Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Local Christmas

Whenever I leave Manila during Christmas time, part of me does not want to go. Though this season brings a negative side, I remember the good things.

Gifts to open as early as December 1 if your company party falls on that day. Various savory foods to try because friends and family would utilize their culinary skills. Or enjoy the tasty meals offered by restaurants since the bosses or the company foots the bill.

What I delight in are reunions. People you have not seen for a long time would suddenly appear during get- togethers. The fellowship time during meal times is immensely filling, emotionally.

Then there is the joy of giving and receiving. I usually make a list of the people I want to bless and appreciate. Often, it can be challenging how you try to budget your resources and still make someone smile. The other side? I get suprised when someone hands me a gift since I often do not think that I would get something.

I will definitely not miss the daunting traffic, the crowd that fill many public spaces and the pollution that firecrackers bring (for New Year).

This year though, I will miss the people and celebrations. But then, one can be anywhere in the world and enjoy this important season. Just remember the reason we are celebrating and be with people you care for.

Merry Christmas! :)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Surreal yet real

The past week was partly surreal for me. The things I have been doing were so unlike of me. Joining a retreat even if I did not know anyone. Posed some probing questions to people I just met like my seatmate on the bus and my groupmates (on the first hour!). Asking a guy to have his picture taken with us because my groupmate likes him. Requesting the event photographer to take our group picture even if I do not know him. And etc etc.

On the other hand, I found something real. Apart from the spiritual renewal, what I like next about this retreat was that I met new friends. It was a prayer that I uttered to God in the past few months because I felt I needed new kindred souls. So I was happily surprised to receive a gift I did not expect to find.

I do not know if i would be able to completely write about what I have learned ove the week-end. I may not find the right words or sufficient time to write. For now, I would like to savor the reality that there are no accidents with God. And that He can orchestrate big and small incidents so that His purpose would be realized.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Being one with God

I do not really know what I was expecting when I joined the retreat. When asked directly by the facilitator, as part of the introductory questions during the first group session, I replied that I want to meet with God. It is not like I ran away from Him or that I got lost. It just that I wanted to have more of His peace and to lay down questions on His feet, hoping to find answers in return.

The past year has been filled with various transitions in several aspects of my life. The uncertainty in many things left me wondering which direction to take. Often, I just wanted to hear an audible voice from God so that I do not need to make any choice or so that my heart would settle down for knowinh what to expect. But of course, life does not happen this way. Most of the time, we find ourselves taking a step of faith. If we make a mistake, we take a step back then head towards a new direction.

Did I hear an audible voice on what to do? Yes and no. No, because God is still teaching me to wait for His revelations at His perfect timing. A day by day journey. Yes, because through His words and the messages of Godly people, I knew He is directing me to take a specific choice.

The year ends with at least one certainty. I know where to go back to when I return from my vacation. For that, I am thankful and at peace.

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 (