2 Ordinary People. 5 Lessons Each. 5 Years of Friendship.

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(At the bottom photo are Yang’s beloved parents, whom I highly respect: Tito Jack and Tita Minet. This was taken after we sought their blessing and affirmation to enter into a relationship.)

Within less than 24 hours, I did not have to “boost an ad” on Facebook (which was never our intention, by the way) to get such undeserved response, encouragement and affirmation from people across our circles.

Thus, on Yang’s behalf, we give our sincerest thanks to everyone who prayed with us and shared their kind words of blessings in this journey we are starting. While we are yet at that early stage of being “boyfriend” and “girlfriend”, I think it is good to pause, reflect and share a few principles that we have learned from the Lord and what we have been affirmed of, so far, as we seek His leading.

Below, you will find 5 lessons from me and another set of 5 lessons from Yang. The number five (5) essentially represents the number of years of our friendship. You would notice that our  writing styles are quite different, so bear with us a bit more as we share our hearts to you.

As a mentor-preacher, I try to keep things concise and my thoughts alliterated. So here are my two cents.

  1. Keep Christ at the very core — always!
  2. Keep a solid friendship as the bedrock.
  3. Keep a lifetime commitment (i.e. marriage, family) as the end goal.
  4. Keep “pushing” and “sharpening” one another towards his/her unique God-ordained calling.
  5. Keep yourselves connected to godly authoritative structures (i.e. family, church, leaders, accountability partners) where you can glean wise counsel.

Yang, being a doctor on the other hand, is able to articulate herself well in greater detail. Let’s learn from her.  

  1. Honor God. — Do not get into something that would decrease your appetite for His Word or presence.  If it does, that’s not His will.
  2. Wait. — God makes all things beautiful in HIS time, so wait on His timing.  Do not let love unravel until it so desires.
  3. Guard your heart. — For women, don’t fall for an “I love you” not backed up with marriage as an end-goal.
  4. Love. — Do not base love on butterflies in the stomach, pulses racing, or giddy feelings.  It is a decision to always place another’s highest good first.  We can, only because Jesus did it first.
  5. Strive for everyday purity. — Psalm 119:9-11 says, “How can a young man keep his way pure?  By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

While the lists we wrote here are not meant to be exhaustive, we share them out of a grateful heart, cheerful heart and… a hopeful heart.

By the Lord’s grace, we hope that we can be a good testimony to this generation and the next ones — to become a kind of people and foster a kind of relationship marked by Christ-like love, purity, joy, faith and a firm desire to honor God.

At the appropriate time, we shall share more of our story to you. But for now, we humbly seek your prayers as we grow in this God-ordained relationship — all for the sake of Christ and all for His renown!

Oh, may our Lord bless you and keep you, our dearest friends!

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Looking forward to Saturdays! ;)

Jesus, in His ministry here on earth, called young people to be His disciples.  What amazes me most is that He called and mentored them despite their age, life situation, and their varying temperaments.  In the book of Acts, even the religious leaders witnessed the life-changing impact that Jesus Christ created in these people.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”  (Acts 4:13)

Even in the Old Testament, Daniel and his three friends are noteworthy examples of young people who lived out uncompromising faith and that of fervent prayer.

“When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.” (Daniel 6:10)

Could you just imagine if our youths shared the same passion and commitment for the Lord?  What an exciting vision, isn’t it?

Two months ago, our core team composed of nine young men and women began to be on our knees to seek God’s direction for our youth ministry here in GCF South Metro.  Over time, He impressed in our hearts the need to be more intentional about building relationships with their peers and their families, to go deeper into God’s Word, to make prayer a priority, and be more focused in making Christ-committed disciples.  Now, the big challenge left for us is, how are we going to start?

Thus, we are enjoining all the high school and college students to attend our regular SATURDAY YOUTH FELLOWSHIPWe will launch this on August 18, 4:00–5:30 P.M, at the YDT Center.  In these gatherings, we will study the Word, worship God together, and experience the joy of being in the company of fellow young people!  Of course, everyone’s welcome to join!

Please feel free to approach our team at the lobby outside the worship hall, and sign-up!  For more information, you can get in touch with me at 0917.805.0531 or via e-mail at mike.duco@gcfsouthmetro.org.

“A Mother’s Heart” by Jill Duco-Miller

While I’m still at a period of fervently seeking and waiting on the Lord regarding the next steps I’ll need to take (which explains why my blog site has been very quiet during the past two or three weeks), here’s something that is totally worth sharing.  This was written by my dear sister, Jill, for Mother’s Day. Be blessed!

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I remember when I was little Nanay (my mom) gave us birthday cards and these words were written, “The 4 of you are my only treasure”.  Tatay (my dad) passed away when I was 8 because of a massive heart attack.  Nanay never remarried, and dedicated her time in raising all 4 kids.  She’s always told us that all she hoped and prayed for is that eventually we would find jobs that we will love doing, and have good families.  For me and my sister, she has always told us that we need to find a husband who will pursue us, will want to spend time with us, and will be good to us and to our future children.  Nanay’s prayers were definitely heard and and answered.

Yesterday in church, Mick Stockwell talked about Hannah and Samuel.  Most of us probably knows about this story.  But yesterday was the first time when God spoke to me through her story.  Read the following verses and look at how they show that God is an all-knowing God, He knows every little detail in our lives.

“They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah.  And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her.  And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said “I have asked for him from the Lord.”  ~1 Samuel 1:19-20

“For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to Him.  Therefore I have lent him to the Lord.  As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.” ~1 Samuel 1:27-28

“Indeed the Lord visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore 3 sons and 2 daughters.  And the young man Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord.”  ~ 1 Samuel 2:21

“Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.” ~ 1 Samuel 7:15

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the people of old received their commendation.  By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”  ~ Hebrews 11:1-3

“And what more shall I say?  For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets – who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.”  ~Hebrews 11:32-34

Yes, God heard and answered Hannah’s prayer.  There have been many times in the past, especially this past month,  when I did not trust God for His plan in my life.  I heard God’s voice telling me, “This is not the time.  Just trust in Me, and when the right time comes you will be ready.”  When I heard Him saying these words, I would cry and they would hurt.  I wanted MY plan, and I was impatient.

Thankfully, God has showered me with people who prayed for me and with me.  Edwin and I have been diligently praying for our family, and our future children.  God has given me peace, and patience.  It is still a work in process.  But I know I can rely on God’s truths to comfort and encourage me.

I hope we will all be encouraged of Hannah’s story.  Remember that God is our Jehovah jireh, He is our provider and in His sovereignty, He knows what’s best for us.

 

*Written by Jill Duco-Miller

 

The Beauty of Helena

Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I meet a little lady and a little guy in my humble abode, with the hope of somehow helping them to communicate with others more effectively.

Seeing them is always a joy. Much more, to see them improve/develop would always bring me to tears.

This coming September 18 will mark the 5th birthday of my little lady, Elle! I remember meeting her before she even turned 2, and now she’s turned into a lovable, beautiful young lady.

Our celebration wasn’t grand at all, but to see this girl enjoy her food by smiling so sweetly, just melts my heart every time. We prayed together before we ate; then I saw her pause and become teary-eyed, perhaps overwhelmed by the joy of celebrating her birthday in advance. That sight of her was more than enough stimulus to activate my tear ducts, as well. Sigh.

We just love you so much, Helena! God knows that we really do.

We’ll always be here to love you even more, and to cheer you on in your life journey.

May the Lord bless you exceedingly and abundantly, more than we could nor imagine.

Happy birthday!

Love,
Teacher/Tito Mike

*Entire album can be viewed through this link:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150293088930303.339284.640460302&type=1