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Sunday, December 25, 2016

My Lord says ... John 1:1-18


*SUNDAY GOSPEL


1 In the beginning was the Word, 
And the Word was with God, 
And the Word was God.

2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be 4 through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; 5 the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 A man named John was sent from God. 7 He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. 12 But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, 13 who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. 

14 And the Word became flesh 
And made his dwelling among us, 
And we saw his glory, 
The glory as of the Father’s only Son, 
Full of grace and truth.

15 John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.' 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, 17 because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.



THE WORD

There are only two words that anyone can often use everyday in communicating with others – good and bad words.  To simply know which of the two have we often used everyday in dealing with others, their differences are briefly cited here – good words that can comfort, uplift, soothe, encourage, strengthen, sympathize, and boost the moral aspects of a person, while bad words that can discourage, frustrate, disappoint, insult, humiliate,  and put down the moral aspects of a person. Which of the two do we often use everyday? Do we put value to every word we use to express our thoughts and feelings to others? Do we really mean what we have spoken or we don’t?  Have we already made or broke a promise to somebody?

I have a close friend whose husband often curses everyday, whether he is angry or not.  She hates hearing her husband express this bad word (the F- word) to anybody whether to her and children, family members, and friends.  Because she didn’t grew up in a family where cursing is allowed to be expressed, she wants her children not to imitate their father’s way of bad verbal expression.   She believes that the power of such words can greatly affect someone’s psychological, spiritual, mental, and emotional aspects of a person.  Mentally, she believes that a person, who curses often, has no mental ability to think what is appropriate  or not appropriate to do.  If he knows good manners and right conduct, a person will not express such bad / ill words.  What comes out of a person's mouth, especially, unkind or bad words determines an aspect of that person's character.  Psychologically, it can greatly influence the self-image of a person hearing it.  It can make the kind of character you will be by how you speak and act. Emotionally, cursing brings about negativity that can resonate to anyone hearing it.  In other words, cursing is like a spear that can pierce a person’s heart, a long-lasting effect that will linger on even when you grow old.  Spiritually, Christian religion teaches no harm to others, whether physically or emotionally.   It can somehow influence others who are members of religious community of such ill manners and conduct. Good words come only from God for His words are perfect and everlasting. 


video




👼👼 Merry Christmas 👼👼
to all!!! 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

My Lord says ... Matthew 1:18-24


Photo Courtesy of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church's bulletin

THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD

*Sunday Gospel
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.  When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.  Joseph, her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.  Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,  “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take  Mary your wife into your home.  For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.  She will bear a son and you are to name Him, Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 

 Behold, the virgin shall conceive 
and bear a son,
and they shall name Him, 
Emmanuel, which means,  
“God is with us.”    

When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

*In deep thoughts


I WAS MADE TO LIVE
There was an instance in my life that I didn’t know why it just happened.  I went with the flow without asking why and didn’t feel any  hurt feelings, but compassion and love only.  But one thing I’m sure about  – I’m very happy that I was made to live. 

My mother told me something about me before I was born.  Due to the sudden death of my father, my mother was so desperate and didn’t know how to cope emotionally and financially to raise up three small children and me (not yet born). The unimaginable truth she confessed to me was -- she planned to abort me when I was still four months in her womb. (Oh my! I was stunned, but I still continued to listen to her story.)  She said she was always crying in her grief during her period of pregnancy with me. (It’s no wonder, I become a “Cry Baby” myself.)  It was only after her own mother convinced her not to do it that she decided not to do it.  (Thank you, Lord.  You enlightened and guided my mother.) 

At the end, I didn’t ask my mother what was her feelings after her confession.  I know deep in her heart that she regret thinking about that wrong decision.  Even just a thought of doing such decision, it has caused her pain till in her old age and confessing it to me was a big relief in her mind and heart.  From her emotional trauma during those years, she emerged as a strong person and a winner in my heart today.  As I mentioned earlier --- I’m very happy that I was made to live.  No hurt feelings against my mother. No arguments, but a heart to heart talk with most important thing to give -- forgiveness. No regrets having her as my mother, even though I grew up without a father. She did a lot of sacrifices for us as a single parent.   She did what she could do to provide for us and I’m proud of her as a mother in spite of everything.     



********************************************************************************
" I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."

Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a 


Sunday, December 11, 2016

My Lord says ... Matthew 11:2-11



Photo Courtesy of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church's bulletin

*SUNDAY GOSPEL

When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,  “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”  Jesus said to them in reply,  “Go and tell John what you hear and see:  the blind regain their sight,  the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.  And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” 

As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,  “What did you go out to the desert to see?  A reed swayed by the wind?  Then what did you go out to see?  Someone dressed in fine clothing?  Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.  Then why did you go out?  To see a prophet?  Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.  This is the one about whom it is written: 

          Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;  
                    he will prepare your way before you.

Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist;  yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

FRIENDS FOREVER
A close friend of mine was emotionally devastated when she found out that her husband was having an affair.  She went to my place and cried out all her marital problems.  She didn’t know that until their common friend saw her husband with the other woman in a certain place.  My close friend happened to meet this common friend in a grocery store and informed her about that incident. She confronted her husband about it and without remorse, he admitted his illicit affair with the woman.  Not knowing what to do, she informed her parents-in-law about it. But instead of condemning the act, the more they criticized her.   She left them with a heavy heart and decided to leave the house. Nowhere to go, she brought her two young children to my house.  I offered her my place to stay to help her be relieved temporarily from her emotional trauma... 

I know it's a long journey to emotional recovery and to pray continuously for someone is mostly needed, not only in times of problems and struggles, but also when the situation in our life is still manageable. We’ve been friends for more than twenty years.  Whenever I have a problem, too, I run to her for help or advice. She has been a living witness to my kind of life and vice versa.  We both hold a pledge of allegiance to our friendship.  We can’t say “No” to each other when it comes to family matters or problems. We are "Friends Forever." 


********************************************************************************
" I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."

Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

My Lord says ... Matthew 3: 1-12



Photo Courtesy of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church's bulletin
  
*SUNDAY GOSPEL
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying,  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”  It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:

A voice of one crying out in the desert, 
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.

John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist.  His food was locusts and wild honey.  At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. 

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them,  “You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.  And do not presume to say to yourselves,  “We have Abraham as our father.”  For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.  Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees.  Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.  I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.  I am not worthy to carry His sandals.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fan is in His hand.  He will clear His wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”




BEING THE MESSENGER AMONG US

In our life, there is always a member of the family or other people who tells us what is right and what is wrong.  Each of us can act as messenger of God to each other in order to guide, enlighten, and help our brothers, sisters, parents, friends, relatives, and others who are in need or in trouble.   We need to live in righteousness in order for others to follow our good example and live the same way.   But there are people who refuse to live in righteousness probably because they lack knowledge or no one cares to tell them, or just plainly being stubborn to accept that what they are doing is wrong.  There are also other people who influence us  more to do something wrong or just condone the wrongdoings under certain circumstances.

Social influences affect our choices or preferences more than our family does, thereby causing more disagreements and disunity among the family members.  It primarily affects our attitudes towards our relationship with each other, thereby loosing respect, trust, and love for one another.  We also become helpless in certain situations when a family member doesn’t listen or respect us anymore.  In times of trouble, who is really to blame? In times of need, to whom do we go?

My close friend, who is a widow, once cried out to me about her son.  She said her eldest son told her that he likes her girlfriend to stay with him or live as husband and wife without getting married yet.  Her son informed her that his girlfriend is three months pregnant already.  She was really surprised and got mad.  At first,  she didn’t like to agree, but at the end, she agreed because she took pity of her son’s girlfriend.   She lost her job and can no longer work for the meantime because of her situation.  Besides,  her parents didn’t approve their relationship, so she was cast out by her own parents upon learning her situation.  In addition to the problem,  her son has no job yet to provide a living for his future family because he hasn’t finished his college studies yet.    “This is a terrible problem and I still have other responsibility to my other children to provide their needs. I’m the sole breadwinner in the family.  How can I handle this” my friend complained. 

As a friend, it was so hard to judge her decision regarding her eldest son.  Though her heart is full of compassion, she really doesn’t like to tolerate her son’s wrongdoings.  I just left her house with a heavy heart, too, but promised to pray for her and offer his son a job, if there is available in my other friend’s company.     


*******************************************************************************
" I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."


Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a

Sunday, November 27, 2016

My Lord says ... Matthew 24:37-44



Photo Courtesy of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church's bulletin

*SUNDAY GOSPEL

Jesus said to His disciples:  “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark.  They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.  So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.  Two men will be out in the field;  one will be taken and one will be left.  Two women will be grinding at the mill;  one will be taken, and one will be left. 


Therefore, stay awake!  
For you do not know 
on which day your Lord will come.  

Be sure of this:  if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.  So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

*In deep thoughts

ANYTHING IS INEVITABLE
There are things that we failed to realize that anything is inevitable.  Like, accidents can happen to anyone that can lead to damage and even death.  Its effects can cause us  emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually down to our knees.  But the big question we need to ask is this – How much are we prepared for anything?  My mother was not prepared when my father died early after more than 5 years of marriage.  We and his own family weren’t prepared when my eldest brother died.  I wasn’t prepared when my teacher gave us a surprise quiz in Geometry during my high school days. That’s why I got a failing grade for that.  My sister wasn’t prepared that day when her car was wrecked because someone hit her car at the back along the highway.  My brother wasn’t prepared when the Asian Economic Crisis happened that led him to almost bankruptcy during his real estate venture. My close friend wasn't prepared when her marriage collapsed and lost everything -- her house, job, and her children.    

In reality, no one can know what the future lies ahead of us.  Every day there is a risk and a blessing.  Both blessing and risk take many forms in our lives.  Whatever it is, the most important things to consider are to be thankful and appreciate what we have at the moment and take precautions on what we don’t have that will lead us to go astray.  


****************************************************************************************
" I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."

Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a 


Sunday, November 20, 2016

My Lord says ... Luke 23: 35-43



Photo Courtesy of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church's bulletin

*SUNDAY GOSPEL

The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,  “He saved others, let Him save Himself if He is the chosen One, the Christ of God.”  Even the soldiers jeered at Him.  As they approached to offer Him wine they called out,  


“If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”  

Above Him there was an inscription that read,  “This is the King of the Jews.” 
 
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,  “Are you not the Christ?  Save yourself and us.”  The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,  “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation?  And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.”  Then he said,  “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  He replied to him,  “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

 




INSULT

Have you ever been insulted, even once in your life?  It is really very painful to be insulted by any person regardless of the cause or purpose it was done.  They say, any insulting words uttered by someone against you, remain to be remembered for a longer period of time than when you are physically harmed. 


Accidentally, I met a cousin of mine in a mall.  We haven’t heard from each other for a long time.  We were close during our childhood days till teenage years. During vacation, when our grandparents were still alive, I would go and visit her in their house which was near the compound area of our grandparents.  She used to live in a country, but when she got married, she and the whole family moved to the city.  I never heard of her since then.  I invited her to dine for a long chat in the fast food center of the mall.  While enjoying eating our food, she narrated to me that she left the house of her brother (my cousin also) already because he insulted her.  He told her that the reason why she came back to the house was --- that she was just after their mother’s inheritance.  She had a job before, but quit upon learning her mother’s health condition and decided to move in to take of her for several months.  She is a widow now. But one thing led to another, an argument between her and her brother came up resulting to the harsh words uttered by her brother.   She just cried without saying anymore to her brother to further contradict his claim and left without his knowledge.  But she received a text message from him that he was sorry for  insulting her.   She told me that she has been praying for his conversion and she has never talked to him again since then.   She has a job again and living peacefully by herself now in an apartment after leaving her brother’s house.  She visits her mother once every two weeks  in her house in the country. 

Being insulted is like a sword that can pierce anyone's heart, just as, when our Lord, Jesus Christ, was insulted at the time of His suffering during the crucifixion, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself."

********************************************************************************
 I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."


Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a

Sunday, November 13, 2016

My Lord says ... Luke 21:5-19



Photo Courtesy of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church's bulletin

*SUNDAY GOSPEL
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said,  “All that you see here—the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked Him,  “Teacher, when will this happen?  And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”  He answered,  “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am He,’  and ‘The time has come,’  Do not follow them!  When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified;  for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” 

Then He said to them,  “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place;  and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.  Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name.  It will lead to your giving testimony.  Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.  You will even be handed over by your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death.  You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.  By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”





ONE AGAINST ANOTHER

The reality of life shows always that misunderstanding leading to arguments and disunity happens in our daily lives.  It is always an inevitable thing because of different issues and purposes concerning people themselves.  Family is the central unit of the society.  One against another over certain family issue is not impossible to happen in every family household.   Husband against wife, daughter against mother, son against father, sibling against sibling,  daughter-in-law against mother-in-law, son-in-law against father-in-law, nephew against aunt, niece against uncle, etc.  But even friends can part their ways also due to misunderstanding.   Generally speaking, misunderstanding happens because of differences in many issues, like  religion, beliefs, values, views, preferences, family, etc.  Never a day in a family household that arguments don’t happen even for a simple reason.   The effects on the hearts and minds of every person are devastating that can even trigger to cause someone to kill another person, if not controlled. 


I had a friend whose cousin was put to jail due to misunderstanding while having a drink with his friends.  They argued for a certain reason that even my friend didn’t know why his cousin shot his friend in front of other friends over a certain family matter.  His cousin even went home, which is just two blocks away from where they were having a drink, just to get the gun of his father.  His cousin’s friend didn’t die because his cousin aimed the gun at the victim’s thigh only.  When the police came, the victim had his cousin arrested.  The victim was brought to the hospital afterwards.   

********************************************************************************
 "I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."


Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a

Sunday, November 6, 2016

My Lord says ... Luke 20:27-38



Photo Courtesy of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church's bulletin

*SUNDAY GOSPEL 
Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,  “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, if someone’s brother dies leaving a wife, but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.

Now there were seven brothers;  the first married a woman, but died childless.  Then the second and the third married her, and likewise al the seven died childless.  Finally the woman also died.  Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?  For all seven had been married to her.” 

Jesus said to them,  “The children of this age marry and remarry, but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.  They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.  That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out ‘Lord,’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;  and 


"He is not God of the dead, 
but of the living, 
for to Him all are alive.”



GOD OF THE LIVING

Many years ago  when my son was still small, I had an experience when God asked me this question,  “Are you going to give up already?”  I went to a church after having a terrible argument with my ex-husband.  I drove my car and went to the nearest church I could find.    I almost passed that church already when I suddenly thought of stepping the brake and turned my car around.  There was a mass that already ended and I just took a chance of praying for a while.  The environment in the church was noisy because the people were leaving the church, but I disregarded that.  I knelt down and prayed, desperately crying out to God for the first time about my ex-husband’s attitude and behavior.  For so many years of my life living with him, I never cried out to God about my inner hurts.  All those years of struggles I tried to have a good family and maintain the harmony.   In that moment of desperately crying out to God with my head down, crying like a child,  I was really surprised that I heard a clear voice of a man for the first time and asked me in my own native language, “Suko ka na ba?” (Translation - “Are you considering giving up already?”)  After hearing that clear voice of a man,  I raised my head and realized that I was kneeling in front of the image of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.  I looked around to see if there was another person beside me praying, but there was none!!!  

I still believe that God spoke to me and He is the REAL GOD OF THE LIVING.  He spoke to one of my sons-in-law, too, when he was praying in the adoration chapel and He said to my son-in-law, “Talk to the mother.  She has been praying to me.”  My God was  referring to me because my son-in-law told me about it, even when I was still in the USA and he is in our native country. 

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" I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."

Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a

Sunday, October 30, 2016

My Lord says ... Luke 19:1-10



Photo Courtesy of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church's bulletin

*SUNDAY GOSPEL
At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.  Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was;  but he could not see Him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.  When He reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,  “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.”  And he came down quickly and received Him with joy.  When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying,  “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”  But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,  “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone, I shall repay it four times over.”  And Jesus said to him,  


“Today salvation has come to this house 
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.  
For the Son of Man has come to seek 
and to save what was lost.”



ADMITTING ONE’S FAULT

Often times, when someone has done something wrong, the person will not admit his wrongdoings or faults, even if the person is caught on the act or an evidence is found.  The person will still rationalize what he did or even hide the wrongdoing.  The person will even fight against the accusation filed against him or her in the court. 

A relative of mine caught her husband cheating on her.  She was surprised to see him with a woman younger than her eating together in the same restaurant where she was eating with a close friend, too.  She thought he was in the office when he called her this morning informing her of a meeting with his boss who is a male boss the whole afternoon.  He told her that he would be late to come home in the evening.  She walked up to them and asked him about the woman.  She became more furious when  her husband suddenly pushed her away from the table and shouted at her to stop while cursing her.  There was no remorse in her husband’s face and didn’t even apologize.  Because of that, she fought back and shouted at him also.  Commotion followed and her friend went to her side to stop and move her away.   She saw her husband took the woman and left the restaurant together.  She was stunned to see him left with the woman and left her and her close friend.  Afterwards, her friend took her out of the restaurant to avoid the embarrassment caused   by the situation. 


To make the story short,  she filed a case for concubinage against her husband and his mistress.  She found out that her husband has been living with the woman for 2 years already in a rented apartment and has a two-year old son.  She won the case after  10 long years of struggle.    

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" I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."


Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My hands can do this --- Crocheted Ms. Piggy Bank


I have been taking this Spring Valley flax oil for several years now to maintain a good cholesterol level that can affect my heart.  It’s an over the counter dietary supplement that you can buy at Wal-Mart Store or any store that has an available stock.  It’s not always that my diet is complete or well-balanced.  Maintaining a healthy heart is very important. 


Spring Valley Flax Oil Bottle

Aside from this, my hubby has a lot of coins scattered on his desk.  I thought of making a  project that can always remind him to put his coins in it as his piggy bank.  At the same time,  it’s my way of making also a unique, cute project that I can be amused to look at and play with it (-.-) ha ha ha ha



CROCHETED MS. PIGGY BANK
Whatever occasion will there be, this can be a nice, cute gift to make for your child.  It serves two purposes:  used as a money-saving container and as a toy to play with at the same time.  This is a good way of instilling the value of saving money to your child. Your child will be encouraged to put in more money to this cute crocheted Ms.  Piggy Bank that can be played with at the same time.  Your child’s eyes will be always on this while waiting when it will be full enough to buy anything your child likes to have for any occasion.              


Materials:
(1) empty big bottle Spring Valley Flax Oil (washed, dried)
(1) 4 ply acrylic, 6 oz Caron Simply Soft (light country peach)
(1) 4 ply acrylic, 6 oz Caron Simply Soft (dark sage)
(1) 4 ply acrylic, 6 oz Home Spun (tulips) 
(2) regular size wiggly eyes
(1) small button
     crochet hook size  - F5 / 3.75mm
     marker (bread ties)
     yarn needle
     peanut foams or cotton
     Craft ribbon (fuchsia)
     Offray ribbon (green)
     Elmer’s glue (clear)
     Super Glue
     Revlon Beyond Natural (individual false eyelash extensions)
     hair twizzor

(Note:  If you have excess Home Spun yarn to use as the hair for this project, use it.  You don't need to buy.)


Level of Difficulty – easy


Stitch Abbreviations:
(ch)     chain
(sc)     single crochet
(dc)     double crochet
(st)      stitch
(sp)     space
(sl st)  slip stitch
(hdc)   half double crochet
 
Note:  Count first all the stitches you have made before going to the next row to avoid mistakes.


Special Instructions:
(hdc) – YO once and insert the hook on the (sp). (YO) and pull up a loop through.  (YO) and  pull through 3 loops on hook.

Instructions:
Head
1st Row -  Make 4 (ch).  Make the first loop hole bigger than the rest so you can easily insert the hook and make the succeeding (hdc’s).  [Make (hdc) around the 1st (ch)] 11X. Join with (sl st) to beginning (hdc).
Result – 12 (hdc)
2nd to Row – Make (ch) and 2 (hdc) on same (sp).  2 (Hdc) on next  11 (hdc).  Join with (sl st) to beginning (hdc).
Result – 24 (hdc)
3rd Row – Make (ch) and 2 (hdc) on same (sp).  (Hdc) on next (hdc).  [2 (Hdc) on next (hdc).  (Hdc) on next (hdc)] 11X.  Join with (sl st) to beginning (hdc).  Put marker  on the 18th (hdc) and another marker on the last (hdc) for the attachment of the two ears.  This is where you are going to start attaching the ears.     
Result – 36 (hdc)
4th Row – Make (ch) and 2 (hdc) on same (sp).  (Hdc) on next 3 (hdc).  [2 (Hdc) on next (hdc).  (Hdc) on next 3 (hdc)] 8X.  Join with (sl st) to beginning (hdc).   
Result – 45 (hdc)
5th to 11th Row  Make (ch) and (hdc) on same (sp).  (Hdc) on next 44 (hdc).   Join with (sl st) to beginning (hdc).  Put a marker on the 8th Row for the attachment of the nose.
Result – 45 (hdc)
12th Row – Make (ch) and (hdc) on same (sp).  Skip next (hdc). [(Hdc) on next (hdc).  Skip next (hdc)] 21X.  (Hdc) on last (hdc).  Join with (sl st) to beginning (hdc).  Fasten off.  Hide the excess yarn.
Result- 23 (hdc)
13th to 15thMake (ch) and (hdc) on same (sp).  (Hdc) on next 22 (hdc).  Join with (sl st) to beginning (hdc). Hide the excess yarn.
Result – 23 (hdc)
Body
1st Row -  Make 4 (ch).  Make the first loop hole bigger than the rest so you can easily insert the hook and make the succeeding (dc’s). Make 11 (dc) in 4th (ch) from hook. Hide the excess yarn as you make the double crochets. Join in top of beginning 4 (ch).  
Result - 12 (dc)
2nd Row Make 3 (ch).  (Dc) on the same (sp).  [2 (Dc) on next (dc)] 11X.    Join with (sl st) to beginning 3 (ch).  
Result - 24 (dc)
3rd Row - Make 3 (ch). (Dc) on the same (sp).  (Dc) on next (dc).  [2 (Dc) on next (dc).  (Dc) on next (dc)]  11X.   Join with (sl st) to beginning 3 (ch). 
Result – 36 (dc)
4th Row -  Make 3 (ch). (Dc) on the same (sp).  (Dc) on next 2 (dc). [2 (Dc) on next (dc). (Dc) on next 2 (dc)]  11 X.   Join with (sl st) to beginning 3 (ch). 
Result – 48 (dc)
5th to  25th Row – Make (ch) and (hdc) on same (sp).  [(Hdc) on next (dc)] 47X.  Join with (sl st) to beginning  (hdc). Put a marker on 19th (hdc)  and on the last (hdc) of 10th Row for the attachment of 2 hind legs.    
Result – 48 (hdc)
26th Row  Make 3 (ch).  (Dc) on next 47 (hdc).  Join with (sl st) to beginning 3 (ch).  Fasten it off.  Hide the excess yarn.
Result –  48 (dc)
27th Row – Make (ch).  (Sc) on next 48 (dc).  Join with (sl st) to beginning (sc). Fasten off. Hide the excess yarn.
Result – 48 (sc)


Nose
1st Row – Make 2 (ch).  Make the first loop hole bigger than the 2nd (ch) so you can easily insert the hook and make the succeeding (hdc’s).  Make 8 (hdc) around the 1st (ch).  Join with (sl st) to beginning (hdc).
Result – 8 (hdc)
2nd Row – Make (ch) and 2 (hdc) on same (sp).  (Hdc) on next (hdc).  [2 (Hdc) on next (hdc). (Hdc) on next (hdc)] 3X.  Join with (sl st) to  beginning (hdc).
Result – 12 (hdc)
3rd Row – Make (ch) and 2 (hdc) on same (sp).  (Hdc) on next (hdc).  [2 (Hdc) on next (hdc). (Hdc) on next (hdc)] 5X. Join with (sl st) to beginning (hdc). 
Result – 18 (hdc)
4th Row – Make (ch) and (hdc) on same (sp).  (Hdc) on next 17 (hdc).  Join with (sl st) to beginning (hdc).  Fasten off.  Leave some extra yarn for attaching the nose to the face later on.
Result – 18 (hdc)
5th Row – Make (ch) and (hdc) on same (sp).  Skip (hdc). [(Hdc) on next (hdc). Skip next (hdc)] 8X.  Join with (sl st) to beginning (hdc). Leave some extra yarn for sewing to attach it to the face.
Result – 9 (hdc)


Ears  (2)
1st Row – Leave an extra yarn before you start making the first (ch). You will use this to sew the ear later to the head. Make 9 (ch).  (Hdc) on 8th (ch) from hook.  (Hdc) on next 7 (ch).  Turn around.
Result – 8 (hdc)
2nd to 3rd  Row – Make (ch) and (hdc) on same (sp).  Make  (hdc) on next 7 (hdc).  Turn around.
Result – 8 (hdc)
4th Row – Make (ch). (Sl st) on 1st (hdc). Make (hdc) on next (hdc).  (Hdc) on next  5 (hdc).  Turn around.
Result – 6 (hdc)
5th to 6th Row – Make (ch) and (hdc) on same (sp). Make (hdc) on next 5 (hdc). Turn around.
Result – 6 (hdc)
7th Row – Make (ch). (Sl st) on 1st (hdc). Make (hdc) on next (hdc).  (Hdc) on next 3 (hdc).  Turn around.
Result – 4 (hdc)
8th Row -  Make (ch). (Sl st) on 1st (hdc).  Make (hdc) on next 2 (hdc).  Turn around.
Result -  2 (hdc)
9th Row – Make (ch) and (hdc) on same (sp). Make (hdc) on next (hdc).  Fasten off. Hide the excess yarn.
Result – 2 (hdc) 


Legs  (Front and Hind- 2 each)
1st Row – Make 2 (ch).  Make the first loop hole bigger than the 2nd (ch) so you can easily insert the hook and make the succeeding (hdc’s).  Make 10 (hdc) around the 1st (ch).  Join with (sl st) to beginning (hdc).
Result – 10 (hdc)
2nd Row – Make (ch) and 2 (hdc) on same (sp).  [2 (Hdc) on next (hdc)] 9X.  Join with (sl st) to beginning (hdc). 
Result – 20 (hdc)
3rd to 7th Row – Make (ch) and (hdc) on same (sp).  (Hdc) on next 19 (hdc).  Join with (sl st) to beginning (hdc). Fasten off.  Leave an extra yarn for sewing to attach it to the body.
Result – 20 (hdc)


Tail
Extend the yarn before making a (ch).  You will use the excess yarn in attaching the tail to the body. Make 20 (ch). (Sl st) on 2nd (ch) from hook.  (Sl st) on next 14 (ch).  (Sc) on next 2 (ch).  (Hdc) on last 2 (ch).  Leave an extra yarn before cutting it. Tie it twice with the other excess yarn.  You will use both excess yarns in attaching it to the body later.
Result – 15 (sl st), 2 (sc), 2 (hdc)


Attaching the Ears (2)
Insert the end of the excess yarn into the eye of the yarn needle. Insert the yarn needle into where the 1st marker is and start sewing the first ear down to the last stitch.  Be sure to tighten the stitches to make the sewing less visible. Don’t cut the excess yarn yet till you are finish sewing the second ear. Do the same procedure with the second ear. Be sure that both ears are align to each other at the last end of their stitches. (At the end of last stitch, insert the yarn needle inside and tie it twice.  Cut the excess yarn) 2X. 


Attaching the Nose
On the 8th Row, start counting the (hdc) from ear end to ear end to find the center of the  face and put a marker on the center.  Stuff the nose with peanut foam or cotton before sewing.  Insert the end of the excess yarn into the eye of the yarn needle.  Start sewing where the marker is and around up to the last stitch.  Be sure to tighten the stitches to make the sewing less visible.  Remove the peanut foam or cotton. At the end of the last stitch, insert the yarn needle inside and tie it twice.  Cut the excess yarn.  Sew a “U” shape below the nose to make as the lips. Use any excess red yarn and sew twice to highlight it.


Attaching the Eyes and False Eyelash Extensions
Stuff the head with peanut foam or cotton to make it look fat.  Insert it on the cap of the bottle. Glue the (2) wiggly eyes with Super Glue and align them on the face.  Press them down a little bit. With the hair twizzor holding 2 individual false eyelash extensions, apply Super Glue on its end. Insert them on one small hole above the left eye. Do the same on the next 2 holes. There should be 2 individual false eyelash extensions inserted on each 3 small holes above the eye. Do the same on the right eye.  Apply Elmer's glue on the back of both ears to keep them standing when dried already.   


Attaching the Hair (Tulip) and Ribbon (Green)
Cut 12 inches strands of tulip yarn.  Glue each strand of tulip yarn beginning from one side of the ear and layering down straight at the back of the head. The hair strand should be attached vertically. There will be space left near the ear.  Another strand of yarn will be attached to cover this space later. Be sure that every strand is well align on the face when attached.  Glue each strand till you reach the center of the head.  Do the same procedure on the other side until you reach the center of the head also.  Make some adjustments if possible to make the line of hair strands straight as you attach them.  Attach also some yarn to the remaining space near both ears. Attach 4 more strands of yarn on top of the head to cover  the sides of the cheeks.  They should be attached horizontally. Cut the excess yarn if there is any.  Close the cap and center the head. Glue the head on the cap with Super Glue.  Be sure the crochet end is closed to the neck or body.   Cut 25 inches of green ribbon and tie around the head.


Inserting the Ribbon on the Neck (Fuchsia)
Cut 30 inches of ribbon. From the last 3 (dc) of 26th Row, insert one end of the ribbon alternately into every 3 (dc) going to the left side (6X) until you reach the center.  Do the same procedure with the other end of the ribbon going to the right until you reach the center.  This will guide you to align the 4 legs from the center when attaching them. Insert the container inside the body.  Don’t tie it yet.


Attaching the Legs (4)
Stuff evenly all the legs with peanut foam or cotton.  Put markers on where to attach the 4 legs by temporarily attaching the legs on the body. The distance between the 2 front legs should be wider than the distance between the 2 hind legs. Insert the end of the excess yarn into the eye of the yarn needle.  Don’t remove the container while sewing. Start sewing each leg where the marker is and around up to the last stitch.  Be sure that all the legs sewed are in level with one another. Don’t cut the excess yarn yet, so you will have the chance to make adjustments if they are not well aligned after sewing them . Be sure to tighten the stitches to make the sewing less visible.  Remove the container. (At the end of the last stitch, insert the yarn needle inside and tie it twice.  Cut the excess yarn) 4X.  Put a marker on the center of the 6th Row at the back of the body for the attachment of  the tail.


Attaching the Tail
Insert the end of the excess yarn into the eye of the needle.  Insert the yarn needle where the marker is.  Using the crochet hook, pull the other excess yarn inside.  Tie them both together twice and then cut. Insert the container again. Stuff the tummy and front area only with peanut foam or cotton to make it look fat. Cross the ribbon around the neck twice and make a ribbon twice in front. Wet the tail well with Elmer’s glue and curl it up.    


Making a Small Purse (Dark Sage)
1st Row – Make 10 (ch).  Make (hdc) on the 3rd (ch) from hook.  (Hdc) on next 7 (ch).
Result – 8 (hdc)
2nd to 10th Row – [Make a (ch). Turn around. (Hdc) on next 8 (hdc)] 9X.
Result – 8 (hdc)
11th Row – Make a (ch).  Turn around. (Sl st) on 1st (hdc).  [(Hdc) on next (hdc)] 6X. (Sl st) on last (hdc).
Result – 6 (hdc)
12th Row – Make a (ch). Turn around. (Sl st) on 1st (hdc). [(Hdc) on next (hdc)] 4X. (Sl st) on last (hdc) and on (sl st) of 11th Row. (Sl st) on (hdc) of 10th and 9th Rows.  Don’t cut it yet.
Result – 4 (hdc)


Connecting Both Sides
First Side
Invert the side to connect the first side and level the 1st Row with the 8th Row.  Insert the hook on the 1st (hdc) of 8th Row and start making (sc) on the next 4 (hdc).  Tie it twice and cut it off. 

Second Side
Insert the hook on the 8th Row and pull up another end of the yarn and tie it with the excess yarn once.  Connect the second side by leveling the 1st Row with the 8th Row.  Start making (sc) on the next 4 (hdc). Tie it twice and cut it off.


Making and Attaching the Cord
Leave an extra yarn before making a (ch).  It will be used to attach the cord to the purse.  Make 75 (ch).  Tie it once.  Leave an extra yarn again to attach another end of the cord to the purse.  Tie it once.  Insert the hook on one side of 8th Row and pull up one end of the cord.  Tie it twice.  Cut and hide the excess yarn. Do the same procedure on the other side. Cut a small yarn and attach a small button on the front cover of the purse. Hang it on the shoulder.

DIFFERENT MS. PIGGY HAIRSTYLES



Ribbon Hairstyle


Butterfly Hairstyle



Pigtail Hairstyle


Pony Tail Hairstyle


Brush-Up Hairstyle


Brush-Up Pony Hairstyle


French Twist Hairstyle


Braid Hairstyle



Birthday Gift #2
Today is the birthday of my granddaughter, Zoe.  I surprised her by giving her two kinds of gifts -- this project and DIY Pen Holders. They are all filled with her favorite gummy bears. She turns 9 years old today.  How time flies when she was just a baby being cuddled by her mother shown in an article I wrote, “A Short Tale of Motherhood.”  I also made pouches and named after her – Zoe Pouches.