Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome the New Year

But don't drink too much.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Get Up and Walk

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Paul's letter to the Romans:8:37-39

Hardly anything surprises me anymore. But what amazes me is when people are so quick to throw the first stone at someone who is already limping. All of us are handicapped in one way or another, except that some of us are in denial or just knows how to hide it.

On Christmas day, after I went to the traditional obligatory lunch at my friends house, I stopped by another friends house because they had a gift for me and wanted me to chill out with them for the afternoon. When I walked in, I was introduced to the father and John the brother who is facially deformed from a burn. I did not expect him to look like he did because all I heard from my friend, was that his brother John, was a doctor but got into drugs, "so he now bums around and sleeps in someone's couch." My friend talked about John like he was just a moocher and a leech of a brother. Their father was there also, but I could not see the facial resemblance to the son because the son's face is deformed.

After I left there and to this moment, I still think about John who is limping in life. I asked myself this question: How can I get up each day if I was in his shoes? And would I want to even get up? Would I be on drugs too, to numb me so I can get through the day? I admit, I have to learn to extend the same grace Jesus has given me, because I am impatient with people who stays on the ground too long licking their wounds - enough and get up already, I'd say. But really, I have learned to tolerate people who just can not get up, and keep themselves dust free but I have yet to learn to be tolerant of people who can not understand why others are on the ground to begin with.

Man is the only creation of God who will kill himself; no animal, sea creatures or plant will do that, and yet John chose to live in spite of the horror of his existence - that I stand in awe.
The facial resemblance that was once there between John and his earthly father is gone, but I know, that the One who created him, the One who knew his name before he was born is still proud of His creation - the only creation that God has ascribed as: "In My image, I created man." So in this coming new year, get up and walk in this knowledge: you can never be too dirty, you can never be too deep in the pit, where God can not reach you and cleanse you - because admit it, He still loves you.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Job or Hobby?

Find a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life. I've always said it, that's the reason why I can't understand people who stays at jobs with emotional cost that cancels out the financial benefits. This man can give me advice on how to budget on zero income and how to enjoy under the bridge living and I'd do it with a smile as long as it is with him. Oh well.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Is Christmas Over Yet?

Christmas, it's that time of the year where people are forced to buy gifts they can't afford and strained relationships that they are forced to face. This is also a time when shopping carts are riding on your heel and cars are riding on your trunk because people are in a hurry. In a hurry to get in the spirit of hurriedness and stress.

I was in line at Old Navy the other day and 2 ladies in front of me were holding up the line because their credit cards were declined. And an acquintance told me, "We're celebrating Christmas without my parents and brother because we are not speaking." And you call that celebrating? People who hasn't lost a loved one can not relate how fragile life is, how life can be snuffed out before you can blink an eye. I can not say this enough but if you're holding a grudge at someone, it's not them you are punishing, but yourself. Do not let anyone own you; forgive and forgive quickly.

Dodging the shopping carts at the grocery store yesterday, stressed the life out of me, I came home and dug up my noise cancelling headset and put on some Reiki music. But instead of putting me in a coma, my heart was racing from nostalgia. Here try this.
Video Courtesy: Healinghandsreiki

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Try Being Broke

Yesterday, when I told my friend that I quit my job 3 weeks ago, he said: What? you quit 2 jobs in 1 year? Yup. I did. And to those of you who would want to know how I'm going to survive, don't worry. Like I told everybody, I have all the money I would ever need in my lifetime. Assuming of course that my lifetime is only overnight. Anyway, being broke is really not that bad, in fact it's exciting. See, if I wasn't broke, I would have been out to Barnes and Noble sipping my Starbucks instead of digging through my pantry and I would not have found this palm sugar. I don't know why I bought this to begin with, but to entertain myself, I thought I'd experiment it with my left over pecans and coconut. I had left over coconut in my refrigerator for the coco bread I made on Thanksgiving. So here's what I did:

Dissolve the palm sugar with 2 tablespoon of water.
Then add the coconut.After it is thoroughly dissolved and mixed, add the pecans immediately to coat it. I made 2 variations: First I tried coating the pecans with just the dissolved palm sugar without the coconut, then I baked it for 15 minutes. The palm sugar expanded and it's very crunchy. Here it is.
For the second variation, I toasted the pecans for 10 minutes then coat it with the palm sugar coconut mixture. I think I made a good discovery this morning-palm sugar, and without any help from the internet.

Holiday Diet Tips

I'm not really sour and dour about Christmas, it's the craziness that comes with it that drives me loony. So I thought I'd share this diet tip that someone came up with.

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare... You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Have a great Christmas Ya'll.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Guilt

" When you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for your repayment will be repaid at the resurrection of the just." What Jesus told the host who invited Him. (Luke 14:13-14)

So what is it, guilt or sheer generosity? I took a friend to the UPS store the other day to mail her Christmas gifts. The box contained a big wrapped gift and some loose items like cans and jars of food and some electronic gadgets. When we left there, we went to the mall then to Walmart and she bought some more items. I didn't buy anything, I was simply the driver because she can't drive. She asked if I was done with my shopping,"I don't do Christmas, I hate Christmas." I said.
"Really? You don't do anything?" she was surprised. I didn't want to advertise and really I don't owe her any explanation but I said: "My daugher and I takes care of less priviledged kids in the Philippines all year long and at Christmas we make sure they eat good that one day."
Then she started telling me how she hates Christmas too. So what's all that box of gifts and the expensive shipping? "Well, we didn't want to do Christmas especially because of the economy, but my brother and his family gave us gifts and our friends gave us gifts even when we told them we can't afford Christmas this year, so we have to give in return." I laughed in pity of her.

You see, I can't let people put me in that holiday prison. If they want to give, let them give. But don't feel bad if you don't get anything in return. That's what Christmas is all about and that's how you will find out if those people are sincere givers. If they don't get anything from you and they continue to give Christmas after Christmas, that's the kind of friends you want to keep.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Coming Soon

Whoever owns this kid will owe the world an apology if his talent is not harnessed and nurtured. Would someone please give the kid the lyrics...please.

Video Courtesy: uke3453

Yes You Can

Here's the story of the Hoyt Team.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Unexamined Life

I shall not die, but live, And declare the works of the Lord. The Lord has severely disciplined me but He has not given me over to death - Psalm 118:17-18

In the span of 13 years, my parents and all my siblings were wiped out. The last to go was my brother whom God took 2 days ago. In 1996 when my sister died at the age of 45, I started thinking about my own mortality and it was in that year that I came to learn what it meant to have a personal relationship with Christ. It was the year when I learned that religion will help us get through the day, but it will not get us to the promised land of eternal life.

When the bible spoke of Paul's message to the Philippians while he was in prison, "To live is Christ and to die is gain", Paul meant that as long as we're alive there will be suffering because even Christ suffered while He was on earth. Death is not the end, it is only the beginning; the physical body has to be destroyed in order for the spirit to enter the realm where Christ is. Life or death is not the issue here, but that Christ is magnified in us. As I continue to watch my family slowly but surely leave this earth, I am left with the same question most survivors ask themselves: Why am I still here? There's no easy answer, but it's time to examine my life.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Dress Codes, Morals and Mercedes

I could be an all-American girl, except that I didn't arrive on the Mayflower and I don't care for football or baseball. But I've always been partial to golf because the players mostly keep a low profile. And they don't wear tight pants tormenting you with their banana and grapes cluster. That sight right there is enough to make me feel tired and dirty - and that's without mentioning their running and rolling around on the ground.

Even with John Daly's freakish dress codes, I still love golf, but I am not a fan of Tiger Woods because the kid is almost supernatural in his game that everytime the word "golf" is mentioned, Tigers name is right next to it. During any tournament where he plays, everyone else is eclipsed by Tiger; either by the media attention or just by how the crowd holds their breath when he passes by. What about the pony-tailed, cigar smoking Spaniard- Miguel Angel Jimenez? Ok, so it's not the same, but get my point?

And now his scandal. I still believe that the kid should be cut some slack - leave the kid and his family alone. The argument that Tiger's life should be public because he's a product endorser and therefore a role model, is friggin' warped thinking to me. Tiger did not start out as an endorser; he's a golfer, an excellent golfer. So here comes Nike asking Tiger to wear their shoes, their hat and their shirts (and whatever else). Nike, the Greek goddess, offered Tiger millions of dollars in exchange for him to wear the victory swoosh on his person all the time, except when he's taking a shower. Nike and the other sponsors did not sign Tiger on because he was a moral agent who would lead us to spiritual salvation or usher us in to Shangri-la, or serve as our guide on how to empty ourselves of greed. The Greek goddess wanted the Tiger to convince us to empty our pockets and buy Nike shoes, period.

Tiger Woods not only sells shoes, he also sells watches and private jets while he plays golf on the side and gets paid in millions - that's free and open market. But his private life is not free or open to the market. He answers only to his family and ultimately to God for his personal transgressions. Now, my neighbor who lives off of my taxes under section 8 rental program definitely needs to answer to me : What's a brand new Mercedes doing in her garage?