`
August 15, 2016 by by Fiona Mae Alvero

This blog was written on October 1, 2015. It’s one of the many blogs that stayed as a draft and didn’t make it because I never felt it was finished but today I’m deciding to stop being a chicken and post it here anyway. 

_________________

There was once a man who I had the privilege to work with as my leader.

This man has taught me a lot of things, most of it he taught by example.

Today I think about this man as I am starting to feel the heavy weight of the new role given to me at work—his role. And in case you still haven’t guessed, I have very big shoes to fill in.

These days, facing new challenges that I have no idea how to deal with has been my new normal in the office.

This afternoon was the most overwhelming so far.

I was trying to navigate through a situation that looked so intimidating. When I felt I’ve already lost all my confidence to handle it, I began to think and wonder what he would do with the situation at hand if he’s still the one in charge.

I chucked alone while thinking about that as I couldn’t help but have flashbacks of my former boss and how he’s usually like in the office (something we truly miss about).

I realized I barely have a memory of him making to-do lists like what an obsessed admin person like me would do as if my whole life depends on it. Barely saw him sit at his desk (he didn’t have a proper one and he didn’t mind) or be on his laptop (he didn’t have one either, and still he didn’t mind).

But he made things done. Oh did he make things done.

11329980_10205592625008197_7813631960187317524_n

All gathered up at the guest relations room last Ignite 2015, right after the conference ended. This was one of the big projects that we got to do together. This might be one of my favorite Ignite 2015 photos too because look — it’s so multigenerational!

We like to also remember him as the man who likes to barge in the office, good angst and all, as if everyday is a war day, “Remember, guys! You are changing the world!”

He’s like that, known for making few unforgettable remarks that sound so hilarious at first but you’ll realize are actually full of truth once it sinks in.

One of my favorites would be him saying in true Dan Monterde fashion,

“Basta, guys, trabaho lang. Ang taong maraming hidden agenda, madaling ma-offend.”

11179976_10153243250949547_1342760162357728_n

At the School of Campus Ministry Graduation where he received the Most Outstanding Alumnus Award.

It’s his way of reminding us to always check our hearts and our motives behind why we do what we do.

Sometimes we put too much of ourselves in the work that we do that it becomes about us. And so when someone criticizes or corrects our work, we have the tendency to take it personally against the other person and harbor offense from that.

Other times, the tendency is to perform. To please people.

But once our motive towards work becomes just simply to give God our best—to work as if working for the Lord and not for men; to serve Him and His people with all that we have without expecting anything in return, work becomes lighter.

Not because it did really get light, but because this time your focus now is not on yourself but on Jesus.

11666115_10153407833684547_2427159691882061780_n

At Ignite 2015 where Dan served as our conference director.

This afternoon, I was looking for a method, a structure, a process to pattern what my next steps are (which are great and are also equally important), but in the end I was reminded of the right response.

It’s the response that says, “It’s not about me,” “This is for Jesus,” or “I’m doing this for the next generation.”

When I remembered that lesson from Dan, I just had to smile and shake my head this afternoon  coming to a conclusion,

“He’s gonna keep his eyes focused on Jesus, not on himself. That’s what he’ll do.”

10629858_10153338289129547_3325606637310665449_n

This was during the offsite TDR of Ignite 2015. We were testing our games for the half time show and he stood in as a mock player. Not gonna forget how we all hysterically laughed at his buzzer beater win!

July 11, 2016 by by Fiona Mae Alvero

Our church had just gone through a three-day mid-year prayer and fasting last week.

I honestly love it when I get to pray and fast with my spiritual family. It’s like Christmas to me, only this one with the absence of food on the table.

I also love the idea of doing one in the middle of the year because I sure could use some recalibrating and refocusing.

IMG_4438

One of the reasons why I love prayer and fasting is because I get to do it with these girls who I truly treasure and that we get to witness together God’s faithfulness in our lives. :)

Few days before we started the fasting, I woke up one morning thinking of the faith goals that I wrote in January and how I thought I need to revisit it once again.

Lazy to get up, I tried to see if I could briefly recall by memory what I had written down in my journal and while going through it in my head, it dawned on me that the opportunity I had just lost a week ago was actually one of the faith goals I wanted to believe God to come through for me this year.

I stared blankly at the ceiling upon that realization, shocked at how six months ago, when I wrote that faith goal down, I was full of reason to believe it’s gonna come to pass. And then six months later, all the chances I knew were no more and the only word I could come up with to describe my situation would be the word impossible.

And you know, for me, if that’s what it is, I’m totally fine with that.

DareToBelievePandF-1920x1080-842x474

This year, as a church, we’re gonna dare to believe. :) If you wanna check out more information about the prayer and fasting, you may visit www.victory.org.ph/fasting2016. :)

It’s just that lying on my bed that morning, I had no clue what to do next. Is it still gonna be a faith goal then? Or should I just cross it out? Besides, it’s already gonna be impossible to happen.

I was thinking of that and then asked God about it, but I felt He only asked me back, “Do you still have faith for that? Do you still want to be in faith?”

Do I still want to be in faith? What.

I was waiting to hear a yes or a no from Him that morning but what I got was a fresh invitation to see faith simply for what it is.

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and being certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

SM-VOW-HEB11_1NCV-JA-008

The answer is yes. It is a yes because today it looks impossible to happen. It is illogical, crazy, and not to mention pathetic in my own terms. It is a yes because everything around me shouts no. It is a yes because it’s not gonna be based on circumstance but rather on who God is.

I don’t know what faith looks like for you this year. But for some of us, faith looks like waking up one morning in the face of impossibility, seeing nothing. And the moment you saw it’s impossible, all the more it makes sense for you now to believe because you realize that’s the essence of faith anyway – it’s believing for things we have yet to see.

And so you say Yes to His voice inviting you, “Do you still want to be in faith?”

_______________________________________

“Like a stunt man adding one more car to the pile, one more hurdle to jump so that the feat is even more miraculous than what we had at first hoped and imagined, God is making our situation just a bit more impossible right now. And while we doubt and scratch our heads and ask how, He says two words: Watch Me.”

– Nicole Baart

July 4, 2016 by by Fiona Mae Alvero

I learned to eat and appreciate Greek food because of my best friend Mariel.

It all started few years ago when we picked a Greek restaurant for my birthday.

Over a generous helping of grilled lamb and watermelon salad and a huge portion of angus beef burger we decided to half, Mariel and I took the time to enjoy the flavors of our glorious food while dreaming about our future and talking about our big plans in life.

FullSizeRender

April of 2014 when I first tried Greek food and completely fell in love with it!

Mariel is that one friend who I feel very safe to tell my biggest dreams and biggest failures to. Maybe because we’ve already seen each other in almost everything for having to go through college years together (she went to Ateneo while I went to Miriam College) and entering the single professional life together. We’ve sat in the same boat many times that I feel I am most understood when I’m with her.

I love Greek food because I remember it for that – for that conversation we had on my birthday, for being understood, for the liberty to dream big without being questioned for it, for the freedom to know there’s beauty in all of my failures, and for the comfort it gives to know someone else is also sitting in the same boat with me.

It’s the reason I sat quietly for a brief moment the other day at another Greek restaurant we tried for the first time. We had our staple lamb and watermelon salad on the table, partnered with a hearty skewer of beef souvlaki and a siding of moussaka. We went on and talked about our dreams and plans in life as usual (and how Sheryl Sandberg rocks). And again, I felt it was a safe place.

IMG_4252

Our meal at Greeka. It was super yum but TBH, I like Cyma’s lamb and watermelon salad more.

I told Mariel that evening how I’ve been praying to God for clarity and direction for a certain dream I want to pursue next in this chapter of my life, and how I’ve been so blown away at how faithful He is for answering that prayer.

Some of you might have found yourselves needing to say that prayer too. When the roads split into two different directions and you’re not sure which one to take, “Lord, I pray for direction.”

Or when both of the opportunities in front of you are equally good and yet you need to choose, “Lord, please make it clear which is one You want me to pursue.”

The last time I prayed for clarity and direction, the answer came in a form of a door of opportunity that God swung wide open, while in the process also gently closing some doors that are not for me. One of which is the one door I was hoping He’d keep open.

And right before my very eyes, there it was—clarity. A crystal clear one.

I was telling Mariel all of that, of how I’m grateful to God for answering my prayer, and then in the same breath I said something I couldn’t place to admit for the longest time until we were at that table eating Greek food.

“You know, the thing with clarity sometimes,” I said while I struggled to find the most diplomatic word to express what I think.

But then with Mariel, I realized, I didn’t need a diplomatic word. I could be all straight out honest and true and so I finally let it out unfiltered,

“Just sometimes, clarity is painful.”

IMG_4253

It’s that one conversation I’ve been pondering on lately, why there could be pain in the midst of clarity.

What I’ve learned is that when God brings clarity, He illuminates His plans for us.

We see it and while that is good, part of us pains for the truth that it is different from what we thought we already beautifully planned and figured out for ourselves.

I learned the pain comes from being human, broken and wanting to be in control. Now I realize that it is totally ridiculous of us to sometimes wish we know everything because if we do, I don’t really think we can handle that. I remember a friend telling me once that if we will see at once the totality of God’s great plans for us here on earth, we will only either get proud because it looks too great, or we will get disappointed because it’s not what we imagined.

Maybe it’s the reason we only know in part, why we only know what we have to know right now.

Clarity is painful because it exposes our hearts, where it is really yielded to. Is it yielded to our own dreams and plans? Or is it yielded to God?

I hope we will all walk this life yielded to a Person and not a plan.

The good part is, no matter what God illuminates to us as His plan when we ask Him for clarity, we are assured to know that it is the best for us.

And that there’s a promise that always stands true in moments it gets a little painful to understand (you all know this): “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. 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)

S4xForMyThoughtsAreNotYour-2

Just in case you find yourself still needing a little more comfort, I hope you find it from knowing that you are not alone and someone else is also sitting in the same boat with you. You’ll find me there with maybe a good helping of moussaka to share. :)

June 27, 2016 by by Fiona Mae Alvero

This week, I have finally gotten myself to take driving lessons.

After years of trying to make it a goal only to be beaten by my laziness and lack of vision for it and after all the arguing with my mom because she paid for me to get enrolled but I kept postponing it and making it my least priority, now I’m driving.

Tonight was the most number of kilometres I’ve driven. I asked my instructor to rate my driving today from 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest and he said that I’m at seven. Pretty sure the three points he withheld was because I keep hitting the brakes too hard it drives him crazy (and dizzy).

We spent a good amount of time practicing my parking tonight too which, to my surprise, was easier than I thought it would be.

On my first attempt to reverse park, I was able to get it right on my first take.

Right at that parking slot, my instructor asked me to pull the hand break up while he searched for a paper and a pen. He wanted me to learn not just the practical but also the reason why we park a certain way. In our case tonight, a reverse one.

It’s the least thing I like about my driving lessons. It’s when we stop and I get a short lecture on this and that. I’m the student who wants to just drive and do it already (aka impatient).

And so my instructor was lecturing me about the different kinds of parking and somewhere in his lecture he said something that got my attention.

You are where you are right now,” he said and then pointed to where I stopped before I went reverse,

Because of your position a while ago.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 11.14.45 PM

I looked at where he pointed and felt I heard something profound.

I know he was only talking about my parking but somehow, at some point, those words sounded so personal. As if he’s talking about my life. As if he knows what’s going on.

Maybe because I’ve been just so desperate to know something.

Having to face unexpected shifts and turns in my life lately, I’ve been wondering a lot about where I’m going. I’d spend so much time in prayer thinking and asking God if I’m still doing it right, if I’m going the right direction. Am I still on the right track, God? Is this the way that leads me to where I should be?

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 12.21.08 AM

And then right in those words of my driving instructor, I felt I found an answer I needed for now to keep me going.

“Just be in the right position before God, Fiona. As long as you are in the right position, you’re sure gonna end up in the right place. Just right where you should be.”

The position we choose to make today will determine the place we’ll end up going. And when we choose to be in the right position with God, we find the right places. Just right where each of us should be. :)

February 12, 2016 by by Fiona Mae Alvero

This blog was originally posted on Facebook on January 29, 1:21pm.

________________

I am at the hospital for check up as I am writing this.

Few weeks ago, I was at the ER hoping to finally find out the reason for the constant arm pain that I’ve been feeling since November.

I chose ER for this one because when you are a single young professional living independently, you thought you could use some privileges like say a free trip to the ER using your health card.

I sat at the ER for hours waiting for the results of X-ray and blood test that the doctor ordered. Results came and I was told I have a neck muscle spasm as the cause of the pain I’ve been feeling.

“Your muscles are so tense because you are stressed. You’ve been sleeping in wrong position, too. Take these meds and you are not allowed to go to work for two days. You need bed rest,” the doctor said.

I found his diagnosis rather funny especially the part where he told me I’m stressed. My initial thoughts were that except for the arm pain that’s been concerning me for months now, there was really nothing that I am stressed about. Not from work. Or even my family. Or love life cause I don’t even have one to begin with. :P

Few weeks later, I still feel a tinge of pain in my arm but definitely not as bad as before and when I see the doctor later, I’m hoping to hear we’ve made some progress.

But for now, as I wait, I start to process again the thoughts that were running in my mind the night I sat at the ER waiting for my results. For me today, it’s still the same,

Longevity.

I decided that night that no matter how serious or light the results would be, I’m gonna start to take care of my body and make health as a non-negotiable priority.

I decided that night that in all aspects of my life and not just my health, I will be intentional in thinking long term and investing long term.

I don’t want to lose office hours from feeling under the weather because I stayed up late for no important reason or ate fast food for days because it’s convenient.

I want to stay long in the ministry and run many more conferences alongside young people because I still can physically even if one day I’m old and boring for them already.

I want to be able to cradle all my future kids in my arms without any hesitation because my neck is strong and my muscles are healthy.

I want to be able to travel anytime, be asked by my friends to coordinate their weddings and say yes to it, disciple more girls and meet them for small group weekly, do sports and other extreme activities because I’m fit and full of energy.

I want to listen to my body better and give enough rest it needs and be able to identify if I’m physically stressed already especially when I’m being workaholic or overly engrossed and passionate at work because no one said I can’t rest and it’s perfectly okay to do that anyway.

Guess what I’m saying is, I wanna live long and actually live and I can’t do that if I’m always sick.

I want to live long for Jesus and be available for Him and do many great things for Him and be maximized by Him and be ready to be used by Him anytime, any day.

Because I’m fit and healthy and I can physically.

And because He is a good God who still has many great plans for me waiting to be unfold for His glory.

And, darn, what would I give to not miss any of it.

PS. I’d post this as a blog on my website but I’m too lazy to fix the technical glitches I still need to attend to which is something I’ve been putting off for weeks now.

PSS. I’m now walking back to the office and I’m feeling and doing really fine so there’s no need to worry about me.

December 9, 2015 by by Fiona Mae Alvero

A conversation with a friend over creamy muesli and green salad has kept me awake thinking last night.

I came home from that dinner appointment feeling nothing less like what we ate: good and light.

Sometimes, in moments like that, I count it a blessing to sit across a friend and find out in the course of conversations said and stories shared that you are not alone. That you are not the only one going through what you’re going through.

At that dinner table, we tackled some of the challenges and struggles we go through when dealing with our emotions and the things we learned along the way.

There were three things that became solid to me last night. Three things I still try to chew and process and ponder and I thought it helps to write it.

Also, please note that nothing of what I’m writing here comes from some expert girl who knows how to handle her emotions well cause clearly I’m not but I’m writing it from a perspective of someone who is just also learning her way through it.

Here we go.

It is okay to acknowledge your emotions. You need it.

I didn’t appreciate until recently the fact that I grew up in a home where we are free to express our feelings and emotions – where it is valid to feel hurt or upset or sad; where you are welcome to laugh your lungs out; where family gatherings are not complete without a relative or two tearing up over a memory reminisced or sight of kids growing up.

I realize that being in an environment where emotions are acknowledged and not suppressed has taught me growing up to welcome my emotions as they come and be honest with it.

I like what my friend once told me when I was too prideful to admit the way I feel towards a certain situation. I was concealing my feelings and having struggles dealing with the situation.

She asked me once and for all how I honestly feel and once I gave in she said, “There you go. Just admit it. You need to admit it so you stop struggling. Admitting how you feel allows the grace of God to work in that area of your life.”

I thought that was liberating.

inside-out-console-progression-3

So you’ve seen the movie Inside Out, right?

Don’t give your emotions the control. Be the one in control.

While acknowledging our emotions helps, allowing ourselves to sulk into our emotions is a different story.

Cry when you’re sad. Hurt if you’re hurting. Grieve if you need to. But don’t stay there.

It is a choice we make for ourselves. We can either let our emotions have control over us or give ourselves the authority to have control over our emotions.

I am a very emotional person, you see. Many times in the past I have allowed my emotions to cloud my decisions and I can say those weren’t the best and the most sound decisions I’ve made in my life.

Also, I thought I might side note this. The more I am trying to understand what emotions really are, the more I’m also understanding what love is NOT.

Emotions feel. Love decides.
Emotions are selfish. Love is not.
Emotions think about yourself. Love thinks about others.
Emotions go away. Love stays.

Be careful to distinguish if you are doing something out of emotions or out of love.

Always do it based on love. It’s harder. But better.

Love-is-patient

What love is.

You can submit your emotions to God. He is the Lord over it.

This truth became so real to me few weeks ago when I had a day with a roller coaster kind of emotions. What does a roller coaster kind of emotions look like? Don’t ask a girl. She also doesn’t know.

tumblr_lsv4z380O61qk4jsr

On the way home that day, I got off the cab considerably far from my doorstep so I could take some time to walk. Walking always helps me clear my mind.

I won’t forget that walk because that was the time I realized that this is the area of my life where I am still ashamed to come to God for because I feel like it’s such a petty thing to talk to God about compared to other cares of this world.

“It’s just my emotions, God. I JUST feel this way. Nothing so important.”

But in that moment of me trying to downplay my emotions, I felt God wanting to be involved.

I realized that even in this seemingly shallow concern I have that which is my feelings and emotions, He is still the Lord over it.

And because He is the Lord even in this area of my life, I can submit my emotions to Him. Make it obedient to Him.

It could be sadness because of a failed exam.
Grief over a lost loved one.
Excitement for a new season of your life.
Or that nice growing feelings for a guy.

It’s okay. He understands.

Come to Him with those and receive His grace for you.

July 25, 2015 by by Fiona Mae Alvero

Lazy Saturday afternoons are made for sticking your nose in a book or watching a feel good movie.

Books are easily my default any day but today I went for the latter.

And you know, it’s not everyday I get to chance upon a movie that I “like.” My friends know that too well about me. But today I’m glad about my choice of watching the DreamWorks animated movie, “Home.”

14268843952424

Oh and Tip. (photo from the web)

I’ll tell you straight up now. I bawled at the end of the movie. It wasn’t because of the story though it was superb let alone (fair that I mention I’d cry at any slightest reason really!). But this one was more of what it reminded me that made me tear up.

Home is a movie about a group of purple aliens called the Boov who are on the run from their enemy the Gorg. Searching for a safe place to nest in the entire galaxy, they found Earth to be their next home. When they got to the planet Earth and met humans, that’s when things started to get interesting.

And of course, it took only a matter of time for the Gorg to locate them.

179265_fnd_mc_home

One of my favorite scenes from the movie, when they were in the middle of the ocean under the stars. It must have been spectacular on 3D! (photo from the web)

In the end, one of the main characters who happen to be the least liked Boov, Oh, became the hero of the story and hailed to be the captain of the Boov for doing something brave to save the aliens from the Gorg, ousting their former leader.

Oh then eventually found out the reason why the Gorg were so angry at them. It was because their former leader stole something important from them – a rock. And the Gorg wanted it back so badly they lived their lives tracking the purple aliens down to take back what is rightfully theirs.

And this was the conversation of Oh with his human friends when they successfully returned the rock to the Gorg:

Oh: “It turns out Gorg was not here because of my invitation. Though Gorg would have been happy to attend. Gorg was here because Gorg was tracking the rock.”

Mom: “What was in that thing?”

Oh: “Gorg family. It is entire next generation.”

Tip: “All of them?”

Oh: “All of them.”

Tip: “No wonder they have been chasing you.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-25 at 7.48.00 PM

This was the scene when Oh was returning back the stone from the Gorg.

Cue the ugly cry.

Made me tear up because right when Oh said “It is entire next generation,” it was almost automatic for me to see the resemblance of that in my life and I began to think of our own entire next generation.

And the gripping question of, like the Gorg, I wonder how far we are willing to go and inconvenience ourselves to fight for them. 

Cause for the record, going all the way to the “Milky Way, turn right to the Big Deeper, third planet from the sun?” It’s a lot to go through.

But I’m sure for the Gorg, every light year was worth it if it only for the sake of the next generation.

I know that nothing about the movie was created and meant to tell you about campus ministry. But I guess when something so important is rooted down deep in your heart they have the tendency to surface and remind you of it even when it’s just a cute alien movie.

Screen Shot 2015-07-25 at 7.49.42 PM

Tip, Oh and MyMom (you gotta watch the movie and find out why “MyMom :D).

I hope we never give up on fighting for our “entire next generation.” I hope whatever it is that steals them away from their true purpose – from where they should be and who they should be – would make us so angry we chase em down.

I hope we never ever stop discipling them and walking alongside them and opening our doors for them and telling them about that one Guy who originally went from heaven to planet Earth to show them how valuable and loved and precious they are. To rescue them, really.

I hope we never get tired of believing in them.

And I hope whenever we get to be reminded of them, like say from a movie, our hearts will still be gripped once in a while to a point of crying like the first time it did, or whatever, because we still haven’t lost the poetry of it all. And we get to see it’s still there, very strong, “Hmm-mm, yes. Yes. Heart still passionate for the next generation.”

PS. Also, the full soundtrack of this movie? For the win!!!

07.25.15 07:46PM

February 26, 2015 by by Fiona Mae Alvero

I spent my day today meeting with great people.

When I say great people, these are men and women who know their stuff well. They are the ones who have been doing quite exceptionally well in their chosen field of expertise, the kind of guys you’d definitely want to spend time learning from and make you say, “This girl. I want to be like her when I grow up.”

Lately, work has becoming more and more humbling for me as I get to interact with these people. There are days I’d try hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I’m being given the opportunity to work with such amazing team. I get to sit with them in meetings though most of the time I’ve little to contribute and work together with them as one team for a global campus conference only we know God can pull off.

1558421_10153049730444547_5598649731812798598_n

This year’s Every Nation Asia Campus Conference: Ignite 2015 will take place at SMART Araneta Coliseum. We are anticipating 15,000 students from all over Asia filling up this coliseum on June 2-3. Exciting times are sure ahead of us!

This afternoon, I sat around the table with a few of them. In that meeting, I didn’t talk much. But I did listen intently.

I listened as each of them bring to the table whatever they can offer, their words weathered with years of experience and wisdom learned through time. Sometimes when someone talks in these kinds of meetings, I can’t help but get my thoughts past the topic being discussed and profoundly enter a moment right there trying to make terms in my head, “Gosh. How did this person get so good?!”

10995869_10153065852814547_699958685112562183_n

Some of the women who I get the privilege to work closely with for the conference. :)

I had that conversation lately with one of them, with a colleague who I consider my mentor. She’s one of the most exceptional women I know, someone who truly exemplifies passion and excellence in doing the calling God has placed in her life.

That lady, I had a mental image of her being the kind of person who always knew what she wanted to do in life. So I was expecting that her answer to my question of how she got so good at her craft would include a chronicle of how she’s always been dedicated in pursuing her passion growing up.

But then, that mental image I had of her, it was far from accurate. She didn’t exactly plan her life that way.

Instead, she told me how she started as someone who absolutely knew nothing about what she’s good at right now. But because at some point in her life she had to be entrusted with a responsibility she was not sure she could handle, instead of looking at her limitations, she chose to trust God with it. She chose to look at the responsibility given at hand as an opportunity to grow so she tried to learn it and took ownership of it the best way she knew how.

I take comfort in that. I take comfort in the fact that at some point in the lives of these great men and women, they also had no idea what they were doing just like you and me.

But because they were humble enough to admit that they cannot do it yet still allowed God to work in their lives and be used by Him for His glory, they made it through the process and came out of it as better versions of themselves.

10991153_10153049619024547_3471042751002769760_n

Half of the conference team of Ignite 2015. :)

I hope one day, maybe in some few years from now, I will get to mentor and inspire someone with that same message too. I hope she’s a 20-something lady who also asks in her head, “How did these people get so good?” in meetings we will be both in and the task she’s being given the opportunity to do is also bigger than herself.

I hope when we get the chance to talk and she asks me how I started as an event coordinator, I can only smile at her while I look back and remember. By that time, I hope I can say this to her with all honesty and sincerity I could ever muster, “You know what, I also started having no idea about my craft before. But when I was given the opportunity to do this task despite my limitations, I chose to trust God and allowed Him to use me for whatever purpose He wills. So when you find yourself in places where you feel like the tasks are bigger than yourself and you don’t know what to do, just choose to trust Him with the little that you have. He will be the One to see you through it. I am a witness to that. :)” 

 

Here’s the teaser of Ignite 2015! :)

November 9, 2014 by by Fiona Mae Alvero

Every start of the year, I prayerfully ask God to drop in my heart a specific verse that He wants me to hold on to and pray over for the rest of the year.

Interestingly for me, whatever that verse is, it somehow always AWALYS ends up to be nothing short of a summary of what happened to my life that year. I’ve seen many times how my life would start to work around that verse and witness that promise unfold sometimes so accurate to a point that it scares me.

In 2013, for example, I held on to the verse in Ephesians 3:20 where it says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than what we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” All throughout last year, that’s what I’ve witness God do in my life so wildly. He did show me that He is indeed a God of immeasurably more. You can read about that herehere, and here.

This year is no different. Few weeks ago when I revisited my faith goals and recounted where God has brought me the past months so far, I felt my year has already been so rich and overflowing I don’t mind closing it in early October.

I was engrossed and overwhelmed at how He did it once more – how He’s kept so well the promise He had impressed in my heart to hold on to for 2014: “See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19)

isaiah43-verse-19

None of the new things happened in my life this year came without a cost, of course. Most of it cost me in tears, cost me in prayer, cost me in battle. Yet through it all I’ve seen Him make a way for me and every time He did so, it built in me a new character, it allowed me to see a new facet of Him, and it gave me a new reason to praise Him each passing day. Even just for that I could say it has already been more than worth it.

IMG_4024

One of my favorite new things that happened this year: Moving to Victory Fort, having the privilege to be part of the Friday Youth Service prod team and being welcomed by these beautiful people. :)

I would admit though that months before this, I was totally convinced of the otherwise. I didn’t notice all the new things He was doing in my life — or maybe I should say I did not want to recognize or count them because they weren’t really the “new” I was expecting or waiting for to happen.

Most of the new things He did in my life this year weren’t exactly those that I was believing for Him to do.

You see, when He impressed Isaiah 43:19 in my heart, I began to have pictures in my head of the all the possibilities there is.

I have big dreams, you guys. And I thought maybe this could be the year for some significant dreams to happen. So I started praying for that.

I prayed and hoped and waited with so much anticipation that He’d move me on a certain emphasis. And I told Him that if by “new” He meant me packing my bags for an unfamiliar place, I will be more than willing and ready to go.

No bags were packed. He told me instead to stay.

So I did.

IMG_4657

If there were any bags packed at all, it was only when I moved my home to the beautiful neighborhood of Fort Bonifacio (where sunsets are always stunning!). It’s something that I have been really contemplating to do for a while now so I’m glad that I finally got to do that last April!

What I realized from that this year is that sometimes when we look at the lives of those people who God calls to go out to the unfamiliar or to the unknown and they obeyed, we like to call them brave. And they are for sure. I spend a lot praying to God too to bring me to those places.

But I learned this year that staying is just as brave too.

Because most often than not, brave is not really determined by the the kind of place that you are choosing to go to. Brave is choosing to do what God tells you to do – even if it means being right at a safe corner of your house mothering a toddler or sitting at the same desk you’ve been occupying for years at your workplace.

One day we will all look at the rearview mirror of our lives and thank God for the times He asked us to stay. We will see why it was important for Him to put some dreams on hold for a bit and we will nod our heads as we agree.

It’s interesting that although practically most of the time I was just right here, this also happens to be the year where God taught me so much of how to live a life dangerously, living on the edge and trusting Him deeply that He’s got it all figured out for me.

IMG_5590

National Office at Staff Summit 2014. God has been doing something new and beautiful in our campus ministry too and I’m glad I get to share it with these amazing people.

I used to think that adventures start when we leave the confines of the familiar place we’re in. Now I realize adventures happen where God is.

And you know, if where I am right now is where I will be able to honor my God best and experience Him the most at this season of my life?

Ditch that plane ride.

I’ll stay right here as long as You want. :)

You make me brave
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
You make me brave
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now the love that made a way”

– You Make Me Brave, Bethel Music

11.09.14 10:40pm

July 23, 2014 by by Fiona Mae Alvero

Tonight I’m plopping on my bed with my Bible, a pen and a page to make preparations for the new Victory Group that I’m leading for the first time tomorrow evening.

This afternoon I reminded the girls thru text message about tomorrow’s whereabouts while whispering a prayer to heaven: Jesus have Your way.

Like I couldn’t manage not to pray while texting because… Well, because…

Is it okay if I tell you a little confession tonight?

I have been really anxious about this all. week. long.

It’s not that I don’t want it, this Victory Group I’m leading. Actually,  it’s something that I’ve been praying and asking God for. And when it comes to this department, I’ve always known Him to be quick in answering. So when I started praying, I was pretty sure and confident that somewhere down the road not too far, tomorrow is coming.

But the thing is? Sometimes when we take the focus off of Jesus, it’s really gonna be a party of anxiety and worry and fear we see.

So tonight would you let me just write it all down to remind me? Could you just all remind me? Remind me to get these eyes back to focus on Jesus. To remind me that all these,

“What if they get bored with me?”

“What if they won’t like what I will share?”

“What if they feel uncomfortable around me?”

“What if no one will come?!!!! GAAH.”

All these are just trashy, self-reliant thoughts that don’t belong to a child of God.

They’re not worth it.

But to sit around the dinner table and share life with a bunch of girls (even just one girl) tomorrow?

And tell them about Jesus?

And ultimately let Him be in control?

It will be all worth it.

And this anxiety. It ends tonight.

UPDATE

So I was expecting five girls to come but nine showed up tonight.

I don’t know how that happened but what I do know for sure is this: it’s all God’s doing.

And me? Completely undone.

10540389_10152552295329547_8534978220103649998_n

Advertisment ad adsense adlogger