markmuldez:

My Testimony: I’ve had my blog for 2 years now and a lot of people have asked me about my testimony. I think it’s time. So, grab a coffee or any drink, pull up a chair, get cozy and read my story. I pray and hope that my story of brokeness, restoration and redemption bring hope and joy to your hearts. God bless!

Hello! My name is Mark Muldez. I’m 21 years old. I was born and raised in the Philippines but moved to United States when I was 15 years old. My life before I met Christ was completely different. I grew up in a Catholic family. My family and I went to church every Sunday.  My dad would always pray before meals and that’s the only time we would pray as a family. My parents even sent me to a Catholic school but even going to a Catholic school that really didn’t help me with knowing and understanding who God is, who Jesus is and who the Holy Spirit is. God was just another idea in my head. My parents seemed to be happy in their marriage although sometimes I would see them fight and argue but they resolve their conflicts pretty quickly. Over all, I had a pretty good life. 

Growing up I as a kid I was always involved in sports.  But the one Sport that I really focused on was figure skating. I skated professionally for 6 years. In my teenage years, I either spent most of my time skating, practicing or doing homework for school. One evening I overheard my parents arguing. The issue or the cause of their argument might have been deep that their marriage led to separation. My mom caught my dad cheating on her with another woman. This was a devastating event in my own family. I remember going to school and being in my class and just having a hard time focusing on my school. Reality hit me knowing that my parents aren’t together really saddened me and really affected me in so many ways. 

After my parents separated, my sister and I stayed with my mom. My life was never the same. I pretty much went downhill. I was so hurt, so disappointed, so discouraged that I started hanging out with the wrong people. I end up getting involved in the wrong things. I started drinking, smoking, and skipping classes and so much more.  I didn’t know what else to do with my life. I searched for comfort and joy in other things and I found those temporary comforts and joys in my friends and the things that we were doing. One time my mom and I got into this huge argument that she end up kicking me out of the house. I lived with my friends and other relatives for 3 months. One late evening, I was outside smoking a cigarette and it hit me and thought to myself, “I don’t have anyone with me all I have is this little piece of cigarette, this is really sad.” I remember praying for the first time and calling and crying out to God to help me fix my life. The next day I decided to go back with my mom and swallow my pride and just apologize.  She took me back in but even then, we still weren’t in good terms. 

I continued with my school. I continued my figure skating too. My mom and I are still on a rocky relationship but I had no choice but to follow her and obey her since I was only 15 and I don’t have what it takes to live on my own. I came home from school one afternoon and she broke the news to me. She wants us to move to United States to start a new life, to start fresh and to move on. I didn’t like the idea. Matter of fact, I hated the idea. But what was I suppose to do, but obey. In 3 months time, we packed our stuff, said our goodbyes to all our family and friends, and flew to United States to start a new life, to leave all the bad memories behind and move on.

We moved here to United States in March of 2007. At first it was fun but at the same time it was also a culture shock. My mom met this guy who would become my step-dad. After 3 months living in United States, I felt homesick and all I can think of is go back to Philippines. But God has a plan. He purposely wanted me to be here. My mom and my now step-dad starting dating after few months of our arrival here in the US. A friend of my step-dad invited him to go to a  church picnic which he agreed to go and invited us as well. This invitation and picnic would then change my whole life. I remember arriving at the picnic and the people welcomed us and they were really nice. The pastor was so hospitable and he really seemed so genuine and interested about us.  After that picnic, the pastor invited me and my family to church and we started going.  I’ve never been to a Christian church and so when I started going I was really surprised how people were just super friendly and so nice. I picked up a bible for the first time at church and started reading along with the rest of the congregation. Slowly I was learning more about God and found myself quiet interested about this God. 

In June of 2007, my pastor at that time asked me if I wanted to go to a Youth Conference in Los Angeles along with 3 other people in our church. He said I don’t have to worry about the fees because the church will pay for it. I agreed since it’s free and I didn’t really have anything to do since we just moved to the US. I remember arriving at the place and meeting so many young people like me who came from the same background in life. Almost the same stories and same past. I was so happy and encouraged. There were so many young people  that’s just so on fire for God. I didn’t realize that the Lord was already working on my heart and I was slowly lowering my guards down. Saturday evening came and we were all at the chapel listening to this speaker share about his story and what God’s doing in his life. I don’t remember much of what he said but I do remember saying something like this, “Do you know your purpose? Do you know why you’re here? Do you know where you’re going when you die? Do you know Jesus?” Those questions rang so hard in my ear that I had to stop and ask myself and find answers to his questions. I didn’t have the answer. And then he shared about the hope and the life that Jesus offers to those who would believe in him and give their lives to him. I remember getting up and looking for my small group leader. I looked to my left and as if he knew that I was gonna give my life to Jesus that night because we locked eyes and I just went to him and we prayed and I gave my life to Jesus that night. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. At that time I didn’t know much about Jesus but I realized that my life wasn’t going anywhere and Jesus was the answer to all my questions so in faith I asked him to forgive me and be the Lord of my life.  After my small group leader prayed for me, I went back to my seat and I’ll never forget this moment. The music and the band was playing, and the worship leader was singing and I remember looking at him and me going, “I want to do that. I wanna be like him. I wanna be a worship leader too.” That same night, God gave me a passion immediately.  He gave me a passion for worship in music. 

Fast forward, my life was never the same after that night. I was so hungry for God. So hungry for His word and for His presence. I read my bible like there was no tomorrow.  I sought opportunities to serve at church whether in youth ministry, or worship ministry. I wanted to grow more in my walk with God. My family started going to church too and became serious about church when they saw that I was really passionate about Jesus. Although after a couple of months of being on-fire, my passion and interest started to fade away. Sin started creeping back on me. The pull and the lusts of this world started to be more attractive. Just like every guy, in my first 2 years of being a Christian, I struggled with porn and masturbation. No one was keeping me accountable. Everyone in my youth group wasn’t living a Christ and Spirit filled life. My heart was longing for God, but my flesh was slowly falling back to the patterns of this world. I prayed and asked God for direction and how to live a life worthy of His calling. Finally after  months of praying, I felt the Lord’s answer was to move and find a different church. And around that time my parents started to grow cold towards the church. They just didn’t like the fact that people at my old church gossiped about other people and just being hypocritical. 

So I left the church in December of 2009 and moved to a nearby church which is my current church and which I am currently on staff as a Worship Director. I moved to this church in January of 2010. I didn’t know anyone when I moved to this church but I know the Lord was leading me to move here. The decisions that helped me move to this church is my great desire to grow in the Lord and I felt like moving to a church where there’s bigger community of believers would help me. Besides, I was a new Christian and I was really hungry for God and for growth. After 3 months of simply being a regular attendee, I got plugged into a small group and met so many cool and awesome people. 6 months later I started praying and asking God to help me find my way to plugging into worship ministry. Since He had given me the desire and passion to serve in the worship ministry and be a worship leader, I sought for His direction. God answered me immediately.

One Sunday night after service God gave me this impression that I should talk to the worship pastor. I was scared, nervous and terrified. I’ve never spoken to the worship pastor before but He was clearly pushing me to go. I walked down to the front and approached the worship pastor and I asked him 2 simple questions. My first question was, “How did you became a worship pastor? Did you go to college?” and his answer was, “No, I actually don’t have a degree, I just have the heart and passion and God just blessed me.” Obviously he said this with humility. And my 2nd question was, “I’m really interested in worship and I wanna be a worship leader. I was wondering if this church has a worship leaders group or something like that where I can get myself plugged in and learn?” and his answer surprised both of us, he said, “It’s interesting that you asked me that question because I’ve been praying and asking God if I should create a worship discipleship group and I was asking him to give me a confirmation and here you are, random dude, I don’t know you but God used you to confirm this vision. Tell you what, we have a Worship Leader group now and you are on the number one list.” That night was the start of my journey as a worship leader.  The group didn’t start till August of 2010 so from June – August, I was patient and just so excited.

Another significant thing that happened to me was when a guy from another church who I happened to be helping a friend for his worship band, came up to me and prophesied over my life. That was the first time that I was exposed to spiritual gifts. He told me that God was going to use me in big ways in ministry that He has so much in store for me in the next few years. After he said those words, I just kinda took it all in and I was thankful. Not too long after that man’s words were given to me, my worship pastor gave me an opportunity to serve as one of the worship leaders at my church. I became the children’s worship leader at the end of 2010. At the same time I was also already doing discipleship group every Monday nights, I found so many awesome guys that became my accountability partners in my battle with lust and really helped me overcome lust. I was also serving at my church as a worship leader which then eventually led to more opportunities for me to lead worship for different ministries. Such as high-school, college and children’s ministries. By the end of 2011 I was already co-leading and leading worship for main services and then got hired as a worship intern in March of 2012 – September of 2012 and then now as a Worship Director. Everything was happening in my life so fast.  

It may seem to appear that my journey with the Lord was smooth, but it wasn’t. I’ve had moments where I would question God, struggle through verses and things in the His word. But one of the things that I struggled recently was the book of Acts. I struggle the fact that how come the church in Acts were doing miracles back in the day and how come we aren’t doing that now, at least not in my church. We teach about the fruits of the Spirit, but we don’t teach on the Gifts of the Spirit. I struggled with this and I so desire in my heart to be that church in Acts who are not only filled with Spirit, but operate in the power of the Holy Spirit by manifesting the Gifts. God again answered my prayer through another older friend of mine from my church. Just recently a little over a month now, we sat down and talked and he prophesied over my life and saying how God is going to use me in super natural ways that I have to just let go and let God take over my life completely. He prayed for me and ask the Spirit to activate the Gifts. This friend of mine walks in the power of the Holy Spirit and in The Gifts. He heals people, gives words of knowledge and prophetic words. He showed me how to do it and couple days later, I was doing the same thing. I started taking risks and embracing the very words of Jesus when he said in Mark 16:18 “they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Everytime I pray for someone and ask jesus to heal them and they would get healed, my faith in Christ just keeps building stronger.  

Over this past few weeks, God has opened my eyes to see my true identity in Christ. He has shown me that to be a follower of Christ means to follow the very footsteps of Jesus and that means flowing in the Gifts and walking and living in the Power of the Holy Spirit. To not depend on programs but rather depend on His Power. It’s almost like He rewired me and stripped me and uncover my true identity. Now I’m continuously living and cultivating that lifestyle of being Spirit-filled and I want more. I want to grow in my gifts so I can better minister to people. Love them and share the gospel to them in supernatural ways but in everyday natural scenarios. I’m excited as to what the Lord has for me in store in the future. I’ve never been hungry for Jesus until now. Now that I’ve tasted his power. Now that I’ve seen my true identity in him. I just want to share Christ to the world and know the joys of being reconciled with God. Yes my passion is still worship in music but more than anything, my passion is God and the His kingdom. 

Advertisements
Uncategorized
Image
Uncategorized

Happiness, Tom Walsh

I try very hard to learn from people who are unhappy, for I believe that they are the people who can best teach me how to be happy.  Ironically enough, these are often the people who put up the greatest facade of happiness–always bright and cheerful among company, but when you talk to them alone, you find a great deal of discontent or frustration or anger or discouragement.

I’ve found that happiness isn’t all that difficult.  It’s been very important for me to do several things on my path to happiness, and here they are, in no particular order:

Be true to myself, my principles, and my faith.  This faithfulness to myself keeps me from beating myself up over actions that I’m not proud of.  If i base my actions on principle and truly follow that principle, I won’t engage in the self-denigration that Ive seen so many others (especially alcoholics) engage in.

Give up the thoughts of being HAPPY.  Somehow our culture has turned happiness into this unobtainable permanently ecstatic state–a result of too many people in entertainment and advertising who have no idea of what happiness truly is trying to tell us how to be happy. They’re not the problem–the problem is, we listen.

Not worry about things or events.  As andy rooney says above, happiness has less to do with major events or the versions of success fed to us by unhappy people from Hollywood or Madison Avenue than with acceptance and awareness and appreciation of the little things in our lives, like this wonderful computer that allows me to build this website and share these great people’s words with so many others.  And it’s one of the cheaper computers, certainly not a top-of-the-line model.  But it does a great job, and I love it, and I don’t spend time wishing for anything more. 

Focus on others and their needs, without getting obsessive about it and robbing myself of quiet time and recreational time.  I’m useless to others if I’m not rested and in full command of my senses.  I work at balancing what I give of time and effort with what I need to keep going and to stay happy.  I often say yes when people ask me to help, but I often say no, too.  It depends on where I am and how it will affect other aspects of my life.  Some of the least happy people I know give so much of themselves that they’re always tired and cranky, and they often start resenting the very people they’re supposed to help.

Find my niches.  I would love to play the guitar and piano, but I’m not that good at either.  I am good at other things, so instead of spending tons of time trying to learn a little bit of everything, I try to focus on my strengths.  I can play chords on the guitar and enjoy it, but to spend hours and hours trying to get really good–well, there are plenty of great guitar players out there who can make up for my absence in the world of music.

All in all, I know that happiness is obtainable, and the first quotation of this page is a very telling one.  Ask yourself if you don’t have everything in your life that can make you happy, and then ask yourself if you’re happy.  Look at yourself through the eyes of someone who doesn’t have what you have–material goods, health, intelligence, ability, creativity–and hear that person telling you, “I would be so happy if I had only a part of what you have." 

And don’t answer, "Yes, but…”  answer, “You’re right–I do have many gifts.  I’ll try to be happy with them.”

Tom Walsh

Standard