Thursday, December 25, 2008

Good Advice

There comes a point in your life when you realize
who matters,
who never did,
who won't anymore...
and who always will.

So, don't worry about people from your past,
there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.
Cherish the ones who stick with you through thick and thin
and remember the valuable lessons you learned from your relationships,
for they are all God's gift.


'Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.'


A Christmas Prayer

LORD, Thank You!
...for all the friends who warm my life with their smiles;
who make life worthwhile;
who carry me when my courage fails....
and comfort me when i'm sad.
I pause to look back at parties made more enjoyable
because of their companionship..

LORD, Thank You!
...for their honesty when i cannot be honest with myself;
for letting me grow in my own time....
for respecting my feelings...

Thank You, LORD for all my friends...
and may YOU continue to shower them blessings of prosperity,
good health and peace of mind.



Daily Digest #203

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross. —Hebrews 12:2

Allow me to share another article from the Purpose Driven Life online. May we be reminded of God's presence and gift to us, and thank Him for all our blessings. Let us count ourselves lucky for being able to enjoy the miracles of life, and for seeing Jesus Christ in the faces of other people. May our lives also be a reflection of God's image, not out of self-righteousness but of love, compassion and kindness, giving glory to His name. Pray always. God bless!


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Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Romans 5:1 (NLT)

*** *** *** ***

Do you realize that if you're trying to live your life without God, you are at war with him? You are at war with God, and you need a peace treaty. You need reconciliation because your relationship with God has been broken. Jesus Christ came to be that bridge, to be the reconciler between God and man.

When you trust Jesus, he makes it all go away. He says, "I'm going to completely wipe out everything you've ever done wrong. You're completely forgiven. Come on home!"

The Bible says, "Now that we have been put right with God through faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1 TEV). Have you made peace with God? If you haven't, you'd better, because one day you will have to face him. You need to make peace with God.

How do you make peace with God? You don't do it by promising to be good or by being perfect. You can't. The Bible says you make peace by faith – faith in God's grace.

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Daily Digest #202

They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. —Revelation 22:5

God does miracles. He gives sick people a second chance in life when the doctors say there's no cure. He heals broken hearts and surprises them with a greater love when all hope is lost. He restores broken relationships. He sends help to the helpless -- providing for those who desperately need food, shelter, or a friend. He puts a glorious end to long waits -- like getting the much-needed visa after months or years of waiting, finally getting a dream job, hearing a "YES" from a person you've been pursuing for a long time (eherm), or getting through and passing an excruciating exam. He makes the IMpossible POSSIBLE :D

As we are in dire need of miracles, especially now that we experience worldwide recession and drastic climate change, let us pray. May we truly believe that anything is possible with God. May we believe that prayers can move mountains. May we open our hearts and minds to what God is telling us every time we ask. May we always hope in the Lord. Pray always.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Dirty Old Shoes

I showered and shaved......
I adjusted my tie.

I got there and sat.........
In a pew just in time.

Bowing my head in prayer......
As I closed my eyes.

I saw the shoe of the man next to me..... Touching my own. I sighed.

With plenty of room on either side......
I thought, 'Why must our soles touch?'

It bothered me, his shoe touching mine... But it didn't bother him much.

A prayer began: 'Our Father'......
I thought, 'This man with the shoes, has no pride.

They're dusty, worn, and scratched.
Even worse, there are holes on the side!'

'Thank You for blessings,' the prayer went on.

The shoe man said........
A quiet 'Amen.'

I tried to focus on the prayer......
But my thoughts were on his shoes again.

Aren't we supposed to look our best.
When walking through that door?

'Well, this certainly isn't it,' I thought, Glancing toward the floor.

Then the prayer was ended.......
And the songs of praise began.

The shoe man was certainly loud...... Sounding proud as he sang.

His voice lifted the rafters..... ...
His hands were raised high.

The Lord could surely hear.
The shoe man's voice from the sky.

It was time for the offering.... ...
And what I threw in was steep.

I watched as the shoe man reached....
Into his pockets so deep.

I saw what was pulled out.........
What the shoe man put in.

Then I heard a soft 'clink'.
As when silver hits tin.

The sermon really bored me......
To tears, and that's no lie.

It was the same for the shoe man...
For tears fell from his eyes.

At the end of the service..... .
As is the custom here.

We must greet new visitors,
And show them all good cheer.

But I felt moved somehow..... .......
And wanted to meet the shoe man.

So after the closing prayer...... .
I reached over and shook his hand.

He was old and his skin was dark....
And his hair was truly a mess.

But I thanked him for coming...... ..
For being our guest.

He said, 'My names' Charlie..... .....
I'm glad to meet you, my friend.'

There were tears in his eyes.......
But he had a large, wide grin.

'Let me explain,' he said........
Wiping tears from his eyes.

'I've been coming here for months....
And you're the first to say 'Hi.''

'I know that my appearance.. .......'
Is not like all the rest.

'But I really do try......... ......
'To always look my best.'

'I always clean and polish my shoes.'
Before my very long walk.

'But by the time I get here........
'They're dirty and dusty, like chalk.'

My heart filled with pain.......
And I swallowed to hide my tears.

As he continued to apologize... ......
For daring to sit so near

He said, 'When I get here........ ...'
I know I must look a sight.

'But I thought if I could touch you...
Then maybe our souls might unite.'

I was silent for a moment...... .....
Knowing whatever was said

Would pale in comparison.. .
I spoke from my heart, not my head.

'Oh, you've touched me,' I said......'
And taught me, in part;

'That the best of any man......... ...
'Is what is found in his heart.'

The rest, I thought,.... ......... ...
This shoe man will never know.

Like just how thankful I really am...
That his dirty old shoe touched my soul

You are special to me and you have made a difference in my life.

I respect you, and truly cherish you.

Let old friends know you haven't forgotten them,
and tell new friends you never will.

Remember, everyone needs a friend.
Someday you might feel like you have no friends at all.
Just remember this e-mail and take comfort in knowing that
Someone out there cares about you....
And always will.

Live each day as your last, it could be .


Daily Digest #201

That you may know what is the hope of His calling . . . and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe. —Ephesians 1:18-19

I used to think obedience is enough. I felt the pressure, as if somebody was constantly checking on me, which opposes the idea of freedom God is giving us. And when I don't obey, I usually get disappointed, finding it hard to forgive myself.

I learned that obedience without love is worth nothing. There is no joy in obedience when one obeys out of mere obligation. Jesus wants us to experience an intimate connection with His Father just as He had -- a relationship built on faith, hope and love.

For this, let us pray. May we build a closer relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ. May we ask for strength and find courage to love and obey unconditionally. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #200

The word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith. —Hebrews 4:2

We are tempted to sin in many ways. When somebody annoys or provokes us, we usually want to do something bad in return. When our superiors give us unreasonable tasks, we feel like complaining or even punching him/her in the face. When a co-worker gossips about us, we are tempted to say the meanest things back. When a neighbor sets the speakers in full-blast, we feel like knocking the door down and unplugging the sound system, or even throw it off the balcony. When somebody makes our life miserable, we can't help but curse at the person and wish him/her dead.

But Jesus tells us, when our enemies throw us stones, we throw bread in return. Hard as it seems, it actually works because nothing annoys them more! :D Seriously though, God is trying to teach us about patience, understanding and love every time we encounter difficult people. What I learned from my experiences is that I can be the worst enemy of all. One can never really resort to violence or saying hurtful words if his/her heart was pure. And everyday, we make a decision to purify our hearts, and walk God's way. Should that be the case, nothing can ever bother us because we would find delight in simply serving Him and being a blessing to others.

For this, let us pray. May we ask God to purify our hearts. May we tame our tongues and be slow to anger. May we ask God's help and guide us when we find it hard to deal with difficult people. May we find in our hearts the joy of being generous, loving and kind, giving glory to God. Pray always.



He saved us and he called us to be his own people, not because of what we have done, but because of his own purpose and grace. 2 Timothy 1:9 (TEV)

*** *** *** ***

The Bible also teaches that Jesus came to save you for something. God has a purpose and a plan for your life; he created you for a specific mission.

The Bible says: "He saved us and he called us to be his own people, not because of what we have done, but because of his own purpose and grace" (2 Timothy 1:9 TEV). You can live life at one of three levels: survival, success, or the highest level – significance.

Most of the world lives at the survival level. Half of the world's six billion people live on less than $2 a day. That's survival. If you're an American, even if you are the poorest of the poor in the United States, you live at the success level. Most of the world would love to have your problems. But you say, "If I'm so successful, why don't I feel fulfilled?"

You don't feel fulfilled because you were made for more than success. The ultimate goal of life is significance, not success. You were made for significance – and significance comes from knowing God, knowing his purpose for your life, and then doing it. Then you realize, "This is what I was made for! This is my niche! It's me! Now I know why I'm here on the planet."

All the success in the world can't give you that.

That's why the very first sentence of The Purpose Driven Life is a very counter-cultural statement: "It's not about you." That's the exact opposite of what our culture says. Our entire culture says, "It's all about you."

You'll never find satisfaction and significance by living for yourself because God didn't wire you that way. You were made for God. There will always be a hole in your heart because you need something greater than yourself. You need God's purpose. You've tried everything else. Why not try God?

So Jesus said, "I want to save you from your past. I want to save you for a purpose. And I want to save you by something."

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Daily Digest #199

God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. —1 Corinthians 2:10

The power of choice -- it is God's gift that we ought to use wisely. God gave us this freedom so we could find our way back to Him. We encounter different barriers to keep going, but it all depends on the choices we make, what we do with the matter and what we do next. If we ask for His wisdom and guidance, He will surely lead us to the right direction. He reveals Himself to those who diligently search for Him, like unwrapping a present, and being surprised by what is found inside -- far greater than what we ever imagined. When we do find it, we will feel the Holy Spirit working within us, guiding our every thought, word and action. How long would it last, we ask. Again, it lies in our choice to keep it, to continuously find it, or to lose it forever.

God's presents are everywhere, waiting to be unwrapped. May we have the eyes to see and heart to understand how precious it is to find Him, and know Him more. May we long, not for material things, but His wisdom, grace and mercy. May we grow a faithful and discerning heart. Pray always.



I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question? Romans 7:24 (MSG)

*** *** *** ***

Have you figured out yet that a lot of times you are your own worst enemy? It's your own reactions, your own fears, your own inadequacies that cause you to act in foolish ways. I know that's true for me.

I need to be saved from myself because there are things I don't like about me – things I wish I had done differently, things I'd like to change. But I can't change them, not on my own power. I need an outside power source.

You may be saying, "I can change." I hate to say this, but you can't. In January, you're going to make a list of New Year's resolutions. And, by the end of January, that list will be in the dumpster. Why? Because you can't change on your own; you need God's power. You need a Savior, someone who can make the changes you can't make yourself.

Let me make an important point here: God never wastes energy. He doesn't waste effort on things that are unnecessary. In other words, if you didn't need a Savior, he wouldn't have sent one. The very fact that God sent a Savior means you need one.

The truth is, if you are honest about it, sometimes you feel like your life is out of control. That's a pretty common feeling. Welcome to the human race!

The apostle Paul felt that way 2,000 years ago. Paul says this in the Bible: "I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does" (Romans 7:24-25 MSG). That's the answer!

Let me be honest with you. You may be looking for salvation in the wrong places, that's why you're frustrated. You're looking for that one thing that's going to give you fulfillment and meaning and peace in life.

Some of us think that if we could just get married, or if we could just get a certain job, or a promotion, or attain a certain level of wealth, or have a baby – or if our babies would grow up and graduate! – things would be great.

You're looking in the wrong places.

A lot of people are looking for salvation in a self-help book. Or they're looking for it in therapy or in a fad or diet. Or they're looking for it in a vacation, "If I could just escape to Tahiti, everything would be great." The problem is that if you go to Tahiti, you're taking you with you!

The answer is not in a place. It's not in a program or a pill. The answer is a person: Jesus Christ. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life is never going to make sense.

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Daily Digest #198

He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. —Psalm 112:7

I was imagining what I would do if something as tragic as death of a loved one ever happened to me.... I couldn't bear the thought of losing a family member above all. Just thinking about it makes my stomach churn, what more to those who have actually lost their loved ones? If we look at it in another perspective, we are yet again reminded that everything is temporary in this world, which gives us greater sense on how we ought to treat other people, especially our family and friends. As for personal experience, I could not let go of certain things (people and emotions included) if I knew in my heart that I have not made the best of what I had. Maybe it goes the same when we lose someone we love, when we know in our hearts that we have not spent enough time with the person, or have turned our backs on somebody at one point and never really gotten to forgive or ask for forgiveness, or anything that builds up regrets. The reflection above made me realize how every moment counts, how we should make the most of the time and blessings given to us. We are taught to count our blessings always so when it is time to let go, one can do it without regrets and with a grateful heart. I guess that is how one could keep going, honoring and thanking God whatever circumstance there is.

For this, let us pray. May we count our blessings everyday, and likewise, be a blessing to others. May we be reminded of the the things that matter in this world -- our relationship with God, and with others. May God be the center of our relationships. May we keep trusting Him, looking up to Him, never letting go -- because He will never give up on us. May we be reminded how much God loves us as we celebrate the Christmas season. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #197

There has not failed one word of all His good promise. —1 Kings 8:56

How very timely. Before anything else, I'd like to say sorry to those whom I've caused any pain or disappointment. Just recently, I've disappointed a few people. I may have not done it intentionally, but still, I chose to ignore the situation and carried on with my insensitivity. So, if I happen to have disappointed you in any way, I am deeply sorry.

I also get frustrated when things turn out different from what I hoped for. I get depressed when I don't get the comfort I need from a close friend or loved one, or when the moment that I think is supposed to be allotted for me is spent elsewhere. Just when I was starting to think that I was the only person struggling, my acts of immaturity made me realize how I've put my hope and faith in people instead of God. All the while, God was teaching me to lean on Him, to listen to Him, and to find comfort in Him. I was so stubborn that I ended up lonely and depressed for weeks. Now, I look back and feel like laughing at myself for wasting such precious time on trivial things :D I know now how God is enough for me. He truly never disappoints :D

For this, let us pray. May we put our hope in the Lord. May we find comfort and peace in Him. May we remember that we all have unique paths to take, and that we always have a choice to love and show kindness to each another. Pray always.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Two Boxes

I have in my hands two boxes
Which God gave me to hold.
He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black,
And all your joys in the gold."
I heeded His words, and in the two boxes
Both my joys and sorrows I store,
But though the gold became heavier each day
The black was as light as before.
With curiosity, I opened the black.
I wanted to find out why.
And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole
Which my sorrows had fallen out by.
I showed the hole to God, and mused aloud,
" I wonder where all my sorrows could be."
He smiled a gentle smile at me.
"My child they're all here, with Me."
I asked, "God, why give me the boxes,
Why the gold, and the black with the hole?"
"My child, the gold is to count your blessings,
and the black is for you to let go."

Author Unknown


Daily Digest #196

Samuel took a stone . . . and called its name Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the Lord has helped us." —1 Samuel 7:12

Answered prayers. I believe God answers all prayers; it is just up to us if we would listen and accept. I used to think He was not listening whenever His answers were in fact NO and WAIT. I always wanted to go things my way, or I'd throw out a "tantrum". And when they did, I took things for granted sometimes, forgetting that I prayed for such things to come. God didn't even hear a "thank you" from me.

I learned how powerful prayers really are, especially when they are according to God's plan. We might ask "how then can we know if our desires are the same as His?". I believe the answer surfaces while we pray. God Himself will let us know if we ask for His guidance. I believe it is a matter of building a closer relationship with God, and not just achieving a spiritual high or a miraculous experience.

For this, let us pray. May we remember that we can always hope in the Lord. Each trial or difficulty creates an opportunity, either to be drawn closer or farther away from God -- the choice is ours. May we trust that He is here, watching over us, listening to every prayer, and waiting for us to take His invitation. Pray always.



Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Luke 2:11-12 (NIV)

*** *** *** ***

Today in the town of David (that’s Bethlehem) a Savior (there’s the salvation part) has been born to you (for you – a savior for YOU); he is Christ the Lord.

No doubt you’ve heard the phrase, “He was saved” or “She was saved,” but maybe you’ve wondered what that really means?

Let me give you a simple illustration. When my oldest child, Amy, was still young enough to be strapped into a car seat, she was with me as we were driving on a very, very hot day. She finally hung her head out the window, and being a three-and-a-half-year-old unable to get herself out of the car seat, she said, “Please, God! Get me out of this!”

Amy needed a savior! She couldn’t get out of her predicament by herself; she needed someone else to set her free. She needed someone to rescue her, to deliver her, to release her.

Maybe you’ve hit a point in your life when you felt the same way? Or, maybe you feel that way today? You simply want to hang your head out the window, and plead, “Oh, God. Get me out of this! Hello, God, I need your help here … please!”

What you’re hoping for is a savior. You’re hoping someone will somehow save you. The good news is that your hope is no longer an empty dream. God is actively engaged in a plan to save you. He is a God of hope, and it is a hope that will not disappoint.

God’s plan for your salvation is three-dimensional: You’re saved from something; you’re saved for something; and you’re saved by something.

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Daily Digest #195

Surely I am more stupid than any man, and do not have the understanding of a man. —Proverbs 30:2

God equips people for His purpose. Many times we have said NO to His invitation to serve Him because we lack the trust that He truly equips. Like Moses who admitted to be slow of speech and tongue, we are easily discouraged by our incapability, weakness and fear.

If we look at physically challenged people, most of them who graciously continue with their lives use their gifts. Believe it or not, we all have unique gifts that we can share. The other week, we were fortunate enough to have witnessed people in wheelchair play basketball. It was truly a marvelous sight. The "normal" ones seemed more disabled than they were.

God invites us everyday to admit our weaknesses so they may become His strength, not so we could pity ourselves. The same with our individual gifts, which are to be shared. We have both weakness and strength for a reason -- and it is "to use it for His glory".

For this let us pray. May we learn to say YES to God each time an opportunity to serve arises. May we trust that there is nothing impossible for Him, and that He is there to guide us, if only we ask. May our lives give glory to His name. Pray always.


But the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. Luke 2:10 (NLT)

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Knowing God is for you will change your whole perspective on life. You’ll stop thinking of God as someone looking down from heaven, ready to yell, “Gotcha!” anytime you mess up.

Instead, you’ll realize God loves you; God is with you; and God is for you! God is for your success in life; he created you for a purpose and he wants you to succeed. It is God, your Creator, who will measure your success in life, and no one else.

This is extremely good news!

It means you don’t need to be afraid of God because God is for you. Yet, some people are so afraid of God they get nervous just talking about him. Do you know why? They feel guilty, and then they start thinking, “If I get close to God, he’s going to lecture me. He’s going to remind me of all the things I’ve done wrong, and then I’ll feel even worse!”

Nothing could be further from the truth of God. Jesus said, “I did not come into the world to condemn it, but to save it.” In effect, Jesus is saying, “I didn’t come to scold you, I came to save you.”

And if God is for us, who can be against us?

Jesus came to save us, not to scare us. That’s why when the angel was telling the shepherds about the birth of Jesus, the first thing he says is: “Don’t be afraid!”

In fact, when God sends a message to people in the Bible, it’s not unusual for the first words to be: “Don’t be afraid.” There are 365 messages from God in the Bible that begin with a phrase like, “Fear not!” In other words, every single day of the year you can read a message from God that says, in effect, “You don’t need to be afraid. I am for you; I am with you; I love you.”

We celebrate Christmas because of this good news from God!

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Daily Digest #195

She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. —Matthew 1:21

I was just instructing my students to make a Christmas presentation in PowerPoint yesterday. When I asked them what Christmas is, I was surprised to find a 9-year old student's answer to be about Jesus Christ, as we are in a Buddhist country. I was reminded yet again that this season is truly all about Jesus. Since we have put commercialism on top of everything else, we have forgotten the significance of the celebration. Most people associate Christmas with Santa Claus and shopping rather than Christ. And most of us are more concerned about the gifts we will be receiving than what we'll be giving.

Allow me to share 2 articles from the Purpose Driven Life (see below). May we be enlightened and reminded what Christmas is all about -- how God loves each of us so much. May we develop a caring and generous heart. May we prepare ourselves as we honor our Savior's coming. Pray always.



"I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." Luke 2:10 (NIV)

*** *** *** ***

This may come as a shock to you, but God really likes parties. God is into parties; God likes to party; God is constantly throwing parties. In fact, the Bible says that God's angels throw a party every time a single person trusts Jesus as the Lord and Savior of his or her life. They party for joy whenever someone turns away from self-centeredness and turns toward Jesus.

Christmas is a party; it's a birthday party for Jesus. It's why we say "Merry Christmas." Yet, we often leave the guest of honor out of our Christmas parties! Thinking about this irony, I started asking people, "What are you celebrating this Christmas?" This is what a few of them told me:

· "What am I celebrating? Not a lot."

· "The blessings that we've had in our family this year."

· "Just the Christmas spirit."

· "Being home and not being on the road for the holidays."

· "This Christmas? I'm celebrating the birth of Christ."

· "Nothing. I just want to get through it."

This last comment is true for a lot of people. Christmas may be a season of celebration, but they feel they have nothing to celebrate. Perhaps that's true of you, too. You're thinking, "I just want to get through Christmas. I just want to survive it. I've got nothing to celebrate."

But God, through his angel, tells us that embedded in Christmas is good news of such great joy that, if we believe it, we won't be able to contain the celebration within us.

But we get so frustrated in our circumstances or so busy simply getting ready for the celebration that we lose sight of the joy. The good news turns into the fact that your in-laws aren't coming this year or you managed to keep within the Christmas budget.

God's good news is so much more than that! The joy of Christmas is based on three things: (1) God loves us; (2) God is with us; (3) God is for us. Can you hear the celebration in that?!


For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NLT)

*** *** *** ***

God loves you so much that he sent Jesus on a mission of love with a message of love. Christmas is a yearly reminder that God loves you. The Bible says God is love. It doesn't say God has love; it says God is love. Love is his nature – God is love.

And God created the entire universe; he created this planet; he created the human race; then, he created you because he loves you.

It could be said the reason you're alive is because God created you as an object of his love. God made you so he could love you and so that you could love him. God's love for you is the reason your heart's beating right now; it's the reason you're breathing.

God's good news is that he loves you on your good days as much as he loves you on your bad days. He loves you when you can feel his love, and he loves you when you can't seem to feel his love. He loves you regardless of whether or not you think you deserve his love.

There is nothing you can do that will make God stop loving you. You could try, but you simply can't do it – because his love for you is based upon his character and not on anything you do or say or feel.

God loves you so much that he sent his only Son, Jesus, into this world – "so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16 NLT).

When the baby Jesus grows into a man, he will stretch his arms out as wide as the cross, saying, "I love you this much! I love you so much it hurts. I love you so much I'll die for you so that I won't have to live without you."

God's love surpasses all human knowledge, and it is difficult for any of us to grasp the width and length and height and depth of God's love for each one of us (Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV).

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Daily Digest #194

Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. —Romans 5:20

We all have our differences, to the point that we sin and hurt each other. We offend, or get offended, in many ways, and we react according to what we feel, or to the principles we try to uphold. We demand a lot of things from others, which unfortunately, they are just not willing to give or compromise. But what do we really do with the time given to us, in spite of our differences and sinfulness?

Sometimes we do sinful and hurtful things just so others can hear and understand us. It really hurts when people we trust the most ignore us or invalidate what we feel. I've experienced this many times before. The more I longed for comfort from others, the more I found it difficult to reach out because I thought they "should" understand my feelings. But I realized, no matter how we seem transparent to one another, there is always a need to talk and open up. We can't expect people to understand or be with us all the time, we can only hope. It was hard to accept at first, but with God's grace and wisdom, He made me see the bigger picture -- that He hears my cries and my pleas, and He's with me all the time. He made it easier for me to realize the wrong things I have said and done, and led me to repentance. He made me realize how I forgot to judge myself before I judged others. God made me realize how each of us has a unique journey to take, and that we know nothing about others' paths, only our own. God made it easier for me to forgive, because I believe He has forgiven me. God made me see that He has greater gifts than hardships, if only we learn to count them and ignore the rest. To those who are struggling with this at the moment, I recommend the book of Job.

For this, let us pray. May we grow in faith and lead to repentance. May we forgive, just as our heavenly Father forgives us. May we not pass judgment on others but ourselves. May we seek His wisdom and guidance before we decide to act or speak. May we trust His ways and allow Him to draw us closer to His grace and mercy. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #193

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. —1 John 1:9

I offer you this prayer of forgiveness: O God, I need to feel that I have forgiveness from You. So often my good intentions do not become what I want them to be, and so often the good I want to do, I don't do. It is hard to face up to the wrong that is in my life. When I feel Your forgiveness, I feel clean and good inside and so free to be what You want me to be. Help me feel this goodness, and strengthen me to forgive those who have wronged me. I pray in the name of Christ who shows us the way to Your forgiving presence. Amen.

May we start living with a clean conscience and pure heart today. May we believe that He truly forgives, and that no sin is unworthy of forgiveness, if only we ask and repent. Let us ask God to help us renew our faith. Pray always.


Forgiveness Prayer

Let us pray...

The following prayer covers most significant areas
of forgiveness. Often, such a prayer will bring to
mind other areas that need forgiveness. Let the Holy
Spirit move freely and guide your mind to persons or
groups that you need to forgive.

Lord Jesus Christ,
I ask today to forgive EVERYONE in my life.
I know that You will give me the strength to
forgive and I thank You that You love me more
than I love myself and want my happiness more than
I desire it for myself. Father, I forgive YOU for
the times death has come into the family, hard times,
financial difficulties, or what I thought were punishments
sent by You and people said, "It's God's will," and I
become bitter and resentful toward You.

Purify my heart and mind today.
Lord, I forgive MYSELF for my sins, faults and failings,
for all that is bad in myself or that I think is bad,
I forgive myself; and I accept Your forgiveness. I further
forgive MYSELF for taking Your name in vain, not worshipping
You by attending church, for hurting my parents, getting drunk,
for sins against purity, bad books, bad movies, fornication,
adultery, homosexuality. Also, for abortion, stealing, lying,
defrauding, hurting peoples' reputation.
You have forgiven me today, and I forgive myself.

Thank You, Lord,
for your grace at this moment. I also forgive MYSELF
for any delvings in superstition, using ouija boards,
horoscopes, going to séances, using fortune telling or
wearing lucky charms. I reject all that superstition and
choose You alone as my Lord and Savior. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit.

Lord, I truly forgive my MOTHER.
I forgive her for all the times she hurt me, she resented
me, she was angry with me and for all the times she punished
me. I forgive her for the times she preferred my brothers and
sisters to me. I forgive her for the times she told me I was
dumb, ugly, stupid, the worst of the children or that I cost
the family a lot of money. For the times she told me I was
unwanted, an accident, a mistake or not what she expected, I forgive her.

Lord, I truly forgive my FATHER.
I forgive him for any non-support, any lack of love, affection
or attention. I forgive him for any lack of time, for not giving
me his companionship, for his drinking, arguing and fighting with
my mother or the other children. For his severe punishments, for
desertion, for being away from home, for divorcing my mother or for
any running around, I do forgive him.

Lord, I extend forgiveness
to my SISTERS AND BROTHERS. I forgive those who rejected me,
lied about me, hated me, resented me, competed for my parents'
love, those who hurt me, who physically harmed me. For those
who were too severe on me, punished me or made my life unpleasant
in any way, I do forgive them.

Lord, I forgive my SPOUSE
for lack of love, affection, consideration, support, attention,
communication; for faults, failings, weaknesses and those other
acts or words that hurt or disturb me.

Jesus, I forgive my CHILDREN
for their lack of respect, obedience, love, attention, support,
warmth, understanding; for their bad habits, falling away from the
church, any bad actions which disturb me.

Lord God, I forgive my IN-LAWS,
OTHER RELATIVES by marriage, who treat my family with a lack
of love. For all their words, thoughts, actions or omissions
which injure and cause pain, I forgive them.

Please help to forgive my RELATIVES,
my grandmother and grandfather, aunts, uncles, cousins, who
may have interfered in our family, been possessive of my parents,
who may have caused confusion or turned one parent against the other.

Jesus, help me to forgive my CO-WORKERS
who are disagreeable or make life miserable for me. For
those who push their work off on me, gossip about me, won't
cooperate with me, try to take my job, I do forgive them.

need to be forgiven, Lord. For all their noise, letting
their property run down, not tying up their dogs who run
through my yard, not taking in their trash barrels, being
prejudiced and running down the neighborhood, I do forgive them.

I do forgive my CLERGYMAN,
my CONGREGATION and my CHURCH for their lack of support,
affirmation, bad sermons, pettiness, lack of friendliness, not
providing me or my family with the inspiration we needed, for
any hurts they have inflicted on me or my family, even in
the distant past, I forgive them today.

Lord, I forgive all
those who are of different PERSUASIONS, those of opposite
political views who have attacked me, ridiculed me, discriminated
against me, made fun of me, economically hurt me.

I forgive those
of different religious DENOMINATIONS AND BELIEFS
who have harassed me, attacked me, argued with me,
forced their view on me or my family.

Those who have harmed me
ETHNICALLY, have discriminated against me, mocked me,
made jokes about my race or nationality, hurt my family
physically, emotionally or economically, I do forgive them today.

Lord, I forgive
all PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE who have hurt me in any way:
doctors, nurses, lawyers, judges, politicians and civil servants.

I forgive all SERVICE PEOPLE:
policemen, firemen, bus drivers, hospital workers and
especially repairmen who have taken advantage of me in their work.

Lord, I forgive my EMPLOYER
for not paying me enough money, for not appreciating my work,
for being unkind and unreasonable with me, for being angry or
unfriendly, for not promoting me, and for not complimenting me on my work.

Lord, I forgive my SCHOOLTEACHERS
AND INSTRUCTORS of the past as well as the present. For those
who punished me, humiliated me, insulted me, treated me unjustly,
made fun of me, called me dumb or stupid, made me stay after
school, I truly forgive them today.

Lord, I forgive my FRIENDS
who have let me down, lost contact with me, do not support me,
were not available when I needed help, borrowed money and did not
return it, gossiped about me.

Lord Jesus,
I especially pray for the grace of forgiveness for the ONE
PERSON in life who has HURT ME THE MOST.

I ask to forgive
anyone who I consider my GREATEST ENEMY, the one who is the
hardest to forgive or the one who I said I will never forgive.

I beg pardon of all these people for the hurt I have inflicted
on them, especially my mother and father, and my marriage partner.

I am especially sorry
for the three greatest hurts I have inflicted on each of these.

Thank You, Jesus,
that I am being freed of the evil of unforgiveness.
Let Your Holy Spirit fill me with light and
let every dark area of my mind be enlightened.

Forgiveness is an act of the will, not a feeling.
If we pray for a person, we can be assured that we have
forgiven that person. To help accept an individual and
open ourselves to a particular person more, picture
him with the Lord Jesus and say to the Lord,
"I love him because You love him. I forgive him because You forgive him."

Forgiveness is a life-long obligation.
Daily we need to forgive those who hurt or injure us.

From the book by Father Robert DeGrandis S.S.J. and Betty Tapscott:
Forgiveness & Inner Healing; Twenty-fourth Printing September 2001.
Permission to copy is granted by Father DeGrandis.
(copyright info must remain in tact.)

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

To Each His Own

I cannot change the way I am,
I never really try,
God made me different and unique,
I never ask him why.

If I appear peculiar,
There's nothing I can do,
You must accept me as I am,
As I've accepted you.

God made a casting of each life,
Then threw the mold away,
Each child is different from the rest,
Unlike as night from day.

So often we will criticize,
The things that others do,
But, do you know, they do not think,
The same as me and you.

So God in all his wisdom,
Who knows us all by name,
He didn't want us to be bored,
That's why we're not the same.

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." -- Romans 8:28


Daily Digest #192

All is vanity and grasping for the wind. —Ecclesiastes 1:14

Just a while ago, I was talking to a Thai mom. She confessed that she was neither pro nor anti-government, and was happy that the protests have ended and flights resumed. We talked about the country's economic downfall for the past week, and I was amazed by what she said when I told her the Thailand lost hundreds of millions of dollars in a span of 1 week. She said she felt more happy and thankful for no bloodshed, than sad for the country's damaged reputation and economy. They can be earned again, she said, but lost lives can never be replaced.

From that statement, I was reminded once again how temporary our material world is, and that it can be taken away from us in just one snap, even our lives. We may attain success in our careers, or a certain project in our lives, but what comes next? We often forget that our time, skills and knowledge are limited. We tend to find contentment and completeness in temporary things and forget the things that really matter -- our relationship with God, and our relationship with others.

For this, let us pray. May we focus our lives on the eternal. May we not attach ourselves to material things, and remember that they are only temporary. May we take time to assess our lives, our goals and our priorities. May we find completeness in God alone, for He will surely give us the courage to face this troubled world, armored with strength to seek peace, and to hope, and to love. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #191

My earnest expectation and hope [is] that . . . Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. —Philippians 1:20

Not to expect is something really hard to do. I, personally, have had a hard time getting rid of my expectations. Sometimes I believe that I ought to get something in return out of all the hard work that I do. Not anything material, but at least some respect. I admit to have expected so much from other people, especially in times of need. But not everything and everyone fits in my time frame, which usually frustrates me. I realize yet again how God keeps on reminding me to expect only from Him -- that I need not be anxious, that He hears my prayers, and that He knows my needs. Looking back at the times when I expected something, I realize how much I've focused on my needs rather than what I could, or was supposed to do, at that given time and place. To be reminded that I am not always in control humbles me over and over again. I can only wish that I could have it permanently etched in my heart and in my mind.

For this, please join me in offering this prayer. As God teaches us to trust in Him at all times, may He bless us with a patient and understanding heart. May we learn to assess difficult situations and find out what He is trying to tell or teach us. May we also refrain from inducing expectations to others, like making promises and not keeping them. May we learn to count our blessings, and not our woes. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #190

He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. —2 Corinthians 5:15

The reading today is very timely for me. I have many passions -- music, art, food, learning about life -- which I long to share with others. Just recently, I felt like going out to watch a movie, or just hanging out with somebody. When I browsed on my phone book, I didn't have that "instant" person to contact, which made me feel really sad. It made me think of the kind of relationships I have built over time. It occurred to me how much I needed to reach out to others more. I want to claim that I have a passion for people, but sometimes I let my fear of being betrayed, rejected or abandoned get in the way. Upon realizing this, people suddenly came to me one by one -- a knock on my door, phone call, text message, YM, email. Not only did some of us engage in small talk, but we were able to talk about each other's passions, God, prayers and our blessings.
Sometimes, when we find it hard to reach out, God sends people to help us make the first step. It is up to us if we would take that step, or turn away. For this let us pray. May we take courage and ask God for strength in building relationships. May we ask God to be the center of our family, friendships and partnerships. May we also believe that He truly listens to our prayers, that He hears every joy, every fear, every heartache. May we accept His invitation to come to Him everyday, and listen to His guiding voice. May our lives be living testimonies of His love. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #189

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. —Psalm 30:5

I just wanted to share this article with you (read below). May we never lose hope. May we grow a heart of patience. May we learn to endure and persevere, and focus on eternal goals. As we experience various trials, may we never fail to see our blessings, and thank God for them. Pray always.


February 16, 2007

"Grace must wound before it can heal." — Flannery O'Conner

There are two schools of thought when it comes to the problem of pain. One says: "Sometimes the going will get tough, and in those times you need to remember that your faith will get you through and something good will come out of hardship. Hang in there, this will soon be over." The other would be: "Get use to it. Pain, suffering, and hardship are necessary for growth. They will be constant companions to those who desire to know and love God deeply. Get ready for the long haul. If you're feeling good and life is relatively painless, that's the abnormal experience, not the norm. Enjoy it, but don't expect it."

These perspectives present what appears to be subtle differences, when, in fact, they have huge ramifications for the follower of Christ. One says that suffering is a glitch on the spiritual map, a storm one can weather, a malfunction easily corrected with a certain degree of patience and determination. This perspective believes that there exists a "normal" state for a believer that is relatively comfortable and risk-free. But in reality, this perspective is unbiblical and actually lines up more with a culture that treats discomfort as something we deserve to have alleviated. Multi-billion dollar industries are dedicated to creating and maintaining this myth, and convincing us all that the good life is attainable with, of course, the help of the product being touted. In other words, "normal" is just around the corner.

The other perspective is much more in keeping with reality and the belief that our real purposes go way beyond this life and this present darkness. It is a perspective that expects hardship and pain to be a part of the day-to-day program. If we are waiting for anything, we are waiting for eternity with Christ, not for everything to get better here on earth. We have learned that trials are such an integral part of our growing life in Christ that we even welcome trouble when it comes our way, because we know that by it, our faith is found worthy of being tested and our endurance will have a chance to grow (James 1:2-3).

This is not about being pessimistic. It's about being realistic and learning how to find joy in the midst of even the most difficult things. Getting "normal" right is half the battle.

"God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith. As a result, I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I can learn what it means to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that, somehow, I can experience the resurrection from the dead." (Philippians 3:10-11 NLT)

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Bangkok Smileys :D

These shots were just forwarded to me earlier. Enjoy the view! :)


Monday, December 01, 2008


I just took this photo a few minutes ago. That's what the sky here looks like tonight. Note the two stars above the moon. Cute huh? :)