1000 Gifts

Memories: 1,000 Gifts

2:06 AM

Memories  Tonight, I have this smile deep in my heart `cause I love reconnecting with the past. I love catching up with old friends…seeing how they`re doing after years of not being able to see each other.

 

I didn`t find an old friend this time, but I helped my Mom find hers. Just on Facebook. But I always love doing it for her. I love seeing photos of friends she always told me about. It fascinates me.

 

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Perhaps, because I`ve never been to her hometown (neither in my Dad`s) and in my heart I want to reconnect with my roots. I`ve never met our relatives except for those who comes over to Manila to visit.

 

And I love hearing stories. I love hearing my Mom and her friends` stories. I find them so cool.

 

Anyway, since we`re talking about memories, I found these pretty photos of Kar`s Hotel in Turkey and I remember High Rock Hotel in Hongkong. It looks exactly like this… except for the floral thingy.image

 

I miss my friends Ynah, Arjay, Raymond and Gil!

 

And I thank God because even though we are far apart (not geographically, but living different lives now), there are still memories to think about.

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Thank you, Lord for:

 

86. Memories to think about when we miss our friends.

87. For bonding time with Ava over dinner last night and breakfast this morning. I love iced coffee!

88. For Mom who made my bed tonight. So thoughtful and sweet. Humbles me.

 

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89. Beautiful things: blogs, photos, interior design, crafts, scripture tags

90. Christmas!

91. The cool NCF Youth anniv where we wrote down our struggles in red balloons signifying the blood of Jesus, and we let them go in the night sky.

92. Nanay Tess for the Japanese Nescafe Experia which was lovely.

93. Hope and Love.

94. The Evangecube! Jesus is real!

95. Free internet from SMART Bro. ;)

96. Lovely young people: Rose Ann, Sharmaine, Xavier, Brendon and Chochi

faith

When God Seems Too Late

11:43 PM

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It`s Taking A While

Have you ever prayed about something but it`s been quite a while and it seems God doesn`t seems as concerned about it as you are? Ever felt the urgency but it seems God isn`t in a hurry?

 

Tonight, my Dad disclosed how he`d been feeling a little bit impatient about things he had been praying about, how God had been teaching him to trust and to wait. I certainly have felt the same way in months of waiting.

 

Once, I told my friend Micah that I didn`t want to meet with other friends because I`m tired explaining that that I am still waiting on God. I feel that they`re worrying and somehow getting frustrated seeing that nothing is happening. When they start to ask me how everything`s going, I really don`t know how to answer them `cause I`m not sure if they`d understand that I`m trying my best not to hurry. The thing is, I`m left out if I would look at the world`s time. But I know I`m not in His.

 

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Mary, Martha, and Lazarus

Tonight, my Dad told us a story about Lazarus. When Lazarus was sick

and dying, his sisters Martha and Mary sent a message to Jesus asking him to come and heal their brother. But Jesus didn`t come until after 2 days--even if the disciples were convincing Him to go.

 

In the end, we know that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. He might had been late in Mary and Martha`s timeline, but was He even late after all?

 

 

Not In A Rush

I guess this goes to show that God doesn`t rush things like we do. He does things in His own time, in His own pace. We may insist and persist with our own ways and ask Him to come to us in our own timing, but in the end, it is He who knows best.

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He came when Lazarus was dead only to raise Him up again. We can see here that when God moves, it is for the good of all, not just for us who are praying. If He had come and healed Lazarus when He was still sick, people wouldn`t have known the He can raise people from death to life. They wouldn`t have seen it before their very eyes us that truly, Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life.

 

He Hears Us

At the end of the day, His answers to our prayers would bring Him glory. I am amazed that Jesus answered beyond what Mary and Martha prayed for. They asked for a miracle but God answered in a bigger and grander miracle they had never imagined, a miracle not one of them had ever seen before.

 

So let`s hold on to the truth that God hears our prayers. Even if He seems to late, even if it seems it`s taking a long time for Him to answer. Let`s trust that He knows best and that His timing is always perfect.

 

Let`s build our faith up while we wait!  God bless you!nb6oht

P.S. I thank God for my honest dad… I never loved his sincerity, honesty and faith as much as I do now. Build`s me up!

Arts

White Is Beautiful

11:40 PM

Good evening friends! How are you doing today? It`s close to midnight now and I`m waiting for 12 o`clock `cause of a freebie I`m so excited about.

 

Anyway, while I wait…let me share with you this beautiful photos from Alvhem Makleri.

Oh, dear! I love white! I love everything clean and fresh. In fact I was even thinking of a new blog theme. A white, scrapbook design. But let`s talk about that on another day.

 

Here`s what I`ve been telling you about. Enjoy!

 

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Photo Grabbed from Sweet As Candy

View all the photos here.

faith

Everything Is For Him

11:26 PM

“Do you find yourself transitioning out of inspiration and into intimidation when you read blogs, magazines or just spend time perusing the web?”

A Creative Mint

I was browsing through design blogs when I read this opening statement from an article on Heather Thompson`s blog.

 

I`ve been experiencing this lately…perhaps, ever since I started browsing all over the web not just for Christian blogs but for design and editing sites I need for my job.

 

Perhaps, bloggers can attest to this that sometimes we feel intimidated with other blogs and bloggers who are getting good readership and who are doing so well in the craft. When I look at famous blogs, I sometimes wish I have this and that, if only I could do this and that…

 

At one point, I started to look at my stats every now and then and felt so frustrated that I only get few pageviews in a day.

 

At the end of the day, I realized one thing. One just cannot lose grip of the purpose of why you are doing the things that you do.

 

I write because I want to give glory to God. I want to show how wonderfully He`s moving in my life everyday. Things cannot be grand as I always expect them to be. But God speaks and uses me even in mundane things and ordinary days.

 

When you are always in touch of why you are doing the things you do, you wouldn`t have any reason to stop. You just keep going and going…even though where you want to go and what you want to become seems far, far away.

 

Write for the audience of One. We aren`t supposed to become people pleasers, but to please the One who has called us for Himself.

 

Have a great day, friends!

Christmas

DIY Christmas Tea Lights

10:19 PM

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It`ll soon be Christmas and I`m in the lookout for creative decorating ideas we could use in church and also at home.

 

I found this really cool and resourceful idea for Christmas on Recaptured Charm. Perfect `cause we`ve got a lot of tea light candle left overs from last month`s acoustic night.

 

Well, all you need  are empty jars, frosting spray, and creativity!

 

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And you`ll end up with this:

 

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View the instructions here.

Beautiful, isn`t it?

 

Hope you`ll have a great time preparing for the holidays!

family

Just Got Home

10:17 PM

I`m back after a month of living the parsonage life. Winking smile

I never thought I`d ever love living like this even for a while.  But God was very gracious…and he completely blew my mind away with His plans.

 

Floral wallpapered dining room

 

I thought I would get bored, but what happened was the opposite. My sisters, Ferdie (our guitarist) and the other young people who comes during weekdays had a great time talking just about anything.

 

|  We talked about it all, learned from each other and I believe we grew stronger in our relationship as a team and as a body of Christ because of that.

 

Now, I`m back and we`re unpacking… (I can`t believe we`ve brought too much stuff enough to fill the four-seater back of the van.) That means we`ve got plenty of stuff to sort and put back into their rightful places. In fact, I`m sitting in the couch now with two bags behind me and another two beside me. Bags are everywhere!

 

I hope you have a great dinner tonight, friends. Meanwhile, I have to go and see what we`ve got for dinner. I think Ava will cook the Arabian Dried Fish like the ones we had for breakfast this morning. I didn`t know there was such a thing but  I tell you, it was so good. Only that vinegar don`t get absorbed easily when you dip it in. You would have to prepare a lot of vinegar to get the sour taste.

 

Have a great night!

Arts

My Sweet List 1.2

6:32 PM

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Rather than posting it up as a collage, I thought that I`d better post

the full photos of this lovely home in Derbyshire, UK (Period Living Magazine) `cause these are really inspiring and lovely. One day, when I get to buy my own rest house, I guess, I`d want it to look this way.

 

Don`t you sometimes wish to live in the countryside with a cozy home and happy family?

 

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You can view all the photos here. See yah!

Beautiful Woman Series

Beautiful Woman: Far More Than Rubies

3:44 PM

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A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.   Proverbs 31:10

I haven’t been married or engaged and I’m laughing at myself writing about becoming a good wife, ‘cause I’m not yet a wife and I don’t know how it is like to be one. ;)

 

But even though a young lady is yet so far from getting married, she can heed the lessons from the Bible and apply what she can at this moment in her life, right?

 

A Treasure

The writer of these proverb started by asking where to find a wife of noble character and she is worth far more than rubies. Far more than rare and costly gems.

 

And so I wondered, is it already hard to find a wife of noble character even in those days? How about now, where are the godly ladies? Is a lady with noble character a rare find?

 

The Ladies of This Generation

In our time, girls are cool if they are “”sexy”  or “not so feminine”. You’re cool if you wear those super short shorts, the fancy make up, the ultra high heels. Or perhaps if you're the other way around. Escape an exploding building like Angelina Jolie or sweep through a group of bad guys with your flying kick like Michelle Yeoh.

 

Girls are cool if they multi-task. If they’re paid with hefty paychecks. Drive expensive cars. Get a high corporate position. Even if they don’t know how to make the right decisions. Even if they rely on drugs and alcohol for comfort. Even if they don’t know how to take care of their kids. Don’t know how to cook. Don’t know how get their hands dirty working around the house.

 

They’re cool. People look up to them. Even if they don’t know that what’s on the inside is far more valuable than what is on the outside.

 

Caught With The Hype

I admit that when I was younger, I wanted to be a Super Girl. Climb the corporate ladder. Be the good-looking girl in town. Get rich and drive expensive cars. And kick the way Michelle Yeoh does it ( No kidding!!)   I thought I’d be valuable if I am all those while totally forgetting to look after what goes on inside my heart.

 

I didn’t care about the mundane tasks. I didn’t care about how to become a real lady. I was so caught up with ambition…I wasn’t looking after my heart.

 

Will you rise up to your calling?

God is calling us to be real women who have noble hearts. Women who value our character more than we value beauty.

 

I pray that we will all learn to stand up against the flow of the world, that we would rise up to become godly examples for our generation. That we would become the “treasures” that are hard to find; to reach girls and tell them about the beauty of having a relationship with God that gives birth to noble character.

 

We are called to become women who fear the Lord and embrace our femininity and our feminine roles the way God designed it to be. Women who are nurturing, and caring. Women of wisdom who knows that we’re more than what the world tells us to be.

 

A woman of noble character….She is worth far more than rubies.

Godly Girls

Would You Do Laundry For A Guy Friend?

2:20 AM

102761520I was laughing at 3 o` clock in the morning, thanks to the podcast on Boundless that really kept me awake.

 

If you haven`t heard about Dr. Henry Cloud, well, you should start listening to the podcasts on Boundless where he was a guest or grab a book of his in your local bookstore. He is a Christian psychologist who have written numerous books about leadership, and of course about relationships.

 

It`s so funny `cause last night, he was talking about biblical dating and courtship and the topic arose about girl friends hoping that their guy buddies would also fall in love with them. And they began talking about ladies who would even do the laundry of their guy friends.

 

Yeah, I know. Doing laundry for a guy friend is way over the top. I wouldn`t do that for a guy friend either. But would that change if ever you like that guy friend of yours? Hmmm. Tough question, isn`t it?

 

I don`t have a guy friend with me while writing this, or a brother, so I have no one to ask what`s going on inside the head of guy who would ask his friend to do his laundry for him. But anyway, ladies, I hope that you get the point right here.

 

Investing too much in guy friend whom you think would probably become a boyfriend soon after is something that we have to be really careful about. Giving your heart away, your attention, your emotions to a guy who haven`t professed his intentions to you is something that should—okay, I`ll say this straight—not be done.

 

42-25563852There`s nothing wrong to pray about this close guy friend of yours whom you like. Relationships, preferably, should start in strong friendships, right? But if you are investing your feelings on this guy and giving your whole heart to him before you formally  get into a relationship, or even before he makes a move, is something that could quite, well, hurt you in the future.

 

Nothing wrong with being in love, don`t get me wrong. But if you are giving so much to this guy friend, even things that should only be shared in relationships, then that wouldn`t be helpful to you.

 

We know that commitment should come first before intimacy. And we also know that there are a list of things that should only be shared by married couples.  But not only relationships before marriage have boundaries. Even friendships, before formally going into a relationship has boundaries.

You can’t give him everything just yet. And yes, you can’t wash his clothes either!

 

Come to think of it. Is that the kind of guy you would want to spend the rest of your life with? A guy who can`t even do his own homework or laundry? Like what Dr. Cloud said, the guy doesn`t want a girfriend. He wants a Mom! So flee and save yourself, deary! hehe

This was written like a couple of months ago but didn`t get to publish it. Just so you would now. The podcast wasn`t *yesterday* but was a couple of months ago. Will post the link once I find it.

grace

R.E.A.L. Grace

11:06 PM

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I don`t know how to begin writing down my thoughts. I planned to start this one sharing about my struggle to write the past couple of months. `Cause I don`t know what topics to write about. Not sure if I should be more personal and disclose more stories. But now, I`m just gonna tell you about a rather unlikely topic for a blog.

 

You see, we`ve got two dogs in the house. One is more than a year old, the other barely four months. The younger one, whom we call “Star” have a bad habit of doing her thing just about anywhere. Tonight, I was on my way to the bathroom…the lights on the hallway are off…and as freaky as it can get,  I stepped on her poop!

 

It was the craziest thing! You wouldn`t believe how frustrated I am now and I’m beginning to think that if only Star isn`t cute…

 

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But the truth is…I really love Star. I wouldn`t trade her for another pup. You wouldn`t believe how she drops to the ground, getting ready to be pet in the tummy every time she sees me. How she dances when I come home is something that always make my heart leap. I love everything about her--except for her lack of toilet training.

 

One day, she pooped around the whole house and my parents were cleaning and mopping and disinfecting the whole afternoon.

 

But none of us ever loved her less. In fact, she was loved more. I don`t know why. But even if she always does that, there`s nothing she can do that will make us love for her go away.

 

We`re all crazy about her.

 

I just thought about God. He hates sin the way we are disgusted with our dog`s *you know*. But He loves us and doesn’t stop there. He wants to purify us and teach us to do right.

He’s also crazy about us. And His grace is immeasurable.  Even if we do wrong, He keeps on loving us and pursuing us.Winking smile

 

So let’s come to him and not abuse the grace and love He gives. He deserves more than our love. He deserves our all.

 

Thank you, Lord for  these sweet  truths from our two little pups.

1000 Gifts

Rest: 1,000 Gifts

8:49 PM

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The past couple of days, I admit I had become a “Martha”. Been so busy doing kingdom work and didn`t had the time to take a break and missed the time supposed to be spend with the King.

 

I told my friends on our Saturday devotion group that when you start working and working and working, you become addicted that you don`t want to stop. There`s no problem with working and serving, but when it becomes a hindrance for you to spend time with the One you are committed to serve then your labor is in vain.

 

And it`s great `cause God used John Ortberg`s “God Is Closer Than You Think” to help me take a break and stop from the things that keeping me distracted from worshipping the Lord.

 

What struck me the most was his illustration about Ancients starting their day at sunset. In Genesis it always “There was evening and there was morning…”. And it was a relief to try out how they were living their days in ancient times.

 

Sleeping at the start of your day reminds you that you don`t hold everything in your hands and that God is in control.  I have learned to forget my worries and just rely on God for things I can`t control. Waking up, I felt better, relieved and more energized to do the tasks ahead.

 

I thank the Lord for

 

74. Nice reads and good devotionals.

75. Night time.

76. Good talks with the young people.

77. Nanay Tess and Xavier`s Birthday last Saturday. Awesome food!

78. Provision!

79. Good sleep throughout the rest of the week.

80. Good food this weekend!

81. Ptr.Lita`s back from Japan!

82. Strong relationships within the young leaders of the church.

83. Mom who always help me with my allergies.

84. My Dad who gives me the things I lovingly ask for. Winking smile

85. Chocolates and Bath Soaps from Sis. Elen!

 

designs

Sweet List*

3:38 PM

Everyday, God makes me see some cute, adorable, love and amusing things. And I`m posting them up to share with you.

 

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1. Bathroom Flower Arrangement. I found this on the Decor8 blog.

2. Room and Linen Fragrances from Our Home. I particularly like the scent “Rain”. Gives a fresh, crisp and clean feel. Not to mention, these fragrances costs from P200-300 only.

3. Outdoor Furnitures from Our Home.

4. Flower and candle ideas from Martha Stewart. I love this `cause you can use ice cube containers and fill it up with flowers and candles.

faith

Missing Home

10:30 PM

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I haven`t been home for almost a month now, and I`m terribly missing our house. Mom and Dad comes over everyday to where my sisters and I are staying now but I surely miss home.

 

I miss my bed and my books. I miss the living room and the kitchen. I miss laying down on the sofa watching TV. I miss the fridge and the store. And Twinkle too! I miss dinner time with the family…and I miss how the house runs everyday.

 

I wonder how people who live far from home deal with homesickness…

But one thing I know for sure. Wherever we may go, God is always with us. With Him always by our side, we feel secure, at peace, and at home.

 

Genesis 28:15 (New International Version)

15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

 

The places where we may be staying might be unfamiliar. We may miss the comfort of our own homes and we may wish to just leave and go back where our hearts feels safe. I guess it`s normal. But we should not forget that wherever we may be, our God is constantly with us and watching over the people we love the same way he is constantly taking care of us. Let`s find our comfort in His sovereignty and unfailing love until the day we finally go back home and He takes the “homesickness” away.

faith

Refuge In Rainy Days

7:39 PM

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We love rainy days for different reasons. Some love the rain because it looks romantic. Some love the rain because classes may be suspended. Some love the rain because it enables them to stop and rest even for a while in the warm of their homes, not to mention the hot, steamy chicken-macaroni soup their mom could make for them.

 

I love rain because I like the idea of water falling down from the sky in little drops. I`m weird, right? But I find rain so clever and unique and I just love it. I love keeping warm on a cozy couch and drinking hot chocolate. I love looking out of the window and scribbling on it with my fingers.

 

There are many reasons to love rain. But what if there is this massive rain that falls throughout the surface of the earth. What if it rains harder than the Asian typhoon Ketsena that displaced and killed many people last year? What if it doesn`t stop for a long time and it floods higher than when Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans? What if it rains for 40 days and the water is enough to submerge not just the entire USA but all eight continents!

 

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In the days of Noah, we know that it never stopped raining for 40 days and 40 nights and everyone, except Noah, his family and all the animals on the arc, died.

 

Of course, it never to flood the earth the same way as in Noah`s days (as God promised) but sometimes, we feel like we are flooded with many challenges life. Storms of life come over us and we don`t know where to find refuge.

 

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But just like in Noah`s days where God has provided refuge through the ark, God has given us Jesus Christ. He is our Refuge through life`s storms. He will hold us close and never let us go.

 

So whatever storm comes in your life, know that Jesus is always there for you. All you need to do is trust Him. He`s always carrying you and holding you in His arms.

1000 Gifts

Strength: 1,000 Gifts

1:48 PM

It`s Monday again and time for another list of Thank You’s.  I was afraid that this week would get back to normal. You know, the odd days where nothing seems to be happening. We’re past through the big events and I thought everything will be back as it was before.

 

But God brings pleasant surprises. Some good and some painful…but both opportunities for God to show His glory and His strength.

 

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This week, we learned that Sis. Elen, one of the church elders and our church treasurer got sick and had to be confined to the hospital. We knew she had been feeling bad because of diabetes and her kidney wasn’t in perfect condition. But we were surprised with her feeling terribly bad so she would have to be brought to the hospital.

 

 

 

The elders visited her at Laguna. 2 hours away from Manila. And I was so blessed with the love and the encouragement that the other elders showered on her.IMG_3884

I am even more amazed because she was always smiling and happy in spite of her having to undergo dialysis treatment. In fact, she was strong enough not to lay down on her bed the whole time and the nurses even thought she wasn’t a patient.

 

So today, I thank God for

 

62. Healing and strength for Sis. Elen.

63. Provision for Sis. Elen’s family.

64. Our lovely elders who are willing to travel for long hours to visit their friend.

65. Awesome lunch prepared by Nanay Josephina and Nanay Tess.

66. Fun bonding time with Brendon, Ava, Chanel, and Viola at the back of the van.

67. Carlo who was with us in last Sat’s youth service.

68. New ideas for our youth service that always excited us for the coming weeks.

69. Taho we had for mirienda outside the hospital.

70. Jesus who always heals and strengthen us.

Godly Girls

I Can`t Get Over It!

10:36 AM

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Letting Go When Little Things Annoy Us

I installed my OS update tonight and realized I shouldn`t have allowed it to update Live Writer at the same time because my OS is in Japanese and it would automatically change my Live Writer into Jap as well.

So now, even though I`m loving the 2011 version of Live Writer, would have to reinstall it again and try to figure out how to use it in Japanese for the mean time.  It`s a very trivial matter to make my head hurt and frustrate me, actually. ;p Well, I`m convincing myself. hehe

 

Sometimes, we allow little things to get to us and annoy us instead of just letting it go. But we don`t realize  that when we allow ourselves to get angry over them, we`re getting angry over everything easily—even in times when it doesn`t make sense to be angry.

 

I guess we should practice forgiveness starting with the details that distract and annoy us. When your sister wore your favorite shirt or when the dog peed just when you came home from a long tiring day at work, let`s try breathe deep and think about nice things.  If we cannot forgive the guy who accidentally tripped us on the bus, or the helper who burned our toast for breakfast, how are we going to deal with it when people offend us big time? If we cannot get over with the coffee that spilled on the counter or the neighbors` noise at bedtime, I wonder how can we let go when challenging things (or people) come to test us?

 

So I won`t be annoyed with my Japanese Live Writer anymore. Anyway, it doesn`t hurt `cause I`m using it now and it`s not as bad as I thought.

beauty

Am I Beautiful?

12:34 PM

His answer to the question you always wanted to ask.

What`s your favorite beauty product commercial? Mine are those where the models look fabulously flawless. No eye bags. No zits. Perfect skin. Fab hair.  Sure you have your own picks too.

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Now let me ask you a more personal question. Don`t you sometimes

wish that you look like them? With all the nice curves? The doll-like features? For the boys: Those abs girls swoon about?

 

We sometimes do, right? We want to be like the girls on the print ads. The guys wants to be like those on fitness center posters. We want to be like them. We want to look perfect.

 

Unfortunately, most of the time, we get frustrated. We can buy the most expensive skin care products but when we lack sleep for a few days, the zits just break out. We can pay hundreds of dollars in hair treatment, bask under the sun and get it all dried up. Or we can put on every single kind of whitening cream yet still don`t get as flawless as the girls on TV.

 

Our self-worth shouldn`t be based on how well we look like these guys and girls in media who often don`t look like their real selves anyway. We all know about news coming out that model photos had been drastically edited to slim them down or perfect their look. And if we anchor our self-worth on that, we are only fooling ourselves into achieving something that isn`t real.

 

Our self-worth should be based on who we are to God and what He says about us.

 

Have you seen these majestic views?

ireland-cliffs_6017_600x450O`Brien`s Tower, Ireland

lighthouse-ireland_6787_600x450 Eagle Island, Ireland

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Niagara Falls

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Glacial Valley

Lake Louise, Alberta

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Grand Canyon

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Crystal Shower Falls, Dorrigo National Park

Australia

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A Beach in Argentina

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Seychelles, Africa

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Mariana Trench

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Whitsunday Islands National Park

Australia

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Jellyfishes

Valencia, Spain

corals01-lobe-coral_17847_600x450   Corals

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Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), Norway

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Perseid

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Milky Way Galaxy

 

T otally blown away?

 

You know, God has created you far more valuable than all these beautiful things.

 

In Genesis 1:26-27, 31 God said

 

“Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves. They will be masters over all of life—the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the livestock, wild animals, and small animals.”

So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them.

Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was excellent in every way.

 

God created you in His own image. If all these mountains and creatures and stars look beautiful, how much more valuable and beautiful are you knowing that God created you in His likeness, above all of these things He has made?

 

The next time you look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are beautiful, think about all the beautiful things God has created and remember that you are far more valuable than all of them because we are the only ones created in His own image. He even sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins and save you. ;)  Stop basing your self-worth on what media says about you. Believe on the God who created You and loves you. ;)

 

Photo credits: National Geographic

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