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Archive for September, 2007

every wednesday …

September 26, 2007 2 comments

since this change in my life, i have been reading a lot of different books lately to further understand how things are now for me. i think every Christian has this responsibility to themselves to find avenues of growth and i am trying my best to search for that. one thing i (well me and Francis) do now is that we are host/facilitators of a Purpose Driven Life (PDL) lecture-discussion every Wednesday night here at our 9th floor apartment. but unlike other PDL groups of our church where most of the attendees are Filipinos – we hold PDL discussions for foreign students. oh yes … foreign students. which also translates to – thinking students from different faiths. we have Hindus, Muslims, Buddhist and of course Asian-catholics; and discussions are sometimes more complicated than we could handle. so reading helps. well not really a mere help, but a necessity.

though most of the time they really are just silent. sometimes they talk about their lives, often they comment about what was discussed in a book’s chapter. there haven’t been an incidence where we had to be in debate to defend our faith though i can’t really say if they accept the christian theology 100%. but for some reason, they show up at our doorstep every Wednesday night, 6.30 pm with smiles in their faces. as our pastor always said, we are not here to convert people but to be ambassadors of our faith – it is God who does the converting in His way and in His time. so why they always show up, is really beyond me. i am just thankful that they do and we have a chance to minister to them just as others had done so for us.

like today, is a Wednesday. i’ve already shopped for the dinner that i have to prepare which is always vegetarian to be on the safe side. (i now wonder, do they come because of the free food? really it’s not much; a vegi-pasta recipe (or tofu or vegi-noodle dish), bread and water is all we serve. they eat for 20 minutes and they sit down and discuss for 2 hours? is that worth the time for someone who just comes in for the food? ). will start cooking by 4pm but will need to prepare for the lecture before 2pm. read the chapter, read prescribed scripture reading, search the internet for related topics, think of means to make discussions more interesting for them to emphatize with, read on books that could be used to further discuss topic – and most important of all – pray to God for guidance that our words later will be His words manifesting to His children that He loves. and before i know it, our doorbell will start buzzing.

the day always ends with me and francis evaluating each members of the group. thinking about what this person said, whet he or she meant by it, how we could explain things better next time, how we could efficiently eat up our allotted 2 hours – there is really so much to do. i am a believer of the power of prayers but i also believe that God gave us abilities that He wants us to use at its best and thinking is one of them.

every wednesday is special. every wednesday is unique. if only all days could be wednesdays. maybe that would be a really good way to live.

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where have i been?

September 26, 2007 Leave a comment

3 people, which is probably more than half of the population who reads this blog (=P) have asked me already, “why haven’t you been blogging?”  the usual answer to such a question would be .. “I’ve been really busy lately”, which, wouldn’t make sense since they all know i’m living a bum’s life here in Richmond. or i could say, “the pregnancy getting to me..” which sounded valid during the first trimester but now that i am on my 6th month and am already up and jumping on my feet while eating my heart out through this gigantic bowl of sweetened pasta bolognese by my side – such a statement would be a cop-out.

 so what happened? why did this single activity which saved me in the past from utter boredom and insanity was suddenly dropped off my everyday “oh so hectic!” to-do list?

first reason:i’m really not that lonely anymore.  well i’m still companionless in our 9th floor apartment most days, but i guess i have started loving having “me” as a company. schizo na ako!! aba pwede, these days when bipolar syndrome is discussed 2x a week in Oprah, it may be a popular trend. but honestly, the loneliness has transformed into solitude. how? i’ll explain later 🙂

second reason: i really have been busy. about 6 months ago while walking home from Francis’ medical appointment i suddenly heard and saw two strangers conversing loudly in Filipino. last time this happened to me, i was at the Manila airport boarding my plane more than a year ago. i had to stop and stare, as if i was witnessing a once in a lifetime (or make that, a year) scenario in the streets of downtown Richmond. they of course noticed (sa laki ba naman ng mga mata kong ito…) and they said “hi”, which was the beginning of an existence that me and Francis only hoped for back then. we were now part of a community, of people who are really (without a doubt) the nicest group of Filipinos i’ve met in and out of the Philippines (hindi exag, they really are different…). we now have friends … not friends like those i’ve had since i was a kid or my memorable bunch back in smc … but friends to go to places to, to share stories with in “real time” (vs the delayed response in internet time..), people you could depend on even if you don’t know them that well. it was simply, magical really. suddenly, the boring weekends spent inside our room watching tv all day or walking through monument avenue was replaced by BBQ’s, dinners, lunch and breakfast meetings, picnics and all sorts of activity which i never thought i will (or we will..) be a part of someday. boring days when i wished i could just find something to do was replaced with planned activities which was simply enriching. dull moments became non-existent, which resulted to the obvious question – what will i write about if not to lament and complain which was then one of the major purpose of this blog in my life?

 third reason: which is probably the ONLY reason and i just broken it down to three because i’m stalling. yes i’m stalling. why you say? because i’m still finding a way to write it down in a manner that YOU would understand. a manner that would be most effective to communicate my main point. but as i gulp down the last few drops of my orange juice as another way to stall, i’ve realized that only way to really do it is just to say (or write) it out as bluntly as possible. but then again, i have to explain where it came from. it won’t be fair to just slap someone with anything really. it just isn’t me.

so to explain, or clarify, or probably confuse YOU more – i’m attaching a post i’ve written months ago when i was trying to explain everything to myself also. it may not be as well explained as i want it to be but it’s the best i could do for now … so if you’re really into reading long blog post now, feel free to read on 🙂

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

my history

it was never a one shot deal for me. a big rock didn’t fall from the sky, knocked me off my feet and i was a changed man. it was more like drizzle of events that consistently soaked my being until i was too drenched i could not deny it rained.in my circle of friends it’s cliche to say you were once an atheist. well i never was. but for the most part of my life i was an agnostic. it started too early for me. it was the day i borrowed a book about greek myths when i was in 5th grade. as a student who loved history and was born into a religious catholic mother, i was astounded by the fact that greeks back then made up these stories about their gods to explain the natural phenomena around them which they couldn’t explain. and in that young, seeking and imaginative mind i connected the dots between Philippine’s Spanish-catholic history, the roman catholic church and why men think the way they do. i was confused. and rather than answering an inquisitive child my mom dismissed my inquiries as sinful and an example of lacking faith. but despite all these i never questioned the existence of a divine being. for some reason i have accepted it as real, as something i know and feel is real, as real as the keystrokes i’m typing and the words i’m reading. why i don’t know. it was just always the case for me.eventually i realized that a relationship with God is not dependent on what religious group you’re into. so in my 20’s i stopped attending church (i couldn’t before, my mom was a persistent woman) and got contented with praying, and started calling God, “my God”, since i am the only one who knew the parameters as to how he existed. but if one of my “philosophized” friends will start a debate on religion and the question about the divine, i could never relate my case. it wasn’t firm enough, not stable enough to fight the fight. it was faith out of convenience. and for awhile i was contented with that, because i didn’t know any other way.

eventually the relationship grew. and “my God” was a constant being in my life. but whenever i ask questions necessary to affirm my belief, i stumble or end up with a brick wall in my face. i wanted my mind to understand what my heart was feeling. and i couldn’t accept the fact that they couldn’t see eye to eye. again like that inquisitive child, the answers i’m giving myself was just not enough for me. i knew there was something more to it. and i yearned to find it.

and God, just like the majestic being that He is worked in my life.

inside my head i was kicking and screaming as i was led into the Christian way of life. i was dodging every teaching i was hearing and trying to hold on the way i’ve always seen things. but something inside me held on, even if my mind was rejecting what was being said and related to me, that yearning was throbbing inside, not willing to let my own sense of reasoning win the fight. then suddenly, like being given a new set of eyes i began to see things differently. i started to realized how God through the words and works of Jesus Christ touched my life. and once that door was opened i try everyday to let it stay open, as i learn and love God more by reading and comprehending the Word.

with all new Christians, there is always a scripture reading which facilitated the new beginning. it’s not really a requirement, but for some reason there always is. for me, these are three verses, all delivered by the beloved Paul:

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:2

the logic as to how i have found Christ may not be as reasonable to some. if only i could use words as well as C.S. Lewis does. but for me, this is how it started.
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😉

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