Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Stretch Out Your Hand



A man whose hand was withered came into the assembly.


This man was unable to write, point, eat or do anything useful with his hand.  He probably went into the synagogue to pray and was not expecting much.  He saw Jesus there but didn't even approach him.  He didn't care to ask him for healing - as it was the sabbath.


For a people steeped in tradition, healing was work and work was not allowed on this holy day.


Jesus, was being watched by the crowd.  Somehow they knew He would do something different today.  


Then Jesus called the man with the withered hand forward - in front of everyone.


"Then he said to the Pharisees,
"Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?"
But they remained silent."  (Mark 3:1-6)


God was so grieved when the Pharisees couldn't answer.  They didn't know what was right from wrong.  They only knew - the way things always were.


It makes me think - is there something in my life that grieves God?  Is there something that needs to be changed?  Is there something that seems right but actually isn't?


Jesus was not afraid of the consequences of doing right.  He knew what the Pharisees would do once the healing took place.  Doing right was still above self preservation.  Jesus expects this from us - to do right despite whatever inconvenience or challenge arises from it.


Once we do right, someone's life changes.  Once we do right, someone is empowered to also live right.  


When Jesus healed the man, He also healed us - He also stretched out our hand to others in need - and to do what is right.  He stretched our hand to others whom society might call the untouchables.  He stretched our hand to the outcast in school. He stretched our hand to the dirty, dying and destitute whom others treated with disdain.


Thank you Lord Jesus for stretching our hand!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Starting the Year Right




Today is a new day nestled within a new year.  Today is open to infinite possibilities.

What you do today may or may not affect your whole year.  It's totally up to you.

There are people who aren't fond of surprises and who live to make lists and lists of things they wish to accomplish.  There are those who just say "come what may" and just go with the flow.  Most of us are somewhere in between.






Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could assure yourself that by the end of this year, you'll become a new, improved version of you?  In a way, you can!
How?  By doing something right - today.
Starting the year right begins with the end in mind.






Ready?  Ok close your eyes.



STEP ONE:



Since God is the author of our lives, we begin and end with Him.  Let's say this prayer:

"Dear Lord, thank You for another year!  Thank You for all the blessings of the past year.  Thank You for Your loving care and protection.  I offer this year to You.  May I be at the center of Your will.  Grant me all the grace and courage I need to fulfil the mission You've created me for."

(Feel free to add to this prayer or just speak to God from the heart.)





STEP TWO:


Let's zoom far into the future to December 31st, 2017.

You're at your family Christmas eve dinner party and you happen to hear some people talking in the hallway.  You can't help but hear what the topic is all about.  It's YOU.   They are saying what you have meant to them this past year...  would they be saying good things or not so good things?



STEP THREE:


Write down the things you would want them to be saying about you.  For example, "I don't know how I could've gone through this year without [ INSERT YOUR NAME HERE].  He/she was really there for me."

1. 
2.
3.

Write down as many "imagin-adjectives" you could.  You don't need to limit this exercise to family members. You can also "overhear" co-workers (for career goals) or friends.


Once you've done that, you're ready for STEP FOUR.




STEP FOUR:



Go over your list of adjectives and think of what actions you can do, to be a person with those traits.

Example:

1.  He/she was there for me.

Resolution - Action:
Spend time with my sister 1x a week.


The Resolution - Action must be quantifiable.  Do not put "often" or "sometimes" but rather, a specific time frame.




STEP FIVE:


Plot your calendar.  Pencil in time with your sister every week on your planner.


Be realistic.  Don't go overboard and spread yourself thin.  You can adjust your planner as you go along to make your goals and plans more doable.



Now you have concrete plans for the year ahead.  You won't just accidentally be better at being the person you want to be - you WILL BE that person!

Wishing you all the best this 2017!  God bless you!




Friday, January 13, 2017

5 Minute Calendar Crafts


Blessed New Year!!!
   

This 2017 promises to be another wonderful year!


Make it crafty!


I was thinking of how easy it would be if we just put together some easily accessible materials and made something charming to tell us what day it is.


Here are 3 simple ways to make a perennial calendar for your home or office.



CHALKBOARD BOTTLE CALENDAR

Materials: 
Thick Black Paper
White Chalk
3 Glass Bottles


How to:


1. Cut black paper into squares with sizes that are just right to fit inside the glass bottles.


2. Draw numbers on the black paper using chalk.  Make 1 to 12 for the months.  1-31 for the days and 1 piece with "2017" on it.  You can vary by making January into a word instead of a number.


3.  Drop the paper pieces inside the bottles and you're done!  Just change the months and days by dropping another piece of paper.  


*These make great decorations for parties as well!






PAPERCLIP PERENNIAL CALENDAR


Materials:
White Paper
Thick Paper
2 inch Circle Puncher
Small Hole Puncher


How to


1. Punch out 3 circles.


2. Lengthen and stretch out the paper clips to be able to attach the paper on it.


3. Assemble and hang on your magnet board or by itself on the wall. It's easy to change the months and days!







LAZY BOOK CALENDAR


Materials:
Old Thick Book
Construction Paper
Textured Paper
Black Brush Pen
Scissors


How to:


1. Cut the paper to size of the book cover and fold.


2. Write out the months and year on that piece of paper.


3.  Make 1 to 31 numbers on textured paper.


4. Let the book stand on an even, hard surface.  Then slide the number in using the pages of the book to hold it up.


*Mix and match the colors of your calendar!






Ok now get crackin'!  It won't take much of your time but the effort will be worth it.  You'll be organized in no time!  




Sunday, January 1, 2017

Friday, December 2, 2016

Advent is Here!


Contrary to popular knowledge, we are in the midst not of the Christmas season, but the season of Advent.  This 2016's Advent season started on the 27th of November and will end on December 24th.
What is Advent?  It's a time of waiting for Christ's coming (Advent means "coming").  It's a time of tremendous grace.

This morning, my husband Patrick and I read today's bible reading and reflection from Presentation Ministries.  We thought it was a specially good meditation for Advent.

It talked about how we sometimes cannot picture anything changing from the way it is now.  

"But a very little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard,..." (Isaiah 29:17).

Picture the cedar forests in Lebanon that have been mentioned about 70x in the bible.  During bible times, Lebanon was filled with cedar trees.  Used for ship-building and construction, the wood was very much sought after.  It would've been hard to imagine all the trees slowly being depleted.

But now Lebanon is filled with orange, apple, grape orchards.

Isaiah's prophecy also says that God will make the blind see and the deaf hear and relieve the world of tyrants.  Isn't that wonderful, we know for sure these things will happen!

"We believe in the "good news" of Jesus Christ (see Mk 1:1). God has the power to change anything, for "nothing is impossible with God" (Lk 1:37). On the cross, Jesus made the greatest transformation of all. He turned death into new life. Believe in the God of transformations. Believe the Advent Scriptures."

We then watched a video about how to make the season holy.  This is the first talk from the Pray More Advent Retreat (which we started late).

Six Ways to Keep Your Advent Season Holy, Part I – Advent 2016

The 18 minute session with Elizabeth Ficocelli is packed with encouraging ideas on how to spend the season.

We hope you are having a good start in this wondrous time!  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving


Every day is truly a great gift from above!

They say that counting your blessings makes you smarter, happier, more sociable and generally helps you live longer!

Just think about it, studies say that we get 3 positive experiences for every bad one.  In my life I think it's much much more than 3.

Let's see... today I hit my head on the cabinet when I was reaching for the trash bin.  Ouch!  But I cannot compare that with any one of these blessings...


GOD!
He is the source of all blessings - love, joy and goodness in this life!

Seeing snow fall for the first time in my life!
I've been in a ski resort in Korea before (my brother won this contest) but the snow wasn't really falling.

Getting my visa documents a month early!!! (ok, that was yesterday but it's still something I'm thankful for today.  It's been an answered prayer so I be in the same country as my husband.)

I have the world's greatest HUSBAND!
(This should have been first but my family and friends are kind of all mushied up already since I kind of brag about him all the time.)  He fixed up the futon last night and tidied it away this morning.  He looked for my breakfast and told me he loved me.  I'm really so very blessed!

My family is the most WONDERFUL!
My family is truly amazing, even if they're pretty far away right now.  (It's not their fault :)  It's kind of mine since I moved here. 

And now I have in-laws too!  Even if I haven't met everyone, those I've met show me that I did marry the right guy and I'm sure those I will meet will be equally warm, thoughtful, kind and simply cool!!!  Special mention blessing is my brother-in-law Michael's recovery from multiple surgeries.  Wow thank you Lord for answering our prayers!

Of course, my friends who are always there for me!

There are more blessings...

Fast internet!
Heaters
Thermals and coats
Washing Machine and other appliances ;)
Yoghurt!!!
Boiled eggs (my husband cooked for me)
Roof over my head (our beautiful apartment)
Our new prayer corner (see picture below)
Living in a country with the freshest food
Cats I pass by on the way to the train station
My work which is so fun

There are multitudes of millions more to say but I think you'll agree with me that what we have to be thankful for is so much more than we can ever think of.  Today is a blessing that is unlike any other and we were given this gift!!!  So let's be grateful!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Above is our (new) prayer corner.  It's kind of "floating" but my husband likes that so I guess I like it too!  :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

God is with us!


I am Gods'Temple, the home of His most Holy spirit.

We are where God wants to be!  He has made us holy by the power of His Spirit. He has made us a bearer of His light. His joy, His love! 

When one looks at the World today, the focus is on one's outward appearance-how smooth your skin is, how slim your figure is, how shiny your hair is-and what matters to God is what is in our heart - if we are a fit dwelling place for His Spirit. He wants to be with us-in every kind of day, whether sunny or thunderstormy.  He wants to make a home in our hearts.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Romans 8:28



One of my favorite life verses! Have a blessed day! :)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Something Blue Something New



PHOTO CREDIT: JRV PHOTOGRAPHY

 This is me on the day of my wedding, remembering my mom as I fiddled with her earrings.  She was no ordinary mom, and I felt like she was with me as she was in all the important moments of my life.
Mom must have whispered to God as soon as she set foot in heaven as I met Patrick only 3 months after mom passed on.

Before she did, she imparted to us all the love, wisdom, talent, resourcefulness, pragmatism (and much more) that she had.  She taught us to create with care, and to bless others with the work of our hands.  So off I went and thought to make as many elements of our wedding as I possibly can.


OUR MONOGRAM
THIS OR THAT?  SAVE THE DATES IN DIFFERENT SHADES
Patrick and I have been blessed to have similar tastes.  The first church we considered was Eastwood's John Paul II's Holy Family Chapel.  Once we went in, we both loved it and no other church compared.  Motif was a similar matter.  We based our ceremony on Luke 5:4 so the colors of the deep blue sea it was.




THE INVITATIONS

I can be pretty indecisive at times (this IS the only time I'm doing this) so I made 7 designs for my (now) hubby to choose from.  He liked almost everything and said I can make even more, one design per guest!  He is hilarious!



PUT OUT INTO THE DEEP  Luke 5:4


 THE CEREMONY

Couples don't usually choose "Put out into the deep" as their life verse but it is ours.  Our priest obliged us by agreeing to have it as the Gospel reading too.  If not for this verse, we wouldn't be together today.  That is another story for another day.



THE RECEPTION

To satisfy my craving for all things chalkboard, I made this stage backdrop for the reception.  It introduced everyone to the important members of our now-joined families.


OUR BACKDROP IN CHALKBOARD STYLE

PINK SUGAR'S CORNER

I must put a word in for our excellent dessert buffet by Pink Sugar.  They really stole the show!  Good thing we put them near the stage as the different types of dessert not just tasted good, they looked good too!  My brother gave the cake as a gift to us and it was so exquisite to look at.



I guess this photo was a lot closer to the end of the event as you can only see a bit of the center piece items.  We had a festive look with flowers, a jar for wisdom and wishes, candle bottle and book table number.



I put together a lot of jars with beribboned brooches and had all the guests give us their thoughts and well wishes.



The little jar above isn't finished yet - I took out the lid, sprinkled white snowy glitter and put wire flowers around it to make it look dainty.






The book table numbers were fun to make.



THE GIVEAWAYS

Pouches with unisex scents were also a delight to put together.  I made labels for men and for women.  The monogrammed pouches were actually supposed to all look alike but I think it turned out better (less boring)!


I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the DIYs I made for our wedding.  All the details made the day all the more special.

Now I'm reading a book "Three to Get Married" by Fulton Sheen.  Try to get a copy as it is put together so beautifully and it reminds us how God must be at the center of our marriage (or any relationship for that matter).

We are off to a good start as we embark and put out into the deep in this matrimonial adventure journey!



Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Be Gentle

You are so precious!  You are so loved!  You're a treasure and a light in a darkened world so be gentle with yourself! 

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