Interview with a worship leader

Recently, the Lord gave me a one in a million chance to be interviewed by a Christian website (http://www.worshiplinks.us/)–a site that “provides readers with links to great resources about leading worship”. It has been very humbling and overwhelming to share experiences, few tips, and some words of encouragement to my fellow worship leaders out there.

I hope that the interview will also inspire my readers in this blog.  This privilege caused me think if I should put up a “Worship Leader’s Journal” or “Worship Leaders’ Corner” page in my blog.  What do you think guys and gals? 🙂

interview snippethttp://www.worshiplinks.us/2015/05/interview-worship-leader-moon-danipog/

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In retrospect: My life’s landmarks

I remember our pastor’s advice in one of his sermons: keep track of our life’s landmarks – these might be some major decisions that we made, life’s turning points, or some really good, unexpected stuffs that the Lord brought in to our lives.  He said, it would help us remember how good the Lord has been, and see that from the beginning, He has been orchestrating things to happen in our lives to shape us into the people He wants us be.

That Sunday, I began recalling past events which I think, are the wheels that drove me to what I am now.  I have to say there are many.  But let me share with you 3 major things I saw, which I guess were very vital in transforming me and enabling me to do what I am presently doing for the Kingdom of God.

Course in College: Mass Communication

I can still remember how pressured I was in deciding what to write on my college freshmen application form: BS Nursing as my first choice, or AB Mass Communication.  My parents wanted me to take up Nursing, like my sister did.  But I wasn’t really inclined to any medical stuffs then.  It was clearly stated in my aptitude assessment in highschool that my strength is in communications and liberal arts.  I am well aware of it.  I love reading, writing, speaking.  I love communications.  So I took the courage to tell them what I want to study.  Thankfully, with my sister’s support too, they agreed to let me take AB Mass Communication.  I excelled in my studies.  Every subject included in my curriculum, I took seriously (media, communication, advertising, public relations, film,theater, journalism, etc.) With the Lord’s guidance, I graduated with honors.  And now, he provided me with a job that’s related to my course (Media Production Specialist, which mostly entails writing tasks).

In our church, I can apply my learnings in worship leading.  How? The way I craft my exhortation pieces, and my confidence to stand in front of many people (though of course, we know that our ultimate confidence comes from the Lord).  I am also an occasional actor, sometimes for kids’ program, or special illustration.  And now, I write/blog about #Christians #Christianity #inspiration etc. 🙂 Specifically, I write for ChristianBlessings blog now! Gratefully, I find peace in what I am doing.  I am planning to delve into another study of Communication which I’m sure will help me better use my gift in communications for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

My Music Journey:  Moon as a chorister

In college, I did not confine myself to academics only.  I explored and searched for an organization that would suit me.  Then I saw the university chorale.  I love singing, whether in church or outside, but I want to learn more about singing, and I thought that joining the choir was really a good way to enhance my musicality.  It is! I learned a lot from our conductor.  I learned the art of singing in a group.  I learned different techniques and other technicalities of singing.  But, eventually, I got too excited and got so immersed into chorale music and to our gigs outside that I could only give God my spare time—shame on me.  But His grace never let me go.  Just when I was about to start my last year with the choir, accompanied by a full cultural scholarship, and the prestige of singing in the graduation rites, the Lord poked me and called me back into His ministry.  It was a divine intervention, that no matter how appealing the idea of staying with the choir was, I did not hesitate to give it all up and returned to God’s calling. And from then on, blessings upon blessings dawned upon me.  Because my Saturday and Sunday schedules were cleared when I left the choir, I was able to attend session on the Doctrines of Grace (what our church believes in) and was revived in bible studies.  Now, I am still able to use the skills I got from the choir to the Praise and Worship ministry.  I teach kids voice lessons and I also trained worship leaders from another church.  We are now planning to conduct more similar trainings for other churches.

First Job: Property Specialist / Real Estate Agent

Before I got my job as a Media Production Specialist, I took risk in entering the challenging world of sales in the field of real estate.  I must admit I was easily attracted by my friend who was then an agent to the real estate company I applied for and of course, by the financial reward she gets with the job.  Who doesn’t find money appealing? But at the back of my mind, the reason why I want the job is for me to extend instant help to my family, and to our church which at that time, wasn’t getting enough collections to compensate to its monthly expenses, plus its plans of expanding the church building.  So I got the job (that was in 2012), and I excelled too! During my first contracts, I exceeded my quotas.  But since my clients would always get the ‘no downpayment’ scheme, commissions were coming a long way from the next 2 to 3 years.  I had to wait.  Then during my stint as a Property Specialist, something went wrong with my Christian calendar.  Sometimes (or should I say, often times?) I would give up Sundays to meet with clients whose only free time was Sunday.  Then I remembered how that same thing happened when I entered the choir back in college.  And I said to myself, “This can’t be.  There’s something wrong.” Another thing which I think God caused to happen was, my parents started advising me to look for a job with security of tenure and where there’s career growth (because as we know, sales agents are contractual, and bound by quota).  You know, even though they wouldn’t tell me upfront, I know I disappointed them the moment I decided to work as a real estate agent.  They don’t regard the job as something reputable, or simply put, they didn’t think it’s for me.  And again, even if they didn’t complain in front of me, I would feel their embarrassment whenever I’d ask them to help me tap their friends to invest or to invite to our showroom. They mentioned this vacancy in a government agency (where I am currently working) which is very much related to my finished course.  I prayed for it and God immediately answered my prayer.  I passed the test and series of interview, and eventually got hired.

So what happened to my commissions for my previous sales?  Just recently, my father reminded me to follow-up on it, telling me “Asikasuhin mo. Sayang naman. Kung alam mo alam, mamatay-matay kami ng mama mo nung pasukin mo yan.” (Work on it.  You have no idea how your mom and I almost died when you decided to enter that kind of job) He confirmed that I didn’t make them proud for that decision.  But thank God, He made a way to stop my parents’ pain for that job.  But I would never regret it.  Now, God is pouring out the blessing of that job on me.  I’m starting to reap my commission.  And it couldn’t come in a more opportune time than this.  Our Praise and Worship Team is about to have its retreat next week and we don’t have enough budget at hand to make it happen.  But thankfully, the Lord’s just in time.  I got my first check last week. Now I am praying that the Lord would give me wisdom on how to manage these blessing wisely, as there will be more to come.

Indeed, God moves in mysterious ways.  Even what the enemy means for evil, God turns it for the good of those who loves Him.  He is in full control.  He is sovereign.  He is the architect and engineer of our lives.  He orchestrates things to happen in order to shape us.  We just have to pray for the Holy Spirit to give us discernment and wisdom on what God wants to teach us on a particular life circumstance.

And we know that for those who love God

I believe more landmarks await me on the road.  I just have to trust and obey Him because He knows what is best for me.  God’s plans are always for the best!

How about you? What are your life landmarks?

Samson by Regina Spektor (cover)

Regina Spektor in concert.
Regina Spektor in concert. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Samson by Regina Spektor (cover) – (Pls. click on the link to listen on SoundCloud)

Here’s my cover of Regina Spektor’s SAMSON – one of my favorite ballads 🙂 I admire Regina for her strange imagination of characters which enable her to do great songs. Hope you’ll enjoy this one 🙂 *I downloaded the accompaniment from Youtube. It’s a raw recording of Janine Langois-Brunet, so pardon the sound of pedal and ticking of the piano keys.She played it best compared to others who uploaded their versions of minus one/instrumental*

SAMSON by Regina Spektor

You are my sweetest downfall I loved you first, I loved you first Beneath the sheets of paper lies my truth I have to go, I have to go Your hair was long when we first met

Samson went back to bed Not much hair left on his head He ate a slice of wonder bread And went right back to bed And history books forgot about us And the Bible didn’t mention us The Bible didn’t mention us Not even once

You are my sweetest downfall I loved you first, I loved you first Beneath the stars came falling on our heads But they’re just old light, they’re just old light Your hair was long when we first met

Samson came to my bed Told me that my hair was red He told me I was beautiful And came into my bed Oh, I cut his hair myself one night A pair of dull scissors and the yellow light And he told me that I’d done alright And kissed me till the morning light, the morning light And he kissed me till the morning light

Samson went back to bed Not much hair left on his head Ate a slice of wonderbread And went right back to bed Oh, we couldn’t bring the columns down Yeah, we couldn’t destroy a single one And history books forgot about us And the Bible didn’t mention us Not even once You are my sweetest downfall I loved you first

Barbie’s Cradle Valentine Reunion

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After the band’s dissolution in 2005, Barbie’s Cradle once again cradled their fans last night at Eastwood City Open Park with their alternative rock music.  Original band members Barbie (vocalist and guitarist), Rommel dela Cruz (bassist), Kakoi Legaspi (guitarist) and Wendell Garcia (drummer) jammed hard as they reunited on stage this Valentines season.

Wanting their audience to jam with them too, songs in their line up included Independence Day, Tabing Ilog, 121, The Dance, Pag-ibig, among others.  Barbie has not lost her purpose of performing in public as she said that the song “Pag-ibig” was written for God, describing His unfailing and never ending love.

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ImageThe band didn’t leave their audience unsatisfied by playing more and more songs until they finally ended it with a bang!

Megaworld Lifestyle Malls hosted Barbie’s Cradle Valentine Reunion.  The band performed at Venice Piazza on Feb.14, at Lucky Chinatown Mall on Feb.15 and wrapped it up last night at Eastwood Mall Open Park.

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Barbie and Rommel are now musicians in Victory Christian Fellowship.  Drummer Wendell Garcia is now a part of Pupil Band and Kakoi Legaspi plays for Rivermaya and other bands as well.

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(From left: guitarist Kakoi Legaspi, drummer Wendell Garcia, vocalist and guitarist Barbie, bassist Rommel dela Cruz)

Related links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbie’s_Cradle

http://www.facebook.com/philmusic.dotcom/posts/122857111223478