under the magnifying glass

watch me as i journey to another time and place...

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I'm saved by grace. I have nothing to boast except for the fact that I have the greatest Being on my side.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

the year ends with an ellipse...

This is going to be my last entry not only for December, but for the year 2006 as well. Wow! So in just a span of less than eleven months, I have composed twenty-four blog entries. Except for the month of May, I have managed to write an entry for each month. Whoopdedoo!

I'd prefer writing my last entry on New Year's Eve, but unfortunately that's not going to be the case. New Year's Eve and New Year's Day itself will be spent in fixing up the new house that we bought. Talk about a stressful way to start the new year. But hey! It's the perfect symbol to represent my family's start at a new God-blessed life. We start the new year living in a new house. I'll not be going online for the first few days of 2007 because we're going to move our internet cable connection from our old place to the new one.

This year moved incredibly fast. Too fast, I think. So much has happened in just a span of twelve months. 2006 became a real turning point in my life, especially since I look back at it as the year when I graduated from college. There are also memories that I just love to play back in my head, memories that I'd rather not remember, and memories that...well, just make me think. (Again with the thinking! Aargh! Thanks a lot, Gardner!)

Let's evaluate the year 2006, shall we?

This year, I've grown up. And not just because I left my teenage years already. I've grown up in other aspects of my life. Sure, I can still be childish and immature at times, but only to a certain degree. I'm constantly bothered by things that have never bothered me before, I can't wait to get a job, I'm faced with making major decisions almost every time, and I always feel myself yearning for a closer and more intimate relationship with my Creator. Now, I'm definitely looking forward to 2007, especially the month of January for a lot of reasons.

Any good things that came up this year? Definitely. I've met more people, made more friends, got involved in Sunday School ministry among others. And I discovered the beauty of UNLIMITEXT.

Any regrets for 2006? Absolutely! I'm no stranger to the statement, "It would've been better if..." And believe, there are a lot of them. I always feel that there could've been things I could have done right...and if they were already right to begin with, I feel that I could've done them better. Do I want to change things that have happened this year? I'll be honest. Yes. But then again, I just look at the events of 2006 as things that continue to shape me to be the person God is raising me to be. And I'm hoping that's the case also for other people out there.


I wonder...
Oh, I dunno...
Maybe it's just a thought...
Unless God has impressed it upon my heart...
I'll give it three months and then I'll make the decision...


I got this from a Berenstain Bears book.

"What about questions? Did God create questions?" - Sister Bear
"Yes Sister. Mostly questions." - Papa Bear

Pretty insightful, don't you think? I believe God creates answers too though...


2006 ends, not with a period, but with an ellipse. Every year does I think. Good bye 2006!


Monday, December 11, 2006

thoughts during a rain...

It's raining. It has been for the past two nights. But hey. At least the weather's gotten a lot cooler these past few days. I had been dreading a warm Christmas time, but I guess mother nature had other plans. And once again, the rain comes crashing down heavily...the same time as La Salle's finals week. Again. Not that it bothers me though. I just sort of pity all those other people who have to trudg through bad weather while I'm at home relaxed in a comfortable bed with my favorite book in my hands. At least, that'll be the case until January 2007.

I don't know why I'm blogging at this time. I guess I really just don't have anything else much to do. Haven't actually had a lot of things to do for the past three weeks, with the exception of The Question, a couple of singing opportunities here and there, and a few trips to the mall either with friends or by myself. What I've done most of the time is to eat, sleep, and use the computer. And of course, think. Reflect. If you want it in Tagalog, nagmuni-muni ako. Yes Ading, you're right. I think too much sometimes. But then, we always said that I'm dominantly intrapersonal while you're interpersonal, right?

*Okay, the rain's just gotten a bit stronger.

The past few months has left the Philippines staring at the face of typhoons left and right, leaving several families homeless or without loved ones. Tragic. You can't help but feel sorry for your countrymen who just seem to be struggling with one storm after another, asking themselves, "When will the storms end? When can we start rebuilding our lives again?" Hmmm. Again. Makes me think about life storms. Always about life storms. I wonder though what is more difficult. The storm itself or the pursuit to repair and restore the damage brought about by that storm. It's food for thought, isn't it? When Milenyo struck the Philippines a couple of months back, it only stayed for a brief moment. But the damage it left was so severe it took days before things were restored in Metro Manila. For other regions, electricity and the like were restored weeks later. Not to mention that rescue parties had to be deployed, bodies had to be found and buried, trees and debris had to be moved...oh, I dunno. You be the judge. I'm not really in the mood to think. I'm giving my brain a rest from any higher order skills found in Bloom's taxonomy.

*Well, well...the rain's finally calmed down. I think. Hmmm. But it could just be pulling my leg. It could be powering up just like that bunnyboo character that Dino and I know so well, complete with its fist-shaking motion. (What on earth am I saying?)

What else? Oh yeah. Saturday. Arneil and I went out to Southmall to do some network gaming, something that we haven't done for a long time already. I tried out DOTA for the first time with him coaching me from the other computer. Of course, I didn't really put my whole heart into it. I was only trying it out, and besides, I was more in the mood to play Generals, which we did play right after. I haven't beaten Arneil yet (I wonder if I ever will), but I did improve a lot in the way I play the game. Even Arneil admitted being threatened. He may have been sarcastic, though. My army always looks so puny compared to his. I can't figure out why. Maybe his tanks reproduce asexually? Who knows...
Wait, I'm not done yet with Saturday. After my three-hour escapade with Arneil, I went to church for the youth Christmas party since I hadn't gone to youth for two Saturdays and also because I did promise Micah I would show up. Which is probably just as well, 'cause aside from winning around 30 bucks from the "Merry Christmas" word formation game, I also wound up getting invited to Iya's birthday celebration. Many thanks again for inviting me, Iya! May God continue to bless you in every part of your life-- school, family, ministry, and of course, your relationship. ^_^

*Hmm...I guess the rain did give itself a rest...

Mau won the title of Philippine Idol, which is just fine with me since she's probably one of the best singers I've ever seen and also one who possesses a singing ability that could be pitted against international singers out there. Don't underestimate what the Filipinos can do. Ask the pastor himself who talked during the Hillsong United concert. He said, and I quote, "Filipinos are the most talented people I've ever met. They can do anything!" Well, isn't that a pat on the back for us, right? We've got a gold mine of talents in this country, waiting to be discovered.

*Okay, I spoke too soon. I can hear the rain coming back.

I think it's about time I really thought about what I want to do...or rather, what God wants me to do. I'm not just talking about my career path. It goes deeper than that. I've lately been thinking about where God is leading me, because it's hard for me to figure out whether He's put a wall between me and some things or whether I've built the wall myself and He's prodding me to climb that wall and get back on track. (Okay, mukhang bumalik nanaman ako sa pagmumuni-muni.) I suppose that's why reading about King Amaziah in 2 Chronicles and also reading Jim Cymbala's explanation about listening to God really struck something in the recesses of my brain. Am I still sensitive to what God is telling me? I really just don't know.

*Okay. So just like that...the sound of downpour has disappeared yet again.

Right. In case this is to be my last blog entry for December, let me just already go ahead and say Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

the grace awakening...

I just came from "The Question" seminar conducted in CFAC this weekend and...man! Did it change my life! I knew I would come out of it feeling released from the many things that have been burdens in my life for so long, but the overwhelming presence that God showered during the two days still caught me by surprise. Indeed, if there's one thing that was emphasized throughout the whole experience, it was that God's grace is definitely sufficient even for those who feel that they've thrown their life away for the pleasures of the world.

Because of the agreement of secrecy that I took, I will not share in detail what my group went through. Actually, I don't even wish to, especially since many sensitive issues were taken up and we found ourselves really humbling ourselves before God and asking Him to really take control of every single aspect of our lives. Let me just point though out that God blessed me through the members of my small group. Though I met several of them only on the first day of the seminar, somehow the unity that was brought by the grace of God and our love for Jesus Christ just took over each one of us and a strong bond of trust seemed to exist within our group. Even if I know that the selection of the group members was really done at random, I can confidently say that God handpicked these people who not only became my friends but also my prayer partners. And even more so, they are people who will join me in fulfilling the destiny God has planned for each of us.

To Ptr. Alberto, Tito Dan, Paolo, Kit, JR, Allan, and my cousin Nico: Thank you so much for your prayers and your encouragement. Your words carried so much power from our God on High that I can only stand amazed at the goodness that He continues to show in my life. Thank you so much! Keep in touch guys! And let's live the life that God has called us to live. My dear brothers in Christ, let's fulfill our destiny.

JUCO (from Hugo)- "clear-minded; wise" [Isaiah54:14]
ANTONIO- "priceless" [James 3:17]