A church that truly blesses!

My soul has been transformed by grattitude. As I pondered on that transformation, I also found it has helped me begin healing my heart and purging it from those attitudes and thoughts I do not desire.

I have had difficulties with my church the past years. It saddens my heart how many are no longer by our side in the race; more so, how poorly the run has become from those of us who have stayed. The church is run by man, who eventhough anointed by God, are imperfect and sinners. And for someone who has experienced so much so long in the same place (and who if you've read past posts knows she struggles with pointing fingers) has had her sight shorten, her mind closed up, and her heart growing seeds of destruction. So, what better cure than to apply grattitude to the picture.

So I sat down and made a list of the all that I am grateful for in my church. More than anything, I wanted to realize what my church has taught me that I want to pass on. Here is a little of that list, in no particular order. (It will be an addition to my growing list of gifts).

*171. I am grateful my church taught me about Jesus. I had heard about Him before going to this church, but it was here I understood Who He was and Who He was to me. So, Who is He and Who is He to me? He is the Son of God, who came to earth as a man born of a virgin. He was perfect till death. He was crucified and killed to pay for my transgressions and those of the world. He rose the third day and now sits at the right of God. He offered us eternal life through faith in Him and his sacrifice(I'm being concise, so bear with me). Who is He to me? My Saviour. My friend. I was bought with a price, and a price of blood, so He is first most my Lord and Owner of my life.

*172. I am grateful I was taught the Bible is the only source of Truth, the infallible Word of God. All of it. I was taught there are no relatives, since God left us His absolutes by which to live. He left us the means by which to know Him and do what is agreeable in His eyes.

*173. I am grateful I was taught to read my Bible everyday. Yes, I've read it all. Read the same verse many, many times. Fell into the lie that I didn't need to read it all the time. But my church again and again taught me to do so. Everyday! As necessary as the air I breathe. To find truth, renewal, admonishing, teaching, light, and so much more everyday again and again.

*174. I am grateful I was taught to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I was taught to pray and spend time in His pressence. I began journaling in 1999! I can pick those words written by a 15 year-old me, and savour the wonderful connection I had with my Creator at that time of my life. I remember long-learned (and maybe forgotten) lessons. Experiences where I saw and felt my Lord. Where His comfort was more real to me than my situations. Where He was my Father, when my earthly one had left. I can truly say no one knows me better than Him for I do not tell more of myself to anyone else. (yep, It is because He sees what is in my heart. But does He know you from your mouth?)

*175. I am grateful I was taught the design of GOD for women. This is one of the very important ones I am truly grateful. Raised with no parents around and being the eldest, authority and submission were unknown to me. Yet I was brokend down, and still am ALOT, to learn my place and design as a woman (yup, my leaders were hard at work with this strong willed, stubborn, strongheaded girl). I was taught the man was the head of the house (completely new concept for me). I was taught that honoring and obeying my husband is synonym of obeying and honoring my God, and not doing so is offending and disobeying my God (Yes, eventhough you think (cuz it's not true) that you could be a better head). But from very early on, 12 years old to be exact, my church began preparing and is now polishing my heart to learn and live this truth many woman ignore or disregard.

*176. I am grateful I was taught to go and give the gospel. More than the teaching, I am grateful for the encouraging, the opportunities, and the example of this important commandment of spreading the good news.

*177. I am grateful I was "discipled" (mentored) and taught that I had to disciple others. I now realize discipling simply means to teach others the above teachings I just mentioned. I had a wonderful mentor. She is the wife of a pastor and mother of six children that she homeschooled (4 when she began mentoring me. She had two more while also "mothering" me :D). How did she have time for a highschooler crashing her house every wednesday?! An hour with her charged my spiritual batteries for the rest of the week. The most beautiful lesson she gave me: Do not apply the law of the Law ("Old testament law"), apply the law of Love. It is easy to point mistakes (need to remember these lessons!) and treat them with judgment and condemnation. It is hard to apply mercy and compassion. Love makes it possible. Apply the law of love!
did I mention she also taught me singing! :D

*178. I am grateful I was taught convictions. I do not agree with the methods I was taught/forced some of them; however they kept me pure and guarded me from alot from the world, so much that I was lucky enough that my husband is the only man I have ever kissed. :) I was taught convictions had to be Bible-based. I was taught they had to be unmovable and I had to fight for them.

*179. I was taught about homeschool. When I first heard of this, I thought it was legalist and extremist. Yup, I jumped right in to deliver a judgment. I am not a mom yet, but I can't wait to homeschool my children. Since my church has given me the conviction early on, I have been preparing myself for that time. I am very grateful I learned about humanist worldviews and the Christian worldview, and I am so grateful I was taught the difference and I have seen the fruits too.

*180. I am grateful I was taught the third most important desicion in my life (1. faith in Christ for salvation. 2. Christ is the Lord of my life) was who I was going to marry. I was taught he HAD to be a God fearing man, who loved the Lord and followed Him. This made me reject many suitors untill I found the right one (I rejected even my husbandfor a long time too. My church made me tough to get :P) So I am inmensely grateful I found my husband in this church, for he is a wonderful, wonderful husband!

the hubby and I at the recent vacations

*181. I am glad I was taught what was important in life. I am not ambitious of things of this world (house, cars, possesions, titles). I am ambitious for a strong, united, God-centered family. I am glad I was taught money had it's place, but my life didn't revolve around it. I am glad I was taught sweet fellowships with my brothers and sisters in Christ, but time with my family came first. Yup, I was taught what was important! :)

These are some of the life lessons I was taught at my church. But there is so much more I am also grateful for than just the lessons.

*182. I am grateful for the most amazing group of friends. My friends from church are not just friends. They are family. The beauty of the body of Christ, is that it is everywhere. I had not been a month since I moved to Mexico, when I already had a large group of friends coming over to my house and inviting me to theirs. This was all because of the church. And in my church here, I have developed truly beautiful relationships I hope to keep for the rest of my life (if I can keep myself from getting in the way, hehehe). I am grateful they are men and women I wish to imitate for they imitate Christ!
It's been a long time you and me!

*183. I am grateful I got to "do it all" in my church. Yep, it truly was the most wonderful place to grow. I've been in dance choreographies, theatrical plays, dressed as a clown, been part of a sports team (AWANA), learned to play the keyboard and the guitar, been in several musical bands, learned to sing in public, learned to speak in public, taught others piano and guitar, taught melodies and harmony, made songs with sweet friends, played in several concerts and camps, travel in and out of the country together. The list could go on. I got to do most of that with my beautiful sister too!

*184. I am truly grateful for the wonderful experiences of the church camps. We have one every year for Easter. I have been going to these camps since 1994 or 1995 (not sure) and only missed the easter camps of 2000, 2008, and 2011 (it was truly sad to miss the one this year :( ). The youth camps were the most expected. Oh the things we did, the friends we made, the tons we learned, the dirty, wet clothes, late night sleeps, cold temperatures (they were mainly in December), games played, sermons heard, worship times sung, talent shows enjoyed!! (see, I am already being cured of the seed of destruction mentions at the beginnig!) I was lucky enought to enjoy two camps in the USA with a group of friends. Can you imagine going to a different country with over 15 of your friends and no parents (of course with the leader and chaperons hehehehe)? The memories of those trips still make me giggle with happiness!

Singing at one of the Easter camps. I'm on the piano and my sis is also there singing ^_^

*185. The church's school. One of the main reasons I am grateful for this place is meeting Evelyn. She is one of the most amazing person I have ever met and I had the joy of sharing by her side all my high school years. I am also truly thankful for Mely and how we knew each other so well Johnny would tell us to "shut up" when we were "talking" with our eyes!! o_O.. I had teachers that taught me to love God's Word even more (Mr. Greene, Johnny, Miss Toti, Tifanny, and so much more). I had classmates with whom I could share my last night's time with God. I found my brother-from-another-mother Paolo ^_^. I found gentlemen like Danny and Henry. It truly was a blessing; so much, I ended up working there as a teacher too. It was my first job: the worstly paid one, but most loved one! I truly enjoyed being a teacher (talk about getting anxious to teach again; my kids this time!) As a teacher, I got to make connections with my students and made two amazing, loving "daughters": Adina and Denise.

My sixth grade class. Miss Toti was the homeroom teacher!! ^_^

Daughters Denisse and Adi! Agh, I sigh at the sight!

*186. Pastors and leaders that are approachable. I could always speak my mind with my leaders (and was most of the time encouraged to). If I had something that was bothering me or I disagreed with something my leaders were doing or saying, they were open enough to listen.

*187. The youth group and youth church. Yep, you 180° people boast all you want; but it was MY generation that started it all! hehehehe. I guess I need to go back to working with the youth church! Is what I mostly enjoyed of my church :) but it comes a time to grow up.

Oh yes, grattitude changes it all. Is there something in your life you are discontent with or are having bad attitude towards? Apply grattitude to it and finally learn joy in all times!

And going a little off subject, here is the rest of this week's gifts.

*188 The most beautiful mother in the world.
Isn't she?

*189. Energy! physical energy! Been to the gym only twice, but woke up feeling good and energized. Did the cleaning of the house with joy and gusto! Cooked most meals this weekend! Hooray for savings! :)
*190. A sushi date night with the hubby (There was a 2x1 promotion. It's the only way we can afford sushi :P)
*191. A relationship in turmoil. As we were taught by the pastor this weekend about dealing with storms: "Don't ask why? Ask for what?" Trusting in You!
*192. My dear sister's birthday. Wish I could be with her. Hope she knows and perceives how much I truly, deeply love and miss her, and how I wish for her the best and constantly think and pray for her!
First collage I make. So lovely!

*193. A weekend watching Sakura while the hubby was out on errands and I was cleaning the house. Call me dumb if you want, watching Sakura makes me kinder :)
*194. Body aching from working out. It hurts, but it helps. The irony of healthy choices!
*195. Cooking huge burgers that made my husband happy and my stomach was able to digest! (Speaking of irony, talk about contradictions!)
*196. This one is the funny gift, but I am truly grateful for. We took our two dogs to my in-laws. I am grateful my dogs love their grandparents and back!! :D .. Seriously, it is the only other place Terry behaves herself!
Terry on the back and Lanky on the front

Oh Father, You are so wonderful! I love You!!!


  1. I love you beautiful list! I totally feel you when it comes to having difficulties with my church. I am blessed to have found a church (where I am now) that makes me feel welcome and where we all seem to have the same goal.

    Maria @ Linen & Verbena

  2. First Linda, I'm sorry I haven't been here for so long. From the beginning of the month, from the last post Sara wrote in August, and the subsequent posts by her friends, I could read the handwriting on the wall. I've been thinking only of her, and reading only her blog. I'm sorry. I was gone for good reason and I’m now just starting to get back to reading the blogs I heart – and I heart YOURS! And today - so much thanks about that which you can be so bitter about. My brother has kids that because of his wife are going to have horrible psychological problems – I know this because I know what abuse does – And abuse doesn't always have to be physical – and I want them to see a therapist. Therapists are just people who listen, and help you guide your thoughts, because sometimes we don't do it on our own very well or judge her own thoughts very well - especially these vulnerable kids. But they're just people. I say that because pastors are just people. Hopefully they have an education and abiding faith. I have the education – but I doubted the existence of God even after I graduated seminary. Not anymore. And I was too proud. You can't have that in the leader of God's people either. So I never became a pastor. Anyway, all the things of which you are thankful for, the youth groups, and Awana, and fellowship, and love, and solid teaching, and being pointed in the direction of our Lord, and his word, all of it made me smile – and smiles have been rare lately – so thank you. Thank you Lynda. And God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours.