Takeaways from Fusion Camp 2019

Life

A weekend my hubs & I will cherish forever, #FusionCamp2019 was truly one for the books! It was the first couples camp organised by Citichurch, lead by Pastors JP & Cielo Villegas with guest speakers Pastor Peter & Christine Kairuz. By God’s grace we, along with a bunch of couples, had a blast learning about God’s word & design in marriage & practical concerns while having lots of fun! We were able to recommit our vows & rekindled the good fight in our marriage for His purpose & glory. We learned a lot but out of everything, here are 7 takeaways that really stirred my heart.

1 | Wives & mothers set the thermostat at home

Thermostat is defined as a device that automatically regulates temperature. Is your home cool or hot? Let me rephrase that, is the MOOD of your home, cool or hot? I realised that the mood of our home has a lot to do with me, if you’re a wife or a mother reading this, this goes to you too! Wives & mothers, we fail to realise that we have SO much POWER into achieving a blissful, peaceful & vibrant home. I speak for myself, most of the time I tend to blame things around me or my husband but really, I have the ability to make things better. How? I set the temperature or mood when I respond gently, express my emotions at the right time, encourage, pray & when I don’t push my agenda into the situation. Which leads us to my second takeaway.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4

For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image & glory of God but woman is the glory of man. 1 Corinthians 11:7

The wife is the glory, honour & dignity of her husband -Peter & Christine Kairuz

 

2 | My relationship is more important than my agenda

Many maaaaaany times I look back on the arguments we’ve had, 99% were because of petty things & yet the damage we cause become immense. To be honest? I could not control my mouth just because I want my agenda to win. Any wives relate? As what our godparents, kuya JP & ate Cielo remind us, “if one wins, both lose”. The sooner we work on being in the same team, the sooner we’ll win! If you would allow me to remind you, darling, we are the thermostat of our home. Breathe in, breathe out, choose your battles & zip it! #notetoself haha! And should you want to air out, pray, let God fight your battles & here’s the next takeaway, sow anyway.

This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth! James 3:7-10

 

3 | Sow anyway

Marriage is a process or journey of becoming one, naturally, there will be breaking because of a lot of reasons- differences in opinion & personality to name one. There will be days when you’ll be faced with matters that trigger anger, disappointment, hurt & so on… but you sow anyway. You do your part anyway. That is a marriage.

 

4 | You go through seasons in marriage

This be one of my favourite topics in camp because it gave us comfort & a better understanding where we are at right now, a glimpse of what to expect in the future & that a lot of us are in the same page. We are not alone. This made us appreciate more where we’re at. Allow me to share some of the notes that were shared to us.

Newlyweds / Spring

  • This is the season where both are in a “romantic high” where there’s heightened passion & euphoric sexual intimacy. Couples at this stage are inseparable!
  • There is emotional obsession wherein mistakes are not a big deal, there is maximum tolerance, extreme understanding & patience & sweetness is evident.
  • Depending on various factors, may last 1-3 years.

Married with children/ Summer

  • The illusion of perfection is gone & patience wears thin.
  • A lot more effort is required for dates & sexual intimacy.
  • Depending on various factors, may last up to 12-15 years.

Married with teens & young adults/ Autumn

  • No more illusions! You’ve passed through trials & weathered the storms. Your love was tested & it passed!
  • You’re more focused on stability especially that this is the time where you earn more but spend more.
  • You are careful when it comes to sexual intimacy in consideration of your teens because they could decode your “signals”
  • Depending on various factors, may last up to 10 years

Empty nest/ Winter

  • Everyone’s married or has moved out & this is the time you REDISCOVER yourselves.
  • You are enjoying the fruits of your labor!
  • You celebrate imperfections.
  • You have a lot of time for sexual intimacy but less energy.
  • Energy is rechanneled to grandchildren.
  • This stage continues until widowhood.

Widow/er Stage

  • Depending on age, this stage may end if widow/er remarries or it continues till death.
  • After a time of grieving, you rediscover yourself & you find a new hobby however, you miss your spouse.

Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your fleeting life, which has been given to you under the sun, all your fleeting days. For that is your portion in life and in your struggle under the sun. Ecclesiastes 9:9

Cried during this discussion. Life presented this way made me realise how short living is & hear hear to what Ptr. Peter said, “Life is too short to be picking on your spouse”. Hubs & I are in summer & honestly, the transition is very challenging. But given this fresh perspective, I’m encouraged not just to fight but to fight gratefully & wisely. This also made me appreciate my husband all the more…

 

5 | Your spouse is God’s exclusive gift to you

Admittedly, with the change that’s been happening, I’ve allowed myself to be trapped in my own concerns which in effect, crippled me to FULLY appreciate, honour & respect my husband. This brought me to more tears during camp as I expressed how grateful I am to be gifted with a loving husband (as you can see in my Fusion Camp vlog). Despite everything we are going through, the truth remains- the truth that your spouse is God’s EXCLUSIVE GIFT, YOURS ALONE. Reflect on that for a moment & think of all the good things about your spouse. Count your blessings, hun! That’s the way to go to a happier life!

6 | Husbands are to be respected

Yes, wives need to be loved but I want to emphasise this part, husbands need to be respected. #RESPECT, that’s a big word for your man. Girl, just do your part! #anothernotetoself God’s got you. It’s God’s design for your man to be the head of the home, this is His commandment. He has given him wisdom which you will have to submit to. Submitting doesn’t make us less of a woman, it actually shows strength. I know, this may be very difficult for us wives at times but God sees your heart. Watch how He blesses you, your marriage & home as He acknowledges your obedience. Work on it!

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Ephesians 5:22-28

Admiration not only motivates, it also rewards the husband’s existing achievements. Dr. Willard F. Harley

A woman needs to appreciate her husband for what he already is, not for what he could become.” Dr. Willard F. Harley

In my submission to my husband I must realise that marriage is entering into a covenant relationship which means death to independent living. Peter & Christine Kairuz

 

7 | You forgive & honour your parents to break a generational curse

This hits me hard because I came from a broken family. Do the math. Although forgiveness is evident in our family by God’s grace, when this topic was discussed, I realised I had to ask forgiveness to God. To explain that, Ptr. Peter & Tita Christine elaborated through an example. When one says, “I will never be like my mother/father” or “I will never do what my mother/father did to me”. It may sound promising but what we don’t realise is that we are releasing a curse towards our parents & that affects us. How? It says in His word, ““HONOUR YOUR FATHER & MOTHER”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “SO THAT IT MAY GO WELL WITH YOU and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” I know in my heart I’ve said this so Reel & I lifted a prayer, asking for forgiveness.

Nothing in a relationship has to permanently destroy that relationship if forgiveness is in the picture… No failure is larger than grace. No hurt exists that love cannot heal. Dr. Henry Cloud/ Dr. John Townsend


 

Young Couple: How were you able to stay together all these years?

Old Couple: We lived in a generation where if something was broken, instead of giving up & throwing it away, WE FIX IT.

THIS IS A MARRIAGE.

You don’t quit, you fight. You fight for many reasons but most of all, you do it for God’s glory.

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 4:15


Can’t wait for the camp next year & we hope more couples can join!

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Utterly filled with gratitude, Ptr. Peter & Tita Christine for everything you’ve imparted, especially your time & testimony. God bless your marriage & ministry all the more! Ptrs. JP & Cielo, thank you for your leadership, especially, love. You don’t only lead us every month, you share your lives to us & are just a call away. How blessed are we to call you our godparents! To Ptr. Jo & Tita Sheilah grateful for setting a great example, fighting for couples through prayers & counselling & establishing the Fusion ministry. To every single one who made this camp a success, you know who you are, your labor in the Lord isn’t in vain!!!

Thank you, love, for being intentional & purposeful for our marriage to flourish. We have a long way to go but we are on the right track because of God’s grace. May God be glorified in our marriage. I love, honour & respect you.

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Father God, I am lost for words. We see what you did here. You’re a good good, Father. Glory to you alone!

Credits to Iko Villegas, Felmar Caranzo, Mika Kairuz & to my love, Reel Bontol for the videos & photos.

8 Reminders to Married Couples

Life
We recently celebrated our 3rd anniversary last April 28. Long way to go right? So who am I to share reminders to couples? Well, I believe we all need to be reminded, learning never stops & in our 3 years we’ve learned or we are continuously learning I should say, a couple of things so why not share them. Disclaimer, this doesn’t mean our marriage is perfect, no marriage is. That’s not a secret. And the reason why we’re able to learn & share something is because of our imperfections & failures. Even the married couples we look up to don’t have it all together but that’s exactly the reason why we listen to them. Because despite of the challenges that comes with marriage, here they are fighting together & helping other couples like us. So I thought, these reminders shouldn’t stop with us! Passing on 8 reminders to married couples.

 

1. Never stop dating

Working on it! It’s hard. We’re on the same page but so are other things & yet we find ways. We acknowledge how challenging it is. In our case, we just had our first date during our anniversary ever since we had a child. Finally. Dates doesn’t have to be expensive but it has to be exclusive. Go out for an hour or two, just you two. And just how we’re reminded, don’t talk about your baby, work & other things, be cheesy & talk about love.

2. Seek Counsel

Marriage is husband & wife so why do we need to have sponsors & guests on our wedding anyway? Those people especially your godparents play a very important role in your marriage. Your Ninongs & Ninangs, those who’ve been married for many years now, know how it is. They’ve been there! Seek counsel from them. Also, make sure that who you open up to are people who you & your spouse can trust. Not just you but both of you. Who without bias tell you the hard truth, give you tough love. Also, when you seek counsel, don’t run to your parents especially when you just had a fight. They’re biased & they’ll have the tendency to look at your spouse a different way. Which leads us to number 3, honour.

3. Honour

Big word. Yes! One example is making your spouse look good despite of. Having challenges in marriage isn’t new. Every married couple knows that. So why state the obvious & post it on social media? Honour. Not everyone has to know your story. Go back to number 2.

4. Wives, Submit. Husbands, love.

Wives, Submit

A work in progress in this area. How about you? I used to think submitting was easy until your boat takes you to uncharted waters. And there will definitely be times when agreeing will be very difficult but you have to do your part anyway. Resistance isn’t strength, submitting is. Submitting to wrong things is besides the point here, that’s another topic that has to be in another blog.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Ephesians 5:22-24

Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor of the LORD. Proverbs 18:22

Husbands, Love

We always hear it, isn’t it easy to submit to a loving husband? Husbands need to be respected, wives need to be loved. Men & women are wired differently & yet we marry each other. What am I trying to say? Husbands, if you say women are hard to understand, let me break it to you… we have a deep need to be loved, all love languages involved. That’s it.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Ephesians 5:25-28

5. Win Together

As what our Ninong & Ninang reminds us, if one wins, both lose. Win together! Again, it’s hard. We know but the sooner you work on being on the same team, the sooner you’ll win.

6. Where you’re not married, there’s conflict

When you get married, everything has to be married. Meaning, everything has to be one or both of you should be in agreement over everything-— time, money, children, goals & etc. Where you are not married or in agreement over something, you are acting ‘single’, which shouldn’t be the case because you are married. For example, your friends bother your spouse. Who will adjust for both of you to be ‘married’ in the situation? Someone or both should adjust & make sacrifices for the marriage to work. It is a process & love is not selfish. Marriage is a journey of dying to self, friends. Choose to be married every single day!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 

7. Communicate

I cannot emphasise this enough. Communicate, verbal & non-verbal. So many times we’ve fought because of miscommunication. Although I believe there’s timing for everything. I mean it’s not a very good timing to talk  when both of you are angry & emotions are in the way. However, there always should be a time to communicate. Problems will keep coming back if you don’t. Sometimes, i’m told something & hear differently. Have you ever been there? Recently, I’ve been confirming the words of my spouse to make sure i’m hearing correctly. Also, there are just some things we couldn’t get, well, I couldn’t get right away. I have to communicate & ask, “Is this what you’re trying to say?” How you say things matters too. Say them with love… you are talking to the love of your life! However it is for you, communicate.

8. Marriage’s ultimate goal is to glorify God

May our prayers be, “Lord, May our marriage bless you”. Marriage is a gift from God & it ought to reflect His love. We love because He first loved us. Marriage isn’t just husband & wife, God has to be in the picture of becoming one. In fact, only God can make two become one. We have to understand & have the perspective that our marriages are beyond ourselves & that its purpose is to glorify God that when the going gets tough & everything doesn’t make sense, we run to God who can give us peace that surpasses all understanding & guard our hearts. Or when everything’s well & good, we deny ourselves & give the credit to God.

“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you & you shall glorify me. Psalm 50:15

Our marriage is a work in progress & we are truly grateful we get a lot of reminders & encouragement from our pastors, godparents, family & friends. Praise God for people who are cheering us on & running this race with us. We seek counsel & allow important people to speak life to us. We are part of a married life group & a ministry in church called Fusion. Placing details below should you want to know more about it.
3rd year & counting & we praise God, we’re moving forward. Praying for a blissful marriage for you & your spouse. I hope this was helpful. God bless!

 

FUSION is the young married couples ministry of Citichurch. It is a community that supports the union of husband & wife, anchoring on faith knowing that it is only by God’s miracle working power that allows every individual to fuse when entering into marriage, thus the name Fusion. It believes that healthy marriages equal to healthy families, to a healthy church, to a healthy society.

Fusion is lead by Pastors JP & Cielo Villegas. They meet 6pm, on the 3rd Saturday of every month. For updates, visit Citichurch on Facebook &/or Instagram.

And the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. Mark 10:8-9

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