Where your priorities are, there your time will be. Personal well-being is just as important as our external priorities. When we are healthier on the inside, we live better lives and thrive despite life’s challenges.
No one else will take care of your well-being but you alone. In order for us to continue to serve the world, our private world has to be in order.
Below are 3 areas of our well-being and some suggested habits we can build to to help enrich it.
Mental / Emotional / Spiritual Aspect
Creating morning routines
Working on a meaningful project
Taking trips on a weekend
Joining fitness classes
Spending time in Nature
Have a good enough sleep that works with your body rhythm
Spending quality time with love ones
Talking to family and friends over the phone
Attending cultural or sporting events.
In order for us to keep serving and loving others, we need to learn to love and take care of our self first; that is being intentional of a healtheir you inside – out.
How about you? What best practices for well-being helps you the most? Or what new habits for well-being will you be starting this year? I’d like to hear from you at the comment section.
Summer youth camps are just around the corner! For instance, Every Nation Campus Ortigas will be holding its youth camp titled “Wildfire” on May 25 – 27, 2019 at Caliraya, Laguna.
In reality, youth camps can be pricy but finance should not be hindrance. How can a student like you be able raise funds? Below are list of suggestion.
1. Pray & Save
Yes! Pray first, remembering to ask God for provision and wisdom in doing the fundraising. God is our ultimate provider and hold on of His promises from the bible.
Save money, and set aside from your allowance. You may need to make some sacrifices maybe by skipping a few Starbucks drinks, KFC meals, or movie tickets. Keep in heart that the youth camp is all worth the self investment. Keep the exciting vision of meeting new friends, having fun, having a great experience, and the life changing lessons to be learned.
2. Make a list of people
If you are raising Php 3,500, try to list down 35 people who can donate Php 100 each or 70 people that can give you Php 50 or maybe 7 people who can give you Php 500 each.
Start the list with your family members, relatives, neighbors, and friends. Raise more than enough, so you can also bless others!
3. Ask for referrals
Approach the people in your list, after asking them if they can donate. Ask them if they can refer you to others who may be able to help you. Ask politely for names of at least 3-5 people. Remember to politely request if they can inform these people in advance before you contact them within the next 3 days! Yes, make sure you do the follow up too! Don’t forget to thank them.
Fundraise through selling. You can do this individually or as a team. Show off your baking skills like making cupcakes, cookies, graham balls, or pastillas. You can also make T-shirts or pens. Gather your slightly used fashionable clothes and accessories for a garage sale. Make sure to personalize your product by putting your name or the title of the youth camp event. Don’t just sell the product, sell the vision that you and your friends will be in the youth camp! They are investing in the next generation leaders every time they are buying your product.
Make sure to mark up your price, for example if you make a T-shirt that costs you Php 100, sell it for Php 200 or more. Remember to sell the vision and that their support will go a long way.
5. Service through chores or job
Ask your parents, relatives, neighbors, churchmates, or friends if there are chores or job you can do in exchange for a donation.
I will never forget a great friend who offered car washing services a few years back just to be able to attend the camp. There were the students who help me cleaned the apartment in exchange for their registration for Victory Weekend. To what great heights are you willing to raise funds?
6. Organize concerts
If you and your friends or schoolmates have all the time, all energy, and resources to pull this off, why not? Be mindful that this needs a lot of preparation and consideration. This is great if you are raising funds for more students in your campus or community to attend. This is the least of all I recommend.
7. Utilize use social media
Make use of Facebook, and let the world know that you are fundraising. Tell them that they can help you by donating or buying your product.
8. Set target goals
Set a target goal amount to raise up every week. If you have 7 more weeks left, write a specific amount you need to raise. Be in faith to reach that amount and that you’ll be able to complete it before the deadline.
I’m excited for you as you raise funds and encounter God’s faithfulness. Have fun and always be in faith for God’s provision. God is more than able to bless you more abundantly than what you can ask or imagine. Remember to honor Him and worship Him as well as you give your tithe, remembering that it is God who gives you this provision.
We are, who we are today because of the decisions we made in the past. If you are physically fit today, it’s because you decided to commit to being fit. Maybe the best question we can ask ourselves today is “Years from now, will I be grateful for the decisions I made today?”
We have been given the power of choice everyday, you have been given the wonderful ability and privilege of embracing life changing decisions. It starts with a decision in the heart and mind to believe and step out in faith.
Let me share my story with you.
More than 10 years ago, during 2009 prayer and fasting week, I prayed and believed for the impossible to happen in my life and that was to go back to college and get a degree. During that time, I was working as a call center agent and helping provide for my family in the province. The financial challenges in my family drove me to give up the dream of a college degree and accept the weight of being the breadwinner.
But it was through a class in church back in 2007 that once again reignited that desire. Since then it has been constantly brewing in my heart, a hopeful thought that haunted me for two years. My response to this thought was resistance and saying how could it be possible? Considering the weight of responsibility I felt for my family. Who would support and help my family if I pursue my desire?
At the 2009 prayer and fasting, I said to God, yes I want it, and I want to continue. Started believing in my heart what can be, rather than what cannot. I felt it was God calling me on this and it was Him who put this desire burning in my heart. The one who called me is ultimately faithful and in that I rested.
A month after the prayer and fasting, my mom called me up to share her good news! She was hired to work in Macau as a domestic helper. The month that followed was another answered prayer, my sister’s education in a private school will be fully supported financially by a relative until she graduates. Isn’t that great?
God took off every hindrance, showing that truly nothing is impossible with Him. That year I resigned from work and went back to college as a full time student. The journey wasn’t easy, there was plenty of hurdles along the way, but the very words of God brought sustenance and strength throughout the journey.
Today I am grateful that I had made that decision to respond in faith. I am thankful that God enabled me to move in hope in a seemingly cornered and hopeless situation. This experience enabled me as well to see God in action in my life.
But truly the best decision I ever made was the moment I accepted Jesus Christ in my heart as my Lord and Savior back in 2006. I would not have the faith to believe for the possibilities If I did not embrace his Lorship over all things . I am in Christ, so is my life and all it’s circumtance.
These decisions where acts of faith to a faithful and all powerful God that brought so much joy and gratitude in life. It was not because I made a good decision but because it is God’s character who is ultimately good and faithful.
At the end of the day, we all make faith decisions.
Three things I want to point out;
• Never make life decisions base on personal limitations.
• Pray and trust God in all circumstance.
• Obey and act in faith in accordance to God’s words and promises.
What decisions are seemingly challenging and impossible for you, but will make you thankful in the years to come?
How do we set up ourselves for greater desire for intimacy with God and spiritual growth? Or maybe do you desire to know God more and more in your relationship with Him? Would you want to experience God more than before? May these 3 ways help you cultivate spiritual hunger.
1. Ask for it.
Asking entails humbling ourselves before God, acknowledging that left to our own, we cannot do it. We need God’s power and grace in our lives to enable us to hunger and thirst for more of Him in our lives.
For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened. – Mathew 7:8
Spiritual hunger is something that we cannot manufacture on our own. Asking God is our starting point in all things, developing intimacy requires communication.
2. Develop Spiritual Disciplines.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11
Starting new disciplines isn’t always easy at start; but it springs from a heart that is committed to growth and intimacy with the Almighty, not by obligation but of joyful delight. If God is of top priority, then daily spiritual discipline is nonnegotiable.
These are personal disciplines of reading and understanding the Word, reflection, prayer confession, and obedience to the Word.
The more we discipline ourselves, the more we know God, the more we desire for more of Him and growing in trust in Him. Spiritual disciplines are never the means to attain salvation but the means to get deeper in knowledge of God.
3. Preach the Gospel to self and accept it daily.
Our understanding of the gospel directly impacts how we live our lives and so are our misunderstandings about it. We need to be reminded of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and its implications. Reminding ourselves of the Gospel keeps us grounded to our own depravity. Accepting the gospel daily sets us free from our inadequacy and it enables us to live the life to full in Christ.
The gospel leads us to inside-out transformation.
As we end: let me encourage with this promise:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” – Mathew 5:6 ESV
While preparing for the message for the Youth Service, my good friend and fellow campus missionary, Roel Layug shared to me about passion killers among the youth in the church. What are passion killers? These are things that rob our enthusiasm and zeal for our faith and relationship with Jesus.
Ungodly relationships : Relationships that lead us away from our intimacy with God, causing us to sin and disobey God’s will. Godly relationships help us to value more our relationship with God and pushes us to honor Him and walk an ever increasing path of obedience to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Mike (not his real name), a student, came to know Jesus at our campus ministry. Realizing what Jesus did for him, he left his ungodly relationship with his girlfriend, pursued his relationship with Jesus, and is now one of our fruitful leaders – sharing the gospel in his campus and leading fellow students to Christ.
Unbelief : This comes from a heart that is not sold out to God, who He is, His ability, His promises, His unfailing Love, His forgiveness, His redemption, and His sovereignty. When challenges come, our unbelief can cause us to be overwhelmed by fear, anxiety, and insecurity. The only way to counter unbelief is to move in faith in God’s words and promises. When in doubt that God will provide, believe that everything comes from Him. When sickness strikes, believe God’s word for healing. When relationships are broken and dysfunctional, move in faith that God is able to change hearts and minds. When faced with uncertainties, hang on to God’s promises. Heaven and earth will pass away, but the word of God will last forever. Even in the midst of unbelief, God remains to be faithful and loving. Unbelief hinders us from fully receiving God’s promises and breakthroughs. The only way to counter unbelief is to hold on to God’s word, and that can happen when we commit to do our part of knowing God through the Bible, prayer and devotion, and a community of believers.
Voices we listen to – Nowadays, social media, society and peers makes huge influence in our youth; they set the trends of what is in or out, what is cool and what is out-of-the-date; and most of the time, these are the voices our youth listens to. First Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character”. It is true that whoever we listen to or who we are with most of the time, influences us, whether big or small. I’m not saying that we must not be with them, actually we must be with them, like what Paul did, but we need to filter the things that is according to God’s word and that are not – this can happen if we soak and meditate in His Word. Ultimately the only voice we need to listen is the voice of God. To hear God we need to create that quiet environment for us to hear Him speak. When we know God’s voice we easily discern other voices that are not from God. God’s voice is redemptive, regardless of our failures, shortcomings and sins. The voice of God is distinctive, it loves you but it leaves you unchanged, accepts you, affirms you, comforts you, and secures you. What matters most is the voice of God than the opinion of men.
Every time I meet with young people and hear of their challenges, I ask these questions, What is God telling you? How is your quite time and daily bible reading? What is/are God’s word regarding the matter. As they faithfully seek God and keep the spiritual disciplines, our young people will remain passionate for God and the gospel.
I’m thankful to my fellow campus missionaries in Ortigas for sharing their insights about this topic.