Happy birthday, Mama!❤

I’ve mentioned to you numerous times how blessed we are to have you as our mom. Loving, caring, sweet, generous, kind-hearted, compassionate, simple, lovely are just some of the words that can perfectly describe how you are as an amazing mother.

On your birthday, I’d like to honor you for being such a great, patient and loving daughter to lola. The past few months have  been tough for us because of lola’s various health concerns which led to hospital confinement thrice and being just home-based for almost 3 months so she could recover, but this became a golden opportunity for us to witness how you really love her with all yout heart. You have been serving her as an excellent and loving healthcare provider with so much patience and joy. God has used you as a key instrument for her healing and we praise God for how we’ve been hearing good news about her recovery.

Thank you so much for all that you do. You truly epitomize someone who does all things in love. We love you so much! Brace yourself for the next lineup of breakthroughs God will bless you with. We’re so excited to witness how God will fulfill the desires and dreams He placed in your heart. Faith and hope up always for God’s character and heart can always be trusted. love you!❤

Soundproof Your Heart

Taken from Gordon Macdonald’s classic, “Ordering Your Private World.”

Life was a lot more simple back in the 80’s and ultra-multipurpose gagdgets were unthinkable. As kids, we were already amazed by the animated games that Segas and Nintendos could give us.

Enter 2016.

Three year old kids can download addicting phone apps on their own and seven year old children pretend they’re older so they can be given access to Facebook. I heard students are required to have their own Ipads so they can download their textbooks and school assignments.

If a lot can compete with kids’ attention, what more with us adults? Hours get thrown to the mindless use of social media sites, our work demands seemingly require us to wear many hats and to add to those, we also need to fulfill our other roles outside of work. When we get the chance to rest on weekends, sometimes we don’t end up doing that because of the need to complete the  leftover work that was impossible to accomplish during the week. If that’s not the reason why we’re unable to take a real break, it could be that we end up making room for leisurely activities that in truth do not give us the kind of breather our souls really need.

There is a glaring clarion call for all of us to make time for prayerful silence with God. 

Not just on Sundays.

Let’s rearrange our lives in such a way that we get to start, proceed and close the day thankfully with God. He will give us fresh ways of embracing  our life purpose if we ask Him to guide us and be our compass. 

We run empty on certain days because of our forgetfulness of who God is and how much He’d love to spend our seconds, hours and minutes with Him. Without making Him a priority everyday, everything can be an achille’s heel similar to how kryptonite weakens Clark Kent.

Let’s make room for silence because this is where God can get our full attention and where we can receive tremendous servings of grace, insight and wisdom from Him. This is where we can be really still, find our center and know He is indeed our amazing God. ❤

Help is Coming!


​I think this is a very timely message for a lot of people. 

Help is on the way! God will show up in your situation to give you your much needed breakthrough! As you wait for it, remember to celebrate the season you are currently in for He also planted blessings for you to enjoy and cherish right where you are now. 

Share this is if you know there would be people who will be encouraged by this word😊

Strength & Courage


​Let’s go beyond liking this Word by truly living this out. What is God calling you to pursue and embark on with faith and courage? Don’t shrink in fear for God is with you and He shall give you the grace, strength and wisdom you need to accomplish His noble purpose for your life.❤⛅

Driving Diaries: Sunrays, Ordinary Days and Pathways

God loves us soooooooooo much

 

Sunrays and skies really fascinate me (my Instagram posts can vouch for this) so naturally, God caught my attention last month by orchestrating His vast ocean of resources to showcase to me this beautiful, breath-taking panorama. It was around 5:10PM when I captured this.

I thought it was just an ordinary day. It was my first time to drive alone, for 3.5 hours, to a place that was so unfamiliar to me. The long drive was actually for a great cause because it was for a leadership enrichment program we organized for one of our company’s divisions.  With long hours of heavy traffic out of the picture, I actually find driving very therapeutic.  Driving alone is not a boring task for me because I can listen to my favourite inspirational podcasts, tune in to any of my Spotify playlists or calm my soul and spend quiet time alone with Him in prayer.  These three have been my reliable driving companions but God chose to do things quite differently a few weeks ago.

Thanks to Waze for I knew I was just an hour away from my destination when I saw this mesmerizing scene. Glad I still had time to stop and park the car beside the main road just so I could capture this.  It may sound quite cheesy, but for some reason, this scene really astounded me.  Let me share with you the thoughts I had that time, which point to the truth of how much the Lord really loves us:

God really moves in mysterious ways,  for He is able to turn ordinary days into magnificent opportunities for us to be amazed by His grace and unfailing love.  He loves us so much.  We could have just been one of his creations, but He chose to create us in His wonderful image and likeness. He could have painted this planet in black and white but He chose to endow it with beautiful colors, creations and resources for us to nurture, faithfully steward and enjoy. 

It is always wise for us to regularly pause and rest from the busyness of our lives so that our eyes and hearts can be primed to appreciate God and the way He has been graciously moving in, through and around us. It can also be an opportunity for Him to whisper to us gems of truth and encouragement that we need to be reminded of.

God can bring so much joy, inspiration and delight to us even in the seemingly mundane segments of our lives. Invite Him to be the Captain of your life’s ship everyday, and He will turn your ordinary days into His pathways for you to receive lovely surprises from Heaven. 🙂

 

 

Ship the Gifts!

    From Pinterest

There’s something very odd that caught my attention a few weeks ago. In fact, my mom reminded me about this peculiar thing about me while we were having early dinner one time.

I enjoy shopping and usually it’s expressed through the fondness I have for buying books, toiletries, cosmetics, back issues of foreign magazines, office/school supplies and little knickknacks I do not really need but find cute (it’s like i.must.really.buy.them.). I also enjoy last minute shopping for Christmas presents, as well. I delight in the thought that I will be able to buy stuff I feel people would be glad to receive as presents. Though I have never fulfilled my plan to finish my Christmas shopping before December, my last minute shopping skills always magically enable me to complete this task by Christmas Eve. 

There seems to be nothing wrong right?

Right, but the story does not happily end there. For years, I have been ending up with undelivered presents. They sit inside huge shopping bags with the hope that they would be shipped to the intended recipients someday.

👏Good intention: I wanted to bless people… check!

👏Preparation: Writing down the names of people who will receive presents from me…check!

👏Effort: hours and hours of shopping to find and purchase great presents (great is subjective haha)…check!

😔F – Failure to deliver gifts to the intended recipients. Unfortunately this comes with a check mark too for some people I don’t get to meet often

Have you experienced this at any point in your life? it can manifest in these ways:

1) Cooking – you know how to cook, you have the ingredients but you have not found the time to cook your signature dish again for your loved ones.

2) You love writing and you have actually saved in your iPad notes certain entries that God can use to help and inspire people but you have not yet mustered the guts to post them online or courageously publish the book that has always been in you 

3) You have talents (singing, dancing, writing, sewing, hosting, teaching etc) that you can use as a volunteer in a church, non govt organization to bless people but you are always too busy that they have been dormant inside of you for years

You see, good intentions, preparation and efforts are all important but they will only have great value when you “ship” them – talents, skills, gifts and work – to help and bless others and glorify God.

God has endowed you with precious resources, talents and abilities, but have you started to convert them into your unique vehicles to make a positive difference in people’s lives?

You have it in you to bless people and honor God. Now ship all that God has lovingly imbued in so you can be His reflection of love, kindness, generosity, forgiveness and hope. 

There are gifts in our lives whose highest purpose will be served when we give them away. Ship them now. 🙂 

Love, Gratitude

 Image source: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/gratitude-beach.png

Image source: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/gratitude-beach.png

Dear <please insert your name here>,

The Amplified Bible richly captures 1 Timothy 6 in this way:

 [And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of [a]inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.

A person will really gain much from living with the intent to please and honor the Lord. Beyond our works and the products of our efforts, God treasures a person’s heart the most. This is how one can produce the best fruits and efforts of a lifetime.  Godliness is the kind of life that reflects God’s character, honoring what He honors, and despising and turning away from what dishonors Him. It really starts inside a person’s heart. This verse, I believe, has the power to catapult us into how God wants us to live our lives, and it is powered by gratitude:

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

We are called to express our gratitude to the Lord in all circumstances. If this is the Lord’s will for us, then it means that He can enable us to live this way.  As we depend on Him for strength, wisdom and power, the Lord will be able to do the impossible in and through us. A life that praises and gives thanks to God is a life that honors and obeys Him.

 Obedience always brings blessings and when we walk in His will, He will bless us in surprising ways. Obedience to God is the way to godliness and when we live to walk in His ways,  contentment will automatically follow. With contentment, we will be able to treasure our blessings from the sufficiency and abundance of what God has planted in each season of our lives. A  life of contentment will put an end to vain, selfish quests and  stop us from obsessing about what seems to be missing in our lives.  Instead of coveting what other people have, we celebrate what we do have, and give thanks to God for how He has blessed us.

Every season has a long list of gifts we must be thankful to God for. When we start to thank Him for these blessings, we will begin to give/contribute to others from a heart that’s overflowing with peace, joy and fullness of life, and not merely give out of wanting to get, be filled and complete. Our wholeness can only be found in Christ. And in Him, we are complete. We lack no good thing. With this, we are always in the position to bless others. 🙂

Let a grateful heart begin to enrich your life in so many ways. This year, pray for godliness and contentment and resolve to live a life of obedience and thanksgiving. 🙂

Love,

Gratitude

Battery Life

Be connected to Him this week and every week thereafter! Have a great week ahead 🙂

Lunching & Launching

phone battery image

It was only today that I realized I have this quirk linked to charging my cellphone and gadgets. My phone battery was already 99% full this afternoon but for some reason, I had thoughts of plugging it into the power outlet just so I would not experience it being drained again. I’ve observed that many times even with my other gadgets. One time, even if the battery was still 60% charged, I flew into a quest just to find my Ipad charger to be sure that when it has already gone down to 40%, I can start charging again. I am not that much of a techie person but some people I know are, and they have warned me about how charging ahead of the appropriate time (20% battery life left I think) can interrupt the electronic circuitry of the phone.

Then I did not expect that this question would…

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Battery Life

phone battery image

It was only today that I realized I have this quirk linked to charging my cellphone and gadgets. My phone battery was already 99% full this afternoon but for some reason, I had thoughts of plugging it into the power outlet just so I would not experience it being drained again. I’ve observed that many times even with my other gadgets. One time, even if the battery was still 60% charged, I flew into a quest just to find my Ipad charger to be sure that when it has already gone down to 40%, I can start charging again. I am not that much of a techie person but some people I know are, and they have warned me about how charging ahead of the appropriate time (20% battery life left I think) can interrupt the electronic circuitry of the phone.

Then I did not expect that this question would pop out in my head…

“Rica, do you also feel the same way about your relationship with God? Do you always recognize your need to be connected to Him every second, every hour, everyday?”

Though I need your advice regarding the world of gadget-charging, I am here to talk about something that just dawned on me earlier today. I honestly never thought that God can use phone battery charging to teach me a valuable lesson. It’s probably one of the most surprising revelations I have ever had.

How connected are you to God everyday? Do you have a strong need in your heart to be connected to our ultimate power and strength Source? Have you taken action on that need?

We should all do a better job in being plugged into Him than how I’ve been with my premature need to charge my phone everyday. I heard through a sermon podcast I was listening to this morning that if there is one thing that God cannot do, it’s being second. Therefore, He should be our first priority and He should receive the first fruits of all that He has given us. I am not just talking about tithing.

Putting Him first, honoring His cause and His preferences should shine through our thoughts, motives, work and lifestyle. If there’s something that we should not live with out, it’s this – His presence.Be connected to Him. Constantly supercharge your life through being fully aware of His sovereign presence.

I need to be constantly reminded of the message of this post everyday. We all need to hear this. We all need to live this out.

How is your life’s battery doing? Are you on low-battery mode with the real need to recharge? Know that God loves you so much that He can meet you wherever you are in your walk with Him.

Forget the counterfeit sources of power, peace, fulfilment, comfort, strength and happiness. There is only one true Source for these and all other good, beautiful things.

God is the ultimate power source we should never unplug from.

Three lessons I had to relearn from this season, +1 from Carrie Underwood.

 

Image

If only I can turn back time, and  lived these out during the times I should have… but I am so thankful, because God is in the business of redeeming even our past blunders, wrong turns and turning them into our life testimonies that can glorify Him and encourage others. May these three lessons I relearned this season guide you in pursuing the call God has uniquely and joyfully crafted for you! 🙂

 

SAYING NO CAN BE THE WISEST THING YOU CAN DO.  We’re not here to please everyone. We only have an audience of One – God. And He will  be pleased when we move in faith, and not out of excitement, impulsion or fear. Basing it on emotions alone is also  not healthy. We should treat our YES very precious. It should only be reserved for the direction God wants us to take or the people He wants us to grow with in relationships. Yes, you may do things out of kindness or courtesy, but it does not necessarily mean that it’s the way God wants us to express His virtues, His character, His heart. It is all about obedience to His voice. We should stay within the sphere that God has given us in our lives. We should honor the boundaries of His will for us. The boundaries are not to restrict us. They were made for us to honor so that we can have the freedom to flourish into the magnificent life He wants us to live. Sometimes the best help we can offer is prayer, and not rushing into a scenario thinking right away that we were the only ones called to save the world. It takes humility and wisdom to know if God is sending you to a particular battle or not. When He confirms that He wants you to be there, not only to pray about a situation, but also  to help or serve, remember that the victory has already been won on His cross. Walk in the victory He has already won for you 🙂

 

GO &  MOVE IN FAITH! DO NOT SHRINK IN FEAR. Fear not and be courageous. You have God on your side. Go after that, which He uses to make your heart sing. Go after the dreams He has placed in your heart.  It can be in the form (this is usually the case) of the cause He so carefully placed in Your heart, or a passion for  architecture, writing, teaching…whatever talents He has hardwired in you.  Study how your life has evolved and pay attention to moments when excellence and deep delight were there. I am sure there have been many times when God spoke to you about something He has been wanting you to do. Do not bury your talents. Your God-given passion is there for a reason. Hide it and you will lose the opportunity to glorify God and help others. You were beautifully, wonderfully made by God. Embrace how He has created you. You are beautiful. Your talents matter in the way He wants to bring people to Him, to save them and elevate them to their God-sized destiny. 🙂

SOW IN HIS HIS SPIRIT. We can be people who rush into things in our own strength, without even considering what God has to say about them. Striving, endless laboring and burnout, these are signs of a self-driven life. Forgetting that it is only through Christ that we can do all things. We may have, at many points in our lives,  started, proceeded with and ended days without prayer and asking the Lord for wisdom and discernment so we can let His priorities be ours too everyday. Let’s invite the Holy Spirit into every area of our lives, daily. This is the habit of a grace-empowered, highly effective person who has yielded his/her life to Him. Apart from God we are nothing. Our efforts will be meaningless, no matter how the world may salute them, if they are not done in the strength and grace only He can give. 

I do not mean to be cheesy, but Carrie Underwood did remind me about this truth. Jesus should really take the wheel. 🙂

You want to be reminded of the lyrics? 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lydBPm2KRaU&feature=kp