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Showing posts from October, 2012

The Nature and Purpose of a Gift

God gave me an amazing insight into the nature and purpose of the gifts He has given us. 
One day, I was riding a bus on the way to work. As the bus was packed already and all seats were taken, I had to stand up during the ride. A few drives and this man in front of me gets up and offers his seat. I was grateful and sat down, thanking the man. And then I noticed my seat was too wide and can sit another passenger. I turned to the first lady that I could ask, "Would you like to take a seat?" She thanked me and said she'll be fine. So she did not take the extra space. I asked a second lady, this time she was grateful and said yes.

What is the insight as to the nature and purpose of gifts?
1. The nature of a gift is it's free. I just receive it. What are examples of free gifts? Salvation. Salvation is a free gift. We just receive it. It is not given according to a person's standing or good works. It is free.
2. A gift can be refused. Like the first person I offered a …

My Phone History (part 2)

2010: Blackberry Curve 8900 I asked God who used my dad to buy me a Blackberry Curve 8900. Back then, the Blackberry was not at its peak yet in the Philippines. People who had Blackberry phones were rare. The Blackberry symbolized my corporate dreams and making it in the corporate ladder. Even that area of my life, I turned it over to God in 2010.

I donated this phone some time ago. Don't do what I did without seeking counsel by the way.

2012 - present: Blackberry Curve 8520
Just when I was so satisfied and content with a simpler Nokia phone, my dad blessed me with this one. I had mixed feelings about it since I did not ask for a phone, nor another Blackberry, but with acceptance, I've realized it was just what I needed.

By this time, the Blackberry has reached mainstream in the Philippines.

Apple on the other hand and Samsung are intensifying their share of the consumer's pocket. Some say the Blackberry is on its way out now.

Trends come and go. Success is unpredictable som…

My Phone History

Recently I was reading this article The BlackBerry as Black Sheep and it inspired me to look back at my previous phones. This will be a phone diary, so to speak, about the seasons I went through and the phones that became a part of me during those days.

2003: Nokia 3330
The Nokia 3330 was my first phone. Back then, the phone for every person was just a beginning trend and parents in my school were getting more relaxed to the fact that their teenagers can now have a phone of their own. The trends that were so "in" that time among teenagers in the Philippines were composing your ringtones and graphical messages using text characters.
2003: Nokia 5100
Then came my senior year in college. I upgraded to a colored phone with a built-in flashlight, radio and was shockproof. I can't count how many times I dropped that phone and it still looked brand new, not to mention the colorful cases that you can choose from. Color was definitely in. People and brands were experimenting with d…

Stressed Out

Yesterday was one of my stress days. It has been some time since I experienced it again. 
According to Chip Ingram, stress is the body's internal response to external demands. And that's exactly what I felt. My body's internal mechanism - heart, mind and soul - was tired, but my physical body was fine.

I had trouble sleeping too last night. I had bouts of waking up in the middle of the night (even with anti-depressants).

Even so, I won't let the negatives of life pass by without reaping something good out of it. I think that's why I want to write what I learned from yesterday today.

Learning # 1: Sometimes external aggression can hide internal brokenness and hurt. 
Yesterday, I threatened indirectly to do something to someone if they won't stop honking their cars, or if they won't stop bothering me. I can try to put up this threatening aura but inside when I'm alone, my heart is so burdened and broken. A verse from Psalms says, "When my heart was gri…

Crab Mentality

I'm not sure if this will be relevant to someone today. I just want to share this verse from James 3:16:

"For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice."

Barnes' Notes on the Bible says it well. 

"For where envying and strife is, there is confusion  - margin, tumult or unquietness. Everything is unsettled and agitated.There is no mutual confidence; there is no union of plan and effort; there is no co-operation in promoting a common object; there is no stability in any plan; for a purpose, though for good, formed by one portion, is defeated by another."

"All love and harmony of course are banished; all happiness disappears; all prosperity is at an end. In place of the peaceful virtues which ought to prevail, there springs up every evil passion that tends to mar the peace of a community. Where this spirit prevails in a church, it is of course impossible to expect any progress in divine things; and in such a chu…

The Secret Ingredient

I like watching shows like Master Chef (whether it's Australia or U.S.), Jamie Oliver, Iron Chef, Buddy Valastro's Cake Boss and Kitchen Boss. Oh and don't forget to add Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations.
MasterChef U.S. is in its third season, judged by Chefs Gordon Ramsey, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliot.

There's a segment in the Master Chef kitchen or in Iron Chef where the contenders will cook based on a secret ingredient to impress a panel of culinary experts or critics. 
We see contestants making the "Secret Ingredient" the star of the dish. If they do a good job at it, the dish comes out successfully. But if they don't, sometimes it was because they added to or thought the Secret Ingredient was not enough. Something else became the star of the dish. And then the culinary judges get confused and gives them "the" look. Uh oh.

I think sometimes that can also be like our faith. Often our faith is a mish-mash of either our own personaliti…

Lady Archers

No wonder storms come. Revelations or learnings arise from storms (sometimes).
I remember God's picture of me and the bow and arrow. Whenever I read His word and I store it in my heart, they're like arrows that I place in my quiver (the place where you put your arrows). Then when the right time comes, at least you have a lot of arrows in store and you are ready. 
Like today, all the quiet time with God from my storms and the sacrifice and commitment I make to read His Word daily has been worth it and has proven useful. "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)
The quiver is your heart. The arrows are God's word. Every time you read God's Word you have more stored in your heart and you're ready whenever battle comes. Or even when temptation comes your way. The Word of God is your weapon. 
Th…

Tandem Bikes

This is the first time I have heard of tandem bikes. They are supposed to be bikes with two pedals for two people, with one in front leading the direction and one at the back pedaling with him.
I read an article today from an unknown author featured in the book I'm currently reading, The Adventure of Discipling Others by Ron Bennett and John Purvis. I will just share it here so you can read this modern-day parable too and learn a thing or two about tandem bikes. Here is an excerpt.
A Parable
At first I saw Christ as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there, sort of like the president, I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I really didn't know Him.
But later on, when I recognized His presence, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal.

I don't know just when it was He suggested …

Understated Beauty

One day, the Lord was saying to me, "Marie you have an understated beauty. Other people may not see it but I see it. I see your beauty and I see it's there. Not all people see what I see. But I do and it is beautiful in My eyes."

I Google-d the word "understated." It is not a normal part of my vocabulary. It somehow is a test (but not all the time) whether I'm hearing from God. God directs my thoughts and you think about things you wouldn't normally think about yourself, other people, your situation, etc.
So anyhow, the word "understated" means beauty that is "presented or expressed in a subtle and effective way." I think I prefer this one (let's laugh a little bit shall we?) - "exhibiting restrained good taste."
Another one. "Unostentatious, unpretentious."  (Source: http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=understated). 
Alright, you get the point. 
But more than this blog entry being an exhibit of God's …