Popular Posts

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Begotten in Love

"For there is nothing absurd in saying that a person has begotten not after the flesh. It maybe, but in love, one whom he has adopted as a son. These of us, to with, to whom God has given the power to become His sons. He did not beget of His own nature and substance as was in the case with His only Son, but He did indeed adopt us in His love."

These are the words of Saint Augustine in his book The Harmony of the Gospel which affirmed the work of God in our lives through our son, Michael Augustine.

After giving birth to our first child, my husband and I desired to have more children. With all the pregnancy difficulties I experienced, Shane claimed Psalm 128:3 "Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine, within your house; your children like olive plants around your table". Three years had past, our dream of conceiving again was forgotten. Then the Lord opened the door for us to come back to the Philippines and be establish a mission church.

Year 2005, life had been a struggle for me.  Many times, I had these misgivings whether we were meant to live in the Philippines or England.  I had serious discussions with my husband, trying to close my ears to the voice of the Holy Spirit, I was stubborn.  I prayed that God would somehow show me some way, somehow, a tangible and vvisible assurance that this was the right place for us.

In the middle of uncertainties, God gave a dream during our wedding anniversary, I saw myself holding my second child- a son! He had a round face face with a frail body. I woke up with so much excitement that I immediately told my husband a a close friend in the church about the dream.

The following week, a good friend of mine had a severe stroke and was in coma.  I got so distressed. I was afraid to loose her.  I visited her in the ICU, then had ahard time sleeping the next day. It seemed my whole body was aching.  I was groaning in sleep, it was like a labor pain. The next day we decided to go back to the hospital and right there, we received a very important call. A mother decided to give up a child for an adoption and we were chosen to have the child since we had previously that we were praying for one.

Shane and I got very excited. We went straight to Macro ( a Costco/Sam's type of store in the Philippines) and shopped all the necessary things a newly-born baby would need. I suddenly forgot all the pains and loneliness.

At 11:45 that very same day, our son arrived.   As the Social Worker handed hom to me, I was reminded of my dream, he was the little boy I was holding. I could not hold my tears.  God was telling me, "Here it is, a very visible and tangible assurance".  God gave him to us in a perfect time not only to assure us of our calling to the Philippines , but also to fulfill His promise in Psalm 128 which we claimed and prayed before.

After four days, my friend went home to Jesus. I was not afraid anymore.  God took all my pain and fears with the arrival of our new son. He entrusted us a new life.

Now our son is growing fast. Everyday he brings us much joy. His life is being used nby God to to give me life full of hope in joy.

We love him dearly like our other children (after our son, I got pregnant again , not only once but twice! God blessed us with another two beautiful girls!) I always tell our family and friends, there is no difference...my heart beat is the same when it comes to my children.

 Saint Augustine is right in saying "There is nothing absurd
 in saying that a person is begotten not after flesh, but in love."  After all, we are all adopted in His love.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"The Sweetest Place on Earth"

Staying in Hershey, Pennsylvania was like a Willy Wonka kind-a tour of my life. I was greatly fascinated with the main attraction of this small town- The Hershey's Chocolate Factory. The tour begins in a tropical rain forest where cocoa beans grow and are harvested. then follow their journey across the ocean to America, their delivery to Hershey, and the transformation from bean to milk chocolate and ends free chocolate samples!

This world of Chocolate also features a stunning enhanced 3D HD animated musical adventure, Tasting Adventures, Chocolate Work Machine, Photo Bar, Create Your Own Candy Bar, Dessert Creation Studio and a shopping center for World's Largest Selection of Hershey's Products!  Yum! Yum yum! To all chocolate fanatics and addicts. you should visit this town before you die. It will not fail you , I assured.

 Great appreciation to the founder and countless employees of this Factory. It all started from the great vision of Milton Hershey, a man who once a bankrupt  chosen to persevere and turned his small company into a multi -billion fortune, making the town of Hershey famous all throughout the world. "One is only happy in proportion as he makes others feel happy" is the the motto of this man. He transformed chocolate from a luxury to an everyday treat, making people all around the globe enjoy and be happy as they taste Hershey's products. He established his town and a rich- close knit community was formed. In his memoir, Mr Hershey did give away his fortune not only once but twice to build schools, parks, museums and charities to help the less fortunate. His imagination to make a better world came into realization through his unwavering faith,  hard work and generous and compassionate heart.

Ahhh, such an inspiration, made my heart so merry! Now, every time I eat  chocolate I will always remember this experience and never forget the testimony of Mr Hershey. I will mark it down and pray that somehow in my own little way I can make a difference in this world.

"Enlarge my vision Lord, make me an instrument of change to this darkened world. Let me imitate Jesus' actions through my service to my family, church, friends and community."

Oh by the way, the tour is free!


Friday, March 25, 2011

A Day at Amish Farm

"Welcome to our community", said  Mr.Sam, our Mennonite guide during our buggy ride and visit to an Amish farm in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. His voice made me feel welcome and and a very tranquil spirit surrounded us as we traveled and met some of the people along the skinny streets. Mr. Sam narrated  a short history about Amish People and we were allowed to ask some questions. Little boys and girls were playing along the roads and some are selling shoe horses near the souvenir store. We saw some women hanging clothes and some tending the garden and some putting hays in the barn. We passed by a gentleman spraying an organic (manure) fertilizer to his huge vegetable garden which made us cover our noses because of its very offending smell. As we continued with our carriage ride a great a appreciation for this group of people formed into my heart....

The Amish lifestyle is based upon the belief that one must reject worldly affairs and the trappings of man in order to love God. This practice pervades their work, home , education, worship, travel and all aspects of life. To seek wealth or honor, or to elevate one's position above another through fashion, education, or office-holding is to be avoided. It is necessary only to provide sustenance and basis of life. Luxuries must be shunned. They hold on to Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and perfect will of God."

The Amish have chosen to follow the simple life of their ancestors. The concept of home and family is very dominant and is the cornerstone for maintaining the faith. Amish society is composed of four social units-the family, the settlement, , the district and the affiliation. The basic tenet of Amish faith is that God expects man to work in harmony with the soil and nature and to keep the land and protect it from harm through the use of his labor and oversight.

Our Mennonite Guide kept us all focused and enthralled throughout the trip.. He gave us so much knowledge which made my companions and myself to further discuss even when we reached our hotel. Alone, I remembered my childhood, life was simply then.  It was similar to the Amish way of life...I  wonder, I consider my ways, do I hold on to my present luxuries? Having washing machine and dryer to wash our clothes, vacuum cleaners to clean our carpets, car to travel, clothes and shoes in the closet that many of them I don't even wear, ( I found out Amish women supposed to only have 4 sets of dresses, one to wear, one to wash, one dress and one to spare), oven to cook, etc, etc.. Can I live without them now? Can I live like the Amish people?

Lord , have mercy! Cultivate in me humility, simple living and submission to your will. May I not be entangled by the possessions of this world but always be a courageous pilgrim looking forward to be in my real home.

Lord, thank you for the Amish people, You use them to open my eyes, to confront me of my ways....

Thursday, March 24, 2011


There is a stampede of fear out there. Let's not get caught in it. Let's be among those who stay calm. Lets recognize the danger but not be overwhelmed. Acknowledge threats but refuse to be defined by them. Let others breathe the polluted air of anxiety, not us. let's be numbered among those who hear a different voice, God's.

Enough of these shouts of despair, walls of doom. Why pay heed to the doomsdayer on Wall street or the purveyor of gloom in the newspaper?  We will incline our ears elsewhere: upward. we will turn to our Maker, and because we do, we will fear less. "The righteous shall be glad in the Lord and trust in Him, and all the upright in heart shall glory." (Psalm 64:10)

(Taken from Max Lucado's Fearless)