Warm Bodies

Let’s see how far I can go without drooling over the cuteness that is Nicholas Hoult, shall we?

It was a cold, rainy Sunday night when my new neighbors invited me to their place to hang out. Well, to be truthful, I invited myself over. It’s such a thrill to finally have people you know live in your block.

We decided to watch a movie and I volunteered to pick it out so I can screen from the list. Cartoons and action movies are ruled out. And because I’m not a fan of scary movies, thrillers are out, too. I wanted to see a chick-flick (sometimes we all just need to chill out and not think) and the closest title to my recollection of rom-coms was, you got it, Warm Bodies.

Warm Bodies is only kind of okay save for Nicholas Hoult and the moral of the story. The gist is there’s a zombie guy who liked this human girl. The zombie guy, R, ate off the brains of human girl, Julie’s boyfriend. R gets glimpses of human memories from eating the brain and somehow pangs of emotion on the side. He rescues Julie from the zombie mob and keeps her hidden in an abandoned plane. So they hang out and bond and develop crazy feels. Which is a lot to say for R who is apparently undead and cannot feel nor articulate anything (sounds like any average dude, hahaha).

Julie is in turn nice to R, which gives R warmth. The zombie mob eventually develop a heartbeat from the example of Julie and R. They get patches of memories and as a clincher to their state of deadness, they get to have dreams. (Everybody go, awww)

Sometimes, I’d like to get reminded that this world we live in is a cemetery. There are a lot of walking dead people. Some of them have great jobs, nice families, good things going on for them but until God breathes life into them, they’re just like that. Alive but dead.

Sin does that to a person. The wages of sin is death. Death means separation from God and while that doesn’t sound too dire, in reality it is. I think the worst part of it is that you are actually dead and can’t do anything about it. No matter how well you try to live your life, it will all become meaningless and disastrous in the end.

That is why it’s a high calling for people who have life breathed into them, once-dead people who now have Jesus Christ in their lives, live out a living existence. So that people could see that there’s a difference with just living and life in Christ.

How many out there would love to dream or feel or live with purpose. People changed by the love of God are the warm bodies this world needs. It’s our duty as salt and light of the world to prove that there’s more to life than this, whatever it is they’ve settled for.

I guess my new neighbors and I have a huge assignment down the projects. 😉

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Get Over Yourself

I caught a virus over the weekend. I do not know what it’s called nor do I have plans of finding out what it is but it just drains me of too much energy. Thankfully, I still have some to spare because my sense of responsibility just keeps niggling at me. I hate that sometimes. I wish I could just call in sick and not have to worry about work I’ve left unfinished.

And there’s a TON.

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I still have time to blog. How you ask? Maybe because it’s the only thing I can handle right now that does not involve too much thought. My brain literally (I mean literally like it pulsates. Imagine Krang of TMNT; my brain feels like that) hurts whenever I have to focus on one item on my to-do list. I feel powerless. This is the only thing I can get my hands on that would actually feel like an accomplishment.

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God’s grace is sufficient for me. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. I like hanging on to grace. It’s the only thing that keeps me afloat. Praise God for His is always, always enough for me.

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In 2007, some of the graduates from my church decided to do a Bible study with Pastor Dave who succeeded Pastor Bob’s Senior Pastorship. And because the Paul-Timothy program was ongoing at that time, the boys were all lining up to be mentored by Pastor Dave.

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Tito Dave agreed to hold sessions in his home but with a dire warning of remaining a teacher only and none of the life-sharing stuff. So the boys all met every Thursday for three months. In July of that year, we girls (Ate Riz, Ate Ivy, Ate Normi and I) sat down for one session and have come back every Thursday since.

As for Tito Dave’s teacher-only status, well, let me just say that he and the group are now in a raid-your-refrigerator level.

I remember when the girls would have a separate session with Tita Nory, Pastor Dave’s wife. The guys will move to the lanai while we stay at the kitchen sharing all sorts of stuff. One Thursday, because the girls outnumbered the guys, we had a joint session. I remember Kuya Nikos chronicling the event as they (the guys) seal one season of their BS Group.

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For the first years of TG, we all had taken turns in leading the Bible Study. For one season, we did character studies and learned about the lives of famous Bible people. Ate Riz took on Thomas and for a while we called ourselves Friends of Thomas. The guys naturally joked around and said they’d study Judas and rename our group Friends of Judas. It never really caught on. Hah.

And so people have come and gone the Lascano meeting place and we have covered topics like SBCC’s Statement of Faith, Cults and Occult, Escatological views (big word!), Manuscript Bible Studies, Inductive Bible Studies, God’s Will, How to Prepare a Sermon, How to Preach, The Sabbath, and so much stuff in between.

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So much stuff in between means drama, drama, drama, out of the country trips, out of town trips, food trips and Christmas parties.

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Our resumes would all look good if we put in all the topics we’ve discussed as a group but really, we all still have a long way to go. But that’s not to say we didn’t get anything out of the Thursdays we spent together.

I used to be the youngest in the group and I have seen how my Ates and Kuyas grew before my eyes. I am always proud to call them role models (eeeeeven though they fail an awful lot of times) so much so that I got around my QLC phase just fine. I don’t say it as often as I should but I am thankful that I got to be who I am today because they all had a contribution. So if my standards are unbearably high, blame them. That’s all of them put together. 😉

In the original group, Kuya Nikos and Kuya Jasper were the ‘inviters.’ I swear they were the types who tagged anyone along. Usually because of ulterior motives, hahaha, but that’s okay since we meet new people that way. Ate Riz was always the devil’s advocate, trying to make sense of what was not said. It always adds to interesting discussion points and that’s how we all get to exercise our noodles. Ate Ivy and Ate Normi were fans of Tita Nory. They really like picking up points from her in the wifery side, getting ideas of what it’s like being married to a Pastor.

Now in 2013, there are 24 people in the Thursday Group group, at least three cars parked outside the Lascano gate every Thursday, more than 10 pets that have lived and died (Kevin, Florida, Aramani, etc), three continents that were visited, several out of town trips, five weddings, tons of tissues spent, truckloads of coffee consumed, and so much life-sharing in between.

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From a Bible Study group that just met, TG has become a home, a place of solitude people can run to midweek.  Thursday is Thursday and no other day has become quite like it.

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Lights

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” ~Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)

 

I came across this book called Searching for Mrs. Oswald Chambers by Martha Christian. It’s about Mrs Biddy Chambers, the woman behind the man who wrote My Utmost for His Highest. Since I started using this devotional book for straight days (I kept avoiding it for as long as I can remember because that one time I read it, I found it too heavy and decided that I’m not *that* kind of Christian yet [I was young, what?]), I have found a new leap to my walk with Jesus.

 

Anyway, Faith and I were browsing through titles in an OMF  bookstore during lunch break and talking about Pastor’s Wife mechanics. I had no intentions of purchasing anything save for the Ilocano Bible I was going to give to a friend. The title just jumped out from the shelf and I could not resist not buying. I haven’t finished reading it; I haven’t even gone past twenty pages but this particular paragraph made me tear up…

 

‘Biddy Chambers kept the flame of faith in Jesus Christ burning. She lived what she believed, and others saw Christ in her eyes. The reflection of the light of Christ shines in the faithful ones who follow the path of the Cross, and Biddy Chambers mirrored the love of Jesus Christ.’

 

The whole time I was reading those lines my thought was, ‘I pray that when God calls me home, these words will be said of me, too.’ If only that meant Jesus Christ was evident in me and that I reflected the Son in my life.

This.

This morning, I woke up earlier than my alarm clock but I just laid still and listened to praise and worship music. The Lord prompted me last night to get on my knees (literally) and pray for the items on my list. It’s a challenge I accepted knowing that it would be simple to get on my knees while praying. It’s not rocket science and it’s definitely not an aerobic activity; how hard can it be?

I signed up for the prayer chain in my church and picked the 6:30 am slot just to stretch myself into committing wee hours (I consider it wee hours, haha) into prayer and fasting. Anyway, as I was listening to music, I had my eyes closed and decided to wait for my alarm to go off before I start praying. And then I felt weird pain in my stomach. It wasn’t of hunger. In fact, I couldn’t recognize what kind of pain it was but I had to hunch over and hold my sides. At first, the pain was manageable and it went away as soon as it had come.

I didn’t think much of it whenever the pain went away but as I was getting on my knees, I felt something assault me that I had to hang on the edge of my bed. I got back to my knees but found that they were hurting (which is crazy because I’ve only been kneeling for ten seconds!) so I figured maybe I was too heavy (heehee). So when I did a semi-kneel, half-sitting pose, I started writing my prayers down and started to choke. I wasn’t too alarmed because I normally have coughing fits in the morning, especially when my rhinitis acts up, but this particular moment was not ordinary. When I finished my Bible reading and prayer time, I moved back up to bed and finished praying there. My stomach started rumbling again, at first with hunger, then with that weird sensation that I cannot hold it anymore. I prayed that the Lord will comfort me. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply and the next thing I know I was drifting off to sleep.

When I woke up, the pain was gone (even my nasal problems) and I prayed and thanked God for rescuing me.

This caused me to believe that the Lord will do amazing things in the lives of the people I prayed for. I’m not going to stop interceding for them even when the enemy attacks me. What’s the worse that can happen? I die? To live is Christ, to die is gain. 😉

New Theme

Thanks to the very brilliant people who create such beautiful themes, I have updated mine. Thank you, Caroline Moore! 🙂

 

This theme looks more like me, eh? 🙂

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Speaking of themes, our church is currently going through a week-long fasting and prayer time. Last night, our Pastor challenged us to have a personal slogan for the year, something that the Lord will ignite in our hearts as a battle cry.

As I was mulling over what that IT was (that something that can only go by prayer and fasting), it dawned on me that I do not trust the Lord enough. I do trust Him but I haven’t come to the height of fully depending on Him, so much so that I have no say in the matter He’s dealing me with. I’m a control freak! That’s just one of the things I believe He’s asking me to let go of. I’m so thrilled to find out more. I know He’s still got a lot of things to say to me. It’s absolutely amazing that the Lord would even speak to me. Woe to me, person of unclean lips. I am ruined!

But that’s the kind of God He is. Indescribable!

As far as new themes go, I think I’d borrow Alice’s slogan. #manalig2013

Therapies

Isn’t it great that mortals are designed to have sanity-upkeep activities so that they may retain their well, sanity? While I’m all about the crazy times (and I have been getting a lot of those lately), there’s nothing like a quiet evening at home, reading, writing, making arts and crafts or baking.

(I get a kick out of saying I bake. I don’t really. I just follow what my discipler tells me to do, hehe)

One night, I got the urge to bake something and decided to employ my little brothers in a kitchen-fun night. We thought about making cookies but I did not know what shortening was or where to find it so we looked up recipes that did not require that ingredient. We then decided on baking brownies and dump ice cream on it when it’s cooled.

I thought about cutting the ingredients in half since we’re only going to make a batch that’s good for the three of us. It’s pretty cool that we have every ingredient and tool ready; we even got to practice math skills as we divided fractions (half of 1/3, half of 1/4, etc).

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Like a boss. The batter went well. The consistency was okay, it was chocolatey enough and we found a small pan that can fit the brownie mix.

I pre-heat the oven like the recipe said and when that’s done, I set the oven to 30 minutes. For the first ten minutes, the house smelled of brownies that I feel like I should get a Martha Stewart sash and crown. By the time it hit 15 minutes, something smells burnt so we looked into the oven (with a flashlight even!) to check on our brownies. It looked okay so we didn’t mind the burning smell. And then we knew it was really burnt when there was smoke coming out of the oven. Hahahahaha.

bake2We ended up making BURNies!

Ate Dot checked up on our baking project and discovered that I did not adjust the heating circulation thingy gauge in the oven and it was on high heat. Since our batter was cut in half, it baked quickly. The burnies turned out to be crisp (like cookie/cracker) and the top was so burnt, it was black (like asphalt). It did taste okay but the burnt part was screaming ‘this is cancerous, don’t eat it!’ LOL. The brownies were messed up but I was happy just the same. Good thing they brought home sweets from the wedding or we wouldn’t have had dessert. Hashtag-happyfail.

Anyway, that’s what happens when you bake without parental supervision.