Friday, January 31, 2014

Must Watch This

Well, one of my friends posted this in my FB newsfeed. Honestly, I was first excited about the movie, Noah, but after watching the full trailer, I got a bit turned-off that some of the parts of the storyline are not actually Biblical. But well, I am still excited that mainstream cinema is featuring one of my favorite characters in the Bible. But what I am more excited about is this movie. To know why, please watch the trailer above. :)

Photo from

I am just drawn by the main conflict in the movie: a Christian guy in campus determined to walk with Christ but is actually being challenged by his Philosophy professor to write "GOD IS DEAD" on his notebook on the first day of school or else face a failing grade. Without even thinking, everybody wrote except him.

Photo from:

And this made me think: If this happened to me, would I be obliged to write what professor tells me to, thinking that it's just for academic purposes anyway? Or will I stand up in my faith for the Lord, no matter what happens? Will I compromise or will I fight?

This kind of conflict in our Christian walk seems to be nothing compared to the kinds of persecutions Paul and the other apostles faced, subjecting them to dangers and death itself. Daily, we make decisions based on our faith and convictions. There may be things that may seem too small or too insignificant for us to matter but in the eyes of the Lord, we are always accountable for every thought we think, act we do, and word that we say.

I pray that we will know more and more of the depth of Christ's love for us that we will be equipped to stand up for Him in no matter how significant or insignificant situations we may be in.

To have a full background of the movie, read the synopsis.

To view the Top Seven Christian movies for this year, click here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Whatever happens...

I'm not really a US Masterchef big fan although I admit that I am one that I would like to call as a culinary junkie. I enjoy watching homecooks battling it out in the kitchen and I just love watching people cooking. (I try to apply what I have watched though in my limited resources and capabilities). I was more drawn to Masterchef Australia, but that's another story.

Anyhow, this week caught me with the c/pox virus so I had not much choice but to stay home. I found it as an amazing time to deepen my relationship with the Lord and at the same time, get my share of rest from all the traveling and the stress of hinterland work.

I also was able to catch up on some TV time and it was quite a welcome since I did not have much of the television for the five months of my hinterland duties. And so, it was in our very own sala and in our very own TV set that I get to watch the last few episodes of Masterchef US Season 4. Now, to start with, I have had a few re-runs of season 4 during the weekends or holiday that I am home and to be very honest, I did not quite like it. To begin with, there was a lot of bad-mouthing and pride and people fighting and calling each other names. I mean, that was just so unusual for a reality cooking show.

The Judges. Photo credit:
Anyway, I am not going to write about the culinary masterpieces or critique about the show. Instead, I am going to write this very small albeit life-changing moment that happened during the semi-finals round--something so small and may be insignificant to others but something which has a profound effect on me.

You see, the semi-finals saw three of the best contestants left, namely: Luca, a restaurant manager from New York City but is actually Italian; Natasha, a stay-at-home mom from San Diego; and Jessie, a yacht stewardess from Georgia. Since Jessie won the previous challenge, she enjoyed the privilege of choosing her own "king" ingredient for her dish which was Kobe Beef. Natasha got the Alaskan King Crab while Luca got the king of cheeses and forgive me for forgetting the name. Afterall, I am no chef. :))

Masterchef US Season 4 Top 3: Natasha, Luca, Jesse.
Photo Credit:
So, I'll spare you the other details but what happened was while on the semi-finals round, Jessie forgot to get butter from the pantry for her Seared Kobe beef with Ponzu Butter. Since she won't be able to go back to the pantry, she asked for spare butter from Natasha who was on the kitchen counter behind her. It was an intense moment as Natasha paused and had a let-me-think-it-over look in her face. A part of me was already expecting that she was going to give at least one stick of the three butter sticks in her counter which were obviously just sitting there. I mean, come on, isn't it a girl thing to share? Although there was this small part of me which doubted that she would actually do that because I just had that gut feeling that she was being competitive. So, it wasn't really much of a surprise when she said "No." I kind of understood her because she was in a competition, after all, and that one stick of butter might be her loss.

What surprised me then was the gentleman in Luca who stepped up and threw a stick of butter to Jessie. And if that gesture alone was not enough, what he said during the interview is really something all of us should always consider. It goes something like this: "It was just one stick of butter so what's the big deal? And if I go home just because of that stick, then, at the very least, I can still look at the mirror tomorrow and say that I am still Luca." 

You know, not all of us would have that attitude. I cannot judge Natasha just because of that one act but really, just that one small act will have an impact to a person (and a lot of persons actually, counting the viewers from around the world) and will forever be associated with her. Luca did not care if that one stick of butter will make Jessie's dish a whole lot tastier than his and which in turn will earn him an elimination. He only cared that someone needs something and he actually has that capacity to help. 

This really made me think about my life. I am pretty sure that there were times that I was very hesitant to help others because of personal reasons or convictions. There were also several times that I did not do what I know I was supposed to do in the name of saving myself or for any amount of advantage to myself. 

And this brings me to the verse in Philippians which commands us to conduct ourselves worthy of the Good News, whatever happens. 

May we all learn from the simple act of kindness of Luca. Let us be like Christ...whatever happens. 

In the end, Jessie was eliminated and it was Natasha vs. Luca for the final round.
Photo credit:

And after serving a three-course meal of seared duck liver, short ribs,
and basil panna cotta with tomato jam, Luca wins the Master Chef title! Photo credit:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

My Top 13 for 2013

I know. I've sort of lapsed out of this blog for a couple of months. I did introduce Wedding Wednesdays but did not actually commit to it. MY FAULT. I am so sorry {praying and believing I have and still have readers here}. Work and too many commitments and the planning of our wedding got the better of me. 2013 was an "all YES!" year for me, so...

I promised myself and to God that I'll cultivate deeper and more meaningful relationships this new year, 2014, starting off with my relationship with the Lord. As such, I am starting this year with my first ever post (thanking the Lord Almighty for all that He has done last year) and praying and hoping and actually committing to be more intentional with this blog. After all, my prayer is that this blog will be an instrument of His love and hope to anyone who stumbles upon this. :)

So, here's my Top 13 for 2013! I started this "attitude of gratitude" last year, as inspired by one of the beautiful Christian women in the blogosphere. I have not met her (nor does she know that I exist) but her blog entries have made so many positive impacts in my life.

Anyway, here goes my Thanksgiving List:

1. Our Godly and evangelistic wedding.
In my last post for 2013, I did verbalize the need to pray that "God's glory and story will be our canopy" in the preparation and in the actual wedding. Well, guess what? HE did just that. And MORE. He used various individuals and groups in our church (family and personal friends as well) to bless us with our needs. My personal prayer really was for the guests to say that our wedding was different from the usual ones they have attended. And yes, somebody said that to me, three months after our wedding! :)

What makes me more amazed by our wedding is the fact that it was scheduled on October 19th, four days after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit my province of Bohol, causing severe loss and damage to several towns. But the Lord is just so amazing and so faithful that He won't let any earthquake of any magnitude or any aftershock of any magnitude ruin what He has already ordained! I am just so overwhelmed at how God provided everything--from providing us a new venue to setting the schedules and commitments of our suppliers, and the attendance of our guests (one of the towns most hit was my father's hometown but my aunties, uncles and cousins still graced the affair)!

2. A Christ-centered hubby whose boldness in the Lord inspires me! :)
The first time we met, I knew there was something special about him. I could not just pinpoint at that time. And no, I was not drawn to any of his physical attributes at that time. But the more I think of it now, I very well knew in my heart what it was that drew me to him and what it is that keeps our bond together: it is his inner glow that only a man fully given to Christ can ever have. The more the days I spend with him the more inspired I get to, by God's grace, strive to be like our Master.

3. Obedience to God's will for specific members in our church youth group.
I've had the privilege to go on individual "dates" with the girls to address some concerns on their crushes, boyfriends, and the like. And I praise God for the wisdom in all those times. Though I must emphasize that I am not perfect and I am pretty sure that there were also times that I did not quite know what to say. But God answered my prayers that these young ladies will seek His will and do what He commands in their personal lives. Hoooray for that!

4. The Lord's sustaining grace in my Talibon sojourn. 
Talibon is a town opposite of the city where I live and used to work. Three months before the wedding, when wedding preparations were at the busiest, I was asked to transfer to the District Office there and the obedient side of me said "Yes." (See, it was a year of "yes" for me!) I knew no one in there and I definitely had no idea what to expect. But the Lord was just so abundant and amazing with His grace for providing me a safe and clean apartment to stay, patience to deal with the clients (though at times I just felt like giving up), and most of all, the strength to survive land travel of three hours (a total of six hours) per week! To top it all, He even designed that my husband dear was also doing fieldwork in a nearby town for two days a week!

5. Much love and fun with my family and relatives.
Before the year ended, we had a mini-reunion and sportsfest in my father's side. My husband and I are still staying with my parents as we pray for our own space in the city. And I praise God for these opportunities to have fun and show love and be loved by our family and relatives!

6. My cutie-patootie nephew and niece!
Well, children are always blessings! My sister has a son and a daughter and both of them are so sweet and close to me, calling me their Auntita! The older baby boy is running three so he's starting to talk and he's just very witty. And recently, he's been talking a lot of English, thanks to Disney Junior, and we are always awed at how he can use the phrases in context! The younger baby girl is just so adorable with her sweet smile and doe eyes! They take the kapoy out of me!

So there goes six of my thirteen. I will be blogging seven more within this week, Lordwilling! God bless us all!