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

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)

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