Monday, December 31, 2012

My 2012 Success and Failure Story


The year 2012 had so many milestones; I'm surprised why I am not more grateful than I am. Yes, there were some ups and downs but I have been blessed with the best people who helped me enjoy the wonderful moments and get through the bad times.

Viaggio la Futura – my new travel blog – was born. Yes, I started to travel again in 2012. Nothing major really, just trips to the south of Cebu and road trips and food trips with family and friends. My first major trip since the epic vacation to Dumaguete in 2007 was a trip to Moalboal with my best friend and her close friends who are my friends now too – such a wonderful way to open the doors to more viaggio. We had so much fun laughing and running around, I think I may have lost 3kg during that trip. Kidding aside, it was one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever had. Not because the venue was fancy (it was beautiful and picturesque but did not cost a bundle) or because we had steak for dinner (which we didn’t… but the sinugbang pork belly was more delicious than any steak in the city). It was memorable because I was with people who were kind and gracious enough to welcome me into their circle. And it’s been an exciting roller coaster since then.



In June, I got the best birthday gifts ever – the first one was from my birth father, Papa PierFrancesco, the second one was from my client, who gave me a bonus because she was really happy with my work, and the third gift was from God (I’d like to think that it was because the experience taught me so many lessons. I was offered an opportunity to lead a team of SEO Content Writers in Cebu City. It was the most gruelling yet most rewarding management job that I ever had. Not only because the monthly take home pay was the highest one any single company had ever offered me, but also because I met and bonded with beautiful people who taught me lessons in patience, forgiveness, kindness (and yes, naughty stuff too, mostly silly jokes). It turned out to be one of the most challenging work I have ever had although it was short-lived. To this day, I miss my colleagues who became friends and I’m glad I took that leap. No regrets, it is now part of my “Oh Well”… lessons and all.

Oh, the gifts from my Papa and my generous client went to my funds for my new air conditioning unit. It was expensive and I had to work double time for the other half but it’s so worth it. I now understand that I need to invest in my home office because I might be here a while, God willing. I am saving up for renovations and vacations in the next few years. I am also grateful for rekindled friendships and an improvement in my family life.

The failures were nothing major really. Just some opportunities that passed me by because I did nothing about them; some relationships that were broken because of personal differences; and some people that I really miss simply because I was too cowardly to tell them how I felt. But if you ask me, I have so much more to be thankful for that I am eagerly awaiting the coming of 2013, just because…

So there you go, that’s my 2012 in a nutshell… What’s your story like? Please feel free to leave a comment. See you next year!

Thank You Lord Jesus, Mama Mary, and St. Joseph for blessing my family all year long.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Girl on Re-mission

Have you ever had that feeling that something horrible was about to happen? That at any moment someone or something is gonna strike you and you won't be able to defend yourself? I've been living with that terrible feeling of foreboding for a few years now... and that feeling is the worst. They say that our fears are usually worse than that which we fear. Now I can honestly say that it's true.

I have been searching for my life's purpose since I was a teenager. I've been to places that scared the heck out of me and to this day, I am still unsure what my purpose really is. I've been praying for God to show me the way, reveal my mission, so that I can live out his plan for me. But until now, I still don't know what my mission is. At first, I thought I was supposed to spend my life in the countryside helping the underprivileged, the poor, and the oppressed. But now I realize that the ones I should be serving is right here in my own home -- my family -- especially my Grandma.

Do you know when I discovered this? It was during the past few years. While I was out there looking for my mission, I overlooked the very people who I should have been serving all along -- my family. My grandma (Lola) is turning 90 next month and I really want to give her a birthday party that she will remember. I was hoping to invite her living siblings, close relatives, and friends. Oh, I also want to buy her a cake with the numbers 90 firmly planted on top of it. In short, I just want her to be happy on her 90th birthday.



So from being a girl with a mission to becoming a woman without one, I now have a new mission -- I'd like to call this my re-mission. I know this will not be easy but I also feel deep in my heart that this is what I am meant to do. What will happen next year, I do not know. And that feeling of foreboding is still there. But I choose to be happy and I want my family to be happy too. And so I pray for peace, love, and joy in the next year for my family and friends.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Mama Mary, Queen of all saints, pray for us. Amen.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A (Grateful) Self-made Woman

Last night, while speaking with my Papa who lives all the way in Italy, he said something that made me very happy - he said that I was a self-made woman. I did not know exactly what it really meant at the time but I had the impression that he was proud of me and that made me so happy.

My Papa is proud of me. Praise God!

My Papa said that I was a self-made woman after learning that I wrote my way through college and made a career in writing afterwards. Now, not only do I find fulfillment in my work; but also receive my father's approval after all these years. People say we should not seek the approval of others. However, making my Papa proud is something that makes me very happy, especially since I barely get to see him anymore. We met once in 2002 and that was it! Just phone calls and letters from Rome after that.



Thank You Lord Jesus for bringing my Papa and me into each other's life. Living without Mama has not been that easy but knowing that I have a Papa who loves and cares for me makes the loneliness go away, even for a while. I miss Mama and I pray Lord Jesus that she is with You. Thank You God!

Mama Mary, queen of all saints, pray for us. Amen.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Build Your Dream Team" - God


Dear Misty,

Don't try to succeed alone.  It will never work.

Cheering you on,
God

P.S. The climb to success can only be done by team effort, Misty.  Who is your dream team?  Start recruiting.  It's so much happier this way.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Mother's Prayer - Thank You God



Happy birthday, Mama Macring! I hope you are happy in heaven now. Thank you for being the best mother in the world. I miss you so so so much! I feel your presence still... here in my heart where you will always have a very special place.

Mama Mary, I pray, in Jesus' name...

Please kiss my Mama Macring for me.
Please tell her I love her and I long to see her.
Please thank Jesus for giving me my Mama Macring.
Amen.

Lord Jesus, I pray...

Please kiss my Mama Macring for me.
Please tell her I love her and long to see her.
Thank You Lord Jesus for giving me my Mama Macring.
Amen.

I love you Mama! I miss you. I miss your laughter. I miss your voice. I miss your love.

Happy birthday, Mama Macring! Thank you! May God bless you and keep you near Him always.





Sunday, September 9, 2012

Listen to the Expert


Dear Misty,

Never allow what others say about you to change your opinion of yourself.

I think you're great,
God

P.S. Misty, when it comes to YOU, I'm the expert.  I made you.  I bless you.  And I love you.  So when it comes to YOU, listen to the expert only.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I am Tickled Pink! Thank You Lord Jesus! :)


Dear Misty,

Don't hide.  Go to where the people are.  Build relationships.  Engage.  Serve.  Bless.  Care.  Love.

Be happy,
God

P.S. Misty, don't wait for people to go to you.  Walk across the room and give them my love.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I am God's Joy! :)

Dear Misty,

You are my joy.  You are my treasure.  You are my song.  I sing about you every morning.  I love you so much, your name is written on the palm of my hand.  Your face is etched in the flesh of my heart.

Love,
God

P.S. Does that make you smile, Misty?

Yes, Lord Jesus. Thank You. :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What Comes Out Defiles...

GOSPEL

Human traditions derived from the Law are incapable of saving us. Only the power of God is sufficient to save. Tradition, as we have them in our faith, is a useful reminder of various aspects of our faith and may contain essential aspects of it. However, they are incapable of salvation. The Church has two sorts of traditions, one unchangeable and the other optional. It is the former we have to cling to as essential.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
The Father willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
1 When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, 2 they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands. 3 For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders. 4 And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds. 5 So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?” 6 He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; 7 In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’ 8 You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” 14 He summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand. 15 Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” 21 From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. 23 All these evils come from within and they defile.”

Wow! The timing, I think is perfect, for this Gospel passage to appear in my inbox today.

I just received the Sacrament of Confession yesterday and yet I am already guilty of the last three verses. I find this alarming, knowing that being unclean really has a bad effect on me. I may not have murdered anyone but if my thoughts could kill, I would be in jail right now. Well, not just for today but for the past 5 years.

I have confessed these thoughts time and again yet they linger like an unwanted visitor that never goes away no matter how much you hint at them to leave.

Yes, this is my folly. And yet I remain hopeful somehow. I don't know but yesterday's confession gave me more than I expected or hoped for. A glimmer of hope that things will be alright. That even though some remnants of that old trauma and ill feelings still linger, my future is bright. And even though I am too hard on myself sometimes, I feel the stirrings of renewed self-love -- something that has been sorely missing from my life and my heart for so many years.

Lord Jesus, I praise You and thank You for giving me hope. Please help me so that this self-love will not turn into arrogance and instead flicker on and stay like a good friend and keep me inspired. Keep me grounded and show me the Way, Lord Jesus. Never ever leave my side as, with Your help and guidance, I try to figure out what our Father's will is for me. Yes, Lord Jesus, I understand now that this is going to be very difficult so teach me to trust in You more and be quick to seek Your help and less hasty to judge others and myself. Stay with me Lord Jesus and help me fulfill Your plan for my life. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Vengeance is Not Christian


GOSPEL

Vengeance is not Christian. Neither is it really Jewish. The interpreters of the law made it impossible for the state to sanction the killing of people for their crimes. The option of locking people up in order to protect society from criminal acts is the only moral road to take. If this is impossible to do, then perhaps there is room to consider capital punishment. Let us seek to avoid taking lives as we can never be sure that the guilty one is the one we are punishing.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
A lamp to my feet is your word, a light to my path.

Matthew 5:38-42
38 Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. 40 If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. 41 Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”

think: The more you have, the greater the responsibility to use it not for yourself, but for others.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Union of the Two Hearts


GOSPEL

Jesus is an obedient child — He does as He is told to do. Later He will encourage us all to embrace the need to become like little children as we seek to respond to the Gospel. It is the purity of a child’s heart, always trusting in the inherent goodness of his/her parents, that is essential in the life of a disciple. Nothing gets done unless we are willing to trust that God desires the best for us.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Blessed is the Virgin Mary who kept the word of God and pondered it in her heart.

Luke 2:41-52
41 Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, 42 and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. 43 After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44 Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45 but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, 47 and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” 49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he said to them. 51 He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.

think: It is the purity of a child’s heart, always trusting in the inherent goodness of his/her parents, that is essential in the life of a disciple.

HEART TO HEART

When I was young, my mother used to dictate to me the answer to the perennial question: What do you want to be when you grow up? At first, it was to be a doctor, then a lawyer. But this childhood fancy would keep changing as I grew up.
High school was entirely different. I started to think independently from my mother. Suddenly, I was fancying journalism, advertising, etc. But whenever I would be asked to sign slambooks, I would jokingly write: to be a priest. For somebody like me, it was meant to be a joke.
But apparently the Lord read my joke and took it seriously.
My mother was frustrated that her easy-go-lucky, youngest son wanted to enter the seminary. But to give in to her longing and obsession, I entered the University of the Philippines for college and became known as the only boy in our part of Tondo to enter U.P. Oh, how proud my mother was! But at 18, I decided to leave U.P. and prepare for my entrance to the seminary. My mother was surprised that I came home in the middle of the week. The statue of the Virgin Mary, which was being brought to different houses in our block, was in our home that week, as if she was there to help explain my predicament to my mother. It pained my mother no end to think that I would enter the seminary. It broke her heart. Yet it was necessary.
In the Gospel, the Lord has come of age quite early. He was 12. Mary’s heart was broken when they could not find Him for three days. Finally, they found Him at the temple in a discussion with the high priests.
Jesus now has a mind of His own, knowing very well the mission He had to undertake later. It broke the heart of Mary. Her Son, in no time, would live a life and mission of His own. Letting go of Him was difficult. It broke the heart of Mary. Yet, it was necessary.
He broke her heart so these broken pieces may be one with His. From then on, Mary understood. She owned the mission and longing of Jesus, in the union of the two hearts! Fr. Erick Y. Santos, SFO

REFLECTION QUESTION: What heartbreaking experiences did you have which made you a whole and better person?

Lord, let the longings of my heart be united to Yours. Thank You Lord Jesus and Mama Mary. Amen.

Source: http://www.kerygmafamily.com/

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I Place all My Trust in YOU


GOSPEL

Jesus has accomplished the task His Father sent Him to do. He has given His life for us. All that remains now is for God to raise Jesus from the dead. We all know this has been done, too. Why then do we doubt God’s love for us? Surely there is no greater sign of His love than the resurrection of Jesus and offering us a share in it!

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
God first loved us and sent His Son as expiation for our sins.

John 19:31-37
31 Since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, 34 but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may come to believe. 36 For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled: “Not a bone of it will be broken.” 37 And again another passage says: “They will look upon him whom they have pierced.”

BECAUSE...

The Gospel today can very well answer the four Ws: What happened? The crucifixion. Who are involved? Jesus and the two criminals who were crucified with Him. Where did it happen? In the Hill of Golgotha or “The Place of Skull.” Why did it happen?
The answer, which starts with because, is followed by a longer story — a love story. In fact, the greatest love story of all time, spanning 33 years — from Bethlehem to Calvary, from Calvary to the empty tomb.
The Gospel depicts the sufferings that Jesus had to go through because of His immense love for us. The Good Friday spirit is perfectly captured. It speaks of love beyond all telling — of a God who chose to be a man and suffer the scandal of the cross if only to save us and offer the highest form of sacrifice: death on the cross.
The scene took a few hours but to us, it left an indelible mark in the hearts of Christians who feel that we are not even worthy of such a sacrificial love. Jesus was at His most pitiful state. Ironically, the pitiful Jesus pities us: “My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred.” He, who suffered tremendously, offered everything out of His compassion and love for us. As Blessed John Paul II said, “Mercy is the greatest expression of love.”
And on his side, a lance was pierced. “And immediately blood and water flowed.” It is the moment of grace. As the prayer to the Divine Mercy suggests, “From this wounded side flowed an ocean of mercy.” The Wounded Side has become a relevant representation of a heart most pure, a heart most undefiled, a heart most enduring.
May this love story borne out of His Sacred Heart continue to inspire us to love even more, to learn the meaning of sacrifice, to practice selflessness, to endure sufferings with the joy of a Christian, to be compassionate at all times, and to bear witness to the Gospel of Love.
We have all reasons to be happy and to love unconditionally — because He loves us.Fr. Erick Y. Santos, SFO

REFLECTION QUESTION: Are we ready to be rooted and grounded in love, and to make our hearts resemble Jesus’ heart?

Jesus, make our hearts like to Thine. Amen.

Source: http://www.kerygmafamily.com/

Why I Value Education


Education has always been key to my growth both as a person and as a professional. This part of my life is special to me because not only do I learn new things and encounter new people, I also witness the actual growth reflected in the things I do and say, wherever I am.

I have always been a fan of education. I am also an advocate of learning. I believe education is the answer to most of society's ills. I am also a staunch believer that education is a right, a constitutional one at that, and not a privilege.

Recently, my childhood friend and I embarked on a journey together. It was our first attempt at hosting our own little chapter of our Santo Papa's vision of our School of Peace.

I am sharing some pictures taken during that special day we spent with the kids in our neighborhood.












Sunday, June 10, 2012

Blessed Are The Poor in Spirit...


GOSPEL

The Beatitudes provide wonderful food for reflection. It is important that we realize that the attitudes of the heart that they spell out are essential aspects of living in the Kingdom of God. Let us meditate on these words of God often until they are etched into our hearts and minds.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Go and teach all the nations, says the Lord; I am with you always, until the end of the world.

Matthew 5:1-12 (or Matthew 10:7-13)
1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 He began to teach them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. 6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The One Who Drank the Cup of Jesus


Jesus challenged James and John that if they are to sit with Him in glory, to His right or to His left, they ought to be able to “drink the cup” that He Himself will drink. This expression of Jesus refers to His saving Passion and Death in Jerusalem (cf. Mark 14:36). The Lord corrects the popular thought among many Israelites who held the belief that the coming Messiah will be a Son of David who will continue the tradition of freeing the nation by political and military might. Also, among the circle of the Twelve Apostles, Jesus would like to underline that triumphalism is never His way. Instead, grace and blessings will flow through hardships and through the mystery of the Cross.
While preparing my talks and reflections that I wanted to share to various groups seeking retreats and recollections during the Lenten Season of 2011, I came to understand that Jesus’ words about the way of perfect discipleship were realized to the letter by the Blessed Virgin Mary. She was the one who was able to really “drink the cup” of Jesus’ Passion and Death. She did this when she stood calmly and faithfully at the foot of the Cross of Jesus in Calvary. She was not just there as a true mother to her Son Jesus. She was there, united with Jesus in her suffering, for the salvation of the world. She was there to immolate herself as Jesus also immolated Himself. Hence, a well-known theologian in the Church once said that next to Jesus, Mary was and is the only creature who understood not the theology of the Cross but the reality of the Cross.
There can be no complete picture of Christianity then without Mary. The Blessed Mother is not just the necessary conduit through whom the Mystery of Jesus’ Incarnation had to happen. The Blessed Mother is one with Jesus in His entire mission of doing the Heavenly Father’s will. Therefore, in His papal coat of arms, Pope John Paul II summarized Mary’s dignity not in terms of the story of Bethlehem but with consideration of her role during the Passion. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP

REFLECTION QUESTION: Is the Blessed Virgin Mary part of your own prayer and spirituality? Pray to her today for the grace to be able to “drink the cup” of Jesus.

Lord Jesus, thank You for giving us the Blessed Virgin Mary to be our Mother, too. Grant me the grace to imitate her example of faithfulness and generosity in following Your will.

Source: Kerygma Family

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ask and You will Receive


The example of Jesus’ life tells us what these words of Jesus really mean. We cannot ask God for the winning numbers in a lottery draw. We can ask for anything within His will for our life and we will receive it. These words call us to conform our lives to the will of God, and not conform His will to ours. This is an important distinction that will help us reject the idea of a prosperity Gospel, where we are in charge of what happens, and an understanding of how God works all things for our good including our suffering.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
I came from the Father and have come into the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.

LIST
John 16:23-28
23 Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. 24 Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. 25 “I have told you this in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but I will tell you clearly about the Father. 26 On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. 27 For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thank You to the Most Beautiful Woman in the Whole Wide World - My Mama Macring



Happy Mother's Day, Mama Macring! I love you and I miss you sooooo much! Thank You for carrying me in your womb for 9 whole months and for sharing your life with me. Thank you for your unconditional love. I wish I could see you one last time and give you a warm embrace. I hope you are happy where you are now and I hope to see you in heaven someday.

Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me such a beautiful mother - inside and out. May Your light continue to shine for her even in the after life. Please bless my Mama and give here a great big hug for me. Thank You Lord Jesus. Amen.

Mama Mary, Queen of all saints, pray for us. Amen.

Happy Mother's Day to you, Mama Mary!

Happy Mother's Day to my Lola Mary and Aunty Gweny and Mama Rosie! And to all the mother's in my circle of family and friends, Happy Mother's Day!

God bless you and your family even more! :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Finding Love In All The Right Places


Love… so many have written about it. Even more have experienced its wonders. The whole world knows what it means. It’s the stuff we dream off at night and daydream about in the morning. It’s the core gift that we all have — the capacity to love like we’ve never loved before. Love keeps growing. It knows no bounds. It’s selfless, it’s kind, and it just keeps on giving. Love is everything we could ever ask for. The stuff fairy tales, legends and the best movies are made of. Love gives us a reason to live life with positivity, glorious, wondrous songs of self-empowerment, fulfillment, joy, peace. L-O-V-E.
I recently learned that loving myself makes life infinitely better because it erases all the bad memories and negativity, helps me accept myself as I am and get on with life with much gusto and chutzpah as I can muster. We’re the same, you and me – searching for love in the wrong places back in the day. This time I urge you, seek love in the right places and hold on to love as much as you can wherever you can find it. Whether you find love with your family, your friends, your workmates, your partner, your kids, it’s up to you.
Most of my friends are married now. And I am happy for them. But I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out when I look at them. This incessant thought in my head keeps telling me time is running out. Alarm bells are ringing because a friend told me to have a baby soon because I’m high risk already. But the same voice that nags me is now overpowered by an even stronger voice that’s telling me my God is the master of the impossible and I will have my own family and baby one day. There’s a reason why I’m sharing this with you.
There are times in our life when we encounter storms with so much shaking involved that we fear we might be blown away at any time. This storm is the shaking that we experience when we’re fighting that storm. There are some aspects of our life that are meant to go through this shaking; this is how we grow. This is how we become stronger and better individuals. We were meant to live a life filled with love. That is our destiny.
I discovered recently the reason for my discontent… it had no connection with my work after all. I’ve always wanted my own family and when my friends started getting married and having kids left and right, I felt like I was missing out.
When my friend, who also happens to be a strong, independent woman and a single mother, told me that I must have a baby soon because I’m at that age where I’m already high risk, that got me confused. Alarm bells went off but now that I’ve thought things through, done some soul searching and asked a few friends about it, I realize that being high risk is the least of my problems.
It’s like I had to choose between my career and having a family and career wins out each time. I’ve been using it as my excuse for not going out with men and it’s really sad, come to think of it. After all, we don’t live in an all or nothing, black and white world. God made the universe colorful for a reason. It’s to remind us that every day is a new adventure and we could either mope around inside our home or go out and play. And I really, really, really want to play!
This is my reality. I was born without a father and my mother left me with my grandparents when I was a baby. Growing up without my parents and not knowing who my father was and seeing my Mama suffer because she was a single mom instilled this instinctive defense mechanism in me. I intentionally stay away and even repel men because I don’t want to be a single mother. I want a baby but I don’t want to be a single mother. I think I’m ready to have that baby now but I don’t have it in me to open myself up to a guy, no matter how much I like or even love him. I’ve been burned so many times that my guard is always up.
I’m still trying to figure out how to solve this problem. I have a feeling this is another way for me to grow as a person – to love without question, without boundaries, without limitations… to love like I’ve never loved before.
This is my relationship barrier and I’m trying to deal with it. Perhaps you have your own relationship problems too? Feel free to share using the comment box below. If you have any advice for me I welcome that too.
I am a relationship neophyte and am not afraid to admit it. Not anymore. Fighting my instincts is so darn hard that I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and share this with you. Thank you for your time friend and I hope you’ll visit my blog from time to time. Be blessed with much love! :)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Why I Love Working from Home


Working from home has been my life for that past 3 years. I used to work in an office for almost 7 yrs. Recently, I received a few invitations from LinkedIn and private companies to work in an office environment. This led me to write a list of pros and cons, listing down the possibilities and I have decided to share it here.

HOME BASED WORK

PROS

No commute - No traffic

No expenses - fare, snacks, meals, pocket money

No uniform and no need to dress up every morning (unless you want to... sometimes I wear my sneakers and walking gear so that I can go walking immediately after work.)

Save time - no travel time wasted

Spend more time with family - meals, breaks, before or after work... travel time becomes extra time which I use to bond with my Lola and the rest of our family. Sometimes I go walking or join aerobics class.

Flexible hours and no work on weekends - Weekends is when I can do whatever I want like going to the mall, watching movies with friends. Sometimes, I work during weekends but that is by choice.

No pressure from the boss - Being a virtual assistant and freelance writer has so many perks and this one is among my favorites. I love working on my own without any pressure from my clients. They just let me do my work and they don't really intrude. I just have to deliver what they want done and that's it!

Earn dollars - You can earn as much as you want! Sky's the limit when it comes to home-based work, especially if your skill set is amazing. You can have as many clients as you want.

Choose good and kind clients - There is a very high demand for Filipino Virtual Assistants in the U.S., Australia and other first world countries. For the past 2 years, I have been very blessed with gentle and generous clients who have been very good to me. God is good! :)

CONS

Must have a clean, silent home office where you can work in peace - working at home can be distracting, especially if you have a family. The good news is, all you really need is a quiet corner where you can focus on work and get it done on time. I am blessed to be living in a fairly quiet home.

Human contact is limited - conversation is limited to the people at home. This makes it easier to concentrate on work. I can always go out anytime if I crave conversation with my friends.

No healthcare, social security, 13th month pay, Christmas bonus, stock options or retirement plans

This last one is not really an issue if you know how to manage your time and money and if you are highly skilled. You can earn millions if you want to. Again, sky's the limit!

And so, home-based work won hands-down (again!). Working freelance is especially enjoyable because you can manage your tasks to maximise the hours that you spend on work. There is another perk that I forgot to include. Your clients can become your mentor, especially if they really like your performance. That means you grow professionally and your skill set continues to grow too! Some clients may even offer to sponsor your move to their country so you can join their company.

At the end of the day, I am confident that this is what I am meant to do. I love being a writer and I enjoy working from home so I am very grateful. How about you? I would love to hear your story. Please feel free to leave a note or two. :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"What On Earth Am I Here For?"

There comes a time in every person's life when we ask these questions:

"Who am I?"
"What is my purpose in life?"
"What on earth am I here for?"

... or some other question similar to the ones written above.

I have asked these questions many times... especially these days. I guess I am going through the run-of-the-mill mid-life crisis. lol. Being a writer has brought so many wonderful people and memories into my life. But there are times when I am plagued by so many questions - including this one - "Am I meant to be a writer?"

This is one question that truly hurts. Because I love being a writer and I am at my element when I am writing. However, I just can't help but ask that question sometimes. Especially when writers' block strikes. Because I know that this is my gift, I am also aware that if I don't take care of it, use it to bless others and give praise and thanks to the One who gave me this gift, I might lose this gift forever. And that is what scares me the most.

A still small voice inside me tells me I am overreacting. Maybe I worry too much. I should worry less and do more good works instead, the still small voice tells me. I do know one thing, God has given me so many wonderful gifts, which I will continue to use and cultivate, so that I too might grow as a Christian, as a person, as a daughter, granddaughter, niece, aunt, friend and of course, as a writer.

I have one very special dream that I have been circling around and trying to avoid - to write beautiful music for my personal Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I am not a poet. I wish I could be a good one. I barely know how to play the piano and guitar. I used to play a mean ukelele but that's all in the past. Yes, I do air drums, air guitar, even air piano. lol. And I love music! I love, love, love singing. A part of me wants to get this dream going already but something else is stopping me. That nagging thought that I am not good enough to write music. Yes, I do need an extra supply of confidence for this part of my life too. So that someday this dream of mine will come true.

Yes, I believe that my God is awesome! And He makes all things possible. So enough doubts for now! I want to live life the way He would want me to live it... with much zest and gusto and chutzpah as I can muster. And yes, I do need that small mustard seed of faith. Because I believe in Jesus, I believe that my dreams can and will come true. And I say, "a thousand welcomes Lord Jesus Christ!" Thank You, Jesus! I will praise Your holy name forever and ever. Amen.

Thank You!

Wow! This is the first time this year that I felt normal. My mood has been stable all day—no anger or loneliness. I was too immersed in my chores; too busy accomplishing a single task at a time to give in to my mood swings. This is the first time this year that I felt a genuine sense of accomplishment, something to be proud of, even if what I did were menial tasks—doing the laundry and cleaning my room.

I guess it really helps to have a plan. Now that I’m starting to understand my condition and actually opening up to my loved ones about it, things suddenly seem easier to handle. I feel like a load has been lifted off my shoulders. My heart suddenly feels lighter, my spirit free.

I owe most of this newfound freedom to my Creator - the One who makes all things possible. My daily readings have helped tremendously to give me direction; it has helped me find a safe haven amidst all the confusing things that waylay a poor traveler like me.

It gives me comfort knowing that after I reached out to Lola, she has accepted my invitation and opened her mind to my condition, even going so far as asking questions after she read the handout that I shared with her. It soothes my soul to know that Lola is trying to understand what I’m going through, without any judgment or bad words.

It also helps to know that I have friends who remain open-minded, understanding and infinitely kind, even after they found out about my illness. It gives me hope for the future, the knowledge that I am not alone in this journey. That makes it possible for me to get excited about this adventure I’m on once more, knowing that there will be rocky paths ahead but secure in the knowledge that God has His stewards in place, ready to pick me up when I fall and help me pick up the pieces of my shattered life.

See at this point, life isn’t so bad. I know things won’t always be this normal and my mood won’t always be this stable but it helps to know that I now have a direction, a plan, and that it is possible to be focused and actually accomplish something at the end of the day.

Thank you for all your blessings Lord. I praise your name from now until eternity. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

A Lesson in Humility and Obedience


God has demonstrated the wonder of His power in the past and He will do so again in our days. All He is looking for to do this is a people who are obedient to His word and humble of heart. He does not want us to take the glory for His work as He knows this will lead to our — not His — destruction. Humility and obedience often go together and are essential components of any work of God. Let us seek to develop them so that we will see God work His will in and through our lives and our community of faith.

Psalm 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6 (3)

R: The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
1 When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming. 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing. (R) Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” 3 The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad indeed. (R) 4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the torrents in the southern desert. 5 Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. (R) 6 Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, they shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves. (R)

My Gratitude List for Easter

Wow! It's been a while since I've written down the things that I'm grateful for. I'm not sure why but I've been avoiding it for weeks now. Call it laziness or spending time on less important stuff or being too preoccupied with work but I think it all boils down to two things -- fear and slight discouragement. I know that probably doesn't make much sense but those two combined can be quite volatile. All I know is that I need to get back into the habit of writing down the things that I'm thankful for because it adds more meaning to my daily life. It's like a daily habit that I need to cultivate because it helps remind me that no matter how bad things go, no matter how awful I feel, no matter how things appear, God always provides. And so, I'm back, stronger and more upbeat! At least, I hope so. lol.

Today is extra special coz it's Easter Sunday so I need to give an extra shout out!

Thank you Heavenly Father for sending our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to save us! Thank you Lord Jesus for coming here on earth and making the ultimate sacrifice -- dying on the Cross to save sinners like me! Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to strengthen and cleanse us on a daily basis! Thank you Lord Jesus for being our constant pillar, our inspiration, especially when our crosses get heavy! Thank you for being the best role model, for setting the best example, for lifting up our weary hearts and spirits, for never letting go, no matter how far away we run from you, for being our Good Shepherd! I love you Lord Jesus and I always will! Please forgive my sins and iniquities! Blessed be your name now and forever! Amen.

Thank you God for the gifts of life and love, the gift of salvation, which we celebrate today. Thank you for the gifts of loving family and friends who not only understand but bear our crosses with us. Thank you God for being our center. May your love reign in our hearts always and forever.

Thank you God for inspiring us to move mountains. Thank you for sending your instruments to guide us. Please use me Lord Jesus to build God's kingdom here on earth. Thank you for erasing the confusion and the doubt and for standing by me while I was struggling with those doubts. Thank you Jesus for never giving up on me no matter how bad things got, no matter how much I rebelled, no matter how much I fought, You prevailed Lord Jesus. And now, I'm sure that you always will. Thank you Jesus, Amen.

As I start this new week, may you remain as my center, may you continue to light my path, may you continue to guide my steps and lead me closer to you, our source, guide and goal. Please cleanse me Lord Jesus, through the power of your Holy Spirit, and help me renounce the things that are blocking your grace from enveloping my heart, my mind and my soul. Teach me to serve you in every way I can and please give me the wisdom, enlightenment and discernment so that every opportunity will be used for the benefit of our Holy Church, and even stumbling blocks will become opportunities for me to put you first Lord Jesus. Once again, Lord Jesus, I surrender to your Holy will, I deny myself, I will carry my cross and follow you Lord Jesus. Please walk with me always, this I ask in Jesus' name. Amen.

I Can Make Dreams Come True!

I found this in my drafts folder. This was from a year and a half ago. Just thought this is worth sharing. :)

"I Can Make Dreams Come True!"

Wow!  Honestly, that statement I just made took a lot of guts.  lol.  I'm not usually the bragging type, though I can be a chatterbox when someone encourages me, and I tend to have an opinion most of the time, but I really am quite careful about crossing the line between proving myself and showing off.

This entry, however, did not come out of the blue.  It came from weeks of wonderful events and blessing that I can't help but get teary eyed sometimes (char!) whenever I think of what God has showered upon me.  And of course, my compulsion to help and offer support has inspired me to write about what's been going on in my personal and professional life.

After years of waiting, I think I've finally found what I've always wanted.  But I won't reveal that just yet.  I work from home, have been doing that for more than two years now.  I must say, the difference between working from home and working at the office is truly tremendous.  But there are moments when I miss the office environment, particularly the shared meals with laughter on the side, the endless teasing by "kulit" officemates (me included), the water cooler breakthroughs (my friends and I did our best thinking near the water cooler back then), and the general comfort that comes from working with lots of people.  Special shout-out to my friends! :)

However, working from home is much more rewarding, not just financially, and enjoyable.  Imagine not having to waste travel time, avoiding pollution, waiting for a ride in the pouring rain, eating home-cooked meals every single day -- those are some of the many reasons why I feel more comfortable working from home.  If you're one of those people who would like to set up their own business online, then you're in for a treat.  During the next few weeks, I'll be writing about that too.

Going back to the reason why I boldly made the statement "I Can Make Dreams Come True" and how this can help you, I have one word for you -- mentors!  These days there are so many influential people to follow on the internet, special shout-out to our new leader, President Noynoy (who's such a humble person, by the way).  The best ones, however, are mentors not because they want to earn from you, they coach because they love what they're doing and wish to share it with others.

As for me, I'm still finding my foothold in this mountain that I'm climbing, but this sure is fun!  One thing that keeps me going though is this -- "with God all things are possible."  I choose to be a blessing and I ask God each and every day to use me to bless others.  That's the main reason why Pinoy Dream Builders was born.

This has been quite an exciting week for yours truly.  Things have been moving super fast over the past few weeks.  Work has been a bit hectic, so has my online training ... but one thing's for sure, I'm grateful for both.

Well, this week, just yesterday even, I took a chance that I never would've made -- I asked for someone else to help me achieve one of my goals.  Sure, it was embarrassing during that moment but the rewards that came after it was awe-inspiring.  I got to talk with one of my favorite mentors -- something that I don't usually do, at least not these days.  It was such an amazing experience because not only did I dare to chat with Mr. Jomar Hilario himself, I also got such a generous gesture from my boss -- he said it was a bonus for working hard!

Well, you can imagine my excitement!  I couldn't wait to tell everyone at home about it.  My lola, aunt and two uncles were bombarded with the information over and over again ... I'm joining Jomar's workshop and seminar on August 13-15, 2010!  The best part is, my boss will sponsor me!  Wow, that really got me psyched about the whole thing.  I was so inspired that I couldn't stop watching videos and reading online ... absorbing so much information that I could barely stop.  Slept at midnight.  Woke up really early this morning.  Very inspired right now.  :)

The thing is, I now realize that dreams don't just involve getting your dream job or building your own business empire -- dreams could also mean living the life you've always wanted, going to places you've never been, physically or otherwise, finding the right girl/guy, having a loving family,

Seriously though, I've been doing so much over the past couple of weeks that I really haven't had the time to write anything on my blogs, even on Pinoy Dream Builders.  But one thing that the whole experience has made me realize is that I do have the capacity to "Make it Happen" and that "I Make Dreams Come True" to quote Mr. Bo Sanchez.

This means that for Pinoy Dream Builders, it's on!  At the moment I'm planting seeds and this is so much fun!  Our common goal is to build dreams -- whatever your dreams are, I'm here to help.  For new visitors, please feel free to leave a line or two.  I can't wait to hear what you have to say on the subject of reaching for your dreams, well, let's reach for the stars while were at it shall we?  :)

Forgive me Lord for my rash judgments


We do our neighbors injustice when we judge them. Surely we wouldn’t want to be judged ourselves.

Lord, forgive me when I am quick to judge. Help me accept everyone just as they are and see them the way You see them — through the eyes of unconditional love. Amen.

Thank you Lord for your gift of forgiveness. May I be your instrument once more. Thank you Jesus! Amen.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yes, Lord Jesus, I Will Serve You...

If we desire to serve the Kingdom of God and let Him know that this is what we want for our lives, then He will definitely take up our offer of service. I very much doubt whether any of the Apostles knew exactly where their commitment to proclaim the Gospel would take them — Thomas to India and China, Andrew to Greece and so on. Yet, this did not cause them to hold back. They surrendered everything and opened their lives to the Holy Spirit. We must all do the same if we want to live the fullness of our faith.

Acts 4:23-31
23 After their release Peter and John went back to their own people and reported what the chief priests and elders had told them. 24 And when they heard it, they raised their voices to God with one accord and said, “Sovereign Lord, maker of heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them, 25 you said by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of our father David, your servant: ‘Why did the Gentiles rage and the peoples entertain folly? 26 The kings of the earth took their stand and the princes gathered together against the Lord and against his anointed.’ 27 “Indeed they gathered in this city against your holy servant Jesus whom you anointed, Herod and Pontius Pilate, together with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do what your hand and your will had long ago planned to take place. 29 And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and enable your servants to speak your word with all boldness, 30 as you stretch forth your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 As they prayed, the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Practice Happiness with Gratitude

A 2009 study found that happier people are less likely to develop heart disease a decade later. “Happiness is a skill that can be learned,” says psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness. According to Lombardo, to improve your level of happiness you need to learn application, gratitude and exercise. Apply your values and strengths to develop a life of meaning, practice gratitude and appreciation for what happens in your life, and get regular exercise. Research shows exercise is as effective (if not more so) than anti-depressant medications for people with depression, says Lombardo.

Read More: http://www.ivillage.com/30-days-30-ways-healthy-heart/4-b-423999#ixzz1rzZBgJT3

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Indeed, Our God is an Awesome God!

GOSPEL

The discovery of the empty tomb is a bit of a no-brainer when it comes to charges against the veracity of the claims to the resurrection of Jesus. There were guards outside the tomb and so there is literally no way that His disciples, a motley crew of a few simple men, could have masterminded such a coup. Let us not give such a scenario a second thought and get on with proclaiming the truth of what happened — Jesus is no longer in the tomb; He has risen from the dead.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed; let us then feast with joy in the Lord.

John 20:1-9 (or Luke 24:13-35)
1 On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” 3 So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. 4 They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; 5 he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. 6 When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 7 and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. 8 Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. 9 For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

The nature of the gift of salvation is enormous. There are many ways in which to view it and just as many ways in which to interpret it. The basics are the same, namely that our sins have been forgiven and we are offered the gift of eternal life. Whatever we do when applying the gift of salvation to the world, let us always remember the basics. Otherwise, we will be anchorless in a very stormy world.

Colossians 3:1-4 (or 1 Corinthians 5:6-8)
1 Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.

We glorify the Lamb who once was slain and was risen and is now seated at the right hand of God. Praise You Lord Jesus. Thank You Heavenly Father. Come Holy Spirit, I need You. Amen.

They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.

Acts 10:34, 37-43
34 Peter proceeded to speak and said: 37 “You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. 40 This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible, 41 not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Thank You God. Amen.
Happy Easter everybody! :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Eucharistic Miracles - Thank You Lord Jesus!

This message is very powerful and moving. I got goosebumps and misty eyed just reading it. God is good. His Word is amazing. His works are wonderful. The Holy Eucharist is awesome! Praise the Lord! :)

- Misty

Please share this with your family and friends if you are moved by this message too.

Dear friends who usually get my homilies: I am sending along a homily from my friend, young Father Jeffrey Montz. He was ordained a priest a year ago, and is now the Parochial Vicar at St. Frances of Assisi . Perhaps, as moving as the homily is Fr. Jeff's note to me which I have copied and attached to the end of the homily.


Here is Fr. Jeff's Homily:
“I am the bread of life.” In the year 2009, I was distributing communion to the faithful when a young woman approached and extended her hands to receive the Eucharist. Almost as soon as I had placed the Host in her hands, she began moving away and in the process she dropped the host. Standing over the fallen Host lying on the ground, a slight giggle, shrug of the shoulders, and re-extended hands, her body language said to me, “Ooops, I dropped it. Can you give me another one?”
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

August 15, 1996 an elderly Eucharistic minister was distributing the Precious Body of Christ to the faithful in a parish in Buenos Aires , Argentina when a similar accident occurred. Not wanting to consume the Host because it was dirty after falling to the ground, he asked the priest to pick it up. Reverently the priest placed the Host in a receptacle of water and put it into the Tabernacle where it would dissolve with time. Six days later when the priest examined the Host that should have been dissolved by now, he was perplexed by what he saw. The Eucharist seemed to have grown in size and was covered with red splotches.
Leave it for a few more days, he thought; it’s just a matter of time. But then with each passing day the Sacred Species took on the appearance of coagulated blood, until eventually the Host looked like a piece of flesh. “The bread that I will give is my flesh.” A miracle! Perhaps, but first this had to be investigated. A lab in Buenos Aires examined a sample from the Host. The scientist discovered red blood cells, white blood cells, and hemoglobin, but what perplexed him the most was that the cells were moving and beating.
Three years later Dr. Ricardo Gomez was called in to perform a more thorough examination. He sent a sample from the Host to a lab in New York but didn’t tell them what it is; he wanted them to tell him what it is. They did. It’s living muscle from a human heart.
Now the year is 2004, Dr. Gomez had located a unique doctor named Frederick Zugibe whose expertise in examining the heart of a dead person allows him to know the nature of the person’s death. He too was given an opportunity to examine the Host without knowing that this heart was formerly a round wafer of wheat bread. His findings?
The heart belonged to a person who had been severely tortured. “So Pilate wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.”
After his examination, Dr. Zugibe passionately said to Dr. Gomez, “You have to explain one thing to me, if this sample came from a person who was dead, then how could it be that as I was examining it the cells of the sample were moving and beating? If this heart comes from someone who died in 1996, how can it still be alive?” When Dr. Gomez explained to Dr. Zugibe that it was the Eucharist, he nearly pulled his hair out of his head in shock.

Backtrack to the 8th Century in Lanciano, a town in southern Italy where a priest was celebrating the Mass doubting that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. As he raised the Host, it instantly transformed into a piece of flesh in his hands. In the 1970's this piece of flesh, which remains available for veneration to this day, was tested by a leading Italian doctor. His findings? It is living muscle from a human heart. Dr. Gomez decided to cross examine the Host from Buenos Aires with this Host from Lanciano.

Amazingly, both hearts were found to have come from the same person. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” My brothers and sisters, our faith proclaims to us the wondrous mystery that Jesus Christ is truly, really, and substantially present in the Eucharist, the Bread of Life. It’s no mere symbol, no mere reenactment. It is the Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ! What I place in your hand or upon your tongue is not a ritual piece of bread. I place God in your hand! I place God on your tongue!

I know that even after telling you the story of the Eucharistic miracle in Buenos Aires , I haven’t proven this. I can never prove this truth, because it’s a matter of faith. However, all I’m asking my brothers and sisters is that you ponder the story I shared with you this morning.

Perhaps, the skeptic in you calls it all a bunch of lies.

Perhaps, the unimpressed call it a coincidence.

Perhaps you’re a person of faith and you’re in awe at what I’ve shared with you. All I ask is that if there’s the slightest inkling in your hearts that what you received in the Eucharist is the flesh of God, then please my brothers and sisters, never let the lance that pierced my heart in 2009 when that young woman stood carelessly over God’s fallen Body pierce my heart again. Please treat this mystery which you receive with the reverence God deserves.

HERE IS FR. JEFF'S RESPONSE TO ME WHEN I ASKED PERMISSION TO PASS HIS HOMILY ON TO YOU. Hey, I've heard it said that in any good homily we're really preaching to ourselves. That being said, as familiar as I was with the homily before I delivered it, I found that in delivering it to the people it still had an effect upon my heart. For lack of better words it stirred me. Afterwards, I found that my celebration of the Eucharistic Prayer was even more meaningful. I can't express how moved my heart was as I said those words, "This is my body." Those words seemed to flow from my heart as if they were flowing directly from the Heart of Christ. The tone of those words almost became a tone of pleading on Jesus' part, "This is my body," "please believe me; this IS my body and I want all of you to believe and to receive my Heart of Love!" We are so blessed to have the Eucharist!!! Anyways, I'd be happy if you should share this homily with others; these are the miraculous stories that God wants us to share so that our faith can be strengthened. As it says in the Scriptures, "Encourage one another while it is still day." It's sort of like the Transfiguration which was revealed to Peter, James, and John so that they could persevere through the Passion and death of Jesus. And I wouldn't even mind if you didn't give me credit. After all, it is God who deserves all the credit on this one; I just did the typing :)
Also, to make the process of distribution easier I could email you a copy of the homily if you'd like. Just let me know.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord now and forever! Your brother, Jeff

Monday, March 26, 2012

How to Turn Complaints into Aim - A Lesson About Gratitude

What are the poisonous serpents (complaints, sins) in your life? How can you turn them into “aim”?

Lord Jesus, increase my faith in You and in Your power to transform my life’s crosses into blessings.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Prince Of Peace (You Are Holy) lyrics

Prince Of Peace (You Are Holy) lyrics

Michael W. Smith

Lyrics:
You are holy (You are holy)
You are mighty (You are mighty)
You are worthy (You are worthy)
Worthy of praise (Worthy of praise)

I will follow (I will follow)
I will listen (I will listen)
I will love You (I will love you)
All of my days (All of my days)

I will sing to (You are Lord of Lords)
And worship (You are King of kings)
The King who (You are mighty God)
Is worthy (Lord of everything)
I will love and (You're Emannuel)
Adore You (You're the Great I am)
And I will bow down (You're my Prince of peace)
before You (Who is the Lamb)
I will sing to (You're my living God)
And worship (You're my saving grace)
The King who (You will reign forever)
Is worthy (You are ancient of days)
I will love and (You are alpha, omega)
Adore You (beginning and end)
And I will bow down (You're my Savior, Messiah)
Before You (Redeemer and friend)
You're my Prince of Peace
And I will live my life for You
(Repeat above 2x)

My LSS for today. Check this out on Misty's Pinterest.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why Numbers Should Not (And No Longer) Matter

One of my former clients once told me, "Show me that numbers don't matter."

I found this phrase kind of interesting because I really didn't get it at first. Back then, we were discussing a business venture that could potentially benefit the both of us. For weeks I could not get this phrase out of my head. I still don't fully understand what this means but it sure struck a chord in me.

Today, when most people just care about numbers - age, weight, height, income, etc. - it is refreshing to know that we can (and should) live in a world where numbers don't matter. Just think how freeing it would be to not care about our age, weight or social security number! lol. I am getting ahead of myself.

You know why I really love this idea? Numbers have always held me back. I used to obsess about how much I weigh and at what age I might go through menopause and all that stuff. Looking back, I figure it would be so much fun to just throw those numbers in the air and forget about them. I am not a fan of numbers. I was not very good in math growing up though I had a couple of good semesters in the spotlight back in college. Aced Algebra, Trigonometry and Statistics (working part-time too.) Thanks in part to carefully written notes (my friend's and mine. no cheating, mind you. lol).

I am officially in transition from youth to well... you know. Turning 36 used to be scary because of that darn train. Until I realized that I probably should not even be on that train to begin with. They say that when our age falls off the calendar, we should go for that last trip. Well, I have been on a few taxicab trips of late and what most of the drivers ask is my age, my marital status and if I have kids. I know, very intrusive. I like to talk but I used to really dislike these subjects. I'm like, "why is it any business of yours?" Of course, I don't say that out loud but you can imagine my consternation when guys started asking these questions again.

Just this week I realized something. I don't really care anymore about "missing the train," menopause, growing old and all that jazz. All that really does is bring me down so I am making this promise to myself. I may no longer be on the calendar but that won't stop me from having fun! Seriously! I only go through each bend once so I may as well enjoy this ride, train or no train. See you all at the bright side (or at the bright end of the tunnel! :)

On Healing, Broken Relationships and Moving On - Thank You Lord Jesus!

A while back I wrote a blog entry about broken relationships and the devastating effects they have on people. I have been going through this "phase" if I may call it that where I have been trying to mend broken relationships. One valuable lesson I learned is this -- it is not possible to heal broken relationships when either or both parties are still holding on to old resentments and reluctant to let go, let alone move on.

I am guilty of this too, which is probably the reason why I feel this disconnect. For the longest time, I have been holding on to the hate and anger and resentments, ill feeling which should probably have been laid to rest a long, long, long, long, long time ago. Healing begins with acceptance and forgiveness, I was told, and holding on to feelings of hurt and resentment, which could quickly turn into anger is not a healthy way to deal with problems.

I have been holding on to grudges for a long time too. And holding on to the guilt and shame that came with it. I would like to speak in the past tense now, because, from this moment forward, I choose to be happy. I refuse to be held back by anger or guilt or shame or hurt or resentments because all these negativity does is weigh me down. I chose to let go of all this because I want to grow. And I want to love again. And I want to grow deeper in communion with You Lord Jesus. This is my desperate plea for tonight... expressed in the best way I know how... my journal. And so as I utter a whispered "I love You Jesus." I will also close this chapter with a prayer.

Lord Jesus I pray for love. I pray for acceptance and forgiveness. I pray for the genuine and permanent healing that only You can provide. I also pray for genuine repentance. May this be the first step towards a long and healthy relationship renewal with You Lord Jesus. And I pray for forgiveness from all the people that I have wronged. Most of all, I pray for true humility, obedience and strength. I praise You Lord Jesus. You are my King. My Saviour. My Friend. Lover of my soul. My all in all. Mere words could not express how much I long to be with You. Thank You for giving me space and time to heal Lord Jesus. And for blessing me with survivors around me - my family and friends who have stood by me through all the storms. I pray for them Lord Jesus. Please bless my family and friends with love and happy relationships. I ask nothing more but the same for myself. Your Love and Your Grace Lord Jesus. Thank You God. Amen.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

On Broken Relationships & Moving On (My Journey Continues)

Have you ever wondered why broken relationships is the media's favorite topic? A Pinoy telenovela on TV isn't complete without conflicts, broken homes or marriages falling apart, complete with dramatic slaps and tears.

I used to take this for granted... that is, until I went through the same thing... well, not exactly. No dramatic slaps but the tears are there -- in fact, you can say that dams have burst. And I am ashamed to admit that partly, the fault was mine. I will not elaborate for privacy reasons but I can tell you this -- broken relationships really really hurt. It's like a gnawing pain in my heart that simply won't go away.

I don't know how this happened or when things came to a boiling point but the pain is real... it's ever-present... and I have no idea how to fix things. I can barely keep up with my daily chores, let alone try and fix broken relationships so I have decided to lift everything up to the Lord. Only He knows how and when these broken relationships will heal but there's one thing I am sure of -- God will never leave and His timing is always perfect. Praise You Lord Jesus. Thank You for Your gift of love that truly heals. I surrender my life to Your loving arms Lord Jesus. And I will trust you alone. Amen.

I asked, He answered... Thank You Lord!

When someone evil stops sinning and does what is right and good, he saves his life. – Ezekiel 18:27

This passage jumped out of my screen today after I asked God for wisdom and guidance. I don't know why but this seemed like the perfect answer to my prayer.

You see, I have been sorely tempted to avail of an iPhone plan that is being offered in SM City Cebu. I have always been fascinated with gadgets. Lately, my inner gadget geek screams iPad 2 but so far, I have avoided that. So imagine my consternation when I got wind of the iPhone plan offer! Sheesh. Hihihi.

Well, imagine my surprise when I got home from lunch at Jollibee raring to write again cuz I'm on a roll. Thank You Holy Spirit. My goal for the day is to write 5 PRs. I don't remember going beyond 4 so I am very excited. The surprise? My inner gadget diva (lol) was screaming iPhone! Goodness me! I don't think I could have fought that temptation on my own. Thank God for His message (care of Kerygma Family).

The passage "When someone evil stops sinning and does what is right and good, he saves his life." – Ezekiel 18:27 not only stopped that tempting thought on its track, everything screeched to a halt for a while. Imagine how wonderful it would be to be in Heaven, knowing that all is forgiven and life is saved. Then imagine the opposite. I'm sure that I would prefer the former than the latter. And so, as the gadget diva's voice is stifled, I breathe a sigh of relief and thank God with a short prayer.

Thank You Lord Jesus for saving me from myself time and time again. And for helping me get up and move on whenever I fall. But most of all, I thank You Jesus for carrying my cross for me. I am ready now Lord Jesus Christ. I will get up, carry my cross and follow you wherever you go. I want to stick it out with You and I will serve you now and forever, my Servant King! Thank You Lord Jesus for Your kindness, Your mercy, Your goodness, Your grace and most important of all -- Your Love...

Your LOVE is amazing Lord God. I never want to be separated from You no matter how great the material desires may be. Amen.

Allow me to share one of my favorite prayers to the Holy Spirit...

Oh Holy Spirit, Thou who make me see everything and show me the way to reach my ideal.
You who gave me the divine gift to forgive and forget the wrong that is done to me and who are in all instances of my life with me.

I, in this dialogue, want to thank You for everything and confirm once more that I never want to be separated from You no matter how great the material desires may be. I want to be with You and my loved ones in Your perpetual glory. Amen.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

God's Will, The Golden Rule & Gratitude

Today was such a wonderful day. It was an all day marathon of my favorite cartoon show, Phineas and Ferb. Thank God I work from home (and for the intermittent internet connection), I got to watch so many episodes. Still feeling a bit guilty for that but it's all good.

I also went back to my favorite place in our parish church today after a looooong time! Finally, I joined my fellow devotees praying to our Mother of Perpetual Help for her divine intercession. I spoke with one of my favorite aunts and joined another favorite aunt on her way to church.

Life is good again. Thank you Lord Jesus. There is so much to be grateful for - life, happy family, good health, but most of all, the gift of second chances and of time. I am beginning to understand what God has put me here for and it's all good. I probably have miles to go before I reach the point of total surrender and spiritual maturity but I thank God for extending my life, giving me more time to repent, reconcile with loved ones with whom I have broken relationships and change... amend my life. Thank You Lord Jesus Christ. Praise You Lord Jesus. I adore You Lord Jesus. Thank you Mama Mary for your intercession. I pray for guidance and protection, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, January 30, 2012

On Starting Over (I am Grateful)

First off, I would like to thank my personal Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for making last year very interesting and colorful. I joined a new company in January 2011 but never in my wildest dreams did I expect that I would venture into the business world with my childhood friends as my companions and partners. It was so much fun working on IsleMedia Philippines... we had lots of fun coming up with the name and our slogan -- we connect the dots. Like I said fun! I will cherish those memories forever. It's too bad we could not weather the storms that almost beat us to the pulp.

The good news is, we're going our separate ways armed with the lessons that we have learned from IsleMedia. The best part is, we still remain friends to this day. That was such a fun experience and I learned a lot of things from it but the best lesson is that love and friendship should always come first. Also, business is business but it doesn't mean we can't enjoy the whole thing while we're carving our niche and paving the path.

And so as I move on and start carving my own place in this wonderful world, I am eternally grateful to God for giving me this gift. My goal remains the same -- to make a difference one person at a time and help provide home-based work for Filipinos here and abroad. Wish me luck?

If you are interested in home-based work or you have similar stories to share, please leave your comments below. Thank you and God bless you! :)

Praise God. Amen.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Day of Blessings and Gratitude

I woke up to such wonderful news. One of our PRs landed on the front page of Google today. The amazing thing is it's # 1 on Google, not on Google News where PRs usually go. Amazing stuff! Thank you God! What an awesome day to be blessed. :)

- Misty

This is my Facebook status for today, January 26, 2012. It's official. I love my job. And I am super grateful. Thank You God for such wonderful news. Being published, even without my name or email address (thanks Papa) being included, is still a big deal. Yes, this is not earth shattering news but it really rocked my world.

I've been in so many trainings (trainee and trainer) and I can honestly say that these trainings have paid off. Thank You Jesus for this plethora of blessings that have been raining since last week. I tend to search for fulfillment in my work and God has always been generous with His blessings on my work. Looking back, I find it really funny that I have been second-guessing myself and my gifts and doubting Him. I know, how dare I? :D

Seriously, one preacher once said that in order to know what your gifts are, look at the areas in your life that are being blessed by God and that's how you'll know that those are His gifts for you. For me, it has always been my writing. Yes, I have entertained thoughts of going into music but until now I have yet to pick up that instrument of choice (guitar or keyboards? maybe the violin?). One thing's for sure though, writing is a gift and I am so happy to be a freelance content writer. Best job in the world for me. Yay! Thank You Lord Jesus. I am eternally grateful. :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On Gratitude -- Issues & Scars 2011

First, I would like to thank my personal Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for making 2011 a very interesting and colorful year for me. Sure, it was laden with troubles and problems but the blessings far outweigh any of those hurdles that I had to face in 2011. I am very grateful. Thank You, Lord Jesus.

Second, I wish to thank my family and friends for being there for me through every blessing and even through the trials and tribulations. I would not have survived 2011 without any of you so thank you and may God continue to shower all of us with blessings and strengthen us with every trial that we face in 2012.

Third, I would like to share the reason for this title. I wrote a blog post called "Scars and Wounds" in 2007 and I just wanted to look back at the 3 odd years that have passed, knowing that the wounds may have healed but the scars still remain. Now I know that I will carry those scars throughout my life and live with each one of them. I also know that I have 2 choices -- to dwell on those scars and pick on the scabs or to be grateful for every memory that comes with each scar and move on armed with the lessons that I have learned from the stuff that have happened in between. Well, I choose the second path knowing full well that God is with me with every step I make in this journey called life.

I am grateful Lord Jesus and I know now that I am nothing without you. I pray for your love and your grace. Thank You Lord Jesus. You are beautiful and I can't wait to finish this song for you that is still unwritten. My soul longs for You Lord Jesus and my love song for You is intertwined with my soul's basic desire -- to see You in all Your glory and to be where You are. Praise You Lord Jesus. Amen. :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My First Prayer for the Year 2012

(: This year will be a great year, in Jesus' name I claim. Thank You Lord Jesus. Amen. :)

Chitika