A Grateful Heart will lead you to Love

I went to a guided silent retreat in 2011 at Cenacle and I got assured by God about married life. Then came my birthday in 2014 and I decided to go for another guided silent retreat just to ask God, “…ano na, Lord?” And i got assured by Him that He loves me so much no matter what and that I should be grateful of His love and blessings while I’m single. Which I did! When I became more grateful, that’s the time God gave me Love. 😂😍🙏 December of 2014, I met my Love Enrique Peralta! 🙏😍😇🎉💕

Be grateful. God see’s our hearts. He knows what is best for us in His own perfect and best time! 😇👍⏰ #MrandMrsPeralta #247loved #blessedandloved #blessedandgrateful

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Back to writing!

Got a Facebook pm from a friend, Chinky, asking me if I can write for her blog Looking at the Bright Side – Thankful Thursday. I said yes, and here I wanna share it with you.

http://www.lookingatthebrightside.com/2014/08/21/thankful-thursdays-teny-mardo-awesome-family-lbs-family-household-army-navy/

When I was writing, I totally missed writing in my own blog site. So here it is. Yay! My last entry was exactly a year ago about my WYD 2013 experienced in Brazil. A lot has happened indeed. Today marks my first year in my company too, ArmyNavy!

One year has passed and I can say God never missed a day to make me feel I am loved!

“Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.” From today’s Psalm, Psalm 107.

GOD’S EMBRACE

My World Youth Day 2013 Testimony 

my Maua Petropolis host. I'm holding here my very first pair of Havianas slippers that they gave me.

my Maua Petropolis host. I’m holding here my very first pair of Havianas slippers that they gave me.

When was the last time you were tightly embraced? In my case, it was during these past two weeks when God tightly embraced me of His awesomeness! God brought me to World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and revealed these beautiful things He has in store for me. Who would ever think that I will be part of the delegation of pilgrims from the Philippines for the WYD in Brazil?  With God’s grace and love, nothing really is impossible. For eighteen days, we walked, we spoke Portuguese, we danced samba, we prayed, we attended mass, we chanted, “Pe-regrinos de Filipinas (3x) Oi, oi, oi, oiiiiii!!!”, we loved churros and we rode their subways and buses. In all of these, we felt God embracing us!

EMBRACED BY GOD’S GENEROSITY

For a missionary like me, to be able to attend an international event is a huge challenge that I have to face with so much faith that the Lord will make it happen.  Each missionary from CFC-FFL had to sell more than one hundred raffle tickets to raise funds. In my case, I needed to sell it online since I was in the U.S.A. for mission during the whole preparation of WYD. God was indeed generous in sending selfless people to share their blessings to us missionaries. People across the globe messaged us and long lost friends were connected because of this cause.  People sharing their blessings made them indeed part of the whole pilgrimage. Going to Brazil for the WYD made us all, missionaries, more prayerful carrying all the prayer intentions of all our families, friends and those who have helped us realized this pilgrimage. It has allowed us to be bolder in our calling as well, especially when the Pope starts to say, “Go out to the real world where Christ is needed! That is your battlefield! Be not afraid!”

It is also very much worth mentioning the very generous Brazilian families who have received us in their homes. Many from the Filipino pilgrims cannot speak Portuguese. But the families who have welcomed were not bothered by this. More so, they genuinely showed their love and generosity to us selflessly. They shared with us their homes, family, care, concern after our long days and long walks, food that really filled our stomach and they gave us a love that is so Christ-like! This is God’s embrace from heaven and we received it through the many people He has sent us – from those who bought tickets from us and from our Brazilian host families, plus the parishes who adopted us led by their generous parish priests and the other pilgrims from other parts of the globe.

EMBRACED BY GOD’S ASSURANCE

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God’s presence gives assurance. I wrote in my journal that I want to see the Pope in this WYD.  Never in my lifetime have I seen personally any of the Popes (Blessed Pope John Paul II nor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI).  I would pray for it and I really squeezed my way through crowds of pilgrims and barricades of volunteers to make sure I’ll be at the right spot when the Pope passes. I saw Pope Francis thrice! And how I savored the moment of seeing Him! His presence is God’s assurance to me that He is with us. That to this time, He  continues to fulfill His promises. The Pope is the successor of St. Peter. St. Peter lived with Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God! The Pope is the closest to God I can be with!

I was silent after the whole experienced of seeing the Pope. It put me to silence, realizing that this is how real my God is. This is how real Jesus can be in my life! This made me think then. How real therefore can I be responding to His calling? I used to say, I cannot respond because of uncertainties. Now I say it is God’s voice! I will heed and am definitely certain that God will be with me all the way!

EMBRACED BY GOD’S PLAN

His plan for me is to become a revolutionary in evangelizing, be a protagonist of change and for me to “Go!”.  Pope Francis spoke in Spanish with a mix of some Portuguese words at the start and middle of his messages to us, youth.   His language therefore was called Portoñol, with Argentine accent.  To me, it was heaven!  Thank God for previous mission opportunities, I can speak and understand Spanish!  The last Latin American country that I served for mission was in Argentina. And to my surprise, if you know Spanish you can get by with Portuguese!  How amazing to realize that I can totally understand what the Pope was saying the whole time! When everyone else would start to turn on their radio or put on their headphones, I would take off mine so I can freely hear the Pope without the help of the English translator. At that moment, it was heaven for me! It was like God orchestrating the whole thing. God wanted me to understand Him in the language I am comfortable with and I heard Him so clear through Pope Francis!

Pope Francis spoke of going out in the world and proclaiming Christ’s greatness boldly. He even assured us that Christ will be with us as we respond to this call. The Pope reminded us of our calling – that we should never be confined to our parish, community and service. It is time to go out without any fear, for God is with us!

Attending WYD allowed me and the rest of the other pilgrims to experience God’s embrace big time! God’s embrace brings boldness to our way of responding to the call. WYD made us hear what is God’s calling to us, youth of the Catholic Church. We are the present and the future of the Church! And when do we respond to this calling? Now! I am responding now! When will you?

I praise God for the gift of the community CFC-FFL. This community has taught us how to become an active member of the Catholic Church. This community has taught us to love everything about the Catholic Church. And this community has brought us to places where we can proclaim and share God. Through this community, I dreamt of going to a big Catholic event such as the World Youth Day, with the Pope. And it happened! I will forever remember this God’s embrace which I felt big time during the World Youth Day. And I will never stop from sharing that, to this time, God’s embrace can still be felt!

Christ Redeemer. Cristo Redentor. The image of God's huge and tight embrace all the way from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Christ Redeemer. Cristo Redentor. The image of God’s huge and tight embrace all the way from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Our Lady of Lourdes

Blessed to have the opportunity to visit Lourdes, France. The actual apparition site of our Lady of Lourdes. An Indian priest, 73 years old, brought me there all expense paid! It was a treat from heaven indeed!

The Catholic Church celebrates the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, recalling a series of 18 appearances that the Blessed Virgin Mary made to a 14-year-old French peasant girl, Saint Bernadette Soubirous.LOURDES

Then i answered!

Then i heard the Lord say, “Whom shall i send? Who will be our messenger?”  I answered, “I will go! Send me!” –  Isaiah 6:8

The first reading today reminded of how God has called me and how, by His grace i answered!

Many are asking, why this job? Or is this really a job? A lot would even bravely asked, do you get paid in all the things you do? Or, the bravest would even say, “so, what will happened to your life? Are you gonna be like that forever? What about a real career?”

First, why not this job? And i would, many times change the word job by saying, “Yeah, it’s not a job, it’s a life-style!” Why not this life-style of choosing God as my boss and Him directing me where to go and how to live my life!

Secondly, of course i get paid! More than that, i get benefits that are far more out of these world! Beyond what an earthly normal boss can give me! Hey, the Big Man up there is my Boss, why would you worry if i get paid on this!

– I don’t worry about bringing just one pair of jeans in a two-year mission. At the end of that mission, i had like 6 pairs of pants, a jacket for winter and nice walking shoes so i can visit families to their homes. Experienced this when i was sent for 2 years in Peru for mission.

– I don’t worry about not having a car while on mission. People offers to drive for me and in return, this is the surprising part, they would even thank me and say, “Thank you for making me part of your mission!” What?! Nowadays here in Texas mission, i enjoyed traveling with my humongous ride, Megabus! [www.megabus.com] It’s cheap, it has wi-fi while you travel, big leg room and i always choose to be seated on the 2nd deck where i can see the “view” while i travel! 🙂

– I don’t worry about my shelter. In any countries i go, in whatever continent i have families to stay with. Better that staying in those 5-star hotels. Why? I am received with smile and love even if  I’m not paying them for my stay. It’s just all love and care from my Big Boss up there! 🙂

– I don’t worry for my future. My Big Boss doesn’t plan for my promotion and new department to go.  Many have said, if you just continued on with your career, you probably have finished that dream house of yours for your parents, you probably have finished your masterals now, you are probably earning so much now like 5 digits or more and you are probably enjoying your own family now just like your friends!

He plans for my future and everything else in my life! Jeremiah 29:11 – “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.” Wow! What else can i ask for? All i have to do now, is to enjoy the “now”, the present that He has given me and He’ll take care of the rest! I am in the best place i could be and in the best life i can live because my God is the one who have placed me here! He have planned greater things for me, and i can’t wait to see it, experience it and live it!

Thirdly, this is totally a lifetime career! I bet you don’t know it’s your career too! Surprise!!! My yes to God does not come with an expiration date that when that time comes, it’s all about changing my life-style and not acknowledging His greatness in my life anymore. Being for God is a lifetime commitment! It’s the forever that doesn’t literally lasts! It’s a working relationship that love, understanding, mercy and grace from the giver of this life!

I answered yes to Him because He first said yes to me! No doubt about it! In everything i do i feel His presence and His grace. In all those difficult trying times, He was there and He never left me! And not having a mission partner at the moment in my mission area now, i feel He truly is my mission partner. In times of challenges, He truly lifted me up and made sure i can stand tall with His grace!

If ever i would have an opportunity to repeat my life and start all over again, i would still say yes! Yes to “the Man” who have loved me first who is my God who has never abandoned me!

I would never be tired of you, Lord. Everyday, i will say yes to You through your grace! Trials will come but i know You will be there and will be ready to raise me up! So send me, Lord and let me “go” for You!Image

Her name was Mica!

Last week i was so nervous to take my first dart rail experience. But i survived it! I learned how to check dart rail schedules, understand the different “colored” routes and their stations.

This morning after being dropped off at the Rowlett station, a lady approached asking which one should she take going to Denton. I told her what train she should take, but i can just see in her face how lost she was. I followed her and told her she’s riding the same train i will be in and she’ll go down at the same station where i should be going down and from there she will need to take another train that will take her to Denton. I showed her how to used the map and the check the schedules.

We conversed and she borrowed my phone, apparently she doesn’t have a phone and is not familiar to where she should go. After her phone call, we conversed some more. When she asked me from where i am, i told her i am a visiting missionary. And she had teary eyes, saying, “Oh, that’s why you are so nice to me. You are sent by God!”

In my heart, i felt at that time, that she was the one sent by God to me. God made me appreciate myself more that i already know my way via dart rail and that made me share it with her, the lost lady. God made me see through that interaction with her that people can still be a good samaritan: offering help, showing directions and allowing others to use your phone so they can make a call.

I’m sure a lot of you who’s reading this now, would comment here and say, next time do not be so accommodating and do not lend your phone to anyone. They’re prolly up to something. I’d say i’m up to something! I’m up to share the same things people have shared and given me as a missionary. My phone was shared by the community to me, i have no right not to share it to anyone in need to make a call. Last week, good hearts have shown me how to ride a dart rail, now God has given me the opportunity to do the same! 🙂

I say, there are  still many ways to share Jesus while we”re on the road and living in this modern life. We just have to be open and not be suspicious. 🙂

Today, i am just happy i was given the grace to share His name and His greatness to someone.

Going down to my station, the lady went down with me. She said thank you and i hugged her saying, “May God bless you!” Wow! I just said, “May God bless you!” to some random white lady in the US of A! She wished me the same thing and told me her name. Her name was Mica, she was lost and now found her way. 🙂

I love you, Jesus! :))