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Encouraging Stories From Christian Community Members - Part 3

Satisfaction!

This is a woman that seldom gets bored. Because this woman almost always gets satisfaction. There are two things that I consider very important that God has taught me in Couples for Christ, this very loving community. First, is to stop demanding. And second, is to count my blessings. I have long accepted the fact that Jun's diction and pronunciation is not great. He confuses his F's with his P's, his B's with his V's. He forgets his th, ch, sh. His memory for names is so bad that he would combine two names into one, as in Tagle for Tayag and Tale. That's why, when he says Joe Tagle, he means Lito and Joe.

That's why when Jun says, Sweetheart, would you call up our members for a meeting (or whatever we talked about), I gladly do it. This way, I spare him from wrong diction and wrong pronunciation.

But I don't care if he mispronounces all the words in the English language. Or he abbreviates all names. God has taught me to stop demanding that his diction and his pronunciation be like that of Frank Padilla's. God has taught me to count my blessings.

He made Jun a terribly sweet guy. Oh yes, he's sweet. He does not call me Angie, Mama, or Mommy - very unromantic. He calls me Love or Sweetheart. He declares his love for me almost everyday. Take note: Almost everyday. He says I love you, Love. I don't care for the V's in the Love as long as he tells me he loves me everyday. And this gives me satisfaction. I have long accepted the fact that we can never be materially rich. I don't care if I don't have diamonds on my fingers. Even imitation cubic zirconia or crystals would be fine for me; I don't care. I don't mind if I wear my dress over and over again. God has taught me to stop demanding. God taught me to count my blessings. He gave Jun so much love to spend on me.

I have long accepted the fact that Jun and I have very little to say about hair. But I don't care because I have stopped demanding that he dye his hair black. He says dyeing his hair is a waste of money; he has very little to dye anyway. Besides, white hair is beautiful. it looks as if you're holy, just like Tony Meloto. So, it does not matter to me if Jun ends up bald because God has taught me to count my blessings. He gave Jun the strength and the endurance to prove to me that the rate of falling hair is not directly proportional to the intensity of our romance. And this gives me satisfaction.

I have long accepted the fact that Jun has the naturally frowning face. Adding to his frowning face is his moustache, which really makes him look like some snob. He is really handsome. But sorry, that mustache remains. That is his charm. I need the mustache because his lips are not parallel. But you know, even though he is like that, we still love him in the Household. We love him so much; I love him so. I have stopped demanding that he wears a smile all the time. Because you know I have to count my blessing. God gave Jun lots of funny bones in his body. He makes me laugh. The past 29 years of our life together has been one of fun and laughter. And this gives me satisfaction.

I have long accepted the fact that we can never have a bigger house than the one we have now. Although, sometimes I wish our house was bigger especially during Household Meetings. We always have 100% attendance. We really love our household. We are always happy. We are not bored to death. So it's okay if we are all packed together in a small living room with some even spilling over to the dining room. It's all right, because God has taught me to count my blessings. And this gives me satisfaction.

As long as there is breath in me, I will remain faithful to Jun. I will be supportive of him because he is the one God gave to me. He is the one God called to do important work for Him. And as long as there is breath in me I will remain faithful to God who is the source of my blessings, source of the real thrills, source of the real satisfaction. May God be praised! As told by Angie Dimarucot

Shoot Out!

Roughly five to six months into our marriage, I was invited, no, 'coerced' by my long time friend Eric Montinola and his wife Jean to a Christian Life Program (CLP). There were so many reasons they gave. Though I didn't want to go, Eric and I go a long way and are close friends; I just couldn't say no. Many others too came to my house asking me to attend the CLP. I went to the Orientation talk with two bodyguards outside waiting, while I was half-asleep inside. That was 1991. When I finished the CLP, mostly sleepy and with some I absences, I was still into my guns and goons.

Five months after the CLP, card-holding true-blue member of CFC though I was, I got into trouble.

Four months before, there was a fishpond my business partner stocked with fingerlings. It was ready for harvesting when I got a phone call at 6 in the morning: a group of men was stealing the fish. That year was 1992, an election year, when guns were strictly banned especially in September. Armed to the teeth, my chief of security and I picked up my partner and his men on our way to the pond. The group of men, also armed, were indeed harvesting our fish. We shot it out with them. We captured three and wounded one plus got all their firearms. There were eleven of them to the two who were armed among the six of us. But they were not ordinary robbers. They were government narcotics agents.

That's when all my troubles started.

Weeks passed. I had to spend time in a safe house. I lost sleep. Thoughts crossed my mind about what would have happened if I had killed one of them. Though we had hit only one with minor wounds, what if scenarios quickly raced through my mind, setting up possible consequences if I too had been killed or captured. My dad, a military man himself, said twenty men surrounded the house, ready to raid it at a command.

One time, I accompanied my wife to a Prayer Room by the neighboring church. Bored outside the room while waiting for her, I decided to get inside. A strong cold breeze greeted me, yet the air-conditioners were off and the windows closed. At the pew too was the prayer guide I had been looking for that day. The signs of His presence were just unmistakable. I knelt. “This is it. I know He is here.” I began to cry. “Lord, I surrender my life to you. I am tired of anxiously waiting what will happen, Lord. I give my life to you.” After ten days losing sleep, I finally found peace. A month after, I went home to face the consequences.

I was met with a subpoena charging frustrated murder, illegal possession of firearms and gun ban violation during election period. My lawyer was straightforward. “Dan, your minimum would be 21 years. If we can get away with it, let's try for at least half.” I was news in the papers.

A brother whose guts I hated (his past life was drugs, politics and guns, too) and was my Facilitator during my CLP days came and persisted to pray over me, saying this was the only help the community could give. “Yeah, sure,” I thought, “as if that would be of any practical help.” And prayed he did. (But this was how I later appreciated the CFC community.) I discovered soon after, a lot of people were praying for me.

Days went. The Narcom agent agreed to drop charges if I returned all the firearms I got. I was also to take care of all the hospital bills.

It turned out that the pond was mistakenly stocked by my partner, thinking it was part of the numerous ponds we rented for our business! The agents too were in the area on an operation.

I saw the effect of prayers. As told by Danny Gamboa

Continue to Part 4

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