Friday, October 30, 2009

Strong Woman or Woman of Strength? (Author Unknown)

(When I read this poem, I was touched by it. I wanted to become a Woman of Strength and to tell everybody that God do this for me. I am sharing this poem now with YOU, women, who will read this.- Luisa)

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape - but a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn't afraid of anything - but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear.

A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her - but a woman of strength gives the best of herself to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future - but a woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be God's blessings and capitalizes on them.

A strong woman walks sure footedly - but a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls.

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face - but a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey - but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Trusting God In Business

Mary Ann has an inborn difficulty that partially makes her unable to speak and walk well. She is dragging her feet a little when she walks and stammers when she talks, but she can walk through the town to visit people. For all her difficulties, she has served the Lord full time in the ministry.

As a sideline income to help the church and her family, she sells silver jewelries. It's giving her now a very steady income while she busies herself with ministry works!

That encourages me to earn an income, too. I am paralyzed, but I can walk limping now. She recruited me to sell silver jewelries also. I prayed for it and asked God to help me. Now I am starting. It's difficult moving at first with my physical disability, but I trust God to help me in this. I know I still can do ministry in my church like her. Mary Ann sets a very good example for me.

"But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

(c) October 2009, Luisa Mercado

Backslidden Heart... Anyone?

Return, ye backsliding children, [and] I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou [art] the LORD our God. (Jeremiah 3:22)

If we delve into the lives of strong Christians, oftentimes we could see they were tainted with backsliding, but repaired by God's pardon and healing when they willingly submitted themselves humbly to Him and asked forgiveness. Many strong Christians who have not yet experienced failures may also find themselves backsliding later. Why? Because our strengths as true believers of Christ can only remain steadfast by His grace alone. Remember this bible verse: "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." 1 Corinthians 10:12

What is backsliding?   Alban Douglas, in his book One Hundred Bible Lessons (copyright 1988), said that "Backsliding is turning away from God... is growing cold and leaving the first love... is turning from the simplicity of the Gospel to  salvation by law... Some defines backsliding as one sin that separates a believer from the Lord... Speaking generally, backsliding is growing cold and losing interest in the Lord, the Bible, prayer, church attendance and witnessing, and turning toward the world."

Nobody backslides instantly. Although outward appearance may be misleading, but the finality of the experience happens gradually.   Small things may crop-up bit by bit in a believer's heart and without asking God's forgiveness daily, it would lead to bigger spiritual problems.

These bits of pieces, as Alban Douglas wrote in One Hundred Bible Lessons, will start with covetousness** (eyes seeing something attractive). Before one will know it, he will be choosing too low** (deciding to "peep through" the attraction). Then he will compromise** (getting nearer the attraction). In addition, he will be captured by the enemy** (someone nearer gets captured easily). After that, he will follow carnal living** (gaining worldly influence but losing sprituality). To cover his guilt, he will then practice criminal weakness** (takes others with him). Finally, he will be carousing** (living the life of sin).

There are lots of outward causes of backsliding from selfishness** to disobedience**, and from fear** to ambition of power**. In fact, they are many to mention. Alban Douglas enumerated the real causes and I ask you these questions. Please answer them honestly. Here they are:
1. Failure to maintain the Quite Time** (Do you communicate with God personally and honestly daily?) - A lot of people said in tears that they "lost out with God in their Quite Time." (Douglas, Alban copyright 1988)

2. Failure to pray** (Do you pray any time everyday?) - Prayer is needed to ask humbly to God for strength, etc.
3. Failure to read the Bible** (Do you read the Authorized Bible Version everyday?) - 2 Timothy 2:15 says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God..."
4. Failure to attend church** (Do you go to church regularly?) - "Be sure to attend church once a week plus Bible Study, and prayer meetings." (Douglas, Alban copyright 1988) 
5. Failure to obey the Holy Spirit** (Are you grieving the Holy Spirit?) - Ephesians 4:10 says, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
6. Failure to confess Christ** (Do you deny you are a Christian, and therefore Christ also, to your friends or anybody for whatever reasons?) - Matthew 10:33 says, "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."
7. Failure to walk in the light** (Are you obeying and following God's leading?) - We ought to for Christ's leading and quickly.

We would not wonder if we would see undesirable things happen to the backsliding person. For sure, there would be loss of power**, loss of peace**, even loss of joy and hapiness**. Everyday he would be "clouded with murmuring and darkness"**. Worst thing is, he would even loss rewards** and favor from the Lord.

Are you backsliding at present? God is calling you to return to Him. He said in Jeremiah 3:22, "Return, ye backsliding children, [and] I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou [art] the LORD our God."

My friend, as you return to Him, He will surely pardon you. He promised it before, He still promises it now. Come to Him and be healed. "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him", says the Lord in Hosea 14:4. He will!

(c) October 2009, Luisa Mercado

** enumerated by Alban Douglas in his book, One Hundred Bible Lessons
 All verses used were from the King James Bible

One Hundred Bible Lessons

By: Alban Douglas
Copyright 1988

Sunday, October 25, 2009

How To Overcome Discouragement And Be Encouraged

Have you ever been so overcome with the things of the world and life in general that you allow it to bring you down to its level?

It is not worth it to allow the world and those around you to be so negative as to bring you down to their level. I speak not of your spouse or spouse to be, as we all have disagreements. No one is exempt from that. But, what l mean is those people or some circumstances in your life that seems to be so overbearing, that you feel you are about to explode and no one around to help you, guide you or even be there when you need someone to lean on to. A shoulder to cry on it wonderful, but the wrong shoulder can be detrimental to you as it will discourage you even more.

To be truly encouraged is to be around those Christians who are morally strong and sound in the faith. Though not all those can support you all the time, but they can only be a support and be an encouragement to you for a length of time and it dwindles.

But, l find true encouragement comes only from God Almighty Himself.

1) Seek the Lord first in all things.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.

The more we seek our Saviour God, His goodness and His grace; the more He will give to us, if we seek His face on all matters of our hearts each day. Lay treasures up in heaven and not on earth and He will supply our every need. The more we look for God and His righteousness, more He will give us the desires of our hearts.

2) Going through trials

Rom.5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.

When we go through bad times or even times we think are bad, we should be happy in the Lord and be encouraged by the patience He gives us to get through so many trials and wicked, vengeful times in our lives. He allows us to go through what we go through to help us grow stronger in God Himself, to strengthen us, and help us fight off temptations. That is an encouragement to me.

3) Victory over the devil

John 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

We have encouragement because we have victory over the devil. We are saved by the blood of Christ and the devil ain't able to do otherwise to make us lose our salvation. Satan has no say, though very powerful he is, because we have the Holy Spirit in us and He lives. We are to be encouraged and live a life that is pleasing to our Saviour . We need to be happy and be full of the joy that only Christ the Lord can give us.

4) We are comforted.

Matt.11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and l will give you rest.

What better encouragement to know our Saviour can give us the proper safety in His arms even when we work so hard, and when we badly need rest. When we are under so heavy burdens, troubles from others and from the world itself, and that we can't seem to take it in; God is there in all His glory, to let us run to Him so He can lift us up and give us encouragement. He will give us rest from what the wicked world offers us. He will give us what we need from Christ our Lord in order to be in proper rest from our labours. We can lean on His everlasting arms for strength, hope, rest, love. When we are burdened by the cares of the vile world, what better way for true encouragement than the One God who created us for His glory, to thank Him for His wonderful marvelous grace and His tender mercies, His free gift of salvation, and His unfathomable love for us.

(c) October 2009, Mike Carey

Monday, October 19, 2009

Life And Death

My mother died of breast cancer. I was there because I personally took care of her in sickness and until her death. I was with her on her last breath. It was very hurting and I felt myself in a vacuum of unseemly dark space. That was ten years ago.

Now, death to me is just transition from this not-perfect world to a much higher dimension of true happiness and contentment where God is there always. I am not afraid anymore despite my physical frailty. There is a way to get there and I have found it - THROUGH JESUS CHRIST ALONE. I'm just waiting for that right and perfect time to go home to that heavenly abode where my mansion is waiting.

Yes, it's important to be ready with death because we know exactly where we go in the crossroad later. It's now time to decide where to go before it is too late.

(c) October 2009, Luisa Mercado

Friday, October 16, 2009

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Charity suffereth long.

Charity is kind.

Charity envieth not.

Charity vaunteth not itself.

Charity is not puffed up.

Charity doth not behave itself unseemly.

Charity seeketh not her own.

Charity is not easily provoked.

Charity thinketh no evil.

Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.

Charity beareth all things.

Charity believeth all things.

Charity hopeth all things.

Charity endureth all things.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Humility In Action!

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:6,7

Here is an example of humility - a child digging up his face in the sand! (It intrigued me when I saw that picture.) Can you do what he did? Of course, you do, if it would take proving your guts when challenged. I am not asking you to do it so that you would be blessed or would go to heaven. What you see is just figurative description of humility.

Jesus said that unless you would become like one of these little children, you can not enter heaven or something like that. Everybody wants to go to heaven wherever it is. Nobody wants to burn good in hell with no stop forever! It's a never-ending doom.

Friend/s, it's easy as 1, 2, 3. Humble yourself now (if you hadn't yet - you don't have to bury yourself in the sand), talk to Jesus wholeheartedly (alone or with a trusted somebody), repent for all your sins, and accept Him as your personal Savior and Lord in all truth and honesty.

John the Baptist said, "Repent for the Kingdom is at hand". It is still true today. It will be true in the years to come for as long as Christ will not return yet. The Kingdom is promised to you now, if you would accept Christ as your personal Savior and Lord. Nobody else in heaven, on earth and the entire universe has that power except Him alone.

Humility plus Great Faith equals Growth in True Life With Christ. I pray you will, one day soon, experience it.

(c) October 2009, Luisa Mercado

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Forget Not Thy Grandparents

"Children, how many of you still have grandpas and grandmas, raise your right hands, please." Almost all the children in that Kids' Sunday School raised there hands in glee. Some of them uttered words of love as they talked about their grampies and grannies a little later that day. Others told of grandparents living in homes that had other people taking care of them, but that they visited them once in a while. They said they had wonderful experiences during these visits. Those without grandparents anymore because they were dead and they had not met them, they just kept silent. Perhaps, in their little minds, they were pondering. Had their grandparents lived longer, they would have experienced much love from them, too.

The story I just told you presented good examples of caring for the old people. Yet, we know, too, that many of us neglected these very important responsibility. We just are too busy to care.

Our grandparents are a big part of us, whether we like it or not. They are the parents of our parents. They need more of our love, attention, consideration, simpathy and support. One day, too, we would become like them, if we would not die young. We would not want that whatever unpleasant experiences they may have encountered because of our disrespectful treatments of them, we would also reap at old age.

Everytime my nephews and nieces became very mean and treated my father like naughty girls and boys, they surely received some not-so-well-liked words of advice from their Aunty Lou. I told them, "Mind your manners, Miss April, he is my father and your father's father. We love him very much. We would be hurt if you would continue what you did. He deserves respect and love." My niece kept silent. She knew I meant what I said.

Whatever is your treatment of your grandparents, you have your own reasons. I cannot reprimand you as I did my nephews and nieces. I even do not know what your experiences were with them. If ever you have mistreated these old people knowingly or unknowingly, God is not blind that He cannot see. He would count anything unjustly done (except when one would ask forgiveness). Our grandparents will leave us soon. Why don't we start showing them love while there is still time. It's worth it.

(c) October 2009, Luisa Mercado

Friday, October 9, 2009

True Servanthood: Living In A Demanding World

Living as true servants of Christ in this present generation post a demanding challenge. In a world like I have (I live in a third-world country), most priorities are centered in the basic need of food. Shelter and clothing are secondary. Many pastors left the higher calling to seek secular greener pastures. This is a very sad story of faith. They cease to believe that God can supply all their needs according to His riches by Christ Jesus, if they would remain steadfast to their calling. He can even arrange their lives well in such a way that they would not lack the essentials in life! Those who remain true and steadfast to their vows, monied or not, God indeed is able to sustain. Kudos to these true servants of Christ.

Our church is not exempted to these "needs priority". Pastor appointed some deacons who, sad to say, could not be available for God's service because of other secular priorities. Those who are willing still lack the training. I know this is not only happening in our church, but in yours also.

I was talking above of Christians in poor countries. What about the rich world? Material abundance and self-satisfaction draw them away from God and His service. Who would need God when they have the means to buy what they need? There is even extra money to purchase the wants! Am I hitting weak grounds, too, when I say these? But, this is true. Again, kudos to the true servants of Christ in this self- loving world. They remain steadfast despite material luxuries.

Friends, I still pray that one day, God would touch each one of us so that we can be true servants of Christ, wherever we are and whatever our status are, even in this very demanding present world.

(c) October 2009, Luisa Mercado (mermalu)

Life In ATeaching Mission

I love teaching very much. It was my life, and if God would give me more time and opportunity to teach again, I would definitely accept it!

I was a college intructor before I was paralyzed almost two years ago. For me, it was the kind of profession where I could work best with people and learn from them also. It was my way of reaching out to students in need of learning. Most of all, it was also my opportunity to tell them in many ways that I have a most wonderful and gracious God.

Through the teaching and learning process, I was able to share my life with my students not just in the lessons I taught them. My break times were mostly used as consultation periods for students to come as friends. I often told them I was their friend and we had proven it many times. I listened to different problems and gave them advices. During these precious times, too, many received Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord in tears.

College Administrations had always been strict with allowing Christian activities to be held openly in schools. I, too, received reprimands because of these activities. Yet, God had His ways so that His plans were materialized. He used legal means for us to perform His calling.

I was used by God in ways I could not imagine. With Christian co-teachers, we participated in activities that used the college as arena for moral recovery programs by the government. These, of course, paved the way for Christian students to form their own student organizations, legally recognized by the college, to bring other students to Christ. God was good to us.

As I look back now, I still see the school as a very potential mission ground for a missionary-teacher, if all true Christian teachers would really care to be used by God the way He did others. A teacher has all opportunities in the classroom. He can then divert these various opportunities into good grounds where Christ is felt and seen in many wonderful ways.

To the Christian teachers, this is a challenge.

(c) October 2009, Luisa Mercado

Thursday, October 8, 2009

These Songs He Loved


Mike and I were chatting on the internet one day when I brought up to his attention the need for classic gospel songs to download on The MikenLuisa Minstrel blog. I really found it hard to identify the songs in the Favorite Baptist Hymnal I borrowed from my pastor, because there were more than two hundred of them! Since I am a new Baptist, I do not know the tune of the songs although most of them had been sung through the years by people yonder.

Mike is the kind of person who wouldn't boast about singing as he thinks he has a low voice (well, a good base voice really), but he knows how to play the harmonica (I let him play often via webphone, hehe). Definitely, he loves music as I do. We almost love the same things and music is one of them.

"Mike, could you e-mail me some lists of your favorite gospel songs?" I asked. He agreed with a grin. "I can give you the titles now", he said. Before I knew it, he was pouring on me titles of songs. He gave me 14 of them! Whew, all I did was copy and put them in the computer's My Document folder and thanked him. That is how excited he is every time you ask him something that interests him. That's my love, Mike.

Titles like Amazing Grace, He Hideth My Soul, My Jesus I love Thee,... were all beautiful songs I heard on YouTube later that day. I wished to download them at once. Unfortunately, the internet had low signal. I had to wait for another time. As of this writing, I have not finished the job yet. You see, not only would I download the individual song, but I would also include accompanying lyrics. It is something that Mike and I have committed to offer our viewers as we give glory to the Almighty.

Yes, the songs may probably be old and sang by your grampies and grannies. They may not even appeal to you, younger generation. But, friends, if you truly care to listen to them, understand the words by their meanings, then you would hear songs that would really speak to your hearts and souls.

We know because we also listen.

(c) April 2009, Luisa Mercado

Some Food For Thought


A story...

A little boy goes to his best friend's house to play with him. Reaching it, he hears a distant noise like a slap or something similar. He quickens his step. The noise stops, he stops walking, too. After a few moments, he hears the slapping sound again. He walks towards it as it gets louder. The little boy is now scared and trembling not knowing what he will see.

Then the boy hears a slight moan, and then a louder slapping. The sound he hears is that of a strap, a stick, or a......... whip! Now he is really scared and trembling more. The noise loudens as he gets closer.

The little boy is calling his friend's name loudly. He then hears an answer, "In here!” A little voice hollers out; so the little friend, who was searching, has now found his friend. He comes to a small out-building in a field, glazed with bright green grass, and surrounded by a small hedge of light-green hemlock trees.

With the door slightly open in the dusty building, chair in one corner, broken table on the opposite with some tools on it, hammers, nails, ruler, and old steel shovel; the little boy peeks in and is shocked to see his little friend hitting his Daddy across his back with a small black, knotted, dusty handmade whip.

Young boy that he is, he cries out loud, "Stop!" His little friend says to the Dad's son, "Why did you do that? You're bad and very awful. What did he do?” The little boy, in tears, says to his young friend, "I've one more to go, save one." So, he whips his Dad for the final and last time.

The Dad turns his head towards the small lad who befriended his son. His son does not know what to say, so the Dad answered the lad, "He did some bad things and instead of spanking him, my love for him is so strong that, this time, I am taking his punishment for him. Yes, he deserves it, but I deserve it more, so that he will see and know that he needs more respect for me and love me more. When he is grown up he will remember when this happened. It will make him a stronger person and he will be a better man because of this experience."

The young boy is somewhat confused. His little mind is put to rest as something is revealed to him, and put in him a little wisdom that he so desperately needed. He knows what was done is done for a reason. The little boy understands.

Then the two little friends, crying, go their merry, lively way to play. The Dad, meanwhile, is praising the Lord God Almighty till he meet his timely death.

You see, the Dad was a born again Biblical Christian and he knew about the cross, the shed blood of Christ, and the death, burial, resurrection. He knew because he did the same to his own Dad; and his Dad to his Dad.

Out of a pure love and total commitment to their sons, Christ did also for us. He shed His blood for us that we may live. He, who knew no sin, took our sins on Him, so we may live, as He died on the cross at Calvary.

"...the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sins." 1 John 1:7

"If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

(c) April 2009, Mike Carey

Monday, October 5, 2009

Comments Solicited...

The picture speaks of itself. Friends, we wants to listen from you so that we can improve our blog. See you around!

Mike and Luisa

Friday, October 2, 2009

True Living God Not Idols

-Courtesy of

While I was having a reflection this morning, I could not but think of the worst scenarios that happened to the Philippines and some countries hit by typhoons and earthquakes. In fact, super typhoons hit the Philippines twice this week. Why?

I am not pin-pointing on anything as we are not to judge. Just a sort of a question shook my mind a little. Is there something that should remind us that God is a true and living God and therefore He needs reverence? Let me take you to the old testament and what God had done to His people.

By the way, I am writing bible verses so that you will know it in not my invention. Here they are:

A) The Ten Commandments

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:3-6

B) God Reminded Israel

Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up [any] image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I [am] the LORD your God. Leviticus 26:1

4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. 6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make [you] afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. 7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. 10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. 11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. Leviticus 26:4-12

C) When Aaron Made The Golden Calf

And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made. Exodus 32:35

D) When God Showed Himself To Moses

And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. Exodus 33:20

There are other verses in the bible from Old to New Testaments that showed God is jealous upon people who do not worship Him, but worship idols instead. Idols mean the real idols of what God or saints look like; money; precious people, times, and anything more than we give Him glory and adoration.

Friend, this is another thing to think about, right?

(c) October 2009, Luisa Mercado

Soaring High On Eagle's Wings

Certainly for many of us, life is "eating, drinking and be merry now for tomorrow we shall die". Others have chosen a more serious way to do it. By working very hard day and night, and earning more money continuously, they think that later in life they can afford to be merry. Others balance their lives well in what the world sees and appreciates, but denying the importance of the great God. For them, religion is just a part of life that completes the perfect scene.

But, are they truly happy? Are the contented with what they do? We, true Christians, can readily say they are not for this and that reasons. We are very good at that!

"Oh, because they do not give God all the spaces to move in their lives", I said once. True. But, wait! Do we, true Christians, do that perfectly, too? In fact, I failed that just recently - 73% failure. It was on relationship. My fiancee and I needed to wait upon the Lord because He had plans for us before we marry. The word for Mike was: IF I CAN WAIT. The time frame was for as long as it takes. We were hurt, specially me. God prevailed. We have to wait, period.

Mike was more submissive to God than me. Because of this, we had to talk and prayed together. It was then, without shame, that I told God about my heartaches and pains. I opened my whole heart to Him. Then, I began to find real, inner peace. I was healed emotionally.

Mike and I still love each other. We still chat and we decide to wait upon the Lord to direct where we are going. We know we have made a very good decision. Now, we have renewed strength to face life ahead because He is and will be there for us. We will soar high for God. Amen!

Observing the lives of many people around, (and I, too, once tried to pose the worldly-balanced life), I could not but appreciate the life I have now chosen. I have found out that living and waiting for God's will in my life means I do not have to stir the wheels because He will do it for me. All I need to do is rely on Him to bring me safely to the place where He wants me to go - where He wants Mike and I to go, too. It is sure to be the safest place in the whole universe.

Friend, no matter what will other people say, life with God and in His direction is still the best one you and I could ever find. Why don't you try it?

(c) October 2009, Luisa Mercado