November to Remember

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12

Before my birthday month ends, let me reflect on gratitude for everything.

It was a difficult couple of years. In the family, there’s been job loss, unpaid debts, sickness and strained relationships. 

On November 9, when I turned 50, there was no party. I was in the office until 5. For dinner, the kids ordered for home delivery, takoyaki’s from Bonchon and chickenjoy from Jollibee.

It was a Wednesday and I wasn’t able to attend the mass.  I wanted so bad to do so.  But it didn’t happen.  

There were more that I would have wanted.  But sorry, not gonna happen says the Guy up there.  

That grand party was not a bad idea. Husband to complete the traditional family photo should be cool. Spend time with God in church would have been great!  Toink, sorry but not this year.  Not on my 50th.

Amazingly surprising was, I didn’t really care.  From the moment I opened my eyes, God was already in control. Though I was not sure where He was leading me to, I just trusted Him.

After each rain, the sun appears.

By the Father’s  grace, no longer do I depend on things seen for happiness.  My joy is in Jesus, whose great love for us is an example to follow- the humility to fulfill the will of God in our lives.

I wished for a happy birthday, and I got it!  Not only a happy birthday, but a great life indeed.  Praise and all thanksgiving be to God, the Lord Jesus Christ who reigns forever in my heart.

The White Flag

“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,”  Colossians 1:9

We recently moved to a new flat near the office.  The vicinity where it is located is dotted with embassies, and as such, there are military personnel posted in each.  Police cars patrol the area on a regular basis.  These brings about a sense of security and unity with the nations, whose flags we see everyday on our way to work.

I recently went on a trip to Dubai and Sharjah for meetings. It was a nervous flight because there was an indication beforehand that said meetings could be unpleasant.

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As the plane from Bahrain began to taxi, I noticed the two vacant seats beside me.  When I began to pray for a safe flight, I imagined Jesus and Mama Mary seated there beside me.  From then on, there was this calm that assured me everything would be alright.  And so it came to pass.  The ugly things that I had expected never happened.

I still get anxious and scared, yet God’s promise is a promise.  I may not see how, but all I have to do is trust.

So my friend, when it seems that you are at war with the world, or even with yourself, don’t be ashamed nor be proud to wave that little, white flag of yours.  It is not only a manifestation of humility.  It is an act of faith in God.

Of Supermoon and Mini-moons

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1

Let me now join the world in going gaga about the supermoon.  I would have written about it the same night it appeared, but I fell asleep on the couch  with deep thoughts about it.  There is a Tagalog word “muni-muni” that means to reflect or to ponder. Funny that it actually sounds like moony-moony which I now define as reflections about the supermoon, no pun intended.

I was just as excited and curious to witness the phenomenon advertised as a once a lifetime thing.  Because I just turned 50, I thought it should be in my imaginary bucket list.

Between 5pm-6pm, when it was supposed to rise over the cluster of other rooftops around our building, I waited for that WOW moment!  It didn’t come.


But the mini-moon did.  Slowly it eased its way past the antennaes and satellite dishes that blocked my full view of it as it rose.  When its path cleared, I realized it wouldn’t get any bigger.

So was I disappointed? Yes, because I thought I would see it like others did.  But surprisingly, I didn’t care that it was tiny. It was the same moon.  How huge (or not), depends on just where we were.

Then it came, my WOW moment!  It was when I stared at the moon and see past its magnitude.  Because beyond its size, I saw a masterpiece of its Creator.

It doesn’t matter now when the next supermoon will appear.  We can experience its beauty every night, visible or not, as we look up to the sky.  There is a vast universe out there in all its splendor.  If we do a moony-moony, one day we would see Jesus come down from the heavens. Then we rejoice all the more, for the wonder of it all, no supermoon could ever match.

Embrace the Sadness

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

It’s been four days now. So I told Bhoy yesterday that I feel sad and I don’t know why. Being the thoughtful husband that he is, he tried to find ways to make me happy. 

He bought chocolates for me. He agreed to walk 3km in the park even if unsure of the heat and humidity. He tried to make me laugh with his antics. But to no avail.

It’s not just him. I also did my part. I worked to distract my thoughts from my sadness. I blogged. I listened to Wayne Dyer’s podcasts. I watched the Pope in New York. But even that made me sadder because there are many issues in the world and only a few care and act.

But that’s getting ahead of my story.

Today we planned to go fishing and moon watch. They said the super blood moon will appear again only after around twenty years or so. So it’s a must to go and witness this rare phenomenon at least once in our lifetime. 

But we remembered it is a Sunday. We go to mass at 7pm. So there, change of plans. Fishing has to be scrapped. We’ll go to the tree of life after mass and hope that we’ll still be able to catch the moon at its grandest.

There you go. I feel this way because life has not turned out the way I planned it. Even the simplest plan for the day would often be cancelled or changed as needed. 

But come to think of it. Life is not about my plans. It is about His plans for me. Since my life is intertwined with all of God’s creation, I should welcome all that it has to offer, including detours, cancellations, postponements and pleasant surprises.

I still feel sad. I embrace the sadness trusting that God has a purpose for its existence. I may not figure it out yet, but I trust God’s perfect time when all his plans for me including dreams, failures, lessons and achievements will be realized. 

It’s never about me. It’s all about my Lord. 

Abundance as a State of Mind

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.” – Acts 4:32
We have been praying to receive our annual bonus.  Oil and gas companies are not doing well in the Middle East, so our expectation is as low as our revenue.

But hope is there until we received the email confirmation that there will be no bonus or salary increment this year. Oh well, we’re still grateful that we still have jobs.  Our faith is in God’s plan.

We would not know what exactly the plan is, until it unfolds before our eyes.

Then I remember the story that’s gone viral in the internet, about a student who they say is Einstein (though some say it ain’t him). He argued with his teacher that there is no evil, but the absence of God in our heart.  Much like there is no darkness, but the absence of light.

Abundance in the universe is always there ready for our picking.  It’s just up to us which kind we choose to see, partake and share.

So scarcity is actually non-existent.  It is the absence of an abundant mindset and the presence of a selfish existence.

If our mind dwells in what we lack, no amount of wealth can satisfy us. But if we choose abundance in whatever form, nothing will ever fall short.

Bonus or not, I choose to always be grateful, because if God is all I have then I have everything I need.