Giving Back the Gift of God

Letting go

Human gifts are imperfect, frequently unappreciated, wrongly motivated, defective and temporary. Gifts that are good gifts and perfect gifts come only from above.

(James 1: 7) “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

The Gift of Life, Salvation and Creation, just to name a few, are all perfect. What more can you ask for?

It was not apparent to me that I needed anything, sure I wanted things, but the desire comes and goes. God had me in His hand and kept me and my needs in check. He is more than enough for me. But God knows something about me that I still don’t know or perhaps, He knows how much I need to fulfill a purpose in my life that I am yet to uncover.

Until He gave it to me.

There was a note saying “Do not open yet”. It was obvious, readable and understandable.

I tried fighting the thoughts inside me:

“When is the right time to open it?”

“Why?”

“I need it now”

“I think it’s okay”.

I didn’t receive any answer, or was I too focused on the gift to hear the answer?

I made myself believe that I had confirmation and my excitement led me to open it.

Finally, I have seen it with my own eyes; I have felt it in my arms and my heart started pounding. From that moment, it was the most precious thing I had, and I wanted to keep it for the rest of my life.

I valued that gift more than I thought I could. Spending time with each other, we became seemingly inseparable and I invested too much of my emotion.

I think at that point, I loved too much. Although it seems difficult to define what constitutes excessiveness in love, my “too much” implied something on the lines  of  “I love him too much to let go”.

I thought I ‘owned’ the gift and I felt jealousy whenever I saw someone else holding it. I became so selfish forgetting that the gift can be used for something greater, not just for me to have something to hold tightly.

Now, the One who gave it to me wants it back. I need to loosen the grip.

I was so stubborn, and so scared of getting hurt. But getting hurt is inevitable, plus, I know that I will only hurt more if I don’t obey. So I give it back to God. “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21) It was indeed a beautiful gift which I’ll always be grateful for. He allowed me to have it, even though it was only for a short amount of time. It’s up to Him now if He will give me the same gift in His perfect time, or if He will replace it with a better one.

Everything belongs to God. Our lives are His, and in our lives lie opportunities to give back to Him what is already His. Our time, treasure, devotion, relationships, dreams and ambition.

He is good (He can’t be anything other than good) and He loves us faithfully.

He said I am precious to Him (Isaiah 43:4) and whatever He asks of me can be trusted. I just need to obey. I believe that He loves me and wants nothing but the best for me. He leads me towards the direction he wanted me to move. (He wouldn’t ask me if He is not willing to help me)

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

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100 Random Things I Learned While In HK Vacation

Hongkong

map

It is my dream to go to different places around the world. May it be local or International, Mission or Vacation or Work related. That’s why I am so overwhelmed given a chance to have my first international flight.

It is indeed an answered prayer.  I thanked God for provision, protection, and all the experiences.

I remember last Nov. 2012, I had a hard time convincing my parents to allow me  to go to  this travel, because they are so worried that I’ll be a thousand miles away from them. Its not just mommy and daddy whom I need to talk to about this matter but also my brothers. To make a long story short, I have their permission.

So… the 4 days and 4 nights came a long so fast. And I just want to share some things I learned during the HK and Macau Trip. These 100 Random Things (In no particular order).

1. Plan your travel.

 

The thought of traveling without a well-structured plan can sound extremely scary to those who have never done it.

2. Prepare- Financially, Emotionally, and Spiritually.

3. Pray – Ask and Trust God for Provision.

4. You can’t put a price on your most memorable life experiences.

5. Ask your parent’s permission before booking a ticket.

6. Simple Things may end up being more fun.

7. There are times that you really have to stand on your own.

8. If you can’t pick up your bag. You prolly packed too much.

9. No matter how rude the person in charge on the immigration, stay calm and smile. After all, they will decide if they will allow you to travel or not.

10. Believe me! Not all Nurses wants to go abroad for work.

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11. Monitor How much you spend.

12. Don’t Always Convert

13. Most of the world’s people are friendly and decent.

14. Don’t worry about travelling alone.

15. Travelling can teach you more than almost anything else.

16. It’s really nice to have a sister.

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17.  HK People are very stylish

18.There’s a lot of free taste in Macau.

19. Almond Cookies taste good.

20. ESPRIT in HK is affordable compared here in PH

21.Dim Sum is Delicious!

22. There is no shame in saying “I don’t know”

23. Money can’t buy happiness but Money can buy something that makes you happy.

24. You will find anything and everything you could ever need at HK Market.

25. Not all Hotels have shuttle services to the Airport.

26. HK Seaport is so Nice.

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27. Taxi’s flagdown rate in HK is $20

28. MTR Opens at 6, ’till 12MN

29.Cebu Pacific’s Wintermelon Milktea is fine.

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30. What doesn’t kill you will only make you strong.

31.Always check your emails if possible. But, You can’t work and travel at the same time.

32. Your whole life can change in a day but your hometown will be just as you left it.

33. Learn how to Bargain.

34.Milk Tea in HK is cheaper. $14– around 78php.

35. No matter how many beautiful things you see, never stop appreciating the clouds. AND SUNSETS!

36. Always ask for a map.

37. At least attempt to learn the local language. (Hello and Thank you) Ni Hao and Xie Xie will get you farther than you think.

38.Always Smile.

39. Street and wall art can be just as rewarding as paying to visit a museum.

40. Sometimes, you have to embrace cliche.

41.Respect the elderly wherever you are

42. Bring snacks for Airplane, Bus and Train rides.

43. Earplugs.

44.Call/Text your parents just enough so they won’t worry. No matter how old you are, they are still your parents.

45.Trust your instincts.

46.Guard your passport and ticket with your life.

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47.Talking with other travelers will teach you more than checking government websites.

48.No matter what your beliefs are, respect local culture.

49.No one said travel is easy. But it is Fun!

50.Look at the signs ( if picture is allowed).

51. Check the weather. But for you to make sure, always bring a jacket.

52. Be grateful (There’s a lot of reason to be thankful for)

53. Just enjoy what God has for you.

54. There are things that you just can’t learn (Like the left-right side on the escalator)

55. There are also things you can learn.

56. Take good care of the “Octopus Card”

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57. Don’t let the simple things spoil the good things that happened.

58. Say Sorry.

59. If there’s a conflict, talk about it. Resolved.

60. Be with someone who is comfortable with your silence.

61. Always bring your charger and adapter.

62. Bring extra Bat for Cam.

63. Check the Currency Rate

64. Spontaneity can be the best personal quality you embrace  and cultivate, even if it doesn’t come naturally.

65. Fear shouldn’t stop you from achieving anything you dream of!

66. It’s all about how you respond.

67. It’s good to know someone misses you.

68. HK have a lot of SASA and Body Shop Outlet.

69. Haagen Dazs Macadamia taste really good!

70. Everyone, everywhere basically wants/need everything (Ask Maslow)

71. Check your Roaming.

72. Deferring your happiness to the future is a terrible idea.

73. HK is very organized and easy to get around.

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74. The Internet is the greatest tool ever available to us

75. Pony Tail $70. why?

76. You don’t know what you’ve got ’till its gone.

77. Appreciate you boss for VL approval. 🙂

78. Winter clothes are nice

79. Horizon is an amazing thing.

80. Even if you’re still. You’re still moving.

81. There’s beauty in every photographs.

82. Follow Traffic Rules.

83. Music makes me happy plus plus plus the lights

84. Fireworks <3

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85. Mickey and Minnie are so adorable as well as other Disney Characters.

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86. There are different exits on MTR.

87. I never seem to regret taking the time to take time.

88. Eurika’s story. -Her life is a great testimony.

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89. Ruins of Saint Paul is a good illustration about foundation.

90. Walking is the best way to explore the city and to burn Calories.

91. Ref Magnet is Mom’s fave pasalubong of all. 😛

92.  Remember. You’re making memories.

93. It’s good to have a movie on your ipod, to watch while waiting at the Airport.

94. A pen is better than a key chain as a gift for your friends.

95.  All things work together for good.

96. Writing 100 Things I’ve learned during my vacation is cool.

97. I need to keep God and His word in my mind and in my heart.

98. God never leaves me nor forsake me. Never will.

99. You don’t really need to go to a vacation to know number 97 and 98. 🙂

100. There’s no place like home.

The most important lesson in life can never be expressed enough in words, but in action. I pray that the next time I’ll travel, I’ll be more responsible and prepared.

Learning is never ending (Doesn’t end in 100). I’m just so thankful to God that He turned this vacation in more than just a tour but a lot of lessons in life. As He said, All things work together for good.

Thank you, God for allowing me to experience these things. and also, Thanks, Kuya Chris for my Plane ticket. 🙂 hehe

The world is Big! God’s creation is Great! and God is Greater! I’m excited for more!

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Can This Be Love..? :D

Mommy and Daddy Lomo4 Lomo5 Lomo6

 

Mommy and Daddy ♥

Every couple has Their Story.
(How I met you Mother? How I met your Father? :D)
The story they tell when they meet each other’s friends and families for the first time, the story they tell their children or even to their grandchildren.
The story they whisper to each other during romantic moments “Do you remember when…” :”> ayeeeh. haha!

Every couple has Their Story of how they got together.

Some stories are simple, some stories are complicated.
Some stories are funny, some stories are serious.

All stories are wonderful and have a happy ending especially when you let God write that story.

My Mom and Dad are happily married for 33 years now.

For some time, I’ve been wondering if true love still exist because the word “love” has for the most part seemed to have lost its meaning. BUT here it is. Right in front of me.. a kind of love that still hold each others hand after fight.

I love you, Mommy and Daddy. ♥

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Best Christmas This Year!

Madrona Family

…An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” —Matthew 1:20-21

Jesus is enough reason that makes the Christmas BEST, every year. It is something that we should live everyday. It should be born in the hearts of each one of us, motivated by pure love. God sent his son Jesus to save us, because HE loves us.

May the beautiful holiday lights, parties, shopping and the exhausting rush of these days not distract us from the true meaning of what Christmas really is — and can be.

Merry Christmas to all!

 

Family Pic Collage

 

Celebrating Christmas with your Family is Priceless. 🙂

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Broken Melody of Love

Broken Piano

Have you ever experienced the feeling of being broken? You cry all day… all night… and even if you get tired of crying, your tears still seems to enjoy getting out of your puffy soaked eyes.

The feeling of saying the words: “Nobody understands me. Nobody cares. ” Feeling desperate and all, until you feel like listening to music – opened your laptop, ipod or play any instrument and guess what?  You played a more heart-broken themed song. You play a loop of love songs that makes you wanna cry again (more than what you’ve already cried) – a sudden nod there huh? Relate? You’re not alone – we all cry, we all feel pain and we all act stupid when this sort of things happen. It’s all normal and here’s one proof:

Well, let me share a story about a girl named Viola –Spoiled as they say because they treated her as a baby, probably because she’s the only girl in the family and she’s the youngest among four siblings (not until their dog came who is treated like a baby too. haha) Anyway, back to serious business… Viola felt the love she ever wanted from her family. Buy her stuff even if she doesn’t need it but want it – clothes, shoes, makeup, etc. She thought this is what you call love. Not gonna ask for more.

When Viola got herself into college, she met a lot of people and met this guy. A guy named Whilom. He made her feel more special, someone who does things for her, someone who made her feel more of a princess than a baby. She thought: “It’s nice to get this feeling from a guy who’s not my brother. Maybe this is the real love”. She liked the feeling and somehow enjoyed it; she doesn’t have any idea on these kinds of things, but because of peer pressure… she said yes when the guy pursued her. As time goes by, Viola sometimes forgets giving time for Whilom. They seldom see each other and talk because of their studies. Then one day, Viola realized she’s still not ready to give in to these kinds of relationships, and she realized that this is not love. To cut the story short, they broke up. Maybe she cried a little… no one knows, but not broken. She decided to live her life with her friends and be contented with the love she gets from her family. In the long run, she dedicated herself to music.

She loved music than anything else, another love she experienced. Mingling with her “music friends”, she didn’t notice falling from another love. One guy she always talk to with her problems, a guy who listens to her even if sometimes she’s being random on her opinions and stories, a guy who made her feel more of a queen rather than a princess. This time, she felt good about it. Not just enjoying the feeling but really loving it. The only problem is… they’re just friends. This guy’s name is Eli. He loves music like Viola does, they love going out with each other, sharing stories, exchanging ideas and Viola loved the feeling of being special whenever she’s with him. This is the guy who made her feel that it’s okay to let go of the things she treasured the most, because just by being with him, she got everything. As the year passes through, their music clings together. There’s no better match than what they have. Her music flies like an angel while his music opens the heaven’s gate. Now, this is what she called “Love”. Then the day came for them to feel mutual, only they knew what really happened. What we only knew is… they hold each other’s hand and be contented with each other’s company.

 

They play the music of love. Then danger came, they made their own world. They became inseparable –loving someone is not a sin, but loving someone too much is. They keep each other safe and secure with what they call commitment, but they forgot something important – someone important. The one who suppose to earn the music that bound them together (God). After some time, their relationship became more and more difficult. They even got choke to some responsibilities like too much work or too much school loads. Something’s not right here, why all of a sudden; their great love story starts to fall down little by little. They still continue what they have even if they’re already loosing focus. After a long battle… they end up broken.

Viola felt the pain with every single vein she has. Her music became broken as she is. She lost every talent she has. Say no to practice because she might see Eli. She kept the pain and made a broken melody. Played a loop of love songs that made her eyes lit up with tears, she knows it will hurt her more, but she still keeps on listening. (I’m not saying that listening to this sort of music can’t help you ease the pain. In fact, they help. It gives comfort to anyone who suffers from pain. Have you ever heard of the phrase “Love the shame, ease the pain” – by freely embracing the situation, you’ll get used to it and then you can easily let go of the pain you feel) Maybe because she can really relate to what the lyrics say, or she can’t stop listening to music because it’s the only thing left of him in her. I sometimes do it as well and until now, I don’t know why. But I tell you, crying with something on the background somehow does help. It pours out emotion and let you relax after. Maybe that’s it, we really don’t know.

…and, because Eli is now out of the picture, Viola gets a lot of time to spend with her family and friends. Sometimes she’s still hurting, especially whenever she sees Eli. They still play music together, but this time… it’s for a certain person who really deserves it. Both of them had more time to spend practicing for music. Something they took for granted when they still hold each other. – Sometimes God take something away from us to see what we’re missing. He take away what blocks our way to see what we’re taking for granted. He needs to take that person away from us to polish them and be a better person. When that time comes, we have to let go. As it is said on one of the blogs I often read:

 

“Even if the person you love tells you that she’s yours, she’s not. She belongs to God. And if you hold on tightly to her even when she’s meant to fly, you will not only ruin her – you will ultimately cripple her from what God designed her to be.” – h3sean.com

 

– We only borrow all things from God; when we borrow something and didn’t return it, it might be taken away with force and never let you borrow anything again. We suppose to give it back when He claims it. Let go and let God polish it. You’ll never know, maybe God wants that person to be good enough to be the best person for you… and as He polish him, he’ll do the same to you. He won’t let us have garbage or 2nd best. He wants us to have the best! Now, this is what you call a real love.

 

PolPol is a 25 years old single mom, clayist, band vocalist and OPM enthusiast. She also likes art, skin tattoos and photography – learned some of it. Now, she’s currently working for a company as a Social Media Specialist. To know more about her, you could go to her website: www.saliwngmusika.com

 

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YOU, not me. YOURS, not mine.

worship

I have always wanted to write about “worship”. But each time I would try to start, I find it too-complicatedly-wonderful-a-topic that I would end up just writing about something else. I think it’s because I see myself as a lifelong student in this area and I still have so much to learn. So everything in here will just be a glimpse of what “worship” is.

 

WORSHIP.

 

It’s definitely more than singing songs beautifully. If it is, then my worship would frequently be out of tune. I love to sing but I don’t have a great singing voice (it will get better in time, I know, hehehe!).

 

It’s far beyond just uttering (or writing) dramatic words of adoration, honor and love for God. Anyone can say or craft heart-piercing statements or songs, but still be far from God.

 

In worship services, we raise our hands, bow our heads, cry our hearts out, or even kneel down at times. These feel great! But there’s certainly more to worship than those.

 

The melody, the words, the tears and the worshipful gestures can be great expressions of worship but they’re just like the tip of the iceberg. The unseen, a lot more difficult part is what it really is: self-denial, obedience, and the resolve to yield to God’s will and ways no matter the cost.

 

Worship says,
“YOU, not me.”
“YOURS, not mine.”
“YOU lead, I’ll follow.”

 

 “Do YOUR will, have YOUR way – wherever it brings me, whatever it takes, right now!”

 

We worship when our actions say, “It’s all about You, God, never about me. So even it will make me unpopular or will go contrary to what people expect of me, as long as it will please and honor You, I will do it.”

 

We worship when we choose His will over our own – even at the expense of our own desires, convenience, questions and conditions. That could mean giving up something (or someone) you hold so dear, being in a place you’re afraid to go to, humbly initiating the talk with a person you’ve been avoiding for so long, doing that thing that doesn’t just make sense, forgiving even if it feels more right to do otherwise, and the list goes on.

 

We worship when our lives showcase the astounding beauty and love of God – in the words we say, in the things we do, in the decisions we make, in the work of our hands, in the way we treat others.

 

True worship is difficult. And here’s my main point: We can only worship by the grace of God! We are only able to do it as God reveals who He is to us. It is God-initiated, God-sustained, and God-directed.

 

Worship is both a motivation and an expression (to obey, yield, step out, and trust). But for always, it’s all about Jesus – His beauty, His unfathomable goodness, His awesome power, His unfailing love, His unending kindness, His sovereign grace, all that He is and He will be to us. It is never about us and what we can do for God. We are able to worship because of who Jesus is. We are therefore given the grace, wisdom, courage, faith, hope and love to do everything that pleases God the most.

 

Even the melody, the words and the gestures are from and because of Him.

 

Worship. Only Jesus. Always Jesus.

 

Because of Your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.” Psalm 5:7
Cherry Marcelo
Cherry Marcelo is my Mentor, Discipleship Coach, Leader, Friend and Sister.
Author Bio: Cherry Marcelo – Strives to be a woman who is truly grown up, yet child-like. A daughter, a sister, a friend, a social worker, a Poet-Wannabe, a Child well-being advocate, and a Dreamer!
Gladly, Completely, Unchangeably His.
visit her blog -> here.
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