Tag Archives: love

We are either single or alone (because of long distance relationship) today, on a valentines day! And I thank God because I have harshfriends who never failed to amuse and readily throw laughter the moment the battle starts rolling. 
Indeed, harshfriends are the people who tell you things you don't even want to tell yourself. They've organized this dinner because they don't want to be left out when people are busy posting their valentine celebration, I also happened to be away from my GB Haide, so I said I'd join. Thanks to our ever active friend Roscel and Keithly for this event! Haha we're not alone! 
So, we arrived on time (me and Keithly), waited for couple of minutes to be given a seat in the restaurant. People flew into the place, as expected. But yeah, we were given seats after a few minutes of waiting. They serve asian food. We were already hungry so we ordered as soon as the others arrived. But before all the food were served, the laughter had already bursted. 
We had chicken pandan, shrimp, fried pork belly and a fish fillet and platter rice tom yum and garlic rice? haha

Fish fillet

Tom Yum

Chicken Pandan

Crispy Fried Pork Belly

Shrimp

The talk and laughter was awesome! Every time we get together, we will surely have those more than enough dose of laughter! Something that we really needed to have every now and then! More gatherings to come! haha But seriously, they're so hungry. Look at Roscel! haha

I finished my food first, so I was able to take the above picture! haha Keithly was always ready for a photo op? LOL!
Reviews:
Service : 3/5 my friend called earlier to reserve a seat for us, but they said they don't accept reservations. It's on a first come first serve basis. But when she got there, she was asking to get the seats she spotted, but was told it was reserved. Really? The crew though are friendly. Aren't they Keith? haha Food were served not so quickly but not too long.
Food: 4/5 it's good but it's not that outstanding. The garlic rice was just ordinary (was garlic rice?) haha. The food taste were filipinized thai food (asian food). Generally, the food tasted good! 
Price: 3/5 for the food we've had, I think it's within reasonable. But not really for a budget type of meal. It's a little bit above affordable, but still reasonable.
Ambiance: 4/5 at least for the spot that we got, we've had our laugh out loud moments without being conscious about the other people in the room. Just enough ventilation and coziness to enjoy some intellectual (weeeh?) or cool conversation and laughter.

In sum, I've enjoyed tonights dinner! Thanks #harshfriends for the company! Thanks for the laughter! Till next time. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Valentines Day to all of you! 

If you were presented with that statement, and you were asked, what do you understand about that phrase? What would be your answer?
"Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey."
Such a profound word from Lord Byron. 
But if I am going to answer the question, I would say, that the quote seems to jive with the quote "love conquers all". Love reigns over any adversities and atrocities. As atrocious situations could be like wolves when they prey, but with love one can overcome such situation.
And I am not referring only to "love" towards your partner or lover, but love towards almost everything. Say for work, for craft, for what you're doing, for children and even for everything. If you ever get tired at life, try taking in, and giving out more love. 
I have seen most people succeed in their pursuit of happiness because they have this in their life, "love". 
So this Christmas, and you think you can give not much material things, and people around you, can't afford to give you material. Welcome their gift of love. Appreciate the relationship, not just the material gift. Appreciate the love, way more than the value of the thing given. Appreciate the thoughtfulness. And don't miss to say, "thank you!". 
Appreciating what you receive, means you are welcoming more of that blessing! ๐Ÿ™‚ You are being a good receiver! 
So this Christmas Season! Live. And Love. 

The photo above was taken by yours truly last Monday. In this busy and almost always hurried life, I reckon we sometimes need to pause and appreciate what's around us.
I was on my way home, hurrying to drop by a grocery store to pick up some of my personal necessities, when this picture caught my attention and I ended up telling myself, "wait, I have to take this picture!" Indeed, pictures are everywhere, and you just need to take them.
This is one of the random pictures I took using my phone,  I usually enjoy taking B&W photos, I like it raw and its simplicity exudes the pictures' antics and luxury.
Just to be clear though, I am not in a Black & White challenge going on facebook. This is my personal choice to take and share my appreciation nature.
So, what's in this picture that caught your attention?
  1. I love the sunset. It means that each busy and seemingly tiring day will have an end. Just like the brightest day with the sun at its fullest shine, it has to rest and set. Our days, circumstances, and challenges too shall pass and set.
  2. That when life starts to darken, we would need some light. I saw the billboard's light are on that early, so when there's darkness, there's the "light" that shines over that billboard and allow it to show its existence. In the same way, we too need light, our light could be in the form of friends or family.
  3. That even if you stand so tall in the midst of every one, you cannot stay in pride and percolate grandeur without someone to hold you up, and someone to keep flashing you the light. And if you stand tall enough to be seen by every one, that means you intentionally or unintentionally sharing yourself to others, and makes you responsible for it. Be the best influence then. Don't make your pedestalic advantage be in vain. Show some of yourself that is of value. 
  4. And just like the life of the billboard, you are a constant advertisement. You are your testimony. Be a good one. 
  5. Take time to pause, and enjoy every bit of God's creation. Felicitating that you have the chance to witness the augustness of the world.
Have a great day! ๐Ÿ™‚

In the beginning, God created the world with an infinite amount of diversity. Consider the many different animals, insects, plants and minerals on this planet. Even after so many centuries, we're still making discoveries about God's creation. Then add to that the billions of people who have lived over the course of time - each unique and different from one another.
God pulled out all the stops! He used the big box of Crayolas to create the world with endless diversity. No repetition. No duplicates. God made everyone and everything unique.
All too often, though, we fail to celebrate the blessing of diversity. Differences challenge us. So, we cluster ourselves in social (and religious) circles of sameness.
All of us feel much more at ease when we cloister around people just like us. But how much clearer would people see God's love if we boldly broke out of our clusters and crossed our uncomfortable boundary lines in order to love people not like us?
All of us have been more than firsthand witnesses of God's love; we've been recipients of His mercy - receiving undeserved.loving-kindness and saving grace. "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). He loves us despite ourselves.
Could we not do likewise?
God may have placed a person in your life who isn't anything like you. In fact, you may not even like that person. But God's desire for you transcend your craving for ease or personal pleasure. He may want this man or woman to experience an undeniable truth - we are all people to love, even when we act unlovely and behave in unlovable ways. You may be the person's first-ever taste of unconditional love.
You may feel like saying, "I can't. I'm not capable. I need easier challenges."
I know how you feel.
A former boss once lied about me when I was in my late teens. He defamed my character and, I thought, I ruined my future. However, God led me to His Word, requiring me not t return evil, but to love this guy and pray for him. Despite the challenge, I obeyed God. And as a result, God unleashed a new sense of freedom and effectiveness He's used to impact lives over many years. But it was unbelievably tough love assignment.
Without hesitation, God issues love assignments that stretch us. He gave us His Son a big one, didn't He?

(From Dwight Robertson's "You are God's Plan A [and there's no plan b]")

My friend Camille owned a thriving travel agency in Denver. Living out God's plan A calling on her life, she looked for opportunities to serve and share her faith with her employees and clients, and she did so effectively. As a result, her customers received far more than good travel plans.
Camille was attending a thriving inner-city church, which was a fair distance from her suburban home. Church in the City is located in the heart of Denver on East Colfax Avenue - a street known its many homeless people, drug addicts, and prostitutes. But for the most part, this Kingdom laborer lived a safe and predictable life. Then one morning everything changed. Camille sensed God calling her beyond the four walls of her church building to a nearby street corner frequented by homeless people. Who would have thought that God wanted a red-haired, freckle-faced woman from the suburbs, who knew little about the street, to bring His love to people very different from the ones she encountered in her normal everyday world? With the blessing of her pastor, she committed to obey and began praying like crazy.
She knew that prayer is not something you do for the work of God - it is the work of God. Her first action step was praying that God would protect this plan and these people from any satanic attack that would neutralize her efforts. And she asked God to use her to bring His abundant life purpose to as many people as possible. Her praying was bold, and it needed to be! As she prayed, God poured His love into her heart (Romans 5:5).
Camille had a deep understanding that prayer is the way God prepares hearts (our own and others'). Before her first day on the street, she began earnestly praying. Eventually the time came for her to put her prayer into action. She traded her safe seat in the church sanctuary for an unfamiliar street corner. It was scary venturing outside the safe environment of a church full of "easy to love" people - to engage unpredictable new places and people. But god was leading her step by step into this unknown adventure. Answering this divine calling meant dying to self and coming alive to a life motto she would embrace again and again: ALL for the King...for His Kingdom!
By faith, Camille stepped out of her comfort zone, knowing those who risk nothing gain little.
Her friend Gail joined her, and together on a Tuesday morning that rocked Camille's world, they gave away free doughnuts - and a generous helping of God's love.
In her first venture into the unknown, Camille got out of her car, box of doughnuts in hand, and began walking toward a group of homeless people she'd seen earlier. Although very aware that she looked much different from them, she pushed past her fear and self-consciousness.
"Here, have a doughnut," she stammered as she offered her trembling box of doughnuts to the bystanders who suddenly stopped talking and were staring at her.
"What's the catch, lady?" a voice offered back.
She paused and then shared what God brought to her mind.
"God loves you, and I've been praying for you. He told me to come and give you doughnuts today. I'm here to serve you. Is there anything specific I can pray for anyone about?"
For a moment, she lingered in the awkwardness of their silent stares. No one knew how to respond.
Finally, someone broke the silence. "When will you be back? Is this gonna be a regular thing?"
"Yes. Every Tuesday morning, right here at this intersection, you can have free doughnuts, friendship, a listening car, and prayer," Camille explained.
The next Tuesday a big homeless man named Jack confided that he was headed to the hospital in a few days to have a growth surgically removed from his neck. When Camille asked to pray for him, he refused. Jack then shared that years before, a church wounded him.
After listening intently, Camille responded, "Well, Jack, I'm your new friend. I'm not a church. And I'd like to pray for you, if that's okay. Can I?"
Street people can often discern the attitudes and motives of the people around them. Jack sensed Camille's humility and genuine concern. So in a gruff, stoic John Wayne - type voice, he replied, "I guess you can." Camille then prayed a simple prayer for Jack, the doctors, the hospital and his recovery.
The next week, Jack was standing at the street corner, but something was missing. "Jack, where's your bandage?" Camille asked, looking for evidence for his surgery.
"When you prayed for me, the growth dissolved," he answered in a matter-of-fact voice.
Camille's jaw dropped. "It did?"
"Yeah," Jack retorted, taken aback by her surprise.
Camille was shocked.
"I really didn't have that much faith," Camille confessed later to me. "But God was confirming to me that if I did my part, He would surely do His."
Every time she returned, she felt God's presence and pleasure in her service to the poor. These strangers became Camille's friends and a special group of people to love.
Every Tuesday for fifteen years, Camille has served God's life-changing love to about 130 of her friends on East Colfax. And her friends love them and respect her as well. She serves them breakfast, give them hygiene items, and distributes an assortment of high-quality supplies from T-shirts to leftover Starbucks baked goods. Camille wants to bless them by acknowledging their dignity and worth. She treats them as people whom God loves and values - people with a hope, a plan and a future.
"It's simple," Camille says. "The Holy Spirit runs it. I just keep on showing up."
But she also admits, "God had to teach me patience, faithfulness, and humility- which always usher in His presence because He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5).
God's call to take a risk and offer her efforts unto Him has required that Camille relinquish any desire for specified results or acceptable social responses.
After investing years of hugs and listening to people's stories, countless prayers, and advocating again and again on behalf of her friends, she has remained faithful. She shows up every week for the people she loves.
God has done the rest!
Now, in a donated storefront building, Camille leads a weekly Bible study for fifty street people who want to know more about Christ, and every week God shows up in various ways. Some of her friends have plugged back into life and society. They know they can count on her - and God can too. She's a special laborer who keeps coming back, again and again. Consistency is vital when God gives you people to love.

Camille has crossed countless social, ethnic, economic, and religious boundaries in reaching out to Denver's neediest people. Today, eighty-eight lives are off the street because one ordinary woman covenanted with God to move past her typical boundaries and find common ground with an uncommon group of people to love. Just like Jesus.
(From Dwight Robertson's "You are God's Plan A [and there's no plan b])

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I want to share another portion of a book I've read entitled "The Relationship Principles of Jesus" by Tom Holladay, I hope with the excerpt from the first chapter you'll be able to grab some insights to realize or ponder, and think of love and inspiration and blessing, and even miracles...
"Relationships are painful. Relationships are wonderful. We all live in the drama that plays out between two truths. 
I think of Neal and Robin when I think of the drama of relationships. Married for only a few years, their life together had started strong. And then, with a suddenness that tore their world apart, Robin suffered a brain hemorrhage. As I sat with Neal in the waiting room on the night it happened, we heard the doctor seak in hushed tones about high-risk surgery and low odds of success. Even if Robin were to survive the surgery, she would likely be in semiconcious state for the rest of her life. Neal's immediate response was simple faith and sacrificial love. He believed that God had a plan even in this dire circumstance, and Neal was committed to love Robin, no matter what it would take.
Robin survived the surgery, and Neal kept his commitment to love. Day after day, he sat with Robin and spoke to her and nurtured her. Little by little, he loved her to unexpected restoration. Robin learned to speak haltingly and began to be able to use her hands and arms again. She has even taken a few victorious steps on her own. Almost every weekend at church, there they are - Neal, a shining example of overcoming love, and Robin, a powerful example of overwhelming courage and faith. Robin sometimes wonders just what she can accomplish for God in a wheelchair. The truth is, she speaks a life-changing sermon on the power of love by her mere presence. Those who have been involved in Robin's care see her life as a miracle. The greatest miracle, they say, isn't the healing (they've seen bodies healed before) but in the love. This is the love of a couple who made the choice to continue to love, even in the most crushing of circumstances - Neal having chosen to practice sacrificial love in a marriage that wasn't close to what he and Robin had dreamed it would be, and Robin having chosen to accept and return Neal's love rather than allowing her own hurt to push him away.
Relationships are filled with both wonder and pain. When I think of the pain of relationships, literally hundreds of pictures flood into my mind from my thirty years as a pastor:
-a couple on the verge of a divorce neither one wants yet both are choosing.
-parents who can't get through to their child, no matter how much time, money , and heartache they invest
-a son whose dad has treated him with cruel contempt of abuse
-a friend whose feeling of betrayal is so deep that she never wants to trust anyone again
When I consider the wonder of relationships, I am equally overwhelmed:
-a marriage no one thought could be restored - but it was 
-friendships in a small group that have become the bedrock of life
-a family that would surely fall apart when the pressure of an illness hit - and yet they all came together in the most amazing way
When Jesus came to this earth, he demonstrated that he understands both the wonder and pain of your relationships. He experienced them both. He came to begin a new relationship with you - a relationship that will strengthen all your relationships. Jesus came to show you how to enjoy a new way of relating to God and to others.
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I will continue to share some portions of the book while I learn from my readings. If you want to keep learning with me, subscribe to this blog.