Sunday, November 28, 2010

Just Praise Him

As we were told to break out from the group and spend some quiet time alone, I wondered what should be the things to pray for. I did come here to ask God for answers and revelations.

When I checked a message that just came in my phone, I read a forwarded Bible verse. Colossians 2:1-2 says "You have been raised to life with Christ. Now SET YOUR HEART on what is in heaven, where CHRIST RULES at God's right side. THINK ABOUT WHAT IS UP THERE, not about what is here on earth.

The assigned Scripture passages for the day were from Psalms 146-150 ( These all talked about praising God.

So thus, I was reminded not to concern myself with the cares of the world. At least, not right now. Instead, let myself focus on God and praise Him for everything. Because of His attributes, His love, His creation, His being awesome and for His majesty.

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me that it is not about me. It is all about You. Praise be Your name!

Being courageous

If signing up to attend a retreat without confirming if anyone I know is coming means courage then I guess I have that. At least that is how a friend described my decision to join. I just felt that I needed to spend time away from many things and be with God.

The reality of my decision dawned on me when I arrived at the assembly area and saw almost a thousand participants and I didn't know what I was supposed to do. But I found myself smiling and amused with the adventure I got myself into once again. My rationalization? I wanted an encounter with God and thus, it does not matter if I am a stranger to everyone.

God, in His goodness, allowed me to get a seat beside someone who was also on her own. 2 minutes later, we were talking and laughing. And throughout the first day, I saw 3 other people I know. By then, I was already at home with my assigned groupmates.

I have always considered myself as shy around many people. I guess though that I have grown a lot since those days when I would just remain in my quiet corner. Or maybe, I just felt at home with fellow believers who gathered together to be one with God.

Being courageous takes time and learning. I know that I am still growing. I am joyful and grateful though for the little victories I am experiencing.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Omnium-Gatherum (Random Thoughts 12)

23. Just 23. Compare that with 46, 49, 80, 170 and 139, then the mixture of these two numbers seems paltry. What does 23 mean? The number of articles or entries I did for 2010. And that makes me a bit sad, realizing that I haven’t written that much this year. I know that I blog partly because I want to practice writing but another reason is it helps me remember good things that happened in my life.


O well. I do have a reason. 2010 brought about shoulder pains that hindered me from using the computer at home. Why? Because I wrote too much in 2008 and 2009 (170 and 139 entries, respectively). Which explains the pains.


= = =


I read yesterday that the rains would continue on until May of 2011. Because of the La NiƱa phenomenon. So what happens to our summer then? Will we miss the heat that begins mid-March and continues on till late May? Probably not. But then, there wouldn’t be reason enough to enjoy the beaches and sea breezes. I remembered the people who got affected by Ondoy and realized what they must be feeling. Nervous whenever there is a hint of flooding. I would feel the same.


= = =


Piolo Pascual officially opened the Christmas season in the Ayala malls two weeks ago. Together with Agot Isidro, they sang various Christmas melodies. Yeah, it was kinda early to a lot of people’s standards but here in the Philippines, it is just normal. We do have the longest Christmas season in the whole world. Christmas songs would start playing on the 1st of September. Recently, Halloween  decors began sharing space with Christmas ornaments and trees.


I often feel the Christmas season when I sense the cooling of air, when the traffic worsens and when I see Christmas lights and poinsettia flowers all over the Ayala streets. December will begin next week. The get-together and eating will also commence!


= = =


The last three evening had been a bit tiring as I packed and unpacked my father’s bags. Trying to make sure that the suitcases won’t go beyond the allowed weight. Checking if the bottles are well-protected, the medicine well-packed and the space rightly utilized.


Interesting what a visiting Filipino has in his bags when he goes back abroad. Dried herbs, fish and squid. Favorite soap brands. Carica Virgin coconut oil and toothpaste. Chinese medicine. Goldilocks polvoron, chocnut, Mulach ensamada, boy bawang and of course, the Magic Sing. Don’t’ forget the delicious dried mangoes and tamarind candies! Only the Filipinos! We are so unique!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Owning Thanksgiving Day

I greeted several friends in the States a Happy Thanksgiving Day. I know from history that it is being celebrated every fourth Thursday of the month of November and that it started from the time the Pilgrims from England, settled in America, and were thankful for their first bountiful harvest. I’ve read and watched on TV and movies about preparations and eating of turkey, sidings, desserts and most importantly, the gathering together of families.


Considering the many challenges the U.S. had, is having and will face in the future, I know that many of my friends in the States, of whatever nationality or origin, are celebrating this day for what it is : to be thankful.  And even though I know that it is not my event to celebrate, I am taking this time also to be thankful. Lord, thank you for :


-          the protection You hedge around me and my loved ones as we face each day of uncertainty

-          the provision of our needs and for lavishing us with our wants

-          the wisdom to decide on what to say, to think, to feel and to do

-          the limbs that allow me to write, eat, walk, run, stand, dance, jump, etc.

-          the ability to understand and have compassion for the weak and the needy

-          the blessings so that I can bless those who are lacking

-          the faith to trust in You and believe always that You are in control

-          the heart that can be sensitive to Your moving and direction

-          many friends who are journeying with me as I travel through life

-          my family who loves me and care about me

-          my job so that I could exercise the skills You gave me and receive compensation for it

-          the beautiful earth, every sunset and sunrise, the refreshing water, colorful fishes and graceful mountains

-          learnings, experiences and even trials that enrich my life and matures my faith

-          the forgiveness of my sins and the grace to love me continuously

-          unexpected gifts and surprises

-          my health, delicious food and tasty fruits

-          technology that makes distance shorter and communication better

-          books that teach my mind and heart to believe, trust and dream


The list would be too long if I jot  down all the things I am thankful for. Surely, God knows what is in my heart and what I want to thank Him for. I know that it is important to do this because we can always take for granted the blessings that we receive and forget  to be grateful.


Dear Lord, help me to always have a thankful heart. For the pain and pleasure. For the lack and the blessings. For the correction and affirmation.  For everything. Thank you.

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 (