Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Easy Peasy Notebook

I've been sewing a lot of these scrap fabric collages (below)
and turning them into purses.
For some instructions, you can read The Bohemian Project.

This time I decided to make a journal and 
I chose the top left soft leather one. 

We only need some thick paper or cardboard for the cover, 
and paper for inside pages. 
We also need either string, leather or elastic cord 
to attach the pages to the cover. 
For tools, be sure to have a pair of scissors, some mini clips, 
and a glue gun on hand. 

Cut the cardboard a little smaller than your cover. 

Make a little notch on each of the four corners. 

Clip the fabric to the cardboard to keep it from moving. 

Carefully glue the edges to the cardboard. 

It's going to look something like this. Don't worry if there are some imperfections, it adds to the charm. That's what I always tell myself anyway!

Next cut a piece of paper to cover the inside cover and glue on. 

Choose different kinds of paper to make your journal. 
I like mixing different kinds of paper to make 
a more interesting journal. 
I'm going to put thicker paper for 
drawing and painting on, 
parchment paper and card stock. 

After I've chosen the papers, I cut them to fit. 

After cutting, I fit them into the journal 
to see how many pages I can insert. 

Attach the pages to the cover by putting a cord  
down the center page, around the cover, and tying it. 

You can add more signatures to your journal 
by making more sets of paper and tying it in the same way. 

If your journal opens up, you can always 
add a tie to keep it closed. 
Or, you can sew a button and a tie at the back. 
It all depends on what materials and junk you have on hand. 

Happy notebook making! 

You may want to see 
other do it yourself projects at
Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife 
Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts 


The Work of our Hands

"And do confirm the work of our hands." Psalm 90:17

What does confirm mean? It means to give permanence to, to prosper, to establish. I always ask this of God for myself and for others I pray for. Yes Lord, give us good success. Help us in our planning, and the weather, and synergy, and aid us in accomplishing our goals. Nothing can beat the power of two, me and Jesus! Without Jesus in the equation I am just noise. 

One of my mom's favorite verses was Psalm 127:1, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." Unless the Lord builds our family, our business, our career, our life, we labor in vain. All our sweat, our studying, our strategies all just go down the toilet if we don't put God in the equation. 

Father, sometimes, many times, I don't know what I am doing. Any gifts I have all come from Your generous hand. Thank You for prospering the work of my hands, for giving me good success in my family, our business, in our community, in my life. I could not have done well without You! 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

WOYWW: Stay Awake!

I've been making a lot of these and turning them into purses. For one, I get to use a lot of my cloth scraps. And now I've got a pile of gifts waiting for Christmas! 

Then I decided to make one into a journal. See the finished product below! 

"Stay awake, therefore! You cannot know the day Your Lord is coming." 
Matthew 24:42

Lots of times we are unprepared for what is coming. It might be an exam, a job interview, a basketball game, a workshop we're giving. Most of the time we can wing it. We don't fail the exam or make a complete fool of ourself in the interview. But how about when the Big One comes? Residents of Metro Manila and nearby provinces are warned that it's not a question of if, it's a matter of when. The 100 kilometer West Valley fault could shift at any time and the magnitude 7.2 earthquake could kill up to 34,000 people and hurt tens of thousands. Many are stocking up on canned goods, Go bags with flashlights and batteries and energy bars. 

Jesus is telling the disciples that they have to be prepared too. No one ever knows when their time is up. Just as we have to be prepared for the Big One or another type of disaster, we also have to prepare for when the Lord comes for us. Are we? 

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!
I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Praying for Heroes!

"What shall I ask for?" Mark 6:24

This morning before I knew it was the Feast Day of the Passion of John the Baptist, I prayed for God to raise up heroes in our country. I prayed He would embolden and enlighten ordinary men and women who would be unafraid to speak His truth and bring His light into the world. And then I opened up the readings for today, Jeremiah 1:17-19: "For it is I this day who have made you a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of brass, against the whole land:...They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord." 

The Gospel in Mark is about John the Baptist and how he was unafraid to speak the truth even when Herod was a powerful man and a despot who liked to get his own way. Herod was brash and liked to show off, promising the young daughter of his mistress Herodias that she could ask anything from him after a dance that pleased him. After a consult with her mother, she asked for the head of John the Baptist. John was beheaded. 

Did that silence John the Baptist? Many would say yes. But I believe he lived on in the consciences of many, including Herod himself, who I am sure, was haunted by the voice and the words of the man. In Mark 6:16, Herod thought John had come back from the dead in the person of Jesus Christ! And he was not the only one. Many said of Jesus: "This must be John the Baptist come back to life again!"

The truth will prevail and the truth will not die. I prayed for heroes. Each one of us must be a hero. We have a calling to be prophets for our time. In Esther 4:14, the Queen Esther was called to task by her uncle Mordecai. "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?"

Monday, August 28, 2017


"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!" 

Matthew 23:13

Sometimes I think Jesus was hard on those Pharisees and scribes! His rant against them in Matthew 23:2-35 was really full of graphic accusations! He called them not only hypocrites, but blind guides, fools, whitewashed tombs, serpents, and a brood of vipers!  He said they appeared beautiful on the outside but inside they were full of robbery, dead men's bones and filth.

Recently I was called a hypocrite on Facebook, told I was full of hate, that I should not take the Lord's name in vain and I was just full of "God, God, God!" I can say that I never harbored hate for any of the netizens I was having a discussion with. I merely wanted to know if all the murders happening in our country was all right with them, seeing it was our President who seemed to be ordering the police to "kill, kill, kill!" Suffice to say, it did not end well, and I scampered out of my friend's wall to avoid more acrimony. 

Only Jesus can see into our hearts, and can read our thoughts, so He can really tell it like it is! When He says we're hypocrites, we can bet all our money that we are. If He says we are wasting our time on earthly treasure, that we are full of unforgiveness, that we need to be more generous, then we should decide to work on that aspect of our lives. But how do we hear Him? If we want to, He will find a way to tell us. We certainly do not want to be blind guides, fools and whitewashed tombs!!! We need to want to hear the truth, for only the truth can set us free. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

How Deep!

"How deep are the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How inscrutable His judgements, how unsearchable His ways!" Romans 11:33

Sometimes I lay awake at night thinking about a problem and realize I just don't have the tools, the kind of mind needed to solve it. I have to turn to God. He has never failed me. I cannot imagine living a life where I did not have God to turn to. 

We don't know the future. One day we feel fine, the next day we have to bend over in pain. How do we know if all the awful things we read about the food we eat, the detergent we use, the radiation from cellphones and microwaves, are true? What if we had something growing inside us and one test would save us from years of pain and suffering and expense? But what medical test is that? How do we nurture good, real relationships with everyone we love? Relationships take time and sometimes there's not enough time for work, for community, for service, for cleaning out my junk.... 

That's why we need God. We can let go, and let God do the rest. After all, He said, "Be still, and know I am God." If we really know, we will let Him BE GOD. The Master of our lives, the weaver of our future, the Shepherd who does not sleep. 

A few weeks ago, I could not sleep because of another BIR problem. God told me to pray together, "there I am in Your midst". So when our accountant came, I called her and my sisters together, and we all prayed. Thereafter I could sleep peacefully. The problem was in the hands of the God of the Universe. I do not need to be brilliant. I do not need so much wealth. I do not need to have connections. My God has all the riches and wisdom and knowledge I need!  

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Don't Follow My Example

"Practice and obey whatever they say to you but don't follow their example." Matthew 23:3

Imagine if Jesus was here with us, and He would say, "Practice and obey whatever Patsy writes, but don't follow what she does!" What a blow that would be to me! But that is exactly what Jesus told the crowds following Him around, including His disciples. He said that they should do and observe what the teachers of religious law, and the Pharisees, taught but they should NOT follow their example. 

Each one of us has a personal call from God, a unique call. He speaks to us in different ways, and asks us to spread His good news in our own way as well. We have to each read His Word, and claim our calling for ourselves. We journey together like pilgrims on a narrow road. It is a joy to have sisters and brothers traveling with us.  None of us are perfect, like the Pharisees, and we should follow what is right and true and reject what is false teaching, even if most of our friends proclaim it on Facebook or Twitter. 

Lord, may we read Your Word every day. May we learn how to think like You, love like You, and serve like You. May we not fall prey to the many with strong voices today who reject You and Your Word. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Your People Shall be My People

"Your people shall be my people, and your God my God." Ruth 1:16

That was the best decision Ruth ever made. It opened the door to blessing upon blessing. Ruth married one of the sons of Naomi and Elimelech. When Elimelech and his two sons died, Naomi urged her daughters-in-law to go back to their mothers and their Moabite people with their own gods. Orpah, one daughter-in-law, left them, but Ruth insisted on staying with Naomi. 

"Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you! For wherever you go I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God." We can say that Ruth, who lived with Naomi witnessed Naomi's faith and was attracted to that. She was willing to go with Naomi to a strange place and be among a strange people. Perhaps she felt God calling her. Perhaps she felt a conviction of her purpose. Whatever it was that provoked her loyalty to Naomi, Ruth would never have guessed that she would eventually, through her marriage to Boaz, become grandmother to King David. In her wildest dreams she would never have imagined her name would be in the Bible (Matthew 1:5), along with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, King David and Solomon, and Saint Joseph and Mary! 

Our decisions every day may not have the same impact, but one thing is sure. If we decide to put God first, as Jesus said in Matthew 22:37, "You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind," it will open the floodgates of blessing. God is a God of surprises and He delights in blessing those who put their trust and hope in Him.  

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Come and See!

"Can anything good come from Nazareth?" John 1:46

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Bartholomew. In the first chapter of John, we see Jesus calling men, "Come, be my disciple!" These men in turn called other men. Philip looked for Nathanael to invite him, and Nathanael was skeptical. "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" Philip's answer can teach us what to say to people who scoff, who are cynical, who doubt. All Philip said was, " Just come and see for yourself." It is not for us to do the convincing, it is God's responsibility! 

In U.P. High School, a couple of men from Gideon Bible came and spoke to my class about reading the Bible. Before they gave us these really cute Bibles, they made us promise to read it. I promised, but I stopped a few chapters into it because of some passages I disagreed with. In U.P. College, I was invited to join a Campus Crusade for Christ group. I thought the group was composed of dull students who didn't have friends, but I liked the Australian leader who invited me out for ice cream. She was the one who would say, "Come and see." 

After college, I remember that it was my mom who would invite me and my siblings to all the Christian rallies and Bible Studies. It did not matter if it was Catholic or not. I do not know how many times we went to the front to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. I cannot count how many times I joined a Life in the Spirit seminar and was prayed over. After one of those baptisms in the Holy Spirit, the Bible came alive for me. I would read and read and mark almost every line with a yellow pencil. 

Lord, thank You for all those people who said come and see in different ways. I have, through the years, seen Your face, and heard Your voice! May I also invite others to experience the fullness of life You offer me every single day! 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

God's Generosity

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

This is one of Jesus' stories where we get a sharp insight into how God thinks. It's good to study it again and again. Jesus compares His Kingdom to the owner of a huge vineyard. The owner hires workers early in the morning, and tells them he would pay them one denarius, which was the normal daily wage. He hired workers again at 9 am, 12 noon, 3 pm, and lastly at 5 pm. 

When it came time to pay, the workers lined up, beginning with those hired last. They were paid a whole day's wage. When those hired earlier came to get their pay, they received one denarius as well. I think it is but human nature for them to expect more pay and so they were disappointed when they received the denarius. They complained, "We worked the whole day under the sun and you paid us the same as those men who worked a few hours!"

"My friends," the landowner answered, "I do you no injustice! Didn't you agree to work for one denarius? Take it and go. Am I not free to do as I please with my money? Should you be angry because I am generous?"

God is like that owner of the vineyard. He is always looking for laborers to work in His fields. He said, "The harvest is plenty, the laborers are few." (Mt. 9:37). He is not very discriminating about whom He calls. I know a former drug addict who now takes care of street children to give them a home and an education. I know of a heavily tattooed heavy metal rock star who gave up a multi-million dollar deal to follow Jesus and who now has been preaching to his fans. There are missionaries who toil in God's harvests for years, and there are murderers who make deathbed confessions. What do each of them receive? One denarius each. Eternal life. It cannot get any better than that! 

Thank You Lord for Your generosity and mercy to each one of us! You always want to give us a chance, even at the last minute. You are not stingy with Your treasure!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Mighty Champion

"The Lord is with you, O mighty champion!" Judges 6:12

Most of the time, we do not think we are champions. We do not feel we are winners. We wait for others to act, and we prefer to be in the sidelines. We look at what is happening around us, and like Gideon in the Bible, we ask, "If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?"

At that time Israel was reduced to starvation by the Midian marauders  who would destroy crops and steal all the livestock. God was angry with them because they built altars to Baal  and pillars to the goddess Asherah. Today in our country, it appears that some of God's people have turned away from Him and looked to other gods for help. They applaud killings to solve our country's problems. This is not the way of our God of compassion and mercy. This is not the solution of Jesus who said we have to forgive 70 x 7! When we are faced with our day to day challenges, let us always choose to work with God. 

Each of us has a part to play. Each of us has a mission and a purpose. We can be "mighty champions" for the Lord, if we put Him first and seek His ways. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Rich Young Man

"If you wish to be perfect..." 

Matthew 19:21

The rich young man in Matthew 19 is nameless. He can be anyone who desires to be good. He asked Jesus, "Teacher, what good must I do to possess everlasting life?" Jesus answers that he must keep the commandments. He should not kill, commit adultery, steal, or lie. He should honor his parents and love his neighbor as he loves himself. 

We could easily have answered the same, "I have kept all these. What do I need to do further?" Jesus told him, "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give to the poor. You will then have treasure in heaven. After that, come back and follow me." 

The young man left, sad, grieved and in much distress, for he had many possessions. Upon hearing this passage, another 20-year-old, rich young man by the name of Anthony, gave up his wealth to live in the desert for 20 years. Saint Anthony of Egypt, known as the 'Father of Monasticism', inspired many other men to give up worldly wealth and become monks in the desert. 

Not all of us are called to do this. Like the rich young man in Matthew 19, we should ask God what to do, for I believe, we were all born with a mission. Yesterday I was listening to a couple talking with their daughter. The young girl was a little anxious because she was told by her father that one day their nice house would be her responsibility, and that she should always share the blessing with others. This hospitable couple always lent their vacation house to others for retreats or a rest break and did not ask for payment. "How will I get the money to maintain the house? It's so expensive to let people use the house. Just the water, electricity and the subdivision dues cost so much!" The couple reassured their daughter that God will provide as He always does.

How do we become perfect? The road to perfection is a journey, and one we never undertake alone. We should walk with Jesus our friend, continuously talk with Him and ask Him the way. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Woman, Great is Your Faith

"Woman, great is your faith!" 
Matthew 15:28

This passage can be very confusing. Jesus, who is usually so kind to women, likens a Canaanite woman to a dog. She only comes to Him for his help. Her daughter is terribly troubled by a demon. First He answers that His mission is only to the lost sheep of Israel. She is not deterred. She moves closer and pleads, "Help me, Lord!" 

And then He says the painful and to me, deeply confusing, "It is not right to take the food of sons and daughters and throw it to the dogs." Even this rebuff does not stop her. "Please, Lord," she insists, "even the dogs eat the leavings that fall from their masters' tables." Ahhh, finally, Jesus says in reply, "Woman, you have great faith! Your wish will come to pass." That very moment, the woman's daughter was healed. 

When would I stop and leave? Would I have gone away when the disciples shooed me away? Or the first time Jesus said no? Would I have persisted till Jesus granted me my prayer? 

Saint Augustine, in reflecting on this gospel story, wrote that Jesus was not refusing her. He was toning her desire, training her and in turn teaching us how to pray. Persistently, confidently, knocking without giving up. 

Is there something in our hearts today that we need from the Lord? I can think of many things but one thing above all is breaking my heart. What is happening in my country. Many people are being killed by the police every day. The lives of the guilty, the innocent, the police,  matter. Families matter. Following the law matters.  

Lord of Lords, have pity on us! Our country is deeply troubled by demons on all sides! Save us! Heal our land! I have no doubt, O Lord, that You will hear our prayer for we will continuously knock on Your door for Your mercy!