Thursday, June 24, 2010

To the Best First Friend Ever

me and mazel

Seldom do I (seriously) thank her for everything that she has done for me. She has always been there to lend a hand, to comfort, to give advice, and to correct. She has always been the constant chatmate and email-mate when I get super bored at work. She has always been the logic when I am extremely emotional, remaining objective and above the situation. She was the first friend I had in college and will probably be the last one standing when I die. She never fails to listen, never judges out of context, and never grows tired of being a friend.

Today, on her nth birthday, I honor her for her generosity with her time and resources; for her love for her family, friends, and future-husband Conrad; for her very very deep vessel of patience (especially with me! LOL); and for her unfailing faith in God.

I pray for all her heart's desires to come true. I pray for even better relationships, good health, and more answered prayers. I pray that everything that heaven can provide be upon her.

Thanks Pare for 11 years of enduring my being spoiled (pero hindi brat ha! LOL), leading the Kai Kada (este Bitter Girls na pala), and just being there. Thanks for being the best first friend ever! Happy birthday Mazel!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You are a Healer

God gave us the power to heal ourselves.

Ever wondered where the nasty bruises and cuts we've incurred during our childhood go? Ever wondered why that overly painful wound we got on our right knee stopped bleeding? Ever wondered why we have fever yet we are still able to do certain tasks?

The answer: Healing mechanism.

God has instilled us with it. Yes, we have a powerful army within us that fights off bacteria and viruses. We have the best pharmacy inside us, bringing just the right amount of healing for our physical ailments at the right time.

But because we have not yet grasped the idea that we have a built-in healing mechanism, we have somehow adopted the alcogel culture. Notice that hand sanitizers and wet wipes have been a necessity these days; it seems like we are so afraid of getting germs into our bodies. Prevention is always okay, I agree. But, as Bro. Arun puts it, too much of it actually weakens our healing mechanism, making it lax in fighting off bacteria. The key is still to strengthen our bodies against diseases.

Okay, I've done that, you say. I have been taking care of myself. I have been strengthening the healer in me. But why am I still sick?

The answer: Toxins.

But what exactly are these toxins?

When we are gripped with hate or anger that our blood pressure rises up to the heavens, that's toxin. When we are depressed and continue to wallow in sorrow that we feel that our body weakens, that's toxin. When we worry too much and fear everything that we eventually experience headaches, that's toxin. Remember that our body and our soul are one. Our soul, when wounded by such toxins, manifests its pain outward in our body. So when we remove the toxins in our soul, we remove the sickness in our body.

But apart from believing that we have a healer within us and removing the toxins inside us, let us also change our mindset and our expectations. With a strong healing mechanism should come the right expectations. Expect to live a longer life. Expect to live a stronger and brighter future. Expect to have more years to make our dreams come true, enjoy happy relationships, and create lasting memories.

So there. Three points to remember: 1) We have a built-in healing mechanism. 2) We should remove all toxins in our soul. 3) We must have the right expectations.

*This is Talk 1 (Healer) of the Awaken the Healer in You Series held at the South Feast. The South Feast, a weekly gathering of the Light of Jesus Community (LOJ), happens every Sunday at Festival Mall Cinema 10, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, at 11am and at 3pm. It is led by Feast Builder/Main Preacher Arun Gogna. LOJ is a Catholic charismatic community led by Bo Sanchez.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Awaken the Healer in You

Just this morning, my mom was admitted to the hospital for the continuous chest pain she has been feeling the past week. To some, this may elicit gasps, maybe a little shock, and an enormous amount of concern. To me, this is old news. Not that I am not concerned with my mom's welfare, I am and severely at that; it's just that her being confined to the hospital because of her heart ailments has never been new to me. She has been going in and out of such gloomy institution for the past months now, and I've learned to adapt (not that I want to) to the situation.

For the longest time, my family has been battling it out with various sicknesses of different levels. My mom, at a very young age, had been diagnosed with heart ailment. Her blood pressure tends to rise more that usual, even when relaxed. And just recently, her heart was seen to enlarge at a slow rate. She also has diabetes, taking in maintenance drugs to control her blood sugar when reaching past the heavens. Add to her very elaborate medical history the two major operations she had undergone for the past five years: one with her gall bladder and the other with her ovaries. My dad, never to be outdone, had just recently undergone a major operation, which also led to the discovery that his blood sugar is way high and that he is in the onset of being a diabetic himself. I myself am undergoing therapy for my knees, which have been giving me significant pain for months now, disabling me from doing certain activities and limiting my already-limited physique.

So you see, health problems are never new to me. I have been used to the sight of sickly people in emergency rooms, have made friends with doctors and nurses in clinics, and have been at home in both hotel-like and dreadfully looking hospital rooms. With that, my constant prayers have always revolved around healing and recovery of my loved ones and myself.

But God has His ways. It couldn't have been any more timely. Yesterday, at the South Feast*, a new series entitled Awaken the Healer in You was started. The series is broken down into six parts: Healer, Emotions, Relationships, Nourishment, Protection, and Faith. Each talk intends to teach us to bring out the healing power within us.

With that promise and with my constant petitions for healing in my family, I know that this new series will help me tremendously. My body is God's home address, and I know that God wants to heal me. I am ready to be healed and to heal.

*The South Feast, a weekly gathering of the Light of Jesus Community (LOJ), happens every Sunday at Festival Mall Cinema 10, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, at 11am and at 3pm. It is led by Feast Builder/Main Preacher Arun Gogna. LOJ is a Catholic charismatic community led by Bo Sanchez.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Shrek 4 and the Joy of Intentional Living

Shrek getting tired of his domesticated life.

After ten thousand years, I've finally seen Shrek Forever After (the fourth installment of the Shrek series) in the cinemas yesterday. The movie tells of Shrek's domesticated life. After rescuing Princess Fiona and saving the kingdom of Far Far Away, Shrek suddenly found himself a domesticated family man. He would live each and every day doing the same things for his family and friends, feeding them, taking care of them, and spending time with them. However, as time went by, it dawned on him that gone are the days when he felt like "a real ogre," feared by villagers and doing things just because. With this longing for his past self, he made a deal with Rumpelstiltskin, a magical creature who makes wishes come true, for him to have just one day to be "a real ogre" again. But with such deal came more loneliness than the happiness he wished for. (I won't give more spoilers that I am entitled to for the sake of those who haven't seen the movie.)

Shrek making a deal with Rumpelstiltskin.

In the movie, Shrek was surrounded by a loving family, best friends, and adoring villagers, but he gave up all of these for just a day to be back to his old self. We sometimes do the same. We exchange long-term happiness for a moment of pleasure. We exchange our greatest treasure for a minute, tiny, microscopic piece of gold that life offers us. We give away everything that we have and everything that is important to us for something that is not even worth it.

Last Sunday at the South Feast*, Bro. Arun talked about living deliberately. Let us not make unworthy deals and regrettable exchanges. Let us not just accept what life brings us but learn to choose wisely. Everyday, we are confronted by life's tests. We are always given options, and from these options, we are called to make decisions. Each decision that we make and each answer that we give to each test determine our destiny. God never holds the steering wheel of our lives; He only clears the path, gives us signs, and guides us on our way, but it is still always us who are the driver of our lives.

But what if I made a wrong turn? What if I made a wrong decision? Am I doomed? Is my life over? We may ask ourselves these questions, but let us be assured that, if we fail in one test, if we made a wrong turn, that doesn't mean that we failed in life altogether. Our God is a God of chances. God never runs out of chances to give to us, whether it's our second, third, or nth chance. He will never grow tired of guiding us as we hold the steering wheel of our lives.

So don't fear. Live deliberately. Choose wisely. Take the steering wheel of your life.

*The South Feast, a weekly gathering of the Light of Jesus Community (LOJ), happens every Sunday at Festival Mall Cinema 10, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, at 11am and at 3pm. It is led by Feast Builder/Main Preacher Arun Gogna. LOJ is a Catholic charismatic community led by Bo Sanchez.

(Photo source: Yahoo! Movies)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


A Walk to Remember. That would be my answer if asked what my ultimate favorite love-na-love best movie of all time. (Okay. It's a girly movie, but hey, I'm a girl, so there should be no problem with that. LOL.)

In the movie, Jaimie, the main character, was dying of leukemia. She had a list of things to do in life, like spend a year in the Peace Corps and make a medical discovery. Though her list was deemed ambitious, her to-do's were mostly for other people and she believed that she can somehow accomplish them during her lifetime.

Last Sunday, during the South Feast*, the talk was about No Small Living. Jon Escoto said that there are two important days in one's life: the day you were born and the day you discover why you were born.

When we were much younger, we believed that we were destined for something big. Some of us may have wanted to be a superhero, so we can help others. Most of us may have wanted to be doctor. Why? And we would answer in our most pang-Little-Miss-Philippines way "para po makapagpagaling ako ng maysakit."

But we have all grown up. We have been made aware of the reality that is bills, utilities, debts, and mortgage. We have been made to join the rat race in order to satisfy our needs and wants.

True, we each have our own lives to live and our own problems to solve. But we should be reminded that we are not living only for ourselves. We have to realize that our lives can be solutions to other people's needs.

But how can that be, you say? How can your life be a solution when it isn't perfect at all? Remember that God can use your painful experiences as an answer to someone else's questions. God can use our failures and your mistakes as a source of help for those in need. In the same way, God can use your talents as a blessing to others.

With that, begin to look at yourself. What are your experiences? What are your failures? What are your talents and gifts? How can you be of help to others through all these? When you have the answers, then your MISSION will be revealed to you. Remember, you have a BIG MISSION. We all do.

If you ask me what my BIG MISSION is, I have yet to find out, but with last Sunday's talk ,I might just begin working on discovering it.

*The South Feast, a weekly gathering of the Light of Jesus Community (LOJ), happens every Sunday at Festival Mall Cinema 10, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, at 11am and at 3pm. It is led by Feast Builder/Main Preacher Arun Gogna. LOJ is a Catholic charismatic community led by Bo Sanchez.