Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Woman of Worth

The warm smiles and hugs.
The rose petals on our beds.
The dainty card that held a promise of a weekend of pampering, discovery and love.

It was a welcome to a retreat like I’ve never experienced before. The rest of the weekend was an awesome journey that I took with sisters and new friends.

I’ve been meaning to write about this experience since the retreat happened over 3 months ago, June 25 and 26 to be exact, but I’m going through a whirlwind of blessings courtesy of my new book that I just couldn’t find the time to blog (Thank you, Lord!). What pushed me to sit and write is that the next batch will be having their retreat this weekend, on October 15 to 16!

I will not spoil it for them by going into detail because every activity, every talk is something that should be savored like beholding a rose bloom in slow motion. Let me just say that it was a weekend of laughter, of tears, of baring our souls, of being surprised that we women hold so much power within us.

What I will divulge are two things that made a great impact on me from the Woman of Worth retreat.

The first is a line from one of the talks and it went something like this: “It’s just one bit of information out of the (250 million things that happen every second).” That’s in parentheses because I lost my notes when my laptop conked out on me so I’m quoting from a memory that gets challenged quite often. But the point is that whatever is bothering us about our lives, our current problem, is just a teeny tiny part of the universe. That was a paradigm shift for me. It put the trials that we think are so huge into a different perspective – a view from the eye of the universe. That’s not to say we should ignore our problems. It’s just that everybody goes through some problem or other and we should not worry ourselves to death with what we are handed. When we trust that the One who holds the universe in His hand has His eye on us, things will work out for good in the end.

The other was the stone we were asked to choose in one of the activities. While many shared that they chose their stones because it represented some roughness, some lack or things that needed transformation, I latched onto my stone because of its evenness. The stone I picked was quite unusual because it was like a cube, almost flat on all sides. I realized that it resonated with me because at this point in my life, I feel fulfilled. Oh, I still have dreams that are unanswered and things I still want to accomplish that’s why my stone is not a perfect cube. But then, I feel like I’m on an even keel because I have found my purpose. It’s empowering to know that I’m doing what God designed me to do. That gives me the feeling I am a Woman of Worth.

To the next batch of WOW attendees, may you find the power within you! God bless.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Jewel of Truth

“She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her.” – Proverbs 3:15

It’s been almost a month since I’ve written a blog for this site but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been receiving my B.A.G. of Miracles lately. On the contrary, I’ve been blessed recently with a couple of answered prayers. I’ve just been remiss in glorifying the One who has been showering me with these blessings.

And so today, I will catch up by telling you about one of them. Actually I plan a series of blogs on this topic because the experience and the materials are too rich to share in just one blog. So what’s this blessing? It was my attendance last April 30 to the 2016 Jewels Conference, the first one for Jesus-empowered women ever to be held here.

The day opened with spirit-filled worship led by an all-women ensemble – from the worship leaders to the full band. Then Rissa Singson-Kawpeng introduced the theme of the conference: Seasons of Truth.

She said everything starts with the Word and because God’s Word is TRUTH, it’s just a matter of time before it comes true. Do you have a prayer that has remained unanswered for so long? Are you about to give up on that dream? Have you reached the point of frustration that you already gave God an ultimatum? Is this your prayer now: Lord, If I don’t get that boyfriend I’m praying for when I turn 30, I’m invoking leap year and catching one no matter what size, shape or form he’s in?

The truth is: if you believe in something, it becomes true. There is no need to give God a deadline.

Rissa cited the story of Judith who used both her faith and the beauty and wisdom God gave her to gain victory for her people single-handedly. The Israelites were at the point of surrender and had given God 5 days to hear their prayer. But Judith prevailed on them to let her do what she intended to help her people.

I was intrigued by her story so I read up on her in the Bible. Now she’s what I call an empowered woman! She’s my new super heroine. One other thing I loved about her is she’s a widow like me – a woman after my own heart.

So sisters, remember this: when we hold on to God’s truth and are empowered by it, we can create our own miracles!

“Rather, as we wait patiently for him to save, let us plead with him to help us. He will hear our voice if such is his good pleasure.” – Judith 8:17

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hang Out with VIPs

“Become wise by walking with the wise.” – Proverbs 13:20

“Successful people surround themselves with successful people.” – Jack Canfield

“Inspire”. That was the first talk of the new series at The Feast, “The Spark”. How do you get inspired? How do you motivate yourself to achieve your goals, your dreams?

The first step is to analyze your situation. We were given 3 pieces of paper and were told to write down our goals in life, our dreams, on the first one. Next, we were asked to write down the names of five people we spend most of our time with on the second sheet. Then the questions came: “Does your gang match your goal? Do your companions match who you want to become.” This was important to determine because as Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

So if you want to be a millionaire, hang out with millionaires. You want to up the ante? Then hang out with billionaires. You want your creative juices to flow, then hang out with creative people. I guess that’s why artists and writers form an artists’ circle or a writers’ community so they can feed off each other’s creativity.

The talk was very timely for me as I had just attended an Authors Crash Couse in Marketing last week. I was awed that I was in the same room as published authors, several of them pretty well known. And there I was, merely someone dreaming of having my own first book published. I felt humbled to be there. 

But with this talk, I realized it was a privilege and a blessing that I attended that course. It gave me the opportunity to hang out with VIPs. Three of them were already friends and colleagues. Another was a community sister. I only need to make one more friend from among the people there so I will average out into what I dream to become – a published author. 

 So what’s your dream? Are you hanging out with the right people?

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Stop, Look and Listen

“When the darkness tries
To hide my way
Your Word is the light
That guides my faith
I will trust in You…

When my heart is weak
And I've lost my way
I will lift up my eyes
And choose to say
I will trust in You…” –
from the song Through Christ

Have you lost your way? Or did you think you were on the right path, then a big obstacle totally derailed your plans and now you don’t know what to do? Or are you just clueless about where you want your life to go?

As the new year starts, it would be good to STOP and take a look at where you are and reflect on where you want to go. Often, you waste a lot of time when you just keep on going without finding out the correct route.

Take this funny skit at the last Feast about a lost biker. His starting point: Mines View Park in Baguio. His desired destination: Burnham Park, also in Baguio, just a couple of pedals away. But there he was in Feast Bellevue in Alabang because he just kept on going without checking the roads he had to take. Stopping to ask for directions would have saved him from that long unnecessary trip.

If you don’t want to get lost like that biker, Bro Arun told us to do these 3 R’s to get you on the right path:
  • Retool. Equip yourself and learn the right skills that will keep you on your chosen path.
  • Reflect. Recall the things that happened to you the past year.  Remember to be grateful for all the blessings big and small.
  • Rest. Let God be God and trust that He has your life map in His hands.

The most important point that hit me in this portion of the talk is “STOP AND ASK THE RIGHT PERSON”. Where will you end up if you ask directions from someone as clueless as you are? Bro Arun encouraged everyone to make attending the Feast a weekly habit because it’s one of the best places to get the “right direction”.

LOOK at the Word of God to get your bearings. The Magi who were searching for the true King, went through a progression. They looked at the stars for guidance before they started and kept their focus on one particular star as they journeyed to find Him. In our case, knowing God’s directions by reading His Word daily will ensure we will not get lost.

Many times, we do stop and we do look but then we forget that last important thing – LISTEN!

There’s a line I keep telling myself when I become too busy with my service: “Be Mary.” It’s to remind myself that in the midst of all the community duties I have to fulfill, I should also take time to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to Him through the talks at the Feast. It happens often that I am at the Feast yet the buzz inside my head, a.k.a. my to-do list, drowns out the lessons being imparted. So I make it a point to attend another session and quiet my mind to just listen.

You will not lose your way when you STOP, LOOK and LISTEN. And don’t forget to TRUST that the Lord is guiding your way as you take these three steps.