Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Twilight and Dawn

Twilight. I’ve only read a short synopsis about it in the web. But I’ve heard of it from (younger) friends who were unable to stop reading it. I just saw in the newspaper that its movie adaptation raked in a lot of money. So why do people find these stories appealing considering that they follow the same formula? Good vampire against bad vampire. A girl and a boy in love with each other are caught between the struggle. And they have to deal with the fact that they only become alive when the sun has hidden its face.


My generation was reading something similar to it: the Vampire Chronicles of Anne Rice.


Many authors (like Rick Warren) have talked about how the human heart has been planted with the longing for eternity and completion. No wonder we find appealing stories about creatures who live forever and who continuously try to find the ecstasy of love. Because we have souls that will live forever and will only find meaning in the enveloping love of God.


In my younger days, I had found these stories so riveting. One day though I realized that I had to stop filling my head with stories that mix eternity and savagery, love and cruelty, happiness that end with the dawn. I know that real truth can stand up to the brightness of the light. If vampires need to hide from the rising sun, then I am sorry but I can no longer read their stories. They cower in the misery of the dark. I want to stay with the sun which brings the promise of hope and a new beginning.

image from www.gdr.callezaragosa.com

Monday, November 24, 2008

Awesome generosity

I am used to spending holidays at work. With a 24/7 service all over the world, my previous office trained me well. There is no such thing as holidays. And being single made it easier for our bosses to assign me for Christmas or New Year work schedule. 

It is almost the same in my current work. Working for a foreign agency, we normally do not follow local holidays, except for the official ones (like Christmas, New Year and Independence day). It has always been like that for the last 4 years. There was no use complaining about it. It's just the way it is. 

Imagine our surprise when we received an email last Friday that we can claim the December 1 holiday as ours! So off I peacefully go to a 3-day week-end retreat. And what else? We also get 3 free days during the Christmas break! And all I could think of is that this is a miracle from God. He knew I didn't have enough vacation leave to cover my long trip. He knew my colleagues were also running out of vacation days. And I even get an extra day to cover a planned vacation leave early next year. 

I am glad that I have a God who works out the little things in my life. I never uttered them loudly but He knew I hoped that we would get at least two half-days free. But in His generosity, He gave me four whole days!

Awesome God!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gifts of grace meme

 Grace. A word imbued with elegance and mercy. Christ gave it to us and thus, it is only right that as His followers, we do the same to others. But what about looking at how other people have been gifting us with grace? 


Learn it from the third book of Grace Chong’s series Gifts of Grace. It was launched last night at Marajo Tower (Fort Bonifacio Global City). I left the event encouraged and thankful for the gifts of grace in my life. Carrying home the bookmarks with the words “You are my gift of grace,” I was determined to give them to someone whose life has touched mine.


Let me share a short story. I met Madame Cecilia in my French 30 class. She already encouraged me then with her discipline to come to school everyday and her patience to teach. For walking is not easy for her. Stricken with polio, her legs are supported by metal braces and her hand holds on to a cane for support. I later realized that she didn’t need to work. Her family is quite well-off. But she chose to teach in public university.


I met her again when I went back to school. We somehow share a similar experience (I had to learn how to walk again) and thus we were able to talk about serious stuff despite our busy schedules and educational demands.  Often, she would gloss over her many trials (including two falling accidents that left her on a wheelchair for a time). Later I understood. It was her great faith in a God who works mysteriously yet purposely. Her greatest gift of grace to me so far is her willingness to work with me as I tried to finish graduation requirements. She patiently read and corrected the long documents I submitted. I knew that there was nothing in it for her. She was about to retire. But again, she chose to help and guide me.


So today, together with the first book from the series, I gave her the bookmark. I just wanted her to know that her life has touched mine.


I dare to start this tag. (Ate Grace Chong, I hope it’s okay with you!) so that we can celebrate the gifts of grace in our lives. The rules?


1. Put the logo in your blog.

2. Share a short story of someone whose life touched yours.

3. Add a link to the person who shared it with you. 

4, Tag at least 3 other persons with blogs. 

5. Leave a message on their blogs. 


1. Beng 2. Gina 3. Abaniko 4. CJ 5. Jojie 6. Ptr. Jessie

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Pink Sisterhood Meme

I was tagged by Gypsy for a good cause, that is--focusing on Breast Cancer Awareness and how important it is to catch it in the early stages. So here it is...

* One in eight women or 12.6% of all women will get breast cancer in her lifetime. 
* Breast cancer risk increases with age and every woman is at risk. 
* Every 13 minutes a woman dies of breast cancer. 
* Seventy-seven percent of women with breast cancer are over 50. 
* Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women between the ages of 15 and 54, and the second cause of cancer death in women 55 to 74. 
* Risks for breast cancer include a family history, atypical hyperplasia, early menstruation (before age 12), late menopause (after age 55), current use or use in the last ten years of oral contraceptives, and daily consumption of alcohol. 
* Early detection of breast cancer, through monthly breast self-exam and particularly yearly mammography after age 40, offers the best chance for survival. 
Facts taken from Women’s Health 

And now here is the tag and the rules: 
1. Put the logo in your blog. 
2. Add a link to the person who shared it with you. 
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs 
4. Add your link to the list of participants below 
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog. 
1. Beng 2. Gina 3. Liza. 4. Edsie 5. Carla 6.  7. Ate Abie 8. YOU!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Father’s Love Letter by Barry Adams (1999 )

A Father’s


My Child,

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me.  John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalm 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29



Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted,  I am close to you. Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4

And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7

I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15


My question is…

Will you be my child? John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32



Your Dad Almighty God

The promise of the first step…

  • The chick pierces through the egg membrane, grows up and becomes a soaring eagle.
  • Beniah stepped into the pit, killed the lion and led David’s army.
  • The caterpillar breaks through the cocoon and a beautiful butterfly emerges.
  • David took the sling stone, killed the giant and became king of Israel .
  • Michelangelo hammered into the unformed marble stone and fashioned the masterpiece statue of David


Nature, history, art, life… they all bear witness to the fulfilment of the promise.


Just dare take the first step…


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Omnium-Gatherum (Random Thoughts 6)

There is beauty:

  •        in the grace of a street cat running along a old school hallway
  •        in the sound of an innocent and boisterous laughter of a three-year old child
  •        in the kindness of a stranger who sets stepping stones on a flood-filled street

 = = =

Is it even possible ?

But how does one know ?

What to do? What to do?

 = = =

It was an act of self-defense. To survive. It was painstakingly ministered to. It might have gotten too far though. No wonder it is being assailed. It must be corrected. How does one find the balance between the before and the now?  

= = = 

Crazy time...

Monday, November 10, 2008

I believe in destinies

A colleague shared to me her thoughts about destiny. She was so convinced that each person could only be what she/he is destined to be. That one should be contented with what one has. That there is no use running towards a particular direction since one can only go to where one is meant to be. That there is no use crying over impossible things that could never be.

Is there such a thing as destiny? Can we only achieve things that the stars or the gods wrote on the palms of our hands? Is it possible to go beyond what is supposed to be engraved in the annals of destiny?


Yes, I believe in destiny. I believe that God has destined us, His children, to live glorious lives. For in the book of destiny of my God, there are no boundaries, no impossible things. As long as I walk in His will, my destiny takes me to endless journeys of surprises and dreams. Yes, I can be contented. Only because He is more than enough. Yes, there is no crying over impossible things. Only because, nothing is impossible with Him.


I allowed her to speak and said not a contradictory word. Instead I heaped many prayers on her head. That her eyes would be opened. That she would come to know my God who can grant immeasurable destinies.


Those who limit their lives by the smallness of their vision of God have destined themselves to have confined lives. 


Those who know the truth that God is bigger than any human imagination will have indescribable destinies.  

*image from www.laout.wordpress.com

Saturday, November 08, 2008


I like this word. 

What does it mean? The dictionary gives the following...

  1. [child, animal] timid, shy;
    [adult] unsociable;
  1. [look, warrior] fierce;
  1. [enemy, hatred] bitter;
    [adversary] fierce;
    [supporter] staunch;
    [will] iron.
  2. [adj] wild (untamed)

English: shy - wild

I think it describes me. I am definitely timid and shy, sometimes unsociable. For the right causes, I can be fierce and staunch supporter. And when I know something is right, see my iron will stand. Sadly, there was a time that I have become bitter over friends who betrayed me. But I have learned to forgive them and be free. And yes, I have the tendency to be wild... in the sense that my thoughts and actions can sometimes be unpredictable. I cannot always follow the norm. 

In a word, I am shy-wild.


I like this word. 

I have a dream (Mamma Mia)

I have a dream
A song to sing
To help me cope
With anything
If you see the wonder
Of a fairy tale
You can take the future
Even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream
I have a dream

I have a dream
A fantasy
To help me through
And my destination
Makes it worth the while
Pushing through the darkness
Still another mile
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream
I have a dream
I'll cross the stream

I have a dream
I'll cross the stream
I have a dream

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Art and soul

From the ashes of a life of broken vows
Into the world of art
To find deep within it
Pieces of junk put together
And created a beauty called art.
The lesson is there.
Take what was broken and build a better life.
Let your heart be healed.
For real art mirrors the wonder of nature.
And nature calms the soul
Plants hope
Waters the future.

Let art heal your soul.
Let God complete your story. 

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Eye-candy in action!

The new American president just got elected. And here I am posting about James Bond. It is not that I do not care. I do. A lot. I knew and know that there will be changes (whoever got elected) ... in their country... and the rest of the world. A lot of changes about environment policies, trade agreements, military decisions, etc, etc.  

But since many of those in the blogger world (the whole world, in fact) posted about today's result, I decided to just post an eye-candy in action. Today was Quantum of Solace's opening day in Manila. And I bought tickets for friday! 

Happy watching! 

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Will

"... do not be troubled by it. It is only in your emotions, and is not worth a moment's thought. Only see to it that your will is in God's hands, that your inward self is abandoned to His working, that your choice, your decision, is on His side; and there leave it. Your surging emotions, like a tossing vessel at anchor, which by degrees yields to the steady pull of the cable, finding themselves attached to the mighty power of God by the choice of your will, must inevitably come into captivity, and give in their allegiance to Him; and you will sooner or later verify the truth of the saying that, "if any man will do His will he shall know of the doctrine."

- The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life -
Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 1916

One of those days...

Tired. Bone tired. Ran from one building to another. More than ten times up and down three flights of stairs. Searching for teachers who were hard to find. Disorganized enlistment teams. No clear information. Online registration. What online? Had to go to specific rooms to find the subject that fit my schedule. Had to sweetly ask the use of a computer. Got some sarcastic remarks and spoke to blank faces.


But God was present. Got the registration form even if I did not pre-enlist (reason for this? No available subject). The adviser finally arrived. Found a subject which is within my domain. I have a feeling that He wanted me to get this specific teacher. Finished the registration fifteen minutes before lunch break. 

I like my school. I love my school. But there are days...

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Pretty words, pretty words
Yet they are hollow and empty
When actions do not accompany them.

There are neutral words
But they carry more weight
Because they can be trusted.

The best ones
Are pretty words that act.


Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.


The deadly and common ones…


We know as drugs and alcohol.


Promiscuity and gambling.


But there are other forms. Equally damaging.


Television. Internet. Eating. Shopping.


When we wallow in self-pity. Forgetting that we have been freed.


When we focus on our sins. Or on other people’s sins.


But there are trivial things or activities…


Movies. Sports. Collections. Books.


Any one of them…when abused.


Is addiction.


It is so easy to get hooked.


Lord, protect me from myself. 

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Wow Surprise!!!

I like surprises. The good ones, of course. So I was happily surprised to receive an email from the Philippine Star online team that the article/s I submitted was among the six judged as the best. (Basis : story and pictures)


Seeing my article posted online was a joy in itself. Being considered as one of the good ones was marvelous. But to receive a prize? That was great! The online team never announced that they were giving away goodies. But last Wednesday, 6 amateur writers/photographers were the happy recipients of WOW Magic sing microphones and goodie bags!


This is the second time I received something for writing. The first one was a trip for two to Boracay. That was 8 years ago. 


Now who wants to sing?


Thank you Philippine Star Online team and Wow Magic Sing!  

And thank you God! 

Lion Chaser Manifesto

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshiping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson (www.evotional.com)