Sunday, May 31, 2009

Record and forget

Technically it was yesterday.
But it can also be today.
However, it couldn't be.
It could have been a happy celebration.
But I am commemorating something else.
As the country recalls our independence
I too will always remember that day.

Record and forget.

Thankful again...

It was still dark when I woke up. It was, in fact, the 3rd time that I opened my eyes and looked at my cellphone to check the time. Finally, 5am. Such an unholy hour but I had an appointment with friends to go jogging so I forced myself to rise and prepare. Sixty minutes later, I met them and we were welcomed by the falling rain. It could have dampened our spirits but there we were, seeking shelter under our umbrellas and walking twice around Powerplant mall. 

For the whole day yesterday, friends and I just enjoyed each other's company (halfway though, I was beginning to nod off. I can be an early riser but it doesn't mean that I can survive the whole day fully awake :) ) From a tasty and filling breakfast (see the cute pancakes I had!), to apartment-hunting and house tour, to another yummy native lunch, to a coffee-fix while discussing life and relationships, and then to a suspense-filled movie. The late afternoon was spent skimming over very helpful books at a Christian bookstore and then off to another dinner in a hotel quite near where I live.

It seemed like a long day yet it seemed short. Filled with so many activities yet it helped me. A lot. I didn't want to be alone yesterday and I wasn't. Dear dear friends, thank you so much. Thank you, Lord for such friends.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Omnium-Gatherum (Random Thoughts 7)

I love hearing stories of God's faithfulness. To be truthful, I need them. Human that I am, I tend to forget about His presence in my life whenever the storms arrive. And so I want to hear about people's stories. I breathe in their hopes and their belief. And breathe out my doubts and fears. Thank you for the stories, Lord.

= = =

A battle rages in me each time I want to share my story. Would they listen? Would they understand? Would they even be interested in whatever I learned? Most of my life, I have been a listener. A good one, I think. In the office, we sometimes joke around that I have a psychiatrist's chair. Most people feel comfortable in telling me their stories. Maybe I know how to ask the right questions. Maybe I can give objective suggestions. Or maybe because I just let them talk.

Thus, I think I have forgotten to talk. I become conscious if they have become bored, if I am eating too much of their time, if I am monopolizing the conversation, and so on and so forth. Most of the time, I don't want to impose.

So most of the time, I remain quiet. Waiting for someone to ask me how I am. In a way, I think it has become my love language. I feel that someone cares about me if they ask me how I am. And if they listen. Really listen.

Maybe all of us are like this. Just waiting.

= = =

I am now on the 834th of the 3,334 songs in my iPod. Let me change that. My brother's iPod. He was the one who left all those songs inside. Nope, I really haven't heard all those 834 songs. Because even though I have decided to listen to songs again, I still choose the kind that I want my soul to hear. Songs about love, longing, despair over a broken heart, confusion, and other such are okay. They are really part of our lives. But those that curse, malign, and disrespect other people and God get skipped over. I will not let my ears be polluted.

= = =

I guess it will never disappear. Every time I hear a similar name, a tourist destination, a local delicacy, an international drink, a bilateral agreement, a country's nationality, etc. I will always remember. Each time.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Little things

Thankful for:

- the available seat on the bus
- the little nap that refreshed me
- the text message asking me how I am
- the update that a mother is getting better
- the songs which lift my spirits
- friends who distract me
- the night rain that refreshed my mind
- the oatmeal cookie from Starbucks
- my cat who is now healed

Just thankful.

Win some, lose some

Sane moments : it's going to be okay.

Downtime : when will it end?

Great moments : great friends

Downhill : for what reason?

Faith time : God will reveal it someday

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A ride

The day has definitely been a roller coaster ride. From having confidence, to feeling hurt and battered, to remaining hopeful, to being confused, to losing faith, to being angry, to being convinced, to feeling lost, and so on and so forth.

And so I take each day, even each hour, one at time. When the ride goes down, I counter them with words of prayer for other people who are hurting. When I feel the ride going up, I give thanksgiving for having won my little fights. And so the ride goes on.

I think I will have many more rides for the next few days, even weeks, and who knows, maybe even months.

I am remaining positive though. I take heart that God is refining me and I will come a better person at the end of the road.

In the meantime though, I sing this song to myself.

Lift up your hands to God (by Basil Valdez)

Life is not all that bad, my friend, hmmm 
If you believe in yourself 
If you believe there's Someone 
Who walks through life without you 
You'll never be alone 
Just learn to reach out, 
And open your heart 
Lift up hands to God, 
And He'll show you the way. 

And He said, "Cast your burdens upon Me 
Those who are heavily laden, 
Come to Me, all of you who are tired 
Of carrying heavy loads
For the yoke I will give you is easy 
And My burden is light, 
Come to Me and I will give you rest." 

When you feel the world 
Is tumblin' down on you, 
And you have no one 
That you can hold on to, 
Just face the rising sun 
And you'll see hope, 
And there's no need to run 
Lift up your hands to God, 
And He'll make you feel all right. 

And He said, "Cast your burdens upon Me 
Those who are heavily laden, 
Come to Me, all of you who are tired 
Of carrying heavy loads, 
For the yoke I will give you is easy 
And My burden is light, 
Come to Me and I will give you rest."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Having faith

As I look back at my life, I see how the hand of God has always guided me. Many times I was not sure where He was taking me. There were bumps on the road, untrustworthy paths, wrong turns, and many confusing signs. I shed a lot of tears, I went through pain, I was flooded with doubts.

One thing I am most thankful for. He has always drawn me closer to Him. He has never let me go.

I am writing these words, I am posting this song so that I will always this reminder. A year from today, I know that I would be completely in awe because He has always been here with me, guiding me through the grieving and healing.

I am thankful. I have faith. All will be well.

= = =

LEAD ME LORD (by Gary Valenciano)

Lead me Lord
Lead me by the hand
And make me face the rising sun
Comfort me through all the pain
That life may bring
There's no other hope
That I can lean upon
Lead me Lord Lead me all my life

Walk by me, walk by me across
The lonely road that I may face
Take my arms and let your hand
Show me the way
Show the way to live inside your heart
All my days, all my life

You are my light
You're the lamb upon my feet
All the time my Lord
I need You there
You are my light I (just) cannot live alone
Let me stay
By Your guiding love
All through my life
Lead me Lord

Lead me Lord Even though at times
I'd rather go alone my way
Help me take the right direction
Take Your road Lead me Lord
And never leave my side
All my days
All my life

You are my light
You're the lamb upon my feet
All the time my Lord
I need You there
You are my light I (just) cannot live alone
Let me stay By Your guiding love
All through my life
All trhough my days
Lead me, O Lord. Lead me Lord.

A heart-filling night

Tonight, I accompanied a friend to a book reading club. We literally read our own books and remained quiet for a few moments. From time to time, someone reading his Bible would raise a question. I too asked my friend about things crossing my mind as I read the book I took with me tonight. The Renewed Mind of Larry Christenson has been talking to me in the past few days.

What was more touching about the club was that it also ministers to streetchildren around that area. The kids get fed every Monday evening. They are taught about proper hygiene and talking nicely. As I talked to Jamie, a 15-year old girl, I learned that they truly live on the street. At the other side of the table, my friend is talking to Jamie's aunt, who is actually younger in age. She knew how to pray and she has seen the movie Passion of the Christ. I was glad to hear that she has accepted Christ in her life. I asked Jamie to say a few words of thanksgiving to God and finished the rest of the prayer for her. I encouraged her to strive hard in her studies and to continue trusting God. All I can do for her is to lift her life to God and have faith that God will take care of her.

I met some people who are being used by God. One through her music. Another for managing her talent. They would soon go on a journey to a far-away land to minister to others as well as to grow in their faith in God.

All I can say is that I was glad to have spent the night with them. To be in the presence of people who love God and love people around them. To be reminded about the adequate and overflowing provision of God. To be aware that there are people who need our help, physically but more importantly spiritually.

Thank you Lord for a heart-filling nigh.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


A long time.
No one.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Lord, I am really really sorry.



I just want to stay in a box...

So that I won't hurt others. So that I won't get hurt.
So that I won't misunderstand. So that I won't be misunderstood.
So that I won't be criticized. So that I won't criticize.
So that I won't be found wanting. So that I won't look for more.

But only sometimes...

Because outside the box...

I receive joy. I provide laughter.
I discover new things. I am revealed.
I learn from others. I receive teaching.
I am cherished. I find wonderful people.
Most of the time, I want to be outside the box.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thou art great!

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I will not be

Each morning

As I see the beautiful light of the morning slowly enter the horizon, I take hold of the promise of God. He knows His plans for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future. In the same way that I cannot completely look into the face of the sun, I know I cannot fully know yet what God has in store of me. I have to trust Him that He is in control. I often waver in this. I am thankful that as the sun rises each morning, I can be reminded everyday that His faithfulness is great and His loving kindness never ends.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


The weather has been sunny in the past few days. Even if I woke up early, it's already bright. The evening darkness comes a little later than usual.

The weather bureau recently announced that the rainy season has officially arrived. As I saw the sudden downpour of rain, I made a joke to my colleague. "The heavens are crying with me."

I said that sentence with a smile because I have never associated sadness with the rain. I love the rain. I think it is connected with my personality which can't help it but see the other side of the coin. The traffic and dirt that the rain brings are all incidental. In reality, it brings refreshing air and washes away the things that are unnecessary.

I have started to smile again.

Friday, May 15, 2009


"There is nothing wrong with discussing theology if we rememnber that we don't live on explanations but on promises. Promises are God's medicine for the heart, and they bring healing to the inner person."

Life Sentences by Warren W. Wiersbe"


A lizard fell on my hand. It scurried away. (Thank God! Eeewwwww!) There it was, slowly inching its way to its destination, looking for the perfect spot to rest and get some good food (insects? good food???). Then ka-blaam! It just fell. Most probably, it was frightened out of its wits for falling from the ceiling.

Hmmm... what was in its head during those few minutes that it's chest heaved because of the suddenness of its fall? Did it try to analyze the reason behind the fall? Blame the ceiling for not providing the necessary environment for the lizard to remain attached? Or point the fault to the humidity? Or maybe it held on too tight that it felt some cramps and its grip loosened? Or too light so it did not stick well?

But is there use asking? Demand an explanation from the wall? Or explain what has happened from the perspective of its inadequacies? (not enough skill to remain attached to the wall)?

The lizard will later realize that the journey back to the top (ceiling) will, in fact, make it stronger. It might even find a better spot on the wall that will allow it to catch better food.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

How to stay young

A message forwarded by a friend...

1.  Try everything twice. - On one woman's tombstone she said she wanted this epitaph: "Tried everything twice.loved it both times!"

2.  Keep only cheerful friends. - The grouches pull you down. (Keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches!)

3.  Keep learning: - Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain get idle. An idle mind is the devil's workshop. And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!

4.  Enjoy the simple things.

5.  Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with that person.

6.  The tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. LIVE while you are alive.

7.  Surround yourself with what you love: Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8.  Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9.  Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10.  Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

11.  Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance.

And if you don't send this to at least 4 people - who cares? But do share this with someone. Remember! Lost time can never be found. Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


What if the kid you have been sending to school got into bad company and now seems to have a bleak future ahead of him? Should you consider it as a waste of time, money and effort? It is so easy to think of how the money could have been otherwise used.

I was told no. The investment was given to him in good faith so that he could have a better future. If he overcomes this hurdle and learns a lesson, he could still someday use what he had learned.

Another question arises though. When does one stop helping? Should there be a limit and after that, give up? It is hard to decide.

What we can only do is pray for him and let God intervene. There was a learning in this experience. For both the giver and the receiver.

The music stopped

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Moving with dance music

I saw how many others have made the mistake of gliding into many dances, sometimes simultaneously, oftentimes, one after another. It seemed like they have mastered the steps, feeling as if the dance would then be the final one. In reality, the numerous dances took their toll. The missteps and bumps left their mark. It was no longer the harmonious and synchronized dance dreamt and desired.

To my mind, the dancers listened too early to the music of the dance. The world easily fools them when it created different kinds of music. Hearing the sounds and words creates yearnings. Songs which had the tendency to awaken things that could be illusionary when it is not yet the right time to long for them. No wonder they step too early into the dance.

Thus, a few years ago, I made a conscious decision not to listen. I limited myself to songs that spoke of the composer and choreographer. It was my way of surviving. I know that a heart can be taught. Worse, it can be deceived. What the mind thinks, the heart may believe. That whatever you feed your mind can become the content of the heart. To protect myself, to guard my fragile heart, I chose not to listen to songs that the world feeds our soul. Otherwise, I might just swing into a dance that is not meant to be mine.

I asked the great composer and choreographer to help me. He knows the steps, timing, and the best dancers to the music he has written. I only want that single dance. I know it would be worth the wait.

If only we could learn to wait and listen, the composer and choreographer would hum the right music to our dance. The silence would be broken, the faint sound would be heard, and then the melody would resound all around. The melody will be right, the pitch perfect.

The music is now playing. The dance has started.

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 (