the view from the moon

“And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years,  and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.  God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.  God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth,  to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.  And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.” Genesis 1:14-19

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forty years ago today, man first set foot on the moon.  as i read and watched interviews with the austronauts who were blessed to experience this life-changing and awe-inspiring moment (which is an understatement of course), i noticed one common thread that bound them to that scene over and over again.  Apollo_11 crewhow they went to the moon and only saw the beauty of the earth.  how they explored the moon and “discovered” earth instead.  how they marvelled at the earth’s jewel-like appearance amidst the endlessness of space.  how the earth was so small and fragile, that they could blot it out with their thumb.  and how  “its most beautiful and eye-catching sight sent a torrent of nostalgia and sheer homesickness”.  it took millions of miles of space travel for them to realize how much of a home they had left behind.

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this earth is our home too.  and we sure can’t possibly all go to the moon, sit back and enjoy the view just to realize the grand design of this place we all have grown so familiar with.  but we are parts and parcels of the earth.  we are its essence.  we are part of that beauty that the crew of Apollo 11 saw.  and if only for that, we are as blessed as they are.  only we didn’t realize it yet.  i just hope and pray that we would, before its too late.  for the way that we are wasting away God’s creation by the minute, i wonder how the earth would look like from the moon 40 years from now.

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surely all of us would want to do something for the preservation of the earth, in whatever means possible, not only to save it from destruction and for our own survival.  remember how we all treasure a gift that we receive from someone special to us? the earth is a gift, and if we love the Giver, then so we must cherish and care for it. moreso, let us all do it to glorify God through the magnificence of his creation.  so that whenever God sits there from the viewdeck on the moon, He shall be pleased with what He sees. 

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miguel and the balance beam

“Train up  a child the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Balance_Beam

my grade school memories are happy and carefree.  but i never really thought that there will be valuable lessons that would be relevant to this era.  my fondest memories are already pushed back at the farthest end of the vault called my brain.  and most are worth pulling out once in a while.   one of them was the balance beam.

we usually had field days once every school year.  and during our fifth grade, our presentation showcased our ability to display grace and endurance as we struggle to keep from falling, and at the same time execute our repertoire.  i can still vividly remember how it required constant practice and deep concentration to stay on the narrow piece of wood and maintaince balance.  and if in case we fell, which we did countless times during rehearsals, we were also taught how to land safely and minimize injuries.

now as my husband and i are in the process of raising two teenaged kids, the skills that we learned from the balance beam have become very useful.  as it is, there is no manual on how to raise a child after we have given birth.  and up to now, there really is no effective step by step procedure on how to properly raise our children.  one step may work with one kid, but not with another.    apparently, there are as many ways as there are as many children.  for each is a unique person, and hence unique ways on how to take care of each individual. 

going back to the balance beam, taking care of our two kids is like walking on it.  to get on the balance beam, our deep concentration is a primary requisite.   our priorities must focus on their needs as human beings that have souls.  i think we’re pretty much okey with that.  but to maintain our balance requires constant practice.  either we would be too strict, that our kids would start to rebel against us; or we are too lenient and complascent that they would shoot off like firecrackers in different directions, but after the burst of splendid beauty, no longer knew where they headed.

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our youngest miguel is a special angel.  he is the shy and silent type.  he is intelligent.  he is witty.  he is funny when he wants to be.  he is sentimental and sensitive.  he has a bad temper, but he surely tries very hard to control it.  he loves to stay on the computer more than he wants to chat with us.  but we definitely love to watch movies together.   and starbucks too.  and it is his birthday today. 

we thank the Lord for bringing Miguel into our lives.  he is one of God’s greatest blessings to our family.   a gift that reminds us that life is a balance beam.  that we must constantly learn to keep our balance.  and if ever we make mistakes as parents and fall, we must climb back and do better next time.  together with our children, we should continue to tread the path that God has planned for us from the beginning of time.  God made us become parents and it is our duty to strive to be the best parents that we could ever be.  in doing so, we may offer back to Him two magnificent human beings worthy to be called His children. 

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war in the workplace

“Forebearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any:  even as Christ forgave you, so also (do) ye.”  Colossians 3:13

office quarrels“war erupts in the workplace”  definitely an odd headline in the newspaper.  but it sounds familiar; and it happens especially when tensions builds up and stress factor arrives earlier than the rest of the office staff.  instead of bombs exploding and guns firing, what you get are intermittent sound of banging folders and box files, uncomprehensible murmurings and sharp gazes.

it is amazing how we managed to get through these quite dangerous exchange yesterday.  though there were no physical injuries, emotions went up and down like roller-coaster and everybody held their breaths waiting for the next barrage of surprise attacks, leaving us all emotionally exhausted by the end of the day.

the cause of the conflict was really petty and immature for professionals.  something like unequal work distribution. something like getting more than the fair share.  (hello, is there ever such a case as equal work when there’s no such thing as equal pay?)…and following the job description to the last detail (hello again, can we no longer do a little bit office criticismmore for the team without expecting something in return?) you see, though all of us are educated, we have different personalities and characters. and as such, different attitudes and behavior when it comes to work.  most are dedicated. but some, though hard-working, are calculating and dissatisfied.  they constantly see themselves as better than the rest.  they are as driven in doing their jobs, as well as looking intently at how the others are doing theirs.  and they are jealous whenever somebody else was appreciated for a better performance.  they also see to it that their assignments are directly proportional with their salaries.  as i look at them as human beings, i see sad souls trying to do what they are tasked to do, but never really knowing why.  like dogs running around in circles trying to bite their tails.  these are the kind who believes they are working their butts out to get to the top, so that when they reach it, then they will no longer be servants.  but masters.  ahhhh such pride!

cheerful workeron the other hand, there are those who are cheerful doers.  they are usually the meek ones who are quite often taken advantage of, simply because they are good followers too.  they often do the work, which the more aggressive ones boast and claim that they did.   they are content with the position that they have, because they are somehow afraid of  ‘heights’ and vast responsiblities.  they are ready to assist, and oftentimes pleased with themselves that they are able to lend a hand.  their needs are simple, and therefore, content and thankful that they are fortunate enough to have a job that provides them a paycheck by the end of each month.  imagine what joy a bonus can bring to them!  the aura of these kind of people exudes a bright atmosphere to a war-torn department and  neutralizes the moral ambiguity and negativity that the other kind brings forth.  these are the kind who serve with humility. who believes there is nothing shameful to be of  service to others.

so you see, we don’t have to be in a war-torn nation to feel terrorized.  but then again our positive perspective towards work can make a big difference in our life.  just like yesterday.  consider it as an opportunity to activate virtues of patience and perseverance.  we wouldn’t know the level of tolerance that we have unless we are tried and tested.  and if we are, it is always the best weapon to get back to basics and ask how God would have wanted us to retaliate.

it depends really on what side we are.  if we belong to the mean group, the kind that sows terror and horror, well maybeoffice purgatory we need some spritual revolution to jolt us out of the trap.  like quicksand which entices us to box our way up the corporate ladder, never mind who gets hurt.  but instead sucks us in, until we choke and drown into our own foolishness.  bear in mind that, however others may trick us into thinking otherwise,  it is always lonely at the top.

0c638b2af87abaaeand for those who are always put down and looked down, there is consolation in the fact that when you’re at the bottom, there is no way but up.  and there is joy in doing the task at hand, no matter how trivial it may seem.  if it’s done for the glory of God, then it must be worthy and significant.

the greatest entertainer who ever lived

“it is only bodies that are separated, but minds and hearts remain united, especially in Him, for whom the sacrifice is made of leaving all that is dearest.” – anonymous

 what an overwhelming memorial that was.  last night would forever be etched in the hearts of those whose lives Michael Jackson touched, as well as the generations to come.

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at the Staples Center, those who knew Michael Jackson as family and as friend paid tribute to this great man who will forever be remembered as the king of pop.  but then, it is an underrated title for an artist who will forever be larger than life.  definitely, he is the greatest entertainer who ever lived.  and yes, last night, i get to know the kind of man that Michael Jackson was, from those who were fortunate enough to have known him personally and lucky enough to be a part of his life.  to quote his daughter Paris “Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine.  And I just want to say that I love him so much.”  and this much i can say, he must have been such a great human being as well, to be loved and missed that much.

i knew him only from a distance; only by his songs and performances.  i didn’t have any photos, or memorabilia of him.  i didn’t have any songbook, nor any of his records.  i don’t keep news clippings or magazine write-ups, nor any scrapbook detailing his achievements as an artist. i don’t know the lyrics of some of his songs, except of course my favorites, and i don’t know much about the details of his career or personal life.  but when he passed away, i felt like someone very close like family to me had died.

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Michael was like part of our family.  he was there in our house even before I went to school.  he was there when I started venturing into a bigger world outside our home.  he was there when I first fell in love.  he was there when I went to college and found a job.  he was here now that i have a family of my own.  he was in my life all this time.  And only in his death did i realize that.

his music is his presence.  and now that he’s gone, i tried so hard to hold on to whatever i could.  because like those who have gone before him, i thought he’d be here forever.  now i have his greatest hits in my mobile phone, to stand as a symbol of how he’d been such a part of my life.  to immerse myself into the genius of his creativity which i should have done long before.  oh if i could only…

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as i watch the memorial last night, i realized it was not only me who had this unexplainable connection with Michael.  his person, his passion, his music.  he has such a powerful hold on all of us.  and like what Smokey Robinson had said, i am also glad to have lived in his era.  needless to say, i praise God for lending us Michael who have torn down barriers so that color, race, religion and nationalities no longer matter.  in his music, the world became one.  praise God for this wonderful soul, and this extraordinary human being. 

“if he is not with us, then who is against us.”  to all who have judged Michael harshly in the past, may you realize that one who has evoked such goodness in our hearts did not deserve to have been treated that way.  Michael Jackson deserved only the best.

so the Lord blessed him.  you are now free Michael.  where you have gone, no cameras can follow. they won’t bother you now.  from now on, there will only be peace and love in our Father’s embrace.  oh how i just wished you had seen how much you are loved.  and how much you will be missed.

michael's kidswhich reminds us to never! never! never! take anybody for granted.  let us all do as much good as we can, when we still have chance.  be it for a friend or foe, family or stranger.  even so, let us surpass the goodness.  let us give more. or better yet,  let us be the best for everyone.  we may not be the greatest entertainer who ever lived, but we can be the best human being that we can ever be.  AND THAT WOULD MAKE MICHAEL —S M I L E.

mj memorial

strength in weakness

“And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.

Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but He said to me “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

For the sake of Christ then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Helping hand

there were many times in my life that i was down, depressed and frustrated.  when i was younger, even the tiniest of  issues were like big deal. and they almost immediately initiate the feelings of being so “kawawa naman ako”. 

time passed and the issues  revealed their ugly faces.  they came to life, grew bigger as i grew older.  i realized whew! so this is what the generations before us were talking about.  how life can be really hard, and how it is a game of survival where only the toughest wins. 

eventually, in my mid-age, i have already experienced the worst, that i never imagined possible.   and what’s even more frightening was, there were times when i get anxious with the thought that,  it may not be the worst yet.

those difficult times, however, became my teachers in the school of  life.  for the most part, i have been betrayed, not once or twice; i stopped counting.  but i learned about trust as well.  i have experienced frustration, but learned about encouragement.  i have made mistakes, yet i learned about forgiveness too.  i’ve reached rocked bottom, but learned how to get on my feet and move on.  i tried hanging on, but then i also learned when to let go.  i faced desperation head on, and faith saved me.

God works in mysterious ways all the time in our lives.  during the darkest of times, i see the light of His Love guide me on my way.  in the coldest of night, i feel His warm embrace and i feel secure.  when there was none, He always provides. 

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now as i travel through what remains of my life’s journey, i will never be lost again.  though i know there may be bumpier roads ahead, i shall never be shaken.   obstacles may try to block our path, still i will not tremble.  for now the Lord is the driver of my life.  in His hands, i will forever be safe.