Takeaways from Colour Me Ladies Conference 2019

Lifestyle

Hi there! It’s been a while since I wrote something on my blog. Sooooo many things are on my plate right now, motherhood having the biggest part from the pie, hah! #honestmotherhood Also, partly because I’ve added vlogging to my content but blogging will always have a special place in my heart. So here it goes!

Last week I had my MTO (Mom’s Time Out), spent a day together with about 2,000 women for the annual Colour Me Ladies Conference. Every year I block off my schedule for this event because it’s such a powerful thing to get together with women more so, women who speak life & empower. This is the company you want to be in! YAAAAAAAAAS!

This year was no exception of a vibrant day with guest speakers Christine Kairuz, Venus Raj & Maricar & Richard Poon. The theme of this year’s conference was Colour Me White (Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8). The rest of the details & happenings will be uploaded on my channel so stay tuned for that! Aaaaand besides my vlog, which is currently on the works, here are my takeaways from Colour Me Ladies Conference 2019.

Feel free to save images, somebody might just need it today. *wink* #PASSITON

I

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 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23

Emphasis on ABOVE ALL ELSE & EVERYTHING… This clearly tells us the importance of our hearts. It says ABOVE & ALL ELSE, top priority, why? For EVERYTHING, not just ‘some’ but everything we do flows FROM IT. Everything we do is dictated by the heart. And if God has our hearts, He’s definitely got us. Question is, does He have your heart?

II

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The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9-10

…and a right heart, produces a right life. What is a right heart? Honestly, NOBODY has the capacity to have a right heart. As it says in the bible, our hearts are deceitful, beyond cure & nobody, even ourselves, understands it. Many times, if not all the time, the moment we feel we understand our hearts, is the moment it jumps to another emotion. Right? So what do we do? We give it to the one who is able to make things right for us. Why? Because a wrong heart, produces a wrong life.

The condition of your heart determines the course of your life.

The course of your life will lead you to the choices you make.

The choices you make determine your consequences.

III

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You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is beneficial.

1 Corinthians 10:23

Not every opportunity is for your benefit & not all ‘seemingly’ good thing is from the Lord. I always remember the White Witch from Narnia with this principle. Beautiful, isn’t she? On the outside, that is. The enemy comes to steal, kill & destroy & he’ll do everything- quote scripture, present himself beautiful or delicious as cake, to do just that. And we ought to be reminded to not go after everything we deem beautiful. How do you know if it’s from God? Besides praying & reading His word, pause & try to see the big picture or look many steps ahead to project the outcome of the opportunity that is presented to you. And if it doesn’t hurt, seek counsel from the right people.

IV

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You have to stop fooling yourself with something you can’t control. In other words, stop playing with fire. The only way to change is through total surrender. You might say, easy for me to say right? The principle doesn’t change just because it’s hard. You also have to understand that though not everybody understands you or what you’re going through, everybody has a battle of their own. In that perspective, you really can’t say it’s easy for me to say.

No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

Hebrews 12:11

It’s hard because you’re worth it.

V

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Nobody is perfect therefore purity doesn’t just happen, it is a direction we take, a journey we go through. How do you know you’re on the right way or if you’re moving forward with it? Purity is never stagnant. Like faith, it grows.

VI

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The fruits of the holy spirit- love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). These fruits we posses, not for anything else but by abiding in Him. Truly we are who we are because of who God is & everything He’s done for us. Which means the glory goes to Him especially when these fruits are expressed. Also, do a self check, are these fruits being expressed lately? If yes, give back the glory to Him. If not, go back to your first Love- Jesus.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:4

VII

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Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God Matthew 5:8

Picture a blind man walking in a maze. Hard, right? Going through a maze is hard, more so, going through it blind? Our lives are like different levels of mazes. We go through so many decision-making that it is vital to SEE where we’re headed in every decision or step we make. And when our hearts are impure, they affect our vision. Which means, we may go to the wrong direction & end up trapped, not able to move forward, really. Again, it is only through Him that our hearts are purified. Give you hearts to God & He will be your eyes through the maze. We don’t need to fret, He’s up above, He sees everything, he’ll take you to the next level!

VIII

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You know God loves you right? You know He’s on your side & that He wants the best for you, right? And yet we receive a lot of discipline & correction from Him. Now that I’ve mentioned that, do you still think He loves you? As what Christine Kairuz said “He loves you too much to for you to stay the same”. Tough love, but it is love, still. God did not only send us the bible to correct us, he also sent us people to do that. Appreciate those people who do the hard thing of correcting you just so you live your best life.

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.

Proverbs 12:1

IX

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The reason for your joy shouldn’t be because of men, because that only means they can take it away. I am not saying you don’t celebrate when people appreciate you but at the crossroads, you ought to be reminded that this life is His & that we live for His glory alone. Because if you go the other way, you will always end up getting hurt & stuck. Choose Jesus, choose, life- life to the full.

X

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After receiving & acknowledging God, you don’t automatically know everything. In fact, it is the ‘start’, not the ‘end’ of a beautiful journey. From glory to glory, He will take you to unchartered waters for you to experience Him. May this also be a reminder for everyone to look at others with fresh eyes & grace, for we are ALL a work in progress, we are all in a process.


There you go! Some you may know already but it’s good to be reminded right? And some may be new to you. Let’s talk! Drop a comment &/or see you on my socials.

Here are a few snaps from the event. Credits to the husband for these! You can check out his shots on instagram @docreeltravels.

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Truly, it always is an incredible  & refreshing time at the Colour Me Ladies Conference. See you next year!

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My Skin Care 101

Lifestyle

It’s about 7 months since I’ve given birth & although life will never be the same again, I’m slowly going back to some of the things I used to do before our baby happened. Haha! One of those is skin care. Not only sharing with you my skin care regimen & the products I’ve been using but more importantly my views on the matter, thus, “my” skincare 101. Putting emphasis on that too because we may have different perspectives & wanna make sure we’re clear on that.

Starting with some principles I believe when it comes to skin care.

LESS IS MORE

I have always believed not to overdo skin care unless one’s skin has a very special requirement. Every skin is unique, we are all unique for that matter! And if you have normal skin, my suggestion would always be “less is more”. Less doesn’t mean “lacking”, it simply means just the right products for whatever requirement your skin needs.

AS YOU AGE | YOUR SKIN AGE

…and the usual skincare regimen you’ve always had needs to level up as time goes by. Although I’ve always believed that “less is more”, truth is, skin age. So you’d have to change or add to your skin care overtime. As you age, the higher the requirement for products to work double time in maintaining that youthful glow!

GOOD PRODUCTS MAY COST

You cannot cheapen skincare. You will have to spend for good products. I am not saying you buy the most expensive products. “Value for money”, is relative. As what they say, “cheap is expensive”. Make sure the products you’re using are worth the money you’re paying for or else you’ll be spending more with what you’re using because it’s causing you no good. Repairing may cause & cost you more!

WHAT WORKS FOR ME MAY NOT WORK FOR YOU

When people say…

“What products are you using? Whatever you use it’s ok, you’ve always had good skin, Tar.”

Thank God for genes but what if I’ve not been using good products, don’t you think they would affect my “good skin” in a negative way? Believe me I’ve tried products that caused pimples. I’ve explored different products to get to where I am with my skin now. So I give credit to the products I’ve been using. Most of them, if not all are NuSkin. Been very happy with them since 2014. But then again, we have different skin types so what works for me may not work for you. This is precisely why I’m not only sharing the products I’m using but also my views. When I was encouraged to blog about my skin care regimen, I really thought about this. I wouldn’t want people to get back to blame me should anything negative happens (Disclaimer). If you’re happy with what you’re using now, good! As time progresses, you can work around the brand you’re using or you could explore & switch. Up to you, really!

WHAT YOU FEED YOURSELF MATTERS

This is one very important factor when it comes to skin care. Having a healthy & glowing skin doesn’t happen overnight. You have to consider food & water intake. Eat & drink healthy, look healthy. Goes without saying that if you don’t, it’ll surely affect your skin no matter what you put on your face.

REST IS HOLY

Wanna look like an angel? Haha! Like that’s possible. Kidding aside, You’ve got to REST! Again, all factors are to be considered, product, food & rest. Resting/ sleeping will do you wonders that any cream or food can’t do. Plus! This won’t only affect your skin, it’ll affect your health. Don’t cheat yourself. Rest. Yes, this is a sign!

So here it is! My Skin care Regimen

Basically, Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize or CTM.

DAILY ON FACE

  • Cleanse | Nu Skin 180 Face Wash
  • Tone | Nu Skin PH Balance Mattefying Toner (Combination to oily)
  • Moisturise | Nu Skin Enhancer

OTHERS

  • Masking | Not very particular with the brand. Open to different kinds of face masks. Haven’t tried any that irritated my skin too. (Once or twice a week)
  • Facial Spa | Nu Skin Galvanic Spa (Once a month)
  • Mud Mask | Epoch Glacial Marine Mud (Once a month)
  • Nu Skin Napca Moisture Mist- I bring this moisturiser mist when I go out to give my skin a little lift from time to time. Also use this as a setting spray whenever I put on makeup.
  • Nu Colour Advanced Tinted Moisturiser- I’ve recently started using this tinted moisturiser when going out. I’d like to keep it as natural as possible.

PREGNANCY/ POSTPARTUM ADD- ONS

I added a few products to counter the changes that happened to my skin during pregnancy, particularly addressing skin discolouration in armpits & stretch marks.

  • Epoch Baobab Body Butter
  • Epoch Polishing Bar Soap
  • Bio Oil

As what I’ve mentioned, skin ages so I’ll probably change products  in a year or two. For now, this is it! If you have any questions message me here or on instagram &/ or facebook @travelwithtaraph. Or simply follow me for updates & blogs, see you there!

Speak Life 2018

Lifestyle

NEW YEAR is usually the time we reflect on the year that has passed, count our blessings & what most of us usually do, the famous, new year resolutions. Although having resolutions may be a cliché or maybe it’s getting old, I still think having this concept being introduced to us & being practiced for so many years is a great thing, even if most of us do not follow through. I think, trying would be a good start.

As I reflect on this years actions, one of the things I am strongly compelled to do or change is this-

CHOOSING TO ONLY SHARE & POST POSITIVITY ON SOCIAL MEDIA REALIZING THAT…

1. God is in control.

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17 

2. I am in no position to judge others or to give an opinion about their situation. I do not know the background of their actions or words. Unless I am really concerned, I can message them in private.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?” Matthew 7:1-4

3. My blabbing on social media doesn’t help any situation, whether it’s mine or others.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6
For “If you want joy in your life and have happy days, keep your tongue from saying bad things and your lips from talking bad about others. 1 Peter 3:10

4. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self- control.

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit”. Galatians 5:25
 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues. Proverbs 10:19

5.  Speaking life encourages an attitude of gratitude.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

6. What I post affects others.

Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 2 Timothy 2:14
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
 The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4

7. I may regret what I say & post just because of a momentary or passing emotion.

The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. Proverbs 17:27-28

8. I may not be able to control what happens around me but I can control what I say & post.

“What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Matthew 15:11

9. I save myself & others from refraining to say & post negative things.

Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity. Proverbs 21:23
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. Proverbs 12:18-19

10. My words have power over life & death.

From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:20- 21

Hoping for others to do the same & contribute to a healthy atmosphere in one of the most powerful tools we have in today’s generation. Mental health, as we can see & feel, is very  vital & powerful. Our words greatly affect that, without even knowing. I need not to summarise the effects of posting negative things on social media. Just naming one like causing depression or worse, death, is more than enough.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45

What are you compelled to do or change for next year? I pray God gives you strength to do things, for His glory! The small or simple things we do for Him are big things in His eyes & they do make a difference. Try it!

I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength. Philippians 4:13 
 Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3

#SpeakLife2018

Starting Your Fitness Journey

Lifestyle

Sometime this year, I have been in the same position- clueless & disturbed about weight loss. Or maybe you are not in the same position but you’re curious enough to be reading this. Going back to where I was… my fitness journey started when I was packing my clothes to a trip & I found something I wanted to wear & to my surprise, it wouldn’t fit me anymore! Tried on a few more & they wouldn’t fit me too. So I weighed in, viola! I gained three Kilos during the holidays. Surprised? I don’t think so. I guess that’s what would happen to most of us. But I do hope that’s going change.

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So I then started my fitness journey, from 57 to 52 Kilos, here’s how I was able to do it- a few things I figured out/ realized through the journey.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

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  1. HAVE A GOAL

After finding out I gained 3 Kilos during the holidays, the initial goal was pretty obvious, it was to lose them. After losing 3 kilos, I tried my shorts again & it still wouldn’t fit. Well, I guess I wasn’t hearing out my body (Which will be the second point). Back to the goal! As I started doing my workouts, my goal changed from one to the other. It started with just losing what I gained then to fitting into my shorts then to truly living a healthy lifestyle & most importantly being a good steward of God’s blessing. If you think about it, when you take good care of yourself or your body, you are able to do more, able to live more!

Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18

2. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY & RESPOND RIGHT AWAY

Listening to your body is more important than listening to your friend who tells you, “You’re not fat! You’re overreacting” or your husband who tells you, “I love you just the way you are”. This is funny. But seriously, when you already see it, feel it, hear it, do something about it right away. Don’t wait for things to be reeeeeaaalllly visible for you to start doing something. Prevention is better than cure, as what the doctor says. But of course, appreciate your husband for loving you just the way you are & you might think twice on your friend who tells you you’re not gaining. (haha, Just kidding, appreciate them too).

3. FIND A WORKOUT THAT YOU ENJOY/ THAT WORKS FOR YOU

I was into running. I joined fun runs, even joined a 50K ultra marathon but at this point I had a really hard time going back to it. Back then, I did it as a past time/ stress reliever bonding time with my colleagues at work & to me that was fun. But now that I had to do it alone, it could be boring or let’s just say I needed a very good stretch to get back to it. And so, I started doing yoga at Asana. And the first time I did it, I fell for it & kept on coming back. Now I could attest that whatever hesitations you’re feeling about Yoga, like I’m not flexible enough or I don’t know how to do a head stand or something, IS ALL IN THE HEAD. Even if you’re a beginner, you’ll be able to do yoga because there are modifications to the poses that you do. I love it because it’s quite a relaxing way to sweat! There are a lot of workouts you can do, A LOT, explore & find out WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8

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  1. CONSISTENCY IS KEY

After joining a few classes in yoga, I then started to make a schedule that would support my commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t make a schedule, the only thing that’s getting thin is your chances of achieving what you want for your body. Eating a heavy meal one time won’t make you gain weight, also, working out one time won’t make you lose weight. BE CONSISTENT.

  1. LOG IT

However you wanna do it, log it. For me it was weighing in every Monday & logging in my weight even if I gained, lost or weight is just stagnant. Logging your weight, your schedule or whatever it is that you want to achieve gives you a SENSE OF DIRECTION to whatever it is that you’re doing.

And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:2-3

  1. CARDIO IS YOUR BEST FRIEND

After three weeks, I didn’t see any changes to my weight. I figured doing 2-3 times a week yoga wasn’t enough. I remember a lot of people telling me that cardio is the way to go if you want to lose weight fast & it’s true. There are many ways for you to do a cardio exercise, find one that’s attainable & realistic. For me it was stair climbing since we lived in a condo unit. If going to an arena or park is such a drag for you, don’t find yourself an excuse, do cardio in your living room, or anywhere else. Just do it. After a week of doing cardio, I lost nearly 2 Kilos a week.

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  1. FOOD IS THE BIGGEST FACTOR

Well, you heard that right, I nearly lost 2 Kilos in a week, not just because of Cardio, but also because I changed my food intake. What I learned though is that just like finding the right workout for you is just as important as FINDING THE RIGHT DIET FOR YOU. What worked out for me, could work out for you or not. So do your own research & check it out. Make sure you don’t starve yourself but make sure also that there’s discipline in what you do. Some even lose weight or achieve their body goals by just dieting.

Here’s what my meal plan looked like. (Past tense because my diet/ lifestyle changed when I found out I was pregnant. Yes, currently pregnant.)

* Pre- workout Food/ Meal- 1 Glass of water & 1 Pc. Banana

* 1- 2 Glasses of Lemon Water before EVERY MEAL

* Breakfast- 4 Tbsp. Greek Yogurt, Apple/ Banana, 1 Tsp. Flaxseed, 1 Tsp. Chia Seeds, 1Tsp. Honey OR 1 Slice of Wheat Bread with 1 Tbsp. Peanut Butter & Black Coffee OR Cereal & Black Coffee

* Lunch- Fish, Chicken or Pork (Low Salt & Sugar) with Wheat Bread/ Salad/ Potatoes/ Brown Rice

* Snacks- 1 Slice of Wheat Bread with 1 Tbsp. Peanut Butter/ Sweet Potato/ Banana

* Dinner- 2 Hard Boiled Eggs & 1 Fruit (Mostly 1 Banana. If I’m a bit more hungry, I eat 2 Bananas or add 1 more Egg) OR Fish, Chicken or Pork (Low Salt & Sugar)

Again, DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

  1. HYDRATE WELL

You hydrate well for maaaaany reasons. But for most part in dieting, it helps you feel full. I drink 1-2 glasses of water before eating any meal.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

  1. IT’S HARD WORK

As I was doing my research, I found a lot of write- ups entitled “HACKS” in Weight Loss or “SHORTCUTS”. Hate to break it to you, Babe let’s face it, THERE ISN’T ONE. Achieving what you want for your body is HARD WORK. They’re not hacks or shortcuts, they ‘re simply your preference on how you want to lose weight or how you want your body to be.

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.                  2 Chronicles 15:7

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  1. REWARD YOURSELF

LIVE. Don’t feel miserable in the whole journey. Of course, you can eat what you want but from time to time. My cheat days are on Saturdays & Sundays. But since I’ve made it a habit to eat just… usually, I eat the same during weekends. The only difference would probably be eating ice cream, cake or eating rice in every meal. I just got used to eating a little. And eventually, you will have the discipline to eat just…

There is a responsibility to every concept you fall in love with. Jo Alfafara

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 So after achieving my goals I felt lighter with a joyful heart not just because I’ve achieved what I want, at that point, but because more than losing the fats or whatever, is losing myself & developing character. Character of Self- Control, Discipline & a whole lot more.

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Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John1:2

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Proverbs 4:20-22

The journey continues…

START YOUR FITNESS JOURNEY TODAY

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I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

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When You Are A Volunteer

Lifestyle

When you are a volunteer… what does it mean to be a volunteer? To be a volunteer in the ministry, to be specific.

I have been a volunteer for as long as I can remember. Started out to be part of the children’s ministry, did musical plays of The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe. Part of a ladies group singing Joy William’s I Surrender & some songs of Barlow Girl, Mary Mary & a lot more in high school, involved myself in different fellowships- youth, young adults & at present, by God’s grace leading worship in the Sunday afternoon services of Citichurch in Cebu, Philippines.

So here I am today thinking about VOLUNTEERISM in the ministry.

For the past years, here’s what I’ve come to realize.

 IT IS A CALLING

 Being part of a ministry is never by force. Not because your parents or siblings are serving in the ministry, you should. Not because all of your friends are serving in the ministry, you should. Involving yourself in the ministry, full-time or being a volunteer is a calling from the Lord given to us by His grace.

 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Romans 12:6-8

 YOU ARE SERVING GOD

Since being a volunteer in the ministry is a calling from God, you’re in service to God. Whatever work you do, procedures you follow, standards to attain, you serve the King of kings.

Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God’s various gifts of grace. Anyone who speaks should speak words from God. Anyone who serves should serve with the strength God gives so that in everything God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Power and glory belong to him forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11

 IT IS A PRIVILEGE

Because you are serving God as you do volunteer work in the ministry, it is a privilege. To fully understand this, you ought to know WHO you are serving. Getting to know Him through spending time with Him- reading the bible & meditating His word, listening to His voice, allowing Him to move in every second of your life, helps you to fully embrace that it is truly a privilege to be serving Him.

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. 1 Chronicles 29:11

You are serving God, the King of kings, Lord of Lords, the Great I AM, the Creator of the heavens & the earth, the blood of the Lamb, I could go on. HE IS GOD. And it is a privilege to be serving Him.

 IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU

The moment you feel entitled, is the moment you should check your heart.

 Who says you are better than others? What do you have that was not given to you? And if it was given to you, why do you brag as if you did not receive it as a gift? 1 Corinthians 4:7

Being part of the ministry as a volunteer requires a lot of time, effort & sacrifices but it has never been & will never be about you. Go back to number 2 or the 2nd point.

Some people think that because they are serving in church, they ought to be treated special because they are giving to the church. NO, go back to number 2. Special than probably those who are serving full-time or special in such a way those things around them ought to be adjusted because they are volunteers. The moment you commit yourself to being a volunteer, you commit yourself to God through the ministry you are in.

 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

 LET YOUR YES BE YES & NO BE NO

As a volunteer it is understandable that you’re are not full-time, meaning, you have other priorities but you are given the question CAN YOU…? And once you say YES, much will be expected from you & when you say NO, that won’t be taken against you.

 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. Matthew 5:37

 HONORING AUTHORITY IS HONORING GOD

You are serving God, it is for God through the ministry you have committed yourself into who have leaders in authority.

 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.  So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. Romans 13:1-5

Truthfully, who wants to be told? to be corrected? When you are a volunteer, you have to swallow your pride, be humble & honor God by honoring the authority.

You have to understand that as a volunteer, you serve God not only through the talents & gifts that you have, honoring authority is a big part of that. Honoring authority in systems, procedures, standards & etc. God is a God of order. Without order, things will not fall into place & there wouldn’t be any direction to move forward to. Leaders have been placed by God for a purpose. You being a volunteer have to submit yourself to the person God has called to be on top of you. And just a thought, if you were in their shoes, don’t you think it’s challenging to handle volunteers… because they are volunteers? Think about that.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:3-8

 EVERY ROLE IS OF GREAT VALUE

You have to understand that every part, small or big, is of great value to God. You, doing your part in the best way, whether you’re arranging seats, attending meetings, brainstorming for the events, doing display, greeting people or leading worship is a great deal because, it is for the Lord. Which leads us back to number 2, YOU ARE SERVING GOD.

 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Romans 12:4-5 

All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27

 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

 ENJOY THE PROCESS

When you volunteer, you may not automatically do what you love to do or be in the position where you love to be. As a worship leader, I started singing in choir & understood why I had to be there. The process is all part of God’s mighty hand moving through each volunteer. Through the process, not only your talent or skill will be stretched but more importantly, your character. Enjoy the process, learn in every situation & position so that when the time comes that you are rewarded with what you love to do, you are able to truly give back the glory to God.

A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great. Proverbs 18:16

 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.  1 Corinthians 4:2

 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. 1 Corinthians 14:40

 TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN MUCH IS REQUIRED

Some people think that being a volunteer or being in the ministry is a having a glamorous life. Being a volunteer, as what I’ve said, requires a lot of time, effort, sacrifices & so much more. So before you answer to His call, pray hard about it because it will cost your life. It’s not glamorous but it is glorious because you know that what you’re doing is for God’s glory.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[a] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Ephesians 4:7

WHAT IS DONE IN LOVE IS DONE WELL

As you get to know God, you get to know His heart. He loves us deeply that is why He sent His son Jesus to save us.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

 You doing ministry work should be an outpour or an overflow of His love. Because of this, every time you serve, you think of His love for you, your love for Him & for His people.

What is done in love is done well. Let His love be the air that breathes you to move forward for His glory.

JESUS IS MORE THAN ENOUGH

As a volunteer, you do a lot of things, make a lot of sacrifices & human as you are, you may think you need people to notice, to give you words of affirmation but JESUS IS MORE THAN ENOUGH.

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8

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Photo taken from Citichurch 

These things I have learned & gathered today & I am excited with what God has to reveal even more in the years to come.

Are you ready to answer His call?

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Production & Intune (Music) Volunteers of Citichurch during UN1TE Team Night (Photo from Felmar Caranzo)

Having A Broken Family Doesn’t Mean A Broken Life For You

Lifestyle

A couple of weeks after getting married, I posted a gazillion of photos at my social media accounts & each photo had meaningful captions about how the dream of marriage started, a glimpse of the proposal, the preparation & the process of getting to the BIG DAY & the day itself, along with the people who were, are & will continue to be part of our journey.

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Every beautiful soul that were supporting us all the way & God’s masterpiece as our backdrop

And then, a person sends me this message…

… I don’t believe in marriage because I grew up from a broken family & there are a lot of playboys around. I remember, you came from a broken family. I just want to know how you turned out to be someone who believes in marriage.

 So here goes my answer.

Having a broken family doesn’t mean a broken life for you.

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

MY IDENTITY IS IN CHRIST

I am a child of Christ more than anything else. I identify with Him. This has got a lot to do with knowing your Heavenly Father first. He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Great I AM, the Prince of Peace, the one who died for you & me. And identifying yourself with Christ gives you the hope that’s like the sun that shines every morning, gives you joy that’s overflowing, peace that surpasses all understanding & love that’s everlasting. You’ll be so full of Him that you can’t help but give the same to the people around you.

But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind. Psalms 33:11-13

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:7-9

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5

For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? {33} It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. {34} He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. 2 Samuel 22:32-34

These are just some of the verses about God. Continuously read about Him, then you’ll be able to identify yourself with your Heavenly Father.

YOUR SECURITY & CONFIDENCE IS IN HIM

This also means that your security & confidence is in Christ. Having Christ doesn’t mean the absence of challenges, we live in an untamed world. But it only means having Him go before you not only in battle, also in victories & every part of your life, every fiber of your being. That should enable you to be secured & confident.

When you have Christ, you have everything.

 One of my favorite verses- She is clothed with strength & dignity; and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

For this God is our God forever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. Psalms 48:14

 O my Strength, I watch for you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God. God will go before me and will let me gloat over those who slander me. Psalms 59:9-10

 My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. {8} Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah Psalms 62:7-8

 For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. Deuteronomy 20:4

 LISTEN TO HIS VOICE & TAKE THINGS INTO HIS PERSPECTIVE

Anybody can influence you to his or her perspective & talk you into it then you’ll grow up believing in whatever they say, good or bad but the best one you’ll ever need & listen to is His. When people think that you’ll just be like your parents or they’re just waiting for you to fall & their voices are too loud it’s getting into your head…shut your ears but leave room for His still small voice. Don’t let the negative things & words get to your heart. Look at things with faith, everything happens for a reason, for His glory.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalms 73:26

GET INTO THE WORD

The only way to know yourself more is to knowing Him more. And the only way to hear Him & have His perspective is to read His word.

Faith comes from hearing & hearing the word of God. Romans 10:17

He has a lot to say to you & He loves you too much for you to just waste your life. Know His gifts, promises & teachings. And after knowing them, live by them & experience the wonder of His love for you.

“If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, your healer.” Exodus 15:26

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 30:5

 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 1 Corinthians 4:20

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

FORGIVE

Forgive your parents & yourself. Stop thinking & living like the fault of your parents are yours & that the consequences have to be yours. I’ve heard it a couple of times & along the way, I might have said it while going through rough stuff, “I’m like this or am going through this bad situation because I came from a broken family”. You know you have a choice? You have a choice to respond positively every time the going gets tough. Growing up, by His grace, I made my situation a motivation to never give up on His promises in my life. He said in His word, He has fashioned the days for me & that I have a hope & a great future. And I was willing to do everything to claim that. It wasn’t an easy road given the circumstances, never. But I go back to Him then He tells me Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength. I am not saying all of these things because life was easy, you will have more challenges because life is a beautiful struggle. But I can confidently say all of these things because I went through a lot & now I testify of His mercy, grace & love. Continuously move forward with God’s promises.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

GET WISDOM & ACT ON IT

From reading His word, you’ll get a lot of wisdom but you have to act on it & be wise. Apply what you learn.

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26

BELIEVING I MARRIAGE

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I have found whom my soul loves. Song of Solomon 3:4

With all of those things, I then believed in love… in marriage. My faith in Christ kept that alive in me. Although I made wrong decisions in relationships, I let go & let God. That was the case in everything. He took the wheel & one day He led me to the man He has for me.

Psalm 139:13-17

 13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, Andskillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there werenone of them.
 17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!

God is a God of order. Graduate, meet friends that speak life to you, establish your career, get Godly counsel, have fun & the Lord will just give you the man he has for you somewhere in the middle of you living your life in accordance to His will.

Seek Him first & He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

So about immature guys around you… first of all, pray for the person for you & don’t keep guessing every time a guy tries to pursue you. Ask God, ask your Daddy! And if the guy doesn’t love God, has no plans nor a direction in life, leads you to do wrong things, He’s obviously not the one. Don’t play the role of an angel & say you can change him. If he is God’s will for you, God will change him, not you.

Do not awaken love until it so desires. Song of Solomon 8:4

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5

And if everything seems to be great- He loves God, has a plan & direction & leads you to the right things… that’s good but that’s not enough, you need His confirmation. And when He confirms, the one will definitely date you with a purpose, with a goal of eventually marrying you. Sadly, this is not very famous. Most people just date & say “we’ll see”. I was riding on the same boat, you can try & learn or you learn from others or let’s say… a familiar one, learn from the experience of your parents.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Marriage has been in our hearts when my husband & I were dating. By His grace, after a year, my husband now, boyfriend at that time, asked me my hand in marriage. We had a wonderful marriage, not because of the venue, lights, decorations, dresses & flowers but because God was with us.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16

I believed & now that I am married, I will continue to believe in marriage. It is God’s gift to me & my husband & we fully accept it. And we believe for a God- given family someday.

I end this message with a piece of my wedding vow.

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Handwritten with love

#travelwithtara #taraforreel #Marriage #Love #Life #Jesus #Family #Relationships #Testimony

 

What’s Up with Citichurch Ministry Sunday?

Lifestyle
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Photo from Citichurch Facebook Account

For a couple of weeks now, we have been seeing posts about Citichurch’s BIGGEST SUNDAY OF THE YEAR, that’s MINISTRY SUNDAY. That means that one, if you’re part of it, you have been busy for a couple of weeks, for some, probably a couple of months. Two, you’re from Citichurch & have been attending for a couple of years or you are not able to join because of valid reasons but still, you look forward to it. Three, if you have no idea what this is all about, you’re reading an article that would give you a glimpse of what MINISTRY SUNDAY is.

Citichurch 

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Photo from Citichurch Facebook Account

About 10 years & counting, Citichurch is a church in Cebu City that aims to or is “raising the standard”. A church that’s excellent for God is excellent. Generous, a church that strives to give- give back, give life & speak life. Young, fresh, modern– because we believe that the generation today is for the Lord & we ought to give the best of today. It is not a church that criticises others but a church that’s constantly building a culture of pulling up others & we believe God will take care of each one’s promotion. We hear people say Citichurch is a rich & prosperous church. Well, YES. Because as what the founder & head pastor of Citichurch says “the wealth of this church are the volunteers”, thus MINISTRY SUNDAY! So what’s up with Citichurch Ministry Sunday?

Ministry Sunday

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Photo from Citichurch Facebook Account

Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind! Psalm 66:5

Ministry Sunday is indeed the biggest sunday of the year because it is where the glory & grace of Christ is displayed through every hardworking volunteer. Is it a show? Yes & no. No because the volunteers are not a bunch of showoffs. Yes because it’s for the AUDIENCE OF ONE, yes because it’s for the ONE. Each volunteer does what he/ she does in the best possible way because, as a volunteer myself, we believe that the ONE who is best deserves the best!

Psalm 150 

1Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!

2 Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!

3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
5 Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!

6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord!

Ministry Sunday presents the different ministries to encourage the rest of the people in the congregation to be involved. Up to date, Citichurch has about 530 volunteers serving in 11 ministries & during Ministry Sunday there were about 2,895 in the congregation. As Ptr. Jo would put it, only 530 people are rowing the boat.

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. ” Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Luke 10:2

We want people to engage & sign up because we ought to live our lives with purpose. Not that if you’ re not part of a ministry you are not, but if God is calling you to be part of one, well, won’t you answer the call of the King of kings?

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Photo from Citichurch Facebook Account

“The hard work we’ve done is nothing compared to the hard work he’s done on the cross.” Ptr. Jo Alfafara 

So, ladies & gentlemen, Citichurch’s 9th Ministry Sunday.

The Preparation

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Dalian Fernandez, Citichurch Administration Head, gives final instructions & reminders to all the volunteers before the service start

There’s more to every presentation that meets the eye. For months & weeks, each ministry- leaders & volunteers (REAL PEOPLE) take time in brainstorming, researching & planning for every presentation. From each person’s crazy schedule, they don’t just squeeze in time for ministry, when God calls one, they prioritise. In preparing for Ministry Sunday time has been invested in practices, meetings, editing, many to mention & most importantly, days & nights of fasting & prayer.

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Ptr. Jo Alfafara, Head Pastor & Founder of Citichurch, sharing God’s word & leading the volunteers to prayer before the service start

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Elevate (Youth) Pre- Service Huddle

Hours before the Ministry Sunday, all the volunteers gathered in God’s word & prayer.

And because I am part of Intune- the worship team of Citichurch. I was one with the other volunteers in the pre- worship huddle.

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Gale Merced, Intune Ministry Head

“Don’t think that you are greater than anybody else. Everybody is important. God has designed you to be great, beautiful…. the greatest appreciation is from the Lord. We are not strengthened by the applause of men but by the Lord. That is the grace of God.” Gale Merced

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2Corinthians 4:16–18

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And like every Sunday, the countdown begins… 10……3, 2, 1.

The service opens with a video about OUR CHURCH, about GOD’S CHURCH.

Then songs of praises & playing of different instruments were lifted up.

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How Great Thou Art led by Gale Merced & Diandra Fernandez

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Violin Solo by Hannah Go (Photo by Michael Domen)

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Hannah Go on her violin solo, Intune Worship Team

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How Great Thou Art Chorus by the Intune Choir (Photo from Citichurch Facebook Account)

THEN IT GETS LOUD

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Take It All (Photo from Citichurch Facebook Account)

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Intune Worship Team

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Citichurch Ministry Sunday Praise & Worship

The Ministries

USHERS

Ushers are the doorkeepers of God’s kingdom. They’re the first welcoming people you see in church.

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Dodo Cuenco, Ushers Ministry Head, with Usher Volunteers

“What’s important is the willingness & heart to serve, smiling will come after.” Dodo Cuenco

PLATINUM

Senior citizens of Citichurch. As long as there is life, there is life to give.

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Wisdom is with aged men, With long life is understanding. Job 12:12

Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you. Isaiah 46:4

CONNECT

This team is in charge of the meet & greet, Sunday after Sunday. They do the connection with people, after the Ushers, in church.

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Rosette Dizon, Connect Ministry Head

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Connect Presentation

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Connect Booth

MACTAN MIDWEEK

A great place to recharge in the middle of the week. They meet every Wednesday at the Goldberry Suites Mactan by 7PM.

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Greg Magdadaro, Mactan Midweek Ministry Head 

“Mactan is known for the sun, sea & sand… through Mactan Midweek, find joy in the one who created the sun, sea & sand.” Ptr. Greg Magdadaro

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Mactan Midweek Booth

OVERFLOW

Headed by the newly appointed pastors & power couples- JP & Cielo Villegas, such great influencers for God’s glory, by His grace. They lead young adults in 3 areas- career, relationship & ministry. Glad to be a part of this ministry too! We meet every Wednesday at the Hangar by 7PM.

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Pastors JP & Cielo Villegas

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Overflow Booth

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Overflow with Ptr. Jo Alfafara (Photo from Cielo Villegas)

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Overflow presentation (Photo by Michael Domen)

LIFEGROUP

Lifegroup is like connecting with people to the next level. You are assigned into a lifegroup when you sign up in a ministry, attend the firm foundation class then become a volunteer. This group helps you in a personal way to grow in the Lord.

CBSI

CBSI/ The COMMUNITY BIBLE STUDY INTERNATIONAL. This is an avenue where people get to know & have a deeper understanding of the bible. They meet every Thursday at the Citichurch Center by 7PM.

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Dra. Cabang, CBSI Volunteer

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CBSI Booth

INTUNE
The sound machine of Citichurch. A bunch of ordinary people doing the extraordinary things for God.

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Gale Merced (Photo from Citichurch Facebook Account)

“We are the carriers of light & confidence.” Gale Merced

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds & glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14–16

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Intune

CITICHAMPS

The Kids Ministry exists to establish every child’s faith in Jesus Christ. They aim to help raise the next generation,the future, not only of Citichurch but of what’s to come.

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JB Baratbate, Citichamps Ministry Head

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Citichamps presentation

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Citichamps Booth

STOREHOUSE

Community outreach ministry of Citichurch. They have regular feedings, annual backpack distributions, medical missions & PARTY WITH A PURPOSE- where everyone is given the opportunity to celebrate any occasion, mostly birthdays, with unfortunate kids.

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Storehouse presentation. Song lead by Janina Pacaide & & Mori Osmena

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Willy Tidalgo, Storehouse Ministry Head (Photo from Citichurch Facebook Account)

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done. Proverbs 19:17

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Storehouse Booth

ELEVATE

The youth ministry of Citichurch who are composed of positive, dynamic, Jesus- centered COOL KIDS. They meet Fridays 7:30PM at the Citichurch Hangar.

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Elevate presentation (Photo from Anne Manubag)

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Elevate Booth with leaders John Santillan, Anne Manubag & Marvin & Christine Rodriguez (Photo from Anne Manubag)

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Elevate

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Mike Sanchez for the Elevate presentation (Photo by Michael Domen)

PRODUCTION

They are the people behind every colorful lights, creative displays, smooth program flow, crisp sound & a whole lot more! They are the men behind the scenes with brilliant & creative minds & technical skills.

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Production Team headed by Rey Lagaras &  Citichurch Administration Head Dalian Fernandez

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Production Booth

After presenting all the ministries, every year Citichurch gives honor to the top volunteers who we call the OBED EDOM.

1 Chronicles 15: 16- 23

OBED EDOM was a gatekeeper, directed harps, lead worship, part of the trumpet blowers, played stringed instruments & was
entrusted with riches.

He was everywhere. Serving everywhere.

So like Obed Edom in the bible, here are the 2016 Obed Edoms of Citichurch.

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From left, Mariel Dumaraos , Jeff Jongco, Sparks & Miriam Fabros, Lenie Cagampang, Ma. Gleecel Guinocor, Josh Gabutin & Felmar Caranzo

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Jeff Jongco receiving the award from Sheilah Alfafara

And the top of the top Obed Edom, receiving an award of going to the HILLSONG CONFERENCE 2017 in AUSTRALIA is…

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Luigi Sanchez announcing the top Obed Edom Awardee

CARMINA AGNES RACAZA

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Carmina Racaza when announced that she is the top Obed Edom Awardee

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Carmina Racaza receiving the award

Wow. Truly, SEE WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE. ALL GLORY & HONOR TO GOD!

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows& builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 14:16

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Ptr. Jo Alfafara (Photo from Citichurch Facebook)

“Every joint supplies.” Ptr. Jo Alfafara

Every person has a role, big or small, it’s a vital role.

Ministry Sunday simply is an OPPRTUNITY for people to give back, not to men, to GOD.

“Your next spiritual growth is not receiving, it’s breaking through to give.” Ptr. Jo Alfafara

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Luigi Sanchez (Photo from Citichurch Facebook)

I like what Luigi Sanchez said, “Not all can sing or dance… but everyone CAN GIVE.” 

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1Corinthians 10:31

The Opportunity

If you read my first blog “CONFESSIONS OF A VOICE TALENT” you’ll know I was supposed to be part of the the rostered worship leaders but as what I said, God was & is dealing with me. But my heart was at peace, my heart was joyful & I worshiped God with all of me. I wasn’t on stage but I saw an opportunity to give back that day. And that is through writing about ministry sunday.

Some opportunities are given, some are created.

There is so much that can be done for God and I encourage everyone to do things NOW because NOW is what you have.

The perfect timing doesn’t wait. John Maxwell

Worship IN ANY WAY, may it be through ministry, at your workplace, school, at home, NOW. Because NOW is a gift. Be at the moment. As a worship leader, I ought to give my best now whether on stage or dealing with the team or memorising lyrics or simply resting. As a wife, I ought to give my all to my husband & be the best homemaker. And who gives, sees & rewards you for that? Jesus Christ.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Philippians 3:12–16

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

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. 2 Chronicles 15:7

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58

There is so much more to do & learn in life especially in service for Jesus. And nobody is perfect in dealing with life or serving God but we can move forward from every challenge, move from glory to glory. And when you have Him, victory is yours, always.

YOU TOO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY, WILL YOU TAKE IT?

MS45

With fellow volunteers & friends, Kyle Yuvallos, Diandra Fernandez, Primrose Rodas, Janina Pacaide, June Zerda & Carmina Racaza

#MS2016 #MinistrySunday2016 #CitichurchPH #Intune #Jesus #Volunteer #Ministry #Worship #GlorytoGod #Cebu #Philippines

Confessions of a Voice Talent

Lifestyle
 Written July 24, 2016

Tonight, after my last event of the month, marks my official vocal rest. So help me God.

It has been almost 2 months since my voice was A- ok. It has been really hoarse. But I have to admit, I haven’t been a good steward of God’s blessing. After resigning from my full- time job, I was booked with a fairly good number of gigs & have been given the privilege of serving God through becoming a worship leader. Despite that, I did not do preventive measures, I still drank 3- 4 cups of coffee per day, which I reeeeaaaaaaaally love, also eating spicy food, eating & drinking a lot of dairy & sweets & slept less than 8 hours, I kept talking & talking. I could go on. I wasn’t listening to my body. I wasn’t worshiping God.

And so, here I am having a lot of thoughts about this situation. And Ministry Sunday is coming up (The biggest event of the year in Citichurch) but I had to drop it because of the condition that I have. Thus, this is not just simply a confession of a voice talent, it’s

CONFESSIONS OF A WORSHIPPER

With this, I remember Ate Jesse (one of the leaders in the music ministry) recently asking me “what is worship?” This was in preparation for ministry sunday. Well, God has allowed me to be in this situation to, not just know, but experience worship in a different way, I could say in another level.

The Battle

The battle goes beyond consciously resting, not drinking coffee, eating sweets, drinking meds & home remedies, not being able to sing, to host, to talk & all the other physical challenges that comes with it. The battle is SELF.  The battle is self emotionally, mentally & most of all, spiritually. It is not being able to be who God wants you to be & not maximising yourself to your full potential & what God has designed you to be.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, o present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-3

Yes, I am in pain. My throat is in pain, my heart is in pain & worse, God is in pain because He wants the best for us & has a purpose & great destiny for us. Most of the time we only think of ourselves especially when we are in success & in pain. Most of the time when everything is going great, we tend to take all the glory & think highly of ourselves, which results to wasting away ourselves. And whenever we are in pain, we go to God & ask so many questions, some even blaming God. But the truth is, when we are victoriousm our Father in heaven is & whenever we are in pain, God our Creator is in pain too. But He has to let us go through the pressure. To learn, to mature, to be better, to move forward, to grow.

A diamond is a coal made under pressure.

Grace

But God doesn’t waste any pain. I look at this as a lesson & a season of building spiritual muscles for His glory. By grace I am able to move forward, I believe not just with the talent or skill that He has given but with a heart full of hope that I will be completely healed & by grace I will lift up his name through this little story of mine.

Worship

Before when asked what is worship. I simply say “It is a way of life”. It is, but to experience it? You could go on. In this situation, worship is resting, is going through the process of healing, is supporting the team in any way I can whether I sing with them or not, is lifting up a prayer, is rejoicing with my teammates…

Worship is the absence of self for God’s glory. IN EVERYTHING.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith. Romans 12:6 

#Confessionsofavoicetalent #Confessionsofaworshipper #worship #Jesus