I will be learning basic photography this coming Saturday. I’m so thrilled; I can’t wait any longer. Another privilege! Wow, thank You, God!
The night was cold and it was the 17th of November 1994. Every silent ticking of the clock signals my arrival as a baby in the Madria-Magloyuan fold. When the time for me to be born already took place, Christhine and Edgar Magloyuan, my mother and father, decided to give me the name “Viel Karmela.” My hair was black and wavy and my eyes round – these were the characteristics that defined my whole image as a tiny creature.
Being poor and not always having the things I desired and wished for in life, I grew up being a backwoods lassie. My mother who worked hard as a tutor and always came home late at night and exhausted, on the other hand, tried to raise me (together with my other three siblings) normally and decently, trying to take in to me almost all the positive behaviors one could have and giving me the background of a church which later on became a very advantageous phenomenon in my life. Mother would buy me nice clothes whenever her take-home paywould be given to her, dragging us all four children of hers to have a picture-taking at our favorite photo studio which offered cheap prizes, ones we could afford. She would later have all those pictures developed and we’d all go home having an ear-to-ear length of a smile and our noses buried on every glossy picture that we have just printed.
Being raised in a dysfunctional family, or in a more understandable way, broken family, I would always wake up in my bed witnessing my father and mother quarrel due to some family problems. I was very, very young then. Those constant quarrels later on led to the separation of my parents, leaving in my heart a deep scar which kept on wounding me as I grew up to be a lady. Since my parents decided to take on separate ways, I started taking things too seriously and chose to neglect my studies leveling down to one of the lowest rankings in school. Influenced by my peers in the neighborhood and seeing how they treated every guardian they have, little did I know that I was embracing the very same behavior they possess; I talked back to my mother and grandmother even though I was in the position of being wrong and rebellious, I beat my siblings more often for no strong reason and made lying my regular practice. It was clear that I wasn’t the girl my mother used to raise anymore. I was different already. Although we still went to church, but this time I need to be forced and hit by a rod first before I totally obey and prepare for church.
One lazy afternoon, as I was busy doodling gibberish things on a piece of paper, (I think it was Saturday, for there’s nothing too significant to do) a random knock on the door suddenly caught my attention. When I came to check who our visitor was, my eyes grew big and my heart started pounding on a beat that’s faster than usual. Although a male, his hair was long as that of a female’s and his appearance was like that of a rock band’s vocalist’s. It was my father—my longtime gone father. And he wasn’t alone. Beside him standing was my eldest half-brother. He greeted me with a fine smile; his short, untrimmed and untidy beard going along the form of his beam. I greeted him back with a polite hi and asked straight ahead what it is he needs from me. “I want you to learn piano,” said he calmly. Piano wasn’t my dream instrument. There wasn’t any dream instrument in my mind yet by that time so I got really confused whether I would accept his invitation to a fresh learning or not. Besides, I wasn’t sure of my feelings toward him – am I glad he’s back and talking to me or am I full of pride, wanting him to just go away? I’m at loss for the proper answer. But since I came to the realization that he’s still my father by blood, I decided to say yes to his request and make his wish come to life.
With my father and half-brother waiting outside our house, immediately, I pulled out a skirt and a plain blouse from my drawer and headed to where I’m supposed to have my first piano lesson. We rode a tricycle and when we’ve reached our destination, my eyes landed on a fairly big church that’s still, in some areas, under construction. The ground office complimented by a tiled staircase over it was still on the process of being furnished, I noticed. It’s a church—a Baptist church, to be precise. I’ve never been to any church before due to the reason that I’ve lived and spent every Sunday going to my mother’s church, that I almost memorized the total number of steps and every scent of every corner of the whole building. Then a moment or two later, a man approached us talking to my father as if they’ve talked more than a hundred times before, as if he knows my father already. Catching up—that’s what he’s trying to do, I figured out. Their talking took longer minutes than I expected, so I killed time by observing the surroundings. The whole church lot didn’t give me any light feeling. All throughout my stay there, my heart was hammering louder and louder for fear that I would meet my music teacher soon.
Its engine rumbling, a three-wheeled motorcycle stopped by in front of the church and dropped off two women wearing lengthy skirts, having grown long hairs and carrying loads of market goods.
They looked too Christian-y, I whispered to myself.
Out of nowhere, an anxious thought conquered my whole mind: I don’t want t0 be like these ladies someday. I don’t want to be a “serious” kind of Christian. I’m fully aware that my father only brought me here to learn piano and NOT to be part of the church, but somehow, I felt that I was being drawn forcefully to the church mysteriously little by little. I brushed away the feeling to shake the hands of the ladies and be introduced to my teacher, Miss Nissi Boniog.
Months passed and I was learning piano fast, but since the motive to do it wasn’t being pulled from the heart, I set aside practicing and traded it for procrastination and idleness. My father promised to give me allowances with fare not included yet just for me to be motivated. I continued going to the Baptist church and had lessons. But every hour spent with my teacher only stressed the both of us. She would just lecture me endlessly to practice, for it would be my key to skillfulness, and yet I heeded not any of what she would say. One time, she invited me to come to church and attend the service and I came. The pastor preached a very astounding and dynamic sermon which struck my heart and I’ve learned also that he was my piano teacher’s father.
Summer came and I already graduated in elementary. I am clueless as to where I will enroll and study as a high-school student. My father approached me again telling me that I should take up a diagnostic exam in the Baptist church I always go to. It had a church-school that conveys an American curriculum – A.C.E. (Accelerated Christian Education). It was no doubt that Papa has so much faith in the curriculum. I remember so well when I was just a little girl, I would secretly dig some files of my mother in her gigantic shelf when she was gone and would discover several module-like booklets called “PACE’s” wherein English, Math, Science and History lessons are printed. She got it from the previous Christian school she used to work in as a supervisor when she was still a maiden and where she met my father who was also one of the supervisors there. I had the impression since I was little that to study in a school with PACE’s was such a big deal and would bring prestige to my life when I grow up. Both of my parents talked about my future studies in the A.C.E. church-school and they agreed to enroll me there. I was beyond happy; I was dancing along with my heart secretly.
My being enrolled to as a student of Scripture Baptist Church Academy, a church-school of Scripture Baptist Church, was God’s way of leading me to Him. As a student of SBCA, I was required to attend every service the church had. A year or two passed and I learnt to adapt to the routine and ministries of the church. Soon, I was also one of the ministers. I would go out every Saturday with the workers and other ministers to win souls and invite people to come to church. Not too long after that, I was baptized and became a member of Scripture Baptist Church, but emptiness is still in my daily living and I knew it; I just ignored it, thinking that someday I’d find time to get rid of it and embrace happiness.
Traveling from home to school and school to home was exhausting, truly. Home is too far away from school so I still had to commute. Money doesn’t just grow on trees, so not only was it exhausting but also, very expensive. Father was more than concerned so he had me moved to his house. Now, going to church was a hobby I could get used to since it’s only two houses away from Papa’s.
Just came home from school, exhausted and worn out, I tried to rest and, by chance, eyed the tatty Bible that was handed down to me by someone I could no longer remember who. It was Friday and I was ready to sleep I got up from bed, grabbed the Bible, took some scissors and tapes and glue and tried to fix the Book. Upon fixing it, a small yet threatening thought invaded my mind. “What if I were to die tonight? Where would I really go?” I realized that I still have no assurance of eternal life. I’ve been going out winning souls, trying to introduce Christ to them, and yet I myself am still not ready to die, for I wasn’t sure enough of my destination. I haven’t accepted Christ as my personal Saviour and Lord yet. I mastered this all my life, growing up in a church, and yet I still haven’t done it personally. Before I carried on setting my Bible, right there and then, that 9th of April 2010, I received the Lord Jesus Christ and made Him Saviour of my life.
Now, it’s all clear to me. The reason why there weren’t changes in my life because I haven’t found new life in Christ yet. Months and years after I fully surrendered myself to the Lord, transformation took places on every area of my life. I no longer talk back to my guardians, I no longer spank my siblings for no reason and I started committing everything I do for the glory of my one and only Lord.
By 2012, I graduated in the A.C.E. with flying colors and made my parents proud. Having loved arts and any form of literature since I was born and came to know and embrace words as a part of my life, I’ve always fantasized of being an accomplished linguist someday, a widespread author, an international broadway singer, and a fervent travelerof the world. But somehow, deep within myself, a tiny seed of desiring to be a missionary was blooming upon the very ground of my heart. Little by little, God was teaching me that I didn’t need fame and prestige to attain a happy and fulfilling life; all I ever need is His love.
Influenced charmingly by my piano teacher, my love for literature grew deeper. Reading not less than ten chapters a day during free times, crafting beautiful scenarios in my mind, and scribbling poetic phrases that slipped off my mind here and there had been more than a hobby to me now; it’s become like life that’s too crucial it can’t and mustn’t be taken away from me anymore. I’m very fastidious when it comes to selecting books to read. What I like the most are novels and biographies of missionaries and martyrs who have forsaken and yielded their lives to the Lord in mission fields. One time I had the chance to read the book Through Gates of Splendor which was about a martyred missionary to Ecuador whose name was Jim Elliot. His widowed wife, Elisabeth Elliot, was the author of the book. I remember having read his account in one of my PACE’s when I was still an A.C.E. student and as I recall, I was blessed by his story and abundant love for the Lord. Every word on every page nurtured my soul and contributed a longing to love God more. By the time I finished the book, a glorious feeling enriched my whole being and my longing to become a missionary to some island or mountain someday deepened and stepped on to a higher level. Elisabeth was also a linguist and she had shared some stories in some of her books about the unspeakable joys of being a missionary linguist for the Lord and to deny the fact that I have been heartened to be like her someday would cause me to lie. Soon, she had become my favorite author of all that I collect every book of hers whenever I see one of her works in some Christian bookstores. Though I struggled with wanting to be famous someday and live the glory days and be filled with fantasies, somewhere deep down I know so well that I really am being called softly by God to be a missionary to someplace someday.
It was summer again and the season came without even a warning. It was vacation and the choice of course to take up when I enter college was all clear and final to me now, but there was a problem. God didn’t want me to go out to secular college yet. It’s as if He wants me somewhere inside the ministry.
The night was still and I was ready to fall into a deep sleep already one disremembered date and unexpectedly a plan flowing out so freely came to my attention.
“What if I enter the seminary first before I go out?” I hushed as my eyes are blinking for shock of having thought and asked myself that silly question.
As a young teen, I’ve always known that seminary wasn’t for me. When I was still in the learning center before, the Bible school was just on the second floor of our church premise and the idea of becoming a Bible school student when I graduated never engulfed my mind. It was never a part of my life plan.
I tried to drive my center away from everything that just came up my mind and secured myself in an abysmal slumber. The trick didn’t work—I still remembered the whole idea the next day I woke up and realized that perhaps this is what God really wants for me this time. I signed up an entry form and got in to Bible school. All throughout my school days, I learned and learned and learned. As a strong perfectionist, I warred against depression and anxieties when I got low grades and somebody reached higher grades. But God showed me that He didn’t let me in the Bible school to compete, but only to complete His will in me. Having broken several undesirable misbehaviors and polishing some flaws, the Lord remains to be performing His plan in me still.
Now, by God’s grace, I have become very open to testing and perfecting since I realize that it’s the only way for me to be used of Him and be the vessel fit for the Master’s use.
Looking back, the readers of this autobiography will, with me, see the stark contrast between my past and present living. It was no secret that God performed such a wonderful remodeling in my life to be able to lead me closer and nearer to Him. With full knowledge, I believe that He is still not finished with me yet so everybody just ought to be patient. Someday, in God’s perfect time I shall be the woman He’s always wanted me to be.
Right now I am just trying to be a lot more serious in the ministries He’s put me in and be productive. There are times that I still get discouraged and down in spirit, but there’s one thing I have learned from my daily quiet time with the Lord: He honors and rewards faithfulness.
I am still waiting for God’s crystal clear calling. If He is calling me to be a missionary linguist to some foreign land, surely He will make a way for me to study linguistics. If He is calling me to be a fulltime teacher, again, He will make every path straight and clear. He will be with me every step of the way. To know God’s will is to decide to do what pleases Him more every single day of my life.
I am Viel Karmela Madria Magloyuan and am kept only for the Master’s use.
God is a God of order. He likes putting everything in decency. When He commands something, it is because something needs to be in a proper state and must appear good and appropriate. God doesn’t like confusion in the things He creates, that’s why He always puts a distinction between things that may bring misunderstanding.
In the Bible, nakedness is stated to be a sin when beheld by other people aside from the spouse because malice is always present. E.g.: The condition of Ham when he saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brother of it. So, in solution to that, God invented clothing. Clothing is meant to cover the body, not to expose it. When a part of the body is revealed, it attracts sexual lust and results to sin. God hates sin. He doesn’t want it to grow in people, especially the believers. That’s why modesty in clothing is very necessary.
If you wander your pair of eyes around, you’ll notice that people, mostly women, are involved in following what’s trendy in the secular world. The terrible thing is that it’s not just trendy, but rather sexy. When something looks sexy-ish, that means it becomes a sex symbol. What’s worse is that even the people in churches today don’t seem to realize how dangerous wearing immodest apparel can get. The church must become a resting place for men to be in, but now, if you look closely, you’ll see that it is slowly becoming just an entertainment place wherein people try to impress others and dress the way celebrities do. By committing that, we are just trying to continue sinning and still be acceptable. That is not right.
God invented clothing so that Christians would know how to cover their bodies and bring glory to Him. Actually, a woman can be dressed and be fully covered, and yet still be immodest. How? When the curves of her body becomes very visible, for it causes others to be attracted and soon a lustful thought will be created within their minds.
Clothing must not send out a message to the world saying, “Look at me”, but “Look at God” instead. Clothing has only two purposes: 1) cover our nakedness and 2) bring glory to God. When your clothing does not present you to the world as God-honoring (by appearance), then maybe you’re missing the objective of being modest: to always bring glory to God. Our body must always be presented to Christ as a living sacrifice which is our reasonable service. Our body is one of the areas in Christianity wherein we must bring glory to God always.
The commandments of God towards modesty and nakedness (which are contained in the KJV Bible) must always be followed and kept. It does not expire when someone goes to the beach and is obliged to wear a bikini. It does not expire when someone attends a P.E. class and is required to wear jogging pants. The words of the Lord and His commandments in the Bible must always be followed and obeyed wherever we are, whatever the conditions are.
One thing most churches are being negligent of these days is the way women wear their skirts and men wear their shirts and pants/shorts (especially in playing sports). Compared to the generation that we have today and its way of fashion, the modesty that God expects from us doesn’t evolve and change manner along with it. It remains the same as before. Ladies must still wear blouses and skirts that do not reveal their cleavage and higher parts of the legs. We are becoming legalistic nowadays that whether our clothes are fitted and short, we think it’s already okay and that God is pleased, but we are wrong. We do not just wear the proper clothes God wants us to wear just for the sake of modesty. We follow the standard of the Bible because it all roots out to one thing: we love God.
When our relationship with God is right, our attitude towards modesty is right.
When the internal is right with God, the external will also be right and will manifest a positive result.
Modesty in clothing is not the problem for both men and women. It’s not a big deal. What makes all these hard to follow is the wrong attitude towards it. When we realize that we bring glory to God by wearing the right clothes He wants us to, it will not matter anymore what kind of clothing we wear (how old-fashioned it may appear) or what brand it is as long as He is portrayed properly to the world by us.
God is a God of order. He doesn’t want us to be mistaken for a hooker. He just simply wants us to look presentable to the world, just simple and decent, enough to beambassadors of Christ, that when others come to look at us, our Christianity would not be placed in a questionable situation.
Glory be to God in all things now and forever.
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— Corrie ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook
Though the road ahead may be uncertain
Though the path we travel be unknown
Our God has given us assurance
We can have peace we can have joy
We can be strong
He is our Strength
He is our Fortress
We can be sure we are secure
Within His hands
He is our Joy our Hope of life eternal
He is the Rock the solid Rock
On which we stand
Even when I cannot see tomorrow
His Word is like a lamp unto my feet
And when the laughter turns to sorrow
In His embrace we find His grace
When we are weak
—I'd Do It All Again
If there’s one thing I’m beyond very very very thankful for, it’s my salvation and secure relationship with my Saviour Jesus Christ. So if asked about one thing I would like to redo in life (if given the chance, of course), it’s loving Jesus Christ more and more each hour each day.
Nothing beats the love my Joy Supplier gives me. I’d do it all again…
I’m a morning person.
I love mornings.
I love to sleep late a not talk and drink lots of coffee. Then maybe sleep again.
I love mornings.
People who wake up totally energetic are not morning people. They are afternoon people. They wake up ready for the middle of the day when stuff needs to be done and talkativeness is necessary.
Mornings are not those times.
Mornings are for reverence and reflection and calm.
I’m a morning person.