Saturday, February 27, 2010

Doble Kara

Today in the cell group, our speaker shared with us the last chapter of Tozer's The Pursuit of God. It talks about the "Sacrament of Living" ~ the outward expression of the inward grace. Tozer pointed out that many people live a dual character life: a. a Sunday Christian, b. a Monday to Saturday hedonist. They remember that there’s such a thing called Bible and to put on their righteous hat only on Sundays. For the rest of the days, it’s about business, achievements, eating and partying.

It’s quite impossible to live and enjoy both lives. Look at it as a mathematical equation, neither is A = to B (which means you’re either one or the other), nor do both A + B sum up to a peaceful life. You see there’s an identity crisis going on there. People want to believe in God, yet they crave for the desires of the world. And God says, it’s either you love Me or the world. The book states that as believers of Christ, we can find our identity as sons and daughters of God.

This is our identity.

We are here to worship our God and glorify Him forever.

Everyday is a worship day. Every place (He is omnipresent) is a worship place. We need not limit the holy days to Sundays and the holy places to churches.

Are you living a holy life in school?

Are you a good testimony at work or in your business?

Do you have a loving relationship with you family?

Do you show your love to your parents?

For the six out of seven days when you are away from your Christian bros and sis, are you glorifying God?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Is life that complicated?

Last night, I was really surprised to find myself excited over my plans for today. The highlight: BAKING. I baked some carrot cupcakes, banana breads and revel bars. Three of my favorite dessert snacks! They’re not for me to eat though. They’re orders of friends and relatives in town.

Another interesting thing that happened today is I got to watch IT’S COMPLICATED with my mom. It stars Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. I did not like the story line very much, since its ‘complicated’-ness is not something many people in this country can relate to and the cinematography is very simple (does not have much of a wow effect compared to its contemporary Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief or Avatar). The story is about two people who were once married, and now divorced, start to like each other again. To add to the complication, Alec Baldwin (the ex-husband) is currently tied to a second wife; and Meryl Streep (the ex-wife) is just about ready to move on, after 10 years of being divorced to Baldwin.

I’m not sure if this is weird. When I was watching, I was more enticed with the details of the set-up, the location and whatever Meryl Streep was doing with her hands rather than the main theme of the story itself.

I so love how she spends her time (I think we have the same hobbies, except for the ‘affair’ :p). She's into baking, cooking, gardening! I want to learn how she makes her lavender flavored ice cream and the double layered chocolate cake (which she said was the best cake she has ever baked so far. :P). I saw how she manages her bakery that is fully decorated with flowers and fruit baskets, very homey for friendly chitchats and catching up. I hope to have her multilayer oven which she uses to bake her chocolate croissant. I appreciate her style.. very similar to Martha Stewart. Her kitchen at home has a large window by the sink overlooking the garden which is really fresh and sunny, a lovely view for the family’s favorite place at home. It was interesting to see her make noodles, roasted turkeys, pies for her children and friends at this place.

With all that she does, she has turned her house to a home for family and guests alike.

Minus those complications caused by (wrong) decisions, like divorce, life can be pretty simple, peaceful and joyful. :)

~ o ~

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Time & Silence

In times of distress, sometimes these can be your best friends.


Usually we either want to fast forward, rewind or pause time. Waiting can be difficult. At the moment, I really want to fast forward time just like this guy. I know, it's cliche.

God reminds me that He holds the time. He knows when to reveal His blueprint, His next leading, wisdom and insights. He knows when relationships will be built, will deepen. He holds the hearts of the people, remember Pharaoh during Moses' time? He knows when to soften or harden the hearts. Time is in His hands.

and Silence.

I do not like silence much. Silence for me can be boring. Which is why, I like to get into action as soon as possible. But most often than not, it is through silence that we hear God speaking to us. He has been speaking for so long. Only when we are away from distractions, in silence, we can hear God more clearly. Try it.


"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

~ Romans 8:28

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Lifesong

I’m not sure if I’m the only weirdo who has a “Song of the Year”. I do not pick it just because it’s my favorite song, nor is it because it’s new and popular. My Song of the Year summarizes my words, emotions, sentiments for that particular year. It’s a song that reverberates in the background as I walk through the journey with my Father.

2003 Who Am I by Casting Crowns

Who am I? I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow. A wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind. Still You hear me when I’m calling, Lord You catch me when I’m falling. And You told me who I am, I am Yours.


Before 2003, I had been struggling with some life issues. One of which was my feelings of worth. You see, I am the youngest in the family. I’d always felt that my parents made ALL the decisions in my life. I felt they tried protecting me by controlling me. This hindered me from voicing out my opinions, emotions, etc at home and in school. Not telling them anything was one thing I could control. I thought it was a sign of independence. Nobody knew I felt useless, hopeless, depressed and frustrated.

To add to that, compared to my other cousins, I considered myself less gifted / talented. My cousins from my mother's side are very much gifted artistically, while those from my father's side are gifted in terms of music. They've joined several contests, won numerous awards, and were even granted scholarships abroad. Although I liked music and arts, I felt the little me did not belong anywhere. My weaknesses outnumbered my strengths. And those little strengths I have were overpowered by the strengths of others.

For years I was an empty Christian masked with a smile. Of course there were some instances I’d be really happy. Like when I get attention from the opposite sex, traveling, getting what I want (recognition, material possession), these made me happy. But knowing these were temporary made me even sadder. So I ask myself, Who am I really? Is my identity or my worth based on boys? On achievements?

When I heard this song, God was already showing me that I am His daughter, His precious little princess whom He saved through the blood of Jesus Christ. Even if I get good grades or get more praise, I am worthless, apart from Him.

2004 Hallelujah to the Lamb by Don Moen

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah to the Lamb! Hallelujah, hallelujah, by the blood of Christ we stand. Every tongue, every tribe, every people, every land giving glory, giving honor, giving praise to the lamb of God.


Before I heard this song, I had a dream. I dreamt that my cousin was pulling me to go to church. When I woke up, I realized that my dream was very real. I had no passion to go to church nor to read His word. I prayed for the eagerness to go to church and to joyfully swallow His word. He answered my prayers. This was the first very first song I heard when I was all excited to attend a Sunrise service at Jubilee Evangelical Church.

2005 Everything to Me by Avalon

You’re everything to me. You’re more than a story, more than words on a page of history. You’re the air that I breathe, the water I thirst for. You’re the ground beneath my feet. You’re everything to me.


It was during my college days, that I was surrounded with friends who had the desire to get to know Jesus. We would usually share the (deep) updates of our lives, support and witness each other grow. We would literally pull each other up. This song was introduced to me by a friend and it became a staple song in the mp3 players of my friends. I realized this year that fellowship is very important to the growth of an individual in all aspects of life. You would not only have bestfriends, but also sisters/brothers in life.

2006 Held by Natalie Grant

This is what it means to be held, how it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life ... We'd be held.


My parents were Buddhists. They were very much against me devoting my time to the Lord. They nitpicked my imperfections even to the point of telling me I was a “black sheep” of the family. God held me, and I found comfort in Him. Having fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ gave me encouragement. It is during times of trials and persecution that our faith is tested, will we conform to the world? Or soar with God?

2007 Everything in its Time by Corrine Mae

Sometimes I wonder what lies ahead, how long till my hunger is fed. They say it's hard to make it in this part of town so many people on this merry-go-round. Some folks try astrology, some turn to crystal balls to find an answer, to get through it all. I just fall on my knees and I try to pray in the silence I can hear Him say.. The river runs and the river hides out to the ocean and under the sky. I promise you, the answer will come hold on to patience and watch for the sign everything in its time

~ o ~

Many people upon graduating college, do not know where they are headed to. During this time, God taught me about the issues of money and greed, and of faith and uncertainty. When I lifted my studies for Him to lead, He led it very well, such that I was able to graduate with honors. I realized this time, He also wanted me to lift up my future to Him. I cannot hold on to both money and Him. Either I sulk in greed or walk in faith. This song played in the background as I gave Him the key to my future.

~ o ~

People Need the Lord by Steve Green

At the end of broken dreams, He’s the open door.. People need the Lord, when will we realize, that people need the Lord.

~ o ~

I was an NBSB (No Boyfriend Since Friend). Unconsciously, I was locked in a cycle of liking someone, hoping, and getting hurt. I remember it was in a joint cell group when God made me realize about this cycle, that I had been allowing men to fill up a hole in my heart and make me happy. I would put my focus on them. If a guy leaves, it’d hurt until another guy comes along. I prayed for God to take me out of the cycle. I asked God to fill in all the holes and cracks in my heart so that He can make me complete. He was once again gracious to hear my prayers.

2008 Completely by Anna Laura

The secret of life is letting go. The secret of love is letting it show in all that I do, in all that I say.. The power of prayer is in a humble cry, the power of change is in giving my life.. Take my heart, take my soul. I give everything to Your control, let all that is within me, lift up to You and say, I am Yours and Yours alone, completely.

~ o ~

Some of the biggest trials in my life happened in 2008. I got sick. I got operated. Some pathologists said I might have cancer. What’s wonderful was that so many people came and prayed for me. (Thank God for the church!) It was miraculous that God gave me peace. I was even singing songs the night before the operation.

During this time I learned to lift up my life, my body for God.

2009 While I’m Waiting by John Waller

I’m waiting, I’m waiting on you Lord. And I am hopeful, I’m waiting on You lord. But when it’s painful, patiently I will wait. I will move ahead bold and confident, taking every step in obedience. While I’m waiting, I will serve You. While I’m waiting, I will worship. While I’m waiting, I will not fade. I’ll be running the race even while I wait.

~ o ~

When God said wait, He did not mean I had to sit pretty all day long. I took the time to serve God, my family and God’s people.

2010 To be Announced.

It's not the end of my journey yet. I’m still a work in progress. This year, God is giving me the opportunity to lead some of my sisters in Christ. As for my family, we are more okay now. God is continually molding them, softening their hearts, blessing them with Christian friends. I was surprised that my dad appreciated the movie “Fireproof” and he even encouraged my cousins to join a cell group.

By His grace, I hope I can become a princess that shines for Jesus and inspires others to do the same.

To God be all the glory!

Monday, February 22, 2010

RENT the Musical - 2.21.10

An evening date with the Friday Crew.

One of my most favorite musicals ever is RENT. I love the songs. You may catch me singing “Christmas bells are ringing..” on summer time, acting out Mimi’s lines “my heart may freeze, or it can burn, the pain will ease if I can learn.. there is no future, there is no past..” or humming the popular melody of Seasons of Love. When I heard that Rent is playing in the Philippines, it gave me another adventure to pursue and a reason to get excited.

The story depicts several social issues including poverty, homosexuality and AIDS. Rent opens the eyes of viewers to what is hidden and yet prevalent in the society, through the means of a musical. I think this is the main objective of Jonathan Larson, the composer and writer of this musical. He had a passion for social injustice I think, since his other works also had this theme. The actors played their characters very well, two thumbs up. They colored the songs I’ve been listening to beautifully. Now I know who sings which part, and how the songs fit in the whole play.

One thing I didn’t like about the musical though was that that there were too much explicit, suggestive and metaphorical scenes (that could actually be rated R18 by the MTRCB). I think this is also the comment of several other spectators. Many people were taken aback. I believe if the musical was made more wholesome, the whole concept of promoting social injustice would have been better implemented.

During the show, I was really tempted to cover the eyes of our youngest member. I guess one learning I got from this adventure is to really screen out the activities for our fellowship, to make all the time together purposeful. Nevertheless, I still thank God for a wonderful time I had with my brother and two younger sisters before the show and with the rest soon afterward.

"525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.. la..lalala.." Okay, gotta stop singing and get back to work.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentines isn't so cheesy after all

~ Feb 12, 2010 ~

An early celebration of the upcoming cheesy day.
That afternoon, as I was playing with the cute little girls living right beside our house, someone in formal attire came out of his car, headed towards me and gave me a big bunch or red roses and chocolates. I know, cheesy right? I got a little bit embarrassed so I quickly went back home. Nevertheless, I appreciated this guy’s gesture. Sweet or cheesy, I don’t know, sometimes it all depends on my mood. For that afternoon, it was a little of both.

The flowers were bought from the same flower shop as he did in the past Valentines Days, and according to him there’s a story of a guy who bought the same flowers for his wife every Valentines Day, even after he died. The chocolates were from Heavenly Chocolates, a store along Tomas Morato that offers pure Japanese chocolates. He explained “The first taste is not as sweet, a little bit bitter, but becomes smooth and sweet after. It’s not the typical sweet chocolate you buy outside. I gave it to you because our relationship has not always been sweet, has not been perfect at the beginning. But I hope that like the chocolates, we grow to love the relationship even more. We would be able to say at the end of the day that it was God who wrote our love story in spite of the imperfections.” Aww… :)
Secrets of the Heart
In the evening, we had our weekly fellowship with the Friday Crew. We talked about the most popular topic of the era ~ Love and Relationships. Our speaker (the same guy above) shared with us that our view of love may have been shaped and reshaped since childhood. Because of the Disney movies, we’ve always envisioned that once we find our prince charming or princess in life, we’d live happily ever after. Then as we grow up, new ideas, new beliefs reshape our view… from prince charming, we divert to finding our “God’s Best.”

Some people is out on a quest of finding their God’s Best, and this has become the meaning of their lives. After graduating college, it’s time to meet the ‘right person’, get married, have babies, etc, etc, etc. They see that by having their God’s Best, their lives would be complete. And many times when they have found their supposedly “God’s Best”, they end up frustrated, angry or hurt. This is because their God’s Best cannot fill-in the position perfectly. They cannot meet the needs of the people on a look-out. Well I think even the “God’s Best” is out looking for his/her God’s Best as well. Both want to have their needs and longings met by a God’s Best, which at the end may turn out to be an idol. (An idol in common terms is an image like money, a person, an ambition or fame that distracts us from God.)

Our speaker then reminded us that God has given us our “God’s Best” already. We can see kindness, gentleness, joy, mercy, hope, anything we’ve ever been looking for.. in him. He has given his life for us. He is Jesus Christ. No man on this earth can fit in the “God’s Best” position better than him.

May we get to know him deeper and fall in love with him more and more each day.

Cheers from the Friday Crew!

~ Feb 14, 2010 ~

A day out with family.

Spent some quality time with my family and thrilled ourselves by going to the Tree Top Adventure Park.

I had no guts to fall off from a tall tree face down which is their most sought after ride, the Tree Drop Adventure. So we ended up riding the canopy ride, a 45-min ride gliding from tree to tree. 10 trees all in all. Three of us were seated on this row of swings (similar to Flying Fiesta). At first it was quite exciting to see the view of so many trees (I love nature!), but it got a little bit dragging. Imagine having to be on a swing for 45 minutes. Thank goodness for those Tree Top employees, they made our stay fun with their jokes and scary antics.

When we go to Subic, my mom would usually drop by Royal Duty Free. I on the other hand would go to the store right across the street. Take a wild guess of the name. Nope, it’s not Puregold duty free. Not the Nike outlet either. It’s National Bookstore! Weee… I bought new books! One is entitled MICROTRENDS.

It shows small niches that are starting to grow and they may affect the future market trend of the American community and the world. There I learned the real meaning of cougars.

The second book I bought was all about FROZEN DESSERTS. It shows step by step illustration of how to make ice cream, sorbetes, gelato, granite and composed frozen desserts. It also has key techniques, definitions and pastry tips in every page.

Then, I saw a book written by Martha Stewart entitled “The Martha Rules”. I bought one previously from a different bookstore for Php 120.00. I checked the price at Natio, it was a blazing, rocketing Php 1,050. So I mumbled to myself, wow, good buy! Then when I moved to the table right beside it, I saw the same book selling for only Php 99.00. Funny.