Sunday, January 31, 2010

Putting Amazing Back to Grace

Last Friday, I had been super blessed with knowledge. I spent the whole day receiving them actually. (Talk about information overload! Hehe. Fun fun!) We attended PUTTING AMAZING BACK TO GRACE, a conference held at Quezon City Evangelical Church, where Michael Horton a theologian from Westminister Seminary shared with us the original plan of God for men during creation, the fall, and the election of grace.

Horton started off with an interesting yet demeaning quote some people actually say “I don’t want to know about God, I want to know God!” Err… how can we know someone, without knowing his likes or dislikes? or her past and present situations? It’s quite impossible! This is why, we need to study theology. We cannot merely depend on our intuition of who God is. Worse, we cannot shape Him to the way we want Him to be. Remember, He is the potter and we are the pots. :P

Let us start with the moment of creation. You have heard before that when God created us, He made us “in His image.” We were also crowned in righteousness, holiness and glory. In Moses’ time, Pharaohs were immensely infamous for they too were seen in their god’s image. They were seen as the incarnation of Amon Re.

Since we were all created in His image, this implies that there must be respect for EVERYONE (including the children that relentlessly wipe your car windows or the convicted murderers or even the Chinese teacher that you might have called ‘Poknut’). Secondly, with much respect, comes responsibility! Everyone needs to fulfill the office God had given us as servant king, an image god. "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." (Gen 1:28)

But then came the FALL.

These were Satan’s deceptive plans:

To make you believe that you were created in His image, but you may also live independently from Him. "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:4). You will be prophets, priests and kings, preaching your own thoughts. This also paved way for legalism. Eve for example added a new law on what God initially forbade. Maybe the additional law of not touching the fruit would makes her feel better about herself as she compares herself with others who opt to touch but not eat the forbidden fruit. Or maybe adding a new law won’t matter as long as it does not go against God’s law. However legalism makes God a tyrant, stingy and cruel God. And sadly, it’s the people who bear His name that give others this negative impression of God.

Another deception was that when crown fell off from Adam and Eve’s heads, crown of glory left, and bodies were then covered with leaves. When bodies are feathered, they’re free, but not really free. Freedom is wanting what God wills. Ironic? Well, would you rather be a slave to sin or be a son of the living God?

I remember Horton saying “We are like worms. Umm.. no, we are worse than worms. Worms obey what God made them for.. they crawl in the dirt.”

After the fall, everyone becomes a sinner since the very first cell of conception. Horton shared an illustration of a baby venomous snake. He said that even baby snakes have the same intensity of poison as their parents. So everyone is bound to sin, no exemption.

Then comes Grace.

Immortality and life have been brought by the gospel. And it takes a miracle to truly believe in it. Who creates the miracle? Who gives us the gift of faith? Who chooses us? Isn’t it God Himself?

God has chosen us not for what we are about to do for him nor for the foreseen faith. Amazing right? He is simply gracious. “Doesn’t the potter have the right to make out the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purpose and some for common use?” You may not know who else God has chosen, so just continue sharing the gospel. It is not by our might, nor by our power, but by His Spirit that hearts will change. At the end of the day, it’s His will and not yours that will prevail. :)

~ o ~

I've observed that many times (at this era) people go to church not to receive / share grace. They see it as a 'business' filled with tasks and activities. I admit, that I too had been a victim of this thinking. May we remember the primary reason why we believe what we believe and why we do what we do. May we be more busy for our Savior than for His Kingdom. It is He who works and acts in you according to His great purpose. Not you. It's His grace that gives us strength. What an Amazing Grace.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hmm... Tuna Pot Pie?

Recently, I tried making a new pie variant. Since my dad is a bit allergic to chicken, I used tuna instead. Although baking incorporates a lot of science and math, it’s not necessarily a nerdy experience. It can be really fun, specially when doing pies. You can use your creativity by mixing and matching different tastes and textures, anything your taste buds desire.

So anyway, this tuna pie is extremely healthy. No lard. No cream.
First I made a roux, I heated up a few (approx 3) tablespoonful of butter and flour (same amounts), then I put in a couple cups of milk. Afterwards I placed the diced tuna, and also some pineapple to add zest to it, corn for the sweetness and walnuts for the crunch. I also added some curry powder for a much livelier taste.

Unlike the first pie crust I've made, I used corn oil and cold milk instead of butter and water. Surprisingly, this oil pie crust was a lot easier to handle. I’d probably use this technique more often.

Before baking...

After 40 mins of baking in 200C temp...

I learned that it takes a looong while to let the pie settle. Probably around an hour? See, what happens when you get too excited. :P You may opt to place it in the chiller, and reheat it upon consumption.

The taste was definitely exciting with the contrasting flavors blended in the pie. Next time, I might try to incorporate some cheeses and mushrooms.

Thank God for such heavenly treats! :)

The 1st David I Know - scene 4

As I continued reading King David’s journey, I realized three things.

One is that a single act of disobedience can change the course of life. You see, God had an enormous plan for David and his lineage. He planned to make David a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. He would give David rest from all his enemies. Moreover, He would make David a house. And his throne shall be established forever. This was four chapters before the disobedient act in chapter 11 of 2nd Samuel.

After probably the most intriguing chapter (11) in David’s life, God told him “Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly.” Furthermore, because ‘the deed have utterly scorned the Lord,” the child born to David was bound to die. God's punishments can be very scaryyy...

Second realization. Committing a sin invites future sins. It’s like cancer. It spreads and multiplies. I don’t mean to gossip or anything, but do you know that David slept with another man’s wife? First Sin - Adultery. And when he impregnated Bathsheba, he devised a plan for Uriah (the real husband) to sleep with her. Second Sin - Deception. But this Uriah guy didn’t do so, for he thought about the other soldiers who were still out there in some tents fighting for the country. Next thing David did was to “set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down and die.” frontliners so that he would surely die.” Third Sin - Murder.

Sin is unstoppable, unless there’s a conscious decision to stop, go back to God and repent.

Third realization. God is still gracious despite our sins. For when David repented, the prophet told him “The Lord has put away your sin, you shall not die.” I believe sins being “put away” meant sins were forgiven and forgotten. No tampo whatsoever. You might ask, so should David still be punished? Of course! Since God is also just, David had to be accountable for his actions.

It’s wonderful though to see that God did not love David and his family any less after he committed those wicked sins (what’s worse than murder?!). This we see at the end of chapter 12: “…she (Bathsheba) bore a son (again), and he called his name Solomon. And the Lord loved him.” (We’ll get to Solomon’s story soon.)

Click the link ( and read it up. You’re very welcome to post your realizations here! :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The 1st David I Know - scene 3

As I was reading David’s story in Samuel’s duology, I was amazed at his patience. Imagine, he waited for fifteen years to become a king?! Fifteen years for a promise to be fulfilled. Fifteen long and tiring years. If I were in his shoes, I’d probably ask God “are You really sure You’re going to do this as promised?” countless of times until God probably gets tired of hearing it. Or maybe I’d try my own plan to ‘achieve’ the promise. I might even try get my men kill Saul, since it’s “self-defense” anyway. But no, David respected the anointed one prior to him. He waited for God’s timing. As he waited, his character was tested and built.

I think young professionals nowadays carry out their planners to have a systematic way of achieving their long term goals and yearly objectives. No time to wait, no time to waste. I’ve tried it, and a particular thought disturbed me. It allowed me to think that I can do everything my way in my time. Remember what James said in his book? He said although we can plan to have business, like for example next year, we do not really know what will happen then. We may opt to boast and brag about our plans (which is evil according to James), but if God wills for it to vanish, it will.

Anyway, back to the story. Did you know that before David became a king, he lived in the land of their enemies, the Philistines, to hide from Saul? He became a servant to their king. But when the time came that the Philistine troop marched their way towards Israel for a battle, God devised a way for David not to join. For if not, David might end up killing Saul and his countrymen himself. Saul died in the war by the way. And David was anointed as king soon after.

“And he became more and more powerful, because the LORD God Almighty was with him.” - 2 Samuel 5:10. He had truly been blessed. I guess, the looooong wait was all worth it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Traditional Scottish Dish & a Wisdom

Let me share with you a fact that not a cook, baker, or artist is willing to admit. It’s not everyday that your work, your service, your effort, your creation is appreciated. Unless if you’re like Martha Stewart who can afford to brainstorm 100 ideas each day and execute only the best one.

This morning, I made my own rendition of a traditional Scottish seafood recipe for lunch. The classic dish features an oatmeal crusted salmon in ginger ale sauce. In my case, I used a fresh blue marlin straight from the wet market and made a lime butter sauce with shallots.

First, I mixed a cup of oatmeal with two table spoons of ground nutmeg, salt and pepper in a bowl. I used this oat mixture to coat the filleted blue marlin. Then I seared both sides of the fish in 2 tablespoons olive oil. After the oats show a nice brown color, I placed them in the oven for about 20 minutes. While baking, I cooked the shallots and added lime juice in the used olive oil. I blended them with melted butter. And viola, there’s the sauce.

The person I cooked this for told me she did not like oats, she did not like this and that, etc. I somehow got disappointed when there was not a hint of gratitude.

I then took some time to reflect.

Do I have the right to get disappointed?
No, I’ve disappointed God countless of times and yet His love never ceases. Likewise, if I were to show my love for others through these services, I cannot expect anything in return. Therefore, no expectation, no disappointment.

Why am I doing this service thing again?
I do these not for people to love me back, but rather because my Father loves me so much that it overflows and I should be sharing it.

Am I doing these things to be appreciated?
No, since love is given without a price, these services must be given when not appreciated. Although, “thank you’s” are highly welcome.:)

How should I serve then?
I realized that our service is in vain if we do not know the person we are serving. So if we serve God, we need to get to know God first. If we serve our families, we need to know them deeper as well. From there, we’ll know how to put smiles on their faces.

Thank you Lord for giving us wisdom even through the smallest cracks of life. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Create Art to Inspire

Today’s adventure is in the world of visual arts, and it’s not in any way edible.

I’ve always wanted to try making my own pots for the plants I have at home. Probably because I’ve been reading about the potter and the clay in the bible, and I’m amazed at the individuality of each and every pot being made by the potter. However, due to the unavailability of pottery schools in Manila, I’ve resorted to CLAY!

For your information, my goal for the month of January is to try this new hobby. And I’m super glad that I got to do it before the month ends! Woohoo!

The usual clay art available online and offline are food imitations, mostly desserts keychains, earrings or vegetable magnets. I do not want to venture in this fully packed industry. I’d rather bake a real one. Hihi! Anyhoo, my objective for making this art is to inspire people with a simple message drawn in every clay creation.

My first creation is a pencil top that has a face of a chef, a frosting hat and a heart at the back of his head. This is for bakers who bake with love!

My second project is a plant that has little heart shaped fruits. Not only is it fit for the nearing Valentines day, but it’s also a message good for everyday use… to GROW LOVE.

The third is a pencil top with a heart springing out. Each of us has been given a heart, so use it to show it.

The one below is a tic-tac-toe concept, showing love is not a game. Caption reads “Love is not a fight, but it is something worth fighting for.” It’s from the OST of Fireproof.

I hope to see your art works too!

To God be the glory!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Neighborhood Carrot Cake: Simply the Best!

The next adventure I tried in the kitchen was an old recipe passed from one neighbor to another. This was then passed on to me by my official taste-tester. And according to him, he knows of only four people who has a copy of this particular recipe.. an infamous traditional healthy dessert/snack, the Carrot Cake.

My official taste-tester had been telling me about the Carrot Cake of his childhood, the best baked goody he has ever tasted. And wee!! I got the recipe last Friday. (Thanks to you who must not be named, lest you face death for leaking out trade secrets. Hehe.) I tried it, and wow, it’s definitely the best Carrot Cake I’ve ever tasted.

I never liked Carrot Cakes before, unless if I were turned to Bugs Bunny. But this Neighborhood Carrot Cake is just plain different. You won’t even get to taste the three cups of grated carrots put in it. It’s healthy, but tastes even better.

cupcake or cake?

The frosting on top adds a delectable touch with it’s cool taste and smooth texture. Next time, I’d put nuts and raisins on top. Or even mini heart candies for Valentines day.

Want to try? :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Refreshing Brunch

I miss the old times. I miss the stories and laughter shared before and after a class. I miss saying hi to friends scattered in different corners of the campus. I miss spending lunch breaks with friends who shared the struggles of college life. I even miss those stressful days that I thought would soon to be repressed memories. Those booooring days where we spent the whole day listening to RENT musical and net surfing, I also missed. You know why? Because I miss my friends who took part in shaping my college life.

Time has passed. Many things have changed. Some went back to their hometowns, some started climbing the corporate ladder, others took the risks of a business venture. Everyone has become busy in his/her own way. I’m just thankful that I was able to catch up with some of my closest college friends today. :O)

This morning, we had brunch together to celebrate the post birth date of Jilly. (Whew! good thing I got there safely, thanks to Jirbie!) It was a refreshing moment indeed!

Jill and Wena

Jirbie and Moi

Jill and I ordered the American breakfast set of UCC, while Jirbie and Wena tried the classic Filipino breakfast meals - pork tocino and chicken adobo. I loved the taste of their waffle, and the texture is truly an American
classic! I did not appreciate their chicken-pork sausage as much though. The herbs were really overpowering. But when eaten together with a bite of waffle and veggies, the tastes balanced each other out.

I partnered mine with a cup of creamy hot chocolate. One of the best in Manila!

And for our dessert... it looked and tasted like waffle cubes drenched in honey, drizzled with chocolate syrup and topped with whipped cream. Yum!

Jilly, Weny and Jirbsie, we should make a pact to meet more often!

Jirbs, thanks for coordinating! Next time I hope to see you driving along Edsa na. haha! (look who's talking. :P

Jilly, let's chat soon! And you know where we can hang-out when you come over. hihi! Do visit Manila more often.

Weny,sana may kwento ka narin, like Jilly.. hehe jk!

Love ya guys!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Avoid Missed Communication

Dear Lord,

Thank you for another wonderful day. Thank you also for the food we ate. But, hmm… can You really hear me when I speak? Or am I simply uttering out words in a big black void? I really wonder if You’re there. Anyway, I pray that you will bless me with this plan that I have. Please give me the promotion (the job/treatment/pay) that I deserve. And oh, I also hope this guy will notice me tomorrow.. I pray that my parents will allow me to ... Yada… Yada…

Sounds familiar? To continue…

Lord, I’m sorry, but I am really frustrated. I think You’re a bit unfair. I’m good to You naman, but how come I didn’t get what I prayed for. In fact, I prayed about it everyday. But it didn't seem that you heard me? Do you love me anyway?

And sometimes, it would even go as far as…

Lord, sige na, you don’t love me naman talaga as much as you love the others. I did my best, but my best was not good enough for You. I don’t want to talk to you anymore. Amen and good-bye.

It’s a sad reality that many fall away from the “faith” due to a missed communication. As people say, communication is vital in every relationship and without it, it's bound to fail. It is an invisible thread that bonds families, husbands and wives, or every of friends from different islands together. And an unclear communication can truly break a relationship.

How do you communicate with your dad? Whenever you see him, do you usually say something like: “can you give me an ipod pleaaaase, or if your older, a car pretty please?” Well, if yes and then he answers yes to all, then I think he’s either spoiling you or being bullied by you. I believe a responsible dad would teach you lessons. He would show you how to determine the good needs from the unnecessary and harmful wants. Sometimes, he would even place you in training grounds that you dread. (Remember the feeling of goodbye weekend, hello school?) Anyway, here we can see that (1) sometimes you get to talk, other times you get to listen. If only one does all the talking then there's no communication at all. (2) Many times when you do not get what you want, or when your dad let you experience something you dread, you get wisdom.

Just like our dads, we also need to have an open communication with our Father in heaven. True, we get to pray to Him. But, many times we forget (or choose not) to LISTEN, when in fact He’s already speaking! And as the King of kings, His words are definitely very precious. Don't waste it!

Pray the ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication) prayer. Reflect on His words and listen very carefully. Maybe He is already telling you something new today.

The more you practice the prayer-listening process, the more you'll avoid missed communication, the more your relationship with our Father will grow! Try it to believe it! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tropical Chicken Pineapple Curry in Coconut Milk

Yesterday, I got to cook once again! Wee! I was able to feed my dad and Elaine with what I call the Tropical Chicken Pineapple Curry in Coconut Milk. I was more than happy to cook for them, since these two people that I love dearly are very appreciative of my cooking. (I'll cook for you next time, Mom) :)

This recipe is super easy to make. The sauce is simply a blend of coconut milk, evaporated milk and some pineapple syrup. The dish is a healthy treat for the family with its chicken, potatoes, bell pepper and pineapple combo.

If only I had a real coconut husk, the presentation would be even nicer. :)

Elaine, I think, is a very fortunate girl. She gets to taste all (or most of) my new dishes. I think she can smell me from miles away whenever I plan to cook. Good thing, she’s one of my favorite taste-testers! As long as you don’t give her sitaw or baguio beans, she’d love your cooking! Last night, both my dad and Elaine were able to finish this dish. I enjoyed watching them get plenty additional scoops of rice as they savor the gata sauce.

My cousin dearest encouraged me through her simple words “you know Joyce, when I sleep over and you’re not here, I feel like this house is not a home.”

Aww… (*touched* Make sure it's not all about the food. :P But nevertheless,) I love you Elaine!

The 1st David I know - scene 2

To continue with the story of David, let’s go back to the place in time where men fought with spears, prophets provided some consultation hours, breads and lambs were burnt as offerings, and caves were their favorite place of refuge. Although David had already been anointed as king, well it took him 15, yes FIFTEEN, long grueling years before he really became one!

Interestingly, between his appointment and inauguration, he was mostly running for his life (literally). He was fleeing from place to place, from caves to mountains, to rocks, to another city, to another cave in the next city, in a breathless chase with King Saul. What’s amazing about it was that for the several chances of him getting killed, God saved him each and every time. God allowed Saul to torment David, for God’s glory to be revealed through David.

Imagine this, one time when Saul and his 3000 men were about to catch David with only a mountain in between them, God suddenly let the Philistines raid Israel so Saul had to go back and fight for his country. Although I’m sure God could defeat thousands through hundreds or even tens, just like how He defeated a giant through a small boy like David. God still kept the distance. Anyway, when Saul went back, he relieved himself (all alone) in a cave where David and his men were hiding. Instead of taking his sweet revenge, David said to his men “the Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king and attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.” He opted to not kill Saul even if this would hasten the pace of him replacing the king. Later on, we can see that the Lord will kill Saul through the Philistines.

David’s patience was truly commendable. He knew that he was to be made king and yet opted to wait for the Lord’s great timing. We’ll talk about it when I reach that chapter.

Are you also waiting for a goal to be accomplished? A breakthrough to your finances? A healing to your sickness? Like David, God may allow us to suffer as we wait for his promises to be fulfilled. Good thing though that in each and every step, He places there a 'cave', a place of refuge, a sanctuary where we can just go to Him and rest.

What's even more fantabulously fantastic is that he does not only have the
ends in mind, but He also knows the means by heart. He knows the timing of our lives, which means that the painful moments of waiting do serve a purpose. He raises up people He plans to use to help us in each step, just like Jonathan who saved David from Saul or Ahimelech who provided food for David and his men in the middle of the great royal chase. God even calculated the details of our environment so well that everything that seems uncontrollable to us is controlled by our one and only Creator. Without us knowing, He has already painted the BIG picture of our lives. He has already written our life story.

What we simply need to do is live out our faith!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Let Go Series: TIME

This year opened up with a burst of emotions and realizations. It was not as merry as I thought my new year would be. The trouble started one morning when I woke up, and I realized I would be doing nothing, no plans to accomplish, no nothing. It was such a depressing thought for a Chlorsan girl like me.

You see, I had to be productive, to be challenged, to do something with my hands. And on a beautiful weekday when everyone was working and I on the other hand had nothing to do, it was depressing. This had been a constant troubling thought since I left my job last February ‘09. This pushed me:

to make greeting cards…

to bake…

to cook…

to try gardening…

(No available photo. A number of plants died in the process.)

I tried several others too, making crafts, bags, games and activities. They were there to make my hands full. And still sometimes, my hands would end up doing nothing and it was stressful. (Maybe this was why my previous boss thought of me as a sponge, I didn’t mind having too much work. At the end of the day, he would still see me smiling.)

For nearly one year of being out of the corporate world, I spent most of the time getting to know myself, doing things that were making me happy. And I was rebuked early this month by a brother in Christ. He made me realize that I had been selfish. “Time is (too) gold” and I wanted to make the most out of it every single day, MY way.

Then it hit me. Where is God in the picture? If I were to rationalize, I’d say well there’s nothing wrong with baking, cooking or making those greeting cards! But then again, who owns my time? Who gives me breathe? How should I live it anyway? Am I born to be a masochist with a daily purpose of tiring myself? Shouldn’t I devote my time to God who saved me and made me His daughter?

Then this brother of mine shared with me how the world measures man. People first look at COMPETENCE. If you’re good enough, then there you would find your WORTH and then, finally, ACCEPTANCE.

God on the other hand has an opposite way of doing so, and you bet, this is the more important one. Because He loves us so much, He sent His (perfect) son to die for you and me (see our worth here?), for us to be part of His family once again and enter His Kingdom. Anyway, once we accept that He has saved us and allow Him to become the Lord of our lives, then we become His sons and daughters. :)

His way starts with ACCEPTANCE. He has already accepted us for who we are as His heir. He also opted to forgive us no matter how grave our sins were and would be (they were washed by Jesus’ blood). There we can find our WORTH. Then, He will make us COMPETENT His way. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

Why make ourselves so busy to find worth and acceptance, when God has already accepted us? (So here, I realized that YES, we need not do anything to prove ourselves.)

But what do we do then?

A few nights later, God reminded me through a question, ‘why did you quit your job in the first place?’ Is it merely to make your own business? To study? Frankly, no and no. My primary reason was to have more time to serve God and to serve my family. I would also love to make more memories with them. This I saw was a more meaningful way of spending the usual 8am-5pm office hours. And since time is so precious, I guess it must be spent based on my priorities.

1st God

2nd Family

3rd Others

I took this opportunity to entrust my time to him - To allow Him to use me productively. I believe that when we offer anything to God, we will have the opportunity to witness God’s hand at work. And it will be extremely spectacular if that ‘anything’ offered is a life. It will be worth it. Remember, His ways are better than our ways. :)

The 1st David I know :)

Reading a chapter a day is not enough, especially if it is from a book that is so rich, so vibrant and very much real. It is an adventure where you allow the writer to take you back in time to different civilizations and cultures, observe their way of life and see how the writer uses some people to draw lessons that you can bring back to the real world.

Recently my adventure is a ride back to 1045-1025BC, in the land of the Middle East where kings and nations fight for dominion, people and lands. I am currently reading the book of 1 Samuel which is part of a marvelous comprehensive book entitled “Bible.” God, the author of this book and producer of history, rejected the first anointed king of Israel (I’ve blogged few days ago) due to his disobedience. When God explicitly commanded Saul to kill every living creature in the land of the Amalekites (a nation that opposed Israel when they came from Egypt), Saul killed the people alright, but spared its goats, sheep and cattle. A simple command he failed to obey. Then Saul said something like “well, I’m going to offer them to God anyway..”

But you know what dear adventurers? Samuel the prophet told him “Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.” There we can draw out a general principle that God is indeed more pleased if we obey his commands rather than if we sacrifice our time, effort or money for him. They’re all nothing to him, if we can barely meet his minimum requirement.

To continue, Samuel said “So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”

Although King Saul still held on to his position, the Lord had already chosen another person to take his place. He was a young man named David, chosen ‘not by his appearance or height,’ for ‘the Lord looks at the heart.’ He was the youngest in his family. I know how it feels to be the youngest. You’re not expected to achieve as much as your older siblings. You are the one usually being utos-ed, not the other way around. Usually, you are more dependent and attached to your family. So likewise, David was the one attending the sheep of the family, while his older siblings are off to battle with the soldiers of Saul. Like any other bunso, he was also an idealist. But most of his ideals were grounded by faith, for truly nothing was impossible with God for him.

David’s dad asked him to give some loaves of bread and cheese to his brother’s army. When he arrived he saw a giant holding a javelin on his shoulder. Then as he was asking men there, his oldest brother annoyed with him, saying “What are you doing here anyway? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!” (Sounds familiar, youngest lads out there? :P) Then David merely replied, “What have I done now? I was only asking a question!”

Maybe the questions David were asking, pointed to the fact that he was interested to fight against Goliath the giant. For the questions were reported to the king and the king sent for him. David told Saul that he would go fight him. Saul replied with another discouraging remark “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” I bet if we were in his shoes, we’d just say “umm… okay, at least I tried.” But guess what happened next? David said he had killed bears and lions that attached his father’s sheep and goats, the Philistine wouldn’t be any different. Finally, Saul agreed. He provided armor, helmet and a coat of mail for David to put on for protection, but David just said “I can’t go in these; I’m not used to them.” Talk about his guts!

Well, maybe it’s more than guts. David said to Goliath before the fight, “You came to me with sword, spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies - the God of the armies of Israel.” Talk about faith!

You know how the fight ended? David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone (17:50). Simply amazing.

Saul appointed him to command over 1000 men, to be a commander over the men of war, and David continued to succeed in everything he did, for the Lord was with him. What a wonderful thought to know that no matter how young you are, how weak, how imperfect, if the Lord is with you, then He will bring you victories in life.

This story can be found in the book of 1 Samuel chapters 15 to 18. Till our next adventure together!

May the Lord be with you, and you be in the Lord today. :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Royal Letter

To those who are loving, here’s a way to show your love
To those who are hurting, here’s a way to turn it around
To those who are waiting, here’s what you could do
To those who are living, this is your purpose
To those who are dying, here’s a good news
To those who are lost, this is the way
To those who are helpless, this may help you
To those who are depressed, do focus here
To those who are kind, do this please
To those who are busy, take time for this
To those who have nothing to do, by golly gee, come and join the force
To those who are joyful, you are much needed here
To those who are looking for meaning in their lives, here is the answer

“For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.

Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith.”

~ taken from the letter of Paul to the men of Philippi. (Philippians 1:21-25)

May Christ become the meaning of your lives as well.
May you become the mirror of His light, be radiant wherever He places you.

Your sister in Christ,

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mini Chicken Pot Pie

This is my second try of Chicken Pot Pie. Knowing me, I'm not the type who loves routine work or doing something over and over and over and over again (even if it's my passion). I love variety, in products, in processes, etc.

When my dad requested for two more chicken pot pies (I guess he liked the first try. hihi), I did them today with mini pot pies on the side (size of a muffin). I also followed Saunder's suggestion of brushing the crust with egg batter.

Here it is when packed in threes. Para "I-Love-You" daw. :P

Have a healthy hearty week ahead everyone! :)

Sunday is a day to Celebrate!

Today is a very special day, simply because it’s a Sunday! Not only is it a required day-off from work (which is already a YEHEY to us); it is also a day of celebration! A worship celebration to be exact.

A celebration usually happens only on special occasions, it connotes joy, get-togethers with family and friends, music and food. A worship celebration specifically, happens more often than any celebration we are accustomed to. It happens weekly and everyone’s invited! Apart from the joy that we get in ordinary celebrations, worship celebration also brings peace and hope. It’s an opportunity to unload stress, loneliness and worries, in order to gain encouragement, grace and love from our Father, the King of kings. Moreover, we still get to spend time with family and friends here, which is double the fun. And to triple the fun, there’s definitely food and music!

The term ‘worship’ comes from the words worth (self-explanatory) and ship (meaning quality). This means that when we worship God, we are saying He is worthy. We sing praises, speak of His majesty and pray to Him who is Holy because He is worthy. I assure you that this is not a boring activity. Actually, worshiping takes our minds off our own brokenness to a gracious Lord who catches us even if we fall. It continually molds us to be more and more like Him.

Although worship is a wonderful thing and God is pleased when we do this, it is not equal to having a personal relationship with Him. The personal relationship is available 24/7 (while worship celebration happens on Sundays only. But of course we can worship Him anytime of the week). You want to get to know my Father? Try reading the Book of Life. Today’s a good day to start.

Another opportunity to get to know Him is coming right up! Come watch FILIAL PIETY, a Chancel Repertory production this Friday (January 22, 2010), 7:30pm at Jubilee Evangelical Church. You and your family are invited. A usual theatrical play costs at least 300 pesos per person. But for you and your family, this is completely FREE. :)