When Hope Starts to Fail

… God’s Word exhorts and strengthens.

Early this year as I faced a personal crisis in self-confidence and faith in God, I was challenged by a pastor’s message during our weekend services at VCF Galleria to pray for something that seems impossible. From personal conviction that God is greater than I can ever imagine, I decided to do so.

A few months later, I am praying for three breakthroughs: in my career, in my family’s finances, and in someone’s salvation. Of these, two have started to come to pass, but one in particular seems really impossible, and I was losing heart.

Then, last Tuesday, my Bible reading took me to several verses and passages that recalled so many more in my mind. When I looked them up, surprisingly I had already underlined them in my Bible in my past years of reading it and meditating on the Word. God’s Word is always there; we just have to cling to it at all times to renew our hope and strength in Him. I just want to share these with you, dear reader. (All quotations are from the New International Version.)

Mark 11:22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Mark 12:29-31 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear o Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Luke 21:13 “But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.”

John 15:26-27 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.”

Isaiah 40:28-31 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Romans 8:24-27 “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”

May these verses bless you as they have blessed me. My God is alive and real. Ü

Best Travel Blog Finalists at the 2008 Philippine Blog Awards

The finalists for the Best Travel Blog have been announced, and I’m really happy that Trippin’ is one of them! Still, I am up against some real heavyweights:

Egads! Carlos Celdran’s blog is in there too… How can I compete? Here’s what qualifies a blog for nomination under Best Travel Blog: “A blog that focuses on the different aspects traveling for an extend period of time from point A to B. It may be a narrative or even an advice post focused on a trip or destination.”

On the off-chance that I might win, I’ve asked Ade Magnaye of Noisy, Noisy Man and The Man Blog to accept on my behalf.

I’ll be back for more travel posts in a week. 

Mike Villar, Internet Star

Just recently I’ve been evaluating my links list and wonder why I have some people on there. Some are reciprocal links. Some are links to friends’ blogs. And some are just too funny not to be linked. I’m just happy that one of my reads is a nominee for Blogger’s Choice at the Philippine Blog Awards.

Yes, that’s Mike Villar, self-proclaimed Internet Star. Though the content of his blog isn’t safe for children, I do enjoy peering into the mind of a guy who details — nay, glories in — his failings. He shares this with the world at large and dares you to laugh at him.

Not only is he fearless when it comes to telling stories about himself (clearly some of those are embellished, right? RIGHT?), but early in his path to Internet stardom he came out with the series Atrocities of Friendster, which gave me side stitches from laughing too hard. You have to read it to understand why that took some big balls to publish.

So, I vote for Mikey, and you should, too. Let’s make this guy the Internet Star he claims to be.

Dancing My Heart Out Onstage

I started dancing on a stage two years ago, and I could very well say that Fitness First has been very instrumental in unleashing the performer in me. The first time was the Nike Rockstar Workout Bollywood Finals, where I competed alongside two other women and one NRSW instructor. I was just a Fitness First member then and had just auditioned (and didn’t pass) for BodyJam training.


Nike Rockstar Bollywood Final

A few months later there was a smaller NRSW competition; we had the same team minus one girl, and we danced a different routine. That was to be my last competition as a member; the next week I was set to do BodyBalance training and become a group exercise instructor.


Nike Rockstar Hiphop/Dancehall Showdown

The first big event I danced at for Fitness First was the BODYCOMBAT Main Event last October. Arnold Warren, our head teacher for BODYJAM in the Philippines, had a production number planned out using Jam instructors but they were short of one girl; hence I, who was only a BODYBALANCE instructor at the time, was recruited.


BODYJAM presentation at The Main Event

I’ve also danced at mall demos since then, and even more so since I became a Jam instructor.

But last Saturday was special; it was the first time I would perform for Fitness First in a Jam production number as a Jam instructor. It was part of Fitness First’s involvement in the QTV-11 Fit Fest. Aside from contributing judges for the hi-lo aerobics marathon, Fitness First was assigned an intermission number.


BODYJAM presentation at the QTV Fit Fest

Due to last-minute negotiations our team was only informed about what we had to do very late the previous night. We only had the 6 hours before the event started to put together our presentation — from setting choreography to music, to blocking and stunts. I thank God we were able to remain calm enough to pull together; we were so close to backing out, but Jammers are professionals, too!

I feel like I’ve come a long way since my first onstage performance; definitely, the butterflies in my stomach have disappeared. Instead they’ve been replaced by armpit sweating, but that’s more easily managed. Ü Here’s to more of the same! The Asian Momentum event is coming in November…

Tags: , ,

Fiending for Sushi!

Sushi by bloggyboulga, on FlickrI stopped eating sushi around five years ago when I committed to low-carb dieting to bring my weight down. Sure I’d wolf down grams upon grams of tuna and salmon sashimi, but I stayed away from the rice rolls.

Since my weight’s now in the more manageable range, there’s no reason for me to enjoy these little nuggets of heaven. Three weeks ago was the first time the sushi craving struck really badly. I ended up in a Kitaro near our house and ordered their Crunchy Tuna Roll. It hit the spot momentarily, but that evening my parents and I found ourselves at Tempura Japanese Grill on Club Filipino Ave. in Greenhills, and we ordered the Caterpillar Roll (eel, mango, and cream cheese) — twice!

Today I was in Trinoma and came across Smairu (a Katakanization of “smile”, perhaps?) in the food choices area. On display at the sushi bar were packages of eight maki pieces each, priced at P88 per package. I bought the Hiroshima (salmon) and Bomb (spicy tuna) plates, and while they weren’t rolled as tightly as I prefer, it was still solid bang for the buck (pun intended).

Every time I look at restaurants’ sushi menus I’m surprised by the variety they offer. Back in the day I’d usually see only tuna (boring!) and california (I can’t eat crabstick) maki on menus. Now, with all of the choices available, I will definitely have more reason to eat sushi.

Itadakimasu!

Tags: ,