“My God is amazing”

Ann1by Ann Ronquillo

Church usher, housewife and mother of 3

as told to Carol delos Santos

I was rebellious. When I was 18, I ran away from home because my father was always drunk. I was totally lost, without friends, with nowhere to go. I was traveling around aimlessly.

But somehow I knew this one thing—God was my only hope. I used to cry to Him and ask “Is there any man in the world who could ever love me?” I cried out to Him all my frustrations over my parents, over my life. I kept telling God, “You’re the only One I could lean on. I could only trust You and no one else”. There was no one else in my life.

For several months, my parents didn’t hear from me. They could’ve been wondering where I was, or whether I was still alive…

After some time, my aunt got to me and took me with her to Manila. Going to Manila was one thing my father could never allow. Be there was nothing he could do about that anymore.

Barely a year after, I got married. Life with my husband at that point had been tough. We weren’t really prepared for marriage at that stage.

My husband’s father turned out to be a Pastor. It was because of him that I opened a Bible for the first time.

I came to Victory Churches of Asia (in the Philippines) for the first time in 2016. That was when I really began to grow spiritually. That was when I finally realized that in everything I’ve been through, in those difficult, ugly times, God had been keeping me safe. I realized that even without my parents, when I was all alone, I’ve been protected from harm. God had protected me. God was with me all along. Through my terrible journey, He had been there with me, taking care of me. He had never, not even once, left me alone. And the best thing was He led the way for me to meet my husband.

I never even asked for such a good, responsible husband like what I have now. I’ve only asked for a man who would love me. But God exceeded my expectations. “Lord, what You have given me is just amazing”.

Now, I’ve finally realized just how much God truly loves me, and it’s because of the things I’ve been through. Because He has truly carried me. He guided me and fixed my life. I have a responsible husband who never stopped me from going to church. He takes care of our children whenever I attend the church training classes. He truly supports me in everything I do. This is why I always say, “Lord, You are truly amazing”.

As I look back, I realized that, through all the ugly experiences I’ve had, God had a purpose for allowing some things to happen. They truly reveal God’s glory in my life.

 

 

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Are you a victim of the great big universal hoax?

Imagine living in a world where Joaquin Phoenix is just about the best-looking guy there is.

Photo credit: crosstalk.com
Photo credit: crosstalk.com

I’ve watched the short-lived suspense series “Wayward Pines” on Fox, and couldn’t help but notice its similarity with M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village” movie which stars Joaquin Phoenix. No wonder, Shyamalan is also Executive Producer of “Wayward Pines”.

Both “Wayward Pines” and “The Village” are set in an idyllic community where everything appears happy and normal at first. Later on, one would notice a pervading atmosphere of weirdness in that no one is allowed to leave, and not even a single resident had ever set foot outside the village perimeter fence.

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The “Village” is situated in the 19th-century, a small town isolated deep in the woods. The community is virtually one big happy family and everybody’s dream neighborhood. They have regular picnics, outdoor social gatherings and stuff, the ladies wearing their fancy dresses with fancy parasols, and everybody seems to have a great social life. Yet no one dares to venture beyond the village’s boundary towards the forest. Life goes on normally within the confines of the neighborhood, but beyond that lies mysterious beings – “those we do not speak of” as the villagers refer to them, monsters or unknown creatures that leave frightening warnings in blood whenever any resident tries to step out of the village.

 As a village citizen, one could easily settle into the cozy, familiar, predictable life you’ve always known since birth. No one would risk appearing crazy among his friends by going beyond what everybody’s intelligent thinking accepts and believes. At “Wayward Pines”, people were required to embrace the motto “Work hard! Be happy! Enjoy your life in Wayward Pines!” so they could order their lives and step into blissful routinary ignorance.

“The Village” ends with the revelation that it wasn’t the 19th century after all, but the modern present-day. The village inhabitants — the younger ones at least — were being shielded by the elders from the “cruelty” of the outside world by keeping them cloistered within the village at all costs, and they effectively pulled that off through the monster stories. Having been taught since birth that beyond their village dwelled the “evil ones”, the village youngsters had lost whatever sense of curiosity they may have had to explore beyond their “world”.

This reminds me of yet another movie, “The Truman Show”, which starred Jim Carrey, where the world as the main character knows it was actually just a deceptive creation, a virtual reality where everything that happens was an orchestrated weave of deceTrumanshowption. Unknown to Jim Carrey’s character, he was the subject and lead star in one big, elaborate reality tv show religiously followed by millions of viewers since the day he was born. He had no idea that his family, neighborhood, friends, and everything else were not real but mere concoctions of the reality show producers. He was completely unaware that his every mo
ve, every emotion, every event in his so-called life is captured onscreen and seen by the entire world. Can you imagine the shock, the utter sense of betrayal you would feel if that had been you and you’ve just found out the truth?

In “Wayward Pines”, the shock factor came with the scenario that they were actually living 2,000 years into the future, and that the world as they knew it outside Wayward Pines was completely gone. It’s hard to imagine the ultimate shock of waking up one day to this kind of “reality”.

Somewhere along the streets of Wayward Pines somebody had placed a grafitti of this famous saying on a wall: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”.

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What if, at the end of your life, you find that everything you’ve ever bet your entire existence on was in fact far from truth?

Death, or the end of this present life, or the transfer from this life to the next, is the grand ending in this great movie of a life when every question, every mystery, will finally find its answer. Every idea or philosophy would finally either be proved or disproved. It is the point where all arguments about God or religion would cease to exist, because by then the truth will be staring us all in the face.

And what if – at the threshold of eternity, you seek out what you thought were your life’s solid anchors – your knowledgeable friends who seemed to know the answers, the life philosophy you cling to, your version of reality, only to find out you’ve been duped? You’ve always believed there was safety in numbers. But nope, in the end, you find yourself going through the consequence of your life decisions ALONE. And worse, in the end you find out there was only One Life Decision that actually mattered.

One Decision that spelled your destiny for billions and billions of years, for eternity.

You couldn’t help but wonder how anybody could pull off such an elaborate universal hoax so great and so clever it could only be diabolical. You search deep within your soul and realize it was actually the attitude of your heart that opened your life to deception. It wasn’t the brilliance nor the power of the big lie, but YOUR heart, that sealed your fate.

 “He (the devil) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!” – Jesus (John 8:44)