Tuesday, March 17, 2009


12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.

Matthew 13:12 (NLT)

Saturday, March 14, 2009


My Lord God,

I have no idea where I am going
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself,

And the fact that I think I am following

your will does not mean that I am
actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please
you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all
that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this, youwill lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death, I will
not fear, for you are ever with me
and you will never leave me
to face my perils alone.


Image from: www.pro.corbis.com

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Why I love the rain...

"... The rain surrounded the whole cabin with its enormous virginal myth, a whole world of meaning, of secrecy, of silence, of rumor. Think of it: all that speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody, drenching the thick mulch of dead leaves, soaking the trees, filling the gullies and crannies of the wood with water, washing out the places where men have stripped the hillside! What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone, in the forest, at night, cherished by this wonderful, unintelligible, perfectly innocent speech, the most comforting speech in the world, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges, and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows! 

    Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it. It will talk as long as it wants, this rain. As long as it talks I am going to listen..." 

Image from : http://zkonedog.mlblogs.com/rain.jpg

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Thoughts in my head…

We face them each day. Responsibilities. Expectations. 

I remember a colleague who expected me to give her instructions and when I did not, she felt I was not doing my job. She later found out why. This responsibility was not given to me when I arrived. It was an unnecessary misunderstanding. If only we knew from the beginning. It was impossible to deliver what is expected because there was no responsibility mandated.

An example in another setting. Once, make that twice, I inquired publicly about the status of a project. Suddenly, the overseeing was assigned to me. I felt trapped, helpless, knowing that this responsibility was given to me incorrectly. I knew I did not have enough credibility to assure its completion. It hurt when its failure was established. I insisted since the beginning that it should not be given to me but my wishes were disregarded. A classic of expecting a lot from a responsibility that should not have been given in the first place.

At the other side of the spectrum, I was challenged to handle a certain duty. In fact, I sort of volunteered. I felt called to say yes to the call. I believe that I was able to make a difference despite the difficult journey. The reason? I knew what was expected of me when I assumed the responsibility wholeheartedly. I was able to direct all my energies and capabilities, guided by God of course, to do what was expected of me. The responsibilities and expectations were clear.

All of us face responsibilities and expectations. It is just the way it is.

As a student or teacher, as boss or staff, even as a co-worker, a mother/father or child, as a friend, either male or female, grandparents or grandchildren, church leader or member, husband or wife, as neighbors, as buyer or seller, client or supplier, government official or constituent, as a writer or reader, or as any of the many other relationships we could have.

Many who learn what is required of them, accept and deliver. The result is beautiful. But there are others who deny or run from what is rightfully expected of them. We may possibly find real fault in them. What about those who were forced to take responsibilities they knew they should not have assumed? I think they do not deserve the blame. Or maybe just for not saying no? But what about those who could not respond because they do not know what is being required of them? Maybe only because they should have known?  I do not know.

Thoughts in my head…

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The greatest of all fears

I am not a courageous person. 

I am afraid of going into the deep part of the sea or even the swimming pool. My stomach churns when I am high above a building. Being a visual person, I can imagine images of me falling or sideswiped by a vehicle.

I don't like being in front of an audience. Their eyes gazing at me give me the shakes. My voice trembles and I won't be able to speak. 

I was afraid when I went solo in Amsterdam. I don't like being in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by people whose languages I am not completely familiar with. 

I had a few sleepless nights before I was interviewed for my current job. For many months, my heart felt like it was hanging on a balance. Even now, a glimpse of our head boss can send bursts of nervousness inside me.

These are just a few fears that I experienced and still experience. In the past few months though, I discovered something interesting. LIttle fears can easily be forgotten when faced with bigger fears. I forgot to worry about the project I was doing for a foreign company when I was given another bigger responsibility. Worrying about my seminar paper seemed immature when compared to the anxiety I felt over the final project I have to do to finish school. But all of them seemed nothing when faced with personal and family decisions. 

There are many levels of fears. Some we handle well while others overwhelm us. I mentioned it before but I mention it again and again. I am glad that my greatest fear remains alive. 

My greatest fear? To be outside the will of God.

And so I continue on with this race called life. Praying and continuously trusting that God will keep me within His embrace and that I will remain in tune with His heart.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Solo in Amsterdam

Arrival at Schipol Airport. Train to Central Station. Successfully  deciphered how the ticket dispenser works! I had to ask my seat neighbor where to get off.


Crazy world at Central Station. Hundreds of people of different languages. I couldn’t understand how the tram works and where to buy the tram tickets so just took an expensive ride to my hostel. Imagine, I had to add P300 (5 euros) to my bill because of my suitcase!


I checked in at 6pm at Shelter Jordan (dorm-type Christian hostel). The process was long. But I was happy since I got a room all to myself! I suffered the chill in my room for half an hour (heating not centralized) and then decided to inquire how to turn it on.


Sandwich dinner (with chips and chocolates! Yummy!)  inside my room. Doors were being opened and closed noisily. Giggles and babbles of girls permeated the walls. Someone was definitely breaking the no-smoking rule.


Checked out the 7:30pm Bible study at the cafeteria. Hmmm… people were just eating so availed of the free internet. Spent some quiet time in my room and prepared for the early day tomorrow. I planned to beat the long lines to the museums.


I hit the showers at 5:45  am. To be way ahead of the other girls. Great shower and toilet room. All in red, clean, spacious, and perfumed.


Breakfast at 8am was free. People seem to move slowly in this place. Burnt pancakes with jam, butter and syrup. I ordered eggs but they came with toasted bread. I packed them for lunch instead.


I went out and discovered it was drizzling and foggy. And definitely cold. Good thing I love the rain. Hmmm… except when I don’t know where I am!


Off to my first destination. Museum of Anne Franck’s Diary. Teary-eyed when I visited their secret hiding place. Imagine not seeing the outside world for more than two years and to live in fear and isolation. She was one great young writer.


The next one in my itinerary (I only had two!) was Van Gogh Museum, my fave painter. The walk was long and it was not easy to find. People (male or female) were not very good in giving directions. The last one who offered to help gave the right instructions! Talk about falling in line ( a long one!) un

der the rain. And just behind a couple smoking. After an hour of waiting, I finally made it in! And enjoyed the special exhibition of Colours of the Night (special feature : Starry Night). Off to the permanent collection. I just wish he didn’t shoot himself.


My feet were killing me so I sat for awhile. Calculated the time I need to make it to the Central Station. Decided to take the tram since it would save me time. Got a bit lost. A tram driver gave me a wrong direction.


Checked out from the hostel. And readily forgot the Van Gogh painting I bought. And rode the tram to the wrong direction. The challenge? Rain, heavy suitcase and backpack, wrong tram while trying to make the ride within the allocated 1 hour time of the ticket.


At the Central Station, I needed to buy a train ticket to the Hague. Guess what? It was being sold in another ticketing office. Talk about complicated. The ticketing person couldn’t speak in English so I had to double check the number of the train platform from other people. I went up and down and up again. And discovered the escalator too late. Inside the train, I was back to being uncertain. There was no announcement where it was heading. I missed the Paris metro system. People were asking back and forth where the train was stopping.


I was just happy to leave Amsterdam because in the Hague, I would see a friend waiting.

Note: Pictures from the internet. It was raining and thus not advisable to take pictures. Cameras not allowed at the museums. 

Thankful I am for…

… getting the silver status (mileage card) which allowed me to enter with the business class people and for my bags to be tagged “priority.” Checking in and getting bags are now a breeze! As an added benefit, I got a seat on the first row of economy class (yes, still in economy!). No one in front of me! More leg room! The stewardess addressed me by my last name when asked what I wanted for dinner! Way cool!


… the cooperative weather in Paris. I was told that it was not as cold as it was two weeks ago! Also for a borrowed thick coat and newly bought thermals which kept me warm!


… accommodating Filipino friends in Paris and the Hague who fed me and let me stay at their houses. Thanks friends!

… God’s favor because I was supposed to stay in a dorm-type room for four people. I requested to be transferred because someone else used my bed (bottom of the double-deck bed). And guess what? I got transferred to a five-room bed and I was alone! By the way, I chose this because it was supposed to be a Christian place which does not allow drugs and alcohol.


… safety in Amsterdam. It was challenging to see people whom I am certain have taken some form of drugs. There is that certain smell all around. Just think that in the cafeteria of the Christian place, I saw a couple rolling cannabis into cigarettes!


… good health. I did not get sick even if people around me were coughing and sneezing! And that my feet are still alive despite the long walks I did. 


… not missing my plane to Amsterdam. The Air France was partially on strike! I had to wait for more than an hour (normally the interval is every 15 minutes) to get into a bus.


… I only forgot the Van Gogh painting (print copy) at Amsterdam… and not my suitcase or my bag.


… wisdom from God who did not let me get lost in Amsterdam and the Hague even though I didn’t understand all the words they were saying (by the way, it is not true that they all speak English! And even tram drivers give you wrong directions!). Or when I was trying to find Starbucks in the Opera area in Paris.

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)