Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Learning Some Life Lessons...From My Laptop! (LESSON # 1)

A few days ago, I ran my laptop non-stop for about 3 days without shutting down, putting on sleep or hibernating.  Even when I wasn't actually in front of it, I left it on because I was downloading something (I know, I know, my carbon footprint is awful -- to my environmentalist friends, I promise to be more cautious of this!).  When I went back to work on it on the 4th morning, I could really feel how "tired" it was... it was starting to run in 'slow mo'!  Hmmm. Actually, it wasn't exactly "running", it was only jogging or maybe even just brisk walking!

For most gadgets, the quick solution for behavior like this (or other similar problems) is simply to reboot.  And so that's exactly what I did -- close all the active windows and click "RESTART."  Sure enough, when I used it again, it was running probably more than twice the speed it was before rebooting!  Hallelujiah!

This got me thinking... what a precious life lesson this actually is!


There are times when I find myself "running" non-stop for a couple of days -- working on multiple things, rushing to this place and that, holding meetings right and left.  I'm so focused on the never-ending "to-do list", that I sometimes forget to breathe, to stop, to rest! (though I rarely forget to eat, haha! When the tummy calls, I usually answer…at worst, I end up taking very late lunches or dinners if I have deadlines to meet).  

I've been like this pretty much since way back in high school.  But don't get me wrong.  I don't consider myself a "workaholic"; and I am rarely "stressed out" even if I have many, many, MANY things to do (pressure, sometimes... but stress, hardly -- I'll share my thoughts on the difference of "pressure vs. stress" in another post).  

Rather, I liken myself more to that Energizer Battery mascot, the "Energizer Bunny" -- for those who aren't familiar with this, watch this original Energizer TV commercial  and a few other succeeding commercials, to get the point more - 1989 Commercial  and 2000  Commercial.

But naturally, after some time, even an Energizer Bunny runs out of! The usual case of "the mind is willing but the flesh is weak" kicks in and I find that I'm no longer as productive or efficient as I was a few days before.  The solution? -- REBOOT!  

There are tons of ways to reboot, its really just up to you to get creative and find out what works best for you.  Here's a shortlist of "my favorite ways to reboot" -- some being quick fixes, while others require a little more planning (and expense):

(in no particular order)

1) having a simple dinner or movie night out with friends
2) if the opportunity is there, ballroom dancing  
3) going to daily mass or dropping by the adoration chapel
4) a long night's sleep!!! --> often the best way to reboot
5) going to my school in Tagaytay
6) watching "downloads"
7) looking through photo albums / archives
8) reviewing Hebrew vocabulary words (yes, geek!)
9) recently, writing this blog ;-)
10) and if i need a major reboot, going out of town for a few days 

Like I said, the list can go on and on.  The point is, we all need to reboot, re-charge, re-energize ourselves every now and then, in the midst of our busy, busy lives.  Not only does this give us renewed inspiration, zeal and clarity of mind to do the things we have to do... these activities also inject the much needed "happy hormones" into our system which ultimately make us more creative...and less insane! :-)

So go ahead, if you're starting to run in slow-mo, reboot today.

* * * 

Jesus Himself "rebooted" a lot during His years of ministry...

"After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone." (NASB) - Matthew 14:23

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." (NIV) - Mark 1:35

"It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God." (NASB) - Luke 6:12

"Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples." (NIV) - John 6:3

It All Sounds Greek To Me... NOT ANYMORE! :-)

Now Greek doesn't "sound too Greek" to me anymore (haha!). It's beginning to make sense.  
* * *
Studying the Biblical Languages (Hebrew in 2009 and currently, Greek) is one of the most unexpected, yet one of the most awesome blessings that God has given me! :-)

I just finished another afternoon of Greek class earlier today... and while my brain is super mushy, I find that my heart is super happy! :-)  

(oh and my tummy gets super hungry after 2 1/2 hours of lessons & exercises!) :-)

It's not just the challenge of learning a new language that gets my adrenalin going... but the prospect of someday being able to read and understand all the original Biblical texts... gosh, this just fires me up! :-)

Buuut... I have quite a ways to go in this journey (for both languages, which I am striving to learn simultaneously -- one inside and the other outside the classroom!).  I have tons of vocabulary words to commit to memory... tons of conjugations, declensions, subject-verb / noun-adjective agreements, parsing and ultimately, translating to do :-)

However, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow (for lack of a more creative line -- like I said, my brain is mush right now)... I am certain that it will all be worth it. 

Baruch Hashem! ( "Blessed be the Name" or "Blessed be God") :-)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Who Says Disneyland Is The Happiest Place On Earth?...

...not in my book! :-)  

Welcome to MY happiest place!

This is my school -- the Divine Word Seminary (SVD) in Tagaytay City.
Every time I'm here, I feel God's awesomeness...
and learn about it too :-)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Prayer Post # 1

I'm currently reading a book on prayer (The Only Necessary Thing, Henri Nouwen) and I can't help but share some of its entries!  Here's one that really "struck" me:

Reaching Out to God

Don't we use the word "prayer" mostly when we feel that our human limits are reached?  Isn't the word "prayer" more a word to indicate powerlessness rather than a creative contact with the source of all life?...

Prayer is often considered a weakness, a support system, which is used when we can no longer help ourselves.  But this is only true when the God of our prayers is created in our own image and adapted to our own needs and concerns.  When, however, prayer makes us reach out to God, not on our own but on God's terms, then prayer pulls us away from self-preoccupations, encourages us to leave familiar ground, and challenges us to enter into a new world which cannot be contained within the narrow boundaries of our mind or heart.  Prayer, therefore, is a great adventure because the God with whom we enter into a new relationship is greater than we and defies all our calculations and predictions.  The movement from illusion to prayer is hard to make since it leads us from false certainties to true uncertainties, from an easy support system to a risky surrender, and from the many "safe" gods to the God whose love has no limits.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Now, That's Vision!

There are just some places that exude "good vibes."
There are just some places that were designed so creatively... need a new word for "creative!"
There are just some places that are simply INSPIRED.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to visit such a place.
(for the meantime, I will withhold the details of the who, what, when, where)

"Enchanting" was the word I used to describe this house.
I'm really in awe of people who have the vision to create such a space!
As I explored the different areas of the house, I was beside myself with excitement.
I could feel the creative vibe in the air... it was so tangible!

Thank you God for blessing people like the owner of this house, 
with talent that truly inspires.
May we too, use our gifts and talents to inspire others.

At the end of our tour, all I could do was "sigh" ---
A happy, contented sigh for having experienced the joy of seeing this place.
And a sigh -- wishing I could someday create something like this myself.
Who knows?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pentecost Morning Worship

As I said my morning prayers today, something quite special happened.

While giving thanks to God for the many blessings of the week
and how awesome the Spirit has been,
a song came to mind and I started singing.

"In awe of you, we worship...
And stand amazed at Your great love...
We're changed from glory to glory..."

Then quite unexpectedly, tears began to flow...
tears of joy, of course! :-)
So I rushed to my laptop and You Tube'd the song.

What proceeded was a solo mini-worship session
in my very own "upper room" (literally, my room is on the 2nd floor)
And I felt the Spirit filling me to the brim!

So much so, that I couldn't help but get down on both knees
and bow down in front of my altar
as the song drew to a close!


YOU ARE NEAR (Hillsong)

In awe of You we worship
And stand amazed at Your great love
We're changed from glory to glory
We set our hearts on You our God

Now Your presence fills this place
Be exalted in our praise
As we worship I believe
You are near (x2)

In awe of You we worship
And stand amazed at Your great love
We're changed from glory to glory
We set our hearts on You our God

Now Your presence fills this place
Be exalted in our praise
As we worship I believe
You are near (x2)

Blessings and honour
And glory and power
Forever, forever (x5)

In awe of You we worship

* * *

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Rev. 5:13)