Monday, September 01, 2014

Harvest!

 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, 
because He has anointed me 
to bring glad tidings to the poor. 
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives 
and recovery of sight to the blind, 
to let the oppressed go free,
 and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord." 
Luke 4:18-19

When I read this passage, 
I can't help remembering that Jesus also said, 
"Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. 
He will do even greater works than these 
because I go to the Father." (John 4:12).
Because Jesus went to the Father, 
He was able to send us the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). 
I do believe that if we were as dedicated, 
 single-minded, and focused as the apostles, 
we would see the miracles, people risen from the dead, etc. 
that we think are "greater works." 
BUT is it not amazing that the multitude 
Jesus healed did not gather at His cross? 
Is it not puzzling that those who saw His miracles 
did not try to protect Him?

 Tom Schreiner says, "A careful study of the word "greater" (meizon) 
in John's gospel shows that the word greater 
 consistently refers to something that is greater in quality 
rather than something that is greater in number."
Jesus is after a change, a transformation of lives.

In John 20:29, Jesus said to doubting Thomas, 
“... because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed. 
Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.” 
With the Holy Spirit, we can do "greater works" than Jesus. 
We are able to reach more people now with the 
Internet, with TV, with radio. 
We can help the blind see with the gift of education, 
when we help with tutoring or donate to World Vision. 
We can help set people free from poverty and oppression 
if we try to find ways for people to have livelihood. 
We can proclaim liberty to inmates when we go and visit. 
So many ways we can help! 
And when we are able to help, 
we will be able to feed them the Good News 
and help bring in the harvest.

"The Harvest" on Sept. 6-7 at SMX is a 2-day conference 
on evangelization conducted by the Pathways Ministry 
of Ligaya ng Panginoon and the 
Institute for Pastoral Development 
that seeks to enable aspiring leaders 
and builders of God's kingdom with skills and tools 
to become effective evangelizers. 

"Be transformed by the renewal of your mind..." 
Romans 12:2

It's very important to examine 
our thoughts, the way we think. 
Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as a man thinks in his heart, 
so he becomes." and Matthew 12:33, 
"A tree is known by its fruit."

I forgot who said that more people 
struggle with their minds than their finances. 
Our mind is a battlefield. 
Our old enemy likes to put in 
thoughts of discouragement, 
hopelessness, failure, unforgiveness, etc. 
In other words, garbage! 
If we train ourselves to think positive, 
our actions will bear good fruit. 
 I remember what Jing, 
my sister's deceased first husband told me. 
"Our thoughts are like mad dogs. 
We have to reign them in immediately 
or it will take you places you do not want to go."


If our mind is our battlefield, 
our powerful weapons are the Word of God, praise and prayer. 
John 8:31-32 says, "If you abide in my Word...
you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." 
If we keep meditating on God's Word, 
we will know how God thinks, 
and we can align our thinking with His. 
With God there is always hope, love and peace. 
And that is what we want, isn't it?

 "See, I have 5 more!" Matthew 25:20

The Parable of the Talents is so rich, 
much can be gleaned from it. 
The Master is God and He gives each of us 
talents, gifts and blessings, 
'according to our capabilities'. 
It is apparent from the story that 
Jesus is telling us that these talents 
and gifts are not ours, but are God's. 
He will take an accounting about what 
we have done with everything He has entrusted to us. 
We are supposed to be diligent 
to increase and improve on what He has given, 
not for ourselves, but for God's benefit. 
When we are able to do this, 
He says, "Come share my joy!"

I can't say my mom had much to start with.... 
She didn’t have money, 
she didn’t have a grand ambition, 
she didn’t have a brilliant marketing strategy, 
she didn’t have a business degree, 
and she was shy and timid. 
What she did have was common sense, 
a good intuition and she enjoyed 
making things with her hands. 
She was very thrifty, industrious, 
and she had faith in herself and 
most importantly, faith in God.

She prayed for a business. 
 That was her capital. 
And so in spite of all that she didn’t have 
and the little that she did, 
she was able to build a business 
that has been around for 47 years.

 Today we have 15 stores, 
a building along Roces Avenue, 
and a factory in Bulacan. 
We have many livelihood projects, 
and have been able to help our suppliers 
and employees put their children through school, 
pay for their medical expenses, etc. 
I am pretty sure that when mommy met the Master, 
and He asked for an accounting, 
He said to her approvingly, 
"Well done, good and faithful servant. 
 Come, share Your Master's joy!"





Friday, August 29, 2014

Paint Party Friday: Legacy of Faith

Here is how I started my painting for today.

"O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim
Your wondrous deeds." Psalm 71:17

Thank you Lord for the legacy of faith
my mother left me.
More than anything she bequeathed,
our business or any material thing,
the most precious was how important
God was to her.

Even when she was very weak, she would
still insist on going to daily mass at 6 am,
and afterwards go to the
Adoration chapel.
I remember having to hold her 
for fear she would fall.
I was the one who had to give up
saying, "Mommy, I don't think you should 
go to mass anymore. 
We BOTH might fall down!"

Her iPad was filled with praise songs and 
bible verses she would listen to almost the whole day.

Yes, my siblings and I were very blessed
to have a mom who taught us about 
God and His love for us, from when we were young.
She didn't teach us to say memorized prayers
but taught us to just talk to God.
And I would talk to God about 
a lost ball pen (that I would find)
and other little things that showed me
that God was real and was watching over me.
God taught me that He was love
and that love surrounded me.

So I try to do the same for my son.
A home should be a little bit of heaven
here on earth.
The principles of God's Word
should dominate the way a family lives.
Children observe parents all the time
and listen to us, and observe the way we 
relate to others.
Being an example is the most effective
way to teach!

 "You are not lacking in any spiritual gift." 
1 Cor. 1:7

In God's perfect plan, we would all know 
and recognize the many gifts He has given us. 
We would partner with Him to develop and grow 
these gifts to build His church here on earth.

Perhaps we can start with asking God 
to make clear what gifts we have, 
or what OTHER gifts we have. 
Or perhaps we can serve or volunteer 
to see what we are good at, 
what we enjoy doing. 
We can also talk to others 
who can see more clearly than we can, 
where our particular capabilities lie. 

1 Corinthians 12:1 reads, 
"I do not want you to be
 ignorant about your spiritual gifts!" 
We are all made with a divine design 
and we can become aware of what God made us to do, 
by discovering our gifts and talents. 
It can be an exciting adventure!

Home
 
Linking with
So many WONDERFUL blogfriends 
to discover here!
and
Thank you for dropping by!
You are appreciated!
Patsy


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

WOYWW: What ME, a Role Model??

I got back from a trip to 
Oslob and Cebu City,
and here is what my desk looks like-
On the right is a box of art materials which
I brought along. It's got my paints, brushes,
everything I need to paint in the morning.
All except my colored pencils,
which I forgot to pack!

I painted every morning,
and if you'd like to see what I came up with
beside the bathroom sink (!!)
you can visit my Instagram posts.
 
 "We wanted to present ourselves
as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us."
2 Thess. 3:9

It's scary to be a role model,
but the truth is we are ALL models to others
whether we like it or not.
It is said that the Christian's life
is the world's bible,
and we have to be careful about what we do
and what we say.

I recently saw a glaring example of this.
A really cute little boy was imitating
what his grandfather usually did.
He put up his hand as if to drink.
This is what he sees often, his grandfather
imbibing alcohol with friends.
My guess is he sees this as fun
and can't wait to do it himself!

Gandhi once said:
"If Christians would really live
 according to the teachings of Christ, 
as found in the Bible, 
all of India would be Christian today."

 We can either be the influenced 
or the influencer.
We should look for good role models to 
pattern our life upon.
And we should in turn be good role models
to influence others for the better.

My husband Luigi remembers
that he was quite impressed with his classmate
who did not copy during tests.
Peter became a fast friend
and Luigi followed him into the 
Christian covenant community
we belong to today.

How wonderful to be like Saint Paul
and be brave enough to say,
"Imitate me!" as we imitate Christ!

"Cleanse first the inside of the cup..." Matthew 23:26
Catholics have bible readings for each day. 
I appreciate this because you can't pick and choose 
your favorite readings to pray about and meditate on. 
Today's particularly unpleasant reading 
is when Jesus accused the Pharisees for being hypocrites.
 The word hypocrisy comes from a Greek word 
meaning play acting or dissembling. 
If one was called a hypocrite it meant 
you had a counterfeit persona!
The Pharisees studied their scriptures 
and followed the law scrupulously. 
 The word Pharisee comes from 
Hebrew meaning "separate". 
They wanted to be a people set apart for God, holy.
Many of us can be like them 
and not even know it! 
I can never forget when a supplier said to me, 
"You weren't a Christian then, were you?" 
Yikes! I WAS a Christian, a follower of Jesus, 
but I obviously didn't act like one! 
I was probably mean to him, 
bad tempered, too busy to be kind!
It's good to examine ourselves now and then 
and see ourselves through Jesus' eyes. 
 Evaluate how we are growing in love, 
generosity, patience, forgiveness, etc. 
And then knowing we fall short of perfection, 
go to Jesus to be washed in His blood. 
Jesus ALWAYS welcomes us 
like a prodigal son or daughter!
 



Blessings!
Patsy