S’mores and Something More

For the past few months, I’ve been praying for God’s direction for me in ministry. Specifically, if it is His will for me to continue serving Him at CCF Makati’s Friday Night Light (FNL) and be a facilitator at the True Life Singles Retreat or to serve in another ministry. I was praying for this because I was struggling with managing my time and resources since I get off from work late and I don’t live near CCF Makati. For the longest time, I felt like God was so silent about this, but by His grace, He gave me an answer three weeks ago.

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Last August 3, I had my quiet time with the Lord at home. I poured out my heart to him again, humbled myself before him, and told him: “Lord, I want to hear your voice more than anything else right now. I’m listening, Lord. Please speak to me tonight. Please give me direction. Thank You…” After writing that, I stared at space for a few minutes and when I was about to write some more, I noticed this…

You

The word “You” was on the next page and it was the only word written there at that time. God was showing me that life really is all about Him. It’s all about Jesus. Ministry is about Him and not about my comfort, or my skills in serving Christ, or about the number of girls I handle, or where I’m active in ministry, or who I’m friends with in ministry, etc. It’s all about “You”, Jesus.

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Photo taken by Flonnah Valencia

I spent the rest of the night reading the first part of Genesis 12 and it was about the Call of Abram. He obeyed God when he was instructed to go the land that God will show him. And one of the things that struck me in that chapter was verse 7, where God said “To your offspring, I will give this land.” It made an impression on me because a few verses before that, I read that Sarai was barren. And now, God is telling Abram that he will give that land to his offspring.

It was encouraging because it reminded me of God’s sovereignty, faithfulness, and power even in the midst of my weaknesses and “impossible” & difficult situations. Abram built an altar after God said “I will give this land” and it was also nice because it showed that Abram acknowledged God’s presence at that time and in that place. I was encouraged to trust in God again.

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After having my quiet time, God prompted me to read through my old blog posts, to remind me of my moments with God for the past year. I then happened to read my blog post about S’more Cookies & last year’s FNL teambuilding (http://encouragingtreats.com/smore-cookies/) and while I was reading it, it seemed like I was a different person back then. I was so full of encouragement, light, peace, and joy.

S'more Cookies
Jeff serving the S’more Cookies (Photo by Jill Bantang)

I even wrote this: “Maybe God gave us the sticky situations/rollercoaster ride to remind the FNL team that in the future as we serve Him in ministry, we may also encounter similar sticky situations and even sudden changes in our plans. However, I’m learning that sticky situations actually encourage us to focus on God’s grace, faithfulness and love. They are opportunities for us to seek Him more especially as we make decisions. Also, they help develop our hearts and character as we trust in His sovereignty.”

God humbled me that night as I read through my old blog and He encouraged me to be like the Nicole who blogged about this last year. She didn’t worry about her struggles and concerns in ministry. She was focused on Jesus.

Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

coaster

At the end of the blog post, I noticed something that struck me. “Did you know that the original name for “S’more” was “Some More”? This is because when the people tasted S’mores before, they constantly asked for more! Similarly, in our teambuilding experience, I realized that although we didn’t ask for more, God decided to give us some more problems and sticky situations for His good purposes. I’m glad He did! :)”

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And that was it. God spoke to me. I honestly believe that God answered the prayer of my heart that night because when I read S’mores or “Some More” in my blog, I remembered this year’s True Life retreat which was entitled “Something More”. By faith and by His grace, I went to the retreat last weekend. :)

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Photo taken by RJ Magno

I praise and thank Jesus for the privilege of serving and knowing Him more in the True Life Singles Retreat. I’ve witnessed so many changed lives and hearts surrendered to Him and I know that it was only by His grace. It really was a humbling experience for me because I was reminded of God’s indescribable grace and love for me.

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I really cannot imagine my life without You, Jesus. You have been and you will always be everything to me. I just can’t explain how you’ve changed and renewed my heart, mind, and life. Thank You so much for dying on the cross for me so that I can spend eternity with You in Heaven. Thank You so much for being with me and for being my Risen Savior, Lord, and best friend.

Jesus, You are worth my every cent, every second, every breath, and every step. :)

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Photo taken from Flonnah Valencia’s camera
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My wonderful ladies at the True Life Retreat.
Photo taken from Flonnah Valencia’s camera

“Too much to make sense of it all
I know that Your love breaks my fall
The scandal of grace, You died in my place
So my soul will live

Oh to be like You
Give all I have just to know You
Jesus, there’s no one besides You
Forever the hope in my heart.

It’s all because of You, Jesus.”

[Scandal of Grace by Hillsong]

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Flonnah publicly declaring her desire and decision to follow Jesus. :)
Photo taken from Flonnah Valencia’s camera
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Photo taken from Flonnah Valencia’s camera

And if I may just add, the food committee served s’mores in the retreat. When I saw those treats, my heart melted and I smiled because I remembered how God encouraged me to step out in faith and serve Him in this ministry. Thank You, Lord! :)

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Photo taken from Flonnah Valencia’s camera
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Photo taken from Flonnah Valencia’s camera
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My new BarCARda. :)

TRUE LIFE SINGLES RETREAT VIDEO: http://vimeo.com/73079435

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHT: https://www.facebook.com/ccffridaynightlight

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

4 Comments:

  1. Hi Nicole,

    Thanks for the encouraging post. This just reminded me today to seek more of Christ and that all things we do for Him are never in vain. He doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.

    Praying that God may continually use you mightily in the ministry. Keep inspiring.

    Godbless.

    :)

    1. Hi!! :)

      This was only by His grace. Praise God, indeed! Thank you for praying. I really appreciate it. May God bless your heart even more as you seek and serve Him.

  2. Hi Nicole! :)

    You’ve been such a blessing to me ever since you introduced me to your blog. :) You’ve been a constant reminder to me that God really works in our lives in visible and inivisible ways. I’m so happy to see your post about the True Life Retreat! I am once again reminded and amazed by how God has touched lives in that retreat. My experience from our journey to Tagaytay, the retreat itself, and our journey back to Makati were all sooo perfect! God once again showed me how well he orchestrates things!

    Thank you for being a blessing to many in many ways! I’m excited to serve God again with you. Will continually pray for you and your ministry! :)

    Lots of love,
    Your Carbarkada ;)

    1. Hi Celine (a.k.a. Nicole 2. Haha),

      Praise God alone! Only by His grace. :) As I’ve said before, thank you also for being a blessing to me. I sincerely thank God for allowing us to bond last retreat and be part of a new group of friends. ;) I look forward to serving God with you again. See you around! Love you! <3

      Praying for you,
      Nicole :)

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