Samantha and I spent a week in California last month . Two of our good friends Jimmy Alapag and Lari Jeanne Ricafort got married at Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach.
It was my first time in Laguna Beach and was absolutely blown away by the beauty of that place. Jimmy and LJ asked me to be the officiating minister of the ceremony.
I was so excited for several reasons.
Jimmy and I came into the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) together back in 2003. LJ has been attending Samantha's weekly women's life group since 2004. She is now leading a women's group as well.
It was my first time to officiate an entire wedding by myself. It was a wedding that was publicly anticipated because Jimmy is a PBA superstar and LJ is a well-known actress. "The Buzz," a very popular TV program in the Philippines, was there covering the wedding.
I also reunited with some old friends as well. The weather was absolutely perfect and the entire ceremony went so well. I was at ease because everyone pretty much knew each other. Only their closest friends and family were there.
I shared a short message about L.O.V.E. and then gave some advice that has helped me in my marriage.
(L) Laugh and Listen. Laugh a lot, and really take time to listen to each other. Sometimes, we can say one thing, but mean something totally different. There are times, we would rather keep our real thoughts to ourselves instead of starting a honest conversation with your spouse. Doing so leads a lot of misunderstanding and resentment.
(O) Overlook. Take a look at Proverbs 19:11. "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense." I shared the so-called "BS Principle." BS stands for Blind Spot. Give each other the benefit of the doubt and always remember each of us has a blind spot. Most of the time our spouses do not intentionally want to hurt us. They are just not aware on what it takes to fill their needs. Sometimes all we need is to let us know!
(V) Value. You know a lot about what a person values by what his/her priorities are. I told them the best advice I can give them is to know your priorities. According to God's Word, here are the priorities in its proper order.
5. Family and friends.
Numbers 4 and 5 can change but the first three should not change. Many times the spouses feel neglected because their kids become a priority and they don't prioritize each other.
(E) Encourage. In Hebrews 3:13, the Word says, "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Be each others biggest cheerleaders and always affirm one another.
The wedding was absolutely perfect and it reflected their love for God and how they are as a couple. Congratulations Jimmy and LJ! We love you and will continue to pray for you!
Church For The Nations. I was also invited to preach during a Sunday service at Church for the Nations in West Covina, California. I felt moved just to share the Gospel message. God's spirit was so present and some gave their lives to the Lord. I am so humbled and honored to be able to share God's message.
Friends. We were also able to reunite with good friends Trisha Ingram and Wesley Bell. They are two wonderful friends who have been faithfully supporting us and have always been there cheering us on. We are so encouraged by their faith and love for the Lord.
We absolutely love California and cherish the times we get to spend there.
Thank you again for all your love, support and faith.
We love you,
Robert and Samantha