A must try Lenten itinerary

Lent is coming, how’s your itinerary?

Travel light? Checked!

Camera gears? Checked!

Backpack? Checked!

This season is one of our favorite time of the year.

Why?

Long holiday.

Island hopping.

Family/friends reunion.

And those are just a few.

While you are in your long awaited, much deserved holiday break, join me as we update our lent itinerary to include this activity called, “Reflection”.

Reflection? Checked!

Cool! If you’re still here, then let’s begin with a story of LOVE.

Do you remember the out most feeling of love you’ve experienced in your life, so far?

Some remember their wedding day.

Some remember the first time they held their newborn child.

Some remember a mother’s care when they are sick.

Now hold that thought of love. Do you remember where it is coming from?

As ironical as it may sound; love is not a feeling but deliberate and consistent actions as demonstrated in 1 Corinthians 13.

Love is patient; love is kind. It does not envy; it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others; it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. . .

I have a few what if’s about love. Though the answer is as elusive as a mist is to the physical eyes, the thought experiment is provocative enough to resonate with our inner beings.

What if love already exists even before the creation? What if God who is an infinite being gave up part of His infinitude to give way to something that is finite. And in the process, what if part of His infinitude was engraved on us. Maybe that’s the reason why you don’t kill, you don’t steal, and you don’t cheat on your partner. Not because institutions say it’s wrong, but because you know, deep down, it is not loving. What if love is God engraved on his creation.

After those what if’s, this one I am certain; God is not just the source of love, He is love! (1 John 4:8)

But because of sin, man has become ashamed of one’s self and felt unworthy of God’s love. God is not interested in your sin. He is interested in serving you, in loving you, in helping reach your best potential. All this is because God is love.

At this point, I want to reintroduce 1 Corinthians 13 but with the context of who God is.

God is patient.
God is kind.
He does not envy.
He does not boast.
He is not proud.
He does not dishonor others.
He is not self-seeking.
He is not easily angered.
He keeps no record of wrongs.
God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
God never fails.

Through the passion of the Christ, Jesus has proven that despite the pain and fragility of a mortal body, man can still respond in love. When people are spitting at him, cursing him, shamming him, he responded in love. When people are angry at him, he never resorted to anger. He demonstrated that love is the only force that defeats sin.

Let me share a simple story of how one ordinary man became Jesus to his colleague.

His name is Andrew.

Every day, he gets a dose of bullying from Fletcher. Everyone in the office has there own story of Fletcher’s unforgiving nature. Andrew barely got a friend because people are afraid to be on Fletcher’s radar by getting close to him.

Though Andrew gets frustrated, he never let Fletcher’s bullying ruin his life. To him, he is just another man helping him grow in character. He never thinks ill of him, in fact, he prays for him.

One day, Fletcher’s son was diagnosed with severe disease, and nobody in the office is willing to help him. He was screaming inside and been stretched to find means to pay the hospital. When Andrew heard about this, he never hesitated to help. He went to visit Flecther’s son and offered to help pay the bills. Fletcher’s eyes got swollen with tears, and his voice is filled with the sound of repentance asking for Andrews forgiveness. At this moment, Fletcher was caught in a deep sense of gratitude. He experienced love, first hand, from the least person he expected.

That day marks a big change in Fletcher’s life. Everyone in the office witnessed the shift in Fletcher paradigm. Andrew suddenly became invincible, from a bully man, Fletcher is now Andrews best friend.

Guess what happens when you respond in love; people change.

From the moment of Jesus death up to this present day, his love is still changing countless lives. If only we choose to accept that love.

And now these three remain:

faith, hope and love.

But the greatest of these is love.

Hillsong Church: The unexpected song

Like a vintage song

Your love calms my soul

When in debt I soar

You transcended to bring me home

My strongholds are melted

like chain into snow

like a river

my awareness flows

in awe of you

How amazing is that

to made it all by design

My heart is consumed

with a love far greater than time


The traffic hits the road. We were hustling up to go to Every Nation in Brisbane, but because we were late, we ended up going to Hillsong Church.

Before the service came to close, I saw individuals getting out of the comfort of their seat. They walked towards the pulpit and asked for prayers. In no time, the space in front of the church is filled with young people being prayed over. This happened after the pastor asked the parishioners of late age to go in front and challenged the young generation to get something from them.

Then a lady excuses herself to get into her seat just a couple of chairs away from me. But before she got off, she told me that she wants to pray for me. And that prayer put me in a state of gratitude. Every word in her prayer are the exact things I’d like to be prayed for. She’s like reading my heart. It was amazing how she was able to do it. Everything is just spot on.

So the night ends with so much inspiration. Then the words in the poetry above offered themselves to me. I posted it on social media where a friend (of a friend) made a song out of it.

Special thanks to Nessa for driving me around Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Warrick.  Shout out to Eunice, a new found friend, for making the song and for bringing me to the highest point in Warrick, Australia.

When you love her…

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Love is a language we all speak. It is universal. It is visceral. It gives us a sense of significance. But a love misunderstood with ego destroys a life of purpose.

I was once a boy. I was once in love. And I was attached to the feelings. It was addictive. It was self-centered. It was unquenching. It was a zig and zag road. My entire existence I have mistaken it for truly loving. It was painful. It was dull. And it was unnecessary.

When you love, it is about giving. It is self-sacrificing. Emotion is not the basis of your commitment. It is not about what you can receive, but always about what you can offer.

Do you love her or are you just in love with her?

When you love her, conversations flow easily and naturally. You are yourself. There is no pretension. It is one of the things that you look forward to every single day. Talking to her is like conversing to yourself. Your eyes illuminate the feelings that words fall short.

When you love her, you do not put her in charge of your happiness. Though undoubtedly true that she makes you feel happy, you know that she is not the one in charge of it. This is to say that she will not be at fault when life leads the road downside. You know that life is a tide of emotions, and you chose to sail every bit of wave with her.

When you love her, you are not afraid to let her go. You do not want to own or control her. You are not an emotional baggage. To you, she is a flower you will tend to in every season until she blossoms into her full potential. To you, she is the most beautiful flower in the garden. And you don’t pick the flower because you have a gorgeous vase. Because in the garden, the flower belongs.

When you love her, you don’t beg for more. More time. More attention. You realized that yearning for more is like chasing a mist. You can never get there. It can never be satisfied. You simply give the undivided time and attention that each moment with her deserves.

When you love her, she does not become your world. Your existence does not suddenly measure up to wanting, needing or pleasing her. Your world stays the same yet different. You respect her uniqueness. You respect those moments when she needs to do things on her own.

When you love her, you realize that she is not perfect. Your beloved is far from being perfect. But when you are under the trance of being in love you see no fault nor blemish. But when the hype is gone it leads to confusion. You felt out of love. But love is the deliberate decision to stay despite all the imperfections.

When you love her, jealousy is a foreign emotion for you. Trust is never an issue. You let her be. You let her explore. You are not holding her back because of jealousy. You know that you are simply giving back the trust that she has for you.

When you love her, you do not always put your best foot forward. You do not have the need to show off. You are not afraid nor ashamed of your flaws. There is a knowing inside you that she accepts every bit of your being. You give her the freedom to love you just as a man without superhuman expectations.

When you love her, you do not try to love her, you do not prove you love her, you just simply love her. You recognized that she is a mirror to your soul. It offers no resistance; it feels right, it simply is the manifestation of the nature of your soul.

When you love her, remember that you don’t get the relationship that you want instead, you get the relationship that you made yourself ready for.
[Photo credits to pexel.com]

An open Letter to my future Bride

open-letter


May this open letter give justice to what my soul longs to articulate. May it give life to the language of love as it navigates its way to your heart.

Happiness is dancing in the rhythm of your soul. That is why I encourage you to fill your life with experiences that will nourish your inner being. I urge you to be whole in the love of God. I know life may throw a different game at you, and I am sorry for not being there (yet). But take heart and grow in faith. Let us find our path towards maturity that we may never rely on each other for validation. Neither you nor I can complete each other for in the love of Christ; We are already made whole.

Your absence no longer causes me sadness because I know we are on the same path of equally desiring to meet each other. I know we are at this stage of curiously knowing ourselves in search for spiritual, emotional, and financial maturity until the day when the universe conspires to make our souls meet. I don’t know when or how but when that day comes our souls will recognize each other and will communicate in a language only our souls can understand. And then we will never bother asking why it took so long because the only thing that matters is that – it was all worth it.

If we have already met, I would like to apologize for drifting away from the kind of man you deserve. But let us keep on trusting. The hand that authored great love stories will sure have our paths cross again, and it will be different. Our souls will finally find that hiding place in God’s hand. From then on we will experience the fullness of life, in all seasons, while turning the chapters of the book of life, together.

All of our life experiences will lead to this moment of resonance – when our souls vibrate in the same level of being where God is the sustenance. When we can love freely and give one another the empowerment to be the best version of ourselves. Then, and only then, we can genuinely dance in the rhythm of our soul.

So this is my prayer: that our love will flourish and that we will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. We need to use our head and test our feelings so that our love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush.

– Philippians 1:9-10

[Photo credits to pexel.com]

It is sad to be alone

They said it is sad to be alone,

let me count the reasons why…

When I am alone I write,

and my dream blog shed some light.

When I am alone I dance,

and my body undergone a trance.

When I am alone I pray,

and sing worships all day.

When I am alone I travel,

and I am now a backpacker.

When I am alone I draw,

and the pastel became my law.

When I am alone I read,

and inspiration is the new greed.

When I am alone I play guitar,

and the strings pluck a melodious war.

They said it is sad to be alone,

But that statement is only true,

When I am alone and I think of you.

A life lesson I learned from a centavo coin

Recently I’ve been on an emotional downhill. For several months, my mind was a battlefield of conflicting thoughts. I was depressed and my productivity at work is a testament to that. Sleeping had become a struggle and daily waking up was tiring routine. I always wanted to go out. I became an impulsive buyer (the very thing I denounce). I tried to cope up with stress eating. Playing badminton had been a sigh of relief. A bit of jog makes me forget, at least for a while.

I will not put into detail as to what had happened, but I’ll try to put into words the gems hidden on that experience.

The Struggle

It’s not the thing that happened that caused the struggle, It’s my response to it. It’s how I orchestrated and conceived the problem that caused the problem. I dwelled too much on the “what if’s”, “if only’s”, and “why’s”. If one have invested time, energy, and have built dreams around a desire, you can just imagine how frustrated one can become if life throws a different game.

But the universe always has something superb for us. I sense the love and favor of God when He gave me two mentors (I consider them mentors who help me grow in maturity). During the struggle, I was comforted by two wonderful ladies. They have strongly different character one is soft, caring, and gentle while the other is tough, frank, and choleric. They are two opposing sides of a pole, but their message is the same. It’s like a wisdom being observed from two different lenses. One is under a tough love and the other is from a caring form of love.

The Exercise

Let me share with you a life lesson I learned by this simple exercise (I can still remember how Shai wowed me with this exercise).

Imagine yourself holding a centavo coin. Or simply get a centavo in your pocket. Try to feel the texture, you can flip it if you want. Just observe the coin, its color, the engraving details, you can even smell it if you feel so. The goal here is to focus your attention on the coin.

Now, imagine it’s a beautiful summer night and the moon is just glazing its enchanting light towards you. What would you feel? Will you not be amazed? Will you not feel a higher vibration in your heart?

This time, imagine stretching your arms towards the moon with the centavo coin on your finger. Then close your left eye while gently zooming in the coin towards your right eye. It’ll come to a point where you will no longer see the moon because the coin is clouding your vision of it.

The Lesson

The moon in that exercise is our life’s everyday blessings. It’s beautiful, majestic and enchanting. On the other hand, the centavo coin is our life’s temporary problem.

Which one do you think has a greater value?

Remember how you focused your attention on the coin?

Sometimes that is how we deal with our problems. No matter how microscopic a problem actually is, we make a substantial effort immersing ourselves in it.

In real life who’s holding that coin?

Who maneuvers that hand and made that deliberate decision to bring the coin closer and closer to your eyes?

Here’s the surprising fact. We still have a left eye that if we only chose to open, never will we take our blessings for granted – again.

That right eye? It’s a grateful heart.

One last thought

An emotional battle can be caused by different adversities. When coins took residence inside our head we became problem conscious.

The truth is we are living in a world of blessings, there was never a shortage of it. But if our vision is obstructed by coins we will never realize its abundance. Put it this way; scarcity lie’s in eyes to see, and hearts to receive, never on God’s blessing (How to turn thoughts into passion, by Bo Sanchez).

The story of a beggar

For almost 8 years of living in Manila, I never got myself used to Jeepneys. I ride it every day, from childhood to college to working days, but I never liked it. Last night I had a different experience, it was fun, exciting, and amusing.

The story

There was a King who decided to have a walk on the streets of his kingdom. A Beggar found him and asked for a food. The King insisted that you don’t ask for a food to a King, you ask for a gold.  The beggar did so and the king with a mighty voice instructed his guard to pour the beggars cup with gold. To his surprise, a sack of gold was emptied but the beggar’s cup is not filled. He then asked for another sack, and another, and one after the other yet the beggar’s cup is far from getting full.

The King getting a bit annoyed asked the beggar as to what kind of cup is he holding and the beggar responded that the cup is a cup of an ungrateful heart.

Back to the Jeepney

After the seminar, I again ride a jeep from Manila to Makati. While reflecting on the story, I remember how I am always vocal on my inclination to amusement rides. And with a pinch of imagination, it felt like riding a Space Shuttle of Enchanted Kingdom (only Space Shuttle comes with a safety gear). I could have complained over traffic and the typical perks of being a jeepney passenger, but those are a manifestation of an ungrateful heart. In that instant, I realized how a simple thought can alter the state of my happiness.

Before learning the story a  beggar, my subconscious mind is always busy with complaints. But I now realized that the problem is buried deep within my heart. When my heart is ungrateful no amount of good things will satisfy me.

The Lesson

The same truth can also be applied on our daily prayers. In the story above the beggar is asking only for a food but what did the King give him? Most often than not we received blessing far better than what we ask and prayed for, or so than we deserved, yet still we feel ungrateful. The first step to living our dreams is to have a grateful heart. Unless this attitude is mastered nothing in this world will satisfy us. If you feel empty know this; emptiness is a by product of an ungratefulness.

This is the lesson installed in my heart after TRC Seminar; that all the blessing are ripped, we only need a heart that is ready to receive and the beginning of that is GRATEFULNESS.

 

 

 

 

Kill that boy

 

Kill that boy

and let the Man be born.

Devour your fear with perfect Love.

Let go of that feelings,

and re-embrace your freedom.

Let your mind soar,

to infinite possibilities.

Plant the seed of your desires,

and let faith nurture it.

This is your renewed principle;

A syzygy of thoughts, feelings, and action.

You are now a man;

all your limits are now just on your mind.

The Man who made me believe

Early this afternoon a colleague told me about an article he read about how a Parisian eloquently responded to the death of his wife in the aftermath of ISIS terrorism.

I got goosebumps reading the English translation of Sir Antoine Leiris letter.

Being deeply moved, I decided to repost his letter to share the deep wisdom I learned from his words and how through it the faith in the humanity is restored.

“Friday night, you took an exceptional life – the love of my life, the mother of my son – but you will not have my hatred. I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know, you are dead souls. If this God, for whom you kill blindly, made us in his image, every bullet in the body of my wife would have been one more wound in his heart.

So, no, I will not grant you the gift of my hatred. You’re asking for it, but responding to hatred with anger is falling victim to the same ignorance that has made you what you are. You want me to be scared, to view my countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my liberty for my security. You lost.

I saw her this morning. Finally, after nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as when she left on Friday night, just as beautiful as when I fell hopelessly in love over 12 years ago. Of course I am devastated by this pain, I give you this little victory, but the pain will be short-lived. I know that she will be with us every day and that we will find ourselves again in this paradise of free love to which you have no access.

We are just two, my son and me, but we are stronger than all the armies in the world. I don’t have any more time to devote to you, I have to join Melvil who is waking up from his nap. He is barely 17-months-old. He will eat his meals as usual, and then we are going to play as usual, and for his whole life this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free. Because no, you will not have his hatred either.”

 I genuinely salute you Sir Antoine Leiris.
ArticleSource: 
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/You-will-not-have-my-hatred-husband-of-Paris-victim-tells-ISIS/articleshow/49815198.cms

Onesided beating

One sided beating.jpg

A conflict between heart and mind
A love that is destined to die
A memory of my own demise
Am I yours? Are you mine?

A moon dust of unknown origin
A wish on every bit of grain
A whisper on a silent breeze
A prayer on every drop of tears

A man praying for his woman
A woman who’s love is no where to be found
A feeling that seems older than time
A story that’s gone out of line

An eye of creature of the night
A hunting on a broad daylight
A sea that’s slowly rotting
A love that is one sided beating