The Deal

Fourteen years ago, I received the saving grace that gave me a big opportunity to walk a purpose driven life. It was during an intimate moment with the Lord Almighty in a place of jam-packed crowd of young people seeking changes and God's presence in their life. 

Ate: Sige na, sumama ka na sa (youth) camp na ito.  
Ako: Ayoko. 
Ate: Sumama ka na, at pagkatapos nyan, hinding-hindi na kita pipilitin mag-church kahit kailan. 
Ako: Ok. Deal. 
*Ate - big sister

I didn't go to sleep that night before the event. My heart's still hesitant for I'd be going without someone I know, or at least from our home church. I was not happy to socialize with other people. 

Before the break of dawn, we ate breakfast. I took a bath. I brought a borrowed bag of clothes and a borrowed Bible from my sister plus a pocket money. We traveled to the big church and registered. There I saw the list of things to bring and I had no utensils and own plate.

I was neither excited nor my feet were willing to ride the bus to bring us to the campsite in a nearby province. I thought I left my heart back at home.

I had little chat with my seatmates but I wasn't open for friendship. My mind was into something else - the cravings of my selfish heart. Then we made a stopover for an early lunch and I brought home my used plastic spoon and fork so I could use something for this five-day hell week. Yes, with my grumpy spirit, my mind was bombarded with negative thoughts.

Upon arrival, we were directed to the sanctuary. We started with hi and hellos to fellow campers; followed by home rules to keep in mind. There I found a familiar face, a female church mate, who was also unexcited and bored already. She was snob but since we sometimes talked at church, we tagged along. Everyone was designated to several groups called tribes. Since my church mate, J, and I were the only representatives from our church... they put us into the same tribe: Simon. And then we went to our rooms to place our things for we're to start an activity and meet our tribe mates for the week.

We met our two counselors and co-members. They seemed nice and some of the guys were really funny. Thankfully, a female team member lent me her extra plate.

Challenge #1: we were tasked to design our tribe's flag. I helped conceptualized and was assigned to be the flag bearer. A specific rule for the flag was given: we should not allow anyone from camp organizers to take that away from our team "anytime". It'd represent our soul and spirit so we must guard it with all our might. Deduction of points was enforced for every tribe that would fail to do the challenges and follow the rules.

"Okay, I'd be able to survive this week since I'm competitive and an achiever by nature.", I told myself.

I was a good flag bearer. I assumed I was a genius in hiding it. Some of the bearers suffered a lot protecting their tribe's flag from the "thieves". But I had good sleep for nights until it was taken away from me while celebrating our tribe's victory over some challenges. I was too happy and full of pride, unable to notice that the Speaker Pastor was already taking our flag out of my hands. I thought their team was at halt since it's awarding time.

What does this say about me?
When pride and success get in my head - I'd be lost again. That was totally an eye-opener.

And the most important lesson I learned from this experience:
while we're celebrating triumphs, the Enemy is not at rest, he's still there ready to do his job and devour us. That's why, we must be super cautious and prepared to defend our faith - in season or out of season.

And who would have thought that God was in business of crushing my heart and re-routing the track of my life in that summer camp?

He already prepared in mind this five-day event of laughter, tears, pain, joy, friendship, and revelations. That He would actually talk to me to convict me of my rebellion, self-seeking character, and secret sins. That I was in great need of Him and the gift of salvation but I was too shallow to understand its necessity in my life. For I was a lost sheep for so many years but He found me because He loved me first.

The Great Shepherd was already thinking about me and to every soul in that campsite during the summer of 2002. It was simply beautiful, touching and transforming.

God greatly dealt with me that week. He exposed the real issues of my heart.

Well, is He done with me yet?
No, as I've said before, I'm a work in progress. There are still issues in my heart but most of them are way different than what I had fourteen years ago.

I'm growing, thriving and not forgetting about His amazing love and sacrifice.

Because I sought Him, I found Him.
Then, He showed me how sufficient was His grace for us
and how wide, long, high and deep His love for us all.

I can still picture myself in that sanctuary on a Wednesday night of May. Pouring my heart out and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. I was comforted by the Father's love; healed and secured by Jesus' blood and sanctified by the Spirit.

That summer, I fell in love with God and made a powerful U-turn away from the lies of my youth and back to the True Lover of my soul. Of course, I came back to church as well and let Him take over my life since my freedom was paid by Jesus on the cross. Many of my co-campers became active at church and J became friendly with others. I just hope to hear from them again soon. I didn't own a cellphone during that time and sadly, I lost my address book. I pray that their souls are still in good shape and anchored in Jesus.

To this day, I'm still thankful that God used my Ate's authority over me to bring me to that life-changing summer camp. Thank God she didn't give up when I was hard to convince. Since then, we're serving God through His church together.

I pray that you'll also surrender to God's will. And if you already made the decision to live a life in Christ - I pray that you'll finish the race by faith and His grace. You must not give up, no matter how hard it is for Jesus is our strength.

A blessed day!
Love, MM  

Memory Gap

"I'm sorry, you know, may memory gap na ang Lola mo."

This has always been my excuse whenever I failed to remember something and worst -- if it affected a certain person or project somehow.

And sadly, I forget about God's grace and miracles many times too. I become like the Israelites who murmured against His glory and who He is in the wilderness. [Read Numbers 14It's because I put my focus more on my circumstances and my personal issues than what His Word says and what He already did for me. Most importantly, who God is over all creations.

"No matter how bad our past, it’s always easier to default to our old behaviors than keep forging new ones. So many of us struggle with the same temptations. But there is no drive-through breakthrough. We all must go through the wilderness to get to freedom so we are strong enough to defeat the giants who fuel our shame." Christine Caine said in her devotional piece 'Unashamed' at Youversion.

I believe that it's by God's grace why He allowed me to experience painful highlights in my life while my faith was being increased. Once I became grumpy and ugly. I chose to live in the past and my regrets for so long. My bones became dry and my heart became hard. But beyond all these darkness in me - His light is brighter; my hurts over His unfailing love; and my worries over His great purposes.

"What would happen if you stopped asking, “God, WHY am I going through this?” and started asking, “God, WHAT are you preparing me for?”" questioned Steven Furtick, the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church in US.

I thank the Holy Spirit for He is leading me to walk uprightly and follow God's will. Today, I'm full of hope and love because I'm on the right track - His race track. 14 years ago, I was really lost but found by a loving Father. And since that day, my life had never been the same.

Thankfully, I'm a work in progress. I've learned a lot and still learning more through His beautiful Word. He is my life. I don't know where I'll be without God. Lest I forget that in Him, there's victory and assurance that He is in control -- I'm in good hands no matter what. 

So you too, be encouraged. God is sovereign. Remember that He loves you and He cares about you. It's just there is really no drive-through breakthroughs; that's why we must persevere and trust Him with our all. :D

A blessed day!

Love, MM  

*cute girl photo credit: Anne Price Photography
*road orig photo credit: American Small Business Institute 

POEMATIC 04.14.16 White and Boring

You always wear a clueless smile
And I notice your gray eyes
You’re actually unsightly 
And I still find you boring
I really do

Yet I can’t ignore your being
Oh, a soul as white as cotton

Please make this easier for me
Go chase the end of the rainbow
Run away from me swiftly
Find your own fantasy

Beautiful Women Inside and Out

It’s March and let’s celebrate the National Women’s Month!

Women are special because God made us full of love and compassion that’s why we can easily touch one’s heart. Our beauty can be seen inside and out although the world gives more credit on picture-perfect faces because of visual impression. Yet we cannot deny that impact of a mother’s care for her children, a sister’s comfort and friendship with her siblings, a grandma’s thoughtfulness to her little grandchildren and a wife’s dedication to serve her family.

A woman know how to express her feelings openly and talk about her thoughts. But sadly, some girls know well how to hurt others through harsh words out of their own insecurities.  Thankfully, we can always have an option to choose between life and death. Let’s speak life and give a compliment to each other. I believe that the Lord gives us gentle hearts so we can deliver words that encourage and give hope as well. And I’ve also seen women and also men who enjoy “silent bullying”. Instead of lifting each other up, we make them doubt of their beauty and gifts. I did that too before and repented about it.

We are meant for much greater than these low acts. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Lord and so we must live with a noble character. Let’s keep trying to appreciate people and find the good in them. I pray that the Lord will help us widen our understanding to be more forgiving when others try to bring us down.

I found this beautiful GIF image by Libby VanderPloeg  from Christine Caine’s Facebook post: Strong women lift each other up!

Strong women lift each other up --- i love this so much!
Posted by Christine Caine on Thursday, March 10, 2016

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of articles and posts from these inspiring women of faith: Christine Caine and Lisa Bevere.

Caine has quoted, “Women leaders do not lead exactly like men. Not better. Not worse. But differently.”

While Bevere told in her book, Lioness Arising: “These women are talented and gifted, fearless yet honoring, connected yet self-contained, present yet far reaching, compassionate yet fierce, pure but not naive, strong and gentle, simple yet highly strategic.”

And I found this Pamelroti notebook with a Bible verse: “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day” (of Psalm 46:5).

I pray to be a woman after God’s own heart. Beautiful inside and out. I really need to discipline myself with positivism and do everything in love.

I’m done living in a chapter where my corrupted heart was too insecure and I hardly appreciate the loveliness of other women. I used to seek their flaws so I’d feel good about myself… but this was so wrong. This made me really unhappy.

And so I share this blog post today. May pure love radiates in our lives, ladies. Let’s help this world with our amazing gifts and beautiful mind.

Let’s start with simple things with our girls.

Write thoughtful notes. Go on a date! You can also sit down and have good chat over a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. See a movie. Do arts and crafts. Take a vacation!

Go to a museum (Good news! National Museum of the Philippines offered free admission for women this month of March). )

Or dress up together. Help someone improve her looks. Pick up the right clothes according to shapes and sizes. Anyway, I stumbled upon the plus size section at ZALORA where I found good pieces that are really form-flattering.

Have a great weekend amazing women and men!
God bless!

*photo credits:
wonderwoman via, Christine Caine's women leaders from and Psalm 46:5 via

Hala, ang sungit ni Lola!

Isang gabi, medyo natagalan ako makasakay pauwi dahil punuan ang mga jeepney/FX na dumadaan sa highway. Matapos ang nakakainip na paghihintay... sa wakas ay may tumigil na jeep sa harap ko para magbaba din ng ilang mga pasahero. Mabilis akong lumapit sa sasakyan. Yun nga lang, inunahan pa ako makasakay ng mga lalaking college students na nag-aabang din ng masasakyan. Pero tantya ko, may bakante pa ring mauupuan sa loob ng jeep kaya sumakay pa din ako.

Pagdating ko sa may malapit sa harapan, e wala ng space...
Ayun pala, may lola na ayaw nya umusog sa kinauupuan nya hanggang sa napilit din syang gumalaw-galaw para makaupo ako "kahit papaano".

Nang makaupo na ko ay laking gulat ko naman nang ang katabi kong estudyante ay humawak sa handrail ay biglang tinapik ng lola ang braso nya at pinilit nyang hilahin ito para ibaba, sabay nagsungit ar nagsalita, "Gumalang ka sa matanda... Humahawak ako dyan e". Edi laking shock din ng bata!

Tuloy ang byahe at patuloy pa rin sa mahinang pagsasalita si lola.
Maya-maya naman ay yung barker naman ang sinungitan nya dahil kapag nag-aabot ng bayad at sukli ay nadadagil yata si Lola.

Nang may mga nagbabaang pasahero matapos ang ilang minuto ay lumipat na ako sa kabila para makaupo ng mas maayos. Pero tuloy pa rin ang pag-o-observe ko sa matanda, naku-curious talaga ako kung bakit ang sungit sungit nya.

Nakapag-pray na nga ako...

"Lord, sana po pagtanda ko, hindi ako ganyan... please."

Gumana na ang random thoughts tungkol sa pagtanda ko. Nagbyahe na din ang isip ko ngunit pansin ko ang pagtingin-tingin sa kanya ng barker na sinusubukan na lang deadmahin si lola. Yung katabi nyang binata naman, nagsaksak na ng earphone.. siguro nato-torete na.

Si lola, palingon-lingon... parang tinitiyak nya kung nasaan na sya habang patuloy na nagsasalita.
Di na sya pinapansin ng barker masyado, tuluyan na yatang nayamot sa kanya. Nag-pray ulit ako.. "Lord, sana naman ay maibaba sya sa tamang lugar. Sana sigurado pa din sya kung saan sya bababa. At pansinin pa din sya nung barker in case naaalala pa nya kung saan dapat bumaba ang matanda."

Tuloy-tuloy lang ang byahe hanggang sa makarating din sa paroroonan ko.
Mabuti na lang, pumara din si lola. Nakahinga ako ng maluwag.

Nauna ako bumaba at hinintay ko naman sya na makababa din. Habang nakayukong lumalabas ng jeep ay naka-extend ang mga braso nya na hinahanap ang estribong hahawakan. At doon ko naman inabot ang aking kamay para salubungin at gabayan sya. Humawak sya sa akin at napangiti.

Mabuti'y maayos syang nakababa at nakangiti pa rin syang tumingin sa akin. Tinanong nya kung saan pa ang daan ko. Magkahiwalay pala kami ng uuwian. Pero natuwa ang puso ko dahil naramdaman ko ang galak sa kanyang mga ngiti.

At dumating din ang moment ng realizations...

"Di naman pala sobrang masungit si Lola", sabi ko sa aking sarili.

Masaya akong makatulong noong oras na yun. Syempre, magaan sa pakiramdam. Pero hindi ito ang pinaka-gusto kong i-highlight sa kwentong ito... Kundi, matanda na si Lola at buma-byahe mag-isa. Naalala ko tuloy ang Nanay kong senior citizen na rin at hirap nang mag-akyat-baba ng sasakyan. Madalas sya mauntog dahil kulang yata sa pagyuko. Nakakataranta din kapag kakasakay lang nya o pababa pa lang ay tsaka naman biglang aandar ang sasakyan lalo na kapag jeepney. Naisip ko na sana ay palaging may mga taong may mabuting loob ang mag-assist sa kanya.

At kapag tumanda naman ako, sana may mga taong magkakaroon pa rin ng paggalang at malasakit sa mga senior citizen. At sana, hindi ako maging grumpy grandma hahaha :D

At di porket masungit ay dapat lang na sungitan mo rin.

Dahil katulad ni Lola sa kwento ko, baka kailangan lang nya ng "love" or "lambing" na bigyan sya ng atensyon, paggalang, malasakit at kabutihan dahil tiyak na mahihipo ng ganitong klase ng treatment ang kanyang puso. Kaya pag-pasensyahan natin sila. Ilang dekada na lang, magiging lolo at lola na din tayo.


At ang sabi naman sa Salita ng Diyos,
"Kaya nga, ang lahat ng bagay na ibig ninyong gawin ng mga tao sa inyo ay gayundin ang gawin ninyo sa kanila sapagkat ito ang kabuuan ng Kautusan at ng mga Propeta." na nasa Matthew 7:12 at mababasa din sa Luke 6:31.

"Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

Image Resources:
Grumpy cat with eyeglass from Pinterest
Matthew 7:12 Bible Verse from No Good Christians

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