Friday, February 27, 2015

Dear Roselle

Leaving is for the brave. You are brave.
You're one of the bravest girl I've met.

Brave to leave the comfort of home and friends to work thousand miles away.
Brave to live alone.

Brave enough to move in with guy housemates. I know they are your close friends but still, men have different cleaning habits and chores, not to mention late night video games or guy drinking session.
Brave enough to accept the aerial obstacle course Climb Max during our team building, and for the record, you did great on level 3.

Brave to gamble in stocks, equities and other investments.
Brave to dive and fall in love with the marine life.

Brave enough to go inside Unravel - The Haunting even though you're scared of hospitals.
Brave enough to express yourself. "I like you" girl.

Brave to leave the convenience and opportunities here in Singapore.
Brave to deal with the traffic back in the Philippines.

Brave enough to challenge the work force or explore other career paths.
Brave enough to see what we don't.

While leaving is an inevitable reality of life, scary but exciting, I am pretty sure you'll do great. It is my prayer that God would answer the deepest desires of your heart, may He bless all your future plans, grant the dreams whichever is best for you and may God prepare a hopeful path before you..

So go and live the life that you wanted to be, even if it requires leaving the life you have here. In the end, what matters is you tried. We will miss you though, I guess we'll just see you in Pinas, another reason to go home for us :)

Just remember you may have come as a stranger and colleague to us but you are now leaving as a friend.



Sincerely,


PS.
Need to say that I had a hard time finding a solo picture of yours, maybe just maybe, you're not that brave enough in taking selfies. But who cares? So there you go a picture including all of us in the team! :) Ciao!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Making Other People Look Bad Does Not Make You Look Good


Image courtesy of lifehack.org
It's mind blowing to actually witness and deal with people who are good in finding faults from others as if they're created for that purpose.

Just when I thought that they only exists in Philippine noon time drama series as the evil mother or the wicked sister, unfortunately they are real. There are people not only in the family, in school or in the workplace who are exceptional when it comes to making people around them look bad as if that would make them look good. 

Whenever you try to bring up yourself at the expense of others, below are the five noises that echoes back to your character:

1. Insecure
Making other people look bad is a sign of incompetence and insecurity. If you knew what you are capable of, you don't need to stoop down on others just to prove you are better than anybody else.

2. Not objective
Have an objective goal. Focus on how you would resolve the issue, not on the person causing it. It's okay to understand the cause just so you would be able to make a recovery plan and preventive measures, but not to highlight others fault.

3. Immature
A mature person does not take advantage of others. He builds good rapport with others and for me this is his advantage.

4. Stressful
Eventually it will drain you, because you will never stop comparing yourself to others, when you should be utilizing your time and effort in improving yourself and building up relationships.

5. Set apart
When I say "set apart" I meant it in an unfavorable way. When others witness how you criticize and demean others, you loose your credibility. Productive people avoids ineffective ones.

In the long run, you would need to work harder to regain the trust and respect of people towards you. Pointing fingers just to save your ass in that pressing issue is not worth your relationship with others. Remember these are the same people you will be working with after.

Empower others instead of allowing your power to demean them, when ultimately you are in the loosing end.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Singapore: Symmetry Cafe

To start I have a good impression in terms of their queue-ing system, as you will input the number of pax dining; your seat option - bar tables (inside and air-condition) or garden tables (outside enjoying fresh air); and finally your mobile number so the system can notify you via sms/call once your seats are available. Very impressive, they take advantage of technology and involved their customers in their dining experience. We opted for the tables outside as the bar area is fully occupied.

We came on a weekend and Symmetry took brunch menu to a whole new level.
For starters we had Wakame Prawn Popcorn (SGD $17) with refreshing wasabi remoulade. 


Seafood Fritata (SGD $24) comes with salmon, crab, prawn, egg chive, sweet corn, avocado, herbs, cream cheese and greens.


Ham Hock and Pancetta Steak (SGD $23), lightly scrambled eggs, roasted pork knuckle, smoked pancetta, soubise sauce, mustard, hash brown, toast bread and fresh green salad.  


Symmetry Eggs Benedict (SGD $22) for me is the winner! The eggs were perfectly poached in low temperature with portobello mushroom duxelle, bacon, caramelized onion, aged cheddar, hollandaise, bread and fresh green salad.


Service though is a bit slow, as we waited for more than 30 minutes for our main dish. I tried to follow up my order and ask how many more minutes we need to wait, and the only answer given by the attendant was they were full of people and we just need to wait as our orders are in queue. Not very helpful.

Other than service, our Symmetry experience was a balance between exquisite food, great music and wonderful friends.

Food buddies, Graciel, Jasper and me

Symmetry Cafe
9 Jalan Kubor
#01-01 S(199206)

MON1030 – 2100
TUE – THU1030 – 2300
FRI1030 – 0000
SAT0900 – 0000
SUN0900 – 1900

Friday, February 20, 2015

Leave or Stay

Image courtesy of sodahead.com
When opportunities knock at your door, do you immediately grab it or think it through.

This dilemma struck me less than a year ago, but God is a faithful Father to his children who are seeking. He made His Word available, to guide us and lead us. Not to mention its free for all. 

I only have two words to watch out for, Leave or Stay. That time, I was reading the book of Romans, until I reach 1st Corinthians, 
Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth... In that case you would have to leave this world. --1 Corinthians 5:7-9
Wow! I was ecstatic, God knew this is the very word I wanted to hear from Him, weighing all the options, it's all logical to leave. Leaving makes more sense, not only according to me but according to the world.  But there's a part in my heart that is not yet convince, since I am a believer that God's word is consistent and does not contradict, I continue reading on, praying that God would reinforce my option to leave.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. --1 Corinthians 15:58
Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost --1 Corinthians 16:6-8
Oh no, now I am confuse. Not prepared for a scripture that leads to other side of the weighing scale, I don't know how to reconcile this discrepancy. My mind tells me to leave after all I already have 1 Corinthians 5:7-9 as confirmation. But why does my heart prove my motivation, is it really God's will or my own will. One more time I settle to continue reading His Word to seek answers and finally come to a conclusion immediately.
Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said goodbye to them and went on to Macedonia. --2 Corinthians 2:12-15
At first I was mixed up with this verse, maybe because I was still hoping to see words blessing me to leave. But after checking the context of the scripture and seeking godly advise from discipleship group, God's answer became clearer to me.

That day I made the choice to stay and said goodbye to the new door opened for me. I was heartbroken. I knew I obeyed Him but why do I feel I failed my future self. Just when I started to feel I made a bad call of throwing away an opportunity that might never come again, I ask God to encourage me and reassure me that I made the right decision.
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. --2 Corinthians 4:16-18
As for my issues that I might be wasting a great opportunity, the Lord rebuked me in my quiet time the next day:  
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? --Romans 8:32
Looking back in this crossroad I had last year, I am glad I seek His heart before making the decision. More than me seeking God, I knew that it is God who first seek and found me.  

Friday, February 13, 2015

Five Reasons Why You Should Date a Woman with Eyeglasses

Image courtesy of Google
While wearing eyeglasses for others are mainly for fashion and trend, there are women who choose to wear spectacles over contact lenses not only because its necessary for their sight but also they consider it as part of their personality.

These women don't look at their eyeglasses as a face accessory but a portion of their whole identity. Here's five reasons why man should consider dating a woman wearing an eyeglasses.

1. She is not insecure.
She is not intimated by other girls wearing their eyelash extensions and make up on, she is comfortable with the way she looks. She knows her personality and lives with it.

2. She's not only smart-looking, she is smart.
You have an array of ideas you can discuss with her. You'll never run out of topics you can converse with her because she is a voracious reader.

3. She sees better and appreciates more.
She appreciates every feature in your face and every line in your smile, because she knows exactly how it felt to be deprived of details when seeing things in blurry vision.

4. She is a hidden gem.
You might be surprised once she removes her glasses, revealing her sparkling eyes hiding behind those pairs. In the same way, you might not recognize her on a party wearing make-up without her specs in her long gown.

5. She is cautious.
She knows how to take care of her spectacles and generally most of her belongings. Her actions are deliberate considering she's wearing a fragile frame, and she has learned to apply the same caution in the way she makes decision, how she treats other people and how she lived.
 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Qualities of a Good Leader

While there are a lot of articles written to describe the qualities of a good leader like commitment, integrity, vision, good communication etc. Below are my take on the characteristics of a good leader.

1. Doesn't play the blame game. Responsible enough to investigate on the issue first before pointing fingers at, anyways if the damage is done, blaming people will not solve the issue anymore.

2. Encourages subordinates.

3. Have high appreciation to what their people bring in the table.

4. Does not set high expectations that even themselves are struggling to meet.

5. Have the courage to accept mistakes, humble enough to apologize if necessary.

6. Does not set the walls of position between his people. Your title doesn't matter to him and his to yours, he looks at all of you including himself as one team with a unified goal.

7. Empowers people to reach their full potential of contributing to the team.

8. Does not hoard information, shares knowledge.

9. Transparent

10. Does not steal the spotlight. He already had enough of it.

CCF: I am Not Ashamed of the Gospel

by Pastor Richard Schlitt

As the apostle Paul wrote a comprehensive letter to a church he don't know personally, he first established his credentials as Servant of Christ, Apostle and someone Set apart for the Gospel.

He acknowledged the church in Rome as a church with reputation, the frontier of the Gospel and a church built by ordinary people, just like you and me. Paul primarily identified himself as the Servant of Jesus Christ through prayer.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times --Romans 1:8-10 
That even though he hasn't met them yet, they were already part of Paul's prayers. This is one of the amazing power of prayers, you can pray for people you don't know, but how much more praying for people you love and care - your family, friends, relatives, housemates or that colleague beside you. Paul understood the service of prayer wholeheartedly.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. --Colossians 3:23

Paul also wanted to visit the Roman church so he can serve then through the spiritual gifts God has given him - teaching, preaching and exhorting. Every one of us, as body of Christ have the obligation to use our spiritual gift mainly to serve and encourage one another.
 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. --Romans 1:11-12
Sometimes, your plans doesn't happen the way you plan it to be, just like the experience of Paul. But the Lord has His best plans for His kingdom and best interests for you, and the best thing you could to is to yield to God's purposes.
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) --Romans 1:13
Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. --Acts 16:6-7
As we are in a spiritual battle, there will be times that it is not God who will be hindering us from God's work but the Enemy. All we can do is wrestle in prayers and persevere for the battle is the Lord's.

More than serving God, it is critical to understand why we do what we do.
I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.  --Romans 1:14-15
Paul's understanding were definite. He is a servant of God. He is called to be an apostle. He is set apart for the Gospel and he is called to be God's child, just as we are. As a child of God we are also obligated to use our spiritual gifts in the advancement of His kingdom. Whether that is in music, teaching, serving, preaching and giving, you and I have something to contribute.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes --Romans 1:16
One reason why anyone would be ashamed of the Gospel, maybe because they don't realize what they've received from Jesus Christ and His promises.
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”  --Romans 1:17
Other people even try so hard to be good enough for God. Every religion tries to do things that will satisfy God, as they know him but none are ever certain. For man's part is to live by faith alone.

Transcribed by:

Monday, February 2, 2015

New Testament and Its Reliability

I am not a pastor nor a church elder nor an apologetic, but as a believer of Christ I find it fundamental to understand and be able to defend the reliability of the Bible which Christians consider as the Word of God. The bad news is I don't know how and where to start, the good news is there are already scholars and organizations who spent years of researching and studying about the Bible.

On my quest to learning the Bible, in its historical perspective, I find the following comparison from Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry where New Testament is correlated to other ancient writings of Plato, Aristotle, Homer etc. The results were outstanding!


Author Date
Written
Earliest Copy Approximate Time Span between original & copy Number of Copies Accuracy of Copies
Lucretius died 55 or 53 B.C. 1100 yrs 2 ----
Pliny A.D. 61-113 A.D. 850 750 yrs 7 ----
Plato 427-347 B.C. A.D. 900 1200 yrs 7 ----
Demosthenes 4th Cent. B.C. A.D. 1100 800 yrs 8 ----
Herodotus 480-425 B.C. A.D. 900 1300 yrs 8 ----
Suetonius A.D. 75-160 A.D. 950 800 yrs 8 ----
Thucydides 460-400 B.C. A.D. 900 1300 yrs 8 ----
Euripides 480-406 B.C. A.D. 1100 1300 yrs 9 ----
Aristophanes 450-385 B.C. A.D. 900 1200 10 ----
Caesar 100-44 B.C. A.D. 900 1000 10 ----
Livy 59 BC-AD 17 ---- ??? 20 ----
Tacitus circa A.D. 100 A.D. 1100 1000 yrs 20 ----
Aristotle 384-322 B.C. A.D. 1100 1400 49 ----
Sophocles 496-406 B.C. A.D. 1000 1400 yrs 193 ----
Homer (Iliad) 900 B.C. 400 B.C. 500 yrs 643 95.00%
New Testament 1st Cent. A.D. (A.D. 50-100) 2nd Cent. A.D.
(c. A.D. 130 f.)
less than 100 years 5600 99.50%

This research tells us that the Bible or the New Testament evidences are conclusive. It far outweighs other ancient books in terms of number of copies(5600) and accuracy of the copy which is almost perfect(99.50%). The higher the number of copies, tells us that it would be more difficult for people who wants to alter its content as there will be thousands of copies other people during first century that were accessible for comparison. Another conclusion this table tells us, is that the New Testament have the earliest approximate time span between the original manuscripts were written and the time manuscripts were copied. This all the more supports the credibility of the New Testament as there were greater number of people who can attest to the validity of its content, I bet some of the apostles or people who witness the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus could have been alive in less than 100 years, and they are the best witnesses who can affirm or refute the writings.

Aside from learning evidences about the authenticity of the Bible, it encourages me to read and reflect on it more, knowing it's one of the greatest gift God gave us, next to Jesus Christ.

For more details and questions you could always refer to this website which helped me tremendously https://carm.org/questions/about-bible