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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My hands can do this --- DIY Child's Room Mailbox


My youngest daughter asked me to buy her two packs of bikini panties by Sogo because that’s her brand of panties she likes to wear.  As I was removing these panties from its plastic boxes,  I looked at it sharply and thought of what I could do out of it.   Then I thought of my granddaughter and maybe she would like it, if I make a project for her that she can use for keeping her school notices for her mother to read on later when she comes home from her work.  My elder daughter doesn’t need to ask her daughter if there is a school notice for her.  All she needs to do is to see this funny, cute project I made for her daughter. School letters or notices are very important not to miss reading it or have it lost.  It is used to encourage also my granddaughter to organize her things and decorate her room with fun at the same time.   So take time to view how I made this project.  


DIY CHILD’s ROOM MAILBOX


Sogo Bikini Plastic Box
Materials:
(1)  empty plastic box – 6 pcs. Sogo bikini (any size)
(1)  packs Craft Easy handmade paper (2’s) – blue with batik
(2)  pack Craft Easy handmade paper (2’s)  – orange with batik
(3)  used short bond papers
(2)  used thin cardboards
(1)  pair wiggly eyes 15mm (big)
(1)  pair wiggly eyes 7mm (small)
       Elmer’s glue
       Scotch tape and packing tape
       scissor
       pencil and ball pen
       pentel pens (Sharpie – double point-twin tip)
       ruler
       rubber bands
       small carbon paper
       sewing needle and white thread
       double tape
       push pin
       few paper clips
      
Level of Difficulty – easy

Instructions:

1) Get a photo of a kangaroo from any source, so you will have an idea of how it looks like and how many toes and fingers it has.  I got it free from pixabay.com and took a picture of it only.  I can draw it, even if it’s not perfectly the same.  You can do it also by practicing first how to draw. If you are satisfied with your drawing already, then start doing the next instruction.   

2) COVERING OF THE PLASTIC BOX (MAIL BOX) - Cut the flip flop cover of the plastic box.  Do not cut the very top front side (with open-cut portion) reserved for inserting a push pin to hang the mail pouch. Attach strips of Scotch tape inside and outside of the plastic box at the bottom area to flatten its sides.    

a) BOTTOM AREA - Make a covering of bottom side of the plastic box  by measuring 7 inches (l) X 3.5 inches (w) on Craft Easy handmade paper.  Be sure to use the wrong side of the Craft Easy paper when measuring and marking the size.  Cut and apply Elmer’s glue on the paper.  Center the plastic box on the handmade paper.  Fold the paper to its sides.  Make a slit on every corner of the paper to fold it nicely flat on both sides.  Let it dry well. 


b)  FRONT AND SIDE AREAS – Apply Elmer’s glue on the front area of the plastic box first.  Turn the wrong side of one whole Craft Easy paper flat on the table.  Center the plastic box on it and make adjustments, if necessary.  Let it dry well first.  Apply Elmer’s glue on the remaining side areas of the handmade paper.  Be sure the paper is well aligned at the bottom area.  Adjustments can also be made at the top area by cutting the excess plastic if the handmade paper runs short of its size.  Attach paper clips at the top rim side of the plastic box to help fix the glue permanently.  Enclose with rubber bands to hold the paper while drying. 

c) TOP EDGE – Measure 1 inch as width on one good side of the Craft Easy paper (color orange) and cut it long through.  Fold into two and apply Elmer’s glue on it.  Center and attach  it at the top edge of the plastic box.  Make a slit on both ends of the excess paper to close the end side nicely at the back.  Apply additional Elmer’s glue if needed.  Attach paper clips on its rim side to help fix the glue permanently.

3) MAKING OF MOTHER KANGAROO
Let us begin the drawing:

a) HIND LEGS – Fold one used short bond paper into two.  Measure an inch allowance on the side for attaching this area on the plastic box later before beginning to draw.  The height from the thigh to toes should be 9.5 inches.  Draw one hind leg of a kangaroo on any side of paper and trace the lines with a ball pen as shown in the picture #1 below.  Invert the fold of the bond paper and you can still see the drawing even if it’s folded.  Cut through the lines and you will have already a pair of hind legs as shown in the picture #2 below.  Set them aside.


Hind Legs – picture #1


Hind Legs – picture #2

b) HEAD, EARS, FACE, AND UPPER BODY – Draw the head, face, ears, and upper body of mother kangaroo on another used short bond paper.  The height from the ear to the lower body measures 10 inches long.  The 1 ½ inches at the bottom of the bond paper is reserved to be folded and attach it into the very top front side (with an open-cut portion) of the plastic box later.  Be sure the body’s horizontal measurement is the same size of the flip flop of the plastic box.   Cut and set it aside. The outcome is shown in the picture below.


Head, Face, & Body – Mother Kangaroo

c) FOREARMS -  Place the finished drawing of the head and body on a used bond paper.  Mark the shoulder side with a short line only where the forearms should be attached later. This will help you determine how long the forearms should be drawn.  Remove the cut drawing and start drawing the forearms. Provide an inch allowance starting from the marked lines outward to be used for folding it later on the shoulder area.  If you are satisfied with your drawing, cut and set it aside. The sample drawing I made is shown in the picture below. 


 Forearms – Mother Kangaroo

d)  TAIL – Draw a long tail like a big letter C on scrap bond paper.  The length should not be taller than the head when attached. It measures approximately 6 – 7 inches long including an inch allowance for attaching it at the back.  Set it aside.  

4) MAKING OF BABY KANGAROO
a)  HEAD, EARS, FACE, AND UPPER BODY – Draw the head, face, ears, and upper body of baby kangaroo in a smaller size than the mother kangaroo.  The length from the ear to the lower body measures 5 inches long. Cut and you now have baby kangaroo by the side of the mother kangaroo as shown in the picture below. Set them aside.


Head, Face, & Body – Baby Kangaroo

b)  FOREARMS – Draw the forearms of a baby kangaroo as shown in the picture below.  Its length should measure 1.5 inches. The other one should measure 1.25 inches.  Set them aside.


Forearms- Baby Kangaroo

5) TRACING ON CRAFT EASY PAPER AND TAPING THE            ATTACHMENT
a) Invert all the drawings (head and body, hind legs, forearms, and tail) of mother kangaroo and trace them on Craft Easy handmade paper (orange color) with the Wrong Side facing you.  Do the same procedures for all the drawings (head and body and forearms) of baby kangaroo. Use the colored blue Craft Easy paper for the forearms of the baby kangaroo, as well as, the noses of both the mother kangaroo and baby kangaroo. Apply Elmer’s glue on each part and attach it on used thin cardboard.  Let them dry well. 

b) Attach packing tape  at the back of the hind legs, head, ears, and half of the body only of the mother kangaroo and cut according to their shapes.  (Note: This is made for protecting the project itself, so it can be easily detached from a wall without ruining the paper when you decide to transfer it to another place. It also can make the paper stiffer.)  The other half of the body of the mother kangaroo without the packing tape will be inserted and folded into the top front side (w/ open-cut portion).  So you need to prefold it first to determine the extent of the area where to attach the packing tape. Attach packing tape on  the tail, but reserved a small area without packing tape for firmly pasting the tail in between the right hind leg and body of the mother kangaroo.  Position to prefold the forearms of the mother kangaroo on the shoulder side before attaching the packing tape. Attach packing tape at the back of the forearms of the mother kangaroo, except the prefolded area and cut according to its shape. Attach packing tape at the back of body and half of the left forearm (long size) only of the baby kangaroo and cut according to its shape.  Set them aside.  

6) DRAWING THE FACE AND ADDITIONAL TOUCH UP
a) Using a carbon paper, trace what you drew on the face of the mother kangaroo, as well as, the baby kangaroo’s.  Apply Elmer’s glue on a pair of big wiggly eyes and attach them on the face of  the mother kangaroo.  Apply Elmer’s glue on a pair of small wiggly eyes and attach them on the face of the baby kangaroo.

b) When completed, use the orange pentel pen (fine point) to follow the drawing.  In this way, you can still remedy the lines if it needs further correction in the drawing by using violet or black pentel pen (regular point).  Draw the lips of the mother and baby kangaroo as per their respective sizes on a used bond paper.  Use red pentel pen for coloring the lips.  Cut and apply Elmer’s glue and attach them on the lip area.  Draw the nose of the mother on a used bond paper also.  Trace them on blue Craft Easy handmade paper and cut. Attach it  with Elmer’s glue on the nose area. Draw and cut a small nose directly on the blue handmade paper for the baby kangaroo’s. Apply Elmer’s glue and attach it on the nose area.  Draw the nostrils on each nose of the mother and baby kangaroo by using violet pentel pen (fine point).  Draw lines around the nose area to emphasize it.  Make adjustments on the drawing, if necessary.
  
7) ATTACHING THE PARTS
a) FOREARMS –Apply Elmer’s glue on the folded area only of the forearms of mother kangaroo.  Attach them firmly where they were pre positioned as  shown in the picture below. Attached Scotch tape at the back of its fold to strengthen its hold.


Attaching the Forearms – Mother Kangaroo

b) HEAD AND UPPER BODY - Align the lower part of the body in the middle of the fold at the very top front side (with open-cut portion) of the plastic box and then fold. Make adjustments as necessary by cutting any excess of the paper if it will not be inserted inside the box once folded.  Apply Elmer’s glue inside the top front area and align the paper again according to its fold.  Fold it back  and apply Elmer’s glue outside it to attach the body permanently.  Let it dry well. (Note: The open-cut portion at the middle of the plastic box will be used to insert a push pin for hanging the mail pouch later on a wall made of wood.)  Attach two long strips of Scotch tape at the back to cover the open-cut portion and strongly hold the plastic box and the body together. Attach a long strip of packing tape at the back reaching the top side area (with open-cut portion) to join the two end sides of the paper and strengthen its hold.

c)  HIND LEGS AND TAIL –Facing you, apply Elmer’s glue on  the side of the left hind leg allotted for attaching only and then attach it at the back of the plastic box.  Attach a long strip of packing tape at the back reaching the top side area (with open-cut portion) to strengthen its hold.  Pre position the tail in between the area where the body and right hind leg meet.  Apply Elmer’s glue on the area where the right hind leg and tail meet first.  Apply glue on the side area of the right hind leg allotted for attaching only and then attach it at the back of the plastic box.  Attach a long strip of packing tape at the back reaching the top side area (with open-cut portion) to strengthen its hold. Let them dry well.  

c)  BABY KANGAROO –Pre position the baby kangaroo before attaching and put a small mark, so you will know the boundary area where to apply the glue. Invert and attach a long strip of Scotch tape at the back of end side of the body.  (Note: This is made to conveniently and easily attach the Scotch tape inside the plastic box when the baby kangaroo is already attached for stronger hold.  Invert and apply Elmer’s glue on the Right Side of the half body of the baby kangaroo and attach it facing the front center side of the plastic box or now considered as the “pouch” of the mother kangaroo.  Press firmly  the Scotch tape inside of the plastic box to strengthen the hold.  Facing you, apply Elmer’s glue on the back of short forearm and attach it in between the body and plastic box on the right side of the body.  Then fold its palm forward and apply Elmer’s glue on its back to permanently make it look like the hand is holding its mother’s pouch.  Facing you, apply Elmer’s glue on half of the left forearm only and attach it on the left side of the body in between the body and plastic box, higher than the right forearm to make look like it is waving its hand.


8) Before hanging the project, check if there is a need to attach additional packing tape on areas that haven’t been covered yet. Then attach the strips of double tape on the back areas of the project where it needs to be hold.   Attach the project where it needs to be placed.  Attach the push pin at the center of the top front side, (previously with open-cut portion) if your wall is made of wood, otherwise add more strips of double tape on the back for stronger hold. The outcome is shown below.


DIY Child’s Room Mailbox 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

My Lord says ... Luke 16:19-31


*SUNDAY GOSPEL

Jesus said to the Pharisees:  “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day.  And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.  Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.  When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.  The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.  And he cried out,  ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.  Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’  Abraham replied,  ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;  but not he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.  Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’  He said,  ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’  But Abraham replied,  ‘They have Moses and the prophets.  Let them listen to them.’  He said,  ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’  Then Abraham said,  

‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, 
neither will they be persuaded 
if someone should rise from the dead.’



SPIRITS

I believe that there are really spirits roaming around the world, just like in the movie, ‘The Ghost’  because  I had an experience in our previous house, seeing spirits in black form for the first time, when I was lying in bed.  In other words, I had an out-of-body travel at that moment because my spirit itself moved around our room and bumped into the wall.  I could see everything inside the room, as well as, these spirits.  There was even one spirit who held my legs, as if, wanted to control my body.  When I saw it,  I tried to go back to my body.  I could see anything around the room, but I could not move my body.  I got frightened and repeatedly prayed the ‘I believe in God,’ ‘Our Father,’  and ‘Hail Mary’ in my mind,  especially when I saw a tall, black spirit standing by the side of our bed near the window.  The tall, black spirit was about to unfold his or her cape before me.  It was morning already because I could see the sunlight by the window where the black spirit was standing.  I was on the other side of the bed near the dresser lying.  At that moment, I couldn’t move my body, but the presence of my mind remained intact.   I repeatedly prayed the same prayers in my mind, until I was able to  move my body.  I woke up stunned of what happened and didn’t tell my children about it. 

When I moved to the USA, I had the second experience of seeing a spirit with half body only.  At that moment,  I didn’t have an out-of-body travel.  I knew that she was a woman because she was wearing a white, long gown.  I could see the whole room also with the woman spirit coming towards the bedside where I was lying.  It was also morning when it happened because there was sunlight already by the window.  As usual, I repeatedly said the same prayers in my mind, until I could move my body again.      

I always pray for the poor souls of my father, family relatives, friends, and other people who became part of my life everyday after saying my rosary prayer.  Praying for the dead is also an act of kindness that you can offer to God, just as the same way as, doing kindness for the living person.  They also need prayers for the unfinished tasks that they failed to do while on earth, especially when they died in an accident or died suddenly while in bed.  My father and eldest brother both died in an accident.  My father died before I was born, so he had an unfinished tasks with me.  My eldest brother died in a car accident and had an unfinished tasks with his youngest son. They say that praying for them helps you also in all your problems be solved because they pray for you, too.  Mercy and compassion will be given to them by God as I pray for them and in  the same way, mercy and compassion will be given to me by God when I die. 

How we are living our life now will affect how we will be living for all eternity.  The truths are: Nothing can be hidden. No one is spared from death. No one is spared from the judgment of our Lord.   


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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, September 21, 2016

My Travel - A Wonderful One-day Trip - Regina Rica


It was a sunny day, Sunday, when my elder daughter and son-in-law agreed to go to a one-day pilgrimage to Regina Rica.  This is my first time to come to this area.  Because it was almost a two-hour drive, I couldn’t resist taking a nap, while my granddaughter fell asleep, too.  We woke up when my son-in-law  told us that we were already passing by the windmills, but my granddaughter and I missed that view.  The place, my son-in-law was driving through, is a mountainous area.  Nevertheless, we reached our destination safely, feeling excited, especially me.  My elder daughter went to the reception area to register first.  We took the ride in going up the hilly area where the statue of Blessed Mother, named Regina Rosarii, is situated as shown below.


Regina Rica

Regina Rica is place for contemplative prayer and devotion to Mother Mary.  It is also a place of an ecological sanctuary and a wellness environment. It is situated in a 13.5 hectare land at the foothills of Sierra Madre Mountains.  It is founded by the Dominican sisters who conduct retreats, recollections, and seminars for many people from all walks of life who want to experience stillness, silence, and serenity.  They also provide socio-pastoral and medical services.  


Regina Rosarii

Below the statue is the orientation area, but there was no activity going on at that time. Out of curiosity seeing people lining up to go up a stairway, I went up, too, the spiraled staircase barefooted because shoes are not allowed to wear inside the holy place.  I reached the frontage area of the statue where there were several people taking their selfie pictures as shown above.  I just passed by them and didn’t mind what they were doing. I went through a door that I thought was the exit door leading to downstairs already, but behold I saw the wonderful sight that I have been longing to see – a big Blessed Sacrament in a wooden box decorated with flowers around the area where it was enthroned.  A Dominican sister was leading the prayers for the Blessed Sacrament.  I came late during the prayer, but I just focused my eyesight on the Blessed Sacrament as shown below.  After the prayers, we were told to touch the wall for our personal prayers before we go down the exit stairway because the wall is the extension of Mother Mary’s cape.


Blessed Sacrament

People lined up to buy colored candles and express their prayers or petitions in the area as shown below.  Each color of the candles has meanings, like aqua – for thanksgiving, blue for peace, brown for safe trip or good job, green for hope to pass exam, orange for good health, red for courage, rose for love for family, violet for financial prosperity, white for success, yellow for joy and friends, maroon for the departed, and all colors for abundance.  You can choose which colored candles you like to buy, but we bought a pack of multi-colored candles to pray for every concern we have.  There is also an area where you can write your petitions and put it in the designated drop box, but I didn’t do it anymore because of time constraint.  


Lighting the Candles

Afterwards, from the hilltop, I took pictures of this Pahuwayan - Columbary and Ossuary with an image of Mama Mary having different poses situated around the area - and the  Rica Chapel as shown below. 


Pahuwayan-Columbary and Ossuary


The Rica Chapel

I was really very glad and felt satisfied,  even though I wasn’t able to hear the mass on time because I saw again this adorable picture in bigger size as shown below. I always have a prayer leaflet with me showing this same picture.  The words written below the picture, “I am with you until the end of time - (Matthew 28:20). I will do anything for you,” is very endearing to me. This is the same copy of picture I showed in my previous article, “A Reflection on Lenten Season.”   After a contemplative prayer, we saw a  wishing well in front of this chapel where people drop coins and express their wishes or desires to enhance more hopes in any wisher's hearts. 


Picture of Precious Blood of Jesus Christ

Because of time constraint, we were not able to see the whole vast area of the place.  But before we left, we rested under the huge tree as shown below.  We had the same family picture 3 years ago that I showed in my previous travel, “Happy, Happy Me Part 3,” where we dined at Sonya’s Garden, a beautiful garden restaurant in Tagaytay City. 


Family Bonding at Regina Rica

Related Personal Travels:

Wonderful One-day Trips:
   Part Two

Happy, Happy Me Travels:
   Introduction - Happy, Happy Me                
      Part Two                                                 
  Part Three                                                              
  Part Four                                                     
  Part Five                                                     
  Part One – Japan (2014)                            
  Part Three – Japan (2016)                         
         Part Four –Japan (2016)     
      

Sunday, September 18, 2016

My Lord says ... Luke 16:1-13


*SUNDAY GOSPEL

Jesus said to His disciples, “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property.  He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you?  Prepare a full account of your stewardship because you can no longer be my steward.’  The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?  I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.  I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’  He called in his master’s debtors one by one.  To the first he said,  ‘How much do you owe my master?’  He replied,  ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’  He said to him,  ‘Here is your promissory note.  Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’  Then to another the steward said,  ‘And you, how much do you owe?’  He replied,  ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’  The steward said to him,  ‘Here is your promissory note;  write one for eighty.’  And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. 

“For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.  I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.  The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones;  and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.  If therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?  If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?  


"No servant can serve two masters.  
He will either hate one and love the other, 
or be devoted to one and despise the other.  
You cannot serve both God and mammon.”


GOD'S GIFTS

There are two categories of God’s gifts - wealth and non-material wealth, like skills or talents, abilities, intelligence, beauty, etc.  But the big question we need to answer about these gifts is “ HOW ARE WE AS STEWARDS OF THESE GIFTS?” The truth is, in terms of material wealth --no matter how wealthy a person is,  when he dies, he can’t bring all his wealth with him.  While in terms of non-material wealth, like talents and intelligence --  no person can become great, unless he uses his intelligence and talents for the good of others and not to destroy others.  We can show only our sense of appreciation to God if we become good stewards of His gifts.  


Keeping ourselves focused to God is also the same as serving His purpose.  Doing little acts of kindness each day for the good of others is a simple way of becoming good stewards of His gifts. Keeping ourselves focused on God also means that we do take time each day to pray – to pour out our hearts to God and acknowledge God as the Lord and center of our lives.  In these simple, everyday ways we make choices about prudence and decisiveness--mammon or God, our “eternal dwelling.”   

In spite of our busyness, belief in God should come with actions that are pleasing to God.  I may not be a perfect mother, but my motto I have applied in my life now is that I do one kindness a day to any person.  When I was just small and a teenager, I never gotten angry with my siblings.  But now, I’m an adult, my patience sometimes gets out of control, especially if the person is lying to me, or cheating on me, or the service promised to me wasn’t delivered to me the right way, or my children disobey and disrespect me.     When this happens, I feel guilty about it because I don’t like to get angry myself.  It ruins my day and makes me get worried the whole day, even for several days because of the thought that my God will punish me for getting angry at a certain person.  I don’t curse other people, but rationalize to the person concerned why they should not do that to me.  But I believe that God also gets angry at people for their sinfulness and unfaithfulness.   This is not to rationalize my actions, but simply makes me feel that something is really wrong in  my behavior and needs to be amended.

At the end of the day, I don’t tell my God what kindness I did in a day because I believe that He knows everything what I have done.  Nothing can be hidden from Him, even what are inside our hearts and minds.  I don’t ask from Him any reward for doing such kindness because I still believe that doing kindness to any person is a way of offering a sacrifice to the Lord for the forgiveness of my sins, failures, and shortcomings.  


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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, September 11, 2016

My Lord says ... Luke 15: 1-32


*SUNDAY GOSPEL

Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying,  “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.”  So He addressed this parable,  “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?  And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy.  And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them,  

“Rejoice with me 
because I have found my lost sheep.  
I say to you that likewise 
there will be more joy in heaven 
over one sinner who repents 
than over ninety-nine just persons 
who need no repentance."

Or what woman, having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it?  And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying,  


“Rejoice with me 
because I have found the coin that I lost.”  
In just the same way, I tell you, 
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God 
over one sinner who repents.”

Then He said,  “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,  ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’   So the father divided the property between them.  And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance.  But when he had spent all, a severe famine struck that country and he began to be in want.  So he hired himself out to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to tend the swine.  And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.  Coming to his senses he thought. he said,  ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I shall get up and go to my father and say,  “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I no longer deserve to be called your son;  treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”  And he arose and came to his father.  While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.  He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.  And the son said to him,  ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’  But the father said to his servants,  ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.  And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;  he was lost, and has been found.’ 

Now his older son was in the field.  And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.  So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.  And he said to him,  ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ 

But he was angry and would not go in.  Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.  So he answered and said to his father,  ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you;  I never transgressed your commandment at any time;  and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.  But as soon as this son of your came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
And he said to him,  


Son, you are always with me,
and all that I have is yours. 
It was right that we should make merry and be glad,
for your brother was dead and is alive again,
and was lost and is found.”



THE LOST ONE

We often rejoice and look forward to different events like, birthday celebration, weddings, baptismal and confirmation celebrations, graduation celebration, etc. to happen immediately in our life.  The happiness in our face is describable that it can be seen also in our actions.  Much more if we look forward to something like, a miracle for harmony and reconciliation to happen among our family members or friends.     Additionally, if we look forward to something like, a miracle for our children to be free from ungodly strongholds in their life, is more glorious to be felt by any parents than any kind of problems being experienced.  It pierces the heart of any parents to see their child being led astray.  Though it takes time to have these happen, all of these can only happen with the help of God’s grace and mercy to fill our hearts. 


I have a close friend’s friend who has a daughter who became addicted to prohibited drugs.  Her friend never realized it until she received a letter from the college school that she dropped out from school last semester this year.  The mother never doubted her daughter every time she asks for money as payment for her tuition fee.  She has been living in the province, while her daughter is living in a college dormitory.  Upon knowing it, the mother took her daughter and brought her to a rehabilitation center.   She stayed there until she was cleared of her drug addiction.  It was a pitiful sight to see her daughter in a strayed life.  Her daughter was at a lost before, but now the mother feels peace and happiness in knowing that her daughter has realized her wrongdoings and changed for the better.   

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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, September 4, 2016

My Lord says ... Luke 14: 25-33


*SUNDAY GOSPEL

Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and He turned and addressed them,  

“If anyone comes to me without hating 
his father and mother, 
wife and children, 
brothers and sisters, 
and even his own life, 
he cannot be my disciple."  

"Whoever does not carry his own cross 
and come after me, 
cannot be my disciple."  

Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion?  Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work, the onlookers should laugh at him and say,  ‘This is one began to build, but did not have the resources to finish.’  Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?  But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.  

“In the same way, anyone of you
who does not renounce all his possessions
 cannot be my disciple.”





DISCIPLESHIP

It’s true that there are hardships that one can experience in being a disciple of Christ.  Not all people will accept the word of God.  People have different beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, preferences, religion, mental capacity, emotional state, social & cultural standard and norms, family background, etc.  Often times, people will reject you when the word of God is very different from what they believe in and practice.  There are lots of questions that we need to ponder about to help us know what really true discipleship to us.  Sample questions are as follows:

--How many times have we been rejected in our life, but in spite of it, we continue to persevere?  
--How many have we failed to do the tasks being given to us? 
--How many times have we said “yes” when we really mean “no” in making decisions?  
--How many times have we given up or lost hope in the midst of trials or problems?
--How many times  have we tried to make amends to improve our ways? 
--How many times have we acted to show care or concern for family members and others?  
--How many times have we humbled ourselves to accept our faults and shortcomings?  
--How many times have we disregarded our own wants or desires in favor of others?
--How many times have we fought for others to defend them from any kind of attacks?
--How many times have we turned our back on others?
--How many times have we failed to practice self-denial?
--How many times have we become not merciful and compassionate to others?
--How many times have we looked down on other people?

There are still many questions to ask depending on where and what we are currently in.  Our character of who we are will dictate the answer to all these questions.  The choice is yours and mine to make .....    


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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