Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thank You

As most of you know, I have recently finished my very first Deployment. I've been back State Side for roughly a month and a half now and I gotta say... it's been quite an adjustment. I usually really take time on writing my blogs on wanting to have it formatted a certain way but I'm going to go out on a limb and just go off of what the good Lord has put in my heart and just write from it.

Last year on my Birthday (April 24th 2011) was probably one of the worse days I've come across in life. I drove up to Alaska with one of my Best Friends (Ronnie Manansala), just got to a brand new state (though I feel like I'm in another country) not knowing ANYONE and Ronnie had to leave that Friday Night for an important family event. This year was something different because my Birthday fell on Easter Sunday that year but... I had no church to go to, no one to celebrate with, I was alone without any family or friends and received a phone call that very same day on how a good friend of mine from my ROTC Program which was one of my mentee's died. Two days later I received news that was... Well... Shocking to say the least. I met my Company Commander and was informed that I was going to be Deployed. April 26th 2011 hands down at that moment marked probably the darkest day of my life. All I could think is I'm moving to a completely new state to make a new place of living only to be told that I'm picking right back up and deploying within the next month. I'm not going to ramble on with the rest of the story (That's what my older blogs are for Lol) but this is just to give you the set up. Just a few pics to give you an idea of what I've done the past year...

My Medics 

In a Nutshell... What we did over the past 10 months

A Fellow Co-Worker and Sister in Christ

Our 1st Mission

One of the Local Nationals (Photographed by my PSG Tyvieo Woods)

Fast Forward to the present June 14th 2012 and here I stand a better and stronger man of GOD. I look back at the time I did in Afghanistan and I have to say the man upstairs used it to grow me in ways I could not POSSIBLY imagine. I have been asked on several occasions... "How did you get through it?! How did you handle everything?!" To answer your question... I really have no answer but to say "It was NOTHING SHORT of the GRACE OF ALMIGHTY GOD!" I will be honest and tell you that I had many more bad days than good however, the Lord used those challenging days to strengthen me and get me through the good ones. I look back and to this day I still have no idea how I got through it. I literally had to take on the challenge by handling it one day at a time and learned this Biblical Principle EXTREMELY fast.

Matthew 6:34

So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own

Between learning to deal with everything on a daily basis and having the strength of the good Lord himself in me, he also blessed me with a wonderful support system. From my Great Parents, Loving Sister, Phenomenal Girl Friend, Extended Family (Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts and Cousins) and the Best Friends I could have and ask for, I say to you... "Thank You!"

My Family whom encouraged me on a weekly basis. Who heard me and embraced my frustration and continued to believe the VERY best in me. Thank You for your LOVE, support and Care Packages. I truly could not have asked for better parents and a better Sister that think so highly of me and continue to push me to be my very best at all times.

My Sweet Heart. Behind GOD and my Parents, she was a Rock throughout the whole 10 months I was Over Seas. Your motivation, encouragement and FAITH in me goes far beyond words. Thank You so very much Juby for giving me such HOPE in the midst of such a trying time. You are MY blessing and I thank our Heavenly Father for you.

Anneline, James, Ronnie and Monique (The Newest Member of our Family). I don't even know how to start on how to Thank You for what you've done and been a part of in my life. Thank You for being such wonderful Brothers and Sisters in Christ and constantly being there for me no matter how far the distance. Finding people like you in life only comes so often and I don't take it for granted so THANK YOU!

To Jordon and Ms. Kay Keys. No matter how long we go on through life, I know you guys will ALWAYS be there for me as you have. Thank you so much for your Prayers and support. I have sensed them from you guys since Day 1 and I appreciate it. LOVE you two so very much.

My Ate Lan & Queenie Mae. EVERY single conversation I have with you ladies is nothing short of a blessing. You guys have been so supportive and encouraging through such a difficult time and I am EXTREMELY grateful for such Women of GOD that hold great Wisdom and LOVE for others.

Ms. Cherylita a.k.a. Pretty Wings! Thank You so very much friend for your support and care packages which bought me much joy and laughter. Such a Joy to have you as a part of my life and I thank You for all you do.

My FBCV Fam. Man... You guys have absolutely NO IDEA the impact you hold in my life. It's already been a little over 4 years since I've known you guys and to say how Thankful I am to have come across you guys path does not even begin to express my gratitude. Thank You for your LOVE, Support, encouragement and ALWAYS believing and expecting the very best of me. 

And to the Infamous Chanelle Molina... I have not even met you, yet and I sense such support at such a distance which takes a gift. Thank You for pushing me to be the best and for sending me your treats! Lol As simplistic as it sounds, you have no idea how much that meant getting such things in the mail and that comes from the heart so I appreciate it so very much.

To anyone who has supported me, Thank You EVERYONE for ALL you have done for me the past year. You guys have no idea the impact you have established in my life and for that I am so grateful and can NOT thank our Heavenly Father enough for all you have done. You guys are my Blessing and I don't take anything and anyone of you for granted. Continue to be blessed all and know that I am here for every single one of you as you have been for me. To GOD BE THE GLORY!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


This past weekend I had the opportunity to witness something.  Something very special. I was able to fly to Dallas this weekend and see my girlfriends brother (Jobin) get married.  And it was wonderful.  There, I met their extended family for the 1st time and I must say I was actually pretty nervous.  Juby picks me up from the airport, takes me back to her brothers place where I meet two of their cousins and of course, stuck my chess out, shoulders back and with confidence went up to them and introduced myself. Still being somewhat nervous, they shook my hand, smiled back and introduced themselves to me.  Though at 1st it took a few minutes to start a conversation (because everyone was changing getting ready for the wedding) once someone spoke, the conversation took off.

1 Peter 2:17

Respect everyone, and LOVE your christian brothers and sisters.  Fear GOD, and respect the King.

As we headed out to the church, Jobin asked me to drive one of the cars where Daniel and Ashlin (Juby and Jobin's cousins) accompanied me.  During the ride we simply began to talk and started to get to know each other.  We pull up to the church, unpack the cars of the things we need for the wedding and went inside one of the rooms to change.  In the room was a piano (which I hadn't played in months) so I began to play as the groom and groomsmen changed.  One of the songs I was playing was a familiar sound when all of a sudden I heard Ashlin come up from behind me and start singing along with the tune.  We instantly made a connection and next thing you know, Daniel began to sing as well. We began to sing song after song from one to the other and come to find out they both play instruments in which we could have easily began a whole worship session.  That very moment was the same moment that allowed us to connect and LOVE each other as believers in  Christ and to honor the people of GOD.  It was simply Beautiful.

(Ashlin, Juby & Daniel)

Acts 28:2

The local inhabitants showed us extraordinary kindness, for they built a fire and welcomed us all because it had started to rain and was cold.

Now... Don't misinterpret what I'm about to say.  No it wasn't raining and I wasn't in the cold and they didn't build me a fire BUT, they welcomed me into their home and showed me EXTRAORDINARY Kindness.  I could have needed to stay at a Hotel and they didn't have to include me in on their FAMILY festivities but they did.  Before everyone left, Daniel said: "Man... I don't wanna go back home. Why can't every day be like this?" and when he said that, it made me realize why I had such a great time with them.  Though I wasn't with "MY" FAMILY, they made me feel so welcomed and inclusive that simply being around a FAMILY atmosphere brought such Joy to my heart.  It made me not only appreciate the time I was able to spend with my Juby and her FAMILY but how grateful I am for my own. 

I arrived at the airport, said my goodbyes to Juby, her brother Jobin and his wife Ina.  As we departed and as I started walking to my gate, I thought about how much fun I had with the FAMILY.  I left Dallas and arrived in Seattle for my connecting flight back to Fairbanks Alaska.  I moved to the next gate, boarded the plane and say in my seat.  I then began to think about how much I already missed Juby and her FAMILY because I had such a great time with them that I wanted to hear from my own.  I called my Mom just to say hi and said: "Hey! What are you doing?!" She responded "Hey Honey! I'm at the fair with your Father and the cousins. How are you?!" I don't know what it was but when she asked that, it made me miss her and my FAMILY more and my eyes began to water and I responded as best as I could (without her knowing I was about to cry) "I'm good Mom! Just wanted to say hi and let you know how much I LOVE and miss you.  Were about to take off so I'll call when I land" Mom answers: "Ok Babe! We LOVE and miss you too.  So much. Bye Sweetheart!" and before I speak, I choke, wipe the tears from my face, take a deep breath and as best as I knew how I said "Ok Mom, LOVE you too" and hung up.

Lamentations 3:22

The Lord's loyal kindness never ceases; his compassions never end.

I said this to say that as much as I miss my FAMILY, I was so fortunate to spend my last weekend before I deploy with someone I care about deeply and her FAMILY.  My time spent with them reminded me how our Heavenly Fathers Kindness NEVER ceases and that his compassion NEVER ends.  Do I miss her, her FAMILY and the time I've had with my FAMILY and best friends? You better believe I do.  But GOD is with me at ALL times and I am just overwhelmed with tears of Joy (even as I write this) that GOD's kindness over flows through the people he's put in my life whether I'm home, in Houston, Dallas, Alaska or even Afghanistan.  In my life, my GOD is lifted high and as best as I can and know how to, I will continue to keep him the center of my life knowing that he is my passion and my portion.  So Thank You Heavenly Father for your LOVE, Kindness and compassion (whether it's directly from you or through our LOVED ones) and thank you LORD, for FAMILY.


Sunday, June 26, 2011


I've been in Alaska now for over 2 months and each week has been a growing and learning experience.  The past couple weeks I have struggled with Fear. Not so much of Fear of knowing where GOD is going to take me or IF he's going to take me but... Fear of loosing the relationships I've gained with others as GOD takes me on a new Journey.  Much of what I will write is between what I have learned from Brian Houston (Pastor of Hillsong Church) and Joyce Meyer. I only HOPE to simply share with you what I've learned from them and How relevant it has not only been to me, but even you.

My Heavenly Father has blessed me far beyond I can possibly imagine with the people he has placed in my life. Everyone from my Parents, my Sister, Extended Family, Best Friends, my Girlfriend, and of course, my Church Family. I can easily go on and on with the wonderful amazing Kingdom Minded People GOD has placed in my life.  So I want to take a moment and share with you some of who they are.

As You can see, GOD has truly given me the best people you can ever come across in life.  

2 Corinthians 8:14

Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need.  Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it.  In this way, things will be equal.

I truly believe with my whole heart that GOD puts people in our lives to grow towards him. There are many passages in the Bible that talks about it from: Where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them or, As Iron Sharpens Iron, man sharpens man and the How it takes EVERYONE to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ because where one may lack, the other may strengthen hence... "United... WE STAND" However, there are times where we need our own moment with GOD himself.

Luke 14:26-27

If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison-your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters-yes, even your own life.  Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.  And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

Many times we want a special someone to sit right by our side as we view the scenery of GOD (His Plan for us).  This is probably one of the most controversial versus in the Bible but we need to grasp this from a place of understanding. Under NO circumstances does this allow us to Disregard people and above all to stop "LOVING" People but, if we want to do what Jesus calls us to do we have to go where he is.  When we look back on and think about the many wonderful great things Jesus did for "People", under NO circumstances did he let Mary, Martha, his Disciples etc "People" STOP him from fulfilling GOD's will. We have to decide sometimes that we are going to live above the fickleness and NOT get pulled into peoples smallness (even at Church Life and our own Family and Friends) at the cost of doing what GOD has called us to do.  That many times... those who LOVE us most, are the very same people that may be distracting us from the calling of GOD and on top of that... they don't even realize it.  Which is why it is so important that we stay Vertical in Christ and must be cautious and AWARE of what GOD is trying to do in our lives.  That we not only NOT be distracted by Others, but mindful that WE Ourselves are not a distraction to someone else (Our LOVED ones) so they can fulfill their purpose and the will of GOD.   

Psalm 119:125

Give discernment to me, your servant; then I will understand your laws.

What goes on in life that causes us to be completely oblivious to some things in our lives?  That we can live our life completely oblivious to the fact that we are unaware to important things that relate to the purpose of GOD.  So, pray for discernment meaning... AWARENESS.  

Proverbs 1:32

For simpletons turn away from me-to death.  Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.  

UnAWARENESS won't necessarily just kill you, but it will kill our potential and our blessings in Christ. 

John 12:26

Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am.  And the Father will honor ANYONE who serves me.

Sometimes... it just needs to be YOU and GOD with NO ONE Else.  Don't let what GOD has called you to do (People), Distract you from what GOD has called you to do (which are people).  And without realizing it, for months, maybe even years, I've done this very thing.  That me being in Alaska and now going to Afghanistan, has taught me not only how fortunate I am to have those who choose to keep in touch with me but that I have had to rely on no one else but GOD and realizing that when I have him? He is ALL I need.  I had to be pulled away from those whom I LOVE most because GOD is calling me to do his will.  Though I LOVE my Family, my best friends, my girl friend, my Church Fam and my Dance Fam, I can't let the people around me distract me from reaching the people around me.  That as much as I am LOVED by Others and as much as I do my ALL in Christ to consistently LOVE Others and Fellowship with them as best as I know how, there has to be a BALANCE in how much I rely on the people of GOD, and GOD himself when it comes to serving him and giving my ALL to him.  I can't overuse the wonderful people GOD has blessed me with nor not use them at all. At the end of the day, I need to achieve and maintain a BALANCE.  For I CAN NOT and WILL NOT live outside of the will of GOD. If I want to go where Jesus goes, I have to be where he is.  


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Resilient + Growth = Overcomer

Life is full of events.  Some are good, some are bad but in everything you endure, the key is to learn from it.  When we learn from it, we can practice it. When we practice it, we become better at it. And when we become better at something than where we were before, it shows that we GROW from it.  

Many times in life when we endure a trial or tribulation we tend to see things in Black and White.  It's one way or the other. We ask questions such as "Why didn't it happen this way and not that way?" We easily get tunnel visioned and look at what we don't have.

James 1:14-15

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.  These desires give birth to sinful actions. and when sin is allowed to GROW, it gives birth to death.  

Black & White Mentality: It is easy to place any type of blame on others and make excuse for evil thoughts and wrong actions.  We use excuses such as: (1) It's the other person's fault, (2) I couldn't help it, (3) it was just a mistake etc.  That a person who makes excuses is trying to shift the blame from him/herself to something or someone else and NOT taking responsibility for his/her own actions, confess them and ask GOD for forgiveness.

During the past month of being geographically separated from the ones I LOVE most, I've had much time to GROW in Christ.  Between being away from my LOVED ones, adapting to a new place of living by myself, enduring the death of a good friend and mentally and spiritually preparing myself to now go to Afghanistan for 10 months has taught me that I needed two things. Patience, and Peace.  My relationship with Christ has deepened and my Prayer Life has Increased Tremendously.  

2nd Corinthians 8:12

Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly.  And give according to what YOU HAVE, not what YOU DON'T HAVE.

Black & White w/ Color Mentality: This very verse shows that there is no FAITH in starting to get locked in what you do not have.  The greatness of GOD does not come out of what you DON'T have but comes out of what you DO have.  Once I realized that me being away from my Family and best friends wasn't the problem, once I realized a good friend of mine who passed away wasn't the problem, and once I realized that even my deployment was not the problem but that it was me, Things started to STOP looking so... "Black & White" and began to see a little bit of color (The Bigger Picture).  As I began to allow GOD to GROW me, I began to slowly OVERCOME my situation.  

Galatians 6:9

So let's not get tired of doing what is good.  At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.  

When we have those times in our lives and have... a spirit of "Being Weary", we have to realize that is is NOT just a feeling you get when you wake up one morning.  You GROW Weary and we must decide to persist and look to Jesus.  Hence as it says in the verse to NOT get tired of doing what is good. Don't GROW WEARY! 

2 Peter 3:18

I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends.  Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing.  Rather, you must GROW in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Color Mentality:  For Those who trust in the Lord will fine new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not GROW weary. They will walk and not faint. When we Stop making excuses and take responsibility for our own actions, thoughts, way of thinking, that's when we can allow GOD to GROW us.  And when we GROW in Christ, we can OVERCOME anything in him.  That if we stop seeing things so "Black & White" and see the bigger picture, we'll realize that it takes even dark colors to paint a masterpiece.  An OVERCOMER will NEVER live out of what they DON'T HAVE.  The moment you get worked up by what you DON'T have, is the same moment you stop building HOPE. So I encourage you, in whatever you are facing, to become a RESILIENT believer. For a RESILIENT believer is a GROWING Believer. And a GROWING Believer, is an OVERCOMING Believer.  


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Faith + Patience = Endurance

It's been a while since I've written an article and since my last one, a lot has happened in my life in which I will mention right now and what GOD has been doing to this day.

The past couple weeks have been rough.  I've been battling against myself for quite some time in my own mind. Believe it or not, for the 1st time in my life, thoughts of: Thinking less of myself, thinking I'm not capable of doing something, not knowing GOD's plan and because I don't know it I then doubt myself.  Yes... All of these thoughts amongst so many more have occurred to me sadly multiple times the past month (especially the past few days).  So as you continue to read, I ask that you be patient with where I'm going with this. I AM a work in progress

Romans 12:2

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let GOD transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will learn to know GOD's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Like a tree, Amazing how empty, dry, and unfulfilled we can feel when we try to do things on our own (a "thing of this world").  Difficult to grow seeds of LOVE, Joy, Kindness, Peace, etc when we don't allow the Holy Spirit to be a part of us.  

Galatians 5:22

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: LOVE, Joy, Peace, PATIENCE, Kindness, Goodness, FAITHfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.  There is NO law against these things!

I just recently finished my training in San Antonio, Texas at FT Sam Houston learning about my Job Occupation being a Medical Planner in the ARMY.  My Current Duty Station is Alaska and I have to say, the short 3 months that I have been in has gotten me to think quite a bit.  Recently, I've questioned my future (as far as, what specifically do I want to do with it) and for the 1st time in my life... I absolutely have no idea.  And that? For me, bothered me. Because I ALWAYS was a person to have a plan in life and after speaking with my Dad, he reminded me that it's spiritual warfare.  Because during my time of not knowing what I want to do with what's to come, I didn't even have a desire to ask GOD to guide me. I got so caught up and frustrated in feeling less than, I DID NOT want to go to Christ and ask for his wisdom and direction.  The moment my Dad helped me identify this, he said "Mark... that's the enemy working on you. Clearly your doing something right because he's doing all he can to prevent you from GOD's blessing".  The moment he said that, I began to shed a few tears realizing I turned my back on my Heavenly Father.  

Colossians 1:11-12

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the ENDURANCE and PATIENCE you need.  May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father.  He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.

We are more than capable of accomplishing and achieving anything in life but this scripture clearly tells us we CAN'T do it by ourselves.  That we need the "Glorious POWER" in order to gain the ability of ENDURANCE and receive PATIENCE to accomplish all GOD has in store.  That at times, we need to take a seat, Let Go and Let GOD.  I had to get myself back to the basics and remind myself of not just "Who I am" (In Christ) but... "Who's I am".  That I can be CONFIDENT in Jesus Christ's CONFIDENCE.

I just moved to Alaska a little over a week ago and GOD gave me the privilege of blessing me with one of my Best Friends to come with me.  I was more than fortunate to have Ronnie with me because going to a new environment where none of your LOVED ones are there was scary for me.  Not having those you've grown to LOVE around as well as not having your fellow Christian Community of believers truly broke me down to the point of tears many times.  Within my 1st week in my new place of living, I spent my Birthday by myself on the same day as Easter and one of my really good friends passed away unexpectedly.  At this point, I had multiple different emotions flowing through my head.  Two days later beginning my in-processing on base, I meet my Unit and then discover I'm being deployed to Afghanistan less than a month for a year.  I went back to my room not knowing what to do and how to tell those I LOVE I'm leaving once again.  I was Angry, Bitter, Upset, Sad, Scared, Speechless and above all else... Overwhelmed. 

Psalm 25:4 

Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.

The road to serve Jesus Christ is definitely not an easy one (and no one ever said it would be).  However the key is that we have to want to be guided and realize that GOD's primary guidance system is in his Word.  Though many times we are tempted (like myself this entire time) demand answers, instead we must ask for direction and be willing to seek GOD.  Though ALL I've been enduring is a surprise to me, It's no surprise to him.  We don't need to know what GOD is going to do and when he's going to do it. All we need to know is that he is with us, and that whatever it is he's going to do, HE WILL DO IT!  He may not always show up on OUR time but he ALWAYS shows up ON Time.  I don't have perfect FAITH but believe and know that I admit it and pray to GOD on the daily (sometimes more than once on the same day) for him to help me in it.  As Joyce Meyer says "Jesus Christ didn't die on the cross so you can live insecure for the rest of your life".  For in myself... I'm NO-Thing but in Christ... I'm EVERYTHING.  

Romans 5:3-5

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And ENDURANCE develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this HOPE will not lead to disappointment.  For we know how dearly GOD LOVES us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his LOVE.  


Monday, January 24, 2011

A "RADICAL" Experience

So every year when I go back home for the Winter Break, my Church back home FBCV (Faith Bible Church of Vallejo) host a Winter Camp Martin Luther King Weekend every year since 2006.  I know at this point your probably thinking to yourself.... "Wow! Another blog about Winter Camp?" And the Answer is... YES! Another Article about Winter Camp.  There is always a theme to every year and every year I am constantly blown away by the things my Heavenly Father bless me with.

Luke 9:23-24

Then he said to the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.  But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.

I have two very close friends to me.  Matter of fact, they're more than "close" they're definitely two of my best named Jordon and Kayla.  I have known them since High School so we have been in each others lives going on 5 years and it has been a wonderful experience to have them as a part of my life.  For the past couple years I have been trying to get them to come with me to Winter Camp up in Lake Tahoe with my Church and unfortunately due to personal things, I never got the privilege of having them with me during such a wonderful experience... until Now.

They came to Winter Camp because they wanted to spend my very last two days in California with me before I left to go back to Texas (which was very thoughtful) but... GOD had other plans in mind and I praise him for using me to fulfill his will.  In the past couple years, Jordon and Kayla have struggled in having a "Community" of believers to fellowship with at all times and I speak from personal experience knowing their very exact feelings.  Needless to say, I was more than ecstatic to have them come with me to this Winter Camp Retreat because I knew exactly what they would get out of it. Actually... I didn't, because it surpassed the expectations I was holding in which they got more than what I anticipated for them to receive.  But it's always like GOD to show up and show out.  

We had the distinct pleasure of having a young man named "Pastor Ting Wang" as our special guest speaker and let me tell you when I say, GOD truly has put an anointing on this Gentleman.  We had quite a few 1 Hour Q & A sessions in which we can ask him anything.  People asked questions from... "How do you deal with an Atheist? Is it a Sin if you have a "Wet Dream"? Do you believe in speaking in Tongues? etc" And he answered every single question.  But it's not the fact that he answered every question, but he answered it with Scripture.  Being able to instantly on the spot refer to any book in the Bible in which talks about the very subject that was asked about.  That very thing right there encouraged and inspired me in so many ways because at no point in time do I ever want to get myself at a point in life where I can't endure something or stand up for my FAITH due to lack of knowing.  There is absolutely no reason, as a follower in Christ why we shouldn't be able to do the same.

Psalm 118:8

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people.

On the very last night, everyone has the opportunity to speak in front of others and share with them a Testimony.  It could be about anything in which your voice can be heard and that GOD may bless someone using your story.  I am very proud to say that both Kayla and Jordon individually got up and spoke in front of the whole group expressing their very feelings and how GOD changed and answered their very prayer on how important fellowship is.  Both of them had a moment where they began to cry because of how moved they were with the whole experience GOD had blessed them with.  It was at that very moment that when I saw them cry, I broke down myself and let tears of joy roll down my face.  If you've read any of my earlier articles, I talked about how important it is that as we continue to grow in Christ, we must find ourselves a "Community" of believers whom we are equally yolked with in order to continuously grow in him.  

Ephesians 4:2-3

Always be humble and gentle.  Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your LOVE.  Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.  

I have no shame in saying that as I watched my best friends break down, I broke down with them because that was a very distinct moment (for all of us).  I believe it's very safe to say that the three of us in that moment had an "Epiphany" because we all realized how much GOD had truly grown us.  I have known Kayla and Jordon for almost 5 years now and I have never seen them at such a Vulnerable state the way I saw that very weekend but it was simply Beautiful because it was that moment in which GOD changed their heart in order for them to serve him for his glory.  And as a brother in Christ to them, I know GOD has truly been growing me because I was so touched to witness their Conviction.  You will come to find in life that as you grow in Christ, your LOVED ones Struggles are your Struggles but... on the other extreme, your LOVED ones blessings are your blessings.  And THAT, was the very reason why that weekend January 14th-17th 2011 was truly A "RADICAL" Experience.  The three of us along with many others from our church walked away with so much more insight in our relationship with Christ.  It really humbled us showing us that we have so much more we need to learn and know if we want to continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.  But I am still very proud of myself at where I've come in Christ because I am NOT the same where I was at last year, 6 months ago or even one month ago.  I praise GOD for enduring such A "RADICAL" Experience to get back in tune with the very plan my Heavenly Father has in store for me in which I can touch others and give him ALL THE GLORY.   


Thursday, January 20, 2011


Just 3 days ago, I came back from another Winter Camp retreat with my Church up in South Lake Tahoe.  We spoke amongst many things up there but one thing that was a true highlight for me was our WORSHIP.  Talk about GOD's Divine Intervention because he put two people in my life that had a grave influence on me and changed the way I look at music and how I can worship freely for my Heavenly Father.  Between the teachings of Pastor Ting Wang I learned this past weekend and what I've learned in the past from Pastor Marcos Witt, I am going to share with you what I have learned.

Jesus wants to teach mankind the fountains and springs of life.  Why should I be a WORSHIPper and why is the father seeking worshippers?  These questions will be addressed with three different points.

1.)  WORSHIPping GOD keeps things in perspective

Psalm 46:10

Be still, and know that I am GOD!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the World.

We "BOW DOWN" to keep GOD Bigger.  Sometimes we need to stop fighting, relax and just stand there.  Be still and know that GOD is GOD.  To reverently honor him and his power and majesty.  

2.)  WORSHIPping GOD helps keep me with a spirit of Thanksgiving

Psalm 100:4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise.  
Give thanks to him and praise his name.

GOD alone is worthy of being WORSHIPed.  It's good to praise GOD for what he has done and what continues to do, but what about praising GOD simply for who he is?  This psalm right here reminds us of GOD's goodness and dependability, and then to worship with thanksgiving and praise.  

3.)  WORSHIP mobilizes GOD's armies in my favor

Judges 7:20-21

Then all three groups blew their horns and broke their jars.  They held the blazing torches int heir left hands and the horns in their right hands, and they all shouted,"A sword for the lORD and for Gideon!" Each man stood at his position around the camp and watched as all the Midianites rushed around in a panic, shouting as they ran to escape.  

This story of Gideon was for GOD to demonstrate to Israel that victory does not come from man's own strength or the number of people we may hold, but being obedient and committed to GOD whom gives us the ability to do all things so he gets all the glory.  

This man and his girlfriend Queenie for some reason saw something in me that I didn't.  We began to talk about different styles of music and how I use to be on the Praise and WORSHIP team for my high school and hadn't done it in over 5 years.  As we began to talk, we eventually made our way towards the instruments and began to sing songs of Praise.  We started around 12:15 in the morning and as we began to worship for GOD, many of our friends began to gather around us.  What started as just two grew to 3, 6 and eventually there were about 15 men and woman of GOD surrounding the Piano WORSHIPping together as one.  And let me tell you that GOD was in that place because we went all the way through till 3:45 in the morning!  I've "lead" WORSHIP before but to be in the presence of so many Kingdom Minded People to all live and serve for a greater purpose than ourselves is beyond compared.  I have never gone for over 3 hours of WORSHIP and the whole thing was not rehearsed.  Ryan and I have never worked together but everything simply flowed together and was more than just singing but eventually even lead to free WORSHIP!  That night I tapped into something that I never knew I was capable of in which I can glorify GOD.  And I am so thankful that GOD sent Ryan and Queenie to continue to push me in which I can truly freely PRAISE GOD without holding back because GOD is worth my all, not just a little.  

It's so important that we mediate on the and think about the goodness of GOD, his state of mind and remember them frequently.  What does WORSHIP Mean?  WORSHIP simply means "The placing of 'WORTH' on someone or something"  How much is GOD worth to you?  When it comes to serving and WORSHIPing, many don't know which one takes priority.  It's great to serve others.  In fact, it's one of the many things we are called to do as Children of GOD but service to Others without WORSHIP involved just becomes "Good Deeds".  It's Great to do "Good Deeds" but even unbelievers carry out acts of Good Deeds.  You place your "WORTH" on GOD through fellowship and the time you spend with him individually.  When you WORSHIP GOD from the right place, it's easy to want to serve GOD.  Serve GOD because you LOVE to serve GOD.  As great as it is to WORSHIP GOD with songs of praise, let's not forget that it's a Lifestyle.

For many will serve without WORSHIP BUT, It is IMPOSSIBLE to WORSHIP without Serving.