5 years ago I shot a wedding in a beautiful island called El Nido. However, I had weddings the day prior and the after so I had to fly in the same day and leave very very early the day after. I knew I even if I was already in awe of the place, I have not yet seen truly what the place had to offer. I vowed to myself, I would someday go back with my wife when I have saved up for it (the price to be in the island wasn’t cheap).
Fabulous Wedding of Chef Carlo Miguel & Ria @ El Nido.
I never got to save up the amount nor found the time to squeeze in that trip but still God allowed us to fulfill that dream. For the past 3 years, our client for event management James Hardie would take their top 30 dealers around the best vacation spots. First year Shangri-La Boracay, last year Misibis bay and this year guess where — EL Nido! As I gazed upon the Horizon and finally saw the beauty of God’s creation in this area of the world, I remembered what I said 5 years ago. Here is what i didn’t expect tho: Even I could not save up for it, God still gave it through the abundance of his grace & provision…
El Nido has one of the best sunsets I’ve seen.
Today, a day after our working vacation, God gave me this verse:
“Remember the Lord your God for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth. ” Deuteronomy 8:18
So today God is reminding me that it is not I who takes us to these fantastic places, it is not I who earns the bucks… it is Him! A verse prior to the one above says “You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” I am just the recipient and He is and always has been the giver. So What does the verse mean by asking us to “Remember”. 3 Things:
a. Having a heart of gratitude – I’ve never seen a satisfied person who wasn’t thankful. I love how the Apostle says :
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:10
Here he says – I am content. In riches or poor, health or sickness, hungry or full I am content. Want to know his secret? Paul has implanted in his mind that Christ is everything and anything else is simply just icing on the cake. If we keep this in mind, then we will always be content people and we will always be grateful with what we have.
b. Love the giver not the gift – Have you ever been given a gift that excited you so much you lost forgot to thank the one who gave it? Sometimes, we got so excited we didn’t even read the card that came with the gift. If you answered never, then take a deep breath, did you thank God for that breath? Do not let your money be your idol. Actually, don’t let anything replace God in your life.
c. Give back – God blesses us to be a blessing. When God gives, he gives us more than what we need. Its up to us if we want to hoard it or share it. But Proverbs 11:25 says “A generous person will prosper, whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” We have 5 kids and when we give them toys, we expect them to share it with the rest. No one really solely owns something… its for public consumption. They just become the medium or bridge for that public ownership. We expect that attitude not only towards their siblings but even to friends. Sometimes our son Matthew being the “collector” would actually hide some of his favorite toys to avoid getting broken or dirtied but we tell him, if it gets broken, then we just have to buy a new one. I guess thats how it is for God. He looks to us as medium… We must share, give to the needy and make sure to give back the 10% to God via his church.
So today, I look back and thank the Lord for everything that i’ve received. I am not the most deserving person and yet he has chosen to give them to me. I live a life thats way above what I should be getting — I am lazy, irresponsible, unfaithful to name a few quirks and yet, by His grace, He still gave as if saying “you can’t but I can”. Thank you for this wonderful life…
Special Mention: Would also like to Thank God for giving us an extra-treat (bonus). He allows us to meet a new friend on the Island. A guy who isn’t just really really funny but also has survived a 7 storey 58 feet fall in Las Vegas 8 years ago. Jesus loves you my friend and He’s got an amazing purpose for you that’s why He allowed you to live. We will see each other again next year is some part of the world Dave & Janelle.
See you again #davearmstrong #daveandjanelle