December 30, 2010

New Year: New Heavens, New Earth

"Pay close attention now:
   I'm creating new heavens and a new earth.
All the earlier troubles, chaos, and pain
   are things of the past, to be forgotten.
Look ahead with joy.
   Anticipate what I'm creating:
I'll create Jerusalem as sheer joy,
   create my people as pure delight.
I'll take joy in Jerusalem,
   take delight in my people:
No more sounds of weeping in the city,
   no cries of anguish;
No more babies dying in the cradle,
   or old people who don't enjoy a full lifetime;
One-hundredth birthdays will be considered normal—
   anything less will seem like a cheat.
They'll build houses
   and move in.
They'll plant fields
   and eat what they grow.
No more building a house
   that some outsider takes over,
No more planting fields
   that some enemy confiscates,
For my people will be as long-lived as trees,
   my chosen ones will have satisfaction in their work.
They won't work and have nothing come of it,
   they won't have children snatched out from under them.
For they themselves are plantings blessed by God,
   with their children and grandchildren likewise God-blessed.
Before they call out, I'll answer.
   Before they've finished speaking, I'll have heard.
Wolf and lamb will graze the same meadow,
   lion and ox eat straw from the same trough,
   but snakes—they'll get a diet of dirt!
Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill
   anywhere on my Holy Mountain," says God.

- Isaiah 65:17-25 (The Message)

A happy 2011 to us all. :)

December 24, 2010

God with us :)

On earth, peace and good will toward men...
In the highest, glory to God.
May we all experience Immanuel (God-with-us) this season!

* rephrasing Luke 2:14

December 17, 2010

Need Inspiration? :)

To "inspire" means to "guide by divine influence".

I have this small box of quotes and prayers from way back --- as in, fifteen years ago? It helped introduce me to God's Word and how to walk with faith in Him. Here they are below... hoping you would be blessed as well. :)

If you're encouraged, do pass these on! :)

Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles;
You display Your power among the peoples.
- Psalm 77:13-14

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And being with You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
- Psalm 73:25

Oh God, touch my heart today
And cleanse me from all sin,
Put your love and joy inside
And keep it safe within
Till someone comes along
And needs my help
To lift their loads today,
Then may I reach inside my heart
and give love and joy away.
- Mildred H. Bell

My Lord and my God,
take me from all that keeps me from You.
My Lord and my God,
grant me all that leads me to You.
My Lord and my God,
take me from myself and give me completely to You.
- St. Nicholas von Flue

Many, O Lord my God,
are the wonders You have done.
The things You have planed for us
no one can recount to You;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.
- Psalm 40:5 or 6?

Search me, O God,
and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
- Psalm 139:23

Just for today,
What does it matter, O Lord,
if the future is dark?
To pray now for tomorrow
I am not able.
Keep my heart only for today,
give me protection today,
grant me Your light
just for today.
- St. Therese of Lisieux

Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to Thy never failing care and love,
for this life and the life to come;
knowing that Thou are doing for them better things
than we can desire or pray for.
- Book of Common Prayer

O heart of love,
I put all my trust in You;
for I fear all things from my own weakness,
but I hope for all things from Your goodness.
- Margaret Mary Alacoque

Lord, have mercy.
Restore me to liberty
and enable me to so live now
that I may answer before thee and before men.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
thy name be praised.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

May all who seek You
rejoice and be glad in You;
may those who love Your salvation always say,
"Let God be exalted!"
- Psalm 70:4

I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I hope in thy words.
My eyes are awake before the watches of the night,
that I may meditate upon Thy promise.
- Psalm 119:147-148

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for You,
O God.
- Psalm 42:1

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
- Psalm 51:10

In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
Rescue me and deliver me in Your righteousness;
turn Your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go...
- Psalm 71:1-3

Not to us, O Lord, not to us
but to Your name be the glory,
because of Your love and faithfulness.
- Psalm 115:1

Let Thy steadfast love,
be upon us,
even as we hope in Thee.
- Psalm 33:22

Grant us O Lord,
to pass this day in gladness and peace,
without stumbling and without stain;
that reaching the eventide victorious over all temptations,
we may praise You, the eternal God,
who are blessed, and governs all things,
world without end. Amen.
- Mozarabic Liturgy

Praise the Lord, O my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God
as long as I live.
- Psalm 146:1

One thing God has spoken,
two things have I heard:
that You, O God, are strong,
and that You, O Lord, are loving.
- Psalm 62:11-12

Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in You.
Show me the way I should go
for to You I lift up my soul.
- Psalm 143:8

Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.
- Psalm 119:105

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
- Psalm 139:14

For You, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
- Psalm 116:8-9

You turned my wailing into dancing;
You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever.
- Psalm 30:11

Because Your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify You.
I will praise You as long as I live...
- Psalm 63:3-4

Teach us to number our days aright
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
- Psalm 90:12

Thanks be to Thee,
my joy and my glory and my hope and my God.
Thanks be to Thee for Thy gifts;
but do Thou preserve them in me,
thus Thou will preserve me,
and the things Thou hast given me
will increase and be made perfect,
and I shall be with Thee:
because even that I exist is Thy gift.
- St. Augustine of Hippo

Let the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in Thy sight,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
- Psalm 19:14

O Lord, thou knowest how busy I must be this day;
I I forget Thee, do not Thou forget me.
- Sir Jacob Astley

To do Your will,
O my God,
is my desire;
Your law
is within my heart.
- Psalm 40:8

Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me.
Break me,
melt me,
mould me,
fill me.
Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me.

December 9, 2010

To see the unseen God

"To love another person is to see the face of God."
- Les Miserables

"No one has ever seen God;
but if we love one another,

God lives in us and His love is made complete in us."
- 1 John 4:12

December 5, 2010

Success How-To for Today, Dec05

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.

Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.

- Proverbs 3:3-4

December 3, 2010

And why the heck should I even bother?

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
- Plato

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
- Paul to the Ephesians

Dear friends,

Let us rise above petty conflicts and trivial issues.
Let us look to the people, and value every one as a brother or sister.
(Easier said than done, I know.)
Let us love God by loving each other.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
- Paul to the Romans

Finding it hard to love the people around you?
Remember how unlovable you were (or still are)! :D
This works for me every time...
And how funny is it that when someone "sins against me", I regularly end up remembering at least one time when I did something similar... or worse?
And --- thank God --- I remember that God already loved and already forgave me even back then.

"Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown.
But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.
- Jesus

"Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
- John Newton

So to answer the question, "Why should I even bother?"
--- Because God bothered enough to love and restore me.
This is how I thank and follow Him.
This is how I join His work, in loving and restoring others.
This is my part in bringing heaven down to earth. :)

December 2, 2010

what they hate the most

"It is the image of God reflected in you that so enrages hell,
it is this at which the demons hurl their mightiest weapons."

- William Gurnall


Like a mighty warrior,
the LORD is with me.

- Jeremiah 20:11a

October 19, 2010

all around me

"His banner over me is love."
   - Song of Songs

"His faithfulness sings over me."
   - Hallelujah

"The Lord your God is with you
he is mighty to save.
He takes great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
   - Zephaniah

October 14, 2010


by Aerosmith

I kept the right ones out
And let the wrong ones in
Had an angel of mercy
To see me through all my sins
There were times in my life
When I was goin' insane
Tryin' to walk through the pain

And when I lost my grip
And I hit the floor
Yeah, I thought I could leave
But couldn't get out the door
I was so sick n' tired
Of livin' a lie
I was wishing that I would die

It's amazing
With the blink of an eye
You finally see the light
Oh it's amazing
When the moment arrives
You know you'll be alright
Yeah it's amazing
And I'm saying a prayer
For the desperate hearts tonight

That one last shot's a Permanent Vacation
And a how high can you fly with broken wings
Life's a journey - not a destination
And I just can't tell just what tomorrow brings

You have to learn to crawl
Before you learn to walk
But I just couldn't listen
To all that righteous talk oh yeah
I was out on the street
Just tryin' to survive
Scratchin' to stay alive

It's amazing
With the blink of an eye
You finally see the light
Oh it's amazing
When the moment arrives
That you know you'll be alright
Oh it's amazing
And I'm saying a prayer
For the desperate hearts tonight

"So, from all of us at Aerosmith
To all of you out there, wherever you are.
Remember- the light at the end of the tunnel
May be you. Goodnight!"

October 11, 2010

for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes

"I thank You God for this most amazing day,
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees,
and for the blue dream of sky
and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes."

- e.e. cummings :)

And a special thanks to Aspen Corp. of Caloocan City, which used that quote on the notebook I'm currently using. :)

October 5, 2010

Not all who wander are aimless

Not all who wander are aimless

especially those who seek truth

beyond tradition
beyond definition
beyond the image.

- from "Mona Lisa Smile"

How often must my heart be broken?

My heart is broken
(once again),
how many times must this happen?

As many times
(I felt Him say),
as you chase your false heavens

You see, when you run after what's fleeting
You lose your very soul
But the more you give your heart to Me
The more you receive it, whole

October 4, 2010

officially empty

Today, October 4 2010, I am officially wiped out.


I have just done the modern-day equivalent of jumping off a cliff, or walking into a coliseum of hungry lions.

I am completely in God's hands now. Well, am I not always? But now, in the eyes of the world, where security is measured by one's bank account, I am in deeep trouble. (Perhaps the world would advise me to pray.)

My feelings betray me. So I still worship money, it seems. Because I am not afraid of sharing my faith in "restricted" nations, but I am afraid of losing my wallet. Because I need to claim God's covering as my security, when it has been there all along. Because my act of faith did not really lie in my being parted with my last peso, but in my attitude - do I trust God now, when I am completely, for the first time in my adult life, penniless?

Gah! Jumping off a cliff or walking into a lions' den still feels like an adventure, but not this. But why not? Why shouldn't it be an adventure? :)

I just came from the housewarming party of newlyweds Mark and Love Llena. I remember them testifying of how God provided for them, for big and small expenses cropping up even during the wedding... 

Specifically I am encouraged by Mark's words: "I wonder how God will meet this need..."

That's it. God helping me out is a given. (To ALL who ask, it shall be given.) He has already given me the security of eternal life while giving me fullness of life right now, He is restoring me to reflect His glory even more, He is revealing His plans and giving me strength to obey them. And yes, time and again, through different people and circumstances, He has given me money.

What's so different about today, and this area of life?


So I shall go to sleep, with my heart resting in my God. And tomorrow, I will work. God is great, God is good, God is in control... And God will provide.

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
"Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown!"
And he replied:
"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."

So, I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night
And He led me toward the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So, heart, be still!
What need our little life,
Our human life, to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low
God hideth His intention.


- Marie Louise Haskins, "The Desert"

October 2, 2010

With my heart and with my wallet... I trust in the Lord.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord. - Colossians 3:23a

In God We Trust. - United States money

Yes, yes, I will trust in God.

I will trust in God as I work. (!)

I will trust in God as I not earn money. (!)

I will work with all my heart and with all my mind, trusting that God will provide.


September 30, 2010

No miracles needed?

"God never wrought miracles to convince atheism,
because His ordinary works convince it."
- Francis Bacon

Steadfast love? Yes and yes.

This month has been *such* an emotional roller coaster. 

(Side comment: I can't even say that this month has been the "most emotional ever"... which leads me to realize just how emotional I am. And I'm in an intellectual field. I'm adjusting still, but the more parts of me alive, the better, I say. :)  )

Two weeks ago, tired and discouraged, I was blessed with, in rapid succession:

1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Chapter 1.
  • I finally got to start at the very beginning. Impatient, selective me previously just read and re-read the victorious glorious parts :D
  • "It is scarcely wise when bringing the news of the death of his heir to a mighty lord to speak over much of the coming of one who will, if he comes, claim the kingship. Is that enough?" - Gandalf
    "Kingship?" said Pippin amazed.
2. Serendipity
  • Like the lovers in the movie, it's been a long time since I last saw this. It's a most welcome encouragement to hear that all will be well.
  • "If we are to live life in harmony with the universe, we must all possess a powerful faith in what the ancients used to call "fatum", what we currently refer to as destiny."
  • "You know the Greeks didn't write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: 'Did he have passion?'"
  • "I think we make our own decisions, I just think that fate sends us little signs, and it's how we read the signs that determines whether we're happy or not."
  • "Life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences. Uh-uh. But rather, its a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan."
  • "When love feels like magic, it's called Destiny. When destiny has a sense of humor, It's called Serendipity."

3. Slumdog Millionaire
  • Simply a masterpiece. :) Pursue good in the good, righteous way. Pursue love, seeking what's best for the beloved. Take care not to treat money as a god, and God will provide for you.
  • "I know I have sinned. Forgive me." - Salim
  • "God is great." - Salim
  • "So are you ready for the final question for 20 million rupees?" - host
    "No, but maybe it's written, no?" - Jamal
  • "I thought we would meet only in death." - Latika
    "This is our destiny." - Jamal

Last week:

The LORD your God is with you,
       He is mighty to save.
       He will take great delight in you,
       He will quiet you with his love,
       He will rejoice over you with singing.
- Zephaniah 3:17 

And this week:

One thing God has spoken,
two things have I heard:
that You, O God, are strong,
and that You, O Lord, are loving.

- Psalm 62:11-12

My heart can rest, for it is in the right place.  :)


September 10, 2010

His steadfast love

These days, I have been crying out for love... steadfast love.

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,
the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
- Hosea 6:6

Sow for yourselves righteousness;
reap steadfast love;
break up your fallow ground,
for it is the time to seek the LORD,
that He may come and rain righteousness upon you.
- Hosea 10:12

This morning, God answered my prayers with more of Himself. :) Indeed. He is the only One.

I am thankful for being reminded of this psalm. It includes one of my "life verses", verse 5. But the entire psalm is full of gems, which I've already posted in the past (see here) --- I really should start considering it as one of my "life psalms". Here are the passages that continue to encourage and strengthen me.

Psalm 118 - Your Steadfast Love Endures Forever

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
for His steadfast love endures forever!
(v. 1 and v. 29, the psalm starts and ends with these lines)

In my anguish I cried to the LORD
and He answered by setting me free.
(v. 5)

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.
(v. 8-9)

The LORD is my strength and my song;
He has become my salvation.
(v. 14)

The right hand of the LORD exults,
the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!
(v. 16)

I shall not die but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the LORD.
The LORD has disciplined me severely,
but He has not given me over to death.
(v. 17-18)

I thank You that You have answered me
and have become my salvation.
(v. 21)

This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
(v. 24)

You are my God, and I will give thanks to You;
You are my God; I will extol You.
(v. 28)

The LORD is God,
and He has made His light to shine upon us.
(v. 27)

September 7, 2010

To do list, as of Sep 4 2010

"God loves me just the way I am."

"Yes God loves you just the way you are...
but how much do you love yourself?"

To do list, as of Sep 4 2010:

1. Research 1.
2. Research 2.
3. Research 3.
4. Love myself more in the next two months.

Status, as of Sep 7 2010:
1. Ongoing.
2. Ongoing.
3. Ongoing.
4. Ongoing.

when the record of wrongs becomes a win-win

"Love does not keep a record of wrongs."

When one throws out the record of wrongs... everybody wins. :)

September 1, 2010

justice and more

With the same measure that you judge, you will be judged.

But with love, there is forgiveness.

August 24, 2010

Top 5 Thoughts on the Miss U Top 5 :)

(Four of the five finalists in the 2010 Miss Universe pageant.
Not shown: Miss Australia, who was also voted Miss Congeniality.)

#1. Our (Philippine) candidate for Miss Universe, Maria Venus Raj, was the frontrunner in the days before the pageant! Aaaah! (Look how "far" behind eventual winner Miss Mexico Jimena Navarrete was...!

I'm sad yet still very proud to have been represented by Miss Raj. I'm particularly proud of the fact that she is morena --- dark-skinned --- since (as far as I know), her complexion represents that of most Filipinos. There is nothing to be ashamed of and everything to be proud of being a dark, yes, even black, beauty. (I live in a country that glorifies whiteness, to the point that a common putdown is "she's not pretty, she's just white".) I was also pleasantly suprised to learn that, according to her mom, Miss Raj was previously called different terms of "ugly". Cheers to the late bloomers! ^_^

#2. The 2010 Miss Universe, Miss Jimena Navarrete of Mexico, looks like a grown-up version of High School Musical's Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez). I love her red outfit! So sultry yet so classy. :) As soon as I saw her in the evening gown portion, I silently wondered how to get that "look" using my "7-in-1" red dress. :D And I love the fact that she chose red to symbolize her nation's anniversary. Well done and congratulations! :)

#3. Miss Australia, Jesinta Campbell, is full of the smiles and perkiness of youth; a fine representative of the Aussie spirit. :) loved how she unabashedly raised her arms up high when she was called to be in the Top 5. (No studied poise lessons for her!) And she simply clapped when a fellow contestant gave a great answer, even when the rest (the other "rivals"!) didn't. It's no surprise she won Miss Congeniality. I would have also wanted to give her the Miss Little Sister of the Miss Universe award. :D

#4. Miss Ukraine, Anna Poslavska, made me think of a European Ally McBeal - slash - porcelain doll. She's so fine and delicate. She said she wants to promote Ukraine as a great place to visit; I think that her presence in the Top 5 has successfully earned her country plus points already.

#5. Miss Jamaica, Yendi Phillipps, gave an excellent answer when asked about her views on the death penalty. I'm trying to look for her verbatim reply. In summary, she said she believes that there is only one Giver of Life, and that we humans do not have the right to take that gift away. Her statements were very clear, full of conviction, and truly gave glory to her God.

To honor Ms. Phillipps' honoring God, here's my Facebook status for today:

Ms. JAMAICA didn't win
because she cannot represent those who do not believe
in a Supreme Creator,

but she represented Him and the rest of the world quite well.
What will *you* do when you are given one minute to speak? :)

All glory to the Giver of Life. (And Beauty.)

August 22, 2010

the other kind of strength

It takes more strength, I believe, to be vulnerable.

And so, while I may find it hard to believe, I am actually stronger now.

August 18, 2010

Taken care of. :)

"When you take care of God's business, God takes care of yours." :)

August 11, 2010

people of God, people of the nation

We are to praise our country when it does right.

We are to preach to our country when it does wrong.

God's people dare not be silent. Christians will be civil, but we will not be silent.

Nathan warned David. Elijah preached to Ahab. Eleazar warned Jehosophat. Daniel preached to Nebuchannezzar. Moses warned Pharoh. John the baptist preached to Herod.

- from "Pray for the Philippines", one of my Facebook friends

August 4, 2010

A faith based on evidence and logic

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I just came across this instance of cognitive bias on Wikipedia:
"Wishful thinking or optimism bias – We tend to want to see things in a positive light and this can distort our perception and thinking."

Indeed, I am often seen as a stubborn ("hopeless"?) optimist. But I am full of confidence and conviction in doing so. It might surprise the skeptics reading this (and those I interact with), that I actually have reasons for looking at the bright side, and even focusing on it. There is not enough time (or web space) to recount all the instances in my life where I trusted the Creator and have found Him faithful and almighty.

My perception and thinking are not distorted. I have looked at the dark, sh*tty side of things for the most part of twenty-plus years, sometimes blaming God for them all but mostly ignoring Him completely. At my lowest, darkest point, I finally turned to Him as a last resort, as a matter of life and death... but deep down I knew it was the "right" thing to do. Jesus has always been offering the power to do right, and I have always been in love with the idea that I was doing good, but I had no interest in following anyone but myself. It was only at the end of my self-righteous rope, when the best intentions led to the worst version of me and my life, that I had to admit that I actually needed Him.

But I have no interest in placebos. I listened to pastors and read the Bible with a skeptic's mind still. Literally and figuratively, I worshipped with my eyes open. But encounters and experiences (both mine and others') have merely confirmed His existence, power, and unconditional love. Now I praise Him, not because I'm desperately looking for reasons to validate my faith, but because there is simply every reason to do so.

To the skeptics/pessimists who think I am merely sweeping "the sad truth" under the rug, I simply ask: Now that I'm following God, is my life better, or worse? And I can explain it even. I used to be an unbeliever myself --- in small part because of (lack of) "evidence" but mainly because I wanted to not believe. I can now say that there are honest seekers (those who have yet to find enough compelling reasons for the existence of God, but are willing to change their states once they do find them), and there are those who just don't want to believe. Sad to say, it is actually the latter who sweep the truth under the rug.

There are those who felt God failed them, or disappointed them, or let go prematurely instead of roughing out the tough times with Him. And now they look to science, to philosophy, to anything that would validate their lack of faith. Sometimes they tell me that I need to look at the bigger picture, or that my faith is too simple. May I take this opportunity to tell them the same thing --- be open to the truth, even if it means admitting one is mistaken.

I am confident that I am living in truth, and that Truth is God. How else would both blessing and suffering make sense? All the times in my life --- whether I ignored or blamed, or loved and followed Him --- it makes sense now, in ways that atheism, humanism, pluralism, hedonism, transcendentalism (et cetera) never could. (Yup, I've tried them all.)

My eyes are open. Indeed, "all that I have seen".

July 28, 2010

on faith without doubt

“A faith without some doubts is like a human body without any antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. A person’s faith can collapse almost overnight if she has failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection.”

- Tim Keller, "The Reason for God"

July 26, 2010

Awesome 28

It's been an awesome 28 years with the simply awesome GOD.

The future can only be better. :)

It does one well to treat each day as a "birthday" --- if only to realize that one is special, and to be thankful for the One who makes each day and each person special.

On my Facebook wall, two friends greeted me with, "Happy na, birthday pa!" (Loosely translated as, "You're not just happy, it's your birthday too!") Indeed, indeed. :)

May we all be as blessed, more and more. With God, each day simply gets better. :)

July 8, 2010

The Only Exception

Horns and engines in the streets.
Gossip in the jeepney.
Traffic light turns red and everything falls silent.
An appliance store is playing Paramore's "The Only Exception".

I was an atheist-rocker-romance-hater-teenage-girl who really wanted red hair – just like Paramore vocalist Hayley Williams.

“The Only Exception” says it all. :)

I've posted this song before and I thank God for playing this again for me this morning.

I am loved. Loved by the Perfect One.

And this is the only reason that I can love others, and respond to their love as well.

Hayley sings, “I promised I'd never sing of love, if it doesn't exist.”

But she is singing, and so am I. :)

July 7, 2010

How does one please the King of kings?

“The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him
in those who hope in His steadfast love.”

- Psalm 147:11

July 1, 2010

Do you not know?

Perhaps, perhaps...
... Cinderella's stepsisters were not cruel out of choice,
but rather out of ignorance.

"Forgive them," a Man once said,
a Man who did nothing wrong
yet was sent to die in the most brutish way possible,
"Forgive them for they know not what they do."

Perhaps "they" don't know
that there's a better way to live;
that it is strength, not weakness,
to admit mistakes,
to serve others,
to love.

Perhaps they don't know
the One who is able to do all these
the One who can enable us to do all these...

Perhaps they know, but have forgotten.

What about me? Do I know God?

Knowing Who I know
makes it easier to forgive those who do not know (or have forgotten)
and hope that they would know (or remember) Him too.

They say, "To err is human, to forgive is divine."
Perhaps the very act of receiving forgiveness
for doing what one knows not,

would lead one to the One
whom one knew not.

June 22, 2010

As Promised :)

"The LORD visited Sarah as He had said,
And the LORD did to Sarah as He had promised."
Genesis 21:1 :)

Right now I am too busy to elaborate.
But indeed, as with Sarah, so it is with me.

God is all-good, all-powerful, all-wise and all-loving.

The only question is, will we let Him in our lives?

No other being is worth following.

No other life is worth living.


May 16, 2010

elijah moments

there are times we don't need flashy miracles or awesome signs.

there are times we just need His presence... hear His still, small voice.

May 15, 2010

The true light is already shining :)

"Its truth is seen in him and you,
because the darkness is passing
and the true light is already shining."

- 1 John 2:8

Watch City of Ember. :)

May 14, 2010

crystal balls, crystal clear

When you're given a glimpse of a wonderful future,

wouldn't you be impatient?

But the best way to get there is one day at a time...

May 8, 2010

A Prayer for Righteousness

A Prayer for Righteousness

I pray for righteousness, O God,

in our beloved Philippines,

in the land of our birth.

For so long we have looked

at what our leaders do, or not,

at what our leaders can, or not.

We are so quick to blame them

for everything that goes wrong;

We are so quick to forget

every good thing they have done.

Forgive us, O God,

we, the citizens of the Philippines.

Long have we pointed or overlooked

our leaders' transgressions

yet refuse to change our own ways.

Long have we blamed our leaders

without taking responsibility for our own misdeeds.

Long have we suffered, and know it,

yet choose every day

the easier way,

to continue the way of slaves.

I pray for Your righteousness, O God,

for our leaders
but more importantly
for the rest of us.

Enlighten and enable us to do right

as parents, as children,

as teachers, as students,

as workers, neighbors, friends,

as leaders, as followers,

as one nation.

Lead us to the right path, O God,

forgive us for going astray.

Be the light in our midst

in the work of our hands

in the fruit of our crops.

May we indeed honor and live for You,
our One True King.

Amen and Amen.

Photo credit:

May 3, 2010

Lanie's Song

"The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised."
--- Job 1:21

Last week, I went to the wake of the sister of my friend Lanie. This sister died of complications in giving birth to a son, who also died.

The TV show "Glee" being so popular nowadays, my only personal recollection of our high school Glee Club was Lanie practicing some church songs. Ick, I used to think.

But that night, I heard her sing again.

The songs Lanie and her friends sang were beautiful. Ipinagmamalaki kong Pilipino ako; nakalimutan kong ang dami pala nating magandang kanta tungkol sa Diyos at sa pag-ibig Niya sa atin.

But for Lanie to sing given the circumstances?


Lan, thank God you're finding your strength in Him. May His Presence, His love and peace surround and comfort you all.

Hugs and kisses,

Praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
--- Psalm 146:1-2

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

"Yes, Lord," she told Him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."
--- John 11:25-27

May 2, 2010

They Say...

They say, "Stolen water is sweet,"
But I say, "Fresh water is sweeter, and brings life even."

They say, "Sooner or later, you'll return (down here),"
But I say, "You never belonged there. Welcome home."

They say, "You can't do it."
But I say, "Jesus has already overcome. We have already won; we're already free."

They say, "Goodbye."
But I say, "Hello."

Hey. =)

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
--- Proverbs 4:18

Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.
Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD,
and He makes level all his paths.
--- Proverbs 5:15-21

April 28, 2010

"When I first started, everything seemed curious and full of wonder..."


"When I first started, everything seemed curious and full of wonder..."

"He wrote short stories and poems while still in grad school..."

"People only remember him for his non-academic work."

"I promised I'd never sing of love... If it does not exist."

The Only Exception
by Paramore

When I was younger
I saw my daddy cry
And curse at the wind
He broke his own heart
And I watched
As he tried to reassemble it

And my momma swore that
She would never let herself forget
And that was the day that I promised
I'd never sing of love
If it does not exist

But darling,
You are the only exception...

Maybe I know somewhere
Deep in my soul
That love never lasts
And we've got to find other ways
To make it alone
Keep a straight face

And I've always lived like this
Keeping a comfortable distance
And up until now
I had sworn to myself that I'm
Content with loneliness

Because none of it was ever worth the risk

You are the only exception...

I've got a tight grip on reality
But I can't let go of what's in front of me here
I know you're leaving in the morning when you wake up
Leave me with some kind of proof it's not a dream


You are the only exception...

And I'm on my way to believing you

"I promised I'd never sing of love... If it does not exist."

And... she's back. :)

April 26, 2010

The VOTE that's worth it.

[2011-03-16 Note: This is one of my posts about the 2010 Philippine elections, and particularly about my personal choices for president and vice president. This blog is about God, which supposedly transcends politics; but such political choices are extensions of my God-given wisdom and principles and my privilege (and responsibility) of choosing our next leader. By the way, they didn't win... but my votes are heard and counted.]

from my friend Rex Sayson:

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to share a reflection I've been going through some time now about "wasted votes". Is there really such a thing?

Which vote is a wasted vote? The one used to give the best candidate a fighting chance, or the one used to let a supposed front-runner's backers control the outcome with unscientific surveys? Having generated the largest business portfolio for my previous company using market research, it really bothers me that the methodologies behind the various election surveys seem so loose that the results are practically useless except for whatever agendas those who paid for the surveys may have.

For example, if Noynoy A is really the front-runner, how come most people I speak with are supporting Gordon?

Obviously since I'm not a Villar-ionaire I can't do a proper survey myself at this point, but it's very worrying - look at the financial crisis caused by believing too much in credit ratings paid for by the companies being rated themselves - how much misery has been caused by this ill-placed compianza? Should we peg our faith in getting the leaders we deserve on unscientific surveys, or should we peg our faith on finding the best fit candidate for our country's needs?

What would you like our country to have achieved 6 years from now? How do we measure the achievements we would like our people to have accomplished in 6 years, 12 years, 24 years, and what kind of proven accomplishments let us know which candidates are the best choice?

I am sure different voters will have different criteria, and different results, but I hope you'd help spread the word to let the best candidate win, and not necessarily the ones pre-selected by paid-for survey companies. Personally, I'm impressed with this platform and the values, qualifications and experience behind it -

Just to share, where I'm from, I can go jogging at night, there's a functioning public library, LTO transactions take 15 minutes, public school students have international-standard classrooms, and it doesn't even need to collect the same taxes as Makati. Do we want to just survive in our country, or really live?

I believe our people will make the right choice if we just remind ourselves to stay focused on what this election is about - our future, our dreams, and our loved ones.

May the best candidate win.

What do you think? Please spread the word to everyone you care about also.

Cheers :)

April 25, 2010

My status for April 24, 2010 =)

Suddenly... Mental block gone. Organized flow of ideas. Ease of expression. What took days (weeks? months? years?)... now, just like that. Nakapag-FB/email/TV/chores/mall/service/play-with-dogs pa yan. (And I think I know why :) ) Thank You GOD! ^_^

April 24, 2010

Dear Future Husband (or, True Love for My True Love)

Dear Future Husband,

I was supposed to list down things that you did or are doing that hurt me, but

"Love does not keep a record of wrongs."

I was supposed to tell you what I want, so you can take note, but

"Love does not insist on its own way."

I wanted to tell you, if you do X, or if you don't do Y, then I'm gone, but

"Love never ends."

I hate the fact that I'm drawing you to myself... like I'm the one courting you. I don't like it... because I'm a woman? Or is it my pride?

(You can probably guess what's coming next...)

"Love does not envy nor boast,
it is not arrogant nor rude."

It was so easy for me to just hook up with someone else instead... somebody who conveniently showed up in the midst of the chaos. But I would be doing so out of spite, out of pain, and of course, self-love.

"Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing."

(Ironically, it's that same self-love that kept me from doing it. I love you, I love myself, and I even respect and love him too much as a friend to go through a false relationship.)

"Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things."

Thanks to our all-powerful Father, I can do this. It sometimes feels like I can't, or I don't want to, but

"The only way to truly live is to truly love."

(I don't know if that last line is explicitly written in the Bible, but that does kind of sum up The Book. But that line, I got from movies and TV.)

Remembering my ego once again, here's another movie line:

"There's no room for pride in love."

Well then. I hope there'll come a time when you love me more than I love you. It doesn't look that way now, but "Love hopes for all things," right?


And... there's something else.

"Love rejoices with the truth."

"Love never ends. As for prophecies and knowledge, they will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known."

The truth is, I'm sorry for the hurt my *message* caused you. I thought it was good news! (The "you shall not die" part at least.) I had no idea it would be so misunderstood. "God's Word always accomplishes the purpose for which it was sent." We had to grow up, whether we wanted to or not.

I want to encourage you every day! =)

(How come I suddenly care what other people think? Or what my image would be? I shouldn't right? How come I'm hiding here, in my public private corner?)

It doesn't, it shouldn't, matter what other people think about me. Because I know how God sees me. =) Perhaps the ultimate end of this season is to show you how God and I see you. =)

Back then I prophesied and I knew in part; now I see and know fully. It's a hard road pala :) But I shouldn't be surprised! And indeed I have been fully known. =) And I wouldn't have it any other way. =)

Forrest Gump asked a seemingly simple question that's actually been debated by great thinkers for millennia --- do we have "destiny", or is life like "a box of chocolates" where "you'll never know what you're gonna get"?

Forrest concludes, "I think it's both; I think both are happening at the same time."

Interestingly, Forrest's own momma, who uttered the box-of-chocolates adage, saw things a little differently. While she still held that she didn't know what life would bring, she believed in destiny after all. To paraphrase,

"I didn't know it,
but I was destined to be yours."

To conclude, here's something from another good book:

"I don't want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want YOU. You see I'm quite as shameless as [my friend] about it. Sunbursts and marble halls may be all very well, but there is more `scope for imagination' without them. And as for the waiting, that doesn't matter. We'll just be happy, waiting and working for each other -- and dreaming. Oh, dreams will be very sweet now."

And that's that. I hope you get to read this. :)

April 21, 2010

Why Gordon-Bayani?

[2011-03-16 Note: This is one of my posts about the 2010 Philippine elections, and particularly about my personal choices for president and vice president. This blog is about God, which supposedly transcends politics; but such political choices are extensions of my God-given wisdom and principles and my privilege (and responsibility) of choosing our next leader. By the way, they didn't win... but my votes are heard and counted.]

You can only discover a man’s true character and worth by seeing what he does in extreme adversities.
Dick Gordon. He faced the sin and filth of Olongapo squarely and turned it into a model city. Pinatubo erupted and the Americans left the Subic Naval base, depriving his city of a means to make a living. He turned Subic into the country’s first Freeport. He turned Philippine tourism around at a time when it was the most difficult to convince foreigners to visit the country because of SARS, because of rebellion and terrorism. He turned around the Philippine National Red Cross, making it capable of responding to all sorts of disasters all over the country. As senator, he did the impossible — he pushed for the passage of a law that would end wholesale electoral fraud — RA9369 or the Amended Automated Election Law.

Let's join the Three-Day National Fasting and Prayer for the Philippines

Intercessors for the Philippines
In cooperation with the Body of Christ in the Philippines

The Three-Day National
Fasting and Prayer Assembly


The Three-Day National Fasting and Prayer Assembly (TDNFPA) is a three-day solemn assembly marked by fasting and prayer based on Joel 2:15-17. It will focus on: seeking the face of God and turning back to Him; knowing what God wants us as His people to be; and crying (confessing and repenting) for the sins that the Filipino people has committed during the past 490 years, since the Christianity and the cross was planted in Philippine soil.

Please go to for the complete details.

God bless the Philippines! Mabuhay tayong lahat.

April 14, 2010

"She who has been forgiven much loves much." - Jesus :)

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little. (Luke 7:47, NIV)

She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal. (Luke 7:47, The Message)

April 13, 2010

"In a perfect world, I'll vote for them."

[2011-03-16 Note: This is one of my posts about the 2010 Philippine elections, and particularly about my personal choices for president and vice president. This blog is about God, which supposedly transcends politics; but such political choices are extensions of my God-given wisdom and principles and my privilege (and responsibility) of choosing our next leader. By the way, they didn't win... but my votes are heard and counted.]

"In a perfect world, I'll vote for them."

The world ain't perfect; ALL THE MORE reason to vote for GORDON-BAYANI, May 2010.

One step at a time :)

One Step At A Time
by Jordin Sparks

Hurry up and wait
So close, but so far away
Everything that you've always dreamed of
Close enough for you to taste
But you just can't touch

You wanna show the world, but no one knows your name yet
Wonder when and where and how you're gonna make it
You know you can if you get the chance
In your face as the door keeps slamming

Now you're feeling more and more frustrated
And you're getting all kind of impatient, waiting
We live and we learn to take

One step at a time
There's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It's gonna happen when it's supposed to happen
And we
find the reasons why
One step at a time

You believe and you doubt
You're confused, you got it all figured out
Everything that you always wished for
Could be yours, should be yours, would be yours
If they only knew

You wanna show the world, but no one knows your name yet
Wonder when and where and how you're gonna make it
You know you can if you get the chance
In your face as the door keeps slamming

Now you're feeling more and more frustrated
And you're getting all kind of impatient, waiting
We live and we learn to take

One step at a time
There's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It's gonna happen when it's supposed to happen
And we
find the reasons why
One step at a time

When you can't wait any longer
But there's no end in sight
When you need to find the strength
It's your faith that makes you stronger
The only way you get there
Is one step at a time

Take one step at a time
There's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It's gonna happen when it's supposed to happen
And we
find the reasons why
One step at a time

One step at a time
There's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It's gonna happen when it's supposed to happen
And we
find the reasons why
One step at a time

April 10, 2010

Our lives are made in these small hours :)

Last night, I "met the Robinsons" again.
Thank You God, for leading me to the best life possible, in my past, my present, and my future.
Thank You for my destiny, for glimpses of my future,
and for the choices and actions that lead to this glorious tomorrow.
Thank You because we can afford to learn from the past yet keep moving forward;
for with You, each new day is better than the last.

(Thank You also for science fairs, notebooks of ideas, for magnificent failures, for big loving families... and for telling my future husband that I'm always right. :p )

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
- Walt Disney

Little Wonders
by Rob Thomas
featured in the movie "Meet the Robinsons"
video here

Let it go
Let it roll right off your shoulder
Don't you know
The hardest part is over
Let it in
Let your clarity define you
In the end
You will only just remember how it feels

Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate
Time falls away,
But these small hours
These small hours
Still remain

Let it slide
Let your troubles fall behind you
Let it shine,
Till you feel it all around you
And I don't mind
If it's me you need to turn to
We'll get by
It's the heart that really matters in the end

Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate
Time falls away
But these small hours
These small hours
Still remain

All of my regret
Will wash away somehow
But I cannot forget
the way I feel right now

In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate
Yeah, these twisted turns of fate
Time falls away
Yeah, but these small hours,
These small hours
Still remain

Yeah, oh they still remain
These little wonders
All these twists and turns of fate
Time falls away
But these small hours
These little wonders
Still remain

"They're OK but they're not going to win."

[2011-03-16 Note: This is one of my posts about the 2010 Philippine elections, and particularly about my personal choices for president and vice president. This blog is about God, which supposedly transcends politics; but such political choices are extensions of my God-given wisdom and principles and my privilege (and responsibility) of choosing our next leader. By the way, they didn't win... but my votes are heard and counted.]

"They're OK but they're not going to win."

They're going to win if we vote for them. GORDON-BAYANI for May2010!

April 8, 2010

I will love you freely

(based on Hosea 14:4-9)

I will love you freely,

for my anger has turned from you.

I will be like the dew to you;
you shall blossom like the lily;

you shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;
your shoots shall spread out;

your beauty shall be like the olive,

and your fragrance like Lebanon.

You shall return and dwell beneath my shadow;

you shall flourish like the grain;

you shall blossom like the vine;

your fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?
It is I who answer and look after you.

I am like an evergreen cypress;

from me comes your fruit.

Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them;
for the ways of the LORD are right,
and the upright walk in them,
but transgressors stumble in them.