Living on Band-Aids

When I was still working as a software engineer/developer, I have learned the skill of doing temporary fixes. When we encounter system/application issues and we could not find the root cause of the problem, we implement a work around just to reduce the issues until we figure out the root of it. And sometimes, we end up not fixing it. It’s not ideal but we just learned to live with it.

The world we are living in has been like that. We put band-aids to everything that becomes a moral issue in our society to reduce the noise until everyone will just learn to accept it.

I’m not sure what your belief is. I’m a Christian and I believe everything that is written in the Bible. Everything not good that is happening anywhere in this world does not come as a surprise to me anymore since I became a follower of Christ. God gave that warning during the early days of the church.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive,disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 2 Timothy 3:1-3

If you ask the question, “Why would God allow such things if He is really real?” I would like you to watch the video that hopefully will encourage you to seek God more.

Going back to putting band-aids… One of the things that my heart is really breaking for is the implementation of SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) topics as part of education.  To know more details, you can go to this site: https://www.sogieducation.org

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Why did this become a need to implement? What is really the main reason?sogi2

Source: https://www.bccpac.bc.ca/upload/2017/12/2017-11-29-BCCPAC-SOGI-FAQ-for-Parents-with-References.pdf

When I was still in grade school, my father never failed to remind us the importance of education. He required us to study so hard, get good marks because he believed that we are capable. That’s just one of the many things of the role of being a parent. They disciplined us, they taught us how to behave properly as a girl and as a boy, they taught us how to dress properly, they taught us the right values. Because they are parents, they are responsible in helping us build a good foundation of our lives.

The struggle of kids on their sexuality, on bullying, on suicide – these are not issues that should be primarily “resolved” in schools. These are issues that need to be tackled within the family. If a child is reported to be bullying someone, it is the responsibility of the parent to talk to that child and correct that child. If a child is struggling with his/her sexuality, it is the responsibility of the parent to help that child overcome that struggle. If a child has suicide tendencies, it is the responsibility of the parent to assure that the child is loved no matter what. The problem with our society, some of the parents have lost their authority over their children. The society has more authority now over these kids than their parents.

SOGI is a band-aid. It is a work around that will never give a permanent solution. It will probably reduce bullying or suicide attempts but it will also cause more problems in the future for the young generation.

There is only one FIX for all the problems of this world. That fix was rejected 2000+ years ago up unto now. Just like anybody, I have my own struggles and problems in life. It may not be the same as the struggles on sexuality or bullying or depression but they are also real struggles in life. However, I chose the permanent FIX and not just a band-aid.

I chose JESUS to FIX my life and not what this world wants to offer. If you are a parent, choose what can really help your children so that when they grow up, they have a strong foundation that will help them overcome trials and challenges in this world. They need a foundation that will NEVER BE SHAKEN. And that’s only through a relationship with Jesus – the ONE who promised a life that is full and abundant.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – JESUS (John 10:10)

I am not a parent but I care so much for the young generation that it breaks my heart that they will be brought to a knowledge that will just add more confusion to their young and innocent minds.

The verses below show the heart of Jesus for the children. Before the parents loved them, Jesus already did even before they were formed into their mother’s womb. He knew them and He designed them with a life that is meaningful and purposeful (Psalm 19:13-18).

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. – Mark 10:13-16

I hope that we pray for the young generation that they will experience the love of God through His Son Jesus who alone can assure them of their true identity. I hope that we pray for parents and families who are going through these struggles and challenges that they will experience the transforming power of Jesus.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

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AO#3: Otella

Best birthday gift I could give to my sister is to feature her here on my blog site (LOL).

Kidding aside, since it’s her birthday, I’d better take this time to really give her an appreciation which is long over due. Ate and I will always have that chasm in between us which makes our sisterhood just tighter. We dearly miss Amity. Too bad, Ate has been stuck with me cause I only have one sister to run to since Amity passed away. LOL. That didn’t really give her an option, right? 😀

There are so many things I appreciate about Ate. Not sure if she knows that. But I’m just really grateful that she’s been very patient with me. Her calmness and gentleness is contagious. There might be times that I may have offended her but she just remains calm. She just brushes it off. She doesn’t sweat it. And I needed that in our family.

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She is also my cheerleader. She encourages me. She is a good listener. I can rant about anything to her. We can just talk endlessly if we have all the time. It’s usually sometimes me who can’t make time. But she always does when she can. And I really appreciate her for that.

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I am grateful that I can lean on her. When there are times in our family that I am panicking already, she would always assure that we can find ways. For so many times that I haven’t been there for my parents, she has always been there which caused me not to worry. That’s something I will always be grateful. For just assuring us her siblings who are far that everything at home is okay. It means a lot.

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Happy Birthday Ate! I love you so much and I truly appreciate everything that you have done for me, for all of us. The previous years were tough with so many things that we went through but you remained steadfast in your faith. Your stillness in God is inspiring. I’m just glad that you are my sister and for also not allowing anything to ruin our relationship. That we owe to our Lord. He kept us tight in His love. I don’t mind being single forever as long as I will grow old with you. Haha!

How old are you already? LOL xoxoxo

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AO#1: Papa & Mama

As I commit to be more appreciative to people, I will use my blog as one of the platforms to do that. And why I’m doing this? (Click -> Here’s why )

I start my Appreciate One (AO) per week with the people whom God has used to bring me into this world – MY PARENTS. Meet Rodolfo and Susana, aka Bonjing and Bebe 🙂

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You would agree with me that a page in a blogsite will never be enough to appreciate our parents. But don’t worry, this will not turn out to be a novel 🙂

My parents are not perfect. They are flawed just like all of us. But one thing that they really showed to us which I truly appreciate about them is they choose to accept each other’s weaknesses. That is very important to us, their children. And, I’m just grateful that in the midst of  “crazy” & “chaos”, my parents choose to love. Being single and still waiting for my own time of hopefully being married someday, I need that example. Papa & Mama – thank you for not just loving us your children but also showing to us what love should be through your commitment to each other.

It was when I started working and left home that I have understood the depth of the love of my parents for us, their children. I know my parents love me, I never doubted that. I just did not really realize how sacrifical and unconditional that love is until I started living on my own. There are days at work when I just felt like giving up. Or, I would complain of being tired. But then, when I look at my parents who until this day never stopped working so hard, I feel shameful and ungrateful. I’m just glad that Papa & Mama would always keep telling us when we were younger about how their life was during their time. It was never easy. I always tell myself  – “Just imagine if Papa & Mama would just give up because their tired and quit their job?” But because of their love for us, they kept going no matter how hard the days were. Papa & Mama – thank you for showing to us your love through your hardwork. Thank you for not giving up on those difficult times. Thank you for choosing to give what is best for us. I truly appreciate that you have all brought us up in a family where laziness is intolerable. Because of what you have shown us, I have learned to value hardwork as well.

One of the things I enjoy in our family is our meal times. Mama loves to cook for all of us even up to now. We all love to eat. I am glad that my parents showed to us the importance of having good meals on the table. Good meals mean that we are well provided. And the reason I enjoy and appreciate food everywhere I go is because of that. It reminds me of the good meals I had growing up. It reminds me of family. Papa & Mama – thank you for all the delicious food you always provide for us on the table. Thank you for showing to us your appreciation for food – all the grilled, the raw and the greens. I truly appreciate that you always made sure we don’t go to school on empty stomachs. And because of that, we all learned to cook & prepare our own meals. 

The most important that I am most grateful to my parents is for forcing us to go to church every Sunday when we were young. There is no escape. Our family today has differences on the church that we are a part of. However, I am still grateful that my parents introduced to me who God is. That became the starting point of my faith today. Papa & Mama – thank you that you brought us up in the knowledge of God and His Son Jesus. I truly appreciate that you have instilled to us the importance of having God in our life. Because of that, I have learned not to walk in my own ways but have been learning daily to abide and depend on God.  I may have not understood everything you asked us to do before, but now, everything made sense. 

As I say, there are so many things I am truly appreciative of my parents. However, these few I mentioned are the ones that truly had made an impact in the adult years of my life. I am always grateful that my parents never stopped being parents even if most of the time I don’t ask their help, seek their permission or consult them anymore. However, they are just there, keeps reminding me like a 5-year old of the do’s and dont’s in life. And, I have learned to appreciate that also. They have always been supportive in my decisions no matter what. My parents keep me grounded. And, I thank God for giving me parents who love us, never gave up on us and continue to stay with us.

 

 

 

 

Don’t Dream Alone

I’m just amazed how God has taught me to dream bigger. As He showed to me how much He can accomplish through me, I got more inspired to dream for greater things. But those greater things always start with small steps and that’s where I am at right now.

Having a big God is enough to dream big. But, God never wants us to do it on our own. He wants us to share those aspirations, vision, goals with people. And that’s what make pursuing dreams exciting.

I’m grateful that my family supports me and believes in me all the way. It’s just nice to be able to share my dreams with them and make them part of it. Aside from family, it’s encouraging to be surrounded by friends who cheer for you as you take those small steps. Having that kind of affirmation confirms that what I’m pursuing is a possibility, knowing that with God nothing is impossible.

How about you? Are you living your dream? Are you pursuing it? Always remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Share it to the world! You’ll be surprised there are people who share the same dreams with you.

Big GOD!Big Dream!

Behind the Scene

One of the blessings I will forever be grateful to God is to have the gift of administration (1 Corinthians 12:28).  Having this gift has allowed me to take responsibilities that I didn’t know I am capable of doing, not just for the church but even at my work place or in my own personal day to day life. The credit all goes to God for entrusting me to do all types of work that He has been preparing me to do.

And do you know what’s great about this gift? It allows you to see what’s happening behind the scene. You get the privilege to see how God works and makes things happen.

Last weekend (June 9-11), our church (CCF Vancouver) went for our first ever church retreat focused on intentional discipleship. Our church leaders asked me to help in organizing the retreat, and as always, it is a privilege for me. No better way to use my time than doing things for the Lord.

When you plan for an event, your enemy is perfection. Of course, you want everything to go as you expect it to be, that includes the things that you can’t even control like weather. But just like any event I have helped organized, not everything we planned went smoothly. That’s why it is very important for me to always let the Holy Spirit lead me. It is not easy when you want to be in control of the flow. But God was not just at work for the event, He was also at work with my heart.

By God’s grace, I learned to submit and recognize the authority of the leaders of the church. As we did planning, there were disagreements but I always reminded myself that God gives wisdom to our leaders to make the right decisions as the Spirit led them. So, if I have to adjust schedules of the event, I must submit. I tell you, it’s never easy.

By God’s grace, I learned to say no to activities that will take my time to focus on planning. Weeks before the camp, I had to free up my weekdays after work so that I can work on preparations for the camp. I had to turn down invitations. It was not easy but I am no superwoman. I can only do much for a day.

By God’s grace, I learned to be more patient. During the last days before the camp, there were so many last minute changes and concerns which some required coordination back and forth. These things were inevitable. And all I can do was to ask God to just sustain me and give me the right heart. It wasn’t easy.

God showed to me that despite my lack of and my weaknesses, He can accomplish great things because it is His work. All His doing.

When the sunny forecast months before turned to a heavy rain forecast weeks before the event, we kept praying. God heard our prayer! We never experienced rain all throughout the weekend. Even if the forecast for the day showed potential rain, rain did not come. We were able to enjoy our outdoor activities, our baptism  and our camp fire fellowship. Only God can do that.

Weeks before the camp, as I was finalizing room assignments, I had some challenges. All I did was really pray that everyone will find their accommodation comfortable. Then, last minute changes happened which surprisingly helped resolve the challenges I had. A family has to cancel because of a sad news that they had to leave the country on the day of the retreat. God reminded me that indeed He is the one who could only appoint people to be in a certain place, event and time.  With that incident, God showed me how He can use something unfortunate into something good for His work. He cares about the details.

God also provided us a beautiful venue for the retreat – Camp Charis.  It’s not just the place but also the people who worked at Camp Charis. They were very accommodating with our last minute requests. I saw God working through them. Everything we needed, they were able to provide. Only God can do that. Indeed, no one can hamper His plans.

When we had our second round of baptism, we thought we will not be able to use the pool when we changed our time. Nothing can stop the work of God. The group who reserved to use the pool decided not to use it as they had to leave immediately at that time. Just amazing! To add, there were 7 people who planned to be baptized but it turned into 17 people including our NxtGen Kids! Amazing!

One of my favorite to witness behind the scene was the work of the volunteers. On the day of the event, all I did was coordination. The volunteers were the ones who were doing things in action. They used their gifts, talents and skills for God’s work.  There is no big or small gift, talent or skill.  All are needed to do the work of God. And it’s just amazing to see and discover potentials of people.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another… Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.” (1 Peter 4:10-11)

I can not put into this blog everything I experienced with God behind the scene. In every little detail, He was there.  It was a Spirit-filled retreat. And my prayer, that retreat would leave marks in the lives of all who were there to cause them to act to the purpose of why they were in that retreat in the first place. And that is to pursue INTENTIONAL DISCIPLESHIP. Same prayer goes to myself.

To God be the glory!!!

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 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Utterly Grateful

Throughout this birthday week, God has reminded me of how blessed I am with relationship. In all honesty, I am never used with people who are not my family in going out of their way just to show me how much I mean to them. I am humbled and grateful. Learning from the past, I’ve learned to lower my expectation on people to avoid being hurt and disappointed. I have to learn and re-learn how to give without expecting anything.

Probably that’s the reason why I always feel overwhelmed on any gesture (nothing is little or big for me) of goodness and kindness from people. It’s a blessing you can’t contain.

“It’s the thought that counts.” That is so true for me. I may not be able to express it properly, but I truly appreciate the time, the prayer, the thought, the present, the encouragement,  the greetings, the conversation, and even just checking on me if I’m doing okay. Every time someone blesses me, I always think of ways on how I can pay it back. I just feel like I don’t deserve such blessing. Then, God would just remind me that I have to learn as well to accept and receive with humility. That I should also allow people to bless me as it is a privilege for them as well. Same that to bless others is also a privilege for me.

Thinking about all of these, I am also reminded of how GOD as a GIVER is. Everything He provides, He does not expect anything. Indeed, we can never out-give God. We think that we are giving back so much to Him – our time, our resources, our wealth. But the truth is, the amount of blessing He gives to us is immeasurable. All we need to do is to open our two hands and receive His blessing.

And do you know what is the greatest gift that He can give us? His Son Jesus. I owe my life to Jesus. He is the ONLY ONE who can never disappoint me. He is the ONLY ONE who can live up to my expectations. Jesus is the ONLY ONE who saved me from all the pits that I have fallen into without expecting anything in return. He is the source of my joy, my peace and my strength. He is a GIFT none can compare.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:10

If you want to know more about Jesus, feel free to message me 🙂

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A recap of my 32nd birthday

THANK YOU EVERYONE for all your kindness and goodness! You know who you are 🙂 I can’t believe my mom prepared so much food on my birthday even if I am away from them!! Family Love is the best! ❤ ❤ ❤ And yes, I got a hair cut and for the first time have highlights on my hair! *winkwink*

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Sometimes, you need SPONTANEOUS

My good friend, MJ and I were few of the last people who stayed longer at church last Sunday. We were just taking our time as we didn’t have plans after. And then, randomly, we decided to watch any movie we can catch when we arrive at the theater. However, traffic began to move slowly. And so, we decided to go to Aberdeen Mall instead to buy some brush pens at Daiso and grab dessert after. Everything was just so random and it felt good!

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This is one of the things I missed! To be able to hang out with friends without setting a date or planning ahead. I remembered the conversation I had with my other church friend, Andie, weeks ago about the things we missed back home (in Manila). Going out with friends were more spontaneous there as compared here.

Thinking about it, I realized, I, myself, have become that person who wants everything planned ahead. I, myself, have started to become unavailable to spontaneous invites. Not that I have to say “Yes” all the time. It’s just that I don’t want to reach that day when people would just stop asking because I have given an impression that I can’t make time anymore for anything unplanned.

The truth is, there are those days when there are unplanned circumstances that you just want to share it with someone immediately – in person. Nowadays, things are mostly shared through messaging or social media. What happened to, “Hey, can we meet? I need someone to talk to.” Or, “Are you home? Can I come over and hang out for a bit?”

I know there is always a right time for everything. It’s not all the time that people can just be available, even I can’t always be. It’s just that somehow, we have lost that spontaneity because of social media that we don’t see the need anymore to meet up and have a good conversation. We feel like everything is just out there and that’s good enough.

I’m not sure if this is just me, or few of us who miss life back home. Or, is it really a reality that most of us do not realize?