Tuesday, March 31

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

have you guys seen this movie? if you haven't, i highly recommend it. i knew nothing about this movie till my daughter said they were going to watch it at school as part of their topic in english. since we couldn't find a movie the other day, my husband decided to rent it.

well, i must say, it was a powerful movie, worth watching. set against the horror of the holocaust, it's a tale of an unlikely friendship between two 8 yr old boys. in spite of their stations in life, their friendship grew because of their innocence. they do not judge each other, but instead, bruno, son of the high-ranking military officer, extends help to his inmate friend to find his father. oh gosh! i'm not going to reveal the whole story, i'll just have you see it for yourself. one of the few powerful, moving fable i've ever seen. it's a conversation opener... our kids (except for my 3yr old) along with my nieces couldn't stop thinking and talking about the movie.

i love watching 19th century movies! just like angelina jolie's movie, "changeling"... whew! that one was good too... so heart breaking.

that's it for now... happy watching!

Monday, March 30

spring break just ended =(

well, back to school for the kids. i was sad to see them go to school today too since we had an awesome time during their break. although budgeted, my husband and i made sure that we will make the most of our time together with the kids. it was extra special since 3 of our nieces stayed with us too.

my cooking skills came out *thanks to food network*... couldn't afford to take the kids out every meal - my goodness! we did all sorts of things and most of them were very cost-efficient like, park-hopping... we discovered some beautiful park here in the northwest suburbs of chicago. we went biking, played basketball and enjoyed some funny stories while playing at the playground... we enjoyed every second of the beautiful weather. we also brought the kids to oberweis and cold stone a few times. took them swimming, window shopping, movies, and ate out a few times over the week. the best part of it all... there were no interference. we talked, we laughed, and had tears of joy... we had so much fun spending time together that we ended up coming up with a new family tradition game called, "finish my sentence". it was so fun that when we joined the earth hour night, we decided to play it again while enjoying the calmness of the candles that lit up the house =)

there are so many things i want to tell y'all, but having all 3 kids call out "mom" at the same time just drives me crazy! see, my sis who lives with us, went to visit her family in the philippines so i have no help at all. i had to force myself to learn how to cook like a pro and lay-off on fried dishes since my husband and kids got used to my sister's awesome dishes.... grrrr! i'm not complaining, i'm in fact enjoying every moment. i just feel like there's no time for me to sit down anymore since i'm constantly doing something. but it's all good... my fear is to get used to being a SAHM. hmm, nah! i love spending time with my kids and being able to see everything they do, but i still feel i have to have that time away from being a home maker... either a part-time somewhere or a ministry that God puts in my heart. i'm sure a lot of you can relate =)

well, kids are back from school now... gotta fix them something to eat now! you all have a blessed day! gosh! whatever happened to the weather huh? maybe the angels forgot to drop the last batch of snow on time =)

God speed!

Thursday, March 26

Quick Project HOPE update

here's a few pics of the families we adopted for Project HOPE's "Adopt a Family Christmas 2008" ministry. There were a total of 10 families, unfortunately the camera was having technical difficulties that's why the other 3 families were not included in these photos. But regardless, we're fortunate to have been the hands and feet of God to these families. Once again, the Lord reigns!!!

And to all our sponsors, thank you for all your help! We couldn't have done this without you =) May the Lord continue to bless you all for what you do.
Our God Reigns!
Project HOPE Team

Friday, March 13

WATCH OUT for blind spots!

In conjunction with yesterday’s ODB, I decided to share this with you. Just a couple of weeks ago, an anonymous commentator sent me a message on one of my old blogs. (To avoid confusion, I will just use a female gender since the message didn’t really give me that info.)

She was desperate to seek some guidance due to her current struggle in her spiritual life. Long story short, she was having a “restless faith”. Was raised at a Christian home, but slowly drifted from her faith since teen, but now as an adult she reflects back on what little she knows about God. She says she knows what God wants her to do, but chooses to wrong path anyway even if she knows that consequence will follow. So, struggling to fully follow God’s way due to her current situation and of course the pleasures of temptations, she asked for a prayer. I replied to her, but never got a response back anymore. However, I hope and pray she received my email or maybe somehow she’ll run into this ODB and find herself taking the necessary steps to really develop her relationship with the Lord to guide her along the way. However, it is possible that my only role regarding her spiritual journey was to just pray for her and give her encouragement coz I truly believe that God’s Word is not returned void. Whatever it is, it was a pleasure to receive her honest message.

Anyway, as I reflect on that day, I remembered the time when I was just learning how to drive. Does it seem odd to you how driving can have anything to do with her situation? Well, at least I got your attention! HEHEHE! Ok, allow me to get to my point. My driving instructor at the time gave me a good advice. He said, “You think by looking at the rearview mirror you know what is on all sides, but remember that your vision is limited. Always look over your shoulder before changing lanes coz there may be another car in your blind spot.” This wise instruction (if followed) really keeps us out of more potential wrecks than we care to think about.

I’ve said it before and I won’t stop claiming it that the Bible is our instruction manual from God for navigating our life’s journey. However, owning a copy is not enough. This book is different than any of the books you own. The Bible has all the instructions you and I need that will transform our lives. Therefore, it must not collect dust; rather it must be studied, applied and passed on to others.

Just like checking our blind spot should be our automatic response when we’re driving, applying God’s Word should also be our natural response when we’re faced with the hard knocks of life. Believe it or not, the Bible will tell you what is wrong before you have done it. However, the problem is even with people who already know the theology part of it still struggles to fight their temptation and end up turning their backs to compromise with the lies of temptations.

Friends, understand that the freedom God gives us is not at all a license to act as we wish. In order to feel and experience the changes in your life as you seek God, you need to understand that part of surrendering your will and allowing God’s will be done, you will have to do the things God wants, not what you want for your life.

Never come into terms with the saying “ONCE a criminal, always a criminal” coz friends, this will only destruct your journey to a new life. Instead, focus on the good things God has in store for you even if you don’t know the end result… watch out for the blind spots of life… hold on to your faith and be guided by God’s instructions. Because no matter how spotted your past may be, God can change you from the inside out. The Lord is so gracious that He can create a new heart in you and can make you a new creation. Remember this verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”

I will pray for your new journey!

Have a joyful day!

God Speed!

Thursday, March 12

You're still incomplete...

Incomplete
READ: Philippians 1:3-11

He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. —Philippians 1:6
When I was a little girl, my parents bought their first house. One afternoon, the family hopped into the car and drove to see where we soon would be living.

I couldn’t believe it. The house had no windows or doors, and there was a strange odor. The basement was clearly visible through big gaps in the floor and we had to climb a ladder to get down there.
That night when I asked my mother why they wanted to live in a house like that, she explained that the builder wasn’t finished with it yet. “Just wait and see,” she said. “I think you’ll like it when it’s done.”
Soon we began to see changes. The house got windows, then doors. The “funny smell” of new lumber faded. The holes in the floor were covered and a staircase was added. Walls were painted. Mom put up curtains at the windows and pictures on the walls. The incomplete house had been transformed. It had taken some time but finally it was finished.

As Christians, we need “finishing” too. Although the groundwork is laid at our conversion, the growing process continues throughout our life. As we obediently follow Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2), one day we too will be complete. — Cindy Hess Kasper

God sees in us a masterpieceThat one day will be done;His Spirit works throughout our livesTo make us like His Son. —Sper
~x~o~x~o~x~o~

Whether we're new believers or matured Christians, we sometimes let our eyes focus at the problem rather than God. People are influenced by their negative feelings, past guilt, and lack of understanding about the Lord. Having the motto of, "I know God can, but I'm not sure He will." I know it to be true that when we let this motto rest in our hearts, it leaves us with no peace.

Don't get me wrong, all God's children begin at the "somewhat still in doubt faith" stage or "restless faith" for short. We all struggle with trusting God and that's not a sin in His eyes. Just like the disciples, they experienced periods of doubt, but Jesus did not condemned them, rather He helped them mature as they experienced different trials... so what are we to do? I think we should also embrace the idea of gaining experience, spend more time getting to know God by studying His Word, and fellowship with other believers instead of exposing ourselves to more temptations that will help us fall out of faith rather than gain.

Friends, if you allow yourselves to be stuck in this restless faith stage, you will not experience spiritual growth. Remember that the blessings we receive from God will always be in proportion to our faith. That's why our greatest desire should be to increase our faith so that we can live successfully in this world.

Remember that we are not in a position to see the whole picture of our own lives nor others. We only see a small portion. However, if we rely only on our limited perspective, thinking ours is the best way, then we're just setting ourselves for failure. Instead, choose to trust God... the ONE who sees the whole picture, to direct our efforts. If we do, God can work through us to create something beautiful.

You know, through my own experience, I witnessed that faith can take us to heights we've never dreamed of. But we also must admit that life isn't always easy... gosh! some of it can be quite scary. However, I find it to be real in my life that when I remind myself of God's goodness... I know He can lift us over the hard places in life. So take heart my friends, God isn't finished with you yet... just be patient!

Have a JOYFUL day!
God Speed!