Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘unity’

This clip made me laugh. I’m my children’s “Number Zero Fan” and sometimes they get embarrassed to hear me cheer them on like this from the sidelines. I guess family members are the best cheer leaders! Enjoy the clip!

Read Full Post »


(Photograph by Melanie Gapiz)

After three years of planning, preparation, and thousands of cumulative hours of participant rehearsals, the Jubilee celebration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has finally come!!! 🙂


As I sat on the edge of my seat watching the festivity and cheering the other participants, I was extremely grateful and my heart was overcome with emotions for having had the privilege of being part of the momentous occasion! 🙂


Throughout the course of the rehearsals, I witnessed how the opposition worked his way through various means, using different people and their weaknesses, to try to stop this effort from progressing.  I have seen many frustrated faces, and people quitting in the midst of all the preparations due to disappointments and discouragement. Some left simply because they got exhausted and did not see the grand outcome that was meant to be. Many cynics doubted and some begrudgingly supported the event.


Yet a great majority withstood the test and endured to the very end. These are the ones who enjoyed their journey and learned the sweetness of its value as they looked forward to their destination. These are they who, despite their mortal differences, learned to exercise the virtue of patience, long-suffering, forgiveness, and humility. They are the ones who experienced the joy of service, unconditional love, and found among themselves new and lasting friendships.  


At the end of the celebration, I realized that all the grand preparations made were befitting the occasion. It was a token of gratitude from the Filipino people to our God and King, for all the blessings we received on this land since the preaching of the gospel 50 years ago. It was worth all the hard work putting everything together—our talents, our time—to come up with the best that we could offer Him. Hence, I was moved and most grateful to hear, by the mouth of one of His servants, that our offerings had been accepted.


I think that life in general will be like this Jubilee celebration. The preparations will not be easy for the glorious end. Many will fall and lose their way. Yet those who will endure to the end will receive their sweetest reward—much more than they have ever imagined.

Read Full Post »

 

People all around the world were moved by the recent catastrophe that hit Japan. I watched in the news a rescued man speaking about his survival experience and although he spoke in Japanese, I could feel and understand the sadness and trauma that he underwent after his ordeal. An old woman clung to a tree the entire evening for dear life and was rescued the following day. Buildings and homes were destroyed beyond anything anyone has ever imagined. The wrath and power of nature was only to be endured with utmost acquiescence and without question.


Through my years of existence, I learned that no matter what race we come from, whatever language we speak, whosoever we worship, we have similar innate characteristics that prove to me that we all come from the same source and are undeniably all connected as an entire human race.


In the midst of this calamity, tensions had been set aside for a moment among countries. Nations sent all they could to support and assist Japan in their current needs. The resilience of people was remarkable and it was touching to see the overflow of human kindness during this time of grief and loss.


Yet no matter how negative this experience was for many people, a lot of us also learned numerous positive things that will remain in our hearts for a long time. This experience taught me that even strong nations and seemingly independent, affluent countries still appreciate offers of assistance coming from their neighbors in times of trials and adversity. Similarly, our fellowmen who seem strong and independent will appreciate our support and encouragement in times of trials in their lives.


It was also admirable to see how the Japanese people remained calm and focused in spite of the overwhelming devastation that gripped their country. Collectively, they had the determination to rebuild their homes and individually extended help to those who needed it. Survivors orderly lined up and waited for whatever basic relief commodities were distributed to them. A spirit of unity was prevalent across the land.


In our times of trial, we can learn from their example by being still and enduring the tribulation with patience and faith and being grateful for the moral support of our friends and family and the Divine help that is always extended to those who seek it.


It may take a few months or a few years before Japan can get its nation back to where it was before the earthquake, but the lessons we’ve learned should very well not be forgotten.

Read Full Post »



(Photograph by Franco Advincula)


My sister and I were making fun of my cooking skills yesterday during one of our many just-catching-up phone conversations. We had a good laugh when I told her that my son was able to tell what for dinner was after four guesses by enumerating what I usually cooked from my limited menu. She suggested that we attend a culinary class in order to enhance our cooking prowess and broaden our carte du jour. However, I told her that based on my many, many, (yes!) many years of experience trying to cook delicious meals and not being successful in most of them, I finally realized that cooking is a talent. I find it hilarious how sometimes people cannot tell what kind of cuisine I am serving by merely looking at the dish in front of them! Nyahaha! 🙂


But I am most definitely NOT discouraged! 🙂 I have two of the most avid and supportive kitchen fans in the whole wide world!!! 🙂 I think it’s thoughtful and loving of them to acknowledge my sometimes “creative” cuisines and even have the admirable courage to eat them!!! Hahaha!!! 🙂


How grateful I am for such supportive family members!! I know that the greatest joy we can find is within the walls of our own homes. It is where we learn to love unconditionally, forgive whole-heartedly, serve unselfishly, and be accepted unequivocally.


Once I was talking to a friend who just sent her daughter off to college. She said her daughter called and was feeling homesick on her first week away from home. She was a little worried about her daughter, but I told her that she should look at it as a good indication that she did a great job in providing a loving home for her daughter—enough for her to miss their home when she went away.


I think we should all strive to create a loving and comfortable home environment enough that we would miss it if we ever went away. Let us make our homes a bit of heaven on the earth; and despite the occasional burnt chicken in the oven and the bland beef stew from time to time, let us love and support our family members enough that we may all look forward to the day when we can be with them forever!! 🙂


Take care, everybody! Try to spend more time with your family this week!! And PLEASE watch that chicken in the oven!!! 🙂

Read Full Post »



(Photograph by Franco Advincula)


While cruising down a road that led to our home the other day, I noticed some banners reminding the people that it has been a year since the catastrophic flooding that affected most of the metropolitan area occurred. It was a call for thanksgiving and celebration for the lives that were saved during that time and to encourage the people to keep moving on as they look forward to a brighter future.


It’s amazing how time flies, and the memories that these types of tragic incidents leave us are some that cannot easily be forgotten. They linger in our hearts and in our minds. Yet the wise thing to do is to look for all the good and positive that would come out of it.


What struck me most from looking at the banner was the photo that accompanied it. It was an image of a distressed woman being rescued from the flood, with someone helping her to swim in the water while someone ashore was pulling a rope tied around her body. I imagined how desperate her situation was and how grateful she must’ve been for all those strangers gathered around her trying to help and save her life. And they most probably did.


As I pondered about that photograph, I thought of how noble and praiseworthy those people are. How admirable that they were willing to put their own lives in danger in order to help a stranger from losing her life. And then a thought came to me: There is no wonder our Redeemer was willing to give up His own life in order to save us from losing ours forever. Because if these strangers were willing to do so with their fellow beings, how much more Him who created us and have known us even before we were born? If these strangers could love their fellowmen enough for them to do what they did, how much more exponential God’s love for us is?


And we should all be grateful.

Read Full Post »

DSCF9388

I witnessed last Sunday how being there for someone in times of need is sometimes all it takes to make them feel better. One does not even have to do anything, but listen.

The efforts to reach out and help those who have been affected by the storm continue. Some homes are still under water, families displaced, and many hearts are left weary. Yet despite the devastating situation surrounding the people in our neighborhood, it was amazing to catch a glimpse of the emotional strength that they exhibited in the midst of this crisis. In spite of their own loss, they went out of their way to offer relief to those who needed it more. In turn, their own burdens were made light and in blessing the lives of others they were comforted.

I must admit that I initially froze at the sight of all the destruction that this typhoon had caused—the number of lives that have been lost and shattered. I was immobilized by thoughts that I might not be on higher ground and wasn’t in a position to lift up another, so I stayed put—snuggled in my own little corner, keeping a safe distance from it all.

But I’ve learned that in giving service to others in dire situations we find our own solace and strength. We don’t even have to hide the fact that we are weak and powerless in certain moments. We just do the best we could. I also realized that it takes a lot of humility to accept help from another and to acknowledge the fact that we need help. Trials such as these can truly be a humbling experience. Finally and most importantly, I’ve learned that one of the most comforting gifts we may receive during a difficult time is the mere presence of those who truly love and care for us—even if they do nothing but listen.

Read Full Post »