Thursday, May 30, 2013

Five Things I Learned at the Airport

Life is like an airport, it is a series of arrivals and departures. People come into your way at certain period of your life for a reason. Others pay a short stop while some visits for a while but one thing is for sure no one stays forever for we are all but pilgrims in this terminal called earth. Your life in this world was not meant to be your destination, someday we will all go Home at our own phase of ETD's from this planet to ETA's for eternity.

In the meantime, let's marvel on this journey and enjoy the ride. Make friends with time, it was not suppose to limit you. Do not find time for your loved ones, make time for them while they are still yours. So that when the moment comes that you need to say goodbye to them, awful Perhaps will not haunt you. Go. Love. Today. Now.


Family send off @NAIA Terminal 3 after my 2nd visit to Manila

Travel light. Get rid of the unnecessary baggage - resentment, insecurities, unforgiveness and the likes that steals away the peace and joy in your heart. Pack only the basic things you need in life. Over-baggage can be costly.

More than your destination, enjoy your flight. Often times it is during the journey that you get to learn more than being at the actual goal.

Observe. There are so many things you learn by observation. Watch how family stick together, how friends nourish their relationship, how parents raise their kids, how to do good in your studies, how to reach the corporate ladder, how to live simple and content, how to be grateful. Although experience is a good teacher, yeah no dispute! A wise person can learn from the experiences of others, so you wouldn't need to endure the consequences of that future-bad-decision because others already did. Isn't it comforting to know that you can learn from mistakes of other people? Prevention is a better option than cure.

Delayed flights are inevitable, divert your attention to something valuable at the moment. Read a book. Make friends. Take a power nap. Do not waste your time grumbling to something you do not have control of as if whining will resolve the issue. Be grateful. Delays are not always meant to halt you but sometimes they deliver you from a future mischief.

Have a safe and meaningful trip!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Unstoppable Faith

If I am to describe Nick Vujicic in one sentence, that would be "Small man with a big heart for God." But what he had been through and what God has done and continually doing in him is beyond description. An indisputable living miracle.

I would always envy people who have watched him speak live before their very eyes, just as how I admire Nick's attitude towards life. Coming from a life without limbs to a life without limits.

Picture courtesy of myhero.com
Growing up with a supportive family who always brought him to church still gave him doubts about the love of God, his question was:
"God if you love me like you love them, why did you give me less."
Which is a valid question of an eight year-old child who finds himself less than what a normal kid have. I can't imagine how tough his developing years had been, with all the bullying, bad names and insecurities thrown in his face.

By the grace of God and the assuring love of his family, Nick chose to believe the truth that God is not the person who gives us pain, sickness and death, it's the enemy. God never wanted us dead, He desire for us to be with Him forever. Devil will try to deceive us with his schemes of pain, disappointments and unanswered prayers in the here and now. The enemy fills us with thoughts that God doesn't hear our prayers, that we are not good enough, that God is not real, that we're gonna be alone. Total lies from the King of Lies himself.

But our God offers hope in the there and then. You may not understand the now of why its happening to you, but God is all-knowing for He has a perfect plan for your future. That's the truth. Seek the truth, read the Word of God. Know your Bible, it's the source of God's hope, truth and promises.
Can God do all things? Yes. Does He need my righteousness to perform miracles? No. 
No one will live forever... We will all take our last breath 'cause we weren't destined to stay here. We were destined to go home.
If there is no heaven, what a depressing life this life really is. What a meaningless life this is on earth if we just live to die... But if there is heaven and a promise...  that to me feels like there is something out there that I know I've been created to live in.
But if you believe that Jesus is Lord and heaven is real, I can't wait to go home.
God loves you! Period. There isn't a day that comes that He's gonna love you more.
Can I smile? Yes. But does that mean that I don’t cry? No.  
Your son doesn't need an excellent college. Your son needs an excellent father and you will not become an excellent father until you know the best Father in the world. 
Go out and serve. Go out and love someone. Bring someone to Christ. Step out in faith.
If He doesn't give me arms and legs He's got something better.
If you're not happy in Jesus single, you're not gonna be happy in Jesus married.
When you don't get a miracle, you can still be a miracle for someone else. 
Be generous today. Be full of faith today.
We don't serve to receive. We don't give to receive. We give because of the love of God. 
The greatest miracle of all is knowing Him, more than arms and legs. 
God bless you Nick for blessing the Philippines not only with your story but His story through you and in you. May you reach more thousands of people around the globe, infecting them with your overflowing gratitude, positive attitude, joy and unstoppable faith through Christ Jesus.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Dear Mhalyn

I believe in divine appointment.

I believe that God causes people's path to cross. So we can meet new people of different shapes, color, personality and interests. Spend time together and nurture the relationship that will change us, then looking back we can say that we were never the same. Only because that person who was once a stranger to us, encouraged us, loved us, believed in us and find time to be with us.

Dear Mhalyn,

I'll be forever grateful that God led my way to yours ten years ago. I will never forget that faithful day when I met you and Kat at the children's ministry as a Sunday school teacher, during the time when I've been praying to God that I could meet ladies whom I can be friends with. But knowing God's favor, He gave me more than what I ask for. You're more than a friend to me. My sister from another mother and father :) Most importantly my sister in Christ.

Your tender heart for your family, taught me to extend the grace I thought I never had.
Your overflowing patience for other people, reminded me to always remain grounded with the right perspective at hand.
Your loyalty at work, encouraged me to be thankful in small and big blessings that I get.
Your kind spirit will always be a delight.

Thank you for being handy. For listening to my sporadic grumbles and frustrations. For taking time to pray with me. For all the planned and spontaneous travel adventures we've been through. For the food cravings and voracious lunch, dinners we've shared. We may not see each other that often now, but I know in my heart that our friendship can bridge a thousand miles. That we are not confined by the frequency of physical togetherness.

Now that you're finally tying the knot, I knew that you are not taken away from your friends and family but God is highlighting His story through your life so you could all the more inspire others and vouch for God's faithfulness. Your story is a declaration of how our heavenly Father delights to grant the desires of His children's heart as long as we continue to put our trust in Him.



Congratulations Mhalyn! Your wedding will be one special day, but your marriage is worth a lifetime. I'm in one with you as we ask God to bind your relationship with genuine love, pure joy and respect for one another. As God lead you both in His perfect will and plan as husband and wife.

Cheers!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Five Ways to Hide an Elephant

Truth is an essential state of vitality that each human being is in search for. Knowing and believing in those truth serves as the foundation of how you live, what you hope for and the direction you intend to follow.

In your quest of finding the truth in life, you will encounter different concepts and theories by known philosophers, teachers and leaders. Each of them may sound appealing, but not all will be beneficial.

I found the following account interesting as Professor Peter Kreeft of Boston College creatively describes in his book Three Philosophies of Life how truth can be concealed in this modern world:
  1. Distraction - Elephants can be hidden if there are mice present. Especially if there are a lot of mice around. The little things distracts us from the elephant
  2. Propaganda - Give the elephant bad press. You criticize it, bad mouth it, give it a bad name, so that when somebody mentions the elephant, people respond, "Yucks, don't like elephants!" The truth is obscured by the propaganda of the press.
  3. Indifference - If society can be brought to respond to the elephant in such a way that when one says there is an elephant, everyone yawns and says, "So what? It is boring or irrelevant to our lives," the elephant is hidden. Truth  becomes obscured.
  4. The pursuit of happiness - If in our modern society we can convince people that the elephant doesn't make them happy, we can get them to ignore the truth because we tend to ignore anything that doesn't make us happy.
  5. Relativism - It is the idea that truth is what you believe to be true. If you don't believe it to be true, it is not truth. Relativism therefore says, the elephant can be there for you, but it is not there for me. Truth is what you believe rather than ultimately reality -- whether you believe it or not.
          Paraphrased by Edmund Chan in his book Growing Deep in Faith

Truth is, truth matters. It is the distinct definition of your persona - your state of mind, beliefs, decisions. Truth sets you free from bewilderment. Truth is the backbone that allows you to make that stand. Truth is the light at the end of the tunnel. Truth sets you apart. It is therefore fundamental to settle the truths you believe to be true.
A person who does not stand for something will fall for anything.
What truths do you hold on into your life? Know your truth. Breathe your truth. Speak your truth. Live your truth.

Don't let the world withhold the truth from you.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Eleksyon 2013

Pagkatapos ng eleksyon na ito, meron kayang magbago?
Pag-unlad ng Pilipinas atin na bang matatamo?

Maraming Pilipino ang lumabas at bumoto
Ngunit hindi lahat natuwa sa kasalukyang resulta nito

Paglipas ng eleksyon, sigurado ako
Hindi lilipas kasabay nito ang mga reklamo ng tao

Reklamo doon, reklamo dito. Sibak doon, sibak dito
Tapos ngayon binoboto? Nakakalito!

Pero sino ba ang nagluklok sa ating pinuno
Hindi ba't ang nakararaming mamamayang Pilipino din mismo

Hay naku, isang bagay lang ang naiintindihan ko
Eleksyon? Hindi nagtatapos ang lahat dito

Dahil ang pagbabago ay di nakasalalay sa iisang gobyerno
O nasa kamay ng iilang pulitiko

Ang tunay na pagbabago ay nagsisimula sayo
Oo, sa iyo mismo. Kuha mo?!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Holy Bible


Bible is the most read book in the world!

This is not just a personal statement but according to James Chapman's research based on the number of copies each book sold over the last 50 years.


Filled with parables, wisdom, life's stories, proverbs and accounts of God's love and faithfulness to all mankind. Gives us no reason not to read this powerful book. After all this is the Word of God. But oftentimes, we find bible reading overwhelming with its 66 books, 39 books from the Old Testaments and 27 books from the New Testaments. Not to mention its 233 different English versions available and over 2000 language translations. Whew! I don't even know where to start now.

If I may offer my humble advice how to read the Bible for beginners, which I also heard from pastors and leaders in our church. Begin with the Gospel of John from the New Testaments, which account the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection.

There will be no better way of reading the bible than starting it now. Do not give in to the Enemy's deception of delay. Pray that the Holy Spirit will open your spiritual minds and give you the hunger for His Word. Please do not be discouraged if there are passages that does not make sense to you. We are all in the same boat! Just carry on, you may not understand it now, but in the future these same verses could be your encouragement and reminder when going through difficult times. You will never know unless you read it now. Then someday it will make a perfect sense to you.
For Genesis is more than the book of creation; it is all about the Almighty God -- sovereign in creation, in condemnation and in covenant!
Exodus is more than the liberation from Egypt; it presents the theology of God as the mighty and compassionate Deliverer!
Leviticus is more than just the book of sacrifices and laws; it is about the theology if a holy God who dwells amongst us and who invites us into intimacy with Him though His ultimate sacrifice for us -- Jesus Christ!
Numbers is then more than just the wilderness wanderings; it is all about the faithfulness of God whose providence and forgiveness are legendary.
Finally, Deuteronomy is more than just the law ratified; it is about the Covenant God who seeks a covenant relationship with His covenant people.
Excerpts from Growing Deep in Faith by Edmund Chan 
I hope as you read this book you won't just be part of the statistics who read the Bible but it is my prayer that you encounter the living God of the Bible.

Happy reading!


CCF's Seventh Wonder

Seven years ago starting from a couple of families compelled to meet together to learn God's word in their homes. Impacting other people in their circle of influence through their spirit-filled lives, the bible study group have grown into a congregation gathering on a regular Sunday service with 400+ members at Cathay Cineplex in Dhoby Ghaut.      

Christian Covenant Fellowship(CCF) is a bible-based evangelical church committed to make committed followers of Jesus Christ with Christ-like character; abounding in love for God and others who are actively involved in making spiritual generations of disciples.

This year CCF, Singapore celebrates its 7th Year Anniversary - seven purposeful years of God's grace to His people, seven years of God's faithfulness to His promises.

With one heart we desire every people to know Christ and challenge every believer to follow and serve God through discipleship group and church ministries. As we highlighted in this year's anniversary theme, "Christ has complete authority, therefore iSERVE." We can serve through our God-given talents -- in praise and worship, sunday school, ushering, technical support, outreach, singles or prayer ministry. We can also serve through discipleship. We can serve by living out the Christ-likeness character that will draw people to God.    
All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo,I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” -- Matthew 28:18-20(NASB)
More than just a celebration, it is a manifestation of God's greatness. With vibrant children singing and dancing for the Lord. Joyful praise and worship songs. Genuine prayer of thanksgiving. Inspiring life's testimony of discovery group leaders. Heartfelt  message of Pastor Dennis as he shares Paul's desire for the Colossians - to know Christ, to experience the fullness of Christ, to cling to the substance of Christ and to proclaim Christ.

In this anniversary, we remember all the blessings, answered prayers, transformed lives, struggles, unlimited favor that God allowed His people to experience. To encourage us and serve as God's reminder to remain faithful in our call of making Christ-Committed followers who will make Christ-committed followers.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Dear Girlie

Re-posting this blog post from a sweet, cheerful and very creative friend and sister of mine :) Only because I miss your rolling eyes Kriselle  :) But seriously, you are one of my inspiration. Keep the pen and don't stop writing your heart out.
_____
I know, this has taken so long before I decided to write this all down. Frankly, I don’t have an idea as to how I will start writing this and the strength to continue doing it until I can finally reach the end of this stream of thoughts where I can finally make sense of the boat waiting to cross over the other side of the river.
I guess, even on this tiny white internet space, I can’t find the courage to face the word:goodbye
Tragic, isn’t it? How people cannot comprehend distance, time and lost? Well, not the actual lost but the thought of someone they cared for, leaving? And people, people will do all kinds of stubborn things to ignore the idea of someone they cherished is already 1400 miles away .
Is there a word for hating someone leaving? That someone, who you spent hours, days, weeks and months of getting connected in a much deeper level, gone? Is there a word for that? Is there a word for making yourself believe that this other side of the world apart from yours is measured only by breath? That when I blow this candle on a birthday cake, you would still feel the candle’s heat? Is there a word for all the clichés that continues to hang in the air like Metro Manila pollution? The trigger-point of these endless questions stinging the walls of my mind like how Peeta slammed on the force field wall in the Hunger Games Quarter Quell?
Maybe not everything can be delineated in a word. Maybe not every emotion can fit in a poetry; there’s so much left unsaid. Maybe goodbye has always meant so much more than just parting ways. And maybe leaving is not certainly abandonment.
Because leaving does not always mean betrayal. And I think that, sometimes, we’re not particularly afraid of losing people. What we’re really afraid of is having to learn to do life without them. Because, ultimately, we are creatures of habit and comfort.
-Isabel Garcia
Dear Girlie, I know you did not abandon us. It’s just that I am a creature of habit and comfort  you are ordered by the Higher Up to conquer more borders, to bring more ships to the coast and to help those who were stranded in the middle of a chaotic island back to the stillness of Home. You fervently asked and knocked the gates of heavens for this desire of yours and you have been permitted to do it to accomplish His purpose and to witness the majestic favors He has poured on you.
It wasn’t an easy bargain from the start, but admit it, His sense of humor is truly amazing. He has made, not only you, but us (in the Dgroup) see how things work out together for the good of those who love Him and do things according to His will. I praise God for your heart that has patiently waited for the go signal before leaving the fields. He has crafted your attitude of dependence on His grace and the humility of your whole being. It is such a blessing to see how you have addressed your concerns to Him and bringing forth more than 365 pales of faith for the journey.
I thank you for sharing all the wonderful memories with me (us) even though it’s not that too many in terms of quantity. But I genuinely appreciate the times I had spent with you because you made me feel you. And you have been one inspiration. You inspired me with your dedication for work , for God’s word and for life itself. Thank you for riding on the Sarah Kay madness, the blogging madness (although you are at this for a long time already), the friendship madness and even my own madness. Haha! Your happy spirit is also a favorite!
Even I have tendencies to not understand distance, I know one thing for sure, our current goodbye is not measurable by length, time or space; and leaving, leaving is for the brave. You are brave!
When there would be times where you would be submerged deep down the murky waters, always remember that Faith will let you see things through. Our hands, you can hold them, when you’re feet is tired of running. We will reserve you more pockets full of sunshine so that when you need it as umbrella for a stormy weather, we will throw it in the air, like million bits of pieces, like stars. It will shine on you, too bright that it would make you close your eyes and realize that nothing is as good as a simple prayer of thanks to the Father.
And even when reality makes you cry because of it’s harshness apart from all our poetry combined, we will tap your back and cry with you. Because crying is like rain, it washes everything, it washes the pain and the fear inside. And then, when it’s time to get back up and you still don’t want to, we will drag you down the porch for you to see the sunrise. And we could only hope that that can make you once again realize the beauty of life. There would be bumpy roads ahead, but, we will wait for you until you can visit us again, not only in dreamland, but in our homeland.
I could go on with all my metaphors but the bottomline of all these is not goodbye, but aSee you soon, Girlie! We will miss you! I’ll miss you and our rolling eyes! :P
P.S.
I’m starting to be allergic at the Dear (blanks) in my title. It always suggest someone going far away. Ha! :P