Category Archives: Marriage

The 5 Dangers of Truthless Rock and Roll

There are movies that make us go aww and wah and there are those we just need to blog about because of so many thoughts that need discussion. Such is the movie A Star Is Born by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.

This is the third remake, which means the story has reached generations of viewers who have been fed lies from the film. Don’t get me wrong. I did like the film and even got “kilig” with the idea of love amidst the noise and fame of rock and roll.

Sure I may have shared its heart-gripping clip of “Always Remember Us This Way” when it appeared on my Facebook feed even before I’ve seen the film – totally great performance by Gaga and all  — but I want to discuss more of the movie’s relationship, marriage, and ‘true happiness’ angle.

Jackson (Bradley Cooper) is a successful rockstar who met aspiring singer Ally (Gaga – the star that was born). In the beginning, Gaga was wise enough to tell his dad “F off, he’s a drunk. I don’t want to go with him” when Cooper invited her to a major gig. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be with successful hottie rockstar right? But she knew. From the beginning, she knew how drunks are and it’s not pretty.

But of course, when we’re in the moment.. like hot with adrenaline, power, and lust for change in our lives, we follow our hearts, right?

So she ties up her brain to a chair, takes that plane trip that will change her life forever. As you know, she sang her original song from the first concert, had sex with Jack on the first night, landed her own gigs herself, made a name for herself, married Jack and wow.. they lived happily ever after. Am I right?

DANGER #5 BELIEVING IN YOUR HEART

“The heart is deceitful above all things
And it is extremely sick;
Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

The impulsive shopper has her own regrets – what more the impulsive lover?

DID YOU KNOW that about 14 Million Filipinos are Single Parents and about 50% of children born in the Philippines (2015 PSA Report) are Illegitimate. This number rises every year. And media and social media is making it seem like a normal thing.

What is the reason for this continuous rise of unmarried men and women who fail to believe in commitment or fail to plan for the future? Their hearts are sick.

They may have believed that at one point, having sex with someone is the answer to their problems. Or that they got involved in the wrong relationship in the first place. Some who did get to marriage eventually separate because they fail to recognize the truth in the roles of true husband and wife.

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The danger of going with someone who is dependent on drugs and alcohol instead of God is very real. Those who are wise enough to spot this from the very beginning is saved from all the trouble.

A wise, shrewd person discerns the danger ahead
and prepares himself,
but the naïve simpleton never looks ahead
and suffers the consequences. (Proverbs 27:12-14)

Sometimes when all the noise of the present is too loud it clouds the real deal. The truth that what we may be feeling now isn’t exactly the right thing.

DANGER #4 BELIEVING THAT YOU CAN FIX OTHER PEOPLE

DID YOU KNOW that more than 50% of people who marry end up filing for annulment in the Philippines. And a law firm claims that a whopping 94% of these filed cases get approved. These are just the reported cases. There are more married couples that separate who opt not to file for divorce or annulment anymore.

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If you are not bothered by this then well, let’s pray for eyes that see and hearts that hear. This is an alarming number and could be one of the biggest insults thrown at a sacrament as valuable as marriage.

Sometimes, single men and women get too excited to marry thinking that they’d finally be saved from their own broken families, problematic parents, sadness, feeling of being alone, work, or monotony in life. But when finally they get married they realize it’s better and feels happier to be single all over again.

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WHY? Because we’ve been wired to believe in the lies of Same Day Edits where family and friends gather in beautiful gowns and tux. Great food is served and the unli booze bar is opened. But what we don’t know is that it takes a lot more to make a marriage work. And the truth is, we can’t rely on our own expectations or on our own self when we want a marriage to work.

It’s purely a spiritual union, designed by only God himself. So if you don’t believe in God then marriage on our own terms can’t save it. Who we are even before we get married plays a huge role in what kind of marriage we’re going to run.

Are we even willing to give up our own addictions for the growth of our marriage?

Jack is an example of a character who may be dwelling in the past for too long and relying on drugs and love for a better version of himself. Sure, he loved that she was a singer and a songwriter. He got excited about her talent. But he could have done more. No amount of success could help a person unless he denies this success and acknowledges that he is poor. And that he needs help.

In fairness, he did try. He checked in on rehab which could have been a start. But his healing was not complete. Which leads us to number 3.

DANGER #3 BELIEVING OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS ON YOUR MARRIAGE

This part is the one I hate the most. A person who is clearly of course just doing his job, STAR MANAGER Rafi Gavron approaches Jackson in his own home; catches him straight outta rehab, happy and smiling with a bright disposition almost ready to move on from an embarrassing mistake.

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Gavron then destroys this fresh beginning by telling him that other people are displeased with what he’s done to Ally’s career. That she continues to embarrass herself by staying married to him. That he was the reason for derailing HER CAREER. A career she’s willing to give up just to be with him. But to someone else (or the world) who’s just there to watch, it’s “an embarassment”. 

People, (let me just calm myself down), what right do we have to get involved in someone’s marriage like this? This goes out to all couples who are married and struggling. Yes, husbands and wives have their own shortcomings. But stay out of the way especially when the news we have is only self-serving.

This goes out to everyone who may have good intentions but who do not understand marriage. In-laws, friends, officemates, churchmates, random grab driver. Always, when people seek advice, the first thing to do is tell them to DISCUSS WITH THEIR PARTNERS FIRST.

And this is the reason why married couples are advised against getting advise from other people. BECAUSE THE TRUTH IS, there’s no better advice than what the bible says.

“What God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Mark 10:9)

If we know and believe this truth, that couple could always come through every problem stronger together.

IF ONLY Jackson Maine fed on the word instead of the world, he could have responded to this moment better. Which leads us to the next….

DANGER #2 BELIEVING IN WORLDLY SUCCESS

I just hate how this movie depicted that success onstage means unsuccessful marriage or vice versa. I’m telling you, we can all have successful careers and marriages if only we put our trust in God. But in the event trouble comes, remember that we cannot serve two masters. (Matthew 6:24)

God has warned us to be careful with the desires of this world. Instead, to always check on our hearts.

HOW COME people who chase their dreams sometimes end up sad, depressed or even miserable despite the success in their goals?

Maybe, consider that they’re chasing the wrong dreams?

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)

Sometimes, our hearts feel like we want to get married. Or we want to go abroad. Or maybe become a singer, an artist, a lawyer, a husband, a manager, etc.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THESE. But let our plans be approved by God first. The one who determines and blesses our goals in life. Trust that He will guide us along the way – so that in our setbacks, we learn and in our successes, we glorify His name.

The world’s lie is to follow your own plans but God’s truth is, He determines our steps.

“seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

God will bless our heart’s desires if we seek Him above all.

Lord, will I be glorifying you if I become the President of this company? Will I only be serving my selfish wants when I choose to marry this person? How can I improve my relationship with you so I can be a more responsible adult/wife/husband/boss/employee?

Through this, let Him guide you.

DANGER #1 NOT BELIEVING IN A GOD

The world’s lie is that there is no God. He cannot be proven. “Unless you prove that a Jesus ever walked the planet, then all these are mere stories for stupid people who are too weak to live life themselves.” This is a real comment I found on the Internet one day. And I’m not gonna lie, it did affect me. It prompted me to search for more.

But just looking at the reality of life today… some people who don’t believe in the change and the blessings that God has planned their way end up turning to drugs, isolation, sadness, and suicide to cure their problems.

In my understanding of the Bible, proof of the kingdom of God lies in us. We cannot say today, God if you are real, part the red sea.. take out the trash and let us live a billion years more.

While it’s true that he’s always watching us, we need to do our part to effect His power in our lives.

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 148:18)

We need to acknowledge Him first. Call on him and ask Him to come to us in spirit.

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. (Acts 10:44)

In the movie, just right before Jack killed himself, Ally was seen and heard praying for her husband. She’s a faithful girl I can see. But it could have helped if she understood her role as a wife and became more intentional in sharing the gospel to his husband earlier on. Instead, she’s been busy chasing the wrong purpose. (More about this on the next blog.)

What’s the point here? God is very real but his reality appears on changed hearts. Hearts that choose to follow Him and effect His message into the world. Faith is nothing without action. In other words, we need to werk gerl!

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Jackson had faith. He did. But he needed someone to help him acknowledge that the pain or the sorrow he’s been feeling for a long time towards his father or his brother could be surrendered to someone more powerful than he is. He needed someone to tell him that his wife was a blessing from God designed to help him in all his ways. That their marriage is special and that no amount of fame could ever replace that kind of special union.

He needed to hear the truth that one embarrassing mistake doesn’t mean the end. It doesn’t mean he failed his wife. If only he had someone or a group to support him to know God better, maybe, he could have realized that his wife’s forgiveness is far more important than other people’s expectations of him. That he can rise above this through the grace of Christ from whom all power overflows. 

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 43:3)

There are some things that we cannot explain. That is why it’s called FAITH. It’s always a leap. It’s believing that something does exist despite the reasoning and the lack of proof.

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)

Sometimes, children believe in things that encourage them to dream and become the best version of themselves. The Bible promises that if we become like a child with a pure heart, we will see God in this world.

You may be thinking: HEY JAZZ YOU ARE AWARE THAT THIS IS JUST A MOVIE RIGHT? WHAT’s WITH THE MADNESS? Lols. Na-carried away lang kaw naman. 😀

Baka lang kasi, if I could help in the discussion of the film, we could focus on the one thing that happened in your life, during a troubled or a blessed time, that you can give God the credit for. And be the witness to His truth.

Jack and Ally could have been the perfect couple. Talented, ambitious, rich, famous, and they had each other. They were almost complete. But one thing is lacking – the strength of the spirit.

Rocking and rolling life away is great but the path is dangerous for those who don’t recognize the truth and our purpose.

What do you think of this movie and this danger list I shared? Message me or comment!

18 things I learned this 2018

I skipped my 2017 year-end blog last year because it was too difficult a year to write. Needless to say, I wasn’t well at that time.

I started 2017 up to the early months of 2018 with negative emotions – anger and hatred toward other people. I lived every day nursing an evil thought of feeling superior to anyone else. And it was by God’s will that this translated into frustrations in the household and felt deeply by my loved ones.

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My husband – the gracious gift God has bestowed upon me is also His key instrument in changing my life for good. God allowed things to happen so He could help me look within my heart to catch the virus determined to destroy relationships. And sorry for the faint heart, but the light shone on it and found the virus to be the devil.

This 2018 I have:

  1. Struggled with knowing that what people think about me is a reflection of how I see the world.
  2. Learned that it’s better to be kind than to be right.
  3. Learned that faith cannot be imposed on anyone.
  4. Learned that I am not perfect.
  5. Chosen silent cries over angry confrontation.
  6. Learned my role in life.
  7. Changed a few things about myself that resulted in believing that others can change too, in God’s time.
  8. Realized that some things beyond our control are always within God’s control.
  9. Worked on the idea that there’s a possibility that God is absent in our lives because we don’t call on Him.
  10. Realized that I need to work on surrendering everything to Jesus. It’s easy to be rocked when troubles come. I am a work in progress.
  11. Decided that there’s only ONE I aim to impress.
  12. Learned the greatest sermon ever given is found in Matthew Chapter 5-7; this needs to be MEMORIZED to serve as CONSTANT meditation through prayer.
  13. Realized that it’s more important to have a PERSONAL relationship with God than to just know him.
  14. Realized that we need to be warier in practicing our faith in front of others for malicious intent to please people.
  15. That knowledge and faith is NOTHING without ACTION. – still struggling. But praying.
  16. Strengthened the belief “Everything happens for a reason.”
  17. Learned that a true Christian is JOYFUL, gentle and kind.
  18. Acknowledged that when we delight ourselves in the Lord,  He will give us our heart’s desires.

As the year come to a close, I wish for us to ponder on our relationships.

Do we have friends we no longer talk to? Are we carrying any bitterness toward a person who hurt us? Are we consciously avoiding some people whenever we see them in the workplace? Are we deliberately keeping our kids away from our in-laws or parents because they “can’t meddle with our affairs”? Do we spend time with our officemates more than we spend time with our husband or wife? Do we listen to our husband with respect and not belittle their thoughts or ideas? Are we loving our wives enough to the point of considering her feelings above ourselves or anyone else’s? Do we have idols in our heart?

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Are we divided?

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I have a friend. We’ve been friends since kids. But some 9 years ago, a virus infected my heart, let’s call it pride, which prompted me to believe that I did not need her in my life. And true enough, I’ve had a career, a family, and a son – enjoyed my life as it is – without her friendship.

Some weeks ago, a common event reconnected us. “What were we even thinking! Not talking for 9 years?!” We’re still the same crazy individuals who click together in the idea of fun and humor – like nothing’s changed. Turns out, all that grudge and hurt feelings, and hatred we felt years ago seems so tiny and immature now as we see it. But it still didn’t change the fact that that small seed of hate, caused a decade of missed chances to be a ninang, a friend, a travel companion, or simply a “person to lean on.”

So much laughter, fun, and wisdom from someone who could have been a source of all that, were wasted.

But you know, if you are living a truly Christian life, no amount of sin or imperfection could separate us from the path that Jesus intended for us to walk in. Every broken piece of our life could be restored. Renewed. Made whole again.

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Christians see everything as “possible.”

First, we need to realise that we have a real enemy. And the enemy is NOT our parents, spouses, bosses or friends.

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As humans, we see the world as imperfect, poisoned, decaying and destined to fail. But when we see the world through God’s eyes, we realize our roles and purpose – and that is, to be instruments of light in the world.

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And when we see the world like this, forgiveness becomes easy. Compassion and humility become our default mode when dealing with people we do not understand. We have a fresh perspective that allows us to search our lives inwardly and find that we are no better than anyone else. But God uses our gifts to serve His purpose.

 

Have a Blessed New 2019!


Questions every wife should ask her husband

Take it from our married chinita Heart Evangelista who asked these questions straight to her husband Chiz Escudero in the now-viral Q&A vlog.

So last night, my husband readily answered these questions with short but honest responses. I was surprised that despite him being busy in the middle of killing a boss in one of his games (haha), he was still able to entertain me.

Being that there was not enough time to really think deeply about his answers, most of these are “top-of-mind” responses.

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So I asked permission if I could blog about his answers and he agreed. Albeit short, to me, all responses are meaningful.

1. Me: How do you balance passion and practical income making?
Husband: You have to manage your time; use it properly.

Questions to husband9a

2. What is the wisest investment for fresh graduates?
They should learn their craft to make their resume as impressive as possible. If you have a good craft and a good familiarity with your skills, you have a higher chance of landing that job.

Questions to husband7

3. How do you become independent from your parents?
You have to trust yourself and save up. Hehe.

Questions to husband4

4. How do you court someone?
It’s about making the person you like feel special. If you treat her well and be yourself (sic), you can make that person love you also.

Questions to husband2

5. Does a man need to pay 50-50 on a date?
It depends. If it’s a special date, you have to pay for all. But if it’s casual meals and your girl insists on spending, it’s all right.

Questions to husband9b

6. What is a wise amount to spend on a date?
If you’re looking for a figure, I think 1,500 to 2,000 is enough. But for me it’s not about the worth, it’s all about having fun with your partner.

Questions to husband6

7. How do you recover from a breakup?
You have to be busy as much as you can. Because if you’re idle, it’s certain that you will think of the person you’re forgetting.

Questions to husband

8. What are your life lessons about your past love and breakups?
Love yourself also. You will know the worth even of the person you are loving, and it will make you a better person.

9. What is the toughest lesson you learned in the real world?
You have to shrug off the criticisms and negativities from your surrounding so that you will have a better armor against unclassy people on earth.

Questions to husband5

10. How do you deal with anxiety, pressure and depression?
It’s my weakness. If I have emotional stress or something makes me anxious, I go to my nearest comfort person – my wife.

Questions to husband9

11. What’s your purpose in life?
To make my family happy. And make my wife happy.

Questions to husband8

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Try asking these questions with your partner! You might be surprised. 🙂