Wednesday, September 14, 2016

WOYWW: Nothing!

Starting out with Matthias Schoenaerts.
Did not know who he was before,
then I spent the past 4 days in bed 
with a bad cough and
came across this period piece,
"A Little Chaos".
It stars him and Kate Winslet
and is about a little part of the garden
of Versailles.

"He made Himself nothing..." Philippians2:7
How can we wrap our minds about this? That Jesus, omnipotent, mighty, eternal God of heaven and earth and all the universes that be, made Himself nothing? Why? How? When we, who are nothing but mud, cling to our entitlements, fight for all the rights we think we should have, and grasp for any power we can claim. Will we ever understand? 

Isn't God's way like that novel of Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass", where everything was upside down and when you moved forward, you went backwards. Jesus taught that to be great, we had to be last, we had to serve. It is in giving that we receive, and the more we give, the more we will have. But not money, or riches or fame, which are completely worthless as heaven's currency. To understand God's economy, we have to throw away what we know of how the world's finances are run! And if we want to be of any consequence in heaven, we have to follow the path of Jesus. Emptying ourselves of pride, selfishness, self-aggrandizement, and arrogance. 

Lord, help us to embrace Your Word, no matter how hard. Help us to be humble in serving, and more generous, especially with people who cannot repay us. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Greatest of Gifts

"Strive eagerly for the greatest of spiritual gifts." 1 Cor. 12:31
In another version, we read, be zealous for the better charisms. Each of us has received several gifts. Never let it be said that our generous Father was stingy when He handed out His spiritual and natural and creative gifts. We need to recognize them, use them, try them out, continue to exercise, grow and develop them like a muscle. 

I love looking at calligraphy, but I have neither the diligence nor the patience to master it. I know I can, if I really wanted to, but I choose to go after other gifts with the limited time I have. But it is not the same with our spiritual gifts. If we are not able to develop even one of the spiritual gifts God gives us, it is a loss for the Church. It is like a treasure that has not been found. 

Lord, may I not be ignorant of my spiritual gifts. May I give it back to You for the building of your people and Your church. May You open my eyes so I may help others find the treasure they possess. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

How Shall I Make a Return to the Lord?

"How shall I make a return to the Lord, for all the good He has done for me?" Psalm 116:3

Indeed my whole life is a testament to God's unfailing goodness and love. He surrounded me with people to love and support me, and encourage me to be the best I can be. He put me in a place where I can use my gifts and talents. He answers my prayers and speaks to me when I need His help, and even when I feel I don't. He forgives me seventy times seven and assures me that nothing shall ever separate me from His love. 

How do I repay all the good He has done? By being faithful to Him, by being sincere in my desire to follow Him, by returning again and again to the fount of living water, so I can be washed clean. Lord, I may never deserve Your love, but may I always try to be Your daughter in every way, to follow Your teachings, to care for those You care for. 


Friday, September 09, 2016

Compelled by God!

"I am compelled by God to do it." 1 Cor. 9:16

Here Saint Paul is talking about preaching the Gospel. "I am under compulsion and have no choice." Many people have overriding cravings or impulses for all sorts of things. Saint Paul whose first compulsion was to catch Christians and persecute them for their faith was "caught" by God until He completely reversed and gave all for Christ. How about us? Are we compelled by God to love and serve others? Do we have a missionary zeal to reach out to those who are lost and hurting? 

Lord, may I be caught by You, and may You never let me go! May I know what You want me to do with my life, my gifts, my resources, and may I be compelled to follow You! 

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

WOYWW: Blessed are They who Mourn

Step one- trace a picture on to the 
Bible page with carbon paper and a 
Ballpens that does not work. 

Here is the traced image. 

After painting, I outline with a dark brown pencil. 

"Blessed are you who mourn, you shall laugh." Luke 6:21

I read about this lady named Hu Xinglian. She is a professional mourner, a "kusangren", who is hired to ensure that a Chinese funeral is noisy with cries and wailing. She even comes with her own sound system, six members of her band and multi colored spotlights. After all the impassioned sobbing, there is a lot of festivities. I do not think this is what Jesus had in mind when He pronounced, "Blessed are they who mourn..."

I think if we can see deep into the heart of God, there is a lot of grief. Grief over the many sins and failures of man. And so, if we want to connect with our Father, we should grieve and mourn for that which He grieves and mourns over. Our personal sins. The sins of our leaders. The wars in our country and in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, etc. The number of lives lost to abortion, cancer, drug addiction, broken marriages. But after all these, God promises comfort, consolation, yes even joy. In Revelation 21:4, the promise is, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." 
Yes Lord, even as we grieve for these "former things", we look forward to the day that there will be no more pain. Thank You for Your promises, and the truth we can depend on. 

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

I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Being Cheated

"Why not put up with injustice, and let yourselves be cheated?" 1 Corinthians 6:7

I can just imagine receiving this advice from a lawyer! "What? Just allow myself to be cheated?!!! What kind of lawyer are you?" But this is what Saint Paul advised, and he had been a zealous Pharisee prior to his conversion. Pharisees were known for their strict observance to traditional and written law. 

A long time ago, my mom was purchasing a property in Roces Avenue, but the owner, who happened to be a judge, changed his mind and preferred to sell it to a friend of his. My mom brought the case to court and won. The judge then appealed the case to a higher court. About this time, we joined the renewal and learned that we should not sue, so my mom dropped the case. God worked everything to our advantage because we were able to buy a better property which is where our building in Roces Ave. now stands. 

In Deuteronomy 32:35, God says, "Vengeance is mine. I will repay." Lord, even if we are cheated, or a victim of injustice, may we have the strength to trust that You will ultimately take care of us. Amen! 

Friday, September 02, 2016

New Wine in Old Wine Skins

"No one puts new wine into old wine skins..." Luke 5:37
Today it's hard to imagine carrying around goat skin sewn around the edges or the bladder of an animal so that we have something to drink on our journey. But back in Jesus' time, people put wine in these lightly tanned leather pouches. Old wine skins would be hard, brittle and not pliable. New bubbly, fermenting wine would burst these old wine skins. 
Like all Jesus' parables, He meant many things. How about the new wine being the gift of the Holy Spirit to us? If our hearts are like the old wine skins, hard, inflexible, judgmental, the Holy Spirit can't live in us! Father, thank You for the gift of Your Spirit. How amazing is Your desire that we be one with You! How exciting is the new life You invite us to! 

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Put Out into the Deep

"Put out into the deep..." Luke 5:4

My youngest sister Tina got married a couple of Saturday's ago to Patrick, an American living in Tokyo. For Tina, who has lived a protected life, surrounded by family and a Christian community, it was certainly a decision to put out into the deep waters of the unknown.

When Jesus got into Simon's boat, at the edge of Lake Gennesaret, Simon did not know Him at all. Simon and the other fishermen were washing their nets. That meant they had done with fishing and were going home for a nice meal and some rest. But Jesus got into the boat, and started preaching. After He finished speaking, Jesus said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch." If I was Peter, I might have said, "What?!!! After I have cleaned and washed my net?!! No way!" Then I would have missed the greatest adventure of my life! 

When Jesus gets into our boat, in the ordinary everyday circumstances of our life, we need to be prepared to change course. Lord, may I always be sensitive to what You want me to do or to become. May I not resist Your call to put out into the deep! 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

WOYWW: We are God's Garden!

I woke up at 3 am.
My eyes just pop up, wide open
at 3 or 4 am. 

So I get up and start to draw
and paint on my Bible. 

"We are God's garden." 1 Corinthians 3:9

This is one of my absolute favorite verses even though I've never taken to gardening. My father took an interest in it when I was young, and he transformed the empty lot beside our house into a beautiful flower garden with brick walkways and meandering paths. We even had a little gazebo and miniature house. There was a lot of pruning and trimming, watering, mulching, and studying which seeds to plant where and when to do it. One had to control weeds, remove the old stalks and leaves and watch out for bugs, fungus and bacteria.

We are very much like plants. God is our gardener and He prunes us and trims us even if He knows it's painful,  sometimes very painful. But like a good gardener, He picks the right time to remove the damaged stalks and rotting foliage that keep us from receiving more of His blessings and to promote new growth. He chose the soil on which we are planted and knows how much water or shade we need. 

Like plants it is very necessary that we get nutrients, and that's why we need to pray and read the Bible. Plants also need supports like a trellis or an A-frame or stakes. We need community around, brothers and sisters to support us and help us to bloom. And weeds! Let's go to Jesus so He can pull out the weeds that distract us, crowding out what's really important in our life! 

Lord, help me to bloom and grow in Your light. Thank You for being my gardener and for taking care of me and my needs! 

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

I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


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: