Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Eve Worship Celebration 2012: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus ~ A Promise Kept

Jubilee Evangelical Church’s Christmas Eve Worship Celebration has always been a big—well-planned, and beautifully, yet tediously, executed—production.  Last year, we had production sets bringing us back to an old castle of long ago.  We featured the Christmas story through the life of John the Baptist. 

This year, it’s going to be different.  This year we’re going to make it simple.  We are going to show the Christmas story as blunt as it can get.  And this year, we won’t be focusing on the New Testament, the time when Jesus was born on earth.

This Christmas Eve, allow us to bring you to the past -- to the moment of creation, and show you glimpses of Christmas truth from there.  We will be sharing with you series of (surprising & intriguing) stories through the eyes of known, and not so well-known, characters in world history.  

Hear the voices of Eve echoing her pain of the great fall, and of Abraham & Sara sharing their laughter with us.  Hear from Leah, King David, and many other characters from the Old Testament. Each of them has a deep longing, just as you and I may possibly have.  Each of them longs for a promise to be fulfilled.  Each of them has a Christmas Story to tell.

Come join us as we celebrate Christmas in Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: A Promise Kept!

See you on December 24, 2012, 5:00PM.  Invite your family and friends.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Not-So-Secret Restaurant 1: Jjang Kkae Restaurant

I’m quite a fortunate girl.   You see, David enjoys going for an adventure too, and he likes taking me to these “not-so-secret” restaurants.  These are food places that are quite hidden, yet still popular enough to have frequent loyal clients. 

I love love love Korean food.  The mix of sweet and spicy dishes, crunchy and chewy textures, cold and warm appetizers, play in my mouth like fireworks.  So for our first not-so-secret restaurant, David asked the recommendation by no other than his Korean officemate.  Of course, we should eat where the real Koreans eat right?  His officemate told him about a hidden restaurant in Kalayaan Avenue.  This restaurant is popular for their black noodles.

It was one Sunday noon time, we were driving along Kalayaan ave. and we were looking at all the Korean restaurants nestled beside each other.  We drove back and forth.  He told me the name sounded like “Chang..” something. 

We drove to the other Korean restaurants and asked if they offer black noodles.  Fortunately, there was one restaurant that pointed us to Jjang Kae, one block away.  It's the one with yellow background.

To enter the restaurant, you have to walk through a hallway to the far end of the building. 

Jjang Kae is a casual food place, with wooden tables and chairs. On the tables are white ceramic plates with aluminum tea cup, silver spoon and black plastic chopsticks.  Cold water in plastic bottles are also placed conveniently on each table.

Like in any Korean restaurant, Jjang Kae serves appetizers for free before the orders are delivered.  We had slices of pickled yellow radish and raw onions.  This is the same radish that the Japanese place in their sushi.  When dipped in the black bean paste sauce, the radish tastes slightly salty, savory and refreshing at the same time. 

For our main meal, we ordered what David’s Korean officemate had suggested: Jjajang-Myeon.  Jjajang-Myeon is noodles topped with stir-fried black bean paste and vegetables.  They have other variations; Ganjjajang if you’d like to add some pork meat and Samsun-Jjajang for seafood.  

Upon serving our Jjajang-Myeon (Php 220) and Samsun-Jjajang (Php 250), the server cut the noodle strands using a pair of scissors.  She then mixed the black sauce with the noodles using chopsticks.

The noodles were oh so chewy!  I can still remember how soft, yet firm, each noodle strand was in my mouth.  The texture reminds me of Japanese noodles.   The taste is a bit sweeter than the bean paste used in the appetizer.  It has a sweet fragrant of garlic, onion and vegetables too.

David thought it somehow resembles the Chinese Ho-Fan (flat noodles), but a lot less salty and a whole lot less oily.  Yep, definitely better than Ho-Fan.  I get easily satiated with Ho-fan, perhaps because of the oil.  But for the Jjaujang-Myeon, I ate to my heart's desires..  or until my stomach was filled to the brim. 

The serving size for Php 220-250 worth of noodles was really big!  According to the server, usually each customer orders one bowl of noodles.  But we realized, it can be big enough for sharing too.  We also tried their gyoza (Php 200 for 8 pieces).  I found it very dry and flaky.

I will definitely come back to Jjang Kkae Restaurant if and when I have a sudden craving for Korean noodles, or noodles in general.  Gun Bae! :)

Jjang Kkae Restaurant
Kalayaan Avenue QC. (after City Hall)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

10 Things I Learned from Chinkee Tan in Developing the Millionaire's Mindset

It was an ordinary Friday morning.  The streets were packed with honking cars and people in business suits walked hurriedly to their offices.  I went my way to Greenhills Shopping Center.   (Not that I had planned to go shopping.) 

Developing the Millionaire’s Mindset seminar by Chinkee Tan was held at Victory Christian Fellowship, 4F Virra Mall, Greenhills.  I thought it was going to be another motivational talk, full of flowery quotes yet lacking in substance.   But what got me joining was my curiosity as to how a brother in Christ views money.  And, what mindset he is trying to teach anyway.   Is there such a thing as a millionaire’s mindset?  Is it healthy?  What mindset do I have?

So there I was, seated with about 70 other hopeful, curious souls, listening to this petite Chinese guy in glasses opening the seminar.  Chinkee Tan seemed to be a very big guy trapped in a smaller body.  Strings of words came out strong and powerful.  He got my full attention from 10 to 6pm.

Let me share with you the 10 things I learned from Chinkee Tan in Developing the Millionaire’s Mindset seminar.

     1.     You won’t be able to shoot if you have no goal.

Logical, isn’t it?  We can measure our productivity more effectively if we have a goal in mind.  

He asked one interesting question that I would like to ask you too.  “What do you want to do when you already have millions?”  What would you do if you were already earning a passive income of one million pesos per month.?

Your answer may be your vision or goal in life.

     2.     All of us have a potential to be a millionaire.

..Even if you’re faced with debts.  ..Even if you’re still sulking in poverty.   According to a study, Chinkee says, 90% of millionaires are first generation millionaires.  This means that most people who made it came from a very humbling background.

I like how he describes challenges, as “vitamins in life."   This echoes what James says (1:3), “testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

     3.     If you really want to learn, learn from the experts.

Many of us ask our family members or friends with new ideas and opportunity, but Chinkee suggests that we should ask the experts.  If you are into business, ask a business person.  If you’re into art, ask an artist. 

     4.      Money is only the result of a job well done.  The process is what you've got to learn.

“If your only goal is to make money, you won’t ever make money (unless your goal is to make counterfeit -ed).  You should focus on the process, the formula.”  -Chinkee Tan

     5.     You gotta dream.
You gotta dream big.  I call it the “God-sized” dream.   We are the ones stopping ourselves from dreaming.  One reason why we don’t dream is because we don’t like to take responsibility.  We allow other people to dictate what we should do.  Let’s start dreaming again, with a childlike faith.

     6.     You gotta protect your dream.

Protect your dream from people who tell you, you can’t do it.   Oftentimes, it comes from people who are quite down.  Misery loves company.  Don’t listen to people who haven’t succeeded.

     7.     Your mindset is your thought life.   Mindset is developed by what you see, hear or experienced.

The actions we see from our parents, the statements we hear from them, and our experiences, may get planted into our subconscious mind making it our money mindset.   Ask yourself, how do you feel about money, and when you talk about money?  Do you think it’s easy to earn money?  What happened in the past that brought you to view money in this  way?  Our money mindset determines our financial life.


     8.     It’s possible to change your mindset.  Deal it from the roots.

This is possibly the most helpful point in the whole session.  Chinkee shared that he had felt stressed talking about money.  It was only until years later, that he was able to uncover the reason behind it.  His parents had always fought when money was involved.

He had to deal it from the roots.

Chinkee's way of developing a millionaire's mindset with his family is that they do not use the terms, “expensive” or “mahal” in the house.  Chinkee Tan says if there’s such a thing as expensive, it shouldn’t be in the market.  These products are available because someone is willing to pay the price.  Chinkee taught his family that if they want something to be added in the family budget, they pray to God about it, and God who is rich will be the one providing, if it’s in His will.

Detach yourself from the past because you cannot change the past.  “Your past did not create who you are, your past made you believe that you’re like that today,” said Chinkee.    If there are some people who’ve stained your money mindset, confess it to God and forgive them.  Know that in Jesus, we are a new creation.  The old has gone, the new has come!

Do you know why Michael Jackson had to change his nose through multiple surgeries?  His dad had told him before that his nose was as big as a telephone.

9.     Develop the 7-minute reading habit.

Chinkee sited an example of the differences in classes, “If the poor read tabloids and the middle class read newspapers, the rich reads books.”  But of course, not all books can be beneficial.   One book that can surely bring success is breathed by God Himself.  “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” –James 1:8

     10. Discover the lid that traps you.

How much do you think you should earn each month?   Is it Php 10,000? Php 50,000? Php 100,000?  You may have a lid that limits you.  Chinkee told a story about an eagle that is adopted by a family of chicken.  The eagle talks like a chicken, walks like a chicken.  Are you an eagle living in a chicken community that’s keeping you from soaring?

Also, you may catch Chinkee Tan soon. Chinkee Tan will have a seminar titled The Power of Mindset on November 14, 2012, this time with the best-selling author Francis Kong.  I think the rate is Php 2,800.  But for early birds, it's going to be just Php 1,400.

But wait, there's more!  Avail now at any Cotton Depot branch and you can still slash it off by 10%!  


 When: November 14, 2012 (Wednesday) from 10am to 5pm

Where: Victory Christian Fellowship 
4th Level V-Mall Greenhills, San Juan
Speakers: Chinkee Tan and Francis Kong
Learning Investment:
               Gold 2800PhP
               Silver 2100PhP
               Bronze 1400PhP
For reservations:
Call Ivan 0917-3141231

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

From the Desert to the Valley: Even in the Season of Failure, Praise God!

Close Encounters…

If I would remember correctly, I've had some close encounters with failure.  My earliest would be getting, I think, a couple of red marks in nursery.  (I'm not sure though. I was just three then.)  My second was in grade 6.  I was really slow at typewriting.  My fingers would often slip through the keys of an ancient typewriter and I had to struggle to get each of them out.  I was "pasang-awa".  I was also terrible at Chemistry.  I didn't know what the subject was for, and so I would use the whole hour to draw, to fold papers, and to hope that I wouldn't be called for recitation.  But graciously, I passed.  

When I was in college, there was a time I was busy chitchatting with my seatmate that I had failed to hear what our professor was teaching for the following week's law exam.  Apart from these, I don't remember failing much anymore.  

In terms of love life, I had never tried.  Thanks to God and my parents for keeping me safe from this kind of failure.

Girl with a Big Mouth

I remember my prayer to God earlier this year.  I told God, “Lord, feel free to bring me through times of failures so that I may succeed.  I cannot never fail.  Through these failures, make me grow closer to You all the more.”  

Season of Failure

And I guess, prayer answered.

Recently, years after I graduated college, I feel like God is leading me through a season of failure. I could sing the phrase, "from the desert to the valley" straight from the heart.  The desert is the waiting stage, while the valley is the failure stage.  I was in waiting stage when I started the blog.

Let me share with you how I define the season of failure.  The failure is not the subject, or the person, but the moment of time when circumstances being faced by the person “lack success.”  You may have other terms.  It may be a “season of difficulty,” “a valley,” or “a trial.”

My season of failure is comprised of being turned down by companies that I’ve presented to, I’ve auditioned and applied for.  Take note of its plurality.  Week after week, I would receive, a “No.”  Most of the time, I did not know for what reasons.  I cannot put into words the gravity the “No’s” had on me.  Sadness is an understatement. 

Whispers of Encouragements

God has worked wonders in my life through this valley.  In the midst of the loud discouragements I can see and hear all day long about the pursuits, His whispers of encouragements calm me and make everything worthwhile.  

There was one day, I got to talk to some family members, friends of family members,  and my own friends who have told me to not register the business, to perfect the products first, to create different kinds of products, and basically to do something else.  I was actually thinking of cancelling all the meetings I had for the whole week and to reschedule them again when I feel more confident of this endeavor.  During my prayer time, through His still small voice, He reminded me of what I learned that Sunday, “Walk by faith in My word first.  Your emotions will follow.”

Three times in the past two weeks, God has allowed me to dream of Mori Notes.  In one dream, my friend was telling me to go pursue Mori Notes because it will help the housewives.   In my second and third dreams, I had so much orders that it was overwhelming.  

Just a few days ago, I was asking God, should I really really pursue it or not.  I felt an assurance in my heart, that wherever I go, He is also there with me (Psalm 139).

His whispers make me realize that I am still on the right track.  And as long as God is with me, I can walk through the deepest valley victoriously.

Whenever you receive a “No,” praise God!

Just this morning, I was asking God, why do I have to experience failures.  Why do I have to be turned down.  Here are some realizations:

  1. A “No” may be God’s way of nudging you using His rod and telling you, “Don’t go there.”  Like a clueless sheep, I want to try anything and everything that comes my way, and that interests me.  But not all are beneficial.
  2. Failure is very humbling and it can make you more dependent on God.  It makes you realize that you are no superwoman… you are actually a nobody.  When you get a “yes,” it’s not anymore dependent on your abilities, but God’s.
  3. It allows you to appreciate, enjoy, glorify and be grateful towards God more when you get an unexpected blessing or a “yes.”
  4. The bigger the failure, the more impossible the deliverance, the greater God’s glory is revealed.  Failure gives you a story to share that will bless others.
  5. Failure adds strength to your character, determination to your pursuit, color to your story, wisdom to your decision making, and endurance to your greater trials ahead.
  6. A failure is a test of faith in Christ.  Will your faith and vision of Him shake if you were shaken?  A suggestion from “A Woman of Influence” by Pam Farrel is to make an altar for God.  An altar is built to remind God's people, from generation to generation, God's great work.  Write a song or a poem.  Draw or paint.  Create crafts or sculptures.  Stone by stone, etch there truth about God’s character.  And whenever you get a “no,” look at your altar.  Praise God for God’s character never changes. 

Here’s a sample calligraphy altar I made of God:

 Even in the season of failure, praise God! :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

10 Things to Do While Cruisin' on Royal Carribean Voyager of the Sea

Whew! I just had one of the most amazing 4-day vacations ever with my family on the Royal Carribean cruise: Voyager of the Sea. We sailed on its maiden voyage in Asia (route: Singapore-Malaysia-Singapore), quite similar to Titanic’s maiden voyage 100 years ago. And so, on my way inside the boat, I had to check for the number of lifeboats, their strength and capacity. What a sigh of relief to see huge, well-covered life-boats. And in Asia, I don’t think we’d die of hypothermia. So on I went.

For those who haven’t been on a cruise ship, let me share with you a little bit of info to shape up your expectations.

Royal Carribean’s Voyager of the Sea is not much different from what you’ve seen in the movie Titanic. Inside are hallways leading to stateroom cabins, cabins with balconies and suites.

People can walk on pathways, like balconies at the port (left) and starboard (right) sides of the ship, to gaze in the deep waters and check if there is any iceberg right ahead.

They also have fine-dining halls, similar to the one where Rose and the other first-class passengers went to and the less intimidating dining hall (set-up usually on the top floor).

Now, passengers of various classes, races, gender and religion are all welcome to eat together in the different halls of this floating melting pot.

I love the interiors of the ship! The main hallway is located on the 5th floor. Walking there reminds me of a street in an old English town.

There are a lot of other awesome spots.  There is a golf course and a golf bar on board, a roller skating corner, and swimming pools that have seemed to come from Ancient Rome. Royal Carribean’s theatre is not too far from the actual broadway theatres too. There’s even a room called Cleopatra’s Needle, where we had an art auction and some games, that looks very much like an Egyptian home. The Voyager of the Sea is really one small world in itself.

Here are Top Ten things to do in Royal Carribean: Voyager of the Sea:

10. Visit the Library
I was happy that my room was on the 8th floor where the nearest landmark is the library. Some people come to use the internet, but internet in the ship is VERY expensive. The books are not that plenty, but they have some nice books. If you’re into stories there are Joyce Carol Oates, J. Evanovich, Daniel Steele and Neil Gaiman books. There is a few business books. Surprisingly, there are also some Archie comic books.

The ship’s library is situated on two floors (7th & 8th)! It has comfy sofas scattered all around and coffee tables too. I love sitting here and facing this view of the ship.

9. Enjoy the live performances in La Scala Theatre.  (Now Showing: Music in Pictures)

This live musical is a run-through of songs from some of the most popular movies as early as in the 1940’s to as recent as, umm… Madagascar. Distinct stage set-up has been made for each movie which really does add quality to the whole cruising experience. Watching a good evening’s performance while seated on the cushioned purple La Scala Theatre is certainly very worthwhile.

Opening Number: Le Jazz Hot

Solo Performance: I Don't Want to Miss a Thing

 Closing Number: Jai Ho

8. Wear formal attire on Captain’s Night.

Be sure to bring a formal wear for the Captain’s Night. There will be photo stations set-up at various points of the ship. The food will be really exquisite too.

7. Drop by their spa and health seminars.

Try out the Voyager of the Sea’s big round warm bubbling Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms, extensive gym facilities all for FREE!

And, make sure to watch out for their seminars and classes. I attended their “How to Flatten Your Stomach” seminar, and it’s really, really, REALLY worth it. I even saw the guy coach from Pinoy’s Biggest Loser listening to the British speaker as well. The gist of the lesson: Our body is made for natural things (i.e. water, plants and animals), but what we place in and on our bodies are unnatural things that add acidity to our body and soon would be turned into toxins. Because of these, our memory is deteriorating, our brain processes slower, our energy is lower, our toilet habit is less and we gain weight. The number one item that makes us acidic according to the speaker is, guess what, STRESS.

6. Watch their special ice-skating performance titled "Ice Odyssey."

I absolutely love the magical, mystical, colourful and glittering Ice Odyssey show! The show features ten of the world’s greatest ice skaters gliding, tumbling, and spinning their way through one musical hour. There’s a jester who happily surprises the audiences with his sudden jumps. There’s the lovers who glides so passionately together. There’s also the jester and the enthralling queen. The seats are limited, so be sure to check which of the four shows cater to your side of the ship.


5. Watch a 3D Movie!

Guess what?! This ship even has a 3D movie theatre. My aunt and cousins got to watch Kung Fu Panda 2 and had a good laugh the whole night.

4. Rock Climbing

Located on the top floor, at the edge of the ship, you can climb up this manmade mountain built on top of the ship! Test your strength and ring the bell at the peak of the Voyager of the Sea mountain. For one who had never tried rock-climbing, I thought it was the perfect place to do it. The crew was there to willingly and happily assist me. It’s easier than it looks. I thought I could only reach like only one rock above my head, but woohoo, I got to reach up until the middle portion. Wear shorts or pants and socks. This is FREE.

3. Ice Skating

Who would have thought that this 138,000 ton ship has an actual ice-skating rink inside? Although it’s only a quarter of the normal size, it’s a great arena for inexperienced guests. (There’d be less chances that someone you know would see you fall.) I suggest you drop by the rink on deck 3 on the first day. You might not have a chance on the following days as it would be used for the “Ice Odyssey” shows. Wear pants. Don’t forget to bring your socks! This is FREE too!

2. 24-Hour Food!


You will never go hungry inside the Voyager of the Seas. (I think I’m sounding like an online promoter, but I really am not. I’m just a happy costumer.) You can have all the pizzas, cookies, juices, sandwiches you want in the snack bar on deck 5. Of course, this is apart from the eat-all-you-can breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner buffets on other levels. I love their sugar-free peanut butter cookie.

1. If you're as much of a Titanic fan as me, then by all means, try the "I’m Flying, Jack!" experience.

Last but not least, my ultimate “Titanic” experience was at the bow of the ship. My uncle knew how much I loved Titanic and so, he told me to close my eyes as he led me to the bow. As I closed my eyes and walked forward, the winds started to grow stronger. And when I opened them, viola, I indeed felt like I was flying! There was nothing below me except water. No other ship, I think, allows its passengers to go as far front as the Voyager of the Sea.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Script Writing Class: Character Beat

And so today I attended this Script Writing Class in Quantum Cafe Makati.  It is quite interesting and very much distressing to attend a class and be given assignments that I really enjoy doing.  Script writing is super different from what I'm used to.  I'm not sure if you've tried script writing ever before.  It's like creating your own dream story and painting it on paper through your colorful characters, dialogue and gestures.

Well, the first part of the script writing process is to think of a story that moves you.. a story that won't bore you to death.  Create characters that you may as well like because they will have to become your bestfriends throughout the whole script writing process.  We were tasked to create a character beat -- basically information about and motivation of the character.  I had a couple of options for my character, and I ended up with this:

Karen is a 25-year old girl who has the perfect life ahead.  She has a beautiful home in an upscale town house.  She is well provided by her businessman father and is well protected by her perfectionist mother.  She has graduated with honors and is now working in the biggest multinational company in the country.
She tells her mom that she’s going to take a year off to soul search.  It’s the perfect time, at 25 -- the quarter life crisis age.  She envies women who’ve “found themselves.”  They seem to be very happy and very much content.  It’s like everything just fits.  They excel in whatever they do, and more importantly, they get paid for it. She believes with her whole heart that she too is alive for a purpose.  
Karen loves learning about people and culture.  Her family has ignited and cultivated this passion of hers ever since she was young.  They’d travel to different places every year.  She’s particularly interested with China.  Not only is it the country of her forefathers, but it’s also the home of numerous success stories and astonishing discoveries of admirable people.  So she goes to the family ancestral home in China.  She discovers accidentally the diary of her great, great, great grandmother who had become the “dragon’s wings” in Xiamen.   

I'm still thinking of a conflict though. As for the script, 10 pages down, many more to go.  Let me know what you think.  :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

10 Lessons When Starting a Business

Starting a business can be one of the most stressful, yet rewarding, things to do.  Many people have dreamed of putting up their own businesses, yet only a few have survived through this pocket-emptying, worry-filled journey of business venturing.  I don't know if I will survive with Mori Notes, but oh well, I'm writing this as a (hopefully) helpful piece to you, and a constant reminder for me.  

Here are 10 lessons I've learned when starting a business.  :)

1.  To worry about the future may seem normal, but it really isn't.  Underneath it lies a sinful desire that must be uncovered.  

Many books ask what do you worry about?  One major worry in starting a business is sustenance, or in simple terms, money. In a book (“What the Heck am I Going to do with my Life?”) I was reading, it took a step further and asked, “Why do you worry about money? What do you really want from money?”

Is it security? Self-worth? Self-confidence? Significance? Power? Freedom? Importance? Love? Acceptance? Acclaim? Friends? Approval? Protection? Well-being?

Beneath the innocent worries of the future is a big possibility of having an unhealthy relationship with money, making money the source of security, therefore making money more powerful than God.  I realized my reason beneath all the worries was really my lack of CONTROL.  I wanted to earn money so that I could have the liberty to control my direction in life (where I want to live, work or study) or in business (should I diversify or do forward integration, etc).  I then repented, realizing that I wanted to create a route for my own future.  And guess what, from then on my worries lessened significantly.

2.  Be patient.  Rarely does success come overnight, in a month, or in a year.

Thanks to a very honest and caring sister-in-Christ, I was reminded to be patient.  The big plans made in a week cannot be accomplished in the next week.  I cannot attain in weeks or months what others have worked for in years.  Perhaps, it would be better for me to divide the workload into chunks and celebrate after each swallowed chunk.   Perhaps, I should remember it's also my character, more than the business, being worked out here.  Perhaps, it really is not about my timing, and the world’s pacing, but God’s pleasant and perfect timing.

So, it's okay to take your time.  Wake up each morning and ask God to "paint colors to my day today."

3.     When experiencing anxiety attacks, look back.

What kept me from moving forward was the thought,  “What if nobody would buy???”  A cousin of mine told me to look back on what has already been overcome and accomplished.  “Oh! The remembering back method!”  Here goes.. God provided me a product idea that has ignited interest in a niche market...   God has provided me with workers.  God has provided me with great suppliers…  So, if God has provided all these, what’s making me doubt that God couldn’t provide in the future?

If you also get attacks like these (filling you with all sorts of fears and worries), follow the Psalmist in chapter 77 who was groaning in distress, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

4.     Sounds cliché, but it is indeed about the journey and not the destination.

The world may want us to aspire to be a millionaire before the age 30, or have a business up and running by the age of 25, but that is not what God wants us to aspire first and foremost in life.  God’s will is to save us, sanctify us, and enable us to pursue Christ-likeness.

A journey is composed of sub pockets of adventures, trials and challenges; and in each of these mini-journeys is an opportunity to showcase Christ-likeness.  To deny oneself and be like Christ is to be at the center of God’s will, and this is the goal we need to pursue every second of life.  Pursue humility more than higher positions.  Pursue character more than cash.  Although our work and efforts may lead to success, many times catching a good business opportunity,  and joining an effective work team comes in an “as it turns out” moment.

5.     Don’t discount the “as it turned out” moments.

Reality is God works.  Sometimes it can be as upfront as the parting of the red sea or Jesus’ ascension.  Other times, it can be as subtle as an “as it turned out” moment.

“As it turned out, Ruth found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech” (Ruth 2:3).  As it turned out.. like a divine appointment.. a God-ordained set-up.  It all started with Ruth going out to the fields to pick up some leftover grains. God had used this ordinary day for Boaz to see her, to take a second look at her, to give her favor, to become her husband, and to ultimately become a forefather of Jesus Christ.

One time, I woke up extra early to attend a conference with my mom.  I prayed, "please paint colors to my day today."    It seemed like an ordinary day, but "as it turned out" God made me meet a woman who then introduced me to willing partners (i.e. housewives) for Mori Notes.

6.  As a daughter (or son) of Abraham, there will be more people who will bless you than curse you.   This is a promise.

Being the descendant of Abraham through the faith-in-Jesus-Christ line, we can also claim the promise God has given to Abraham and His bloodline.  One of the promises is God will bless those who bless us and curse him who curses us so that we can become a blessing.

Based on the NIV Study Bible, the plurality in “those” signifies that there will be more people blessing us than cursing us in our journey.  Looking back, I can only say “amen” to that!

7.     There’s no need to give God time, since God owns time.  

In a recent Bible Study I attended, this very good point was raised up.  The pastor said, many of us set a time once or twice a day to spend it with God and we leave the remaining all to ourselves.  It is only when we see that time belongs to Him, and all of our life belongs to Him, can our work give glory to Him. 

8.     By all means, take the risk.

If God has called you to a social enterprise, to reach out to the marginalized, by all means take the risk.  Risk is a healthy part of life.  Risk enables us to trust Someone greater than ourselves. A life without risk would be a life without God.  If we can do everything and be sure of its outcome, there’s no need for God.  We’d be complete robots.

I’m a very risk-averse person.  I delay as much as possible before I make decisions. I want all my options open, since deciding would mean risking a better choice and foregoing other options.  I hadn't fully committed to this Mori Notes idea, until I felt God (and even the books I'm reading) was telling me to make decisions by faith now.  I checked my motives.  I sought counsel.  I prayed, "whether win or lose, may this business glorify You and make me closer to You."  I realized, plunging into this business will increase my faith.  This is a better decision. 

The final draw was when I realized, Jesus made the greatest risk of all.  He risked His life just to save a poor, unworthy, not-always-faithful girl like me.  Shouldn’t I take the risk for Him and the society as well?

9.     Focus on your strengths, gifts and talents.  It’s okay to look for people whose strengths can complement yours.

God has given us certain gifts to build up the body of Christ.  Whether we are placed in business or in a corporation, in school or at home, we are to use these gifts to build up the universal church (not to be used solely inside a church building).  And since we are given different gifts, we need to work together with people with complementing gifts so that our work will be done more efficiently.

As the African proverb goes, “If you want to go quickly, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”  Pray for the right people to join the team.  That's what I've been doing for the past months.  Indeed, God has blessed me with partners holding the same values and burdens.

10. Thank God always.

In starting a business, it’s almost always that we focus on and worry about the upcoming events.  There were a lot of nagging questions tiring me out each day: How can I meet and train housewives to help out?  Where can I find them? Can I trust them? When God was able to provide me with people, questions turned to: Will I be able to sustain these people? Will there be people who will buy the pursebooks?

Looking back, I realized I've wasted countless energies in worrying.  Worry can be never-ending.  The good news is, once you pop it, there’s still a way to stop it.  “By prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” and you will be filled with peace (Philippians 4:6).  The phrase “with thanksgiving” is very powerful as it allows us to praise Him and, consequently, shift our thoughts from our worries and problems to God’s greatness and power.  To have a heart of thanksgiving, “Remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability [gifts, skills, people, resources] to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today” (Deuteronomy 8:18).

MORI NOTES!/moritweets