So GREAT; Exhausting yet Uplifting!
This is how most people who attended SIG Conference yesterday feels. The long travel, the hassles of waking up early, the preparation & all have been dragging, but at the end of the day, we all are so filled with vibrancy, zealous & love! Blessed as we say, for being a part of this community & for being chosen to take part of this experience.
This conference was held in Flora Creek Hotel, Dubai UAE, it was opened with a rosary. Morning Session was taken care by the Northern Emirates (Dubai & Sharjah), for the morning worship & hosted by Brother Don Cruz & Sis Liza Ballesteros. While afternoon session was for the Southern Emirates (Abu Dhabi & Al Ain) with yours truly (JM -Julie Mae Bacus) & Bro. Christian Cagulada as hosts & the Praise Fest.
Sessions 1 -4 were delivered by Tito Benjie Gadi & Tito Pancho Lopez-Tan respectively with the special sharing from their better haves Tita Elaine & Tita Marilyn.
The 4 Cs – The Fervor of our First Love
Christ Centered. Called as Couples. Called to Care for the Children. Called to Community.
As it was written in the bible, we are all called by God even from our mother’s womb. He has given our names & has given us a purpose. What we need to do is to live according to the plan & purpose of the father, so we could live a happy, meaning & purposeful life.
Although most of us feel that we have our own priorities; to assist our family, to take care of our husband/wife or children, and to mingle with friends, these are definitely in the list, but organizing our thoughts, contemplating & realizing that we have to keep the fervor of our First Love, the Call & responding to our Destiny is essential in having Christ as the very centre of our life and the top most priority.
As the Prophet Jeremiah says:” For I know that plans I have in you, plans to prosper you & not to harm you, plans to give you future filled of hope” (Jer. 29:11)
Living out our Call
You are my servant, to whom I show my glory. God has always been ironic in his statements, He seemed offensive in most of his gospel, but if we look at the deeper meaning of it, we realize that what he actually means was to give us hope.
A Light & a mirror that’s what we are. We are called “Light of the World”. How?
It is when we become witnesses of the Lord. Sharing our life in the community, sharing our stories to others with God’s Strength within us permits us to contribute our blessings, for these stories could inspire them especially in their troubled times. God has used us, used us well that we are called to share his mission.
But most of the time we question our capability, our worth in serving him, at times, we are afraid to commit, for we think we are not enough, just a timely reminder in the talk that, it’s not about ME, it’s not the “ME attitude” it’s only saying “YES” and He will do the rest.
God has neither hands, nor feet or eyes to do his will, so he uses a person (like us) to fulfill his mission. Our eyes will be his eyes, our hands, his and our whole being as Him. That is why when a person calls or invites us for an activity related to Him, our mind set should be, He/She is not inviting me, but GOD. For how will God show his love if he will not use us.
Giving generously ourselves to others means giving yourself to the Creator. Isn’t it fulfilling to know that we have helped God in making this world better & helping Him complete his mission? Definitely YES!
As of my case as a host for the afternoon session of the conference, there seemed no trace of “tense” moment, but to be honest, it is the first time that I felt my whole legs were too weak just before the program starts. Yet the Holy Spirit has filled me with so much strength! And I praise the Almighty for that!
Well for sure not only me but the rest of the people who showed up in front & had their piece of anxiety.
Comrade in Christ, focus in God’s Strength
God will provide what you need.
He has been our source of Strength, we draw it all from Him, as the Prophet Isaiah said in 49:5, My God is now my Strength. He has manifested his strength in Ordinary people, in saints, in his disciple, even to His son and why not to us? He loves us so much that He will definitely take a step for us.
As our shirt says: Of all the hardships, trials, sufferings, all the negative feelings & emotions, all pessimistic things that have been in our surroundings, WE WILL OVERCOME!
There will be times when we give all our strength to a certain thing we love to do, the things we want in life, however He has not written that script in our life, so it was cut & not edited in the scene of life that it all fell apart. Plans you have worked on for a long time but end up useless since these don’t have any blessings from Him.
Tito Pancho said: “Do not desire so much for the things that when God don’t give it, you will just end up frustrated”. God will provide what you need, not what you want.
Humble ourselves before Him, always remember we need to keep our eyes with Jesus, believe that in Christ we can do all things, because if God is with us who can be against us? (Rom 8:31).
Sis Ruth made the crowd giggle with her sharing, it seemed like this talk was intended for a Love Forum, that at the end of her part, the crowd rumbles to see who Destiny was.
But of course she delivered her piece well about the manifestation of God’s Strength in her journey.
As our journey continues, be steadfast in enduring the difficulties, as I am writing this article, I have my own share of perseverance in life, in my family & in the community.
Raise Restore Reach
An important verse from Isaiah 49:6 : “It is too little, he says for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth“
CFC-FFL’s history is no accident in relating to this verse. We Raise, we almost fell but Restore and at present we Reach out! God has ever planned our journey and has assigned each of us (whatever our service in the community is) to be a light to the nations.
While our brethrens; Bro Pol & Sis Viedahlyn Magracia –CFC-AUH shared their struggles in their married life & overcoming it.
Sis Salve Aldeguer- CFL-Sharjah – about their services for the SFL & that the Singles have made them feel younger and hopeful to live life forever in love with her husband Tito Ike.
Sis Leny Comia-Chavez – HFL Al Ain, shared about the extra effort in keeping a long distance relationship, even denying her husband her signature for a venture (with lots of prayers & guidance of course) that has led to a serious fight, but then God has a plan and he ironed things out for them.
And Brother Ed Santiago of SvFL-AUH, about the humps & bumps in the life abroad & for his new blessings in having another (better) job which will lead him to his new mission country Qatar!
God’s Strength was the key to have the courage to share their life in this big crowd.
Afternoon session was filled with entertainment when our SFL Sisters from the Northern Emirates show cased their talents in dancing a medley praise song “Trading My Sorrow”.
Of course, should I say not to forget the Banana Dance? Right, the crowd go gaga in dancing this “pa uso” that even after the event, I can hear them singing and dancing it!
Plus the infectious smile “peace be with you” session. A smile could lighten up someone’s day; it could possibly be his/her only sunshine the whole day. As Mother Theresa said “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” And the crowd goes smiling all around, for SFLs who don’t have their GGs yet, it can be a good chance to see Destiny around!
But,,, nothing beats the most awaited part of every CFC-FFL gathering, that is when we raise the roof, sing our hearts out, dance & fill the whole ambiance with grace & love, often times an experience of teary eye or even crying; overwhelmed with God’s presence.
This assembly is no way an accident. God has planned everything to fulfill it according to what is written in our destiny, that on this date, 18th of September, 2011, God will strengthen us!
First love, our calling, being a light of the world, being blessed, destiny; these words and more signify one great day, great music, great event, Great & Strong GOD!
By: Julie Mae H. Bacus
Photos from: Bro. Randy Espiril, Bro. Joemer Hernandez, Bro. Rusty Estrella.
Blog post by : JM Kayne