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Archive for December, 2008

It’s Christmas Eve!!! J As my son woke up this morning, he gave me a sweet smile and a “Merry Christmas Eve” greeting. J I just want to spread the same warm feeling and greet everybody a very Merry Christmas!!! J  

I’d also like to share with you this site I found on awe-inspiring photographs of the Savior Jesus Christ depicted by several artists as we reflect on His birth during this joyous season! It is called “Reflections of Christ” by Mark Mabry. 

 

May our days be filled with love and peace as we commemorate this glorious and blissful occasion!! J  

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS everybody!!! And HAVE A FABULOUS NEW YEAR!!!

 

See you next year!!! J

 

 

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(Artwork by Simon Dewey)

 

I love watching musicals—Broadway or off-Broadway. From those that my kids adore such as Charlie Brown, Peter Pan, and Beauty and the Beast to the more sophisticated ones like Miss Saigon and Phantom of the Opera. But there was one musical that made it to the top of my list despite it being played by amateurs during my college years. It was called “My Turn on Earth.”        

 

The play recounted the story of Barbara who, prior to coming here on earth, lived in heaven and was excitedly preparing herself to look for the “treasure” she was asked here to find. As she grew up and went through various experiences and stages in life, she relied on “clues” that were given to her on certain situations from someone up above (the clues fell as pieces of paper from the stage’s ceiling). J

 

She learned to choose between right and wrong and found that there is opposition in all things. She recognized that however our story here on earth turns out to be is completely up to us to write. She realized that there is one little light inside each of us that we only need to look for when our days become dark.

 

After chasing her dreams on a roller coaster ride with friends and finding that what she found was not real treasure, she longed for home and asked, “Where on earth can I find heaven?” She eventually discovered that happiness comes from within her own family.

 

Near the end of the play, Barbara heard a soft and sweet voice rhythmically calling her name.  

 

“Barbara…time to come home.”

 

“I am home,” she thought and continued what she was doing.

 

Again the soft voice called:

 

“Barbara… it’s time to come home.”

 

She then replied, “Oh, that home.” With hesitation she said, “But I’m not ready.”

 

The angelic voice melodically summoned, “Ready or not.”

 

 

 

Eons ago yesterday, it was my turn on earth. J Like you and Barbara, I learned the ropes of this treasure hunt called life on a roller coaster ride while relying on “clues” from up above. Being surrounded by family and faithful friends, my heart brimmed with gratitude and joy for the many unexpected blessings I received this year that I felt like it was the best birthday I’ve ever had. J

 

Only Father knows when the soft, sweet, rhythmic voice will call our name. But when it does, I wish that all of us had been wise enough in spending the time given us to find the real treasure so that we could confidently reply, “I am ready.”

 

With gratitude to Him whose turn on earth came “not in silk but in swaddling clothes,” I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year!!! J

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Run Away!

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

 

When we were moving into our new home, it took me awhile to find the perfect light for our living room. I wanted it to complement our furniture and décor. I was looking for something simple, yet elegant. When I finally found it, I was pleased to ask the store assistant to pack the lights for me so I could pay for it. To my surprise, he came up to me and in a hushed voice offered an indecent proposal. He said he would replace the barcode of the chandelier I was purchasing and give it to me for half the price if I would give him half the amount of money I would be saving. I was shocked. I never had such an experience before.

 

But instead of immediately walking away—because I knew that was the right thing to do—I was curious why he was doing it so I stayed and asked. I found myself in the next few minutes listening to his stories of woe about work and life that I almost sympathized with him. I was blessed that a friend was with me during that time and just before he pulled me away from that conversation, I was able to decline the salesman’s offer. Not that I would have ever said yes to his proposal, but I endangered myself by staying and exposing myself to it.

 

There are certain situations in life when it’s best to just run away and not be arrogant to think that we can handle it. We can never fall off the edge of a cliff if we keep a safe distance away from it. We should never even think that we’re good enough to win against the adversary’s persuasions. When we start doing that, we are heading downhill and before we know it, we’ll be at the bottom of the pit.

 

Whether it be situations at work where we would be tempted to be dishonest; or decisions we have to make at home that would shatter family relationships; or individual circumstances that would jeopardize our personal standing with our Father in Heaven, let us be wise in making our choices and learn from our mistakes. There is no better feeling than having a conscience clear of all worldly stains! J    

 

So, after all these years of trying to use all sorts of different techniques that failed big time, I’ve finally learned that the best way to fight the adversary is to RUN!! Yes! Run away from it!! J And guess what, it worked!!! J

 

 

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I was in the middle of entertaining some friends and family on the night of December 1 when I received a very excited call from my very good friend.

 

“Have you seen the moon tonight??!” she asked.

 

What?! She’s calling me about the moon?” I thought to myself. I always teased this friend about her being prim and proper, and the last thing I expected from her was a thrilled call about the moon. J

 

Uhm, nope. I’m having dinner with some guests,” I replied.

 

“Come on, look at the moon!! Look at it!!” she urged.

 

I was a bit puzzled about her behaviour, but being the nature lover that I am, I walked out on my guests into an open field where I could have a good view of the sky. Unfortunately for me, it was too cloudy from where I was that I couldn’t see the moon.

 

She was dismayed that I didn’t get to see it. She said the moon was “smiling” and described it as “a real phenomenon” that I unfortunately missed. I didn’t think much about it and didn’t know what I missed until I saw this photo and article from the National Geographic News today.

  

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(Photo by National Geographic News)

 

The heaven was literally smiling down on us!!! J Almost encouraging us to cheer up during these tough times. I find it quite interesting that the star in Bethlehem has its modern equivalent in this age of emoticons!!! A heavenly smiley face seen across the world!!! 🙂 How fun!!!J It must have truly been a marvel and a spectacular sight to behold!! 

 

I might have missed witnessing this celestial wonder, and it’s definitely a sign of the times, but I’m grateful to have seen its photos and for having friends who care enough to make me stop and enjoy the beauty of God’s creations! What a blessing it is to be reminded that our Creator lives and manages His celestial designs from above, whether anciently or in our modern times! J

 

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(Artwork by Simon Dewey)

 

note “It’s the most wonderful time of the year; with the kids jingle belling, and everyone telling you ‘Be of good cheer!’ It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!!” note Come, sing with me!! J

 

It’s finally December!! It’s my most favorite month of the year!!! J There is such a festive energy in the air that you can just feel no matter where you go! J

 

I was feeling kind of gloomy about the Mumbai massacre flashed all over the internet news last week. Over a hundred innocent lives taken away just like that—without any decent warning or acceptable cause. L It just didn’t make any sense! L I strongly feel about these types of attack for I was once in the middle of it all.

 

But as I stepped outside my office, I was thrilled to hear bright and cheerful Christmas music piped through the speakers that changed my entire disposition! J

note “Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock. Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring!” note 

Moments later, I was so into it that I wanted to burst out singing Christmas songs and move my shoulders to the beat! My teenage daughter would have been embarrassed had she been with me! J

 

But isn’t it so true? IT IS the most wonderful time of the year! It is another opportunity to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ! J His birth sends a message of hope to all of us that all this darkness we have in the world today—whether it be worldwide hate crimes or our very own personal challenges—will one day be overcome by His light! That He was born and lived here on earth and loved us so very much, He was willing to take on a mortal life in order to bring to pass immortality and eternal life! What a joyous event it is and a wonderful reason to rejoice and celebrate!!! J

 

Wherever we are in the world, whether we say “Merry Christmas,” “Maligayang Pasko,” or “Frohe Weihnachten,” I wish we would truly understand the reason for the season and would all feel the joy in our hearts to celebrate!! J

 

     note “Oh come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant.

               Oh come ye, oh come ye, to Bethlehem.

               Come and behold Him, born the King of angels.

               Oh come, let us adore Him.

               Oh come, let us adore Him!

               Oh come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!” note J

 

 

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