We are commanded to forgive others, God is really after our own good. So forgive from the heart and set yourself free.

This is what we shared to the kids last Sunday at the Awesome Kids Ministry service.


Remember, forgiveness is for our benefit. The other person’s behavior may never change. It is up to God, not us, to change others. Our responsibility is to be set free from the pressure and weight of an unforgiving attitude.

We took a bottle of water and some effervescent vitamin tablets.

We encouraged the children to think of someone they need to forgive.
• Someone hit you and pushed you down.
• Someone won’t let you play a game.
• Someone broke something of yours.
• Someone called you an unkind name.
• Someone took what you were playing with and won’t share it.

We talked about how they were hurt. They felt mad.

We encouraged them to ask God to let go of these feelings.

We asked the kids to put a piece of the tablet in the water and the children imagined asking God to help them forgive.

As the bubbles start to come off the tablets, they imagined giving the hurt feelings to God.

The tablets took a while to dissolve, which also illustrated that sometimes it might take a long time to forgive.

The water might also have changed color, which illustrates that it’s not as if the thing that hurt you had never happened, it’s just been changed by God.

For the craft activity, they colored an artwork that reminds them to always be kind and good to others.

I felt God’s embrace every Sunday because of these children.

Their presence affirm God’s abounding graces and mercy.

They taught me more to love and to live life.

A simple activity but has a profound meaning.

It was difficult for me to forgive few years back but I learned to let go.

To more years of serving and loving the children of God!


Last Sunday, the Awesome Kids Ministry team taught the children about forgiving oneself.

They enjoyed a short skit and a balloon analogy about forgiveness.

For the craft activity, they made a hot air balloon artwork that reminded them that God sets us free and we must forgive ourselves.


Forgiving yourself is far more challenging than forgiving someone else because you must live with yourself and your thoughts 24/7. Despite the challenge, emotionally healthy people must have the capacity to forgive themselves when they have made a mistake.

I was reminded of a sixty-five year-old taxi driver I met few years back. He asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was a former OFW and shared my healing journey.

Like many others who learn of my concerns, he decided to open up about his life to see if I had any advice.

He’d been married for twenty-seven years, and had tried to commit suicide two years prior by overdosing on pills. His wife found his body and helped revive him. He was grateful he didn’t succeed in committing suicide, but said that, though he thinks his wife is a great person, he is not attracted to her. He said that ever since his suicide attempt he had been attracted to many of his passengers and one of these days would like to “take it to the next level.”

I didn’t really want to dwell on his attraction to his passengers, so much as try to get back to his childhood.

Many of the problems we have as adults have their roots in our upbringing. Come to find out, he had a very rough childhood. His parents were alcoholics, which drove him to seek aid and comfort from a male church leader he trusted.

This church leader tried to have an inappropriate relationship with him. So he was cut off emotionally from his parents, and spiritually from the religion that was supposed to sustain him during difficult times.

This sense of being isolated from his social world led him to make many bad choices, starting from a young age. These added up, until he felt like he couldn’t escape from the consequences.

He felt trapped in a prison of his own making, and that’s why he wanted to end his life. I told him that it must be really hard to carry all of these difficulties with him his whole life, but that it was time to forgive others and, more importantly, forgive himself.

I told him to write a letter to himself listing all the things he forgave himself for. Writing is very therapeutic, but it also helps to hear a message. So I wanted him to read the letter out loud to himself and process it aurally as well. Who knows if he ever followed my advice. Many hurting people know what to do, but don’t do what they know.

Sometimes our poor choices stack up, and churn the ground beneath our feet into quicksand.

We must remember to relax, breathe in, and not let our current situation rob us of the will to make changes. Don’t’ wallow in a temporary negativity—take action!

Don’t spend so much time going over the past that you allow it to define you.

Life is full of choices and every choice we make will either take us in a positive, life-giving direction or rob us of the opportunity to be a life-giving individual.

Forgiving ourselves does not let us off the hook, it does not justify what we have done, and it is not a sign of weakness.

Forgiveness is a choice that takes courage and strength.

Let us pray:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I understand that there is nothing to gain by holding myself in unforgiveness and there is everything to gain by releasing myself from unforgiveness and beginning the process of healing.

I want to move forward and make a positive difference in the future. I confess the ungodly accountability, self-abasement, and the vows I have made to never forgive myself. Because Jesus died for my sins, I choose to forgive myself–to no longer punish myself and be angry with myself.

I forgive myself for letting this hurt control me and for hurting others out of my hurt. I repent of this behavior and my attitude. I ask for Your forgiveness and healing.

God, help me to NEVER again retain unforgiveness of myself or others.

Thank you for loving me and for Your grace to move forward with You.

In Jesus’ Name,



Last Sunday, the children at Awesome Kids Ministry learned about Job. The kids enjoyed a video presentation about him.

Book of Job

So what would happen if we start to trust God during the raging seas of life? During the times we question, still thanking God like Job did, even though outwardly it appeared there was nothing to be thankful for, no reason not to abandon our trust in God and grow angry at Him. Why? Because God is faithful and just; He sees the big picture. He loves us enough to not always give us our way, to give us reasons to search for Him.

Job had 7 sons and 3 daughters. He also had 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 oxen, 500 female donkeys and a very large household.

One day, Satan told God that the only reason Job was faithful was because he had so much and he had an easy life. So, God told Satan that he could do anything to Job, except lay a hand on him.

Then Satan caused terrible things to happen to Job. A messenger came to Job and said that enemies had attacked Job’s flocks and stole his oxen and donkeys and killed his servants. Job was just thinking about how terrible this was when another messenger came and said that lightning had struck and burned up all his sheep. Then another messenger came and said that more enemies had raided the camp where all of Job’s camels were. All of the camels were gone and the servants who had been watching after them were dead.

Job was very sad. All of his riches were gone! At least he had his family! Job knew that all of his children were visiting his oldest son’s house. They were all together and they were safe. Then, a terrible thing happened. Another messenger came rushing up to Job’s house with more bad news.

“Your sons and daughters were feasting at their oldest brother’s house, when a very strong wind came up and knocked over the four corners of the house. The whole house fell down and crushed everyone in it. All of your children are dead!”

Job was so upset that he tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell down on the ground and began to pray. But he did not hate God like Satan said he would. He prayed to God and worshipped Him.

When Satan came before the Lord again, he told the Lord that Job would curse God if he did not have his health. Satan wanted to test Job again. The Lord knew that Job would pass the test so He allowed Satan to make Job sick.

Big sores appeared all over Job’s body. Even the soles of his feet and the top of his head had sores on them. The sores hurt and they itched. Job used to use bits of broken pottery to scratch his itchy sores. Even though Job hurt he still did not curse God. He did not understand why these things were happening to him but He did not hate God for it.

Job’s wife told him that he should just give up. He should curse God and die. Job’s friends came and visited him. They thought he must have been doing bad things for all of these bad things to happen to him. Job knew he always tried to do well. He told them that but they did not believe him. Everything was going wrong. Job loved God but he did not understand God. He began to ask God ‘why?” “Why was I ever born?” “Why didn’t I just die when I was a baby?” “Why am I alive?”

Everything was going wrong. Job loved God but he did not understand God. He began to ask God ‘why?” “Why was I ever born?” “Why didn’t I just die when I was a baby?” “Why am I alive?”

Finally, the Lord spoke to Job. He told Job that He should always trust God . . . even when he did not understand God.

After all, how can anyone understand everything about God? No one can know as much as God. God knows everything!

People may know about birds but God knows how to make birds fly. People may know about the sun but God causes the sun to come up and go down each day! People may know about animals but God made the largest animals and can control them!

Job learned and important lesson about God. He already knew God and loved Him. Now He knew that God is wiser and stronger than anything on earth. Job knew that he could trust God.

The God caused all of Satan’s wickedness toward Job to be stopped. He gave Job twice as much as he had before his suffering came upon him. He also had other children—seven more sons and three more daughters. Job had 14,000 sheep, 6000 camels, 1000 yoke of oxen, and 1000 donkeys.

Job lived to be a very old man and he was always happy and loved and trusted the Lord.

Job does not fail to praise God, even in his bitterest laments: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (1:21) and “With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding.” (12:13) Praising God in the most desperate of situations is quite difficult, and challenging even if one’s trust in God is great.

Sometimes it may seem that everything is going wrong in your life and that maybe God has quit caring for you. But remember the story of Job and remember that God always cares and will always help you through your problems if you remain faithful to God.


During the Awesome Kids Ministry service last Sunday, we shared the value of self-control to kids.

I was reminded of the famous marshmallow test back in 1960s. Researchers submitted hundreds of four-year-olds to an ingenious little test of willpower: the kids were placed in a small room with a marshmallow or other tempting food and told they could either eat the treat now, or, if they could hold out for another 15 minutes until the researcher returned, they could have two.

Most children said they would wait. But some failed to resist the pull of temptation for even a minute. Many others struggled a little longer before eventually giving in.

The most successful participants figured out how to distract themselves from the treat’s seduction — by turning around, covering their eyes or kicking the desk, for instance — and delayed gratification for the full 15 minutes.

Follow-up studies on these preschoolers found that those who were able to wait the 15 minutes were significantly less likely to have problems with behavior, drug addiction or obesity by the time they were in high school, compared with kids who gobbled the snack in less than a minute. The gratification-delayers also scored an average of 210 points higher on the SAT.

The test is a measure of a child’s ability to delay gratification, which subsequent research has shown to be linked to all sorts of positive outcomes, like better grades, good behavior and even healthy body mass index.

Self-control was never easy but it has a reward.


Self-control will lead you into a more intimate relationship with God.

A door knob hanger coloring activity capped the day. They brought it home and served as a reminder not only for them but also for their family.

Self-control is allowing God to be in control of your will and heart. This will allow us to have discipline and restraint with obedience to God and others. It is not letting distractions derail or remove us from His will and plan so we will not be held back with what Christ called us to do.

Let me share this prayer of self-control:

Dear Lord, help us to know ourselves. Teach us to recognize our weaknesses and work to walk in holiness.

Let us repent, and follow You in all things.

Thank You for Your unendeding grace and mercy toward us when we need it most.

Help us to trust You with our lives.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Be blessed always!


The day was ordinary. We found ourselves once again in the aisles of Shopwise checking off a list full of items for the holiday season. I knew cold weather was coming and wanted to grab some Energen for my mother and a hot choco made of tablea so we’d be ready for the Dawn Mass or Simbang Gabi.

As we stood there trying to decide if we wanted some gelatin for Noche Buena, an elderly lady fumbled beside us. She reached out for a box, but several more fell off the shelf as she did. My nieces rushed to help her pick them up. She thanked us and we all went about our shopping.

When we got in line, the same lady happened to pull up behind us. One of my niece offered to unload her basket onto the conveyor belt for her. She happily agreed.

As the girls worked, I talked with her about the holiday frenzy during Christmas and how it made everyone like shopzilla.

Before we finished, the lola leaned a little closer to me and whispered, “Thank you for showing me a glimpse of God’s love today. I didn’t think kind or caring adults existed in today’s society, much less children.”

As we walked away that day I felt thrilled that she saw loving kindness in us, but also sad that a woman of her age had come to believe that caring people no longer existed. But I knew she was right.

Just a shopping experience at any retail shop is enough to discourage you with people stealing parking places, cutting you off in line, and employees not really interested in helping.

But I’m not willing to give up. God has commanded us to serve others. He’s given us this beautiful and wonderful task of loving every one we come into contact with.

The Bible says that Jesus himself didn’t come to be great, but to be a servant.


God loves a cheerful servant! The Awesome Kids Ministry team during the first general assembly for 2018.

Last Sunday, the Awesome Kids Ministry had their first servants general assembly for the year. I was asked to host the event together with Bro. Fred and Bro. Rommel.

The presence of the servants inspired me to look beyond service. They are God’s loving presence to the kids every Sunday.

There are many things that God asks us to do in response to our love for Him. One of them is serving others. We are not required to do these things in order to be saved.

Rather, it is our natural desire to want to obey God as a result of what He has done for us.

True service really is about doing good to other people as often as you have an opportunity.

It’s about sharing whatever it is that God has given you in that moment. That might be money, time, advice, food, clothes, or even a hug. I think we make serving others into this grand thing when it’s really this simple.

Doing service for others cannot only help those being served, but also aid God in his work. Those who serve also gain immeasurable benefits including drawing closer to God as well as to those we serve.

Be an answer to someone’s prayer by learning to serve God by helping others.


The Awesome Kids team was inspired today to always obey and respect their parents. They enjoyed a day of prayer, worship, watching inspiring videos and more colors.


On the other hand, the activity reminded me of my teenage years and if I will share a life lesson to a younger version of myself, this I have to say.

Obeying your parents is one of the most difficult things to do as a teenager. This is a time that you want to spread your wings and do things on your own. You want your independence, and you want to prove you can be a responsible adult. Yet there is still a level of needing your parents to guide you through this time, and there is still so much you can learn from them while you’re still a teen.

Obeying Your Parents Leads to Wisdom
There are times when obeying your parents can be really tough.

We all think we know enough to make our own decisions. But do we really? God reminds us that it is a foolish man that does not seek to become more disciplined and wise (Proverbs 1:7-9). The most important people in our lives are our parents.

They can be the greatest guides we have in this life, and they can lead us in the path God has for us…if we let them. For most of us, our parents offer advice and discipline out of love, and we would do well to listen and learn from what they have to say.

Obedience Brings You Closer to God
God is the father of us all. There is a reason why we use a term like father to describe our relationship with Him because just as we are to obey our parents, we are to obey God. If we cannot obey our earthly parents, how are we to obey our Heavenly one? Faithfulness comes out of obedience to God. As we learn to obey, we learn to be wise in making our decisions in life.

As we learn to obey, we learn to open up our eyes and ears to God’s plan for us. Obedience is the first step in living a Christian life. It helps give us strength in our faith and the ability to overcome temptations that can lead us astray.

Obeying is Hard
Yet no one says obeying our parents is easy.
Sometimes it feels like our parents are from a whole other world. Sure, they come from a different generation, and we may not always understand their reasoning. However, we don’t alway understand God, either, but we know that what God does is for our own good. In the case of our parents, it’s that way, too. We need to realize, though, that there will be pitfalls in obeying our parents, and there will be times that obedience becomes so difficult. Yet obedience takes work.

Here are some of my tips for you my younger self that is also applicable to you now;

Listen. One of the easiest ways to learn from your parents is to listen to what they have to say. It’s hard to obey your parents when you don’t actually hear what they’re telling you. You’d be amazed at what you’ll hear when you take the time to absorb what your parents are telling you.

Show respect. There is nothing as frustrating when a parent is talking to their teen as an eye roll. You may not agree with your parents’ decisions, but obeying your parents begins with showing them respect. It’s okay to ask questions or ask for clarification on a rule or something you disagree with, but it’s important to do so in a respectful manner. If you just push and yell and scream, it is unlikely that your parents will actually hear your objections. Disrespect will put a wall between you and your parents immediately.

Have patience. It’s easy to immediately jump on your parents when you disagree with them. It’s also easy to hold a grudge when they’re wrong. However, your parents are human just like you. Obeying your parents means accepting that all they do isn’t perfect. They make mistakes, too, just like you. So, have some patience for the times that they don’t quite do things right, and know that you can learn just as much from their mistakes as your own.

Communicate. Going to be late for curfew? Try calling ahead. Not sure you can get your chores done when they ask? Explain why. Communication is key to having a good relationship with our parents. When you communicate with them about what’s going on in your life, you will find that they will accept that you are becoming a responsible adult. Ask them for advice, talk to them about school … it’s every teen’s desire to be private, and some privacy is understandable, but know that when you don’t communicate it breeds suspicion. A great way to obey your parents is to talk to them about things. It’s amazing how much communication will be a key to you getting along with them, too.


Today’s Sunday activity with Awesome Kids Ministry is a meaningful reminder that God is present everywhere, 24-7.

But, we compartmentalize our lives too much.

We tend to separate our spiritual/sacred life from the secular world.

Many people see their lives as divided wedges, like pieces of pie, with little real connection to each other.

Our response as Christians to our Heavenly Father should be unlimited, all encompassing, and comprehensive. It should not be limited to church on Sundays and some personal devotions during the week. It should appear in every dimension of our lives.

God created us to love Him with all our being.

Living out one’s faith should be a natural overflow of the soul-stream within.

To a man who lives unto God nothing is secular, everything is sacred. He puts on his workday garment and it is a vestment to him. He sits down to his meal and it is a sacrament. He goes forth to his labor, and therein exercises the office of the priesthood. His breath is incense and his life a sacrifice. He sleeps on the bosom of God, and lives and moves in the divine presence. To draw a hard and fast line and say, “This is sacred and this is secular,” is, to my mind, diametrically opposed to the teaching of Christ and the spirit of the gospel.


Awesome Kids Ministry servants at work. God is here, 24-7!

On a practical level, how do we overcome the spiritual/secular divide in our everyday lives?

We must understand this problem intellectually, then move this truth from our heads to our hearts. That is the hard part.

Here are three suggestions:

Understand that the real distinction in our lives is between righteousness and unrighteousness. Between living in union with Christ, conforming to God’s character and commands (righteousness) and not rebelling against God and his commands. This is not a struggle we will win on the strength of our own labor. We will only win it if we yield to the Holy Spirit working in each one of us. This requires much prayer.

Be reminded of what is required of those called to serve in God’s kingdom. The only way to do this is by being in God’s Word. Paul tells Timothy that the Word of God “is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16)

Remind yourself throughout your day that what you are doing at that moment is spiritual. As we start 2018, let everything you see and hear remind you that what you are doing is spiritual, and, in ways you might not completely understand, serves our great God.

Faith in Jesus Christ is not mere mental assent but a life-changing, life-pervading relationship with the living Lord.

When all the parts of our lives are surrendered fully to the Lord and bringing honor to Him, then and only then are we truly living.