Good Stewards of God’s Gift

This is a very quick article as I’ll be preparing for an exam and I am looking forward to busier days with (prayerfully) writing and teaching. In whatever case, all glory to God as always and may His will be done over all my plans. πŸ™‚

To set the right tone for this article, allow me to share this bible verse first:

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10

I consider writing and teaching as gifts wherein God has called me to serve Him and fulfill the mission He has tasked me to do. It has always been my all-time prayer that if God will give me a professional career, it will cater both the fields I am passionate about – writing and teaching.

I may not know how it will come about but my constant question too is how I could glorify His name in these fields. This blog supports my passion for writing and contains my testimonies about faith and been ‘teaching’ about it one way or the other.

But it also contains all the things that I am passionate about from hobbies, advocacy, quality time with people I love, movies, literature, cooking, etc. I am pretty sure you’re familiar with the term “hobby hoarder”Β  and I must confirm being guilty of that. πŸ˜€

However, it is not my intent to beΒ aΒ “jack of all trades, master of none” but it is out of my passion for learning too that’s why I became interested in learning these crafts. Some of them I may have acquired as a skill, some as a talent, and some out of diligence in being able to create something for someone.

The latter, I believe, is what 1 Peter 4:10 is all about. It’s never about the many things you can do and never a matter of glorifying self but how can you help others with what you have or what God has given you. Think of Albert Einstein or Bill Gates and other “gifted” inventors who contributed so much for the convenience and betterment of the human race and society. Though their achievements were recognized, I believe theΒ “geniuses”Β in them aren’t just about being born lucky with it but that it has already been predestined by someone more genius than anyone else He created the entire universe with all its intricacies. But even if gifted with such great talent, it still depends entirely on how God will use that talent according to His plans.

In my previous article, I mentioned that it was my brother who inspired me to play the guitar as a hobby. He got the inspiration from my Mom most likely and out of his passion to learn the craft, he has learned the art of music by playing the guitar good enough to inspire someone like me.

I got influenced and had the same willingness to acquire the skill so he passed on the trade by giving me my first guitar and allowed God to teach me what I needed to learn along the way. Now married, it was my husband who showed his interest in learning the craft through me and so came the birth of his very first guitar.Β *wink*Β πŸ˜‰

I believe it is a question of who do we serve with the gifts/talents that God gave us with.

NEVER should the talents be used to glorify self nor fulfill our own desires because it will root in on pride, selfishness, greed and discontentment. Pursuing ambition by means of talent can never be the case as well. Again, if God’s gifts were used solely to satisfy our own selfish needs, then we are not maximizing what God originally intended those gifts for – for the benefit of all.

For it was written,

John 3:30Β “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”

Luke 9:24-25Β “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.Β What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”

Luke 9:23Β [Then He said to them all: β€œWhoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”]

Denying ourselves pleasures that only us will benefit makes us obedient to the calling that God has called us out. For it is only in the act of doing things out of love to our gift-giver can our talents and skills have complete meaning by aligning them to their purposes and roles according to God’s plans.

These two sketches are a request from hubby for his family which I was very hesitant to do at first as I feel inadequate in meeting their expectations. But I finally had the courage to do it because of God’s grace, my husband’s encouragement and my life verse which is,Β “For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13.”

Honestly, I hate to part with each of my art work as I feel a part of me has been embedded in every piece. lol Yes, I believe I really am that sentimental.

BUT it is of greater joy and complete happiness knowing that you are using what God gave you not for your glory but for His glory being good stewards of His grace – again, 1 Peter 4:10. πŸ™‚

P.S.

I believe everyone has been gifted by God with something and it is not only through the hobbies in which one can serve the other.

If you are unsure what God may have given you and where He is calling you to serve Him and others, I encourage you to volunteer in one of the church ministries. The ministry may not be exactly what you had in mind as the avenue for you to completely use your gift in serving others but it might serve as the instrument in knowing completely where God wants to put you.

Of course, prayers mean a lot. I did mention in one of my previous articles that I was asking for God’s guidance and clarity in what He wanted me to do with the gifts He has given me.

I am praying you’ll find the right turf where you can serve others too may it be at home, at work, in school, abroad or in your homeland. πŸ™‚

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Bro-in-law (9″ x 12″ Pencil Sketch)

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Parents-in-law (12″ x 18″ Pencil Sketch)

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Strumming w/ Acoustic and Classical Guitars

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His, acoustic; mine, classical.

I have noticed that classical guitar strings easily break compared to acoustic guitar strings. The quality of both strings are different and acoustic guitars have metal strings while classical guitars have nylon strings. I had my first guitar as a college graduation gift from my brother. Starting from the day I got it until now, I think I replaced the strings for about 5 times already though I seldom play it like thrice a week to once every 2 months depending upon the availability of my schedule.

Brother bought me a classical guitar because I have been playing Mom’s guitar in our hometown in Bicol when I was in high school. But when I got here in Manila back in college, I have been messing around with brother’s guitar which he doesn’t usually approve of, by the way, because it’s always out of tune after I’m done playing. Hahaha Sorry brother dear, but thanks for lending me your guitar anyway, anyhow. πŸ˜‰

But I had these broken strings to be grateful for – I learned to tune the guitar without the help of any tuning device. I always play by ear so it was easier for me to recognize if a string is slightly off-key. It was also this playing by ear that made it easier for me to replace the chords of a song if the music sheet isn’t reliable or the notes are too low and I don’t want to use the capo.

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Strike a pose before strumming.

If you are asking me why I have two guitars in my possession and you might think I am too greedy or in the habit of collecting guitars, well, my answer is no, I am neither of those. It was my hubby’s request to buy a new guitar and become my apprentice. I thought I’ll choose metal strings for him because it’s usually recommended for beginners. But if you are to ask me which one sounds better, I think that is one tough question because personally, I love both. Each of the two has its own unique sound quality depending upon the type of song you wish to play.

If, for example, you love that “stringy” and clear-sounding guitar music, choose an acoustic guitar especially if you’ll be doing a lot of plucking. But if on the one hand you prefer a more solid guitar sound which is achieved in full strumming, I suggest go for the classical guitar.

Brother chose the classical guitar for me because of its nylon strings. It’s less painful to the fingers especially if you’ll be strumming for longer periods of time but ironically, I am enjoying the metal strings of the acoustic guitar for now because it sounds more clear. πŸ˜€

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Awesome eye candies at Benjie’s Music Store. 😍

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Got these and the guitar case as freebies! God is good all the time, eh? πŸ˜€

Going back to me and hubby, let’s just say, my β€œme” time at home includes playing the guitar while my hubby is having his β€œme” time too and I think he got inspired while listening to my belting. lol Seriously though, he usually sings along while I am playing but what I hate about this is that he usually gets, you guessed that right, LSS-ed for yup, you guessed that right again (or not), let’s just say…a week.

A week?!?!?!

Yeah, yeah, I know you are squealing with laughter right now. Just imagine how irritated I am for the entire week as I listen to him singing usually one part of the song over and over again more than the national anthem during flag raising every day. πŸ˜€

But well, you know my husband, he usually does this to tease me. *sigh*

But now, it’s a good thing that he gets to play with me. Oh, but I forgot to tell you and this will be a secret between us – (whispers) he sometimes sings off-key. lol πŸ˜€

But he is a very willing student and I am a teacher by passion and by profession. 

So….

Three β€œbuts” in a row are no good for an article thus I am ending this with my husband as a willing apprentice and I am more than glad to inspire and teach as always. πŸ™‚

P.S.

For our duet performance, uhm, I believe it’s going to happen in about 10 years from now. *insert chuckles here* Practice makes perfect, as they say. Oh, and my favorite musical pieces? It’s none other than worship songs, of course. ❀

It Was His Birthday: Part 2

Brian Rome

“Birthday Boy” (9″ x 12″ Pencil Sketch)

This isn’t a yearly habit for me but I intended to make it so from now on – sketching him on his birthday. πŸ™‚

It was my hubby’s birthday last May 4 and when he was just my boyfriend, it was my first birthday gift to him – aΒ sketch. Last year I wasn’t able to make one as we were out of town for his birthday celebration. This year though, time allowed I make him another one. I have been eyeing one of the photos I took of him as my sketch guide – this time from a different angle.

I promised I will do another sketch of him and though I was hesitant to draw as it’s been more than a year since I got hold of a pencil and did some sketches, God gave me the grace to finish it in less than an hour – I was busy preparing for his favorite dinner too. Multitasking, it is. Yes, the duties of Mrs. Wifey. πŸ˜€

So I teased my husband, β€œHoney, I already did a front and side angle of you, should I also sketch your back?” lol

What do you think? Β About sketching his back, I mean. *just kidding*Β πŸ˜€

For The Love of Teaching

I am a teacher and yet I am also a student. That is, a student of life – I learn from life experiences. Technically though, I am a student.

I was advised to take a penalty course alongside my thesis for overstaying in the university where I am taking my graduate study. We have the privilege to choose which subject are we going to take and I opted Art Education being a lover of arts in all medium – visual, dance, language, music, etc.

We haven’t met our professor yet but when I saw our course syllabus, I smiled and thought,Β “I like this professor.”Β  Not that there are professors that I don’t like because honestly, I loved them all even though back in college I had harsh experiences with some of them. I love them for the sake that without them I won’t be where I am now and I won’t be who I am now. I appreciate what they teach may it be in a terrifying or encouraging manner. It doesn’t make any difference at all anyhow – the important thing is I have learned. But if I am to choose though, I’d still want to be a teacher who uses positive reinforcement. πŸ™‚

Going back to Art Education, you might have wondered what made me assume that I am going to like my professor. It is because of this, the one which I encircled in red. It may sound simple enough but we share the same advocacy:

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Amazing our God, isn’t He? He not only gave me the course I wanted, but even more than that. It is always hitting two birds with one stone when God does His ways. I can only hope and pray though that more educators will become like my professor – teaching how to set the limit and the balance in preserving and conserving the natural in the midst of the ever developing modernity through man-made technologies.

I saw myself in my professor. I was given the opportunity 3 years back to teach Grade 3 and 4 pupils in a private school as their sub teacher in English. I have always loved reading and writing even when I was a kid. Why reading? It enhances critical thinking skills and improves vocabulary, creativity, and imagination. Why writing? This is the avenue to use the vocabulary learned while reading so it would be stored up in the memory bank.

I wanted to gauge the students’ English vocabulary so I gave them an activity which will test their visual learning and writing abilities. In a sheet of bond paper, I printed various photos of different kinds. I asked them to write their answers at the back of the bond paper to encourage recycling. They are to write a paragraph of at least 5 sentences wherein they will make a story out of all the photos coming up with one coherent essay. In short, they have to connect each photo with the other to come up with a story line.

I advised that the mode of writing is freestyle meaning they do not have to follow any criteria other than what I have instructed above. I personally love learning outside the box so I am in favor of social and experiential learning wherein learning is not just limited inside the classroom nor textbooks. I tend to miss out a lot of details in the instructions when I was a student so I know how it feels for a student to strictly adhere to teacher’s instructions and guidelines. *wink*

When it was time for the worksheets to be submitted, I couldn’t contain my excitement to read all their works. I was expecting I’d be seeing really fascinating stories knowing that children of today’s generation are more cognitively advanced than the generation my age. My expectations were all met – I found myself laughing out loud with all their brilliant ideas. That is, when you let kids be kids.Β *smiles*

Most of the kids had fun doing the activity even for those who were kinesthetic learners and opted to add more to the illustrations in relaying their stories or those who preferred to share them verbally just because they learn best when there is physical activity or movement. Now for this latter, this is a challenge since in teaching, there is no “one size fits all”Β  medium of instruction. Lesson plans and activities have to be prepared and presented in a manner that will meet the needs of most students regardless how diversified they may be and depending upon their learning styles. Not to mention the values and discipline that they have to acquire in class.

This may sound too challenging to a teacher and even more challenging if you are to teach in a public school (my next article). BUT if the passion for teaching is there, the greatest reward is nothing more and nothing else but to impart knowledge. πŸ™‚

P.S.

Sharing some of my former Grade 3 students’ works:

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A More Appreciative 2016

Ahhh, yes. FINALLY. πŸ™‚

It feels good to be back posting my thoughts in this special place I call “blog.” It’s been a month since I last posted as I’ve promised myself to keep the holidays as solemn as possible – an opportunity to spend quality time with me and my husband’s families and loved ones which equates to less social media interaction and doing the actual interaction with people. Yes, I still believe forging stronger relationships can only be done through meaningful conversations, moments of laughter, of just sitting there, reminiscing and just being with people you love.

Honestly and personally, the beginning of this year didn’t start well for me and my family. An incident during the New Year’s eve wherein my niece had a bad fall while we were using sparklers and a disagreement with my hubby made me tell him that this was the first New Year’s eve that didn’t go right and as happy or perfect. I thought of it as a sign or a meaning that is not just what the circumstances obviously portray.

I was too fearful back then and it was this fear that held back my freedom to try enjoyable and good things. But since I got saved, I channeled these fears of mine through prayers and relied on to God for courage. And what I will share are more like God’s answers in a visible way – a way in which we, humans, can relate. Although faith is the assurance of something that we do not see, and yet God also makes us feel His presence in ways that we can relate.

The first of these was a very visible sign – a rainbow. I know as a kid what rainbows meant, they appear after a storm. When I was in high school, Science have taught me how rainbows were created, it’s called prism. But it is God who taught me now what they really are for – to give hope. When my husband and I went to my hometown in Bicol which was struck by the typhoon Nona, the worst that was listed in the history of the town, we saw the devastation it brought upon my townspeople.

As our bus was getting nearer our hometown, I struggled to hold back the tears as I felt a piercing in my heart from what I saw – every house that we passed by was destroyed, completely roofless or blown away, electricity lines were all down, and the once luscious greenery was now leafless, brown and lifeless. I so felt the heaviness inside my heart that if given a private moment at that time, I want to drop downΒ onΒ my knees and weep. I know I have every right to ask God “why?” but I know God has a good reason for everything and I just have to continue seeing the good in every situation. Thus, I prayed silently in my heart – that God would give us hope.

We arrived home and was glad that my parents and my sister were safe and was extremely grateful that not one of our properties near our home was destroyed – not even our tree house! Which really was, for me, a miracle. It also survived super typhoon Yolanda Β in 2013.

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Though it lifted my spirits up, I cannot stop thinking about those who will celebrate the holidays without shelter, without clean clothes, without electricity, food and jobs.

It was still early in the morning so my husband and I took the opportunity to go out the balcony at the second floor of our house which faces the rice fields and some houses. Lo and behold, our arrival was greeted by a rainbow in its full spectrum – colors as complete and as bold as they are from one end to the other. This was the first rainbow appearance that I have gazed in my entire life that is so complete. Both my husband and I were amazed, so he decided to capture the moment.

Since that day, we often see rainbows, sometimes two rainbows at the same time even. And my husband and I would just gaze up with a smile. Until came the day for us to leave my hometown. It was my sister’s birthday and to our surprise, an electrician came up to our house and informed us that they are now reinstalling electricity. Wow! We weren’t expecting it to be that soon as reports said it will take about 4-6 months to put up electric posts and lines. We teased my sister that she got the best birthday gift ever from God – electricity. πŸ˜€

And on that same day, as my husband and I boarded the bus and we were slowly leaving the town, I saw yet another rainbow in its full spectrum. As close as before even though we were in a moving vehicle. I tugged my husband’s arm and pointed the rainbow to him, that’s when I realized what God meant by rainbows. The power lines and electricity being restored were just a few of the many promises that God will fulfill and the rainbow was His sign of that promise. πŸ™‚

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The second was during the Prayer and Fasting. My hubby and I were having disagreements about future goals that it came to the point wherein emotions were escalating. I went ahead and grabbed a stick note that belonged to my sister to better illustrate my point and started flipping its pages to find a new one when out fell a very old piece of paper. I could tell by the corners of it turned yellow by old age. I was still explaining while picking up this paper until something caught my eyes. The paper was a very old calling card and the most interesting thing about it was the name printed on that calling card, the name of a clinic – God’s WayΒ Diagnostic Center. It looked too old that I was not even sure if the clinic still exists. πŸ™‚

I have long given up the notion that everything happens coincidentally. Nothing happens by chance, perhaps by choice and yet there is this idea of the Grand Plan – God’s will. So I stopped talking, my husband also followed suit. I looked closely at the calling card and scrutinized every detail in it. I laughed. I smiled. My mood changed and here I was just savoring everything that was there in the calling card. Take note of what I have discovered: “God’s Way,” “man,” “United Nations,” Noe Lordan,” and “Sure ka dito.”

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I interpreted God’s message as this, if my husband and I continue to insist what we both wanted which is different from one another, we will be disappointed, we will be furious, we will have a fight and there will be no peace. BUT if we choose God’s way, then man will be united through the Lord and we will be sure of it.

I shared this to my husband, and we both agreed – God will give us the wisdom and will guide us in making the right decision in His time and at the right place. We have decided then to just include what we were disagreeing about in our Prayer and Fasting, which are now among our faith goals and settled the matter in peace. πŸ™‚

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Last but not the least is the color “orange.” Yes, I am supposed to write this article 2nd week of January but I haven’t felt the urge to do so. And now I realized why. My sharing of testimony/revelations won’t be complete as some of them will take place just the 2nd week of January. Yes, everything in God’s time indeed. πŸ™‚

So what about orange? Well, during the holidays I have received gifts from my loved ones and not that I am materialistic but because I am a keen observer, I was able to piece everything together. Or maybe God intended I find it out. I used to own a pen from my brother’s wedding, a green one. Somebody borrowed it and forgot to return it. I loved the pen so I asked my brother if he has spare ones. He said yes and circumstances aligned in a way that the only free time he can give it to me was over the holidays. So I got hold of the pen during the holidays and he asked me to choose from 3 colors – orange, green and blue. Blue is my favorite color, but this time, the orange pen attracted me in such a way that I chose it over the blue one. There were only two left of that color.

Then, when I opened my brother and sister-in-law’s gift to me, it was my favorite Paulo Coelho planner. Now this planner also has a very meaningful part in my spiritual journey as a Christian. And maybe that is the reason why for 3 consecutive Christmases now, I have been receiving this planner from my brother. To which I am very grateful. Nothing is ever meaningful than to write over something that God has meant for you to write on. And guess what the dominant color is in the abstract design of the cover? It is orange. πŸ™‚

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I still wasn’t amazed by the orange thing until I remembered our Prayer and Fasting manuals, the dominant color is orange amid the black and yellow. So now…..I am beginning to wonder. There is no coincidence with God, right? πŸ™‚

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I thought, there is something that God wanted me to find out with this orange thing. I shared this to my husband and told him, I still can’t decipher what this orange means but I know God wanted to tell me something or He wanted me to know something. This was 1st week of January. We finished the Prayer and Fasting already and yet no clear answers.

Then 2nd week of January came. My sister from Norway arrived and she brought with her gifts from her travel to Prague in Czech Republic. She made my husband and I choose between gold and bronze key chains with the engraved names of Praha and Ceska Republika. My husband chose the gold one and I happily settled with the bronze key chain. And while I was taking a macro shot of it, I noticed that bronze has a similar color to orange like tangerine. Except that it is darker. SO the orange thing was there again even from far, far away like Prague. πŸ˜‰

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Now I believe God has intended I come to the conclusion of my findings. Something within me spurred the thought that I forgot to read all my devotion in Our Daily Bread since December 20 until December 31 so I did my backlogs. And voila, here’s the finding. In the December 25 devotion, the title is “Christingle.” It’s just like my name Christine, without the “g” and the “l.” Well, the reason why my Mom named me Christine was because I was born on December 22, Christmas time. πŸ˜‰

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Christingle

AND here’s what I found out about Christingle. Do read along the devotion in the picture and be amazed. πŸ™‚

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Here’s a definition of the color orange as well:

Orange is the colour between red and yellow on the spectrum of light, and in the traditional colour wheel used by painters. Its name is derived from the fruit orange.

In Europe and America orange is commonly associated with amusement, the unconventional, extroverts, warmth, fire, energy, activity, danger, taste and aroma, the autumn season, and Protestantism. In Asia it is an important symbolic colour of Buddhism andHinduism.[1]Β – Wikipedia

In other sources, orange also means joy and creativity. I was just fascinated to find out one of the meanings of “orange” in the Wikipedia definition which is Protestantism – the religion I grew up with as a child through my grandmother, the daughter of one of the pioneers of the Protestant church in our hometown.

My grandmother is for me the epitome of a woman of faith. No other woman have I encountered who has as much devotion in faith as she has through the 91 years of her life. We were able to visit her during the holidays and when I saw her, tears came running down my cheeks as I hugged her. She was bedridden from a bad fall and yet we can feel that her spirit is strong. There came a moment when she told us that she is already tired and she does not want us to live as long as she did. But my eldest sister assured her that God still has a purpose why she has to live that long. My only prayer to God for my grandmother is that she will have the peace in her heart that her family will always be guided by God and that her prayers were never unanswered. πŸ™‚

So now I would like to end this article with the question from the theme of our Prayer and Fasting this year:

“Would you dare to believe?”Β πŸ™‚

And also with this official soundtrack from the movie Prince of Egypt which I know has something to do with me planning to name our first baby boy with Zaphen, from Joseph’s Egyptian name Zaphenath Paneah. πŸ˜‰

Though Whitney Houston died a tragic death, this song will always remind me of my memory of her and what this song aims to instill in our hearts – how to believe and have faith even with the impossible.

And it has now become my tradition to include a prayer in the very first article that I will write for the new year here in my blog. Please pray this prayer with me my dear brothers and sisters:

“Dear Father,

Though we do not see the future and though fear may start to creep in our hearts for the many trials and challenges, the “giants” that will come our way, we pray that You give us the courage and the strength to overcome them all. Please guide and protect us as we continue to tread along the journey that you have set out for us to accomplish.Β 

We are rest assured that You are and will be with us in all that we will go through. We claim that in the name of Your Son, Jesus, we will will not just be conquerors but we will be game-changers and leaders in spreading Your Word and Your Love.

Thank you for the many things and the many ways that You have assured us of the Grace, the Love and the Hope. We will continue to seek for Your Name and we will give You all the glory and honor that You deserve.

Please teach us how to be more appreciative of the things that we have through what You have given, to be joyful despite the storms and may You continue to be our source of Light despite the darkness around us.Β 

We send this prayer from our hearts with all our love and through the mighty name of Your Son, Jesus,

Amen.”

Let’s have a more appreciative 2016, everyone! πŸ™‚ ❀

The ANOINTING OIL and More Memories

It was after our family vacation with my husband’s family last weekend that I got hold of something interesting. We went to Baguio City in the upper north of the Philippines where the weather is particularly colder than in any part of the country.

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A portrait at the Baguio Botanical Garden c/o Brian Rome Photography.

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Brian Rome Photography

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My aunt-in-law, Tita Bebe, in an Ibaloi/Kankanaey native, traditional costume. πŸ™‚

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I never could get this husband of mine to do a serious pose. Like never. πŸ˜‰

It was a well-spent vacation full of laughter, travels and food ventures. One adventure that we didn’t miss was a visit to the famous haunted house in Baguio City and the bamboo art exhibit.

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My bro-in-law, Buds, and the facade of the haunted house. πŸ™‚

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Spacious living room.

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Bamboo art work and handicraft.

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The living room.

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It was Bud’s idea to visit the haunted house.

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Up we went to uncover the house’s mystery.

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The Master’s Bed

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The Fireplace

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The staircase of the haunted house.

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It was his idea to reenact our wedding day.

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Unfortunately, I can only do the “real kiss” of the newlywed couple once. πŸ˜‰

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No serious pose indeed. Oh wells. πŸ˜€

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His signature pose.

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Baguio Escapade 2015

We also stayed at Hotel Veniz which is located near the heart of the city popularly known for its night flea markets. My husband and I pretty much enjoyed buying stuff at such an affordable price – it was a hassle though packing them up as it added to our already bulky baggage. But it still was fun haggling for lower prices and yes, eating street food. Now this last part I must definitely say THE highlight of our last night there.

We were all tired after the vacation and it was during the last day at my in laws’ house where I got hold of one of the most interesting pieces of memorabilia that I didn’t quite expect after receiving my first memorabilia from the Holy Land which is the Spikenard Magdalena perfume thru my husband’s Dad.

My mother-in-law gave me Bible Land Treasures’Β Β The Anointing Oil as one of their presents which I am very grateful for. A good God we indeed have. πŸ™‚

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The Anointing Oil

If you haven’t read my article on the Spikenard Magdalena perfume, you can read it up here and itΒ also explains a little bit about the Anointing Oil:

The Holy Perfume: Spikenard Magdalena

As of right now, I haven’t had the slightest idea as to what God’s purposes are why I have to get hold of these two important elements in the bible which is significant in our history on how Christianity started – particularly that of Jesus and the Cross. It is very humbling though that God gave me this privilege to be able to know these elements for real, have an idea how they smelled, what they look like and where and how they were used.

The Anointing Oil smelled more delicate and milder than the Spikenard Magdalena perfume which is a combination of frankincense, myrrh and spikenard. It also has a lighter color as compared to the perfume and less concentrated. I have used the perfume twice already but I haven’t used the anointing oil yet.

Tin Ginete

Having shared this, I am now in need of your heartfelt prayers for the Spirit’s leading where these elements can be put into good use, not just for me, but for others as well – that in serving God’s will and purpose. πŸ™‚

Loving Mother Nature via MNL Grow Kits

I grew up loving nature so much that when I came here in the city to study in college, communing with nature was one of the things I missed back home in my province in Bicol. To combat homesickness, I started growing my own little garden in our apartment and for the article that I am about to share to you, I believe this was a God-given opportunity. πŸ™‚

To know more about how you can grow your own “forest” Β in the city, do check out this article:

MNL Grow Kits: Let Your Garden Grow With Ease

Tin Ginete

I chose Arugula, Cilantro and Marigold as my new “plant-sies”Β and was worried sick when my husband and I went on a family vacation for 3 days. But somehow I was pacified when my husband told me this:

“The forest grows and lives without anyone tending them. So why worry if you will be leaving your plants for 3 days. Let God take care of them.”

When we came back, all were alive and kicking. πŸ˜‰

Indeed, as it is written:

“Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” – Genesis 9:3

Here Comes Blogapalooza 2015!

Hey, hey, hey! It is that time of the year once again. πŸ˜€

If you are curious about the what, the where and the how, Blogapalooza 2015 is here to rock our town. YES. The country’s biggest blogapalooza event where bloggers and businesses converge nationwide to share and connect is now ready to once again give us the newest and the latest trends in the modern world today.

If you are a blogger or a business interested to join in this awesome event, sign up now by visiting our Blogapalooza 2015 website here:Β http://blogapalooza.ph/.

See you there! πŸ™‚

Blogapalooza2015

blogapalooza.ph

Going Vegan @ Little India Healthy Cuisine

It’s been a while since I had my last gastronomic adventure. Yes, lest I might fall into acquiring gluttony. So yes, I had to say “no” to eating lots and lots of food through all the multitude of opportunities to do so lying around, healthy or not.

But of course, depriving ourselves completely is never a part of God’s plans. For He wanted us to enjoy the best that life has to offer – that is, with the right kind of discipline and attitude. πŸ™‚

Discipline, you say? If you are like me who now have this conscious effort to stay healthy through my food intake (I am getting older), then this article is the perfect article to read. Going a bit vegan for me is eating more vegetables than meat.

Do read along what Little India Healthy Cuisine has to offer. πŸ™‚

Little India: Superb All Vegan Indian Cuisine

Tin Ginete

Little India Healthy Cuisine

On Civil Weddings and Believers

I’d like to start this article by saying that my civil wedding posed a lot of interesting questions based on two grounds:

  1. I am a devoted believer.
  2. The assumption that I am yoked to an unbeliever.

The following two questions are the frequently asked and I believe it is just right that these questions popped up for a lot have been under the cloud as to what really is what, causing some to stumble in their faith which, as believers, we are not supposed to do to others. I admit I, myself, am being corrected each and every single day. And I mean, each and every single day. So these questions and the answers to them are a breather to me as well. πŸ™‚

First question:

“If you get married through a civil wedding, does that make your marriage unholy or a sin?”

Second question:

“How would you know if your future spouse is a believer or not?”

For the first question, we were already informed during our Engagement/Wedding Preparation seminar in church by our pastors that there is nothing wrong being married through a civil wedding. Tradition, which is cultural, and social norms (which can be a misconception) imply that a couple be wed in church with all the grandiosity of the entourage and the reception. I intend to share this in another article for I did find a lot of blogs of unhappy brides during their grand, dream weddings.

I cannot claim expertise on this matter and our pastors only shared a few insights as to why it is okay to get married through a civil wedding but I did find this article on one of my favorite websites when it comes to dealing with familial and relational issues Christian-wise.

I highly recommend you to read this article and read more related articles in their site as they were all insightful:

http://family.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/26434/~/a-christian-view-of-civil-marriage

And also this one:

http://family.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/26208/related/1/session/L2F2LzEvdGltZS8xNDQwODM3MTQzL3NpZC9BNVI2TDZ2bQ%3D%3D

For the second question, I honestly admit I struggled with this in the early stages of my relationship with my husband back when we were still dating. And I believed I made two common mistakes that believers do unknowingly: judge and condemn. Reading this article came as a rebuke. And if you are to read my previous articles too, you will know that the Spirit also made the rebuke through the Scripture and selected bible verses that are truly answers to questions and doubts I have been brooding over for a time. I hope to share this article with you as again, I cannot claim any expertise on this matter as I am no minister or theologian, I am just a writer who writes from her soul. πŸ˜‰

This is a very long read but please do take time to carefully read through the important points:

http://www.concordant.org/expohtml/TheEvangel/WhatIsABeliever.html

And since I have posted articles here written by people I do not personally know, I’d like to post a disclaimer that it is best to read through all of them with the guidance of the Spirit. And by the end of the day, it is still the Scripture that we should rely more for Godly wisdom. But these articles were written by people who also composed the body of Christ and I believe they were also called to do the mission/task that God has appointed to them. As my brother would always say,

“It is always a matter of faith. It has been and always will be.”

And for my personal advice as a sister in Christ, I recommend consistent praying and undying faith will lead you to where God would want you to be. I had a lot of fears, I used to, had a little bit now but this is what God particularly assured me for my relationship with my husband now (shared this revelation in my previous articles):

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18

Tin Ginete

08/17/2015 – Sealing The Commitment

Hold on to God, hold on to His Word, seek His counsel and as one brother in Christ of mine advised, “overload yourself with prayers.”  What matters is the commitment – honor the commitment, honor the decision you made out of love for your partner, honor your God-given free will when you used it to make that decision, then you honor God.

Of course, I am looking forward and very much excited to have our church wedding next year wherein all our beloved families and friends are complete to witness our re-affirmation of wedding vows to God officiated by a minister this time. πŸ™‚

P.S.

What was so funny during our civil wedding ceremony was that we were told by the clerk that our signatures were almost similar. When we looked at the marriage certificate, we can’t help but agree.

AND I really wonder why I decided, decades ago, to use this signature of mine which is so, so far from my initials. It doesn’t look like a letter “C” or letter “L” or even a “G.” My husband’s signature looked closer to his initials though. Oh well, the wonders and the mysteries never end, do they? πŸ˜‰

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13