Mindanao Times » Ging Navarro Descallar http://mindanaotimes.net Wed, 19 Sep 2018 01:50:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.25 Family Matters: Marriage as how God designs it http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-marriage-as-how-god-designs-it/ http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-marriage-as-how-god-designs-it/#comments Fri, 14 Sep 2018 14:18:03 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62053 Read more ›]]> It was just like yesterday as I recall the time my hubby and I began to form a family.

Looking back, I couldn’t imagine where all the energy was drawn from. Now that we have reached past most of the responsibilities, beating deadlines to pay bills, sending our child to school, making ends meet and trying all survival means to stay afloat, we say that we made it! But harnessing all efforts to choose to continue to be committed to each other despite odds were priceless as we recall those days.

Yet, many times, we noted that marriage is not just a matter of survival. It is not merely meeting all material needs. Through difficult situations, we stumbled on a daily basis that marriage will not last long without Jesus to glue us together. We may have fulfilled all goals to raise the family’s standard and daily needs but there is more than superficial look.

There were nuggets of truths that kept us going. But all these did not come easy until we were willing to see them through God’s eyes. Often times, pride came in between us. It is not that we have graduated from the problem of pride already, but we are aware that in marriage, the struggle to let the ‘me’ issue continue to be experienced until our dying days.

Hence, we nod our heads when we acknowledge that marriage is not passive. It is something that has to be worked out day in and day out. Sometimes, weakness comes and irritation as a response becomes more convenient as an excuse to say that which we regret later. And to face the issue after sometime is another matter. Yet we believe that after such time, the ‘Iron sharpens iron’ is real. But oh my, how this sharpening tool of God stings in many ways, but the improvement of dealing with each other somehow gives positive results.

There were times when we could hardly find solutions to seemingly absurd situations. No matter how hard we pray, or sometimes have exhausted means and possibilities, yet nothing sane comes as a result, a good sense of humor comes in handy. We just say that maybe we are running too fast and not allowing God to do exactly the plan He has for us in His own time.

Ultimately, marriage to our understanding is not just the union of a man and woman. It doesn’t stop there. It is the union of a man and a woman to form a family as they allow God to please Him in all respects and willing to go as far as where He leads them despite the imperfections. No, it doesn’t aim to be a perfect union. Rather, it is the union of two imperfect individuals, that is a man and a woman as how God designs it, leaning on a supernatural God. Such is marriage.

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Family Matters: Learning to love myself http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-learning-to-love-myself/ http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-learning-to-love-myself/#comments Thu, 06 Sep 2018 16:00:14 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=61842 Read more ›]]> Lately, we have heard so much news about domestic violence on women and children.

Innocent children are easy prey and because of their young age, they become victims of adult abuses. But this writer is also concerned about women abuses that happen secretly in the home. Sometimes, they are seldom detected because the family put up a happy face to friends and relatives. But inside the home, or even in the room of a couple, a silent plea for help is so badly needed in between fear, pain, and sobs. Violence is not only in the form of physical abuse. It also comes in mental or psychological as well as verbal.

All of these are forms of attack that are used by an abuser to hurt. The blow one receives as a physical abuse is murderous in nature and to save lives is a must. Psychological abuse is equally harmful in that the abuser tries to confuse his victim. The faculty of the abuser tries to subdue the other’s mental strength. Verbal abuse is just as harmful. But like the two, it is masterly crafted to make the victim feel inferior, mocked at and aims to damage her self-worth.

It comes to mind a client I used to meet as she was introduced to me by the Women Protection Unit I used to visit as a volunteer. The young lady’s half part of the face was blue black and one eye was badly swollen. With the help of a nurse, we located bruises on other parts of the body that when covered by a dress, some fresh, the others were about some few days old, and were not noticeable. They say that abusers know where to hit and hide the evidence. Carefully, I tried to coach her to open up. She says that she belongs to a moderate income family. Her husband has a good job and they have a five year-old daughter. She stays home while the husband works. She gets confused because at times, the husband becomes too extra nice, and then without warning becomes violent. Many times, she wanted to seek help but feels guilty when her husband brings home flowers, cakes and chocolates to make-up for what happened. But this recent violence that prompted her to seek help was way beyond understanding. He was also drunk and she was almost left half dead when a sister discovered her situation. Her sister immediately called some relatives to bring her to the hospital. They took charge of the situation and went to the Barangay to file complaints and had the case blottered. The rest is history as the husband was sent to jail.

I sat with her near the window of the facility center and gently asked how she was feeling that day.
“I am still confused,” she answered as tears fell on her lap.

First, I would like to ask if you have an immediate support person or group to assist you while you are picking up the pieces. I understand that your husband had been the provider for the family. She nodded her head and said that her siblings will help her, and one offered her and her daughter to stay in their place. I breathed a prayer of thanksgiving when I heard this.

“You know, you need healing for all your wounds and bruises. I guess all these will go in few weeks or so, but you have a bruise that only you can attend to. This is your wounded soul. Because of what happened, you were made to believe that you are nothing, unloved and not capable to pull through life again.” She nodded as tears continued to stream down her cheeks.

I continued. “But all these are lies. Sometimes, the enemy tries to dictate lies in our minds, but that’s all that he can do. In fact, it is Jesus who catches you in His palm, only if you believe Him and that He still has a wonderful plan for your life. This is not the end but a beautiful beginning. Probably, you have not loved yourself enough, that when your husband abused you, you did not think to protect yourself enough.”

“You know what? When someone tries to touch our eyes, without thinking, our reflex is to protect them, that is why we close them.” That is how we should protect our bodies, our mind and our integrity. Our session was short that day, but we separated hoping that this is the beginning for a beautiful woman to climb her own hills and run to her valleys without fear.

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Family Matters: He who puts his trust on God is wise http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-he-who-puts-his-trust-on-god-is-wise/ http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-he-who-puts-his-trust-on-god-is-wise/#comments Thu, 30 Aug 2018 16:00:06 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=61556 Read more ›]]> Many of us pray and naturally, we keep praying until we see the answer to that prayer.

Then we do the same and thankful that our prayer life has results! This is cause and effect but it needs a little attention because if we are not very careful, the essence of God can be omitted because of our desire to have our prayers answered. Meaning, we focus so much on the motion and output but we set aside the One in-charge of the whole process.

One day, a friend came to me asking why her prayer is not being answered. She prayed intently, she added, and positive answer to that prayer would mean a lot to her. She had been praying for years and no iota of hope is on sight. But she said she won’t give up. God loves her, she says, and she has reached this far only to give up. No way!

So this became our topic of conversation. I began with words like, obviously, God loves you, the same way that He loves me and everyone around us. However, let us not make the mistake of thinking that His love is equated with answers to prayers. A lady who had been praying for a partner in life for years and not being answered doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love her. In fact, God loves her so much that He wills for her to remain single and spare her from future heartaches, which only God can see. Yet, there are situations to test our faith, and take note, not to test His love when He answers our prayers at the last minute.

The lady and I have warmed up a bit about our topic and shifted to the question,
“Why would God allow us then to go through the process of waiting , praying and trusting yet do not see positive results at the end through our prayers?”

They say that to effectively draw out a positive result from a person without touching a raw nerve unnecessarily is to gently throw a question that he himself can answer. So I asked, “What lessons did you learn during the process of waiting, praying, agonizing in prayer and feeling like God was just dragging His foot just to meet your basic question every day?”

A knowing look and brightened eyes surfaced on her face as she narrated,

“Yes, I learned to be more patient.
I guess I can understand what others are going through similar to mine and I can sincerely empathize with what they are going through.
I learned to wait upon God.
“Come to think of it,” she says, “I guess, God too, has the right and option to answer my prayer the way He wants. I can’t pray and say, ‘You have no choice, God but You have to answer according to my wishes.’ I am no different to a spoiled brat if I act that way. I guess, it is time to thank God for the process I have gone through in prayer. Maybe, all along, He already answered my prayer, and the answer is ‘no’ ”

It feels good when your counselee shows a certain level of maturity after such an experience. But it is also a different matter if we see people try to mix a prayer plus another energy to add up to the effectivity of an answered prayer. An example is advising somebody to remain positive which sometimes mistaken as ‘faith’ and to keep away from being negative when you are in prayer. It is almost like a ‘knock on wood’ wish. Believing the object of your faith which to me is Jesus, gives me the assurance that the prayer I uttered is put under His care. Positive and negative vibes are not included in my personal relationship with Him. This piece of song says it all:

Trust His Heart
Babbie Mason
All things work for our good
Though sometimes we don’t see
How they could
Struggles that break our hearts in two
Sometimes blind us to the truth
Our Father knows what’s best for us
His ways are not our own
So when your pathway grows dim
And you just don’t see Him,
Remember you’re never alone
God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don’t understand
When don’t see His plan
When you can’t trace His hand
Trust His Heart.

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Family Matters: When God speaks louder than words http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-when-god-speaks-louder-than-words/ http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-when-god-speaks-louder-than-words/#comments Thu, 23 Aug 2018 16:00:58 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=61318 Read more ›]]> The most beautiful thing that can happen to a family is when it finds ultimate pleasure in knowing that God is the center of their relationship. Yet there are certain situations when listening to God’s will is like a remote possibility. However, when God speaks to anyone who seeks Him, He will surely hit the mark and within His time frame, He will see to it that in the end, His name is glorified.

About around 35 years ago, my husband, who was single then and at the peak of seeking God on what He wants him to do, was a little bit perplexed. He just graduated Fine Arts in Advertising at the University of Sto Tomas. In his solo exhibit, “My Journey to the Light” on April 2018 at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao, he said: “In college, I was introduced to the Light. He was the One I thought I knew as a religion but later surprised and touched me as personal and life changing. His Name is Jesus. Slowly, I learned to trust Him in bite sizes through small experiences, yet meaningful and personal, the thing I understood as faith. That was the beginning of my journey.

The title of the exhibit also depicts a time in my life when I was losing my eyesight due to an auto-immune disease. I was ready to whatever my condition would turn out. Instead of griping and questioning my circumstances, I knew that “nothing comes by accident to anyone who trusts Him”. I still prayed for a miracle, yet I said, “even then, Lord, Your plan is the best.” To prepare ahead, I started gathering resources for the blind, like Braille reading system for the blind and Bible recorded in tape.

Fortunately, there was a laser treatment that became available then at the Eye Center in Manila.

The damage was arrested, although not fully restored. It has been 35 years since it happened. Without the treatment at that time and of course, without God’s intervention, I could have been totally blind today.

The 25 paintings for my first solo art exhibit are painted on linen material in the impasto technique.

Chiaroscuro (light-dark) is an Italian word meaning, the treatment of light and shade in painting developed during the Renaissance period. Twenty-three pieces are done in oil and three pieces are done in acrylic. I hope that my version of the Bible stories or verses will give honor to the Word of God and to the true Master. It is my desire that the paintings will point the viewer to who He is and reflect about their personal lives through the eyes of God. As your co-struggler in this beautiful world yet surrounded by uncertainties, we will always find hope in Him alone.

I am forever grateful of His kindness and with great gratitude, I share the Light of Jesus through visuals based on His Word so more people will be brought from darkness to light.

God bless you in your journey. May you see the beauty of His mercy, the wonder of His grace and the depth and width of His enduring love, filling your being with His Light.”

This painter’s story and perspective brings me closer to a certain avenue of seeing God work not on our own understanding. After all, He said,

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts
neither are your ways my ways,
declares the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are my ways higher than your ways
And my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

When I say, my new perspective of God’s work, I account it to the way He sometimes works in ironic ways. Daryl worked hard to be a good artist in college. Knowing that he is ready to apply God’s gift, suddenly, his eyesight was endangered. What is a painter without an eyesight? I liken this too in the life of father Abraham. God promised him a generation as numerous as the sand in the seashores. Then from a twist of an event, one day, God called Abraham to get up and bring his son Isaac, his only son to Mt. Moriah. There, He instructed the poor father to sacrifice his son. It is short of saying, ‘ I will multiply you through your son. Then God instructs him to kill the young boy!’

We have discussed this together as a couple and realized that Daryl’s eyesight disability until today is His way of saying that there is really nothing to be proud of and to be puffed up with. The glory belongs to Him.

These and more are God’s ways to speak to us in His amazing ways. Sometimes, He speaks through the roaring waves, the clap of a thunder or the quietness of a soft breeze after the storm. But He wants to be assured that what He wants, in whatever manner He tries to speak to us must be caught first by the heart.

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Family Matters: We too can trust the good old ways http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-we-too-can-trust-the-good-old-ways/ http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-we-too-can-trust-the-good-old-ways/#comments Thu, 16 Aug 2018 16:00:59 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=61184 Read more ›]]> Every family has a freedom to find options and choices to maintain good health. Many times, because of our orientation about good health, we resort only to the labeled pills or medicines over the counter.

Being a heart attack survivor myself, and two more attacks that followed, I became too dependent on the seven pills prescribed to me daily. After a year of spending P5,000 weekly, I still was wary of my fourth heart attack. I couldn’t help calculating how much we invest in one year, which will cost us P300,000 and if I still survive in five years, it will cost us P1.5 million! This is minus the more than P70,000 bills charged to me by the hospital for every heart attack that I experience. Well, it pays to know how to calculate, or else one is left wondering where all the savings have gone.

I have nothing against medical doctors, many are true to their professions. And many would go out of their way to help alleviate my situation. But some would not give me an option to the medicines being prescribed to me. An example is a medicine prescribed for my heart, which must be taken with caution because it can have an adverse effect on my kidneys, or to my other organs. So which organ is the most important to be saved?

To seek a new alternative, especially when I also had a seizure condition that would make me useless when the attack comes 15 times a day, a dear friend suggested that I should see her acupuncturist.
Western medicine started to be discovered and practiced just recently. From their studies, a disease is a condition that can be separated from the patient. It is something that the patient has like the others. Thus, any number of patients can also have the disease and be treated in a similar manner.

In Chinese medicine, however, a disease cannot be viewed like how it is viewed by its counterpart. It is something a patient must be treated as a whole or holistically. Disease, from the Chinese point of view, is “an imbalance in the patient’s being.” The disease cannot be stereotyped and must be treated like the others. There is no isolated, self-contained, separate entity called “disease.” There is only a whole person whose body functions may be balanced or imbalanced, harmonious or disharmonious. Understanding the nature of the imbalance is the goal of diagnosis, while restoring balance is the focus of treatment according to them.

I thought, maybe, there is no harm trying to see an acupuncturist and see my condition from a different perspective. After all, oriental medicine had been discovered 3,000 to 4,000 years ago, and people lived longer according to records. As my hubby and I entered the clinic of Ms. Joyce Cathrine Elago at Thai Raksa along Ecoland near SM City in Davao City, I was surprised to see a bubbly, modern, professionally looking lady and confident of the career she has chosen. She too, as she related to us became convinced after suffering from torn ligaments or so with a slipped disk. She thought her life would be useless, literally crawling in pain, then later decided not to give up and tried to find solutions to her malady.

Her pursuit to be well again brought her to Thailand and submitted herself to an acupuncturist with oriental medicine background. After her acupuncture sessions with prescribed natural herbal medicines, the result was wonderful. She thought that if what happened to her in Thailand helped her and made a 180 degrees comeback in her life, she can pursue a further study applying this as she will learn the technique herself in China. She was confident that this can help more Filipinos and will be given them another choice and option to being cured. Her studies took years in China to learn the method.

The initial step she asked me to do was to bring out my tongue and see what ails me. Right away, she said that I do have a problem with my heart, but there are other issues to be attended to that are causing my glaring symptom about the heart. She explained that the acupuncture she will apply to me for the 10-day daily sessions would try to bring balance and clear all pathways to treat my body as a whole because there are certain blockages that need to be unclogged. Because I was having seizures that time, she took two needles and easily plunged them on both my temples. I was surprised that the pain I anticipated was nothing and barely felt. That day and until the present, my seizures were history.

She too explained that after my five days sessions, my body will be detoxified and bring out elements that have been accumulated for so long through years. True enough, I ran to and fro the bathroom endlessly and we managed it with plenty of electrolytes to keep me from being dehydrated. It lasted for one day and a half and after the expected result, I got up with sustained energy, ready for my new baking recipe.

There are many amazing results that happened to me leaving me satisfied and happy. By the way, from day one until today, I have stopped taking my maintenance to see the difference of the two world views of healing. Yet, my heart beat took a happy turn of event as it started to beat normally. I don’t despise any of the two, but at least, a patient like me can be given a choice and option to at least see what best works for me, without being emotionally hostaged because I couldn’t comply taking medicines which would drain my family’s coffer after sometime.
Be healthy and wise.

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Family Matters: What was I Saying? http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-what-was-i-saying/ http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-what-was-i-saying/#comments Thu, 09 Aug 2018 16:54:41 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=60977 Read more ›]]> Time flies and many times, we can no longer retrieve what we thought was something permanently ingrained in the mind.

It has become a common scenario at home when hubby and I heartily discuss events and situations. Then a fit of cough intervenes and the one who was last discussing a topic asks, “What was I saying?”

It causes me stress because I too forgot what his last line was before the cough. Good thing, we can readily shift to other topics, hoping we would stumble on the previous forgotten one as we continue to converse. As we embrace the malady of old age, we too welcome the new laughter of getting together harmoniously with fun, acceptance, and love.

Now I understand why many times, people say that irritability comes with old age. It is either the brains have gone wiry or like a data in the computer, the intruding time has deleted some facts and memories. And this becomes frustrating. This is the problem when we grow up thinking that our significance is because of what we have in our faculties. We amass so much knowledge, ideas and degrees and to let go of them when the time comes is difficult. Nothing wrong really with being in the bracket of the “brainies and knowledgeable.” Or else, progress and new ideas are hampered. The problem only comes when all these become our pride and joy that when due to natural old age process, and God says, “time to unwind,” we grope for survival and there is none to hang on to.

I like the word, ‘unwind’. Many times, due to busyness, a break from work seems impossible. Or sometimes, we force ourselves to stay away from the work area, yet, in a seemingly restful place free from people and pressure, we are still engrossed about the work. Unwinding is like a rubber band stretched to its limits. Then, we let go and boy, if it has a mouth, you wouldn’t imagine how grateful it is when you release it. Same thing happens when we grow old. When God says, “Now it is time to relax,” we are dumbfounded not knowing what to do.

Part of aging is not only thinking. It is not only critiquing. It too comes with loving, laughing and gracefully accepting. One for a good laugh is written by Ali Strong
Three sisters age 92, 94, and 96 live in a house together.
One night the 96 year old draws a bath, puts her foot in and pauses.
She yells down the stairs, “Was I getting in or out of the bath?”
The 94 year old yells back, “I don’t know, I’ll come up and see.”
She starts up the stairs and pauses, then she yells,
“Was I going up the stairs or coming down?”
The 92 year old was sitting at the kitchen table having tea
listening to her sisters. She shakes her head and says,
“I sure hope I never get that forgetful.” She knocks
on wood for good measure. She then yells,
“I’ll come up and help both of you as soon as I see
who’s at the door.”

Now isn’t that a good laugh? The three old sisters surely have a lot of fun and laughter together. They will surely survive the day and night if they only keep loving. Because loving comes from the heart strengthened by their bond of love nurtured while preparing for the real fun of old age.

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Family Matters | When Mr. Right is Bright http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-when-mr-right-is-bright/ http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-when-mr-right-is-bright/#comments Fri, 03 Aug 2018 07:12:13 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=60744 ]]> (Part 2 of Finding Mr. Right)

On our last issue, we discussed how to find Mr. Right. I guess we have made it clear that to find the best mate is to be still and allow God to work on the right circumstances so that Mr. Right will find you sane and sound. Now the question is, how will a man seeking for his mate follow the right path so that this journey in life does not become complicated spared from unnecessary heartaches?

Our aim here is for you, young man, to find the best mate that we call God’s best and not the second best. Do you know the feeling when you see a lady for the first time and boom! Suddenly, the sky turns pink, the pavement becomes gold and stars are everywhere. You cannot sleep and you think about how to see her again at all costs. Let me tell you this. That feeling is not love but it is plain infatuation. Well, the feeling is good, but let me gently remind you again that love is not a feeling but a decision. Sleep over the good feeling because who knows, you might have based that feeling on what you saw. Mistakes come one after the other if we are not very careful.

Let me remind you again that ladies are more vulnerable (although sometimes you are, too) than men. Majority of them feel deeply, and many times they fall into the trap of reading signals between the lines. So most often, their feelings show because ‘they perceived, or sometimes felt’ the special attention. I cringe, when I see young men seemingly and innocently hug or put their arms around the shoulders of girls they know. Gentlemen should not do that. They must know how to control their urges and hands, and place them on their sides where they belong in front of a girl. Even if you say that it is just an innocent hug, you know and she knows that some switches are turned on. If you are a gentleman, do not do extra special things only to one lady when you have no intention to pursue a relationship. Do it to everybody, from the lesser candidate of women you like to the most potential. A sensitive lady would notice the bias easily.

To ladies, try to know how the man treats her mother. If he doesn’t show love, honor and respect to her mother forget about him. He has to learn the basics of truly loving, honoring and respecting at home. He is not a good marrying material. When you are married, expect the same treatment that he does to his mother.

Gentlemen, do not say that precious word, ‘I love you’ to a young lady anytime and anywhere. They are responsibly uttered only to a person you intend to marry. Oh well, please don’t say things like, I just want to be honest and she ought to know how I feel. Feelings are better unsaid rather than saying that word ‘ I love you’, which when said should be followed by the more serious proposal of “will you marry me?” because the words ‘I love you’ that is said to a woman is sacred.

Now, when you are ready, and all the hormonal urges and starry eyes are out of the way, look for the woman
” … With the imperishable character of a gentle and quiet spirit which is precious in the sight of God.”
Remember what the Lord said to Samuel the prophet?

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7
When the feelings subside, ask God to clear your mind, and for Him to speak to you like He did to Samuel. Now you are ready to find ‘Wonder Woman ‘, the one who keeps wondering where is the right man. She is actually among the crowd where women of likemindedness with ‘gentle and quiet spirit’ gather and not in overnight drinking parties. I assure you, she is there in that small gathering busy of what God wants her to do. Yes, young man, you are bright when you do things right!

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Family Matters | Finding Mr. Right http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-finding-mr-right/ http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-finding-mr-right/#comments Fri, 27 Jul 2018 02:31:10 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=60657 ]]> MARRYING Mr. Right is the most ideal wish of every woman, and what more if Mr. Right is also Mr. Bright? That is a real fringe benefit! I am not saying that a woman should pine over this issue day in and day out.
The chaos in this world is enough to keep you awake and busy. And if more than half of your time every day is spent day dreaming who and where that Mr. Right and Bright is, then I say that probably that guy has passed you by, because the real man will be brought to you when your eyes are connected to reality, sober and not half awake daydreaming. Yes ma’am, our good God makes aware of the man’s presence in the right place, right time and with a clearheaded, intelligent and widely awake woman! Of course this could also be true to a man looking for the woman of his dreams.
Let me give some unsolicited advice to men and women out there who are excited to find their right mates. Some ideas are not my own, but were gently advised to me by good friends I trusted and did not ever think that something was wrong with me when I was thirty nine and still single. Those days when I doubted whether I should change my makeup, because I no longer received second looks or change my wardrobe, because they seem “larger” than the time when I purchased them. Maybe I thought to change my prayer too about the man that would sweep me off my feet. Probably, he was not after all strong enough anymore to do it.
The right mate you are looking for, take note, I said ‘right mate’ should not be found in drinking parties. If you are a student, focus on healthy group relationships but concentrate on your studies and aim to graduate. Be open to be friends with people whose values are godly and good influencers, and thinks of the concerns of others. They are the people who are there not to impress but to express themselves in the right way. Hang around these people, but aim to land in a good job so that your reason to marry later is not to have someone to lean on because you are financially strapped. Tell God that you are willing to trust Him for His best will for you. Keep yourself busy about knowing God. Then be still, wait and see what God will do. Look up to pray, but don’t expect the poor guy falling down from the clouds. You still have to find him among those that are within the circle of people you have associated and comfortable with. It doesn’t matter how old you are, but yes, be still and wait.
Only then and there can we trust God for His best will for you. It is not true that God doesn’t love you when His will is for you to remain single. Singleness is not a punishment, but like marriage, both are blessings according to His purpose. When His will is for you to marry, He will start choosing from those that you became close with. If he does not come from your friends, the Mr. Right is someone similar to the people you wanted to be surrounded with. Because you all developed the same mind set, purpose and goal in life, you are then ready to marry according to His plan. That is to put God at the center of your marriage when you are ready to marry.
Finding Mr. Right and Mr. Bright, is not seeking around attending parties and craning your neck out to spot him. The best way is to be still so that he can find you. A happy weekend to singles!

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Family Matters | When I am gone http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-when-i-am-gone/ http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-when-i-am-gone/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2018 01:12:11 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=60459 ]]> The family is designed to be one’s refuge in times of difficulties and trials. It also serves as the source of strength and joy of life. When trials come, we see who among them are the strongest.

When this writer, of course that’s me, had my second heart attack last year of this same month, many thoughts came across my mind as I imagined what could happen because of my near fatal condition. My heart to heart talk with God was very sincere and I was almost pleading for him to help us put everything in order in case it was time for me to go. With a family of three, my husband, son, and myself, at least I thought things would be easier to manage if a drastic change happens. It will not be so when I leave behind five or eight kids in a row. By my mental calculation, I was happy to think that I don’t leave behind a helpless young child. My son now is working and can fend for himself. My husband had always been the breadwinner, so he wouldn’t be totally helpless.

Our dog Sasha, an American Bully who is like my forever baby, would look for me in a short while. But she will forget me because she receives love from people around. Their biggest adjustment would only be the planning of their daily food, laundry and cleaning up. Maybe, a good house help would be necessary, which we already have at present. They would only need somebody, a writer to edit their works, someone who will prepare the monthly tax payment for my husband (my son taking over) and a good sounding board for them to be with when they are excited or confused. Someone who will pray for them by the door as they go out, that God would give them success and many divine appointments as they venture for the day. Surely, they will miss me for a while but there will be healing in time.

For some quick thought, I made some head counts of the people who have gone ahead of me and are now in heaven. These include my parents, my grandfather, and very good friends. I could only count around 10, and at least six friends that I am very comfortable with.

“Lord,” I said, “They are not too many yet to count to meet me. But surely, it will be grand to see you. What if I stay a while longer, not because I need more friends to be with in heaven but I just want to grow old with my family on earth for a little more time. Everybody dies at his or her appointed time, including me and others, help us not to fear death. It will surely come, and prepare us to accept death and life as part of your plan. ”
As I continued my reverie, the door in my hospital room opened and my husband came in, with an intent and loving look only for me, and he uttered the best words ever, “Hello, sexy!”
Now, tell me if life on earth is as beautiful as in heaven. Yes, both are good and happy to behold!

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Family Matters | The shoe story http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-the-shoe-story/ http://mindanaotimes.net/family-matters-the-shoe-story/#comments Thu, 12 Jul 2018 09:58:09 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=60214 ]]> It is amazing to hear about students passing the board exams this month from Mindanao as they took and garnered the top 10 national bracket. To top it all, two come from poor families, a magbabalut vendor and the other is from a family who we commonly call mangangalakal. Because of poverty, this family picks up anything worthy to be sold like scraps of iron and plastic bottles to be recycled by big companies. One can imagine how these families survive and make ends meet. It is basically a hand to mouth existence, and every coin counts a lot. And more stories like even though they were not in the top 10 slots, some graduated and finished college as part time house-helps. Many that I know worked their way up to college as working students.

They know life, and they know how it is like to go to school hungry. Sometimes, the school uniform is only a set, and has to be washed and air dried for the next day. One that I know of is a personal friend from the Bagobo Tagabawa tribe, Analaine, who I used to mentor who survived college from the meager income of the father who is a caretaker of a Christian seminar place in Davao City. He has to feed about five children from his meager income. His eldest daughter, Analaine, has to raise funds from church friends for scholarship in order to go to college. Some did respond and now, she has successfully graduated. The highlight is the drama during her graduation day was even more catching. She was ready to march with her father to the stage to receive her diploma. But for no reason, one shoe gave out on that very hour as she marched, the sole flip-flopping on her way up to the stage and back. In social media, she even shouted that nothing even that shoe tragedy would diminish her excitement and pride to march with her father clutching his arms for two reasons: she needed the support to walk properly because of the uncooperative shoes and second, because she has finished college and be of help to her parents to support her siblings. I couldn’t pinpoint why my tears fell when I heard about her story. It could be because she successfully graduated finally or why did that shoe gave way when her story of college life should have ended successfully and with flair?

Ah, such is the irony of life. But one thing people shouldn’t forget is that money is not the gate pass to success. In fact, success is sweeter when you know that you have nothing, yet it happened anyway because you had the faith to understand that God is able. After which, the glory goes back to Him who enabled you, and we have nothing to be proud of but only the faith as small as a mustard seed because we believed.

“In life, many things don’t go according to plan. If you fall, get back up. If you stumble, regain your balance. Never give up. Lesson learned”. Quote by Maria Analaine Porgo (Remember the story about the shoe tragedy? With permission to post and publish)

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