Friday, August 26, 2016

The Five Foolish Virgins

 And the foolish said to the prudent, "Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out." Matthew 25:8

Jesus' parable of the 5 prudent virgins and the 5 foolish virgins is a warning, one of many warnings Jesus gave about how we should always be prepared for His coming. Verse 10 reads, "...and the door was shut." The door is wide open for us now but there will come a time, if we do not have what we need, that the door will be shut forever in our face. Just like the foolish virgins who were pleading, "Lord, open  the door for us," no amount of cajoling will get us in!

What did the foolish virgins do to deserve such a punishment? They did not bring any oil for their lamps. All 10 virgins were eagerly awaiting the bridegroom, 5 had extra oil with them, 5 did not. When the light from their torches were petering out, the 5 foolish virgins asked for oil from the wise and were not given any. Were the 5 wise virgins selfish? No, because this kind of oil we cannot share with others. I think the torch is our spiritual life, and the oil is what keeps that life vibrant, alive, burning! 

Lord, may I forever, until the day I die, keep my torch burning brightly for You! You are my Bridegroom, my delight and my joy! 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

End of the World?

"The Son of Man is coming at the time you least expect." Matthew 24:44

Yesterday I was curious about what my father was so concentrated on and when I asked him, he showed me this website which had so many pictures of oil spills, garbage in Manila and India, smog in China, a multitude of fish dead in the sea and a polar bear teetering on what was left of his ice perch. The title was sort of, "How We Know the End of the World is Coming". 

An inordinate percentage of people believe Jesus is coming soon. 41% of Americans say Jesus will return within the next 40 years. What's ironic is even if they believe, they do not prepare or make themselves ready for the eventuality. Jesus Himself compared this to a master off on a trip. His servants know he is coming back but they do not know when. Some are faithful, far-sighted and diligent. When the master arrives, they are at work and ready to take care of whatever he needs. Others however take the opportunity to go out, become drunk with worthless friends. "Stay awake!" Jesus tells His disciples. This is insider information! "You must be prepared!" 
Lord, I know I must be prepared to meet You at any time today, tomorrow or the next day. Help me to be more zealous about obeying You, and loving You and my neighbor! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WOYWW: Lost and Found

Here is my Bible, after I traced
the man in the magazine on to the page on the right.
I tried to make a video when I was painting
but I still need to figure out how to 
put the video here! 

"We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." John 1:45
There are many amazing stories of how lost items find their way back to their owners, but there are more instances of people who never find what they are looking for. I have been searching for some vcds with recordings of Josh, my son, when he was a few days old. I have not seen them since we transferred to our present home 4 years ago. My brother Robert has been searching for his precious Budapest sketchbook. My sister lost Watson, a little stuffed bear with a suitcase who travelled around the world with her. She left him in New York and it broke her heart! Have you lost something or some one?

Imagine searching and waiting for a loved one for a long time like the Jews have been waiting for their Messiah for hundreds and hundreds of years. Then when he comes, you don't recognize him! What a tragedy! Perhaps he didn't look as you expected him to look. You thought he was rich, a King, but he came dressed in a poor man's garb. You thought he was powerful, but he was a barefoot preacher. A few Jews like Philip and Nathaneal in the 1st chapter of John, recognized Him. Then more and more realized Jesus was the Messiah and followed Him, even gave their lives to obey Him! Why? I think it was because, like Nathaneal, they went to see, to listen, with an open heart and mind and allowed God to work.
Lord, may I always be open to what You want to do in my life. May I never lose sight of who You are, so I may find the treasure I need never forfeit!

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!

I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Friday, August 19, 2016

Dry Bones!

 "Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!" Ezekiel 37:4

There are many dramatic chapters in the Bible but none more dramatic than Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones.   He is placed in the middle of a plain with dry bones in every direction. He is asked, "Can these bones come to life?" Whoa! What a question, but Ezekiel knows the perfect answer, "Lord God, You alone know that!" Then God says to him, "Prophesy over these bones! Dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord!" If anyone but God said that, it would have been a mockery. But God's Word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword(Hebrews 4:12). God's Word will not return to Him void or with no effect. It shall prosper and succeed wherever it is sent.  (Isaiah 55:11). 

We do not use God's Word enough. We do not wield it like a sword. We do not expect things to happen when we prophecy over hopeless situations. Dry bones? A President who is mad and with a foul mouth? No job? Cancer? What is any of that to an all mighty, powerful God? 

Lord, may I study Your Word and use it like a sword. You said, "I have promised and I will do it!" (Ezekiel 37:14). May we believe and trust in You no matter how hopeless the situation! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

WOYWW: An Unjust God?

 Today, when I was going to paint on my Bible,
I saw that there is already a painting on the page.
I decided to just add notations at the margins.

 "I do you no injustice." Matthew 20:13

Is God unjust? If we measure Him against human standards, 
He certainly is. In Isaiah 55:8, the Lord tells us, 
"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, 
and My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." 
(New Living Translation) B
ut the wonderfully amazing thing is He wants us to get to know Him. 
He wants us to become like Him. 
And that is why we have the Bible, 
the story of how an awesome God calls us to be His own, 
calls us to be His people. 
He is so generous, He wants to share 
His wealth of wisdom, peace, love, joy, 
and then ultimately eternal life 
in His Kingdom, with us, mere servants! 

In the parable Jesus tells in Matthew 20, 
there is an owner of a vineyard who 
indiscriminately calls anyone to work for him. 
He invites workers at the start of the work day a
nd says he will pay them the daily wage. 
Then he hires workers at midday, 
then at 3 o'clock, then at the 11th hour, 
one hour before all work finishes. 
He pays the workers who worked for one hour the daily wage. 
He paid the same amount to those who worked for more hours. 
The workers hired for the whole day complained. 
Perhaps we would do the same. 
Working in the vineyard is hard work. 
I am sure the sun was hot, and the work is back breaking. 

But what if the daily wage was eternal life? 
Is there anything more valuable than fullness of life that is eternal? 
That is God's promise for all the workers of His vineyard. 
As long as we serve Him, follow Him, 
love Him and His people, that is what we will get at the 12th hour. 
And just like the owner of the vineyard, 
God calls us all, the intelligent, the not so intelligent, the shy, 
the sick, the lame, the poor, the sinner, the drug addict, 
the prisoner, the drug lord, the corrupt politician, everyone! 
We are all worthy to work in God's vineyard! 

Lord, thank You for the opportunity to work in Your vineyard. 
We are all imperfect people with our own unique flaws and weaknesses, 
yet You do not give up on us. Help us to see others with Your eyes, 
and to love them and be generous like You!

Let me tell you about my dad 
who is turning 90 tomorrow.
Even at 90 years old, he is still curious,
still planning many things, still learning!
He likes to watch videos on the internet
about new machines, and new ideas.
Up to now, he is still busy in our family business,

Happy birthday, daddy!
I want to be like you when I'm 90 years old!

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!

I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

WOYWW: Sowing Bountifully!

What's on my desk?
A picture of my mom. Why?

I am painting a portrait of her.
I promised this to my sister a year ago!!!
It's not even halfway finished!!!

"He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully." 2 Corinthians 9:6

Not many businessmen will cite this principle 
as an important key for being successful in business. 
When I give talks about how to succeed in business, 
I always emphasize this fundamental truth. 
I have seen it work in our business. 
Next year we will be 50 years in business. 
I cannot claim it is because my mom 
had a remarkable business acumen. 
She used her common sense, she was industrious, 
she used the gifts God gave her. 
She certainly did not start with a lot of capital. 
She had none. 
As a matter of fact, when we were looking for a tagline 
for our 50th year, my sister came up with, "50 years of miracles!" 

My mom loved to give money to people to start their own businesses. 
When she died, people came up to me to tell me so, 
and I have witnessed it myself. 
When she dreamed of a factory in Bulacan, 
along with the dream was a row of apartments for the workers. 
Today, we continue her dream of helping others 
by trying to come up with livelihood for people who need it. 
God has certainly been faithful. 
My dad, my sisters, my brother and I who continue her legacy, 
are a bunch of people who enjoy designing, 
coming up with new products, 
and take no delight in the nitty gritty of business. 
But God who keeps His promises, 
continues to journey with us, and prospers the work of our hands! 

Father, Your ways are certainly different from ours, 
but we thank You for teaching us how to reap bountifully! 

Today we have 21 stores, soon to be 22 
when we open in SM Sucat next month.

This is our store in SM Taytay.
We opened in the beginning of this month.
God is so good!

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!

I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Friday, August 05, 2016

Woe to the Bloody City!

"Woe to the bloody city, all lies, full of plunder, whose looting never stops!" Nahum 3:1

This was written by the prophet Nahum more than 2600 years ago about Nineveh, which was the most famous capital of the Assyrian Empire. Where is Nineveh today? Where are its walls and fortifications and palaces built for Kings? It is in the suburbs of Mosul, Iraq. Just as the prophet predicted, it was destroyed in 612 B.C. Today, its ancient walls and gates, the tomb of Jonah, preserved for thousands of years are being devastated anew by Isis. 

Today I think of the great cities of the world with its lies and plunder, where the looting never stops. I think of my country where murder is committed every day in the name of the war against drugs. The cries of the prophets are muted today. The church vilified because of its own sins. Lord, we know You are the God of justice and righteousness. You destroyed Nineveh, one of the greatest cities of its time. Just as Abraham pleaded for a city in his time, so we cry out to You for our country. Spare us O Lord! Help us turn to You so we may see Your face and You will heal our land! 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Ask, Ask, Ask!

"For whoever asks, receives..." Luke 11:10

We all ask things of God. Some would say, "But God is not listening." And many people have become atheists because they ask how can a good God permit so much evil and injustice in the world? Indeed, that is a million dollar question. But another question is, how can a righteous and holy God even look at us, and consider us His children when we are a sinful and rebellious people? How can He forgive us? Is it not when a judge pardons a guilty man and sets him free, we cry out in disgust, "Corrupt!"? How can a righteous God answer our prayers when we repeatedly turn away from Him?

Because He sees Jesus. Jesus who took our sins, our perversities on the cross with Him. It is also Jesus who advises us to persist in our prayers until God sees His Son asking in our place! Oh Lord, how deep is Your mercy and grace! Thank You for sending Your Beloved Son to stand convicted in our place! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Broken Cisterns

"They have dug for themselves broken cisterns that hold no water." Jeremiah 2:13
Imagine being surrounded by fountains of fresh spring water, rejecting that and building a cistern out of rock. At best the well would be full of leaks, the water discolored with a funny taste. What kind of man would do that? And yet many of us prefer 'well water' to the fountain of life that God offers us! Many of us spend our time looking for satisfaction in our jobs, hobbies, friends and parties, organizations, etc. There is nothing wrong with wanting to excel in our work, in sports, in being popular, having a successful business, or getting good grades. But do we put as much time and effort in getting to know the One who made us? Do we make speaking to God, reading the Bible and following Him a priority?

In John 4, Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman at a well and he asks her for water. He tells her, "If you knew who it is who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ perhaps you would have made a request of him, and he would have given you living water. All who drink from this well water will thirst again but whoever shall drink from the water that I will give to him will not thirst for eternity.
Instead, the water that I will give to him will become in him a fountain of water, springing up into eternal life.”

Lord, may I always make the right choice! Your living water and never stale water from a broken cistern made by my own hands! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

WOYWW: Do You Know Saint Apollinaris?

 I cut up an old sweater and used glue to attach it to paper.

 And here are pieces of an old pair of shorts
that I cut up and glued on to paper too.

I am going to make some flowers 
and make a flower canvas 
like the one below.

"A sower went out to sow." Matthew 13:3

Jesus spoke of a farmer sowing seeds on different kinds of soil, until finally the seeds fell on good soil and yielded grain a hundred fold. One saint who was like that farmer was Saint Apollinaris. He was amazing! Saint Peter ordained him Bishop of Ravenna. Many miracles of healing followed where he went and he won many to the Christian faith, but at what price?!

Unbelievers and idolaters were so furious with him that he was beaten cruelly several times until he was half dead. He was captured and forced to walk on burning coals, he was stretched on a rack, and plunged into boiling water. Even if he was driven from Ravenna, he would return and be subjected to all sorts of torture just to get rid of him. He was hacked with knives, imprisoned in a dungeon, left to starve, attacked with stones on his mouth so he would stop preaching! Through all this, Saint Apollinaris was Bishop for 26 years. He is one of the first great martyrs of the Church. Can you imagine how powerful and stirring his homilies would have been?

Thank You Lord for the example and inspiration of the saints and martyrs. Even if today Christians are not tortured, may there be enough evidence to convict us of being Your disciples!

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!

I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here: