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The truly liberated human being is not always fighting against something, but more frequently is fighting for something or someone.
– Denis Waitley

I have decided to face my King Xerxes and let my request be known to the king and to all.  For and on behalf of my family, my two children and my people whom I love and in whom I have unwavering faith – my fellow Filipinos.  I am ready to be ridiculed and to be thought of as foolish, to be considered naive and powerless to change the course of this nation because I am but a tiny voice.  But I cannot make light the burden in my heart, the heaviness and the grief that would not lift themselves until I do what I know I should do.  Mordecai reminded me of the tribe to which I belong.  He reminded me that I will not be spared if I remain silent:  that deliverance will come from elsewhere if I do not take action, and that I too shall perish, either way.  But I would rather perish for a cause, to take a stand – for a people, for my children, for the next generation… FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS.

To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.
– Kofi Annan

Esther, was a young Jewish girl who became the Queen of all Persia, the wife of one of the most powerful kings during that time, King Xerxes.  Her true identity was hidden from him for security reasons.  Because of the evil political maneuverings of Haman, the king’s right hand man at that time, the Jewish people were decreed to be annihilated. Esther, if found out, would not be spared.

For all of us who love and declare our allegiance to God, we know the heart of God for this nation and for our people. We know that His desire is for righteousness to be established in our land.  We also know that His ways are not our ways.  We know He uses foolish things to confound the wisdom of this world.  We know where he wants us to go although we may not always know how to get there.  Yet, we are not lost because He has given us a roadmap in His word to guide us every step of the way.  For those of us who identify ourselves with Christ, we know who we are and whose we are.  Therefore, our choices have to be in line with the one with whom we identify ourselves.

7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

1 Corinthians 1:27
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

I have to admit that I deviated from this Scriptural guidepost in my choice for President for this 2010 election.  Like so many, I told myself that I will no longer vote for the candidate I voted for last time because I was disappointed by the events that followed his loss.  I CONSIDERED the other candidates who were running this year, weighed their qualifications and narrowed my choices based on my own reasoning and just hoped that they would eventually align with God’s vision for this nation during their term.  I did my homework and I asked questions about the candidates I was considering – from people who knew them personally to those who worked with them & were in a position to testify about them.  I weighed all the reasons why so-and-so supported this candidate and that.  Perhaps I was starting to “consider … appearance or … height“. I leaned towards one candidate but I was still undecided.

I knew that I had yet to see if any one of them have enough character in them not to buckle and fold once the pressure of payback time comes, or the machinations and sheer politics not only demanded but are intrinsic to the position.

The tide turned for me after I attended an Intercessors for the Philippines Conference earlier this year upon the  recommendation of a very dear intercessor friend.  It was a prophetic conference about declaring the Jubilee of Jubilees for the Philippines.  At the conference, nobody approached me and asked for any solicitation.  Nobody asked me who I was voting for, although a lot of them came wearing shirts supporting their candidate.  If anybody did that, they would surely have had a hard time convincing me because I held my ground of past disappointment.  It was supposedly a spiritual conference and I had no plans of ushering in the political picture.

But during the worship and intercession time, God exposed and started a process of changing my heart.  I even told my friend who was with me that God was dealing with me.  We were both in tears as we prayed and interceded for our churches and for the Philippines.  By the time the conference ended that day, my heart was changed.  My intellect was telling me otherwise, but my heart was no longer the same.  My choice for President was no longer a question mark.

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
Chinese Proverbs

Does this mean I will be voting blindly based on an emotional experience or mere religious affiliation?  Frankly, I still went home with my mind debating with my heart.  My mind battled with all the reasons why I shouldn’t but my heart was at peace with the reason why I should.

The networks, newspapers and blogosphere are filled with qualifications and credentials of all the candidates – arguments for and against each one of them.  You can easily find whatever suits your fancy and whatever appeals to your political leanings and declare it as the absolute battle-cry for and on behalf of your candidate.  I am not here to contest any of those.  One way or another, the scales will tip wherever we want them to, depending on the glasses we wear.  Furthermore, I am not here to convince you to change your mind to agree with my stand.  I believe we have reached a place in our country’s history where we can enjoy the liberty of disagreeing with each other freely and not succumb to lowly name-calling and backbiting when we express our differences.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
– Martin Luther King Jr.

Yet there comes a time in one’s life when one is compelled to do the unpopular thing… to swim against the tide and to risk one’s reputation and in some cases one’s very life… in obedience to a Higher Authority.  With regards to this election,  this time has come for me.  In light of eternity, I am answerable to this Higher Authority alone.

6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD.”

7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” 9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the LORD chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down [
a] until he arrives.”

12 So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features.
Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.”

13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power.

Seven sons passed before the prophet Samuel hoping to be the one the Lord would anoint.  The Lord told Samuel not to consider appearance or height… not to look at the things man looks at.  The Lord sees what we fail to see.  He chose the least likely of them to lead his people.  He chose a SHEPHERD boy…a pastor of dumb sheep…to be KING.

On hindsight, what qualifications did David have back then that God would choose him to be king of Israel? This is what one of Saul’s servants said about David:

18 One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the harp. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the LORD is with him.”

David was a harp player, a brave man, a warrior who spoke well and was a fine-looking man even, the Scriptures say.  No PH.D.’s, no Harvard/Yale credentials, no political savvy.  He was a shepherd boy who led sheep.  Yet, even Saul’s men recognized David’s anointing and recommended him to King Saul.

Fast-forward to 2010 and compare David’s resume with the rest of the candidates and what do you have?  He wouldn’t stand a chance against the sterling list of achievements of most of the candidates today.  What did David have going for him that set him apart from the rest?

GOD TOLD SAMUEL TO ANOINT HIM and THE LORD WAS WITH HIM. Not his brothers.  Not any other Israelite. GOD CHOSE HIM.

FOR WHAT REASON? THAT BELONGED TO GOD ALONE.  Yet we all know that DAVID WAS A MAN AFTER GOD’s OWN HEART.

Let’s backtrack a bit to the time when King David was already ruling Israel.  He made major mistakes during his reign. The anointed King chosen by God conspired to kill one of his special warriors so that he could take his wife.  At one point, he also became proud and started to rely on the strength of his military.  He had children who didn’t have the same heart for God as he did.  He was not perfect. Did God, then, make a mistake when he chose David to rule over Israel?  If you were living during David’s time would you blame God for choosing David?

“In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”
— The Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

Friends, family and all those who chance upon to read this post:  The impact of this election is too great to pass up. There is a golden window of opportunity for us to choose what will happen in the next 6 years of our lives.  Let us not only think about the financial, social, or political impact of those who will lead this country for the next six years.  What is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.  Consider the unseen impact in light of eternity… in light of the higher purpose and destiny that has been prophesied time and again about our nation.  Those who love photography like me know what it feels like when they are not able to capture a specific moment because they were not prepared to take the shot.  That picture of the sunset that I failed to take a picture of today, will never be the same tomorrow.  It will never be the same no matter how many times I go back and try to take that shot again.  It is an opportunity lost that time cannot regain.

Right now, this opportunity is open to us.  Why settle for “puede na” when we can have ALL that has been promised to us?  Does that mean that the candidate I am voting for is the “only savior” of this nation?  By all means no.  But let us not forget that every time a righteous king ruled Israel, God blessed the nation.  I am FOR the purposes of God being established.  I want to see the destiny of this nation fulfilled in MY lifetime.  I URGE you to see what Samuel didn’t see. Who among them is “a man after God’s own heart”? So will all our problems be solved in an instant once this man is elected?  Is this a band aid solution to all our ills?  Again, no.  Yet, knowing that the one who will head this nation is not only concerned about protecting the reputation and the legacy of his parents but the HONOR and the NAME of our GOD, presupposes a greater accountability.

I did not give this brother candidate a second look at the start of this campaign although this brother who runs for the highest office is not devoid of political credentials. They are just not barked loudly  enough to the mass media. Yet like many well-meaning Christians that  have expressed that this candidate must stay in his calling because he is more effective by doing so, I had my reservations about his decision to run again because of the past. To me, keep the status quo. It’s safer and more peaceful that way.  But who am I to limit the sovereignty of the God of the universe to transform a man’s life and change the path he takes? to change his vocation and occupation at any given point? Biblically, David had a career change from shepherd boy to King. Peter, from fisherman transformed into a fiery preacher. Paul, from a respected Pharisee and teacher of the law to a rogue itinerant speaker. Even in 21st century context, how many people have shifted careers and are flourishing in their latter choices?  Be that as it may, to box a person by confining him in one place is to box our God who is able to use His people anywhere for as long as they are faithful and willing.  Isn’t He, after all, the God who enables; and, isn’t His Spirit the One who moves and leads? To the human understanding, such moves are either a promotion or demotion. Yet to our God, it is a masterpiece in the making.

I love this nation and have chosen to live here no matter how hard it might be.  I am sure a lot of you share this same sentiment.  Who would not love to see this nation flourish in all aspects of life?  Who would not want to see righteousness and honesty in all the land so that businesses can flourish and prosperity can reach the grassroots?  Who would not want to see this nation honor and love God and lift His name up in the truest sense?

I am not voting for a person alone.  I am voting for the opportunity to change this nation’s destiny in my lifetime.  I am voting for God’s will to be done and for His kingdom to come in my lifetime.  If my candidate wins, does that mean everything will be magically transformed?  That we can sit back and relax and let him do all the work and expect him to fix everything? within 6 years? No, it’s just like the ram’s horn being blasted across this nation saying to all that it’s time to rebuild. The work has just begun.

“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” — Henry David Thoreau

Think about it.  Why are we so eager to stop a person who is willing to face the scrutiny and ridicule of his former supporters just so that he can be given another chance to deal with the source of our country’s woes?  To strike at the root and not just settle for the branches.  The other candidates have noble intentions, if not noble propaganda, to rid this nation of corruption.  We know that corruption springs from the evil that is in all of our hearts and is impossible to get rid of unless it is overpowered by the grace of God.  Shall we settle for hacking just at the branches?

The future belongs to people who see possibilities before they become obvious.–Ted Levitt

Friends, family, readers and perhaps foes?   “If it pleases the king, may I find favor in his eyes… but if not then, let the axe fall where it may.” I URGE you once more to lift up your eyes to see the small cloud of rain in the distance. May we understand the time and the season we are in and see what this nation can be if we allow the fulness of God to move in our land.

For all the possibilities that I see in the future, I support Brother Eddie Villanueva for President.

I also support Ruffy Biazon, Kata Inocencio and Alex Tinsay for Senators.

GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!

If you have read this far, allow me to share with you the thoughts of my children about this election, our nation and their future.

To all who are celebrating thanksgiving in the USA… HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! I remember spending a few thanksgiving celebrations in the US some time ago… mmmmm. Huge turkeys deep fried in peanut oil, cranberry sauce, cornbread, smothered greens, backyard barbecue with family and friends. I can almost taste the turkey in my mouth. yum!

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Pinas but I think we should set aside a day just to be thankful as a nation. More than the xbox 360‘s, the psp’s, the fully loaded iphones and all the tech gadgets galore… or the LV’s and the Hermes and the Gucci’s we’ve saved up for… there’s more to life than all that.

Thanksgiving in the US is one of their most awaited holidays. It’s a time when families get together at the dinner table… to remember… to be thankful… to acknowledge the Providence of the Almighty God.

Here’s an excerpt that says it best.

The First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving given by the Continental Congress       in 1777:

FOR AS MUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success:

It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these UNITED STATES to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for SOLEMN THANKSGIVING and PRAISE: That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor;

and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance;

That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole: To inspire our Commanders, both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE: That it may please him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yield its Increase:

To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom, which consisteth “in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.

And it is further recommended, That servile Labor, and such Recreation, as, though at other Times innocent, may be unbecoming the Purpose of this Appointment, be omitted on so solemn an Occasion.

(souce: Wikipedia)

For us as a nation, we have a lot to be thankful for, in spite of all the overwhelming challenges that we continuously face. From the devastation caused by typhoons to the recent horrific events in Maguindanao… these may make it more difficult to be grateful. It may be harder to see the favor of the Divine Providence. But in the end… in the end…  we need to remember that what was meant for evil, God can always turn around for good. I was watching the news earlier and the candidate whose wife got killed in that incident said something about her being instrumental to the LIBERATION of his town… that DEMOCRACY, finally, has a chance, now that the alleged mastermind behind the massacre has been taken into custody. Perhaps he has seen a tiny seed to be thankful for in the midst of his tragedy.  I hope that all of us will see what he sees…even in the midst of difficulties.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  May we always remember why.

Yeah, I did. I missed the live chat at Pixel Canvas last Sunday. Actually, I missed both chats. I was just glued to the news since last Friday because I was monitoring my siblings in Meycauayan. I remember every time a storm would come, my dad would always ask me to check up on my siblings to see if they were already submerged in the floods since their area was always prone to flooding.

Last Saturday, I could almost see my dad telling me to check on my brother and sister so I texted them. True enough, my brother was stranded in BB in Karuhatan! The worst place to be stranded in IMHO. He told me he felt like crying and all he could do was pray. I told him to just stay put and find a place to stay overnight because there was no way for him to go home since it was flooded everywhere. Good thing he found a “motel” to stay in where a lot of other stranded folks spent the night as well. He actually slept on the floor! I also texted my sister and she told me that my niece had to brave the floods because the bus she was riding couldn’t go forward anymore. She had to walk for more than four hours just to get home. Funny girl told me that she made sure that her slippers were safe.

But the disasters are not over. Vietnam has just gone through the wrath of Ondoy (Ketsana). American Samoa had an est.magnitude 7++ earthquake and was hit by a tsunami as well. Indonesia has experienced a devastating earthquake  with an initial estimate of 500 people killed. A super typhoon is threatening the Philippines again. And the latest I have heard on the news is that, California has been hit by an earthquake as well.  What is happening is extremely disturbing. For those who cannot physically help in the stricken areas, I think the best help that can be done round the clock is to pray for now. Pray without ceasing. It transcends coastlines and oceans. So dear friends, let’s.

I used to work in the insurance industry many moons ago. I’ve worked for one of the oldest insurance companies in the country. I was also part of a a pioneering company in the pre-need industry dealing with pension plans, life plans, education plans etc. etc. You would think that coming from that industry, I would be a strong advocate of these products but up to this day I still don’t have an insurance plan or any other pre-need plan of my own. I even bought a few plans that I never finished paying because it simply didn’t fit the choreography of my schedules. I am not going to say that they are or are not important to those of us who have families whom we need to provide a secure financial future for. Whether or not we will get one we all need to know the importance of life insurance and how it will impact the future of our families. We all want to make sure that our loved ones will be secure once we go and this is what insurance plans or pre-need plans sell – the assurance that this personal concern will be addressed and taken care of when we are no longer able to do it ourselves. I have no problem with that actually. My only peeve about buying one is I don’t like overbearing insurance agents and the only time I gave in to getting one was because it was sold to me by a very very close friend whom I trust.

After reading this far, you’re probably thinking “So should I get one or not?” It’s like a chicken and egg thing, really. For us, health insurance is primary for now because that is the most expensive part of life, young or old. Hospital bills, medication, doctor’s fees, laboratory tests and what nots are what cause your life savings to dwindle to a few measly coins. If you can find a health plan that will cover all your major expenses, in case you get sick, then that would be a very good investment. Even if you save so much for your twilight years, the cost of getting sick is like a little matchstick that can burn your whole bank account to ashes. It’s a little bit morbid but getting sick and dying are two of the most lucrative businesses ever. There will always be sick people and everyone will eventually die. It IS a business. Like they say there are only two sure things, TAXES and DEATH.

Of course, there is also an insurance that provides you peace of mind no matter what sudden tragedy may happen to you. It is the insurance that assures you of a future that is unshakeable. 100% return on investment-guaranteed, full coverage against sickness, death, loss of property, theft, fire, flood, tsunami, earthquake and Acts of God. No expiration date, one-time payment. There is one thing though, it is non-transferable and good for one person at a time only. Here’s the best part though, it’s the best bargain of all time. You can have all those benefits for free if you follow the terms and conditions simply and clearly stipulated in John 3:16. No hidden agenda, no hidden fees, no need to worry about the fine print. And no pesky insurance agents hard selling on you. Think about it. In case you’ve seen it before but may have forgetten, here’s the stipulation again. Consider it, peeps. It’s the insurance bargain of a life time!

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Have a wonderful weekend!

The past few days my emotions have been on a roller coaster ride. I have been quiet on this blog. The death of President Cory stirred up so many emotions I have tried to manage for the past two years. August 4 marks the second death anniversary of my father and I couldn’t help but go back to those moments while I was watching the necrological service of Tita Cory at the Manila Cathedral late this afternoon. The circumstances have been so similar it just brought me to tears. I am reminded of these two verses that somehow give me a glimpse of what still needs to be worked on in my own heart.

Genesis 32:28 (NIV 1984)

When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”

2Corinthians 12:7 (NASB 1995)

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me– to keep me from exalting myself!

A broken spirit and a contrite heart, I know God will not despise and that is what He so desires. It is the best heart jewelry one can wear and worth more than all the jewels in the whole wide world. It is what pleases God. The question is, is pain necessary to achieve closeness to God? Is the path of sorrow and suffering the only way to be near God?  In my opinion, my answer would be yes. It is necessary.

We do not need Faith if we have the ability to do things on our own. It is the impossible that requires the divine to be employed. Faith is what moves the mountains of pain and suffering aside and parts the sea of sorrow so that we can take one more step closer to the promised land. Faith enables us to struggle and wrestle inspite of the thorns of imperfection and the flaws of our character. It is the adrenalin that pushes us forward to overcome all odds and step into victory. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

Unfortunately, this does not happen overnight. This is where patience comes in. Through plodding and perseverance. Mountain after mountain, valley after valley, struggle after struggle… day after day. Through faith and patience we will overcome. It has already been two years since I have started on this road of coping with the grief and pain because of my father’s death. I am reminded more so today because of President Cory’s death.

My father was working for the Marcos government during that time when the People Power Revolution happened. He was the Chief Engineer in charge of setting up the government transmitters all over the Philippines. How he got into government is a whole other story but I knew he was a man of integrity and uncorrupted by what was around him. He knew what was going on when the transmitters in Malolos were taken over by the military sympathetic to Cory. He told me how crucial communications and media were that’s why these were one of the first things that were taken over aside from power and transportation. He often told me inside stories about media and propaganda and the psy-war tactics that were being employed by both sides. Aside from being an employee of the government, he was also a son of Tacloban and a kababayan of Imelda Marcos. A lot of what I know about government and country I have learned through him. His love for country and integrity in fulfilling his duties have been imparted to me and have made me come to love this country as well.  This is his legacy to me. Every province where I see a government transmitter, I am reminded of him. It is a struggle to hold back my tears…to wish for him to still be here. It is a journey that anyone who has lost a loved one deals with everyday. And I guess a “thorn in the flesh” to ground us and remind us of our need for God each day.

Yet inspite the pain, the thought of knowing that the memories and the legacies of our loved ones will live on through us they have left behind, is an assurance that their lives are not in vain. Thank you Tita Cory for reminding me about my father once again. My father is not a well-known figure. He lived a simple quiet life. A life of faith. A life of patience. A life of forgiveness and generosity. A life that overcame self and became selfless for others. A life that mattered to me. A life I will remember always and will be grateful for forever.

I had no intentions of being heroic but I literally did “stand in the gap” or was it “stand in the way” yesterday and it hurt like hell. We went to a children’s birthday party at Hotel Kimberly in Amadeo yesterday right after church and of course being a children’s birthday party, there were games… not just for the kids but for the mommies and daddies as well. The host called my name to join one of the games and I obliged. I’m normally a reluctant participant but I wanted to be a little “game” this time and so I did. It was a mini race where you had to circle a chair twice, write the word SOS with your butt and then pass on the hat to the next person. I did my part as fast as I could and as the last person turned the corner to run to the finish line I saw her body headed for a fall. Being a dancer, I instinctively recognized that her body was going to crash into the tiled floor and she was going to get hurt pretty bad. So I poised myself to catch her. Unfortunately, the force of her fall was so strong we both crashed on the floor with me hitting my tailbone so hard I was stunned and couldn’t get up. I remember something hitting my cheekbone as well so hard I was in a daze for a few seconds. The first thing that crossed my mind when I was down on the floor was “Oh no! I might not be able to dance tomorrow!” The people around us tried to carry us up. I was disoriented but walked to my seat as if nothing had happened but I felt everything as I sat down. The hubby tried to do TKM (The King’s Method) on me and it did relieve me but it made me want to close my eyes and just sleep. I was scared to fall asleep because I feared that I wouldn’t wake up. My kids were so surprised and couldn’t believe I did what I did. They had mixed feelings of anger and concern… anger at the person who crashed into me and concern for my well-being as well. That made me think hard. I needed to teach them something. They needed to know why I did what I did.

I had one of those “my life flashed before my eyes moments” and “what is the purpose of my life conversations with myself” running through my brain as I was trying to find a little relief from the waves of pain and disorientation. The hubby who’s been studying on kinesthetics and all that dance physiology blah-blah-blah assured me that my tailbone was the location of hundreds of nerves that’s why I was feeling that way and it had just gone thru trauma so it was normal for me to feel that way. I was having a spiritual moment on the other hand. LOL

These are some of the things I learned, realized and remembered all at once:

  • Standing in the gap is hard. I realized that what Jesus did on the cross was so hard compared to what I did. I had it easy. I had a thick layer of fat on my butt to cushion the fall. It still hurts the day after but compared to what Jesus did for us, this is a walk in the park. Jesus had nails thru his hands and feet. His pain was so much greater than mine.
  • Standing in the gap saves lives. I’m no savior but had I not been in her way even if I did not intentionally try to help her, she would have crashed her face into the concrete floor. Newton’s first law of inertia says “An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” Jesus is the force that stops us in our tracks and saves us from crashing into whatever.
  • Standing in the gap is not faceless. I hardly knew the person who crashed into me. We saw each other just minutes before the game started. No heroics. Just instincts. Standing in the gap is also commonly interchanged with intercession. Many times I receive prayer requests for people I have never met and yet I still pray for them. Sometimes God puts people and circumstances in my heart to pray for whom I have no inkling about and yet I know it is not in vain. This has been my training hence this is my instinct.  Jesus loves us and knows us by name. We are not faceless to Him.
  • Standing in the gap is a choice. My children kept asking me after “Why did you do that, mama? I don’t like it that you got hurt…”. My kids are the sweetest kids in the world and I know they are and will always be protective of me. What I want them to know is that Jesus chose to do what He did. He died on the cross to save us from our sin, by choice. Why? Because He loves us. I can’t say I loved that person. I hardly knew her. I don’t think she realized she needed any “saving” from me. Does God love her. I’m sure He does. But what about me? I’m the one who got hurt? Doesn’t He love me? Why didn’t He spare me from the pain? This passage came to my mind:

New International Version (©1984)
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

another version says this:

Bible in Basic English
That I may have knowledge of him, and of the power of his coming back from the dead, and a part with him in his pains, becoming like him in his death;

Sometimes, it’s the painful times, the seasons of hardships and the difficult moments that yield more insight into another person’s life. These times create deeper bonds, deeper friendships that transcend time. They give us a peek into the other person’s heart and soul. We all have friends but those who share their most intimate thoughts and share their deepest pains with us are those who regard us as true friends. We end up “knowing” them beyond words. This incident has made me “know” God more and has made me appreciate and love Him more. It allowed me to peek into His heart and understand why He did what He did for all of us.  I know now that I am His friend.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Just popping in to say that we are about to have one hectic week ahead. Kids recovering from sudden cough and colds due to the erratic weather, a death in the family, visiting grandparents from Davao, visiting family relatives from Cebu, a just concluded summer dance workshop in Sta. Rosa, an unfinished article, layouts to finish, a costume to paint, a surprise party for a dear, dear person, technical dress rehearsals and a photoshoot, of course the first two-day Noah’s Ark ballet recital of my kids at the CCP no less, costumes and makeup to attend to and would you believe after 10+++ years of not dancing, I and a few of my dance ministry friends will brave a dance for a friend’s birthday…. whew, are you still breathing while reading all this?  All of that in 7 days!!! I feel like I’m riding a tiny little scooter and am about to have a head on collision with a ten-wheeler truck in the middle of the freeway! Get me an Oakland motorcycle accident lawyer, pronto!

With a gazillion more things I might forget, I know that God’s grace is sufficient for me. To my mind, I need buckets and buckets of it but it is amazing how He can quiet down your soul and order your world if you let Him. I heard someone say this long ago ” I have too much to do today, I think I need to spend more time praying.” And so I shall.

I had a wonderful mommy moment with my son tonight. He’s slowly growing up into a fine young man and I’m so happy to say that I’ve witnessed up to this very moment every step of his journey. I’ve been there from day one and will continue to be there until the homerun. I am not a perfect mom, I’ve had my bad hair days and my “alto soprano” moments and many times I question myself whether I “get in the way” of what God wants for my children. I used to think that I was a patient person, tolerant and not easy to anger – I thought too highly of myself and my journey as a mom for more than nine years has truly  convinced me that I am not. 🙂  But by the grace of God I have learned to move according to the measure of grace that He gives me in each and every circumstance.

Why was tonight special? Well, perhaps it’s because I was able to reach my son’s heart and help him to understand that life’s obstacles are not hindrances but God’s way of forging character and fortitude into our souls. I am reminded of a blacksmith pounding away at a red hot piece of metal on a heavy anvil and how each time the mallet hits the hot metal, it slowly transforms it into the shape that he envisioned the metal to be. I saw this in my son tonight – (btw, he’s only nine years old). God was the blacksmith, my son was the metal and I was the heavy mallet that became the dreaded instrument of torment, er I mean transformation.

At first, it was a struggle of the wills – him succumbing to self-pity and condemnation and I, the imperialistic queen dispensing the law upon him. But I am no queen… I am his mother and I saw that divine opportunity to speak into his life. To lift him up from where he was wallowing and impart destiny into his soul. What joy it was to see him step out of his self-centered world and into an awareness of the world around him where his greater destiny lies.  It was a priceless moment. I don’t want to forget it – hence this post. 

Sometimes the pain of discipline (not necessarily physical) can blur the lines of love and acceptance and distort it into separation and rejection. When that distortion happens, the one who delivers the discipline may be perceived as unloving and uncaring. I believe as a parent, one needs to address those doubts immediately and reassure the child that it is the behavior that is being corrected and not the person being rejected. What do you give a child who misbehaves? Give them a “sandwich”! Yup, a “sandwich”. You give them the “big fat juicy discipline” between two buns of praise and acceptance. A word of encouragement right before the correction and a word of acceptance right after the correction. A sandwich, right? 

Well, my sandwiches aren’t perfect all the time but I try to arrest those “self-pity party” moments when I sense them rising up in my children. I always assure them that my love for them is unconditional and is never based on how “good” they are. That is not to say that they will not be corrected when they misbehave.  But good or bad behavior is not the criterion for my love for them. I hope that when they grow older there will come a time that they will see that side of the picture as well.

I love them dearly and I thank God that they have made my life so much richer in every way imaginable. I will be forever grateful to God and to them for giving me a chance to know and experience the reality that children are indeed precious, priceless gifts from above.

A Haiku about my life at this moment…

Spinning… swirling… me                                                                                                                         in my ordered disorder…                                                                                                                       random and yet not…

Absence of chaos…                                                                                                                            or absolute disorder…                                                                                                                         can they reconcile…                                                                                                                               

Pushing and pulling…                                                                                                                          giving and seldom getting…                                                                                                               yet filled to the brim…                                                                                                                        

I lift up my hands…                                                                                                                               in childlike surrender be                                                                                                               still in my chaos…              

Cocooned in His palm…                                                                                                                    wrapped in His blanket of peace…                                                                                                      still… silent… knowing…              

  He is God… He is…                                                                                                                              be still my heart and listen…                                                                                                           He is God… He is.                        

– teys 8/25/08

There are a lot of things to be thankful for right now. I didn’t get to sleep much last night cause the kids were sick but now all is quiet in the house and everyone’s asleep except me. The kiddos have improved a lot since yesterday, thank God. No homework for now and the hubby let them watch a few videos in our “vid” room, get it “vid” room as in bedroom?  I think I caught a bad joke virus from my son. LOL  The kiddos just huddled around the tiny dvd player today (nah! no fancy schmanzy home theater seating thing folks, although I wish it were) to watch Indiana Jones and Evan Almighty. The nice part about the whole thing today was they weren’t coughing that much anymore and as the little girl said, “I don’t have to take all those “drugs” anymore, right daddy?” Yup, no more taking “dr-ughs” during my night shift.  😀   Thank God!  My eyes are getting droopy now so I’m signing off for the night.

Ciao!