Monday, September 19, 2011

New Blog!

Hi Everyone!! As much as I like this website, I am going to use a different blog website. If you want to follow me or see it , please comment and I will give you the link via email. Thanks!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mental Diet: Getting rid of the Junk and Thinking Healthy Thoughts

Philippians 4:8

New International Version (NIV)
 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Just for today, no matter where I am going, or what I am doing, or who I am doing it with, it is my intention to focus on the positive. Lucy MacDonald

Don't be so hard on yourself. Don't ever give up trying to live out your faith because of your weakness. I give you grace when you've gone the wrong way. I am here waiting to make all your wrongs right and to heal all your hurts. I love you no matter what you've done or said. Now walk in freedom from the past and open my gift of a new start
A healthy mind produces joy like a healthy body produces energy - Tom Newberry

Good Morning! On September 6, 2011. I have started something new- a personal mission to discipline my thoughts and my thinking. It all starts with my mind. God created us with a mind where He gives us the free will to interpret what we see. It's not about how the environment can have negative influence on us, it's about how we perceive our environment. It's about what we choose to think. God gave us control over our thoughts.

"I know in life there will be setbacks, sickness, disappointments, heartaches--it's a given. What is not a given is the way you choose to get through it all."(Facebook, via V.P)

Think about it, wherever you go, negative news and information follows you. Negative doesn't give us any satisfaction or happiness. So why do we accept it and allow it become our culture? Why is it so easy for us to be comfortable with negativity?
Let's go back to why God created us. He created us for His glory. Sometimes we get so busy with our lives and we let it overwhelm us that we forget the real reason why were are here and why we are designed to be who we are on Earth. God created good and evil to get the true love and true glory from his creations. If God created everyone in  Heaven where everything was perfect, how would He know that we truly love Him? And that it's not a robotlike command? On Earth we are tempted to do evil things and we are being affected by evil things, it's human nature. It's also human nature to look for pleasure. We like to do things that make us happy as a human being on Earth but not as God's Child. That's where we need to change our thinking first.

If you thought of yourself as a child of Adolf Hitler, who will you see yourself as? You will think that evil DNA is wired inside of you and you are led to think that you're the child of evil. But, really it's not how God had us in mind. There is no evil in it. We should not allow ourselves to think that the environment makes us who we are. It's up to us on how we respond to life. Humans reproduce through God's grace and power. It's a miracle that a woman can create a human being with a soul. It's amazing. We are all are God's children and that's who we are. Once we understand and accept this ---we will think like that and own it. 

My Heavenly Father is full of grace, love and passion and He wants us to find joy in all things. We are blessed if we suffer, because we will find joy through our sufferings. Sometimes God intervenes and stops evil things but if He keeps doing that, then the creation of Earth would have lost it's purpose. So that's why evil is still present to show that we can find glory in all things. 

 As soon I realized that I am a child of God and not just the daughter of my mom and dad, my mentality changed. I realized that it was all mental. All of sudden, I felt that through Christ, all things were possible, even the little things that I take for granted.

I wanted to change my daily routine so I can become a stronger person and be the person that God desires for me to be. In the mornings, I don't allow myself become intimidated by what the day will bring me. Often, I would feel nervous about not being strong enough to handle any surprises or challenges that will come my way. Finally, I wake up with a wonderful feeling that no matter what happens today, God will be there and I will enjoy every beautiful moment He gives me.
So ever since September 6th, I would wake up up at 5:30 am and get to work early. And for those who know me, you know that is very RARE for me to show up early at work. I'm always late and always feel guilty about it. Once that has changed, I no longer felt guilty and then I realized I had even more energy than before!! I had no idea that beating myself up all day from not arriving to work on time and not doing the things I wanted to do drained me! I was left with so much energy that I have decided to go back to the gym and be in physical shape. How fun is this? Using my energy to create more energy by being physically strong and healthy for my soul to grow. 

I paid very very close attention to my thoughts. I remember saying this to myself, I don't need to work out, I'm not overweight and my blood results tells me that my fat/cholesterol is below the normal range. I have learned to be very blessed about my health and then I changed my thinking to- appreciate my body and treat it well. I do not want to take it for granted and eventually have my health deteriorate over time because I didn't *think* I needed to take care of it. Also, I find myself doing more things because I have more energy from my body. It's a wonderful feeling. Small things like this can make me feel good. Small things can build up to bigger and better things later on :)

It all starts in your mind. Think about what you can do and then your body will follow your mind. Why allow your body dwell the things that you can't do? It won't know what we can do. We have to train our mind to think the best of us just like God thinks of us.Think of all the things that are working well in your life, do good deeds for others, do more, that you will be overwhelmed with the good things that you won't even notice the negativity anymore.

2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

Imagine this, you give yourself 100% to your family, friends and coworkers and if you get 80%, that's a lot and you won't even notice the 20% missing. If we show respect, we will get respect in return. If we show love, we will get love in return. For those who doesn't return it, will reap what they harvest.

We surround ourselves to be in an positive and engaging environment that will help our soul to grow. We have to remember that God does not have a human body, He does not have anything that restrict His love and glory in this World. But for us, as humans, it's hard to be free with mind and spirit in our body. We need to focus on the positive message that the Holy Spirit sends us and get rid of the junk that our human thoughts produce. Positive thoughts are food for our soul. We also have to focus on the positive spirit of others. And learn to love them, they are God's children too. We have the same Father & Creator as our family, friends, neighbors, people on the street, etc. We are all brothers and sisters on Earth.

Unfortunately, not many of us have grown up to learn this way. The World have taught us to be selfish and greedy. So if we are faced with someone who are negative, we need to forgive, love and teach by acting positive towards them-and hope for the best.  Positive attitude is what draws me closer to people and negative attitude is what turns me away. You do not want their thinking to change the way you think of yourself.

Turn from evil; seek peace and pursue it Psalms 34:14.

Imagine if everyone here thought this way, the world would be a better place? I also like this blog from Jon  Bloom (Pleasure is the Measure of YourTreasure) . Let's think about how special it feels to be God's child and the treasure He has us waiting for in Heaven.

Don't be fooled by what I have, my Treasure is in Heaven.   :)

P.S. Tommy Newberry books are highly recommended.

You don't think excellent thoughts and then uncontrollably speak with gloom, doom, and disapproval. And you also don't think mediocre thoughts and then impulsively lift up others with positive, encouraging words. Remind yourself that the words you speak indicate the aggregate character of your thought life at the particular moment. Your words matter.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Discipline = Self-Commitment

Anybody can be a mother, father, daughter, son, wife, husband, friend, employee, etc. but it takes a commitment to be a Christian wife, daughter, friend, employee, etc. It requires discipline. I have noticed that if we are not careful and if we don't establish positive routines, it can affect us in the long run. We don't realize it until its too late to go back and change.

I feel that because of my job, I am becoming more lazy and I'm losing energy even on the days when I'm  busy. I feel like a different person from when I started. When I started, I was confident and was motivated to learn new things. I wish I learned in college on how to be motivated when others are not. It's hard because I am in my office more than I am at home with my family and friends. It has already affected me at home. It's up to me to decide if I want to change that. Although, I have to say this, I am extremely grateful for my friends at work. If it wasn't for them, I would have to change jobs and that's hard to do in this economy. Sometimes it's a good idea to change jobs especially if you're in a very hostile environment and that can affect your mental and physical health from stress. I don't have that type of stress but I am not in an engaging environment where I feel like I can grow. So this is something I need to work on my part to change that feeling.

It's the same thing as being a Christian, we live in a world and in an environment where everyone has different beliefs and ideas on how to live on Earth. The hardest thing is to be yourself in this world. So I feel like I need to carefully pay attention to my environment before it slowly eats me away. Last weekend, a pastor at McLean Bible Church talked about the Potter and the Clay, since I was home, I watched it online with captions so I was able to save his quotes...

"We live in a culture of do it yourself religion. No longer do we live in a world 
where people adhere to a system of belief that they see as external to 
them. That they embrace. No, no, no. We live in a world of designer 
religion. Where people mix and match various systems of thought and 
beliefs, never mind the glaring incongruities that are involved in this 
process. And they develop a system of belief that entirely reflects 

Truth becomes what I make it. What I believe is that which doesn't 
inconvenience me or require anything of me. And now God is made in my 
image rather than the reverse. 

Have you ever heard anybody say: Well, you know, I believe in God, I 
just don't believe in organized religion? 
Translation: Living in a world that has trained me to be the center 
of my own life, I cannot tolerate a belief system that includes 
anything that requires something of me or inconveniences me. 
How about this one? 
I just can't believe that a loving God would -- fill in the blank.

Even Jesus said I did not come to do my will:but the will of him who 
sent me. How much more should those who claim Christ recognize that 
it's about him and his grace and His mercy

God is the potter. We are the clay. And we live in an environment 
that doesn't help us to believe and embrace that." Jim Supp

It's true, we don't live in an environment that embraces God's will for us. Who are we really? Do we only think of ourselves as a daughter or a wife or a friend? Do we see ourselves as God's child? A Christian? It should matter how we perceive ourselves. Once we have establish our identity as a Christian, then we should learn how to live in an environment that allows to be ourselves no matter what circumstances we are in. It takes commitment and discipline - God wants us to be " faithful for 30 years and conquer every attack of discouragement with God’s word." - John Piper 

I know he said "30" years but what he really meant was that you should be faithful to the Lord as soon you accept Jesus Christ in your life and conquer every attack of discouragement with God's word.  Easier said than Done!! That's why God doesn't allow us to see the future, he only wants us to focus on today and take one day at a time with our commitment. Basically, if I feel that my job is changing who I am, then I need to make sure nobody is changing me who I am as a Christian either.

I have been looking at my past blogs to see what I have been writing over the time. I have to admit, I am surprised at the stuff that I wrote. It feels like the holy spirit was with me helping me get my message across. Or, maybe help get God's message's across?

I felt that I was learning from my blogs again even though I wrote it! I think it's a good habit to read the blogs that we have wrote before we write a new one. Most of them was are about God and his love for us. How God has sent his son to save us and show forgiveness to others.  How we love God for who He is. There's a lot of stuff that I wrote and I have learned that because as humans we are not perfect, we are constantly renewing ourselves. It will continue to the day we die. I do feel like I have a lot to learn before I can have children and pass on life lessons to them. And children will also pass on life lessons to us and continue to transform us. 
So I have been reading Tom Newberry's blogs/articles 

And I am going to prepare myself to start doing daily EMSR

This will help me focus one day at a time. I also liked his suggestion of waking up early to be with God and learn about him and review what I have already learned before starting my day. That helps too.  First, I need to pray and mentally prepare myself to get up early and break that bad habit of mine!!! :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

God's Glory

What Does It Mean to Serve God? by John Piper

The difference is that God has told us not to serve him as though he needed anything..
“He is not served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25).
“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

God is seen as glorious when all our serving is moment-by-moment receiving from God’s supply.
We receive this supply by faith. That is, we trust moment-by-moment that what we need, in serving him, he will supply (“life, breath, and everything”). This is the opposite of being anxious. Such serving is happy. And it makes God look no less authoritative, but infinitely more desirable. This is the glory he means to have. The giver gets the glory.

I enjoyed this post about Serving God and his Glory. Life is a beautiful gift and He enjoys giving it to us if we trust His gift and we can thank him by living it. I can enjoy every moment in His presence, because He has always has taken care of us -whether we asked for it or not. He shows us the purpose and if we pay attention, we will know what it is. I can understand this because, think about it, this is why people enjoy volunteering and doing charity work. It makes us feel good knowing that we can help others when they can't help themselves. When we see that they are successful because we helped them get started, it makes us proud but at the same time we don't want to ask for credit for it. The only way they can thank us is to use our gift and do the same for others. Why do you think there are so many poor people in this world, they are here for a reason, we can help them for God's glory.

I also read this blog about this woman's conversation with God. She talks about how God was trying to ask her this question - "Why do you love Me?" and she responded " I love you because of all the things you've done for us and thank you for all the gifts you have given us." She could feel God ask her again "But why do you love ME?" Do you love God for God's sake and for who He is?      or for what He has done for us?

That was a great question. I thought about it myself. I love God because not only because of all the things He has done for me. I love for what He represents. There's no better feelings than feeling love, trust, pure happiness, confidence, satisfied, generous, forgiving, etc. I want to live in a world like that. That's why this Bible verse is my favorite "Turn from evil, do good. Seek peace and pursue it" (34:14). Peace is where I want to be and follow, because that's where God's glory is.

Isn't she beautiful? Peaceful? I just love her picture.  She's a good friend of mine and she has the most beautiful and radiant soul. There are a few out there that are like that. I'm very blessed to know them. My husband is definitely one of them, he has God's forgiving quality. My mom has the unconditional love. We are His children and I love seeing God's qualities in everyone I meet and it touches me.

As you can see, she's about 8 or 9 months pregnant in the photo. She has an adorable baby and she's a wonderful mother to him. I have another friend who is also a wonderful mother to her daughter, she works so hard and expects nothing in return. I read a blog about motherhood and how it's not a "job" it's a calling.

It's very interesting and very true. I do believe that it's the children that teach us what life is about. Children teaches us sacrifices, just like Jesus sacrificed His life for us. We would do the same for our children. Children teaches us unconditional love just like God has unconditional love for us.  Having children gives us an "idea" of what kind of love that God has for us. So if we love our children this much, can you imagine how much He loves US?

Check out this cute story...

“Ossie and I have made arrangements (for after our death). Cremation after a public ceremony, and then, into the urn. A special urn, large enough and comfortable enough to hold both our ashes. Whoever goes first will wait inside for the other. When we are reunited at last, we want the family to say good-bye and seal the urn forever. Then on the side, in letters not too bold—but not too modest either—we want the following inscription:

Psychiatrist Thomas Hora defines this profound truth for us: “The love of being loving is the desire to manifest or reflect the goodness of God unconditionally and non-personally.” We are not here to ruin ourselves but to love the way God loves (John 13:34), without desire for reward or regard for person. We are all images and likenesses of Love, and are in this thing called love as one, like ashes in an urn.
Excitement is such fun, and such misery. Learning to love is so hard. The love of being loving—being God-like—brings peace and assurance. Why is it that we look for excitement first?  (Michael Leach)

Enjoy today. Think about all the beautiful things you have and...... stay in that moment.

Monday, July 4, 2011

You learn things over time...

Today, I was driving back home from Upstate --visiting my family. During the time I was driving, I realized how time is very important and how we manage our time on Earth.

First, I want to start with this--Gil and I saw two cars in Myrtle Beach each car had a Bible verse. One car had "Psalm 3" and the other car had "Act 1". I told myself to look it up when I get home but didn't get around to it so on the way home today, I wanted to look it up and I loved what I found. 

I knew it wasn't a coincidence that I saw these Bible verses because that was God's way of communicating with me. He has taught me a lesson today and it took me a while to get it. I have been resenting a couple of people that I know and I have already forgave them but I still felt there was something missing. Then I realized that I was supposed to forgive myself too. Sometimes when I get mad or get annoyed with something, I have a habit of letting that person get the best of me and then I regret for letting that happen. Because over time, I would get over it. There's no reason to complain about it when it's going to go away later. So I know I can't take back the words that have already been said but I can forgive myself and move on. 

It's actually easier to forgive others than ourselves. We try very hard not to fall into our weakness and when we do, it makes me feel defeated. Then God reminded me that we are never defeated with Jesus Christ in our hearts. That's when I became so happy and free---I forgave myself. What a difference it makes!!! I stopped wasting time and start making plans. Then God also reminded me that I am going to be tempted again and how important it is to keep making time for God to keep us from sinning again.

So Psalms 3 talks about David's son Absalom, led a rebellion against David, forcing the king to flee from Jerusalem. 

I liked what the last verse said (Psalm 3:8) 

Salvation belongs to the Lord: your blessing be on your people! 

It is the Lord's decision and not of the enemies to make us feel ashamed or punish us for what we did. We should only care about what the Lord thinks of us. We should be wishing well even for the people who opposes us and bless them anyway. 

I take mistakes very personally because I want to honor Jesus for saving our souls. God sent his Jesus so we could be with Him. It's a precious and loving gift from God and the last thing I want to do is to let Him down. So when I make a mistake sometimes I feel like I am not worthy of anybody's forgiveness, including myself. But, then I have to remember that God made us who He designed us to be and gave His son to save us. For that, I will be forever grateful for Him.

Over the weekend, we were all talking about our families and how hard it is to get along with them and even with our friends too. We love and care about them but it's hard to keep peace if someone is so negative and bitter. One of my dad's cousins said this - "Who knows, there may not be a tomorrow, why waste the whole day feeling miserable with regrets"  and after she said that, a lightbulb went off in my head. I have heard this before but this time it had more meaning to me. It is important to use our time to connect with God and mediate with Him so we won't have regrets and just enjoy the day and life. God will guide us and tell us what we need to do in our life to remain in peace and harmony. He doesn't always answer questions right away, it is important to give Him time. I remember Lon Solomon talked about God's timing and that it's always perfect and that we should trust him guide us in the right direction- when he wants us to.

It was one of the best weekends ever, I was surrounded by family who maintained a positive environment and everyone was so honest with each other. It was so wonderful and refreshing. 

I also learned that cousin - is my Grandma's Goddaughter. And she has the same name as my Grandma too - Philomena. I have never met my Grandma Philomena since she died before I was born and I have always wanted to get to know more about her. I learned new things about her this weekend and it meant the world to me. I guess over time , I would get to know my Grandma in many different ways. 

In Act 1:7 it says...

He said to them: 'It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Time will teach us a lesson, time will force us to depend on God for the uncertainties and live our life to the fullest. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

One Nation Under God

America is so diverse. It represents God's children. He made all of us different and unique, if you remember what I wrote in my other blog ...

"That's why government and major corporations value diversity because all of us together can meet so many different needs in this world. A world with diverse people is a complete picture for God.  That shows you that God meets all of our needs. Also, it teaches us to step outside of the box and come up with new ideas for our products/services. Along the way, we figure things out a lot faster if we know there might be another shortcut if we use different way of thinking.This helps us to show and learn respect for each other. That creates Harmony in this world."

 Living in a diverse country shows us how to love and respect unconditionally because you have no choice but to do that. You basically have to surrender to God and love everyone as they are because he designed them to be this way just like he designed us to be this way. Acceptance is very important as a Christian. We may not understand individuals or their culture but we can choose to accept them or not.

I am so grateful that we live in a country where we can attend to any Churches we want and most of all, we can praise God in however we want and not be punished for it. People don't realize how important it is to have Churches in our country...

"When the church was rebuilt, a famous sculptor offered to make new hands; but, after considering the matter, the members decided to let it stand as it was—without hands. “For,” they said, “Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work on earth. If we don’t feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, entertain the stranger, visit the imprisoned, and clothe the naked, who will?” Christ is depending on us to do the very things which He did while upon earth. My friend, if the gospel we preach does not have a social application, if it will not work effectively in the work-a-day world, then it is not the Gospel of Christ." - Billy Graham.

It's true, if people won't take care of others, who will? That's why Jesus created the Church to take care of those who are in need no matter who they are. In other countries, they don't have a choice. It's their way or the highway.

Remember, we are one nation under God, we can't be too busy to take care of our souls....

"Prayer is a two-way conversation; it is our talking to God, and His talking to us. As a Christian, you have a heavenly Father who hears and answers prayer. Jesus said, “All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Every man or woman whose life has counted for the church and the Kingdom of God has been a person of prayer. You cannot afford to be too busy to pray. A prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian. Jesus Christ spent many hours in prayer. Sometimes He spent the night on a mountaintop in solitary communion with God the Father. If He felt that He had to pray, how much more do we need to pray!" -- Billy Graham

America is a fast paced society and we shouldn't let it interfere with our relationship with God. America represents free will. We live in a country where there is good and evil and it is up to us to decide which direction we want to go in...

"The way of life that God desires for us is the way of life we desire.  “What do I really want?” is a simple question.  But simple doesn’t mean easy.  Usually this question is quite difficult to answer.  Our deepest desires are confused by pride, fears, ambitions, and attachments to money, honor, security, and a host of other things.  The process of getting a clear vision of who we really are  is essentially a process of stripping away these false desires and finding the desires at the core of our selves." - Jim Manney

God blessed us with this country, let's honor it and praise Him for it.

Happy 4th of July, I am proud to be a Christian and an American. I want to thank the troops for sacrificing their lives for us to keep us safe from evil and defend our freedom to choose between good and evil.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Love never fails.

Today I opened up three cards from our family and friends to wish us happy anniversary. I loved the cards they sent us, they were so sweet and still were so excited to be part of our wedding day. I really liked my mom's card to us and this is what it said:

For a special Daughter and "Son"     Today in the midst of your busy life, take at least one moment to sit back and relax-- when you don't have to do anything or be anywhere in particular. Take a moment to reflect on all you've accomplished in the past year, and all you have to look forward to in the year ahead...

But most of all, remember what a gift your life is- not just to you, but to everyone who knows you and how wonderful it is to have you for a daughter and "son."

Thank you mom, I love you. Thank you for being my best friend and a great mother-in-law to Gil.

When I look at Gil, it is not hard to see why God has chosen him to be my husband. Being married to my best friend is a blessing. I will never forget the day I married him. I felt everything. There was a feeling of romance, love, excitement, and glory. We felt complete.  We can't wait to grow together and expand our family and love.

Every year for our anniversary, we always make the effort to go away on a vacation and do something special. We always appreciate each other and try our best to spend time with each other but life can get in the way. That's why anniversary trips are so special. We look back and see how much we have grown together as one. I love how that whenever a problem or issues arise, it brings us closer and our bond grows stronger.  We have always found God's glory.

I love when Gil is so random and says the sweetest things to me because I know it's coming from his heart and he means it. He said to me that he rather be with me than with anybody else and that I would be his first choice over anything. That meant a lot to me since I thought golf would be his first choice!! He said no and pointed at me. I was like awww. It's hard for me to believe because I never thought I would have a husband as wonderful as him and loves me the way he does.

Then the other night, he said this to me while watching the academy awards for soap opera --"Amanda you should be there getting an award for being the most beautiful woman I have ever seen."  What a compliment :)

We both agreed that only with each other alone, we feel at peace and completely centered. He makes me feel like I can be myself and he only brings the best out of me. When I'm at faults or when my flaws shows, he shows unconditional love to me and makes me feel silly for being hard on myself for when I make a mistake. He embraces love and pursues it. I love that about him- he is so forgiving and so loveable.

Having Gil on my side since the first day I met him has been a wonderful joy, I wanted to take the time to Thank God for one of life's greatest husband.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
The Bible
1 Corinthians 13. 4-8

Friday, June 10, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons - Give it to God.

 1 Peter 5:7

New International Version (NIV)
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

I have a whole month's supply of Lemons. If you're interested, stop by and I'll give you a really sweet lemonade :) I have received lemons before and knew what to do with it but sometimes I get too much to handle that I begin to wonder if the lemons will ever stop coming!!  If things happen all at once, it is so easy to get confused and distorted --- that's why my mom's saying is SO helpful - "Take One Day at a Time".  Well I didn't heed to that advice and I'm sorry I didn't. I  do think I handled myself rather well and was feeling indifferent on some issues but I didn't separate those issues. I kind of made a lemon peanut butter pie when it should've been a lemon meringue, unomsayin?

Today I am trying to throw out my feelings on the table and see if I want to keep some of them or toss it away before I move on with my day. So there it is.

My feelings about a divorce that happened in May. It is risky to talk about this since I am not sure who is reading this blog but all I have to say is that it is their business and I worry about them. Most of all I worry about how this affects my husband. I've had a nice talk with him and he seems to be used to it unfortunately and knows how to deal with it but he worries too. We both agree to support and try our best not to get involved. Space is important. We are trying to figure out when to see them too so we can get a visual image of how they are REALLY doing. Its hard to tell over phone, text and emails. So we are not gonna worry about it until we know what really is happening.

My grandmother's death - the day after we found out about the divorce. That was something. I have to give you a small background information. She was a difficult woman to love and get along with for my mother. I know my mom cares about grandma and I know grandma cared about her but it was hard for her to maintain an unhealthy relationship with her. Fortunately, my grandma came to her senses and decided to clear up with air with my mother and APOLOGIZE. I am feeling very happy and at peace with her. She had a hard life and she is in a better place with God and we all feel liberated because of that. We forgave her and let her go to be with God.

I don't think it's a coincidence that she died THAT particular weekend. First of all, my mom had a dream from her father hinting that she was going to pass on in the spring which she did. Then the divorce happened that weekend. I may not have experience PARENTS getting divorced but I have experienced being divorced from  my mom's family. It reminded me how important it is to forgive and have a healthy relationship with your family in best way possible.

Now, My husband has decided out of the blue to throw himself to the ground where he would break his two elbows and a wrist for his softball team at work. I reminded him that it was not the world series and that I thought he was overdoing it. He agreed. My darling husband, I love him with all of my hearts - I love his faults and his strengths. He makes my world go around a little faster than it should. Accidents do happen whether it was intentional or not. Life goes on. We go to the ER and take care of everything and of course I am thinking about ALL the bills and co-payments that we might be getting in the mail that will make my heart race and sweat profusely. I then will probably need to be admitted to the ER for myself. You  know what? I'll let God take care of the bills for me and take care of Gil's broken elbows and wrists. It was never in my control. I just need to learn how to control my feelings/attitude towards it. I'm now happy that his surgery is over with and that he is recovering nicely and I hope it stays that way. I will take one day at a time with his frustrations on his limitations.

Also, another thing happened, I have been resenting a friend of mine and it has been bothering me. Everybody is different so there are a different ways to approach to people. Some people are easy to approach where you can say what's on your mind and I'm grateful for those friends. Some people are not easy to approach because you can sense their defensiveness. I thought about addressing the issue with her but I have decided not to because she was probably under stress and I know how that can affect people so instead of taking her awkward comments personally, I have decided to let it go. There are some people I have decided I want to invest and become closer with and there are some people that I have decided not to. I shouldn't be hard on myself for not investing in them. I will respect the person no matter what. I have learned to use my sense of humor and just let it go. I can't be best friends with everyone but I can be a good person to everyone.

So now you know how my lemons taste. It could've been a lot worse,but you know what it's not. My husband is here with me -- healthy and can function everyday that most people cant. I'm healthy and safe. My parents and family and friends are healthy and safe. What we don't realize that every day is a miracle it is truly a gift to live in the PRESENT. A present from God is His grace that he gives us to be able to live through every day.

Thank you God for being in my life and for turning lemons into lemonade.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Do you know what your heart desires?

From the book "Desire" by John Elridge:

"I believe Desire is a gift from God. After all, the Psalms say things like, 'May he give you the desire of your heart' (20:4) and 'Praise the Lord, O my soul...who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's' (103:5) and 'You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing' (145:16). Clearly, God is not opposed to desire....far from it. He gave us a heart that desires deeply, and He uses those desires to draw us to Himself and to the life He created us to live"

"What we need to learn is how to listen to desire, how to INTERPRET it. Desire is speaking to us, all the time. It is one of the deepest voices of the heart. A voice many of us have never been taught to understand. Desire can lead us to the life we were meant to live. It can shape our hopes and dreams, fill them with passion and determination. It can sustain us in times of distress and suffering too. It can lead us to God, IF we will listen closely"

Yesterday, I had a great conversation with Gil about what our heart desires. I was so happy to say that I know exactly what my heart desires and it's to have a family with him. I can understand that it might be a challenge for me to become a mother because we don't know what will happen. It will also be a challenge to be a mother with children because anything could happen. Challenges like this usually makes me want to turn the other way but instead it makes me want it even more. That's when I knew - family is what my heart desires.  I love the concept of family closeness where we all bond and support each other. I even want to be part of the community and help out too. 

Gil feels the same way, he also feels that his heart desires to have a good career to be a good husband and father to our family. He feels that it's important to find the right job so he doesn't get burned out or affected by the job negatively where it can affect the family. I agreed with him and was so happy that he is listening to his heart's desire and interpreting it. We went through so much with our family that we know exactly what we were talking about. What our parents do for a living has always affected us as kids. If they are not happy, we are not happy. 

It's sad that many confuse with heart's desire with competition. I honestly don't care about what others are doing and if they already have a house with kids. OR what type of house or what neighborhood they live in. If they have nice cars, etc. I'm not interested. I'm interested in finding the right place and the right time to raise a family. I am going at my pace where I'm following God's timing and plan for us. 

Competition is healthy where it helps us survive. Competition is not healthy when we overdo it that we can't survive spiritually. Competition is good for hospitals, military, etc. It's the survival of the fittest. Wasting money on luxurious cars like porsche, bently, or anything that costs over 50 Grand!!! Those money could go towards to people who need it around you. 

Unecessary competition like this can cause people to be impatient and unappreciative. It was interesting because that night, Gil and I went to the Bible Church for a night sermon. It was amazing. We were reading the first chapter of James. Let me give you a background information here. In the book of James,  you will find practical ways to live as a Christian. James describe the evil of a tongue out of control, showing favoritism towards the rich and boasting about plans for tomorrow. 

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord, he is double-minded man, unstable in all he does. " (1:2-8)

"My dear brothers, take notes of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteousness life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you" (1:19-21)

Listen to what your heart desires because that's where God is, He will give you wisdom to live the life that he created for you.  Make sure you LISTEN and DO. He is the author of our life.   :)

In Jesus' name. Amen!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Faith Hope Charity

Faith is believing in God and in all God has said and revealed. Hope is longing for the Kingdom of God, an eternal life in heaven. Charity is loving God above all things for God's sake and loving our neighbor as ourself.

What is the virtue of hope?

1. It comes straight from God: Hope is called an infused virtue - a direct gift from God, which is a pretty good source. It isn't a feeling we conjure within ourselves, simply a positive attitude. It comes from God.
2. It goes straight to God: there are many lesser things we might wish for (I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow) but the virtue of hope is outrageous in its expectations. God gives us the gift of expecting everything and God tells us that we can have everything.
3. It is grounded in God right now: Hope isn't hanging somewhere out there in the future. It is based on the living experience of God, now, because God exists now and I can experience God now. Hope is the enjoyment now of what God has done and is doing for us and the anticipation already of what God will do for us.

Hope is not something wishy, faint or shaky. Hope is something real, full, rich, rugged, strong. Because hope comes from God and goes directly to God and God is real right now.

 --- From the little white book.

Sometimes people take faith for granted. Faith is a gift of God, but it takes personal courage and conviction in order to believe. You have to take a risk. You have to think about your faith and reflect on it.

Lately, I have been feeling angry, resentful, confused and exhausted. I have let those feelings get the best of me. It's a shame because I need to remember to take one thing at a time and not deal with all of them at once. I eventually felt numb afterwards because I keep pushing my feelings away until I felt nothing. I realized that for those feelings to go away, I have to forgive those who drives me crazy. Then I would become hard on myself for letting it get the best of me sometimes, then I saw this on facebook and I was like WOW, this is interesting and it relates to what I have been thinking and reading about faith.

true faith flowers from and through doubt.
Message from God
If you never questioned your beliefs, - you are just a puppet dancing to somebody's strings. If God had wanted your mindless obedience, you would've been created without mind and without free will. But you have both so you can come to God of your own accord. Just look at the lives of saints, - most of them had gone through a dark night of the soul, and that's why their faith was so strong. The path to true faith always goes through doubt. So ask those questions you've always been afraid to ask, and find the answers, and then your faith will become unshakable. 

God has showed me who my true friends are. I have learned to trust two people this year. I have taken the time to get to know them and be able to trust them. I always hold it in but I realized that it is healthy to talk to someone especially those who are my age and are women. They understand how I feel and just feeling heard and understood means the world to me. It doesn't make me feel alone and it doesn't make me feel out of place. I feel like I belong. I thank God for my friends. They are wonderful.

I hope for a lot of things - I hope that my husband and I will have a nice house with healthy children and cute dogs. Have a lot of opportunity to be part of the community and be a family with everyone. I have a lot of hopes and I have faith that God will provide it for me. It's a risk that I'm ready to take on.

It takes a risk but it's worth it. God will only bring us to places where we will see grace afterwards.

Psst....rapture doesn't happen when we expect only happens when we don't that's the whole point of it. Be ready no matter WHAT.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Where did we come from and Why are we here?

After Easter, I reviewed my blogs and I thought that I need to summarize of all of my thoughts and feelings. It seems like in some of my posts, my thoughts and feelings are all over the place and I know that serves the purpose of writing a blog where we are allowed to do that. I love how I feel complete after writing the post. I keep the lesson that I have learned and applied it for my daily part of my life. All of my lessons come from God, Jesus, the Bible, Church, My family and friends.

First, God created us for His Glory

Isaiah 43: 7

Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory whom I formed and made

We were created for a reason and that is for His Glory where He could love us and where we could love Him back. God created the garden of good and evil for Adam and Eve to live in. Many of us wonder why would God place the tree where they could be tempted by evil? This is how God test their "devotion", how can you truly love someone if there's no option where you can go against Him? If God sees that you chose Him over evil, then He knows you love him back and it's not a robotlike-command.

We all know the result of what happened. It would've been nice if they could have a manual handy to help them make a decision carefully in the garden. Humans like explanations, we are always looking for an answer. God saw this and that's why he created the Bible for us. Many even joke that they wish when they were born, that there was an instruction that came with it on how to live in this world and understand people or when they give birth to someone, they wish there was an instruction on how to raise their child.   There is an instruction and that's the Bible.

The Bible keeps it simple for us. It even repeats itself over the important things that we need to know - God is love and God sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins and fight against evil so we can be with Him in eternity. And there are thousands of pages that tells us HOW to do that.

Since we are not in the garden anymore and that we are in a place where both GOOD and EVIL are in. Think about this, Heaven is where all good and love is and not one single drop of evil is there. In hell, not one drop of good is in there. It's amazing how we are on Earth where we have BOTH. If you think about it, it looks like it's impossible especially that the devil can't enter Heaven and that the angles can't enter hell. Both of them are on Earth and we are right in the MIDDLE of everything!!!

That's why, it's very important to understand our purpose and which direction we want to go in. Do we want to follow God or Satan? Of course, I picked God. I want to spend eternity with Him because love is the most beautiful feeling in the world that I have experienced on Earth and I want to hold on to that forever.   It's simple, so I followed the Bible and realized that the only way to follow God and His plan is to confess my sins to Him because after all we were born with original sin and we were banished from the garden so naturally our nature is to sin FIRST. After confessing my sins to Him, I ask Jesus to be part of my life - everyday and become His solider. That's why we don't naturally feel this way at first because we were born under Adam and Eve's sin. We still believe what the devil made Eve think that we have power and control. We are not really in control - that is a facade and that's what the devil wants us to think. The only authority we have is the free will to choose which side we want to be on after we die.

When you're a solider, you're always going to have to be ready to fight. Our parents are usually our trainers, they are not the boss but God is, our parents are God's helpers. The Church can also be our trainers too. That's where we go for "technical support" haha. Now that I am in Jesus' "army", I am a threat to evil and they will try to attack me as much as possible and it can be very very sneaky. So we are having to fight them off constantly, it's exhausting and it is scary because it can turn our lives upside down if we are not careful. If there's a specific problem that we are having, like communication, trust, marriage, etc. We can always refer to the Bible and pray. That helps fight against evil. Hope and Faith are very important thing. As humans we believe through our five senses - seeing, smelling, hearing, touching and tasting. God is much bigger than that and powerful. It doesn't mean we are limited with our five senses, we can sense Him beyond that. God will even come through our five senses, he will show us sunrise/sunsets where we can "see" Him.  Hope and Faith helps us to find Him.  Faith/Hope is a word created by God and not the word "coincidence"  ;) 

That's why God says we are blessed if we suffer for doing good. Sometimes our expectations or dreams can crash and burn and it's devastating but we also have to make sure that it doesn't get the best of our souls and spirit because that's where it's going to Heaven.  God has given us clues about what Glory means. Think about it, I suffered through college - stayed up late, failed some tests, studied very hard, etc. and that can be very discouraging but you know what? In the end it paid off, I graduated with a degree that led me to a very nice paying job where I can support my health and my family to live on this Earth in a good position where I am  not vulnerable to be tempted by evil. If I didn't do well in college, I would've been lost and I probably wouldn't have a job so that means no housing and no food and depending my parents will drain both of mentally, emotionally and financially. This is where evil can come in and take advantage of our tough time to divide us from God and conquer.   Basically, God is saying that if you're suffering for a good cause, we are blessed because at the end our reward will be His Glory in Heaven.

It's nice to reflect and organize my thoughts every now and then. But this doesn't mean I have everything all "figured" out, I still love the big mystery and I will wait until He decides when it's time to reveal it to me. Meanwhile, we should set up a support system with family and friends and with the Churches that share the common goal - Love and Honor God. It's like deciding which military you want to join - the Army (Catholic), Navy (Presbytarian) , Marine (Protestant), and Airforce (any Christian church). They all serve the common purpose - to defend our country just like the Church. All of the Christian Church have the same purpose - which is to honor God through Jesus.  We want to defend our soul.

Is there a path we can follow? Can we find a code book that will give us the key to our dilemmas? Is there any source of authority to which we can turn? Have we just been placed here by some unknown creator or force without any clue as to where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going? 

Everything comes from God alone. Everything lives by his power, and everything is for his glory. To him be glory evermore.
–Romans 11:36 (TLB)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Suffering for Doing Good

First, I want to say Happy Mother's Day!!! Every year on her birthday, I thank God for creating my mom and every year on Mother's day, I thank God that He made her my mother. There are no words to describe our bond, just like there are no words to describe God's unconditional love for us. I have been married for two years and been in the "real world" for two years, it is not easy to be yourself in this world and it's very hard to be not to be selfish when you are surrounded by things that tempt you to want everything. The older I get, the more I appreciate my mom for being who she is and for being a wonderful and devoted mother to me. Not every mom can do this job as well as she does. God has blessed me with her grace and I hope to be just as wonderful as she is when I become a mother.

This past week and weekend has been the toughest week in a long time. It has been emotionally draining. Everything happened at once. And everybody has been coming to me in confident and asked me not to share things with others. So many things I have to keep to myself has been very hard. It was from work, it was from home, and it was for a friend, etc. Usually it happens ONCE in a while but this time it was all in ONE week. It was very hard because I felt like there was nothing left for me to share or was allowed to share. Also, there are some things that I want to be honest with everyone but then there's a time and place for it too. I'm not going to share the details that has happened for this week. It's hard to do the right things when we don't want to. But I will share with you the lesson that I've learned from this. My husband found this in the Bible and shared this with me.

1 Peter 3:13

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscious, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it's God's will to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trail you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted in the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

One night, I had a meltdown and I screamed and cried and said things that should not have been said. I was so grateful that my husband sat with me patiently and was there for me. He comforted me and wanted me to let it all out. I asked for forgiveness because I felt that I did not deserve what people have said or did to me. I should've let it go and responded in the most compassionate way as possible and not think about what I deserve but to think about doing the right thing and let God take care of that individual.

I am following God's plan and sometimes I don't understand it and there are times where I just want to get up and leave. Go fly to another country and just start all over. Sometimes it's not easy being a woman too with all of the unecessary raging hormones that I wish never existed. I want to speak my mind and sometimes that is not always a good thing. It is very important to have an outlet. It is good to be vulnerable, we are not perfect so we have to surrender to God, He is our outlet and He wants us to cast our burdens on Him and then let it go. Once we let it go, we can respond in a compassionate way and do the RIGHT thing.

Isaiah 43: 7

Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory whom I formed and made

With God, we can "turn from evil, do good, seek peace and pursue it" Psalms 34:14 and we will see the glory that He has for us. We don't understand His love unless we go through the tough times and be vulnerable. Sometimes we have to sacrifice for this Glory. It's worth it.

When I found out about Osama Bin Laden, I thought ...good they got him but that's for the Old Testament - an eye for an eye but in the New Testament, we want to forgive and let go. Forgiving can be the hardest thing to do as  Christian for someone who did terrible things to us.  I forgive Osama Bin Laden for what he did to our country and I want to thank God for our soldiers who fought and died to protect us from evil. They made sacrifices that I will always be grateful for. There will always be a war and I wish that our weapons would be love, compassion and peace instead of guns.

My mother wrote this on Facebook and I love this....

1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given. ✝

Sometimes we get what we want and it's not always what we need. Only God knows what we need and He will provide. At the end of this week, I've learned that He always provides and I love Him more and more everyday. 

To the mothers out there - Have a blessed day and thank you for being wonderful.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Easter is still going on!!!

Hello!!  It's been a while since I've written a blog. So much has happened. I had to go to the job fair in DC two times a week before I went on a trip to Alabama. It was exhausting but God was with me every step of the way. I did not feel nervous, I was actually concerned about myself not being nervous!!! I was like ...this is not like me. Can you believe this? I was actually nervous about not being nervous enough!! Typical.

I would like to review. I was reading my first postings and I remember I said I would do this blog everyday for 40 days for Lent. I didn't do it though but I'm glad I started this blog, and I can see the difference from what I've learned from the beginning to now. It's amazing how much more you can grow from this, there's so much room for it. This blog gave me the strength to discipline myself at work and I didn't go on Facebook as much until my birthday week came!! :) I think I will try to keep that habit anyway. I have learned how to keep looking for the positive and that no matter what happens, life will throw us a curveball and it's going to be hard to be "ready" for it but that's why its so important to keep talking to Jesus to maintain a relationship with Him that we know He will be there when the curveball comes. Everything makes more and more sense now.

I have a lot that I would like to share with you but first, let me explain to you what I mean by Easter is still going on!!

I was given this white book that my mom got from the Catholic Church and I love it. I've been reading it every night and would like to share it with you too....

"Records show that Christians, besides celebrating Easter Sunday, celebrated a continuing Easter season as far as back as the beginning of the third century. Outside of Ordinary Time, it became the Church's longest season  - a 50-day stretch from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. It was not a time for penitential practices. Fasting and kneeling were not permitted. It was a time to exult in God's goodness.
Why is the Easter season so long?
Because Christians believed that the Resurrection was just too big and too important to be celebrated for only one day, or even one week.
Why 50 days and not 10 or 20?
Because there was already in place a Jewish feast called "Pentecost" (a harvest festival) which took place 50 days after the Passover. When Pentecost became a Christian feast celebrating the descent of the Spirit, Christians turned the time between Passover and Pentecost into the "Easter Season".

After the Sabbath as the first day of the week was drawing
Mary Magadalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb
And behold, there was a great earthquake: for an angel of the Lord descended from 
Heaven and approached, rolled back the stone and sat upon it (MT 28:1-2)

At times like Easter there is something within us that wants to be hopeful. Yet, we are afriad to let it out, particulary when we have seen so many hopes dashed. Hope is a tender feeling, easily bruised. When you hope, you are vulnerable. YOu can make a fool of yourself especially when your hopes do not turn out. When the pessimist turn out to be right, then you appear foolish, naive. To have hoped and lost often makes us more guarded. 
In the Bible, even those who suffer are able to hope because their hope is based on upon what God can do, not what they can do. 

Perhap this Easter season, I should allow myself to hope. There was the reality of Good Friday which means that I accept the fact of suffering and failure. But Easter is also a reality --- it shows what God can do and it offers me hope no matter the situation." 

Amen ! :) 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Do it Anyway - Mother Teresa

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. 

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Heart Hollowed Out

Jim Manney's Blog 


A Heart Hollowed Out

A reflection for Tuesday in Holy Week:
A cup must be empty before it can be filled. If it is already full, it can’t be filled again except by emptying it out. In order to fill anything, there must be a hollowed-out space. Otherwise it can’t receive.
This is especially true of God’s word. In order to receive it, we must be hollowed out. We must be capable of receiving it, emptied of the false self and its endless demands.
When Christ came, there was no room in the inn. It was full. The inn is a symbol of the heart. God’s word, Christ, can take root only in a hollow.

I like this analogy. It is very true. 
I remember how I want to renew myself. I realized that the first thing I need to do is to get rid of "expectations" of myself. I feel like it's damaging because if I don't meet my personal expectations then I am so hard on myself and it can be very depressing.  It is very liberating to let go and surrender to God but it is also very tempting to get back to your "old self". That's why I feel having a journal is very important. Unnecessary thoughts can go in there and stay in there.

 I need to empty it out and let God fill it completely -- like a cup :) You can't go wrong with that.

Billy Graham- April 19 - Depend on Him

To walk in the Spirit is a challenging and inspiring exercise, for it combines activity with relaxation. To walk means to place one foot in front of the other. If you stop doing this, you are no longer walking—you are standing still. Walking always implies movement, progress, and direction. Sin shall no longer rule or dominate you when you are allowing the Holy Spirit to live Christ’s life through you. It is living by faith, living by trust, living in dependence upon God.

If we look to our own resources, our own strength, or our own ability, as Peter did when he walked on the water, we will fail. You cannot live the Christian life by yourself. The Holy Spirit must live in you and express Himself through you. Living for Christ is a day-by-day experience. It is a continuous dependence upon the Spirit of God. It is believing in His faithfulness.

Prayer for the day
Lord, so often I have walked on my own instead of walking in Your Spirit. Guide my footsteps this day, I pray in Jesus’ name.

I advise you to obey only the Holy Spirit’s instructions. He will tell you where to go and what to do, and then you won’t always be doing the wrong things your evil nature wants you to.
–Galatians 5:16 (TLB)

Obama's Easter with Religious Leaders

I am not happy with today's politics and not too crazy about what the democrats/republicans have done but I find comfort in  knowing that Obama is having an Easter with pastors from all over the country to talk about getting closer with the Lord in time of crisis.   Thought you would like to know too. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Birthday Gift From God - My Life

1 John
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Good Morning!!!  I would like to go ahead and write about my birthday week/weekend. God has blessed me with many things and was able to share/celebrate it with my family and friends. There's so much I have to say that I don't even know where to begin.

First of all, in my heart, I was hoping the government wouldn't shut down because of three things, money, my birthday party at work with friends and my birthday party on the weekend with friends. I was so excited and so happy to spend my real birthday with everyone at work - it was so much fun. I don't think they realize how grateful I am to have them as my friends. Now I understand why Dad takes me out to his co-workers house for parties. I always thought it was a drag but now I get it. If the government shutdown, many of my friends would use it as an opportunity to go out of town and then miss my second party too. I would've been sad about it. So I'm thankful that the govt didn't shutdown and I was able to have a party with my friends AND family. That's another blessing I have...I am so thankful for my parents who wouldn't miss my birthday for the world and would come to see me. They tried to surprise me but I knew they would come. I can feel them :) But I was surprised about my in-laws!!! Although I was sad I didn't see Alex, I was shocked and soo surprised to see my father in law and mother in law :) The fact that they took the time to come to see me like this, really means a lot to me. It made me feel very much loved.

Usually, when I drop off my parents to go home by bus or train. I would have to use my every strength to fight back my tears because its so hard living far away and not knowing when I will see them again. It happened at college during my freshman year but after the first year, I felt better because my parents made a habit of seeing me every three months, haha. She did the same when I first moved away. I believe her when she said, no matter how far I am, she will always be there for me. Daddy too. Because of my bond with her and because of God,  I  know I will see them again and that it won't be the last time.   As an adult, I understand how harsh the world can be and how hard it is to be yourself in this world so I appreciate my parents making me and my husband feel number one in their lives. I appreciate their respect for us too.

In my last post, I was talking about the book and the drawing that my dad saw when I was younger. My father saw my post and decided to bring the book and tell me more about the story. I love how God works in mysterious ways. He actually gave me my birthday gift through my father. I didn't know this until my dad told me. When he was out of work, he remembers taking me to barnes and nobles to look for a book to read. He found a book that stood out the most - "I Am With You Always" by people who have had encounters with Jesus. My father told me that he believes in Jesus with his whole heart and doesn't need to see Him but would like for Him to visit me or my mother. After he prayed about that, few weeks later, he heard me screaming from my parents bedroom. Then I remember what he was talking about....

When I was in my parents bedroom, I was facing their mirror and was polishing my nails on their vanity. As I was polishing my nails, I looked up to the mirror and I literally screamed at the top of my lungs and RAN out of the room. When I looked up, I saw a man standing behind me,  maybe 6 feet away. He was tall. He wore brown suit and at the time, I thought he had moles in his hands. His eyes were closed. I thought it was my Uncle Bob or something. I had no idea who it was and I wanted nothing of it. Because of that, I refused to go to sleep in my bedroom and my mother would have to stay with me until I fell asleep. My father kept asking me who did I think I saw...I said I think it was my Uncle Bob. It looked kinda like him from the pictures. My dad never explained it to me. Then until years later, I write about this book on my blog, and he decided to tell me over the weekend that he believes that  I saw Jesus. And he believes that the moles was the holes from the nails. He also thinks Jesus came in a form where I wouldn't be scared of and that it would be easier for me to approach to. Of course. I cried. We all cried.    Now, looking back, I do wish that I had never ran and faced him instead and say....Thank you Jesus - You died for our sins and I will be forever grateful for it. I love You.

On Sunday, I went to the Catholic Church with my parents and my husband. It was a very very emotional service. Actually, it was a very emotional weekend!! So many times I have to fight back my tears at the service that I had to think about my hair just to get my mind off of it!! My mom, didn't hold back, she cried with her whole heart. She has the heart of gold. We were emotional about the reading from the Bible where they talked about Jesus preparing for His Death on the Cross. It was hard to read it. The song was sad too. Children was singing - "were you there when they crucified my Lord"?   This is why I won't watch Passion of Christ, it is too hard. It is like watching your own family dying like this. It's too close to the heart. It is also a good wake up call and a good way to understand it even more. It's still too emotional. If I ever decide to watch it, I would do it alone.

Anyway, Gil had a good point. He said that he doesn't understand why the Catholic church doesn't hand out communion in paper cups and plates. I know that the Church hands it out to people who have received holy communion . But, Gil is a Christian, he should be able to receive the body of Christ. My mother and I talked about this with him. We both agreed that, it's between him and God. It doesn't matter what the Church believes or thinks - that you have to be a catholic to receive it. Christians should receive it too. We told Gil, don't let the Church stop you. We know how you feel about Jesus, you should go up there if you want to.

I can understand how people would have wrong ideas about the Church because of their "rules" and "laws". I don't agree with it. I believe that you should find a Church where you feel that it celebrates Jesus in the way you want to celebrate Him and follow their rituals for spiritual practice.  Like what LG said, some people use yoga, lent, etc. to get closer with the Lord. We shouldn't honor the church, we should honor their ways that makes us focused or closer to the Lord. I can understand why they would require for you to go to Church on Sundays...I do feel like God gives us messages through our priests and pastor and show us that He is here for us and knows what is going on with us. He makes us feel like our prayers are being heard. And life is so materialistic that the devil will distract us from being closer with God. Going to Church on Sundays is a great way to renew ourselves every week. To me, it doesn't seem like a habit or a routine anymore, it has meaning to me now, because of the captions and the interpreters I can finally benefit it and finally grasped the meaning and purpose of it!!

I still have so much to talk about. I am going to read the book that my dad left with me and will share it with you too. I would like to conclude that it was a wonderful birthday and I am so blessed.

Amen :)

I would like to add something that my mother left in my bag. It explains about the concluding rite (Praying the Mass).

When a movie ends, people simply get up and walk out of the theater. But the Mass is a communal ritual, and needs a ritual ending. So we are ritually blessed and then sent : "Go in peace."  When the liturgy was celebrated in Latin, the priest said, "Ite miss est." The Latin word "missa" means being "sent, missioned." Literally, the Latin phrase meant, "Go, it is the sending." Since the fourth century, the whole celebration became known by that word: The Mass.

The Eucharist is not something we celebrate once, and then never need to celebrate again. We do it over and over and over because it is always "live." We also do it because the Lord said, "Do this in memory of me."

We need a healthy sense of "obligation" to prod us to do what we really ought to do, like traveling to a family gathering even though it's inconvenient. The "obligation" nudges us to go and afterwards we're glad we did.

"Going to Mass" is not a decision we should have to make from scratch every weekend. It's something we simply make part of our lives every week.

Picture Mary and the other disciples in those days after the Ascension. They came together for prayer and mutual support  on Sundays.

We should picture ourselves as part of those early disciples gathered every Sunday. It is not hard to get the feeling : This is where I belong.

Read this...very interesting