Friday, January 30, 2015

FREEDOM

How would you define FREEDOM?

If we ask this question to people, more often than not, we get this response from them
Freedom is the ability to do whatever you want to do, whenever you want it.

In fact, somehow I would also thought in that direction, but when I heard the Sunday preaching of Pastor Peter several days ago, I got a better understanding of what true FREEDOM really is. Very interesting concept there, I knew that moment this will be part of my one-word-project.

FREEDOM is not the ability to do whatever you want to do in your life.
That is slavery to your own self.
True FREEDOM is the ability to say "No" to SIN and say "Yes" to GOD.
True FREEDOM is the power to act and do the RIGHT thing according to His ways and not ours.
True FREEDOM in Christ alone.


Image courtesy of flickr

To have more insights like this, you can watch the entire CCF Sunday service video by Pastor Peter Tan-Chi from this link

Friday, January 16, 2015

Thank You Letter

As we wrap up 2014, our discipleship group who I must say is improving in our domestic skills put up a party to get together as we kick off the new year and most importantly recall God's blessings and miracles from the past year.

Home made mashed potatoes, graham cake, cheese and wine, grapes, nuts and the star of the night - glazed teriyaki salmon
(Left to right) Kay, Michelle, Angela, Kytin, Grace, Frances, Belle and me taking the picture :)

We exercised gratitude by exchanging "useful" gifts and sharing the highlights of our 2014 and how the Lord blessed us through. We did this by writing a thank you letter to the person we pick from draw lots.

Some girls were really creative in making their letters by handwriting or printing it out, making it into an origami, post-its and adding art designs. I opted to make an electronic one and posted it in my blog so I can share it as well. Here's the letter I prepared the night before. 

******

Dear Someone,

As 2014 closes its door to us, we can forget everything about the past, but right now I don't want to forget, I choose to remember. Yes, there were some extremely great times, often uninteresting days and some hit-bottom points. This just reminds me that life is real and that I am still alive. In spite of everything, I choose to be grateful and hope to remain one. 

So let me start by thanking you for taking time to read this(kahit wala kang choice) and for the opportunity to bless and encourage you. Making this letter, gave me an excuse to write :) which I love to do and remember God's goodness. Sure it's win-win for both of us.

Second, I am thankful that we have a personal God who meets us distinctively. How He speaks to us, how He disciplines us, how He answers our prayers, how He blesses us. His ways are designed especially for you and me to appreciate individually. It's comforting for me not only to know that but to also experience it. 

I thanked God for quiet moments just like now. Moments that my mind can wander without limits. Times I can unthink and stare aimlessly, knowing God is in full control.

Then I realize just now, I am thankful for all the crazy stuff that happened in the workplace - difficult people, politics, beating deadlines, unproductive meetings, socializing. Things that are way beyond my comfort zones, which are also the same things that stretched my faith and made me evaluate my character as a child of God. They set as God's gentle reminder, so I can always go back and align myself back to the person He wants me to be.

Finally, I am thankful to God for guiding me with my decision to stay where God wants me to be guided through His Word. More than that, I am thankful for the journey I had with Him when I was seeking His will. It was complicated during that time, but I am amazed how He speaks personally. How he confirmed and comforted me during the time I'm beginning to think I made a bad call. I remember reading this word way back in June last year, when I made the decision to stay. Romans 10:11 "Anyone who  trusts in Him will never be put to shame."

Just like how our God has been faithful to us last 2014,  He is the same God we can trust for 2015, 2016 and all the years to come. I hope this letter somehow encourage you to continue walking with God and desire to grow closer to Him.

Love,
Girlie 

P.S
Since I don't want to bore you with the petty things I am thankful for the past year, I made a separate post in my blog 2014: 50 Reasons to be Thankful!
Hope you can visit this post as well and my prayer is for you to be blessed and encouraged by it. :) (Sorry you picked one obsessed writer)

Monday, January 12, 2015

2014: 50 Reasons to be Thankful!

Image courtesy of Photo.elsoar.com
“All endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time.” --Mitch Albom, Five People You Meet in Heaven

There were tons of reasons to be thankful for the past year but for some reason I am feeling lost and finding it hard to begin with. Maybe because there were too many of them. 
  1. 2014's 43 blog posts, not bad but I need more inspirations this year
  2. Favorable health for me and especially for my family in Philippines
  3. New friends and acquaintances I met this year
  4. New found passion in making no-bake cheesecake, this year let's try the baked version
  5. Safe year-ender travel adventure with family in Baguio city
  6. Graduating in CCF's Global Leadership Conference by God's grace and for the opportunity to share my testimony.
  7. Weekends!
  8. Time and discipline to hit the gym
  9. Starbucks 2014 Planner from Jasper 
  10. Great time with Glaiza and kids visit in Singapore last October
  11. Solitude
  12. Post-it notes and highlighters :D Keeps me more organized!
  13. Cambodia trip with good friends, temples pa more!
  14. CCF Sunday service streaming. I ♥ technology
  15. Successful and God-centered surprise birthday party for Nanay on her 60th 
  16. Friends who came over to visit in SG
  17. New assemble-your-own computer table care of IKEA
  18. Sleep and more time to sleep
  19. Opportunity to serve God through writing and kids church
  20. More recipes I was able to cook this year. Wee!
  21. Financial blessings
  22. GLC Wednesday classes. I am missing this right now.
  23. Changi airport! and the comforting feeling it gives me
  24. Perfumes!
  25. Parties I was able to attend to. Birthday, CHRISTmas, year-end, victory and more parties.
  26. Oxy 5. My ally against annoying pimples
  27. Thesaurus for supporting me in my writing fad
  28. Flat shoes. I 
  29. TED talks where ideas are worth sharing
  30. Permanent position in Visa
  31. My blogpost and wordpress sites for keeping up with my writing obsession 
  32. Graceful exit from Softenger
  33. Pillows!!!
  34. Free lunch and dinner from colleagues and friends
  35. Facebook for keeping me connected with family and friends
  36. Hokkien mee for saving most of my dinner
  37. Great movies this year
  38. My yoga mat for helping me out with my planking goal
  39. Ziplocks which I find very useful and handy
  40. Dried foods like dilis and tuyo. #yum
  41. Shower!!! 
  42. Green. Trees, grass or any growing plants, which i find refreshing to look at.
  43. Cute and sweet nephews and nieces- Godwin, Genesis, Raizel and Ramiah.
  44. Running watch birthday gift from Visa friends
  45. CHRISTmas season and the joyful spirit with it
  46. Sundays!!! CCF service, lunch with dgroup, discussions and friendship
  47. Finally after almost 12 months of waiting, my dead right toenail came back to life this year.
  48. Speculous cookie spread!
  49. Creative beans and inspirations I picked up along the way
  50. Steady