Monday, December 26, 2011

Singleness: When you're single in a married world

In our culture and society, singleness seems to be acceptable only until your early twenties. I have had someone ask me, "What's wrong with you?" when he learned that I was still single. When you're single and people think it's high-time for you to get married, you can expect:

- people telling you to lower your standards
- matchmaking schemes 
- people telling you you're way past calendar age
- being pressured, because you might not have a child anymore
- being called an old maid
- feeling ugly or embarrassed
- feeling that every guy that comes along and pays you attention is a "prospect"

Some people who tell you these things or seem to make you feel bad have good intentions of course.  The married and in-a-relationship ones want you to feel the same happiness they are experiencing.  Parents and family members want to ensure that the good genes get passed on.  In short, people just want everyone, including you, to be happy.

It makes you wonder though, is singleness inferior to the married life? Because of worldly standards, single godly men and women have the tendency to compromise their godly standards.  We settle for men or women who are ungodly just so we wouldn't be lonely or feel bad because everyone around us is married or going there.  Or we date around, giving pieces of our hearts to each and every guy that comes along.  

It is a challenge for singles to remain pure physically, emotionally and spiritually. But with God's grace it is possible.  The only standards worth thinking about are the standards of God. 

"Single" is not an inferior status compared to "married"

Singleness, if anything, is a gift.  Some people are called to marriage, some people are called to singleness. The Bible does not have a "dating" status.   If you're not married, you're single.  One day, you might get married.  But until then, you're single.   The apostle Paul said that it is good for widows and the unmarried to stay single.     

I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
Does this contradict the Adam and Eve story?  After all, God gave Adam a helpmate, Eve, because he saw that it wasn't good for man to be alone.  No.  Both singleness and marriage is a gift. Paul did not have to worry about the stresses of marriage. He could devote his time to ministry and to God. But some people function better with a tag team partner.  They can also glorify God through their relationship and their family.

Don't let singleness become the devil's foothold

The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  He tells you that you're ugly, that you're worthless, that you're lonely. He robs you of your joy in Christ. It's also tempting to remain in or get into an ungodly relationship, or to question God when you've been single for a long time. But having a boyfriend is not the standard for you to live a full life.  Jesus Christ is the only requirement for a full life.  Are you ready to compromise Jesus Christ for a boyfriend or a husband?

2 Corinthians 6:14 

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The only eternal relationship is our relationship with God 

Our relationships on earth are temporary.  We value them and treasure them, because with them, we glorify God.  In the end though, our relationship with God is only one that will last.

Mark 12:25 

For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

Matthew 22:29-30 

But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

It's all about God

Faith comes when we remove the focus on ourselves and focus on the God who watches over us.  Whatever status we are in -- single or married -- the point is to glorify Him. Remember God's faithfulness.  It's easy to choose a tangible person over God when God is not a personal God. But when we remember the cross and what He did to win us over, everything else fades away.  Are you single?  You are not alone.

And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord. ~ Hosea 2:19-20

Monday, December 19, 2011

How to Help Typhoon Sendong Victims in the Philippines

update as of December 21, 2011 2pm, Sendong death toll tops 1,000

The Sendong death toll has risen to 652 as of 6:00 pm yesterday, with 800 more missing. We can add "help Sendong victims" to our Christmas to-do-lists, aside from the usual gift-buying and Christmas parties.  Here's one way for you to help the 8,000 families in the Philippines who were affected by Typhoon Sendong.

 Right Start Foundation, a non-profit, non-stock NGO that supports underprivileged children, will be holding relief operations in CDO next week, according to the blog of Pastor Dennis Sy of Victory Greenhills.  Right Start is one of the foundations supported by Victory Christian Fellowship.

photo from Rock Ed Philippines on facebook

They need our help.  Photo from Arlene Sy.

from Twitter #Sendong
More Sendong photos:

Donations can be sent to:

Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) account under RIGHT START COMMUNITY DEV’T INC. 
Account Number: 004021-0129-42

Banco de Oro account under RIGHT START COMMUNITY DEV’T INC. 
Account Number: 2030132221

Banco de Oro under account name Right Start Community Dev’t Inc.

Account number: 102030129115

Typhoon Sendong is the worst typhoon to hit the Philippines in 25 years.  Spread the word and send your help now.  

Update: Filipinos abroad, send your donations to credible and recognized organizations. Be wary of donation scams for Sendong victims.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Saved Festival 2011 Manila Concert Report

SAVED FESTIVAL 2011, Manila - Six hours of worship with eight amazing Christian bands and performers and one inspiring pastor.  Was the 1k ticket worth it? Are you kidding me?! There's no price tag for uninhibited, passionate, and sincere worship for God!

A concert for worship

Gary V's fire-filled performances left us wanting for more of God

The difference between this Christian concert with other concerts I had attended in the past was that all the shouting, clapping and frenzied joy were not for idols we were watching, but for the one true God who alone is worthy of our praise.  Every performer exhibited this attitude for God when they went onstage.  

Gary V. is one of the, if not the, most well-known and vocal Christian performers in the Philippines today.  To put his popular songs like "Take me Out of the Dark" and "Natutulog ba ang Diyos" in context, he interspersed his singing and dancing with readings from bible verses and some personal reflections. He told us that sometimes when he performed and said stuff like "praise Jesus", people would usually look at him oddly. He said that it felt great to be in the presence of people who would actually understand what he meant when he said things like those.  I feel you Gary V!  In a concert such as this, you really wouldn't be able to help praising and thanking God.

Lyrics were projected for free worship. These are lines from one of my many favorite Gary V. songs 
Mr. Pure Energy

Gary V. is also known as Mr. Pure Energy, and people just naturally assume that it's because of his awesome dance moves.  To quote roughly:  "I'm called Mr. Pure Energy, not because of this (dances a bit for the audience); all the energy comes from God"

Mr. Pure Energy himself

Everyone who follows the Filipino pop scene must know that Gary has been battling Type 1 Juvenile diabetes, a sickness he has lived with since he was 14 years old. He emphasized that it was amazing that he was even performing for us at that moment. Isn't God amazing?

More Pinoy worship leaders

 After many songs from Gary V (which I believe was already worth more than 1k!), Quest motivated us to let go and enjoy the party. He got everyone up on their feet to dance.

I also loved his smooth and inspiring RnB/rap grooves that were just so good for the spirit. Those who like Pinoy Christian worship might recognize Quest as Jose Villanueva III, the one who composed the touching "Lord of All".

Sideshow followed Quest's upbeat performance with some Pinoy Christian rock. There should be more powerful voices and bands like Sideshow! Kamown Pinoy Christian musicians! Rock for God!

Photo from Sideshow's Facebook page

It was the first time I heard Jodi King. She sang Breathing in/Breathing Out plus some other songs with her husband on the guitar (awww so sweet).

Beautiful woman of God

 One of the best things about the concert was hearing life testimonies of the grace of God. Pastor Steve Ruetschle of the Union Church of Manila talked about his personal experience with brokenness and the power of prayer.  He was in a motorcycle accident that made him a quadriplegic, and doctors told him that he would never walk again.  It was the faith and prayers of his friends and wife that pushed him through this difficult phase.  He likens his story to the story of the paralytic whose friends wanted to bring their paralytic friend to Jesus to be healed. However, the house where Jesus was staying was already filled with people when they got there, so the friends decided to course the paralytic through the roof. This way, Jesus was able to heal the man.  Pastor Steve reminds us that everyone suffers from brokenness in one form or the other.  During our times of brokenness, we should never underestimate the power of praying for each other.  

In a benefit concert for Pastor Steve, Gary V told the audience that he had a vision of the then-paralyzed Pastor running. Seeing Gary V onstage, dancing and singing, and comparing himself seated on a wheelchair, Pastor Steve found this unbelievable. His friends did not lose faith though and continued to pray for him. Today, the pastor praises God for His faithfulness.

He's not just walking...preach it, Pastor Steve!

Pastor Steve: Walking, but not running...."yet"

 Two in One

Other amazing testimonies were those of the Parachute Band and Martin Smith of Delirious?

Parachute Band Frontman Omega Levine talked about being bullied growing up because of a physical deformity.  He became bitter and angry despite being raised in a Christian family with a pastor for a father.  It was the love of God that brought about the positive transformation in his life.  The band led all of us to an amazing worship and sang their new song, "Keep the Fire Burning". 

Martin Smith's testimony really inspired me.  Martin is the composer of "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever" and most people know him as the lead singer of Delirious?, a popular Christian band. Martin said that the band's schedule could get really busy, and they had to rush and fly around the world to go to gigs. It got to a point that his intimacy with Jesus became compromised.  It was because of this that Delirious? decided to disband.  Martin said that sometimes, you just had to do things like "leave the band" because you have to set your sights on a bigger prize -- Jesus Christ.

It was great seeing Martin Smith and the Parachute Band together, singing.  Despite their relatively popular status, they shifted our eyes from being starstruck and led us to praise God.

Photo from Facebook wallpage of Parachute Band
Dancing and Singing with Starfield

Martin Smith and Parachute Band were followed by Starfield. The band stimulated us yet again with a string of Christian rock tunes. Lead singer Tim Neufeld also lent some humor to the concert and led the crowd to groove to some, as he says it, "ridiculous" dance moves.

Hosanna in the Highest

Beautiful man of God

Saved...the ending and the beginning.

Need I say that Citipointe rocked Araneta?

Six hours of praise and worship wasn't tiring.  It was refreshing. I left that concert knowing that something in me had changed and that the best things had been revived. Praise God for beautiful endings and even more beautiful beginnings.

Photo shared by Amalia dela Cruz on Facebook


Beautiful people I was with

Ria, Mabs, April

VGmates from Ortigas and Los Banos

Beautiful Church that led me here

The shirt is my Saved Festival souvenir

Beautiful God

Saved Festival 2011 was held at the Araneta Coliseum, Manila last Nov. 26, 2011. 
More (and better) pictures here

Saved is an annual God-centered festival where people from all over the world will travel far and wide to witness the great gathering of united Filipino believers in Jesus Christ!

From the Saved 2011 Facebook page:

The SAVED FESTIVAL 2011 is for the benefit of:


THE WORSHIP PROJECT recognizes the need to enable committed and qualified individuals to lead the local churches in their spiritual worship, equipped with Bible-based discipleship and high-quality instruments. THE WORSHIP PROJECT will target select churches in Metro Manila in need of better instruments in order to further encourage and reinforce that our worship to the Almighty Father should be nothing short of excellent. The following program provides discipleship and interactive training sessions to further advance each team member’s growth in their skills, God-given talents, and spiritual life.

At the end of the program, the participating churches will be rewarded and equipped with instruments of upgraded/enhanced quality as available. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

why we find it hard to be generous- GREED

Do you find it hard to give?  I know I can be selfish when "the situation calls for it". For example, I sometimes feel that I don't or won't have enough.  I guess this is why I was so blessed with the message on generosity last Sunday service in Victory Malate.    

The "10 percent crew" brought the house down with a special number during the tithes and offering

We're asked to give our 10 percent in tithes. What is this compared to God's 100 percent?
I felt privileged to attend two services and hear the message delivered by Pastors Rev Araneta and Nixon Ng. This was the last installment in the 4-part series entitled "Abraham's School of Finance". 

Pastor Rev 

I won't be able to recreate the humor of Pastor Nixon or the strong conviction of Pastor Rev, but I hope this summary will minister to you. You can listen to the podcasts on Generosity yourself when they're uploaded.  This message was so timely for me, and I'm sure you'll be able to relate to this too.


Sometimes, it's hard to give because we want more.  It is not wrong to desire something, but what is wrong is when our desires are not led by God. Sample case is Lot.

Genesis 13:10-13
Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. 13 Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD.

In Genesis 13, Lot looked up (Hebrew word is nasa, meaning to take up, carry, lift up) and saw the land.  This is parallel to Eve who looked up and saw the fruit from the tree of good and evil.  Lot craved for (or was carried away by) the land in as much as Eve craved for the forbidden fruit. Lot craved for this land even though it was near a wicked city and was beyond God's promised land.

In contrast, Abram's eyes were lifted by God and he saw the promised land prepared by God. This is why he was blessed by God.

Lot was willing to go beyond what God wants. Abraham's desires were God's desires.

Our source determines our course.  Abraham's source was God.  Lot's source was the land.   Lot decided to live near wickedness, because he craved for the land more than he craved for God.  Lot's course was towards wickedness. Lot's greed separated him from God.  At this point, I was asking myself, what is my land? What things are taking my eyes away from God?

For Abraham, God was more important than the land. Because Abraham knew that His source was a covenant-keeping God, he was able to gain God's promises.  God told Abraham:

“Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”

Isn't God generous?  Most of the time, we compromise God and become greedy because we feel that God will not provide.  For example, some of us may want to marry established, handsome/beautiful, and "nice guys" or "nice girls" even though these guys/girls aren't Christians. We argue with God and insist on our own way because of our misguided desires.   But just because something looks good does not mean that it is God's best for you. God does not want to make us poor in any way! He wants to bless us!  Isn't this amazing?

Sometimes we may feel that we are being punished by God. But are we?  Or is our  poverty a result of our own bad decisions, a giving in to temptation?

 The good news is that we can repent.  God wants us back.  God wants you back.  God wants to bless you.
God's blessings will also allow us to be generous to others.  As God promised Abraham in Genesis 12:2:

"I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing."  

Be blessed!

Monday, November 21, 2011

While Waiting, a poem

There is a silence that stalls  --
clear rain water on narrow leafy veins;
dripping settling liquid space,
dreaming an empty craving that is you.

now my spirit is pregnant with sky.
it walks on water, is wide-eyed staring --
smelling touching laughing heaven;
breathlessly claimed into a wind that is You.

 The past days, I have been tempted to compromise God for my own worldly desires.  The last line of this poem was supposed to read, "breathless running into a wind that is You". But I didn't run into the Wind.  I was relentlessly pursued, wooed, won over, reined in, and reminded of  who I am. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Birthday treats

I turned 30 something yesterday!  I say that with all the surprise of a girl who thinks she's still in her early 20s. Here's a glimpse of my special day <3

Facebook greetings from acquaintances, best friends, family, former students, former teachers, and celebrity contacts. hehe. thanks everyone!

Gifts from family, friends and from myself *huge grin*

Aside from charcoal-cooked sinukmani from my supervisor and Starbucks chocolate cake from my sister (sorry, gobbled them all before picture-taking); I also got inspiring Papemelroti words from officemate Tala, a new dress from myself haha, slobbery kisses from Shobe and Chichi, and these other yummy and crazy and beautiful things!

crazy photoshop thingy from our SEO specialist. 

Lindt Dark Chocolate from Chris and Olive. My fave brand and choco.

A new hardbound book of poems.
I don't like the title, but this is one of the best collections of poetry ever!
Louis Gluck, Margaret Atwood, William Carlos Williams, Gwendolyn Brooks, Pablo Neruda...and more!
New jeans (now in the laundry)  and shoes from my Mom.

Alice in Wonderland necklace from Ching. LOVE!

I absolutely love this!  The pages are smooth and nice to write on.
An eco-friendly journal for my quiet time with God :) 

Best parts of my day were my feel-as-fat-as-you-want KFC lunch with family and special moments like these...

My bestfriend's baby's 1st birthday.  Also Tanya's and her brothers' baby dedication.  

This darling cute boy over here is my inaanak, and his super mom is one of my bestfriends.

Juju singing  "I Will Rise" by Chris Tomlin. Love this song.
I will rise on eagle's wings/before my God/fall on my knees...

Look at all the preps she did and tell me she doesn't deserve to be awarded Birthday Mom of the Year! (thanks to Tita Beth for these pictures)

hard-at-work mommy

Finished products

Flower Power pompoms...from the love of a mom.

 Enjoyed a cool day with my high school friends at the La Mesa Dam guest house.  'twas also the first time I met Bitoy's fiancee Jackie. Welcome to the barkada girl-in-yellow Jackie! I could tell she fits right in with all our craziness.

Jackie, Bitoy, Ella and baby Gaby, Ting and Tanya, Chris, Me, Dek

Bea was in Baguio and Olive was at home studying. And Ven...she had just given birth the day before! So many nice things happening on my birthday!

Welcome to the world baby Claire! pic by Abby Venida

I spent part of the night playing with baby Gaby in the car and ended the whole day the best way possible...

 Listen to this podcast 'Faith" by Pastor Noel Landicho.VCF Ortigas.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. Who Was and Is and Is to come.
With all creation I sing, Praise to the King of Kings! You are my everything. And I will adore You. ~Revelation Song

Thank you God, for a great birthday.

And to you who's reading this, I leave you with this poem by a favorite poet from my new poetry book.

i thank You God for most this amazing
e.e. cummings

i thank you God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly sprites of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth.)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any -- lifted from the no
of all nothing -- human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Be free! Healing Begins by Tenth Avenue North

Do you feel like a failure? Do you feel that you should "pay" your way into heaven?  The good news is that Jesus has already freed us! This does not mean that we are going to sit by the sidelines and wait for the blessings to come. On the contrary, the love of God will overcome you so much, that you wouldn't be able to help just HAVE to share it to the poor, to those who are crying out for justice, to those who need comfort, to those who are successful but who haven't heard about God.

I love this song by Tenth Avenue North from The Light Meets the Dark album. Our healing from all this world's brokenness and our own limited views begins when we accept the freedom Jesus brings.

Healing Begins lyrics 

So you thought you had to keep this up
All the work that you do
So we think that you're good
And you can't believe it's not enough
All the walls you built up
Are just glass on the outside

So let 'em fall down
There's freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We're here now

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Afraid to let your secrets out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame won't disappear

So let it fall down
There's freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We're here now
We're here now, oh

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Sparks will fly as grace collides
With the dark inside of us
So please don't fight
This coming light
Let this blood come cover us
His blood can cover us

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Sunday morning service is a pleasure.  There's an air of solemnity and also a thriving anticipation of basking in God's presence.  I was sitting there by my lonesome, praying, when one of our church's ushers  plopped down on the seat next to me.  Her name was Ludy, she said.  She was small, elderly but sprightly, with an energetic twinkle in her eye.  She looked like a cool grandma.

She asked me if I was already part of a bible study group, and when I said yes, she proceeded to engage me in small talk.  She was married, for 41 years, and she and her husband were excited to go on a road trip to a hotel which had a spectacular view of the Sierra Madre Mountains. I couldn't help but feel amazed with this sixty-ish woman, who was still excited about life and about her plans and about her husband and about God.  I know many couples who just give up after a few years of marriage, and I always feel like rejoicing when married people stay married out of love.  I've also known people who at 50, feel like life has already passed them by.  Ludy was different, and I felt her passion for life just seeping through me before that early Sunday church service.

Just when we heard the first strains from the guitar and violin, Ludy jumped up. She had to welcome the other attendees in and direct them to their seats.  She said goodbye, and was about to leave me when she paused in remembrance of something.  "Wait, let me pray for you.", she said quickly. "What do you want to pray for?"  Before I could open my mouth to answer, this beautiful lady cut in and said, "A husband? Let's pray for a husband."  I didn't have time to protest.  Ludy placed a hand on my arm and rushed into spontaneous prayer, "Lord, I pray that Gaby will meet a husband.  Let him be a Christian, responsible, and handsome."

Then Ludy was gone, leaving me smiling at her unexpected prayer.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How my cellphone got stolen again

I've been home in Manila for three months, and I've lost my phone twice.  The first time happened without much fanfare, while I was waiting for a bus in front of a mall.  I realized that it was gone, along with my wallet, when I was looking for some change to pay for my ride.  It was a good thing that my officemate was with me to sympathize with my situation and lend me some money.

Last night was a different story. I was going home from a night church service, so it was pretty late.  I got off the usual place I did going home and crossed the street, unaware of the time and how I was the only person within the vicinity.  I only wanted to get home and kiss my two dogs, and I had forgotten my sister's warning not to pass by that way if ever I was going home late.  Three minutes before I turned the corner to our village, I felt a strong tug on my shoulder bag. I thought I had gotten the strap caught up some place, not even thinking that that was an impossibility (there was only a vacant lot on my side), and that I was, like a morbid initiation into city life, having my bag snatched while I held on tightly to the shoulder strap.

He was only a wily boy, maybe around fifteen, not older than my second year high school students.   Thin and wearing a red shirt that was a bit too big for him, he was surprisingly strong.  He was dragging me into the wide open streets, while I, in my shock, was trying to pull my bag free from his grasp.  I vaguely remember shouting expletives to this rogue of a boy, more angry than afraid that someone was taking something that rightfully belonged to me!

I was fighting a losing battle though.  I was doing things by instinct; he had deliberately surveyed the situation beforehand.  There were no people around, it was dark, and the open avenue was a friend to the agile likes of him. I guess he was also already banking on the fact that I would be too scared to follow him and would not risk getting hit by one of the few whizzing cars.  He also had two hands on the bag itself; I only had one hand on the long strap.    Because I was still holding on tightly to the strap and shouting for dear life, he gave two sharp tugs and I fell on the pavement, scarring my knee. He easily crisscrossed through the light traffic, like Aladdin in the making. My urge was to run after him, but I regained my wits, realizing that he had ran through what was locally known as a killer highway.  In frustration, I just let him go and went straight to a police station, which was ironically just a three-minute walk away from the incident.  What do you know, I had to wait for the policemen to notice that someone had just come in their office (both of them were at the store next door).  If I had the makings of that boy who stole my bag, I could easily have stolen their logbooks and electric fan without their knowledge.  Though I knew that they would probably never catch the rascal, I wanted them to be warned that this had happened almost right under their very noses, and maybe they could do their job a little bit better to keep commuters safe like they're supposed to do.

Admittedly, it was partly my fault for not heeding my sister's warning not to pass by that route.  But I honestly don't expect to get robbed everytime I walk the streets of Manila.  In the province where I used to live, I accidentally left my wallet that had three thousand pesos inside it, and it was given back to me. Here, the person who gives you back your misplaced things is called a hero.

When I got home, I gladly cried to my mom, feeling like a ten year old who had just scraped her knee.  I was grateful that I had a family to go home to, not an empty dorm room like before.  My sister came home and dressed the scar on my knee, while my two doggies looked on in sympathy.

I lost my phone...again. But good thing, it was a temporary phone bought for me by my sister and was only worth 500 pesos.  I also lost my wallet, my keys, my ATM card and my IDs.  I went home to my family with only my company ID, a tupperware, my life, and the only thing that fell out of my bag during the struggle, a small book of bible reflections.  I still want all of my things back, simply because they're mine.  I think that you would agree though, that what I do have is all that I really need.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A song that comforts me: I Am by Mark Schultz

I received some distressing news this morning, something that I can't publicly talk about.  The situation put me in an awkward situation, and I just didn't know what to do.  In times like this, music becomes my solace. I tried listening to some of the songs I posted on this blog and some other songs on my Media Player playlist.  Despite their positive messages and affirmations of how strong or how beautiful I am made by God, I wasn't quite comforted.  I was nearing the end of my playlist when this song came on.  It helped revived my spirit. It helped me realize that I am not strong, but God is at my side. I can trust and be secure in Him.

God is  "I AM," not "I WAS," or I WILL BE," But He is "I AM," forever and unchangingly.  The Great "I AM," the same yesterday, today and forever.

I Am - Mark Schultz 

I am the maker of the Heavens
I am the bright and morning star
I am the breath of all Creation
Who always was
And is to come

I am the One who walked on water
I am the One who calmed the seas
I am the miracles and wonders
So come and see
And follow me
You will know

I am the fount of living water
The risen Son of man
The healer of the broken
And when you cry
I am your savior and redeemer
Who bore the sins of man
The author and perfecter
Beginning and the end
I am

I am the spirit deep inside you
I am the word upon your heart
I am the One who even knew you

Before your birth
Before you were

Before the Earth (I am)
The universe (I am)
In every heart (I am)
Oh, where you are (I am)
The Lord of lords (I am)
The King of Kings (I am)
The Holy lamb (I am)
Above all things

Yes, I am almighty God your father
The risen son of man
The healer of the broken
And when you cry
I am your savior and redeemer
Who bore the sins of man
The author and perfecter
Beginning and the end
I am

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Sometimes, writers would blend completely different styles into one essay so you don't know if you're reading The Times, Goldilocks or Harlequin Romance. You can think of it as a poorly arranged marriage between moods and styles, like fanfiction writers forcibly bringing Twilight and The Lord of the Rings together.  It just doesn't work.

You just know when words have been pretzle-rized (put together, twisted in various combinations so you don't know where the thoughts end and begin) to make them sound as if they meant something when in reality, they mean absolutely nothing.  The marketing content world calls these vague ideas gobbledygook - overused, meaningless words which hide honest communication..  Read this sample business writing:

"We’re dedicated to providing results oriented, cost efficient solutions for customer outreach by employing existing and proprietary technologies that maximize exposure and obtain a leadership position in your market through the use of xxxx, our interactive digital outreach system."

Can you even guess what service the company is providing?   I've seen this happen in my own writing, especially when I'm forced to ramble on about things I don't even care about, or when I'm just plain uninspired.  This was also one of my nightmares as a teacher, forced as I was to sometimes read and comment on 125 essays in a few days, half of them padded with vague generalizations and obvious exaggerations that lose me in a Twilight Zone of empty words -- amazing, marvelous, excellent, and the favorite word to describe a book or film: okay. What does okay even mean in the first place?

Gobbledygook Grader

Sincerity in writing and speech takes conciseness and precision, a clarity of ideas.  Sincerity in writing also takes a lot of you factor.  What do you really think?  What do you care about?  What's your opinion?  Write it down.  Pretentiousness is glaringly obvious to readers and is a big turn-off.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Free hugs anyone?

    I woke up this morning wanting to rename my myellowfeet blog to freeicecream.  In the tradition of the Free Hugs Campaign, I was supposed to give out figurative free ice cream (through my blogposts) as my random act of kindness to the online world. Not everyone would be comfortable hugging strangers, but wouldn't you want free ice cream? unfortunately, the name was already taken.

I even had the yummy header picture ready
      So I decided to rename myellowfeet to Divine amnesia instead, as inspired by a comment left by Ching on this entry regarding my forgetfulness.  I think it's fitting that the woman who inspires me in my walk with God will be partly credited for this blog's conception. 
     Divine amnesia has a specific goal: to share the awesomeness of God in my life, regardless of whether I'm happy, sad or angry.  It's not meant to replace my prayer time or my bible, nor are my fanciful whims carved in stone.  Someday I'd like to read it, and see how God has changed me.     
      My Yellow Feet was named after the Isaiah 52:7 which says,  "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news". The mountain is a biblical metaphor close to my heart. I added yellow because it's the color of Sunday and one of my favorite colors too.
      However, I just didn't have that affinity with the name myellowfeet, in the same way as my past blogs like Windy Days, thoughtsarefree, or FuguJapan.     
      Since I wasn't able to give out free ice cream today, maybe free hugs will do? :)


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Loving the unlovable + The Light in Me by Brandon Heath

One my constant struggles is loving unlovable people.  Not that I'm a loveable person. I guess all of us meet that person that just rubs us in a wrong way. The past days, I was tested on this.  I just felt an overwhelming anger and irritation for two people.

 At last night's worship service, I was reminded about how much God loves me, despite my being unlovable.  What credit is it to me if I love those who are easy to love?  Loving others is not something that I should wait to do until God gives me great is actually one of the greatest commands that I should follow instantly, like forgiving others.  But it's so hard to do right?

This song by Brandon Heath reminded me where I can get the strength to love those who are hard to love.  I also like the upbeat melody. Really nice to listen to when you need a pick-me-up.

 The Light in Me

My life before You
I was a flame burning down
I was burning out

But You knew me better
For You there was never a doubt
God, since You gave me life
Something was different, I knew it the instant
You put the light in me

The spark, the shot to the heart,
You are the hope that leads me out of the dark
You let Your love shine down
So that the world could see
You put the light in me

The light, You put the light in me
The light, You put the light in me
The light, You put the light in me
The light, You put the light in me

You are the Maker, you tell the sun when to rise
I'm just a house on a hill
But You make me brighter than all the stars in the sky
Keep me from growing dim

'Cause in Your perfection, I'm just a reflection
So pull me closer to You
I catch like a fire and I'll hold You higher
'Cause You put the light in me

The spark, the shot to the heart,
You are the hope that leads me out of the dark
You let Your love shine down
So that the world could see
You put the light in me

The light, You put the light in me
The light, You put the light in me
The light, You put the light in me
The light, You put the light in me

I'll raise it high, I'll let it show
From the rooftops down to the streets below
In day and night, You will be known
And all will see
You put the light in me
'Cause You put the light in me

The spark, the shot to the heart,
You are the hope that leads me out of the dark
You let Your love shine down
So that the world could see
You put the light in me

The light, You put the light in me
The light, You put the light in me
The light, You put the light in me
The light, You put the light in me

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Solo flight: Where have all the men gone?

 Do you feel like you've been flying solo for a long time now?

I'm sure that most women have wondered where all the men have gone.  Sure, there are lots of boys out there, but their planning capacity only reaches to what they'll have for their next meal. Or they're just so scared of commitment, they just remain Peter Pans for life. So we women sadly conclude, the REAL men are all in a relationship, married or dead.

In one of my small groups, this has been a recurring topic.  We lament what we see as the lack of men, Godly men that is.  I used to think that the problem was limited to our growing campus church.  Since it's based in the province, students (men included) would usually go back to their hometowns after graduating.  The men are somewhere else, we think. But then we still don't find them wherever we are.  Are they really a soon-to-be-extinct breed?

Apparently, our "problem" is not an isolated case.  After reading Pastor Jaeson Ma's blog entry entitled The Five Pillars of Manhood and seeing the numerous agreeing comments, its obvious that our small group is not the only one ruminating on the lack of real men.  Pastor Jaeson, in his long entry, narrates how women in his church have asked the same questions then proceeds to give off a description of qualities that a real man possesses.

I have had my share of bad experiences when it comes to relationships.  Unlike some of my Christian friends, I didn't wait for a Godly man to come into my life.  My standards have always been different:

  • he should be artistic
  • he should be passionate
  • he should have convictions
  • he should make me laugh

Later on, I added: He should love his family.

There's nothing wrong with my list right?  They're all good qualities.  So why do I always end up frustrated in the end?  Yes, these are all good qualities, but I forgot the most important one, which is HE SHOULD LOVE GOD ABOVE ALL. And when I say all, that includes ME.

When a man has Godly standards,
  • he will commit when he is absolutely ready to commit, and you won't have to wonder "Will you still love me tomorrow?" He loves God and knows that he's committed to take care of and love his partner
  • his YES will mean YES and his NO will mean NO
  • he doesn't blame you for his mistakes
  • he doesn't "taste the different flavors of women" just to satisfy his curiosity or his bloated ego. He doesn't need to, because he is secure in his identity in Christ
  •  he is not an emotional basketcase, because he knows he has a strong God beside him. 
  • he doesn't waste his money on getting drunk, smoking, or doing drugs, because his body is a temple of God.
  •  every word that comes from his mouth is a wellspring of life, because the commands of God are in his heart. 
  • he dares to be different from the "boys" who make crass jokes or succumb to other peer pressure to be accepted.  He knows the only one worth pleasing is God
  • he is hardworking because he does his work for God, and not for men.
  • he is confident, because he does what he is called out by God to do.
  • he will pursue you and marry you, because he knows that to do less than that is undervaluing your worth.
  • he takes "'til death do us part" seriously.

Before you make a face and tell me that's impossible, hear me out.  I've met some Godly men. You want to know the secret?  Yes, all these things are next to impossible to do.  But it is God's grace that allows them to do all these things, not their own imperfect strength.  If you still don't think this is possible, I'll hook you up with my beautiful friend Ching who is in love with God and a Godly man.

I am not looking at Christian relationships through rose-colored glasses though. Just because two Christians marry doesn't mean that they'll live happily ever after,or that a man will never fail.  After all, a Godly man is still just a man, not a God.  IF God is in the center, I have faith that a relationship will work out REGARDLESS of circumstances.  It's easy to be happy when circumstances are just cruisin', but when everything seems to be falling apart, that's when the real test comes in. If a woman has compassion and is strong herself, she knows that there will be times when her man will stumble, and  she will have the capacity to forgive and help him get back to his feet again.

Christian or not, deep down inside, I think that many women want Godly men.  They just don't know that it is God who brings out the best in a man.  So why do some women often fall for the wrong person or don't meet the right person? Is it really because there are no Godly men out there? I want to believe that God is doing His work and ministering to a lot of men. They probably need a lot of work on their end (haha) BUT, I also think that we women need to pray about a lot of stuff on our end too:

  • Let's set our standards higher.  "Kilig" or having that warm tingly feeling all over is NOT a strong enough foundation for a relationship.  We're worth more than a few text messages.
  • Don't compromise Godly standards to accommodate temporary desires
  • Accept when it's just NOT time for a relationship.  Believe me, it's better to wait than to be a sorry self-pitying lump when your heart gets broken.  
  • Trust that God knows best.
  • Let's not get too focused on looking for Mr. Right, when we ourselves aren't Ms. Right

Before we can meet a Godly man, we ourselves should be Godly women. Honestly, I am in that stage in my life now where I am just so happy that I am not married.  Not because I have a bitter view about marriage.  But because, I've realized just recently, how immature and how impatient and how lazy and how...well you get the point.  The biggest thing is that I have neglected my relationship with God for so long. I am just so joyful that for now, it is only God and me.  One day, if God is willing, maybe it will be Me+God+Mr. Right. I couldn't have realized this on my own. There are times when I get too emotional to the point of not thinking clearly.  I have my Christian friends and God to thank for the strength I have now.
I don't want to put my future in a theoretical man.  Yes, I can wait for a Godly man, but in the meantime, I don't stress about it.  My happiness doesn't depend on getting married or having a boyfriend.  Right now, I'd like to think that I'm celebrating my singleness and womanhood. It's nice to finally have the time to distribute my love to my family, friends, and pets.  Most importantly, I can focus on God.  To those who have known me for a long time, I may not be a credible speaker for this topic...and I truly don't intend to supplant whatever your pastor says. I am speaking about what God has helped me realize in my own life. I have been successively atheist, agnostic and just a free-for-all relativist for so long.  I used to sneer at Christianity and found Christians appalling, to say the least.  But let me tell you, God chased after me.  Each moment that I really and truly surrender my life to Jesus Christ, I just feel an exceeding joy.  Life is not perfect, by worldly standards, but I am secure because my happiness is not dependent on other people or on money and on things that don't last.   And because I so love my women friends and family, I just have to share this; and I also have to emphasize this, so that you can remind me the moment I falter:  Before seeking Mr. Right, seek God first. 

When you do get married to a Godly man, please inform me. I will rejoice with you, and we will celebrate.  For now though, there are so many other things we can be happy about.  With God, you won't be a mediocre missing half of a whole; you'll be most surely and awesomely complete. 

Listen Download Victory Podcast on Godly Relationships by Pastor Dennis Sy 

Enjoying my seasons in life... pic spam below!!! :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

29 ways to stay creative

The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. ...~Exodus 31:1-6 ESV

My favorite is #29... which one's yours? :)

Motion Graphics: