Train of Thanks 09

Because we’ll never run out of things to be grateful for.

It’s 2016! Yuhuu!

I am writing this post in pain due to migraine. I have the option to allow this blog post to pass, but I say ‘NO!’ When it comes to giving back my thanksgiving to the Lord, I desire not to stay silent. I want to practice giving credit and thanks to whom gratitude is due.

  1. Vineyard Workers’ Appreciation Day. It is an encouragement to be reminded that I am serving the King of Kings alongside people who love the Lord like me. It feels more uplifting knowing that your family members are also actively involved in their respective ministries. This coming year, the church is again challenged to answer the call for ministry. Until know I am praying for exactly where the Lord wants me to focus into but my answer will be, “count me in!”image
  2. Binangonan bike tour and the best tasting tapsilog. I think I have tasted the best tapsilog in town – or should I say out of town! If you happen to visit Michelle’s Kitchenette along Manila East Road, Binangonan Rizal, don’t leave without ever trying their tapsilog. Served in a very presentable wooden plate, you will definitely have a taste of province’s authentic palate. On our return to conquer Cardona and Morong the next time, we’ll definitely return to the place and satisfy our tapsi-craving.


  3. Marikina City Grand Fireworks Display. It has been a tradition among my best buddies to witness the annual fireworks display sponsored by the city government of Marikina. Thousands of people jammed with Parokya ni Edgar, among other guests, eventually resulting to flying plastic bottles and tin cans. It was fun and scary at the same time. But more than the guest artists, it is awesome to behold the dancing lights in the sky with your friends. I was even able to write a poem in reference to the fireworks. In my honest assessment though, this years’ presentation is a little less spectacular compared to previous years.
  4. FSY PASasalamat KO. Before the year ends, we have managed to push through with our Christmas fellowship and mini-reunion. We’re reminded to be grateful for everything, because first and foremost, this is the will of God for us as Christians.
  5. Mother’s recovery. We celebrated Christmas and New Year with my mother suffering from pain on her hip, which was eventually diagnosed as UTI. Her blood pressure also dropped low, and her body temperature went up. Thankfully, my titas were present to help us attend to my mother and do the festivity preparations. As of writing, my mother is already feeling well. Praise be to God!

This year has a lot of things in store for us. Are you ready for your blessings?

Train of Thanks 08

Because we’ll never run out of things to be grateful for.

A very busy week filled with bright colors, laughter and loud music – at least that’s how most of the celebrated their Christmas week. Mine’s a bit different for a Yuletide celebration. Yet still, God is good! In good times and the bad, He never fails to be good!

  1. Halfway in preparation for our Noche Buena, my mother complained about sudden pain on her abdomen and hip. So I advised her to refrain from what she’s doing and take a rest instead. Kaya yung sopas na hinahanda niya nauwi sa ginisang gulay, para hindi masayang 🙂 We’ve found out that she’s suffering from UTI. Being almost bedridden for a couple of days, I am actually forced to stay at home to attend to her needs. There was a moment when I am giving her cold compress and memories of my childhood flashed before me. I am thankful for my mama. It may be a very simple act to attend to her needs while she’s sick, but it actually means a lot to me. Plus, I am grateful for friends and churchmates who visited and ministered to us.
  2. A very soothing massage for me and my mother courtesy of Sis. Nanette Zafra, our churchmate.
  3. I thank God for the gift of rest. It’s good to stay away from all the routine of office work and spend time with things you really want to indulge into – extended hours of sleep, reading books, biking, surfing the net, among others.
  4. Staff Christmas Party – Food, food, food! I am also thankful for people who blessed me with tokens and gifts, until now they’re left unopened. Delayed gratification. 🙂
  5. For Villa Escudero trip courtesy of MMND. Confession – Since I was a child I’ve been seeing Villa Escudero in postcards and dreamt of going there when I grow up. Parang gusto ko talaga yung idea na kumakain ka habang nagtatampisaw ang mga paa mo sa tubig. And this week is the realization of my childhood dream! In addition to the sumptuous lunch on running water, we visited a museum of antique items and preserved animals, had a carabao ride, tried water rafting and watched an awesome cultural presentation.

In good times and the bad, in celebration or plain, normal season, what are your thank yous?

Heaven’s Chorus

Ti’s the night we’re called for a celebration!

Heaven's Chorus

This is a night of commemoration

When creation stood in adoration

And joined the heavenly delegation

To worship the One and only reason

He came not with a sound of trumpets

Welcomed not by people, almost unnoticed

No room to spare for the born Redeemer

Silently He was laid down on a manger

He was esteemed not by people He chose to die for

Yet willingly He offered His life for us all

This Christmas, let Him take the center place in your heart

Don’t leave Him in the sidelines, give Him the best part!

Ti’s the night we’re called for a celebration

Make room for Him in your joyous season

Let’s altogether join the whole creation

In welcoming the Savior’s birth – Jesus

The hope and reason for the season

First written 12.24.14, unedited. No punctuation marks 🙂

An Attitude of Gratitude

Gratitude is an attitude that comes out of habitual thanksgiving.

An Attitude of GratitudeIt’s the time of the year again when gifts come pouring into our lap, bills and coins go into circulation and people tend to be more emotional than any time of the year. Merry Christmas folks! Welcome to the season of gifts and Yuletide cheers!

But more than receiving gifts, this is the season when we need to embrace the attitude of gratitude more tightly. This is the season when we are highly gullible to think we deserve more. We expect, we assume, and if we don’t get what we want – we might end up sulking.

When I delivered a message on gratitude last Sunday for the Salt and Light Sundays Christmas party, I shared this story:

Two old friends met each other on the street one day.  One looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears.  His friend asked, “What has the world done to you, my old friend?”

The sad fellow said, “Let me tell you:  three weeks ago, my uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars.”

“That’s a lot of money.”

“But you see, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me eighty-five thousand dollars, free and clear.”

“Sounds to me that you’ve been very blessed.”

“You don’t understand!” he interrupted.  “Last week my great-aunt passed away.  I inherited almost a quarter of a million from her.”

Now the man’s friend was really confused.  “Then, why do you look so glum?”

“This week . . . nothing!


Gift vs Entitlement

A gift is something we receive gratuitously, without any condition on our part. That is why the word “free gift” to me is redundant. If it is not free, if it comes with a condition, it is not a gift.

Receiving gifts on a regular basis makes us more expectant, to the point that we feel entitled for it. And when the regularity ceased, we feel robbed, hurt and even angry.

Receiving gifts on a regular basis makes us more expectant, to the point that we feel entitled for it. And when the regularity ceased, we feel robbed, hurt and even angry. The feeling of being entitled to receive something elevates us into a position of importance.

As children of God we are recipients of His daily grace – daily gifts from God. His grace offers us with a lot of things we can never provide for ourselves. These include our day to day provisions of food we set on our table, the money we use to buy our daily needs and all other material things we enjoy. It even extends to the things we seldom thank Him for – the air we breathe, the water we drink, our sanity, our ability to see, hear, listen and touch. These are gifts from God most of us enjoy regularly, until we almost feel entitled for it. We expect to receive these good things; take it away from us and we get upset.

Gratefulness over Thankfulness

Instead of sulking over the gifts we fail to receive, we should be thankful for the countless gifts we have already received in the past.

Yet again, more than being thankful for the gifts we receive, it is way better to cultivate an attitude of gratitude – that even if we fail to receive anything, even if circumstances fall short of our expectations, we are grateful.

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. Psalms 9:1

Gratitude is an attitude that comes out of habitual thanksgiving. More often our thanksgiving are based and prompted by the good things we receive, but gratitude is evidenced both in good times and the bad. Like King David who expresses his gratefulness in whatever circumstance he is into, the more we meditate on God’s goodness and practice our thanksgivings even when the tides turn against us, gratefulness will naturally flow out of from us.

Be Thankful
~ Author Unknown ~

Thanks for not having
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Thanks for lacking knowledge
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Thanks for difficult times
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Thanks for limitations
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Thanks for challenges
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Thanks for mistakes made
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Thanks for exhaustion
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made the effort.

Thanks for setbacks
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.

Thanks for troubles
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

Anyway, the phenomenal Maine Mendoza posted her thanksgiving on her Instagram account.

View this post on Instagram

Philippians 1:3 #ALDUB5thMonthsary

A post shared by Maine Mendoza (@mainedcm) on

And this video has given me enough reasons to be grateful for what I enjoy in life. While I can still find time to complain over things I am not able to get, these children has shown the world what it means to be grateful and overwhelmingly joyful over things we usually consider normal and simple.

This Christmas, we got a lot of things to be thankful for. And let us start expressing our thanks until it becomes a habit, cultivating in us an attitude of gratitude.

Merry Christmas!

To the One who has set me free

At the cross you’ve shown me
A perfect love that has set me free.

No costly gifts to give,
No sumptuous food to share.
Only my praises to offer
With nothing else to spare.

A simple poem is all I have,
Words that came from within.
But still words aren’t enough
To express gratitude for forgiving my sins.

What more shall I offer
When you own everything?
Though I give my all
For you, would it mean a thing?

At the cross you’ve shown me
A perfect love that has set me free.
Sacrifices from me you do not ask
You just want me to accept Your love that will ever last.