Sunday, November 23, 2014

Movie: Begin Again

Image courtesy of Google
Musical comedy-drama with simple storyline and great selection of original soundtrack. I admire how the director navigated the start of the movie in the way he unfolded each scene. A story of following your dreams and the price that goes with bright lights, unexpected friendship, broken relationships and restored ones, moving on and superb appreciation to music.

Here's my favorite scene in the movie and a few songs which I fall in love with. Enjoy!

A Step You Can't Take Back - Keira Knightley

Lost Stars - Adam Levine

No One Else Like You - Adam Levine

Like a Fool - Keira Knightley

Credits to the owners of youtube channels. Thanks!

Friday, November 21, 2014

How GLC Helped me Grow?

When Ate Jo asked me if I can share my testimony how GLC helped me grow, I can imagine my world stop for awhile. Yeah, that's how scared I am just to think I will stand in front of a crowd. In my mind I'm starting to think of reasons and ways how to graciously say 'No.' I understand we all have parts in God's kingdom, but maybe mine is just not speaking in front of people. I even thought of delaying my response hoping someone would volunteer so I would be spared, but I also knew that I could never trick God with all my excuses.

Few days ago, my colleague flew to India for a conference to encourage female fresh graduates about career opportunities they can have if they choose our company as a workplace. God impressed to me that if this colleague of mine was able to address people how awesome it is to work in our company, what excuse do I have not to stand here and declare how privilege I am to work in the greatest corporation of all, where God is our Big Boss.

Interesting wall decor
Just like secular companies, God equips His people through different trainings, one of which is Global Leadership Center (GLC), which most of us tonight were blessed to become part of, here in CCF Singapore.

GLC, not only being biblical but also practical and relevant to our daily lives has been a rewarding experience for me. I learned basic doctrines which I initially thought only Pastors and elders should know by heart, like how do we argue for God's existence, how to defend that Bible is not corrupted and Holy Spirit is a Person. Wow, these are AHA moments for me. But more than intellectual gain, GLC serves as an eye opener in my Christian walk. The weekly lectures, assignments and activities enabled me to reflect on my current condition as a child of God and as a human being.

Certificate with Pastor Peter's signature. Yey!
Knowing myself as someone who gets easily distracted by things around me, GLC helped me re-organize my focus by encouraging the participants to make our personal mission and vision aligned to CCF's great commission of making disciples. This served as my compass to every activity I will undertake and decisions I need to make.

GLC provided me deeper understanding and appreciation of the different books in the Bible. This inspired our group to go back to basics and be more rooted in the Scripture, as we plan to focus our small group discussion with the books of Bible, starting with Matthew.

The program also empower me to be an effective servant of God through holistic personal development. It is during GLC, that I was prompted to join in writing ministry as a response to the spiritual discipline activity, where we are encouraged to practice servant-hood and submission.
1 Peter 4:10, NIV Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
It's been an opportunity serving the greatest Writer of the best-selling book of all time and practice something which I love to do - writing.

It is also through GLC's persistent reminder, that we being disciples of God should take part in his great commission intentionally. GLC projects became avenues for me to exercise evangelism. By the grace of God, I was able to share the gospel to my Indian colleague, to our children housemates using gospel loombands and am now doing one on one discipleship with our helper using Won by One materials.

Groupie with Dgroup

One of the best part of my GLC journey, was I get to experience it with my small group, being able to personally check and follow up on each other, remind assignments and projects, and share our doubts or questions about the message. GLC became a medium for us to continue encouraging one another to grow more in Christ and a challenge to step out of faith.

Finally GLC's Family Life session, made me evaluate my relationship with my parents, siblings and relatives. It is now more than anytime in my life that I learned to appreciate them better. This November we celebrated my nanay's 60th birthday, where we organized a party to honour her and invited a church elder to share the word of God to our relatives. Somehow, God placed the desire in my heart to make every occasion an opportunity to declare God's faithfulness and an avenue to share the gospel to others.  

Going back to my hesitations to testify today, I remember asking God, "Lord am I sinning if in case I turn down the invitation?" I may not get the direct answer to my question but one thing I know, I might missed out the opportunity to honor God with what He has done in my life. So how did GLC really helped me grow, to be able to stand in front of you by God's grace, is one the many things I learned to embrace through GLC.

Because when God calls us, He will surely equip us.
Hebrews 13:21, NLT May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.

Groupie with other graduates

Me, Kytin and Belle

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


by Pastor Manny Manansala

Filipino families love pictures, we are used to striking a pose and showing big smiles. But picture doesn't necessarily tell the whole story. People can hide their problems beyond their bright smiles. A person’s smile doesn't necessarily amount to joy. Joy is different from happiness. Happiness is usually based on the good things HAPPENING around you but JOY is based on what GOD is doing INSIDE YOU.

People may not know what you are experiencing right now, but one thing is for sure God wants you to experience TRUE JOY in Him. And He does not want you to experience this JOY for selfish reason.
God wants you to experience true JOY so that THROUGH you, other people may also discover TRUE JOY in JESUS.

GOD desires for you to let your joy in the Lord be contagious.

Nehemiah 1:4-11 is an account of Nehemiah's petitions to the Lord as he mourned, prayed and fasted before God for the people of Israel as they are about to face a great trouble and disgrace because the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates have been burned.

Most people when they experience a problem, they dwell on the PAIN. But when Nehemiah sees a problem, he dwells on God’s PROMISES. The work that God is doing in you, is always GREATER than the work that God will do through you. The work that God is doing in you, always PRECEDES the work that God will do through you.

Nehemiah 2:4
Then the king said to me, “What would you request?”

Nehemiah knew his confidence does not lie on what the King can do but what God is able to accomplish. So he prayed and asked God first before responding to the King. From here we can see how Nehemiah was able to ask for requests which we may consider ridiculous considering he is only the cupbearer of the King:
- Extended leave (Nehemiah 2:5)
- VIP pass (Nehemiah 2:6)
- Set of construction materials (Nehemiah 2:7)

The character of Nehemiah teaches us that when you are doing the work of the LORD, you should not be afraid to ask for the LORD’s resources, just like Nehemiah. Because when you do not ask, the answer is always No! So ask!

Nehemiah 2:8
And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me”

Because God is with Nehemiah, regardless of his position in the kingdom, the King granted all his requests. Your position in your company may not be great but your position as child of God does matter. Greatness is not based on your profession but on the Person you profess.

As Nehemiah pressed on, it was never smooth sailing. Each success he encounter comes with challenges. Most of these relates to the oppositions on the rebuilding of Jerusalem which includes people's ridicule, plot to fight Jerusalem and laborer's strength wearing out. But in spite of all the problems, Nehemiah's initial response was to always PRAY.

Throughout Nehemiah's journey he did not allow his joy to be taken away from him. The enemy will use everything to steal away your joy. Never allow anyone, nor anything, nor any circumstance takes away your joy in the Lord. For Jesus is more than enough. Our joy in Him is complete.

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Nehemiah 12:43
“…and on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced because God had given them GREAT JOY, even the women and children rejoiced, so that the JOY of Jerusalem was heard from afar.”

The work of God in your family, in this church, & in this city starts with the work of God in you! The work of God in you is evidenced by your JOY in Him. We are called to have that joy not to be kept within ourselves but for that joy to overflow us and echo in our family, workplace and community.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Always be joyful. Pray continually, & give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.

Let Your JOY in the LORD be CONTAGIOUS!

Image courtesy of Google

Transcribed by:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fear Not

While it is human to be afraid of something - fear of heights, fear of darkness, fear of rejection, fear of being alone, fear of the unknown, fear of being left behind, fear of the future, the Bible did not abandon us in the dark. Scripture continuously encourages us countless times in different passages  - not to be afraid.

This song by Chris Tomlin entitled "Whom Shall I Fear?" which I heard in CCF Sunday service today, is a great reminder for all of us not to be afraid for the God who holds the world in His hand is on our side. Always.

I know Who goes before me
I know Who stands behind
The God of Angel armies
Is always by my side

The One Who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of Angel armies
Is always by my side

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Nanay's 60th Birthday

A woman who doesn't ask for anything deserves everything!
It's not difficult to string words and express how blessed we are for having you as our mom maybe because it is impossible. No description can fit into word. No word can describe the emotion.

To write one humble post of appreciation to the most gentle person I've ever known is never enough, but allow me to give it a shot as I try to search through my deepest core, recollect all the words I could use and travel back to my childhood growing up to express how grateful I am to be your daughter, from then until now.

Thank you Nanay for being strong enough to say "NO" when you knew it wouldn't be beneficial for us. I remember growing up with limited resources and raising four kids was not the best combination. A relative once encouraged you to try your luck abroad so you could provide better life for the family. This looks like a noble cause in fact as a child I even thought it was best for us witnessing how this opportunity gave our relatives advantage in terms of material gain. But you said 'No' and chose to stay with us, work on a nearby garment shop so you can still look after us then eventually work at home by means of tailoring so you can even more take care of us. Fast forward several years, I'm glad you made that decision to stay, I couldn't imagine growing up without a mom whom I can always run to. Material things will never suffice the love and guidance we had by having you around.

Thank you Nanay for seeing the best in me even though I failed small time, medium time and big time, countless time now.

Thank you Nanay for being the most contented person I've ever known in my life. For being thankful for whatever is given in your plate, not asking for materials things from us(your children). This made us even more willing to do our best to give back to you which you deserve after all the sacrifices you've done for us.

Thank you Nanay for raising us not only with fear of God but to have a real relationship with the Lord. For diligently bringing us to Sunday schools and Vacation Bible Study when we're still young and for modeling Christian life at home. Your genuine love for God and concern for others lead me to believe that goodness does prevails and God is our rewarder. Your example empower me to make decisions not because we are afraid of you but considering there is One Living God who sees all the things I'm going through, wherever I am.

Thank you Nanay for patiently sewing my school uniforms and dresses when I was young. Now that I have money to buy for my own clothing, I wouldn't trade my simple dresses skillfully made by your diligent hands from those trendy ready-to-wears found in super malls because RTWs were meant to fit anyone, while the dress you sew was especially made for me. As I grow up I learn to take pride in wearing your creations. You are the best fashion designer I've ever had. 

Happy Birthday Nanay! Thank you for sharing your heart not only to your family but for every person God brought to your path. As we celebrate Nanay's 60 years of fruitful existence, we also declare God's faithfulness in her life and to our family.

Nanay with the cute kids - apo's and neighbors.

Nanay with Adults.
It only happens once in every person's lifetime to hit the mark of 60. We hope that in our collaborative effort we were able to make it memorable and special for you not because we are able but because your life and the God who provides are worth celebrating.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Ten Things I am Thankful for my Birthday

Birthdays are one of the happiest time of your life. What made it more exuberant is that you get to celebrate it every year, whether you like it or not :) And in a world where everybody expects you to get married and you pass the age of 20's, the most logical choice is the latter.

Fortunately, I am blessed with a loving family and a support group of Godly ladies who never pressure me to settle down unless it's God's best plan for me. I am also thankful to God for His consistent reminder that I can focus on the greater things ahead of me and  not dwell on what is not there yet. To learn to surrender and trust Him with the life He entrusted me. I can only brag that this 2014 birthday is an expression of His love and grace in my 30ish of existence. He continuously amazes me with good things wrap in small packages like the following:

1. The joy of finding myself back to writing again after days of lifeless pursuit to inspiration and ideas.

2. My close to hyperactive, 5yo nephew, Ramiah and very lady-like, 9yo niece Aizel who came to visit me this month. Their energy and excitement is contagious.

Me, Ramiah, Raizel and Glaiza with Ernie of Sesame Street at Universal Studios Singapore.
3. My dead toenail or "patay na kuko" as we call it in the Philippines, Americans call it "runner's toe" has finally came back to life after almost 12 months of waiting in vain. Finally, I can now wear slippers when going out without feeling conscious of my toes.

4. Tiring but delightful week with my sister and her kids. Though it's already my nth time in Universal Studios Singapore, this experience is exceptional because I get to see it with family especially with the kids who cannot hide the excitement in their faces with every ride we try.

5. Day Light Saving Time is back on November!!! One of the best birthday gift I had :) No need to wake up at 7:15am to attend the scrum call, which means one more hour of sleep for me.

6. Cake, gift and birthday wishes I received from friends and family who took time to greet me.

7. Time to reflect and be grateful as I wrap up this blog post.

8.  Opportunity to practice silence and solitude in Changi Terminal 3 viewing deck. Sometimes not doing something could be the most productive thing you can do.

9. Excitement to read a book again since I can't remember. Starting with "God's Not Dead" by Rice Brooks, hopefully this would be the reconciliation to my bookworm chapter this year.

10. Good health, financial blessings and a grateful heart.

I can never thanked Him enough together with the people who made my birthday extra special this year. God bless you all!