Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weekend Download

Just came from our Youth Victory Weekend in Antipolo. What a truly awesome time we all had. It wasn't without its challenges but I believe God was there in our presence and the young people who participated encountered Him.

It was my first time to teach in Victory Weekend. I taught on how to have victory over addictions. I was so nervous being up there teaching. But it's something I've always wanted to do but was too scared to. Thank God for His grace that is always more than enough. I know that the Holy Spirit had His way with me because what I ended up saying was far from what I had on my first draft. The ideas and illustrations that came to mind days approaching Saturday helped the young women understand and identify the addictions in their lives and how to overcome them.

God has taught me so many things these past few days (again, some of them I learned the hard way aka I made some mistakes but the Holy Spirit quickly pointed them out):

1. I need rest. I slept a total of 10 hours the past three days. Two hours on Thursday, Two hours on Friday and six hours last night. Not good. God's been dealing with my lack of rest. When I don't rest, I become irritable. Again, not good. Tonight, I will get eight hours of sleep.

2. Security comes ONLY from God. If you try to find it elsewhere, you end up hurt and even more insecure than you were in the first place. God's been dealing with a particular thing the past few months. I thought it would never come but it's true God will cut off branches that do not bear fruit.

3. People are not perfect. You may want them to be, you may pray that they would be but because we live in a fallen world, they never are. I need to learn to accept and embrace just as God did and is still doing with my severely imperfect self.

4. Church is family. This is connected to #3. Just because people love the Lord does not mean that they will not offend you. But when they do, you need to forgive and get over it. No matter how utterly infuriating some people may be, I need to love them. Why? Because church is family.

5. Christianity is all-access. You can't be Christlike only in chosen areas of our lives. We can't say in ministry, in church, in leadership, at work, I will be like Christ but in other areas, I can be whoever I want to be and act whatever way I want. Christianity comes with a hefty price tag and Jesus never hid that fact from us. Having said this, as Christian leaders, we need to be especially careful with the choices we make, the jokes we choose to say, the way we act, what we talk about when only close friends are around. Fun is good. I'm all for it. But not at the expense of Christ-like character, not at the expense of the very people we are trying to mentor.

6. Practice what you preach. We cannot be teaching people things we are not prepared to do... Wait, let me rephrase, we cannot be teaching people things we are not doing in our own lives.

7. Discipleship is teaching people to follow Christ. Not us. Not what we do. Not our attitude. Not our flawed characters. Not our faulty ways. We point them to the Word and teach them to obey what it says.

8. Ladies, it's important to set our standards high. Do not have someone in mind when setting standards. If you have a particular guy in mind that you're interested in at the time you do this, chances are you will set your standards to fit him. Ask God what you need to be looking for in a man. He will be more than pleased that you asked. Also, do not just listen to what a man has to say, look at his character. He can scream all he wants about integrity, purity, faithfulness, but it amounts to nothing if it's not evident in his life.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumped up Monday

Came from a Supervisors' Training conducted by Ardy Abello today. Got a lot of great insights and ideas. I'm pumped up to make changes in my life.

I'm the kind of person who is motivated easily. I guess that's why it's also natural for me to motivate people and teach what I have learned because I treasure so much what's been passed on to me. While some people may walk out of a seminar with new thoughts, I am the kind of person who comes out of it impassioned to apply what I've learned. I'm the kind of person who can come out of a meeting bubbling with anticipation and excitement at what new things lie before us and how we're going to get there.

I used to be embarrassed by that and would try to play it cool. But I have learned to accept and celebrate that that's how God has wired me. I guess that's why I enjoy so much working with the likes of Pastor Joey, Pastor Paolo, Pastor Bernard, LA, Dennis... They're passionate leaders who have great vision, they're guys who inspire me to push some more.

Honestly, there are days when I just feel spent. I feel like everything I have has been squeezed out of me but more and more I learn that an extra step, an extra push goes a long way.

Other things I've learned along the way (sometimes the hard way):

  • Mistakes are great character builders.
  • No idea is ever so outrageous you can't say it out loud.
  • There's always a little truth in every criticism so be open to it but practice wisdom and discernment also. You don't need to be at the mercy of what people around you say.
  • Be teachable. Don't wait for someone to come along to offer to mentor you. You need to go to people you look up to and ask questions, ask to be taught.
  • We need systems. Having said that, we also need to re-evaluate systems already in place. Like they say, the only constant thing in this world is change and our systems need to grow as we grow.
  • Pastor Steve once said "Only do what only you can do." Find out what people are good at and give them the opportunity to rise up. Most of the time, they will not do a perfect job. That's why we need to expose them to the best, train them, give them room to make mistakes and constantly give feedback and encouragement. People can tell if you're just concerned about output or if you do what you do because you want them to grow at their gift. So as leaders, we need to make sure in our hearts that people come first before process. (Learned much of this today)
By the way, our 08 planner got scrapped. That's one less thing on my to-do list. I was excited about it though. But, they're right, it's not really in line with what we're trying to do. One thing I'm excited about though: the decluttering and launching of a spanking-new Fort website. Coming early next year!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Up late with nothing to blog

It's close to 4am and I have nothing to blog.

Realized I have so many things to say but don't quite know how to start. That's why the random thoughts format works with me. Except it's too late to think of anything random to say.

Which means I will blog more when I wake up later.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

So much to do, so little time

The past two weeks have been crazy busy. I've already asked for a deadline extension for the text I'm supposed to submit to the artists working on our planner. I had to work Sunday to voice over a mock fashion show for our services. I had to work Saturday also to interview the women coming out of Victory Weekend. Plus, we had to change our design for our new preaching series.

My evenings have been full as well. Tuesday, I had to finish reviewing One 2 One with Katt, whom I'm bringing to Victory Weekend in Ortigas tomorrow and Saturday. The past three Wednesdays I've been attending a preaching class at Ortigas as well. Thursdays have also been filled with youth meetings, leadership group meetings, and that talk by Gary Greenwald last week.

I've been sleeping three to five hours per night because when I get home I try to sneak in some work and reading.

I know, I know. This isn't a healthy way to live life. I'm hoping to make some changes ASAP to give me more time to rest and really focus on my priorities. But so far, that's how the past two weeks have gone.

Sidenote:

I'm reading this book by Mark Batterson called In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. I cannot put it down. I just have a review copy that I'm supposed to give back to our bookstore but it's so good I'm thinking of buying a copy of my own and maybe giving it as a present to some of my friends. It's a weird title, I know. But it's just what the book is about and Batterson explains it early on in the book and I just got hooked.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Name Game

* Cross posted from http://romanalo.multiply.com



This is pretty cool. Want to know what your name means? Go HERE.


The name my parents gave me:

Ramona
Wise and mighty protector "Spanish"

You are a visionary with courage and enthusiasm if a little hasty at times. Your ambitious nature can be satisfied when you apply wisdom, patience and self-discipline to your vitality and zest. You have wonderful way with words and may be drawn to the communications arena where there is the potential for great success. Your generous and warm nature attracts many friends and loved ones.

Not a lot of people know I have a second name. Something my then-hippie parents gave me:

Cy

There is no doubt that with your great self-belief and powerful personality you are meant for positions of leadership. Others find you inspiring and you seem to attract success and good fortune easily. You have a strong mind and clear thinking giving you the ability to make quick decisions and take calculated risks. Being prepared to take one step at a time means you will be assured of achieving all your objectives.


The name you know me as:

Roe

Balanced and fairminded you possess the ability to use sound reason and judgement when determined and decisive action is required. Persuasive and logical you tend to be an influential figure in your circle of friends and associates. You are extremely adaptable and this is necessary as you seem to be continually being presented with decisions of a life altering nature.


Which used to be spelled:


Ro

You have a charismatic and magnetic personality which others cannot help but be drawn to ensuring you of many friends. Very ambitious your keen perceptive powers and ability to absorb knowledge helps you to achieve your objectives. You are a strong willed and industrious worker who is prepared to earn all the material success and good fortune which comes your way. With a philosophical attitude happiness is assured.


High School friends used to call me (but no one is allowed to call me this anymore unless you went to Pisay from 1993-1996):

Mona
My lady "Italian"

You are a charismatic individual with a dynamic and attractive personality. Probably not known for your caution or patience you are a risk taker who hates to be restricted in any way. Freedom is very important to you. Your thinking and intuition is strong and you have a talent for communication.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Off the top of my head

• I am so excited for my co-worker and brother in the faith Dennis Sy. He's planting our church in Greenhills. Just finished reading his blogs. You should read them, too. He's a really humble guy, super nice, someone I just admire. He asked me sometime last week jokingly if I ever regretted joining the Fort church as full-time staff instead of the Ortigas church (my home church). Without batting an eyelash, I answered "No." If he had asked me a year ago, I would've had to think twice. If I didn't push through with working at the Fort, then I wouldn't have had the chance to get to know the people I work with now. What can I say? They're the best!

• I'm so excited because the idea of planting a church is just so thrilling! New place, new people, new ways. I love to witness how God builds and am always pleasantly surprised about which people He chooses to use. God rocks! I cannot stress it enough!

• I would've liked to join a church plant. But Pinky's right. You don't move to another church just because you're friends with the lead pastor. So, for now, I'm staying put where I am. Just the past few weeks, God's sprung a few surprises on me. So, my staying at Ortigas is definitely not not exciting.

• I am excited for the planner we are going to be giving away for E412 Awards. We're working really hard at it. I've got a great writer helping me out with copy and I'm working with a great artist, too.

• We started our nomination season for our E412 Awards, happening in November. Here are the many ways you can vote if you know of an outstanding small group leader from Victory Fort.

• Still praying for campus work I can help with. The problem is still the schedule. Young people are what sparks my otherwise lackluster (no lovelife to speak of, haha) heart. They have got me pumped!

• Our Ortigas Warweek team just came from an occular of possible venues for our summer camp. They've been driving around all day long and looks like they've found some great places. Please do pray we get a good deal in this place called Raven Resort in Bataan. Gosh, just thinking about Warweek makes me want to jump up and down.

• My Mom says it's a holiday next, next Friday because of Ramadan. I won't be able to stay home and rest though because I'm bringing Katt to Victory Weekend, plus I have youth service in the evening. Holidays still rock, even if I can't stay home the whole day.

• Lastly, I was listening to an old preaching over at New Spring Church. My coworkers were wondering what was making me laugh so loud. Perry Noble is one funny guy!