nya ako binibigo. Lagi Syang nandyan para alalayan ako.

For the most part of this article, English ang gagamitin kong lenggwahe. ‘Yun ay dahil ni-copy and paste ko lang sila from the caption of my photos over Instagram and tweaked it a bit para maging isang article. 😀

The gist of this article revolves around last holidays’ events (still) since I was hibernating for almost a month in the blogosphere. So here goes my story. 🙂

I am sure a holiday never passes by na wala tayong natatanggap na regalo. Kahit sabihin nating konti lamang natanggap natin, meron at meron pa din tayong natanggap. However, in my case, I don’t go about counting how many gifts I received. I am even fine in case I don’t receive any.

Why? Let’s just say I am never materialistic because my love language is quality time. I appreciate gifts not based on their worth or brand but based on the sentimental value. Yet I never fail to appreciate all of them because I know they’ve been given thoughtfully.

To our beloved families and friends, our deepest thank you for all your time and effort to shower us with these gifts. This gives us all the more reason to pay it forward. So if you see me using branded stuff, they are not a personal choice but gifts. 😉

Next in line was the holiday feast – the food coma that was. *burp* I have made a promise that during the holiday season, one of my ways to express my love for God is to serve others. The best way to serve your family is through the tummy, right? 😃

Though it’s hard to pull off several dishes (chicken skewers, shrimp scampi, embutido, stuffed roasted chicken, beef broccoli, leche flan – not in the pic), I am just grateful to my assistant chefs (Ate Boden and hubby dear) for helping me out in the kitchen. But most importantly, I give thanks to God for giving me the grace to do it. ☝❤

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10

So you now know why I was hibernating on social media during the holiday season. I was very busy in the kitchen because having good food at the table means longer conversations a.k.a. meaningful, priceless moments with the fam bam. This is something that social media can never offer – genuine moments and memories made along with your loved ones.

The cake’s not mine though, baking’s not my cup of tea. I am also not a lover of cakes but my Mom is the ultimate fan so there went Goldilocks’ Rocky Road. 😀

For the latter part of the holidays and the early part of January, hubby and I spent quality time with my second sister, Ate Ayn, and her Norwegian hubby, Kuya TK (they recently got married! Yay!). One of these photos was taken after our church service at Victory Fort.

Ah yes, this is just one of my answered prayers for my second sister – to have a lifelong companion who will be her prayer partner, who will share in her ups and downs, in sickness and in health ’til death do them part. I am just grateful for this most especially since she lives in Norway with no relatives around.

Indeed Lord, despite all the troubles we faced, You always give us a reason to smile, be grateful, and know Your goodness. Thank You for everything You’ve done for me and hubby and our families. All of us will remain to worship You as our one and only GOD in our lives.

Real treasures aren’t really those that are tangible but those that lay hidden in the depths of our souls and our hearts. They are what matters to God.

“..but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the Word, making it unfruitful.” – Mark 4:19

May we all not be pierced with so many sorrows brought about by the complexities of our own worldly choices. But may our minds be renewed so we can live in utmost freedom savoring the very essence of salvation – the priceless, most beautiful gift we have received and we can ever receive. ❤

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

So this is it! This wraps up the Friday article for this week and I am wishing everyone a blessed weekend ahead! 🙂

From God’s daughter with love,

Tin

An Ode to My Grandpa: Memoirs

Finally! Thank You, Lord, for giving me the grace to finish my work earlier so I could post this. As promised, it is going to be in Filipino. But I’m keeping titles in English. 😉

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Biniro ko minsan si Brian na if he wanted to be a farmer, he will be going home with soiled clothes and feet from the mud every day. 😃

When we visited the farm at mga Japanese tunnels noong World War II doon, hindi lang damit ang naputikan kay Brian kundi pati ang ulo. Sa tanong na paano ito napunta doon, lahat kami ay walang maisagot. 😁

Masaya sariwain ang kabataan ko dito na para sa aming magkakapatid at magpipinsan ay isang napakalaking playground. My late grandfather taught us all about the history of the place. Naalala ko, madalas syang magkwento noon habang iniikot kaming mga apo sa bukid nang nakapaa sya. He’s never used to wearing slippers. Yup, a true-blue farmer. 😃

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My family along with my maternal grandparents (seated) and that’s 7-year old me in between them. 🙂

My maternal grandpa was also one great historian. Napakahilig nyang magbasa ng history books. He’s a great storyteller too and a devout Protestant. Sa kanya ko actually unang nakita paano maglahad ng faith with all fire and fervor every Sunday’s bible study.

My 94-year old grandma reminded us last holidays na kung ano mang meron kami ngayon, dahil ‘yun sa sakripisyo at effort ng lolo ko. When she said that, this bible verse came to mind:

“I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” – Genesis 17:8

At naalala ko na oo nga pala, sabi ni Mommy sa akin noon na noong bata pa sila madami silang tinirhan. Palipat-lipat ika nga ng tirahan bago nag-settle sa hometown namin ngayon. Nasambit ko sa aking sarili na it was my grandpa’s faith in the Lord and the Lord’s promise to him which brought my parents to where they are now and where we are now, his grandchildren.

Currently, masasabi kong I am at a loss how to utilize the land. My siblings and I have plans about it. Pero nananalaytay sa aming mga puso how to utilize it na mape-preserve exactly kung ano nakita namin noong una kaming dinala ng mga magulang namin doon when we were just kids.

Pero para maging productive ang lupaing ito, kailangan ng malaking pondo – still praying to God for this. Nothing is impossible with Him, kaya alam ko rin na kung kasama ito sa will and plans Nya for us, He will lead the way and provide the means.

Siguro kasama na rin sa mga plano ni God kung bakit na-assign ako sa mga business websites in my current job as a content writer. At first it was a definite struggle sa akin dahil wala akong background sa entrepreneurship, investing, finance, and everything related to money. But right now, with all the research that I am doing for my articles, natututo ako unti-unti. Sabi ko nga sa hubby ko, hindi ko na kailangan mag-aral ng MBA or MBM. Dahil sa ginagawa ko pa lang ngayon, para na akong nage-MBA. 😀

Regarding sa pag-aaral ng MBA or Business Management, minsan sumagi na rin ito sa aking isipan. At nabanggit ko rin sa aking asawa. Kasi sabi ko wala akong alam how to manage properties para gawing business. Hindi ako marunong humawak ng mga tao at wala din akong alam sa accounting. I mentioned this in my previous article na I asked my Dad about this dilemma and his answer was that we will learn in time.

As of writing, the thought is pretty daunting and scary for me – being an entrepreneur for real. But I am pretty sure God will prepare us along the way. Who knows, 10,000 years from now this is where another of God’s temple will be built. 😉

Ah yes, everything in God’s time indeed. This verse reminded me also why God made promises that are fulfilled in His own time:

“An inheritance obtained too early in life is not a blessing in the end.” – Proverbs 20:21

It’s just amazing that I also stumbled upon this IG account while I was browsing in my newsfeed and it’s exactly what I am looking for – how to be a Godpreneur. 😉

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Yes, there are so many things I don’t know and so many questions I want to ask. But I can only thank God for the lives of my grandparents on both sides of my parents. We are who we are because of them and because of God. What I have now I will forever cherish including my memories of them which are always a priceless treasure. 🙂

P.S.

This quotation today from my planner also came just in time, as always. This is not really related to the post but it’s related to today’s events. 🙂

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It’s 2018!

Fiery 2018 New Year date with sparkling trails

Photo credit: Christmas Stock Images

Hello, everyone! I am back and I am sooooo excited to be back! I have so many things to post (all saved as drafts on my phone) and yet so little time! 😉

I am actually on bed rest because I caught the flu bug and I’ve been sick for almost two weeks now. I easily get sick but I prefer not to take meds and train my body to develop its own immune system. Anyway, I still want to make good use of my idle time while I still have the free time. Thus, the post. 😀

So, if you’ve been following my blog for quite some time now, I usually don’t have a blog entry in the month of December for 2 reasons – it is my birth month and busy holidays. I also take this time off from social media as my own year-ender fasting in deep retrospect.

Speaking of fasting, I think you all know we also have a week-long fasting in our church at the beginning of every year. So the January blog entry is, for me, VERY spiritual and personal. 🙂

No, I won’t cry a river in this post like I did the past years. But if I do shed a tear, that tear is precious. It speaks volume of the countless blessings and answered prayers I had back in 2017.

Ah yes, the Lord is GOOD! Freedom from the stronghold of the enemy, freedom at its finest, indeed. 🙂

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2018 is FREEDOM. 🙂

Yes, the year 2017 fared fairly well for me and my hubby and our families. We did have some setbacks but the year ended with such a pretty awesome bang. What I meant by a “bang” is one major prayer request being answered – restoration of broken relationships through sincere forgiveness. Not mine though, God answered it at the beginning of the year 2017. But this is for people we’ve been praying for.

Thus, I just smiled my widest ever smile when on the first day of our prayer and fasting in church, I randomly saw this after accompanying my sister and bro-in-law at the airport:

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God is good all the time, all the time God is good. 🙂

The tangible assurance is there. God is always with us – Emmanuel. This is the reason for the season as they say. Personally though, I celebrate Jesus’ birth every single day. I thank Him every day for the greatest gift I have received from the Father which is salvation. December 25 for me is just a widespread, massive, collaborative celebration of the Savior’s birth worldwide.

Since I got saved back in 2013, I have seen the works of the Lord not just in me but through the people around me and even with the nations. I have learned since that year until now the very essence of Ecclesiastes 3, the joy of patiently waiting on the Lord, the complete trust, and the faith that we have such a great God though what we see around is the complete opposite.

I do not intend to make this post a very long one like my previous January posts. But that is only because I intend to write short posts once a week. The prayer and fasting at the beginning of this year imprinted on me these verses:

“Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you.” – 1 Timothy 4:14

“Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.” – 1 Timothy 4: 15

This blog came alive right after I got saved. A very trying circumstance prompted me to make one. I made this first out of a need then, later on, I realized God used that circumstance and turned it around to serve His purpose. This blog now serves as the “megaphone” for my faith.

No, I dare not turn my back from my calling – sharing of faith-based testimonials through this blog. God knows there is a possibility I will because of other priorities. But God demands He remains the #1. Thus, the reminders. 🙂

From me, my hubby and our families, let’s all claim for a fruitful 2018 come what may and cheers to more upcoming posts that will glorify His Name!

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15

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The Ginete Family (missing one sibling and her hubby) with our 94-year old maternal grandma. 🙂

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The Ginete Family with the missing sibling and her hubby but still missing one sibling and our parents. 😀

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The Rome Family missing my Dad-in-law. 🙂

Always remember, our God is ALWAYS WITH US. Seek Him and you will find Him. ❤

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

P.S.

My future posts will be written through a mash-up of my native language (Filipino) and English. We have a very rich language and the Spirit also imprinted I use it often. I am sure Google Translator will do a fantastic job of translating them for you all. Or better yet, you can try learning our language too. I say, “yes” to the latter. 😉

Make Praying Your Daily Habit

At home, my husband and I made it a habit to take turns in praying before bedtime and before mealtime. This is regardless if we are going through tough times or good times. We intend our future kids to do the same for the following reasons:

1. They learn how to pray regardless of their ages. The little one (early grade schooler) can say a line or a 3-line prayer while for the older one (pre-teens), 5 sentences (so precise, Tin. lol) can be enough. 😉

2. You teach them responsibility and accountability at an early age. This will give them the confidence to take on leadership roles in the future and be accountable for it. They will have to choose what to pray for.

If they ask, “Mom/Dad, I don’t know what to pray for.” You can simply say, “Listen carefully when Dad or Mom prays. You may pray the same things but when you are older, pray from your heart and what your heart is telling you.”

3. They learn to address us, parents, as spiritual leaders of the household. We are the mentors, we guide them, we set the examples. They will copy what they observe, thus, it is best to leave a legacy behind that is worth following/copying.

4. They learn to say grace, to extend grace, and to receive grace from God who provides all – a great opportunity to introduce and build faith in the family.

If you and your family don’t pray together, make it a habit now. Remember, it is also our responsibility as parents to lead them well while they are still young. 🙂

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” – Proverbs 22:6

Saturday Reflection

*Ibinahagi ko ito sa Facebook at naisipan kong maganda ring ibahagi ko sya dito since nagsisilbing online journal din naman itong blog na ito.

Noong nagsimula kaming bumukod ni Brian at nangupahan ng sarili naming apartment dito sa Makati sa simula ng taong ito, masasabi kong isa ito sa pinaka-challenging na pinagdaanan namin. Nag-decide akong bitawan na ang MA ko para maghanap ng trabaho at makatulong kay Brian kumita ng pera. Wala kaming gaanong ipon. Sa tanong na bakit biglaan ang paglipat, dahil hiningi na ito ng pagkakataon. Commuting from Cubao to Makati ay isang pahirap kay Brian bawat araw. Kung maghahanap din ako ng trabaho, kailangan sa malapit na rin sa pinagtatrabahuan nya.

Ang paglipat namin ay maituturing kong isang napakalaking suntok sa buwan. Literal na start from scratch kami. Pati pang-downpayment inutang pa namin sa mga magulang at kapatid ko. Wala din kaming mga gamit sa bahay dahil sabi ko kay Brian, kailangan naming matuto tumayo sa sarili naming mga paa. Hindi kami hihingi ng buong tulong sa pamilya namin hindi dahil sa pride kundi dahil kung hangga’t kaya namin magtiis at maka-survive, ‘yun at ‘yun ang gagawin namin. Sariling sikap kumbaga at tiwala sa Dios na Sya ang magpo-provide sa lahat ng kailangan at gastusin namin.

Ayan na’t naranasan namin ang kumain na walang table at upuan at naka-Japanese style kami. Nariyan na din ang sobrang pagtitipid sa pagkain gaya ng mga de lata at turo-turo na nirarasyon namin para mapagkasya sa isang buwan. Natulog din kami sa sleeping bag ng ilang buwan dahil wala pa kaming pambili ng kama. Our families offered to help pero sabi ko kay Brian, mabuti nang matuto tayong hindi sa kanila umasa lagi kapag nagigipit kung kaya naman nating magawan ng paraan. Matututo din tayong maging resilient at mag-endure ng anumang klaseng paghihirap. Lahat din ng produkto ng pagsisikap natin at sakripisyo ay mabibigyan natin ng malalim na pagpapahalaga at matututo tayong humawak ng pera at mga responsibilidad sa tamang paraan.

Marami pa kung tutuusin ang natutunan namin sa mga panahong iyon. At sa ngayon, masasabi kong hindi pa kami totally settled sa lahat ng aspeto. Nakaahon na pero may mga bagay pang kailangang i-settle.

One sweldo day naisambit ko ito kay Brian,

“Hon, ganito pala pakiramdam ng maraming binabayaran mula rent, bills, expenses sa bahay, at utang. Para bang dumaraan lang sa palad ko ang sweldo. Lagi tayong binabalik to step 1.

Siguro way ito ni Lord para sa Kanya tayo kumapit ng buong-buo sa lahat ng mga pangangailangan natin.” ;-)

And yet masasabi kong anumang paghihirap ang dumating sa mga darating na araw, kampante kaming malalagpasan namin iyon dahil nagawa naming malagpasan itong mahirap na sitwasyon.

Ganito rin naman nagsimula ang mga magulang namin. Dios lang ang kinapitan namin sa mga oras na ‘yun at encouragement and moral support galing sa mga pamilya namin. At masasabi kong ang Dios ay hindi kami binigo dahil inalalayan Nya kami all throughout. Trials refine a person’s character ika nga nila. Pinagtitibay nito ang pananampalataya mo sa Panginoon.

Kung dumaraan din kayo sa ganitong sitwasyon, manalig lang at manalangin palagi sa Dios. Gagabayan din Nya kayo para makaraos sa mahirap na sitwasyong iyong kinakaharap.Walang imposible sa Dios at alalahanin nyo rin itong life verse ko:

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

And lastly,

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

– James 1:2‭-‬4

☺ ❤

The Christian Professional: How Do You Respond?

Photo courtesy: StockSnap

I originally thought about putting the word “react” in the title. But based on what I’ve learned in our bible study group, there’s a difference between “respond” and “react.” In a situation, when you choose to react, emotions come into play first. Whereas with responding, you think and analyze first what is the situation on hand then that’s when you act. The former is usually regarded as negative and the latter as positive.

Too often we neglect responding when driven towards tight and tense situations. I must admit there are times wherein I reacted with anger and we all know what happened next – more consequences came along with it. Yes, reacting ends with regretting.

When I became a Christian, I have learned so much about self-control and discipline. It applies on all – the way I speak, the way I think, the way I act, and even with the way I decide. I cannot say I’ve done it perfectly now but it was a long grueling process of transformation. I am not sure if you’ll believe me when I say that before I got saved I am a cynic. Sarcasm’s my favorite language.

A person from my past once told me, “Tin, you don’t need a knife or any weapon to kill someone. Your words are enough.” At that time, I glorified in it. Yes, it gives me that sense of power when you crush someone’s ego and pride.

But my sarcasm ended there when part of my spiritual transformation involved I, myself, experience how it feels to be on the other end – the recipient of that sarcasm. That’s how I learned that God indeed punishes as part of His disciplinary actions as a Father to make His children better. So I’ve learned how painful it is. Only then did I realize I needed to change it completely.

Changing is hard if you’re doing it alone. You cannot change if you don’t know why you need to change and what is it that needs changing. When I was starting to immerse myself in the Bible back in 2013, I have found everything I needed to help me with the transformation – letting go of the old self and ushering in the new one.

You will find in the bible everything about forgiveness, about unconditional love, patience, understanding, gentleness, about not retaliating and so much more. So I got to say to myself that indeed, these are what it takes to learn them.

I am at this age (31) where I have been in different work settings since I started as a working professional back in 2008. I have seen the different work cultures and the diverse people I have worked with. I have also heard stories upon stories about their ordeal in the workplace and the struggle of having to live with those challenges day by day.

I have observed how crab mentality, favoritism, abuse of authority, wrong accusations, taking the blame for someone else’s mistake, bullying, and persecution are all present in every workplace. The workplace showcases the complexities of the human behavior which we have no control over and why there is a need for Christians to be the “salt and light” and set Christlike examples.

If we are to react in all the situations I have given, these are what will come out – irritability, anger, bitterness, hatred, and retaliation. I am sure you will agree with me there. That’s perfectly understandable – part of our fallen nature as a man is being corrupted with sinfulness such as greed, envy, jealousy, hunger for power, discontentment, rage, and all other sins. These are the same reasons why Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden.

And yet, those sins are part of what the Cross is for which is also part of our own crosses that we have to carry each day. But because Jesus already paid a price for those sins, we should claim free and uncorrupted lives.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

So what does God require of us now? Instead of retaliating, leave it all to God. I have long learned that we do not have the power to change people. In the same way that it was only God who helped me change, the same goes for others. Instead, what He instructed us to do is to lord it over to Him all these things and pray for others.

Instead of letting bitterness and anger take the best out of you and make your life miserable, choose to forgive. This way you’ll also learn to empathize with people. You’ll learn to understand why they have so much anger on you, why they are behaving that way or why they’ve done this to you.

Maybe they went through the same thing and their anger made them into the person that they hated. Maybe they are having relational problems at home. Maybe they are depressed. We really don’t know the reason why but only God sees the hearts of each and every one of us. He knows and sees everything so take heart in that too. Do not fear these people even. As God says,

“Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.” – Proverbs 29:25

Don’t take it personally either. Why? If they haven’t been saved, we all know they are still under the stronghold of the enemy. They don’t know anything yet about the loving grace of God and how great His love is. So maybe that is the reason why God put us there so we could show them that.

Forgive and do not retaliate….answer with gentleness…submit to authority…follow without grumbling…and so on and so forth.

“Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the Word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” – Philippians 2: 14-16

I have seen numerous cases wherein when you leave everything to God, God always acts and would do something about it. He is the ultimate judge so to speak and has the ultimate power to do everything. In the same way that I have been disciplined for my wrongdoings, the same goes for those who have wronged others. I do not glorify in it because I also felt how painful it was when God disciplined me. However, I am grateful because I know this will be the start of a new chance for a new life for them too.

For the record, I am grateful to God I am working with a great team. Yes, it is not a perfect team but I appreciate all my supervisors’ work and the effort of the rest of the team members to work cooperatively despite our different backgrounds. I have no assurance it will stay this way forever but as always, it is in my prayers.

But for those who are going through the opposite right now, always believe in your heart God did not put you there for no reason. He has a very good reason why you have to be exactly where you are now. It might be painful but the best way to respond to it is to pray and ask God this:

“Father, what do you want me to learn from this adversity/season/trial?”

Then ask Him to lead you and your ways so you won’t go astray, you won’t be tempted, and you won’t fall to committing any sin and face the consequences.

I will end this article with a bible passage and I hope it will encourage you to fight the good fight of faith may it be in the workplace or anywhere else that He has called you to be.

Lastly, always pray not just for yourself but for the people around you too. ❤

Have the Attitude of Christ

“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

 Though he was God,[a]
    he did not think of equality with God
    as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b];
    he took the humble position of a slave[c]
    and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,[d]
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor

    and gave him the name above all other names,
 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Shine Brightly for Christ

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.”

– Philippians 2:1-18

P.S.

If after seeking for God’s help God has told you to leave a toxic company and all the negativity around it, it is best to take heed. Remember, it is not your boss who gave you your job, he was just used by God as an instrument for you to get that job. Bottomline is that, if God takes away that job from you, most likely He’ll give you another one according to His plans in His right time. 🙂

“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