Gift Ideas for the Ones You Love

Best gifts we can give our loved ones this season:

Para sa asawa:

Tokens, simple or extravagant are always welcome. Nagpapakita yan ng pagpapahalaga at nagpapatibay ng relationship. Kung wala, ok lang yan. Ang pinakamainam na regalo sa iyong kabiyak ay ang pagiging loyal mo sa kanya. Yung kahit anong mangyari, maganda man o hindi ang sitwasyon, ay mananatili kang tapat sa kanya. In the first place, yan naman ang pangako niyo sa isa’t isa di ba, for better or for worse?

Para sa magulang:

Sa maraming beses na hindi nila kinain yung huling slice ng cake o yung ulam na gustong-gusto nila para may makain ka pag-uwi, naku this time tapatan mo naman yun. Mag-uwi ka ng something for them. Yung pasalubong na walang halong sumbat at panghihinayang. Pero alam mo, kulang pa nga ang mga bulaklak, cake o chocolate para sa mga sakit at tampo na dinulot mo sa kanila sa tuwing nagpapasaway ka. Kaya more than the pasalubong, a sincere sorry will do. At magpakabait ka na rin kung pasaway ka man.

Para sa kapatid:

Partners kayo, dapat. Though may sinusunod kayong bro code, sis code o ano pa mang code na yan, ang mahalaga nagkakatulungan kayo. Gifts are good lalo na kung bata pa ang kapatid mo, pero alam mo kung ano ang best gift? Ikaw naman ang taya sa family dinner o sa bill ng kuryente. Hahaha!

Para sa jowa:

Alam mo na yan, dyan ka magaling eh. Haha! Ilang buwan pa nga lang napaghahandaan mo na yan eh, kaya di mo na need ng tip pagdating sa material gift. Pero best gift para sa girlfriend o boyfriend mo ay yung i-honor mo siya before the Lord, before her/his parents, and before others. Wag ipilit ang wala pa sa panahon. Wag magpadalos-dalos ng desisyon. An honorable relationship is still the best gift to give.

Para sa sarili:

Take some rest. It helps! Lalo na kung you’ve been very busy lately. Kung single ka, give yourself the gift of peace by not feeding yourself with self-defeating thoughts na dapat may jowa ka na para maging kumpleto ka. Mali yun! Kahit walang lovelife, you are still valuable and loved. Kung in a relationship ka naman, give yourself the gift of accountability by learning and growing from your relationship. Maraming life lessons kang matututunan kapag nasa relasyon ka kaya i-treasure mo yan at matuto.

Loved

Love and being loved will always be a good feeling to desire.

14

Day 14: God says you are…

LOVED

Valentines Day, araw ng mga puso. I just noticed that unlike before when I was still in grade school, mas commercialized na ang Valentines Day ngayon. With all the roses and teddy bears on malls, streets and on almost everywhere, mahirap nga namang itanggi that V-Day marketing has really gone a long way.

Love and being loved will always be a good feeling to desire. C’mon, who doesn’t want to feel that sudden gush of emotion of kilig whenever you see your crush, or hold the hands of your special someone? When, as a married couple for a long period of time, you both reminisce your early moments as sweethearts, di ba sobrang nakakatuwa yun?

Pero on the opposite side of the spectrum, meron din talagang mga bitter sa araw na ito. Sila yung mga hindi pinalad sa naging partner, nadisappoint sa kanilang loved one, at talagang iniwang heartbroken.

Iba-iba man ang ating naging karanasan when it comes to human love, there is a kind of love that far exceeds all the efforts, all the mushy feelings and sweet-nothings we receive from a person. And this love is incomparable and unimaginable, dahil ang totoo sa lahat ng klase ng pag-ibig, dito lang nabigyan ng hustisya ang salitang forever. Marahil alam mo na kung Kanino galing ang pag-ibig na yun.

God loves you. 🙂

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

Jeremiah 31:3

Train of Thanks 14-15

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

Wow, another two weeks passed and before all things pile up before me, I would like to catch up with my train of thanksgivings. If you are like me who is not good at remembering dates, occasions and names, keeping things at hand and jotting them down is very practical and helpful. Let me share my notes these past few days:

  1. February marks the start of the Foursquare Bible College Extension class openings! Since I now have time to spare for night classes, I grabbed all four subjects offered, three of which I currently take in Marikina extension and the other one I decided to take in Sauyo. Though attending the Sauyo class is more tiresome and challenging, I opted to do such so I can free myself from Saturday classes. No Saturday class means extra time for rest or recreation!
  2. I am thankful for my weekend biking sessions this past two weeks. Two Sundays ago we went to Antipolo to visit Bongbong (and eat Nanay Mely’s palabok and turon extraordinaire) and just yesterday we went to SM Center Angono, Rizal to, mind you, buy Gatorade (and take pictures, syempre). Haha!12697305_1195651783787990_2770984481242465982_o
  3. Last Friday I went to Marikina Sports Park alone to do a few rounds of jogging (and more of walking). That was my first time after long period of hiatus so I find myself still adjusting to it. Hopefully I will able to continue this routine, even at least once a week. Onto a physically fit figure!
  4. I was tasked to take over the preaching duty for Tumana Foursquare Gospel Church since their pastor is still in the hospital. It was a nice experience though, sharing the Word of God in a different environment. I talked about God’s Kind of Love.
  5. I really appreciate our Love Day topic on God’s Love shown in the lives of Hosea and Gomer. In spite of all our unfaithfulness and waywardness, it is comforting to realize that the Lord still welcomes us with open arms, longing for us to come back to His loving embrace. In comparison to God’s love, ours is but a mist, a dew in the morning, easily dissolved in the heat of the day. Yet God’s love is everlasting, it will never ever change.12698590_10207560863452135_4174585667346761112_o
  6. I challenged myself for a Love Month series where I will be posting FB notes on a daily basis about God’s love notes to us. I find that this is such a huge task to do, and I often see myself working late nights just to finish one post. In fact I failed to write for certain dates. But by faith, I will be able to finish this challenge by the end of the month. First day’s post is about “God Says You Are… Privileged”
  7. I am trying to be more of a morning person since lately I find myself rushing up every morning so I wouldn’t be late for work. Now that gravity has heavier pull in the morning (not a scientific truth anyway), I really need to work hard on this area. To my consolation, waking up early in the morning is a refreshing experience, but makes me very sleepy on my night classes.
  8. For the first time this year, I was able to return to my favorite spot in Touch of Glory Prayer Mountain! It is really nice to unload all your emotional baggage and future plans before the Lord and find times of refreshing from His word. I see myself as a kid who runs to his Father, crying without the need to explain anything, just enjoying the embrace of his beloved Father. It was such a nice moment indeed.12697343_10207554291687845_4072237667328547596_o
  9. I survived Mt. Pico de Loro! Details soon. Na naman.
  10. I thank the Lord for gift of friendship. I am glad to have friends whom I can share my frustrations and aspirations in life, and who challenges me to “just be me”. Priceless blessing from the heavens.

There you go, my thanksgivings for the past two weeks. How about you? What are you thankful for?

God’s Kind of Love

Tama si Princess: tuwing ganitong panahon, sagana tayo sa 3K: may Kilig, may Kabog, may Kirot…. It’s love month once again and I am about to share with you something about God’s kind of love.

The world defines love in these three emotions:

KILIG

– the superficial indication of a “desired” love. I say “desired” kasi ang kilig ay something desired, kasi ito ay desirable. Hindi ka kinikilig sa taong ayaw mo, lalo’t hindi sa kaaway mo. Ang kilig ay nararamdaman lang kapag ang taong gustong-gusto mo ay kinakausap ka, tinetext ka o kahit lumapit lang sa iyo. But we all know that love is more than just the kilig factor. Jesus was never kinilig when He was praying in agony in Gethsemane, much more hanging on the cross. But we all can say that that act is the perfect demonstration of love.

Their pick-up line: “Para kang araw, bininigyang liwanag mo ang umaga ko.”

KABOG

– the unexplainable feeling of being tense because of someone’s presence. Kinakabog ka kapag dumadaan ang kinakikiligan mo. Dinadaga ka kapag kinausap ka na ng crush mo. This is the kind of feeling na kapag tinamaan ka, all sanity seems to leave you. Nawawala ka sa sarili mong katinuan. Hindi makapag-isip ng tama. The world thinks it’s cute. But God’s kind of love doesn’t change like shifting shadows. Hindi pabago-bago at hindi dependent sa kapaligiran. Though He’s head-over-heels in love with us, He still knows that we need to be disciplined if we need to. Never Siyang kinabog ipakita ang Kanyang pagmamahal sa atin.

Their pick-up line” Kapag nandyan ka, kinakabahan ako. Para ka kasing araw, kapag lumitaw na, alam kong late na ako”

KIROT

– the sudden gush of emotion that makes you swear you will never fall in love again. Makirot sa pakiramdam kapag iniwan ka ng mahal mo. Ang gusto mo mamanhid ka na at wala ka nang maramdaman. Ayaw mo nang makinig sa payo ng iba. Ni ayaw mo nang kumain. Nagiging bitter in the end. But God’s kind of love, no matter the amount of heartaches and pain He receives from us, still keeps us as if we never offended Him. He never became bitter on us.

Their pick-up line: “Para kang araw, pasikat ka na, masakit ka pa sa mata.”

The world defines love in these three superficial definitions. But God did not just define love. He exemplified love. He demonstrated it. While we were still sinners, He died for us.

Minsan sa mga Bible readings ko, o kaya kapag nagninilay-nilay ako, whenever I encounter verses telling me how God loves me, I am over-awed. Sobrang nakakamangha. Imagine the God of the universe loving me and making me feel loved? Hindi po talaga kayang i-contain ng mga mumunting isipan natin kung gaano kalawak, kalalim, katayog ang pag-ibig ni Hesus. I remember times in my life na papasok ako sa office, tapos bigla na lang akong kikiligin, ngumingiting mag-isa sa jeep o kaya sa bus. Kasi di ko ma-contain yung sarili ko. Kapag nag-uumapaw ang presence ni Lord, nag-uumapaw din ang emotions. What happens inside is revealed on the outside.

Heto ang ilan sa mga love notes Niya na makakapagpakilig sa atin:

  • “I have loved you with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. Jeremiah 31:3
  • “People might let me down from time to time but God will always take me in.” Psalm 27:10
  • “Now I tell you to love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12
  • Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
  • God’s love pardons us for the mistakes that we made, is we are in Christ, we will not be condemned because through Him we are set free from sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

These verses and many more are enough to convince us na mahal na mahal Niya talaga tayo. Pero bakit kaya minsan, kapag may mga trials na dumadating, I tend to forget His kind of love? Kapag kinulang ako ng budget, nakakalimutan ko yung mga time na dinala Niya ako sa Nueva Vizcaya with only 20 pesos tapos pag-uwi ko 120 pesos na. Kapag di ako mapakali sa dami kong hinahabol na deadlines sa church, sa school, I tend to forget na it was Him who made ways for me to miraculously finish college. Kapag may kinatatakutan akong kausapin na tao kasi baka sigawan ako, mapagalitan, nakakalimutan ko na minsan sa buhay ko, mga abogado at matataas na opisyal ng eskwelahan ang nakaharap ko sa isang dialogue. Mga mumunting bagay pero parang nakakapagpabulag sa akin kung gaano ba naging katapat ang Diyos sa kanyang mga pangako sa akin.

One thing we have to learn: God is faithful.

The Greek word for faithfulness is pistis and it means “firm persuasion, conviction, belief in the truth, veracity, reality or faithfulness.” It carries the idea of giving someone credit. An English synonym is, oddly enough, reality. You focus your faithfulness on someone who seems “real” to you.

This faithfulness that we’re talking about is not the “saving faith” kung kaya’t tayo ay naligtas. This is the seventh quality of the Holy Spirit and it simply means “believing the believability of God”. Oo nga’t nanininiwala tayo sa ginawa ni Hesus sa krus: na namatay Siya, muling nabuhay at muling babalik. Pero sa mga “reyalidad” na nasa harap natin ngayon, do we still “believe” Him? Naniniwala ba tayo na he will provide kung kinukulang na? Naniniwala ba tayo na he will deliver us kung nandyan na yung aso at inaamoy-amoy na tayo? Naniniwala ba tayo na He will sustain us kung nagpa-follow-up na nga yung supplier, yung manager o yung customer?

Maybe the reason why we are sometimes finding it hard to believe His faithfulness is because we are basing our faith on the wrong thing. There are two bases for our faith:

Faith based on what God does.

This kind of faith is dependent on the obvious. To him, “if God is not obvious, then obviously He’s not God.” To him, to see is to believe. This kind of person shows faith kapag may gumagaling na karamdaman o mga panalanging sinasagot. Pero paano kapag parang inactive si Lord? Ayun, nawawala din ang pananampalataya. Sabi sa Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Faith based on who God is.

This kind of faith is dependent on the character of God. He knows that “Jesus is the same yesterday, and today, and forever”. His faith is not greatly moved because he focuses on a God not greatly moved! In the midst of a society where the only thing we can count on is we can’t count onto anything, God is his guarantee. He knows that God answers prayers in different ways: healing for one and not for the other. Victory for one and not for the other. But still, his faith is on God.

One reason we know God is believable is because of his incomparable record of fulfilled prophecy. Out of literally hundreds of prophecies which have arrived at their time, every single one has been fulfilled exactly as God said, down to the minutest detail. In fact the closest length of time between the major prophecies and their fulfillment was 200 years. More glorious still is the fact that at least 61 were foretold and perfectly fulfilled during the earthly life of His Son Jesus!

Now consider this. From the journal Science Speaks, Peter Stoner offered the following calculated figures: if you take 8 prophecies out the 61, the probability of all 8 being fulfilled is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. He illustrates it this way: take 100,000,000,000,000,000 silver dollars and lay them in face of Texas.  They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir up the coins. Blindfold a man and send him out to pick up the marked silver dollar. The chance he will pick u the right one is 1 in 10 to the 17th power.

If we add 40 more fulfilled prophecies to the 8, the chance would be 1 in 10 to the 157th power. Just imagine 157 zeroes! Yet all 61 were fulfilled just as God said it would be! Indeed God is believable! And He is coming back for us!

When He said I will provide, will you still doubt Him?

When God said He longs for you, do you still resist Him?

Now when God said He loves you, do you ignore Him?

And when He said I will come back for you, will you wait for Him?

This is God’s kind of love, a believable kind of love. Not the kind of love centered on superficial kilig, unexplainable kabog, and sudden kirot.

***

Note: Some points written here were taken from the book Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Holy Spirit by Beth Moore.