Category Archives: Insights

tradition over truth


I attended Sunday worship service this morning and it has been a tradition (I guess) in Willingdon Church to do something different on their December Sundays.  They turn it to Christmas (themed) Sundays. So today, the worship started with a Christmas play with music and dancing in between performed by children. 

Before the play started, a cartoon video about nativity was shown.  The video showed the different versions that we used to believe growing up on how Jesus was born. It was a funny video but it had lots of truth into it. And what was so true, was that despite the things the we used to believe or even believe until today, one version always remain the same. And that is, that a baby boy was born by a virgin to become the Savior of the world. The very reason of Christmas.

I know we all have our own little traditions of spending Christmas.  But, I just hope that we will always remember the reason for the season. Just like in the Christmas play, the man lost his wife and child and became cold but in the end, he found hope again in God. He found the reason to celebrate Christmas again. It wasn’t because of the gifts or the tradition, it was because of the truth that a Savior was born to give him hope and a new life.

I hope that we all have a very meaningful Christmas this year, with or without our families with us. I hope we will all receive the greatest gift that God could give us – His Son.

Merry Christmas everyone!


This is a picture of the Christmas tree outside Powerplant Mall in Rockwell.  I’ve always liked going there every December. I hope they will still put it up this year. πŸ™‚


He did it again!


Today seemed to be a very long day for me.  I had my flight to Chicago which was just actually 5 hours but I felt like I was in a plane for the whole day.  But… that’s not what I’m writing about. I just have to blog this before I sleep tonight.
I have a connecting flight in Arizona to get to Chicago and I only have 1 hour to be able to check-in for this flight.  Unfortunately, my flight from Canada got delayed for more than 30 minutes because they had to deice the plane. 

Before I arrived in Arizona, I had been praying really hard that we would still arrive on time and that I would make it to the next flight. I kept on saying to God that He was in control.  But then, I arrived in Arizona, 20 minutes delayed.  
And everything just went crazy after. But still, I was telling God that He was in control.

When I got off from the plane, I didn’t know where to go.  I could not find any signs going to terminal 2 where I will catch the next flight.  So, I asked a security person and he gave me instruction to go down and exit south.  And that’s what I did.  

When I got there, I asked if the shuttle bus was going to terminal 2 and the guy said no! I only had 20 more minutes in my time before the plane leaves.  I had to ask a lot of people to make sure I’m going to exit on the right door. So, I had to go up again and take an elevator to go to level 2 and find door 22.  Finally, I found it. 
 
Whew!

Well, there was a line and no shuttle bus.  So, I had to wait again.  A bus came but not for service. So wait again. Then, a bus came.  You see, it is when you are in a hurry and things just don’t go with you.  The bus made a stop to terminal 3 first.  Then, there was this woman who got into the bus to ask the driver some questions.  So the bus didn’t move for a few minutes.  And I said to God, “Okay, I give up!” . I was not hoping to make it to the flight anymore.  But, I told God that He really must do something still to get me to Chicago. What or how, I didn’t know anymore. It’s really up to Him.

When I got to the airport, well, of course there was a line again. So, I had to wait again.  I approached a woman who seemed to be Pinay and asked her if I could still make it to my flight.  She said I could have missed it already. She told me to wait and she will have someone to attend to me. So, okay, I waited again.  I have like 10 minutes or less before the flight.  

A customer service representative finally became available and checked my flight. She called an officer assigned to that flight.  The gate was still open but they could not promise me that I could still make it.  She gave me a boarding pass and told me to just be hurry. Time check – it was past my departure time already. The CSR and the Pinay woman were very helpful. They were God sent!

You see, I had to go through different  steps before I reached the gate. The time consuming part was the checking of hand carry – taking off your shoes, removing your laptop from your bag, removing your jacket, etc. I didn’t know if I will make it. But, I knew God is in control.

Finally!! I totally got relieved when I saw that there were still a few people just getting in to gate 3. Happy! I thought I was the last person.  I was second to the last! Haha! Well, the connecting flight got delayed also that it took off 10-15 minutes after I got settled in. Haha! 

Good thing, I got a window seat and I didn’t have a person sitting next to me. I had two seats for me! Hehe. When I sat on my seat, I deeply breathed. Relieved. Then, I closed my eyes and said a little prayer to God. He did it again! As always…never fails.

Now, I’m here in Chicago…safe and overwhelmed.

To God be all the glory!

Good night! πŸ˜€






a lot of firsts…

I’m just happy being able to experience a lot of new things for the past few months.  A big first something or a small first something, I’m grateful to God for the new experiences.

Before summer ended, I was able to enjoy for the first time to be in a big cruise ship. It was just an overnight cruise and I must say it was “bitin” but it was a good one for a first cruise. Looking forward to another one!

I also had my first office! Isn’t that cool? Well, we are only 2 in the team here so we got our own office space and just converted it into two cubicles.  But still, I’m in an office! hehe…

I must say I have my first boots! I used to say before that I wish I could live in Hong Kong because wearing boots there was a fashion statement.  And, I want to wear one! haha! And now, I can because of the weather. Just loving it. πŸ™‚

This may be my second time here in BC but it was my first time to experience the season of autumn.  I just love the color of the maple leaves and the crisp of the leaves!

A few months after, I got to experience for the first time, the so-called snow.  I got so excited that I didn’t mind that it was so cold and just went on and made my first snow balls!

I know there are a lot of firsts that had happened in my stay here. And tomorrow, I’ll be doing another first again.  It will be my first time to visit my relatives (my father’s siblings) in Chicago and it will be my first time to celebrate Thanksgiving in the US (oh, I had my first Canada Thanksgiving too! )! πŸ™‚  It will be my first time also to meet some of my cousins.  A lot of firsts I must say on this anticipated vacation.

What are your firsts lately? And oh, this is my first time to write about “firsts”…or, just so I thought… πŸ™‚

xoxoxo

the sweetness of doing nothing

     November 11 was a holiday here in Canada.  It was Remembrance Day, sort of National Heroes’ Day in my country. It was a Thursday, and Friday was a sandwich day so I used my extra hours and took the day off.  So, I have a super long weekend. I wanted to spend the four days in Calgary but the fare was just unreasonable and so I decided to just stay home. 

     I must say it has been a very unproductive long weekend, but I love it! I have all the 4 days for myself just doing some quiet time, reading the book entitled Captivating, watched some chick-flick Tagalog movies (yes, I do watch them!) and completed the first 2 seasons of How I Met Your Mother.  Today is my most productive day of the long weekend. I went out, (yes, for 3 days I was mostly in my room) and went to church to attend a discovery class and worship service. 
     One thing I’ve learned, going out for the weekend and doing some activities are great when you want to unwind from the busyness of your weekdays. But resting – doing nothing at all is better! Well, of course, you don’t do it in all your weekends.  That’s a different story.   There’s always that point in your life that you just got so burned out that even doing activities on a weekend to divert your thoughts does not help at all.  What you need is to be renewed…to be re-charged. And that can only be done through REAL rest.

     Here’s my own definition of a REAL rest.  You can make your own too… πŸ™‚
  • stay at home or if it’s the people at home that give you stress, then go to a place where you can just relax
  • do quiet time – reading God’s Word and in prayer
  • watch movies that could make you laugh or cry or just anything light (over a popcorn would be nice)
  • read a good book (e.g. inspirational books)
  • eat good food or any food that you crave
  • do some afternoon naps
  • think of happy thoughts
     I know you can make a longer list than that.  Rest is precious, so grab it when you can!

     If you can’t have one, ask God and He will definitely give you one. 


  β€œCome to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt 11: 28 – 30



    

a new start…

I’ve had 2 or 3 blog sites that I haven’t updated already and even forgot my passwords for them.


Today, I want to start anew. I want to start writing again.  Something that I haven’t consistently been doing for quite some time already. 
This will be my new freedom wall as I journey on fully experiencing the freedom God has given to me.
To God be the glory always!

truly awakening…

May 25, 2007 – Hillsong United @UBC, Vancouver with Hillsong buddy Sarah and her friends
May 26, 2008 – Hillsong United @Araneta Coliseum, Manila with my best friend, Nong Iman
Aug 15, 2008 – Sonicflood @Araneta Coliseum, Manila with my brother, Christian and cousin, Doink
April 20, 2010 – Hillsong with Darleneο»Ώ Zschech @Araneta Coliseum, Manila with Sarah, Jep and my Dgroup sister, Tsame
Last night – Passion World Tour @Rogers Arena, Vancouver with  Anne and her housemates, Ricky, Abet
—————————————-ooooo—————————————-
Why the list? After the worship event  last night, I started reminiscing the previous big worship events I had attended and the people I was with. I was thinking how many more events will I be able to attend to. I just feel privileged every time I am able to attend these events no matter where I am. Being able to worship God together with thousands of believers is just amazing.
Before I make my point, I just want to share some things that struck me last night from Ptr. Louie Giglio’s message though not really in exact same words…
–  Passion is when you do something for God and you let go of your own selfish dreams and ambitions.   And I totally agree. Passion without sacrifice is not passion at all.
–  As my FB status goes, I am beautifully broken…why?  Because our Healer is God. That’s just it. πŸ˜€
–  Colossians 3:17 – whatever you do, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. As what Ptr. Louie said, when we all go to heaven, the pastors and church workers won’t be on the first line, while those who are not will be on the last. God does not care what we are, He cares on the motive – why we are doing it.
– It’s not about you or me.  It’s all about God.  If you’re broken/hurt – it’s not about you.  If you’re happy – it’s not about you. If you need healing – it’s not about you.  It’s always about God.
– Since it’s about God, He still wants us to be part of His great story. For us to shout His fame and not our fame.
– Make your life count for only one…for Jesus.
– Lastly, Jesus did not come to make the bad become good. He came to make the dead alive. And that’s the life I’m living today. πŸ˜€
Back to my point of making that list…
I was asking myself, then, what? It’s good to take part on those events. But then, now what? Lately, I’ve been asking myself if I was bearing fruit as a Christian. It seems like I just take in things and not being able to share them to others. It doesn’t matter how many worship events I have attended. God won’t ask how many when I meet Him. I was reminded about God’s will last night. Ptr. Louie said that whatever I am doing right now, that is God’s will for me.  I just have to align it to Him and His purpose.  And that’s so true.  I realized I should bloom where God is planting me. I should bear fruit on where He is planting me. And it’s right here, with what I have. This is something I really have to pray and work for as well, all by God’s grace.
I know some of you are also asking what your purpose in life is. The only answer I know for myself is living for the One who gave me life. And that is living for God — as a daughter, a sister, a friend, an office mate, an employee, etc.
“Whatever you do, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus…”
To God be the utmost glory.
God bless!

so blessed, can you contain it?

Travel to different countries, cruises, vacation houses, cars, latest gadgets, high-paying job, etc. The list just goes on, right? I know at some point in our lives we all dream to have or experience these things.
When I was in high school, my friend (she knows who she is) and I had this dream of going to college in the US and be able to get a job after and all those stuff. We really didn’t know how that would happen. Well, it was just a dream. But you see, the dream of going to US was not impossible for God. When I got my US tourist visa years ago, I was really overwhelmed. My dream didn’t happen the way I thought of it when I was in high school, but it came true. That moment, I realized how God could easily make things happen if He really wants to. God is not a β€œkill-joy”. He wants to bless us. He is our joy.
The question is – how do we respond when God has blessed us so much? And, I’m speaking of material blessings.
Deut 31:20 – “For when I bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and are satisfied and become prosperous, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and spurn Me and break My covenant. β€œ
I realized that God does not test us only through trials or problems. He also tests us through prosperity. And even the Israelites whom God has chosen even failed Him. How about me? How about you?
The reality is, we are easily drawn back to God when we are so down to the mouth because of problems. And, we are easily drawn away from God when we are enjoying the abundance of life. I’m not sure about you, but I’m guilty of this sometimes. And with how many times I’ve fallen, these are things that I’ve been learning.
Putting God first above all things. Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
How? Constant fellowship with God through reading and studying of His Word and prayer. I’ve realized how important it is to have that  every day communication with God because it makes us focus more on the Giver and not on the gifts that we are receiving.
Practice good stewardship (even on the little things that God has entrusted us).
Matthew 25: 22-23 “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ β€œ
How? There are a lot of things that God has entrusted to us and one of them is Treasure. We could start with our tithing. A ten percent is always a good start but God is not concerned with the amount. He is concerned with the motive of the person giving it. Are we giving our first to God? Or, are we giving what is left? Learn to budget as well. I’ve once been in a pile of debt that most of my salary went to paying for it. That wasn’t good at all. So, spend wisely, have a savings and be debt-free.
Be a blessing! Acts 20:35 β€œIn everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “
 How? Let’s hold on to our possessions loosely so that it will be easy for us to let go and share them to those who need it. Let’s not forget to bless our family and our church because sometimes we have helped a lot of people already but we forget them.
All of those are easily said than done. But, the first one will always get us to the rest. Each day is always a walk of faith to God who empowers us with His grace. Let’s never forget the Giver of all!
Let me leave you this from the sayings of Agur:
β€œTwo things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die:
 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
 give me neither poverty nor riches,
 but give me only my daily bread.
 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
 and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
 Or I may become poor and steal,
 and so dishonor the name of my God.”
 – Proverbs 30:7-9
May God always get the glory.