Archive for September, 2014

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Increase Your Self-Acceptance

September 24, 2014

Sharing Day 116 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

Increase Your Self-Acceptance

You may not think highly of yourself, but God wants you to like who you are. Here are 5 practical tips to help increase your self-acceptance and improve your opinion of yourself:

1. Never speak negatively about yourself. The communication of your faith is made effectual by acknowledging every good thing in you through Christ Jesus, not by focusing on the wrong.

2. Avoid comparing yourself to others. Peter encountered this obstacle when he compared himself to another disciple. He said, “Lord, what about this man? Jesus replied, If I want him to stay (survive, live) until I come, what is that to you?…” (John 21:21-22 AMP). We are not called to compare, only to comply.

3. Let God determine your worth. Remember that you have already been accepted by God.

4. Keep your flaws in perspective. It’s ok to see where you want to improve, but make sure you appreciate your progress.

5. Discover the true source of confidence. If you place your confidence in God, you can’t help but have a healthy attitude. Do your best, and leave the results to Him.

Prayer Starter: God, thank You for accepting me even when I have trouble accepting myself. Help me to acknowledge the good qualities You’ve given me and keep my flaws in perspective as I find my confidence in You.

That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. (‭Philemon‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬ KJV)

xx

DMV

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Weekend Getaway

September 23, 2014

Since a friend of mine is going back to the US on Thursday, we planned to have a farewell get-together out of town during the weekend. Initially, we planned on going to Dumaguete or Sipalay but due to our busy schedules, we decided to go somewhere near.

We ended up at La Vista Highlands, a mountain resort in San Carlos City. It’s more or less an hour’s drive outside Bacolod City.

The owner is an architect from Bago City, he is currently based in Cebu. We made reservations with him and he was very accommodating.

We took the route going Murcia since the distance is shorter. Road going there is well paved and traced with the scenic view of pine.

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We hit jackpot when we arrived because it was just us for the night; we had the whole place to ourselves!

The Asian-tropical themed resort has very captivating landscape and architecture. It is surrounded by cabanas and huts that overlook the 24-hectare area.

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Their rooms are varied to suit clientele capacity. Ours was situated at the Garden Villas, good for eight persons at P9,600/night inclusive of room amenities, swimming and breakfast. It has awesome interior, the beds were really cozy and the pillows were super fluffy. The terrace has a dining/lounge area and a hammock with a great view of the surrounding mountains.

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Other resort amenities include a full-menu restaurant, a minibar with activities such as billiards, table tennis, darts and foosball and a lounge area.

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The place also features two swimming pools. The big pool is 6 feet deep and the small pool is 3 feet deep; it’s also used as a heated jacuzzi. (Underwater shots were taken with a Sony Xperia Z2)

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The resort also offers outdoor activities such as horseback riding and for the more adventurous ones, the zip line and cable car.

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Overall, it was a truly great experience. The kids especially enjoyed the stay!

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La Vista Highlands Mountain Resort
Contact no.: +63917 320 0211 (Anne) / +63917 321 6704
Email: lavistahighlands@yahoo.com / albertbg@pldtdsl.net

On our way home, we stopped over at Pandanon Valley Resort to go see some monkeys. The place is fairly known for wild monkeys roaming loose.

536299_419489391418246_1210224479_n(Photo Courtesy: Pandanon Valley Resort)

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They also boast of their natural spring water. There are cottages alongside the spring and they also have a restaurant and a swimming pool. Costs of the cottages and food are fairly cheap.

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That’s us waiting to see some monkeys. We got to see a few but at a far distance. According to the staff, the monkeys usually come down from the mountains to the resort and the guests could see them up close and feed them.

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Pandanon Valley Resort
Contact no.: (034) 434 9463 / 433 5527
Email: pandanonr@yahoo.com

Weekend well spent.

xx

DMV

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What I learned from TV

September 15, 2014

For those who know me, I’m not a tv or a movie person. I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately though, well, watching what my kids have been watching and it’s amazing how you get to learn a lot of things from these movies. My kids are aged 10 and 9 so I’m not really sure if  they actually learn something or maybe they just watch because it is entertaining or interesting, but, well, it somehow had me thinking.

They’ve recently watched Smurfs 2, Epic, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and Frozen (that’s a lot of movies for me!). And one thing these movies has subliminally pointed out is the importance of family. Papa Smurf going after Smurfette when she was kidnapped by the Naughties; Mary Katherine and her father’s reconciliation; Hermes’ acknowledgement of Luke and his endless effort in trying to reach out to him; Percy Jackson accepting his half-brother despite their differences; Anna continuously pursuing Elsa, never giving up on her sister despite being brushed off and pushed away. Family ties are upheld and applauded in these movies.

One constant point these movies has also captured and I guess is trying to promote is that you never give up on family.

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We all have that one (or two, or more) member of our family who is well, somehow “different“. It could be a husband, a daughter, a brother, a cousin, or whoever you consider as family; there will be that someone who will be called the “black sheep“. Why so? Maybe because this person’s views does not settle well with the rest of the family’s; or maybe this person has done something that would fall between stupid and unforgivable; or maybe this person is confused and drowned his self into intoxicating elements* because he believes the family will not understand or he has really low self-esteem; or maybe this person has done something that shamed the family; or maybe this member pushed away the family, renounced the family, acting arrogant and ungrateful; it goes on.

(*Intoxicating elements doesn’t necessarily have to be alcohol or drug related. Remember, online shopping is also intoxicating, get what I mean..)

And because this person did a lot of undesirable things and hurt us to the extent that you could not even begin to describe what to feel, does this mean that it is right to abandon them and simply give up on them?

Well, it totally depends. It totally depends on what you feel is appropriate. If you feel that you need to cast out the black sheep, by all means, do so.

But let us go back to what God teaches us about sheep.

In the parable of the lost sheep, there was a man who had a hundred sheep. Every morning he took them from the fold (a place where they stayed at night) on a hillside and led them to new, fresh pastures. Later in the day he would bring them to a quiet stream, or, if there wasn’t any stream nearby, he would draw water from a well for them to drink. At night the good shepherd took them up the hill again to the fold. Everyday the sheep followed the shepherd wherever he took them. He called them by name and they came to him. Every night he would count them to make sure they were all there.

One night one little sheep was missing. Somehow it had strayed away and became lost. If the shepherd left it and didn’t go look for it, it would surely be killed by some wild animals. The shepherd did not want to leave it. He left the other sheep and went to find it. He went searching until he found the lost one. (Matthew 18:12-13) When he found it, it was tired, hungry and cold. The good shepherd put the little sheep on his shoulder and carried it back to the fold. He did not scold it, but he rejoiced and was very happy that he had found the little sheep.

(Lesson 44: The Parable of the Lost Sheep)

The Shepherd represents the family and the lost sheep is well the “black sheep”. Do we even know what it’s like to lose our bearing and to be hopelessly adrift in uncertainty? To be alone, lost and disoriented without a sense of direction is one of the worst fears we can ever encounter. Somehow, lost black sheep are very well acquainted with this feeling.

Smurfette is not Papa Smurf’s daughter but he treated her as his own. And when she was lost, Papa Smurf went after her, searched for her to bring her home. When he found her, she was all bad and naughty, just as what she was created to be but he still pursued her, believed that there is a part of her that is good, that she is better than what she is supposed to be. Papa Smurf did not give up on Smurfette.

Elsa froze all of Arendelle. She continuously pushed Anna away. But Anna believed that her sister is not the monster that everyone perceives her to be so she didn’t give up in reaching out to her, she went after her and pursued bringing her home, assuring Elsa that everything will be okay, that she is more than her fears, and that she could undo whatever damage she has done. Anna cared, always uplifting the good she found in Elsa and she loved her unconditionally, to the point that she more so willingly gave up her own life to save her sister.

A Pastor I met for counseling once told me that as long as there is life, there is hope and when there is hope there is a chance for change. If it is still savable, save it. God is our redeemer, and God saved us from all the sin of the world.

Apparently, the family is your loudest doorknocker, they will force you to open your doors. They will scold you or punish you cruelly for the stupidest, unthinkable mistakes, but having said that, the family presumably will never leave you alone or throw you out of their lives. Psychologically speaking, this forgiving nature will keep a lost sheep, a Smurfette, an Elsa, from committing further mistakes.

We are all anchored to our families. They make us who we are. If one wanders lost, search and save. Because ideally, you never give up on family.

Family. Blood related or not, they are your security blanket, your protection, your madness, your home, your unconditional love.

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Well, that’s a whole lot of learning from watching TV.

xx

DMV

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10

“For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and now is found.” Luke 15:24

(Photo courtesy: Tumblr, Goodreads)

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Worry Is Selfishness in Disguise

September 11, 2014

Sharing Day 104 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

Worry Is Selfishness in Disguise

Too often, people give in to worry without realizing how deadly it is. When you get to the root of it, worry is a sin. Worry certainly doesn’t come out of faith, and Romans 14:23 (AMP) states that “whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin.”

Most of the time, worry is based on one sin in particular: selfishness. Usually when we worry, we’re concerned about how our selfish desires are not being fulfilled. The more selfish desires you have, the more you have to worry about, and the more complicated your life becomes.

God wants us to simply focus on serving Him.

It is God’s will that we live our lives free from all anxiety and distressing care. He wants us to be free to serve Him without being ‘drawn in diverging directions’ (1 Corinthians 7:34 AMP). We must not allow the worries of this world to divert us from His purpose for our lives.

Seek to rid yourself of selfish desires. This will keep your life simple and give you less to worry about. Then you can wholeheartedly pursue God’s great plan for your life.

Prayer Starter: Father God, thank You for showing me that worry is a sin. Help me to get rid of my selfish, ungodly desires so that I can simply pursue Your destiny for me.

And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (‭Romans‬ ‭14‬:‭23‬ KJV)

(c) DAVJ

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Why We Ask ‘Why?’

September 10, 2014

In times of hardships and moments of difficulties, in times of frustration and desperation, in search for a drastic solution, an answer to an ardent prayer, more often than not, we scream out to God and ask Him why shit happen to us.

Yes, I cannot deny, I do this. When I find myself stuck in a despairing situation and I don’t get the answers I am looking for, I ask why this has to happen to “me“.

Sharing Day 102 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

Why We Ask ‘Why?’

Do you ever find yourself in a tragic situation and asked God, ‘Why? Why is this happening to me?’

For one moment, let’s imagine that God actually answered that question. Would His explanation change anything? The effects of the tragedy would still be with you, and the pain would be just as severe as it was before. What would you have learned?

When we ask God that question, I think the real questions we’re asking are: ‘God, do You love me? Will You take care of me in my sorrow and pain? You won’t leave me alone, will You?’ Is it possible that, because we’re afraid God doesn’t truly care about us, we ask for explanations?

Instead, we must learn to say: ‘Lord, I believe. I don’t understand, and I’ll probably never grasp all the reasons bad things happen, but I know for certain that You love me and are with me, always.’

I believe it often takes more faith to go through something victoriously than to be delivered from it. Put your faith in God and you’ll come out stronger on the other side.

Prayer Starter: God, I believe in You, even when circumstances try to fill my mind with doubt. Help me to remember Your love for me and to put my faith in You, no matter what happens.

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (‭Mark‬ ‭9‬:‭24‬ KJV)

I guess what we need to do is believe that there is always an end to every (and all) ugly circumstance that we get to face as we move on with our lives. God will never leave as alone. No, we will not fully understand His way of answering our whys but remarkably, when He answers, it is exactly what we are looking for.

xx

DMV

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Notice the Little Things

September 8, 2014

Sharing Day 99 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

Notice the Little Things

One day as I was going into an office building, a man standing nearby opened the door for me. I thanked him and smiled. “You’re the fifth person I’ve held the door for,” he said, “and you’re the first one to smile and the second to thank me.”

I thanked him a second time, with a smile on my face. Afterward, I thought how much we take others for granted, even in simple things, such as opening a door for a stranger.

We often commend people when they do big things for us, but how often do we appreciate the little things?

When a person does something nice for you and you thank them, it builds them up and encourages them. It means a lot to them, just like it did to the man at the office building.

Did your bus arrive on time today? If so, did you thank the driver? The last time you ate at a restaurant, did you thank the waiter for filling your coffee cup a second time without being asked? This is the point I want to make: Develop an attitude of gratitude toward the people in your life.

Prayer Starter: Lord, keep me aware so that I will notice the little, helpful things that people do for me. I don’t want to be ungrateful. Instead, I want to thank them and build them up.

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. (‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5‬:‭11‬ KJV)

xx

DMV

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Practicing Thankfulness

September 5, 2014

Sharing Day 98 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

Practicing Thankfulness

We all know that we should be grateful for our many blessings. God tells us in His Word to be thankful, and we know from our own experience that once we seriously start praising God, our burdens and troubles seem to weigh less heavily on our shoulders.

David said, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Many evils confront the [consistently] righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:1,19 AMP).

That’s the power of thankfulness. Not only does it help set us free, but as we pause to give thanks to God for the blessings we enjoy in our lives, we actually begin to find more blessings, even more to be thankful for!

I encourage you to take time to practice being thankful. There is so much for us to be grateful for, and we need to focus on it, every single day. Keep in mind the admonition of the psalmist, “Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!” (Psalm 100:4).

Prayer Starter: Dear God, the power of thankfulness is truly incredible. Thank You for blessing me daily and working in my life. I know that without You, I have nothing, so I thank You for the goodness that You have shown me.

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. (‭Psalms‬ ‭34‬:‭1‬ KJV)

xx

DMV

Because there is always something to be thankful for.

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