December 31, 2011

Songs for the New Year :)

I've been enjoying listening to these songs (thank you Mellow 94.7) and just realized they're quite appropriate as we welcome the new year. One talks of letting go of the regrets and hate of the past, while the other compels us to keep moving toward our dreams.

Let's. :) 

1.Shake It Out by Florence + the Machine 

I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart

I'm ready to suffer and I'm ready to hope
It's always darkest before the dawn

It's hard to dance
With a devil on your back
So shake him off

2. Paradise by Coldplay 

In the night, the stormy night, she'll close her eyes
In the night, the stormy night, away she'd fly

Dream of Paradise
I know the sun must set to rise

New lessons from ye olde year :)

Behold, I make all things new.
- Jesus

This year I grew up.

I'm still disappointed with things that should have been, that are in my "power" to do something about (read: dissertation)...

But really happy about waiting on God, for His perfect timing and direction (read: work). "Work according to the covenant I made with you," He says, and clear commands demand clear obedience.

For this commandment that I command you today
is not too hard for you, neither is it far off...
But the word is very near you. 
It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
(Deuteronomy 30:11,14)

Clear commands also mean I don't have to doubt or second guess or change my mind anymore. It's no longer about what I feel like doing, but what I should be doing, regardless.

Stability. The ability to fix on a particular course of action... Then actually moving in that direction.

Stability also means not going to extreeeeeemes, swinging heavily back and forth. It's about being balanced and healthy and sane.

I'm learning :)

"I am with you *always*," Jesus said, "Until the end of the age."

Thank You Lord for that. We --- I! --- need all the help I can get!

Thank You for this New Year. I'm excited because I'm armed with all the lessons that I'm learning from 2011.

Help me to honor You first, and trust in You all throughout.


December 24, 2011

The best reason to celebrate (Christmas)

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us.’”

For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.
And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus,
for he will save his people from their sins.

- from the first verses of the New Testament

Why celebrate Christmas?

Why celebrate Jesus?

Because God is with us,
and He saves His people from their sins.

December 17, 2011

Talk it out!

"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift." [1]

"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother." [2]

For the longest time, my favorite (fictional) person was this mutant mind reader. But I'm neither a mutant nor a mind reader, so I need *communication*. When there is a conflict, problem or issue, there has to be a resolution.

A leader of mine says we tend to judge other people by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intentions. When it comes to *others*, I tend to just be judgmental and assume the worst. This should not be.

The Bible talks about satan, the eternal enemy of God and all His works (including us, His children), who accuses us before God and each other. How many times have I agreed with satan when I serve as judge, jury and executioner towards others?

Remember (preaching to myself):
1. I might be wrong. I do not know all the details.
2. I am just the same, or worse. C.S. Lewis says, "My heart — I need no other’s — showeth me the wickedness of the ungodly." (Thanks for the quote Rayda.) Acknowledging my faults makes it easier to forgive others'.
3. I am not The Judge. I do not have the authority nor the power. I am just a fellow sister.

And that is why communication is important. When there is an issue between two parties:
1. Perhaps it was only a misunderstanding.
2. Perhaps one party did hurt/grieve/injure the other, but unintentionally.
3. Perhaps one or both did injure the other, but why?

All these can be resolved if each party airs his/her/their side... and listens to the other side.

We are different people, but let's take these differences constructively. We can learn from each other and grow. Let's appreciate each other, understand, and celebrate. :)

I'm not a mind-reader, but I am a person with one mouth and two ears. May I use them well.

December 12, 2011

Work! Worry... Worship.

The last three labels (tags) in this blog are:


How funny. In that order even.

This season I am called to work. And working leads me to my old lifestyle of fussing over everything, multitasking, rushing on a caffeine high...

In other words, doing things in my own power --- being my own god, life before *the* God.

And then I worry because of the tons of problems that pile up. Or is it me who's just shrinking? And drowning? And I panic because I can't do it and I'm done for, lagot, messed up, in so much trouble...

And then...

I remember God.

I remember that it is He who started the good work *in* me, so it is *He* who will finish it.

That it is *He* who causes me to *will*, and to *act* accordingly.

That *nobody* is perfect but Him alone, and nobody can boast before Him.

That He calls me to obey, to please Him, to bless others, and to bring glory back to Him... And that this is an invitation, not to go back to workaholic Teci, but to let God be God in all aspects of my life.

Because all things are possible, through God, and only through God.

Worship is where we lay all our troubles down and remember what --- Who --- is really more important. The One before Whom we and our petty little issues fade away. But it's OK. Would we rather degenerate squabbling over foolish insignificant matters, or be filled with the God of All Things?

Worship is the start of a new, deeper, fuller relationship with our God.

Let us begin. :)


Worship takes my worries away.

Keep away from gossip. Go back to Worship.

Worship the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (NOT me, myself and I!)

What am I listening to? Self-glorifying music, trash talk, appeals to lust and greed and laziness... Go back to worshipping the One True God.

Yesterday I was late again for church. I've been regularly missing the part where people sing to, praise, worship, and celebrate God.

But yesterday, thankfully I stayed behind to catch the worship part in a later service. Now I know what I've been missing.

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Remembering the greatness of my God,
celebrating Who He is and What He is doing,

makes living my life --- nay, the life He lent me ---
so much easier.

Have a great week, everyone. :)

December 3, 2011

Thank You (December 3, 2011)

And I want to thank You
For giving me the best day of my life
And, oh, just to be with You
Is having the best day of my life

 - Dido 

Thank You, Lord, for this season of growth. I'm back to (real) work after four years, and it's my heaviest work load ever. The word "transition" is an understatement. :) This season, it seems that every day I have to make a "life" decision aside from the daily issues of what to wear, eat, and teach. Finally growing into myself, eh? :) 

Thank You for the freedom. I'm listening to Snow Patrol's "Called Out in the Dark", over and over again. The phrase "We do not need to be told" suddenly struck me. I've been obsessing about deciding in accordance with *God's Will*, but how much of that is based out of --- again --- fear? Some decisions are clear enough already, while some options are equally good; do I still have to be told? Thank You for the freedom to decide in the present, for my future.

Interestingly, according to the lyrics sites, the phrase is actually "(our rain-washed histories, well) they do not need to be told." That's a different message, but it still points back to God setting me free from my past. Thank You for the freedom to start anew. 

Thank You for them movies :) I got to watch my top two favorite movies of all time (at least for now) - "One More Chance", and "Easy A", back to back. I love a good story, where you get not just feel-good entertainment, but wisdom too. Thank You Lord, for cable TV, and for Your perfect screening times :) (Thanks also to my previous fave movie, "Forrest Gump", and to a future fave --- may it be completed --- "Redeeming Love".) 

Thank You for all things new. A few days ago, one friend of my father's gave him a phone, and another gave him a battery for his current phone. What seemed redundant at first is now simply providential: I just lost my phone with all contacts, pictures and information therein. So just like that, I get a "new" phone, minus all the baggage of the past. Teci, let's not waste this opportunity to start afresh --- in phone contacts and relationships in general, in work, in life. 

Thank You for my body. Cliche but true --- my body (and yours!) is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. What am I doing to take care of it? I'm slimming down due to stress, and the constraints of time and money. My fitness trainer brother keeps on reminding me that regular exercise is a much better alternative. Hopefully, when I board near UP Diliman, I can get to jog, swim, play football, and do aero/tae/bo/dance again. Help me take care of my body Lord, for my sake and Your glory! 

Thank You for the attention. Nowadays I get a lot of attention, including much intrigue and gossip. While I never asked for fame (!), it is rather useful for a blogger like me who believes she has something to say. (A lot actually.) I used to enjoy corrupting people's minds --- it's a good thing nobody paid much attention then! :p 

Thank You for my bro. Dexter graciously gave me his iPod when I needed to fill in the long commute to work (from San Mateo, Rizal, to FEU in Sampaloc, Manila). I'm now listening to his downloaded Joel Osteen podcasts on overcoming fear and moodiness --- that being consistent and stable are acts of faith. My issues right now are about discipline and self-control and taking responsibility for my actions. "The LORD disciplines those He loves," the Bible tells us twice.

Just a month earlier, while I was (am) still wavering in career decisions, Dex also recommended that I watch "3 Idiots". I said I read about it in Wikipedia already. "No, you have to watch it," and I did that same night on his laptop. Yup, watching it is an experience. And so, Ma'am Teci made her students watch it. (All of them, by the way, are engineering majors like the lead characters.) Thanks bro. 

Thank You for my parents. And their unconditional support. (Need I say more?)

Thank You for new relationships. The old ones are great and are still there, but I'm happy because now I have more. After sixteen years (!) studying, teaching and living in the district of Diliman Quezon City, everything and everyone in old Manila is new for me. I'm learning a lot and am being so blessed by the people I encounter - parental figures (who readily share their advice, exams, food and money hihi), peers (who like me are just a thesis away from graduating!), and students (for me, the one thing better than teaching, is the fact that I'm ministering to people). Just like that, I'm going to Iloilo next month with new friends (Lyza, Sharol, Bless), to attend the wedding of a new friend (Emee). And last night, Emee introduced me to her friend Ann, who just might be our newest colleague. Life is good, no, great.

God says, "It is not good for man to be alone". That's true for me too. On my first day in my new work, I also caught our local church's "Singles' Getaway". I got to talk with one of our pastors (Hi Kuya Edge!) who exhorted me to get out of my way to be with other people whenever I find myself alone. I go back to that advice every now and then. When I was boarding alone, in a new city with nothing but the papers I have to check and the life decisions I have to make, I immediately understood why solitary people are more likely to commit suicide. It's great to be alone with God, preferably quality time with quantity, but the rest of the day is for applying what I've learned, what He's sent me to do. Thank You, thank You for relationships :) 

Thank You for my work. I am currently a physics and math teacher in Far Eastern University - East Asia College. I've grown a lot from the time when I taught out of convenience or comfort or just because everyone else (in my field) is doing it. Now I do it because I want to. I've been a teacher since I was in fifth grade so it was easy to take it for granted. But now, I am realizing how special it is to find something (1) you're really good in, (2) that you love doing, (3) that people would pay you to do, and (4) that blesses everyone involved, including me. 

Thank You for my finances. Thank You for providing for me and I am sorry for ever doubting You. Thank You for taking care of me, and enabling me to support and take care of others too. Thank You even for the season of famine, to remind me that (1) man does not live on bread alone but on Your Word, (2) You are in control, not me nor circumstances, (3) You are the owner but I am a manager/steward. May I be more responsible. :) 

Thank You for clear boundaries. "Everything is permissible," the Bible says, "but not everything is beneficial." I thank You for Your boundaries, so I can thrive within my limits instead of wandering aimlessly. Indeed, these are limits that actually liberate. 

Thank You for having a lot of things to thank about. This was supposed to be a quick blog entry. 

Thank You for You. Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man, said that He came here to give life and life to the full. I am living proof that He does.

How about you, dear reader? Would you like to experience God -- The Answer to all your needs and wants... The One Who Is More Than Enough?

Try inviting Him into your life, to make Himself known to you. To show Himself. If you need help, you can ask for it. (A little humility is worth the answers He's going to give.)

May we all find so many reasons to thank Him, that we can't thank Him enough. :)