Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Forgive and Forget

    Forgive and forget, that's what they always say. But based on my experience, we can forgive but we cannot truly "forget" what happened and I often wondered why this is so.

     As I read Genesis 31 today, the answer dawned on me. The Lord commanded Jacob to leave Haran and head back to Canaan.  Jacob secretly left his father-in-law in obedience to the Lord but to do so would mean facing his brother Esau who he did not see for 20 years.  Placing myself in his shoes, I would already be thinking of a lot of things --- Lord, is my brother still angry at me? Will he still plot to kill me?  Is there another way, Lord, maybe a detour where I won't meet my brother?  How can I ask forgiveness, Lord, that would be very difficult. Will he forgive me?

     I realized that the Lord will allow us to confront our past so that we can be right with Him. There were times that scenes from my past would suddenly play in my mind and I would often ask the Lord why He wanted to remind me of them.  Today, he gave me the answer ... so that I can truly know that I have forgiven and recognize God's grace in being able to do so and  in the process remember the miracle He did in me.

     Dr. Ray Pritchard said that we can find that courage to forgive if we will remember that when Jesus said, "Father, forgive them,", he was talking about us.  In life, we have fought many battles and in the process we got scars that would mark us forever.  These scars do not hurt us anymore but they would be a reminder of the battles fought and of God's victory. I could never  have the strength to forgive if it was not for Him.

Thank you Jesus!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Avilon Zoo

     We celebrated Aethan's 7th birthday in Avilon Zoo. This 7.5-hectare  facility in Rodriguez, Rizal is  currently the largest zoological institution in the Philippines. The kids were excited to see the animals which they just see in our zoology books come to life.   We spent 5 hours there and yet we felt we needed more time.  They said that by this year, they would be adding big mammals like elephants - so we will definitely be back!

     There was no party, no balloons, no guests... just the four of us - Dad, me, Riel and Aethan.  At the end of the day, Aethan said, "Mom, this is my best birthday ever!"

     Our children really don't need all those expensive gifts...all they need is undivided attention and time (both quantity and quality time) with mom and dad.

with the Philippine eagle owl and Green Wing macaw
andrea gold template 817,wild web designs, WA World, Mandy King
with the Philippine Sea eagle, Philppine eagle owl and Philippine Hawk eagle
andrea gold template 696, BonnieBlou designs, Delicious scraps, Linda Renee, Jolly kIds, Snips and Snails

Bethie, Brenda of Millstream
Andrea Gold template 617, Amanda and Millie designdorible digital,Jaimeedesigns

credits: Noreimerreason template 48, Amanda Sok, Brandy Murry

credits: WyldWebDesigns, Wishing Well creations, Puffy Alpha

The caniforms  (credits:Aida Scrap template, Mye De Leon Pet lover kit)   

Order Rodentia credits: monkeying around kit by mandy king andpixels by Jane, Kristmess

A Clean Slate

The start of the year is usually the time for us to list our "new year resolutions", reflect on the past year and pray that this year would be a better one.  For some, it would mean a time to correct mistakes and a chance to do things differently.  But the Bible says:  "The Lord's lovingkindess indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning..."  Thank God we wouldn't have to wait another year to set things right.  God has given us that provision daily.

As  I review the past year and write my faith goals, I thank the Lord for answering a lot or prayers and empowering me to do things I thought I cannot do. He has blessed me in a lot of ways though I don't deserve it.  2011 is indeed a busy year.   Too busy that there were times I neglected my quiet time with the Lord and  I would cry to Him and tell Him how much I miss Him.  And in one of my quiet moments last year, He said in James 4:8, "Draw near to me and I will draw near to you".   He was telling me, "Anak, you were so busy, you were the one who moved away from me.  I was always here for you.  I never left your side".  It's true... despite my unfaithfulness, God is faithful .

Our pastor said we slander God by serving Him without knowing Him. This year, my goal (and our Church' goal also) is to be more intimate with Him... to have one defining purpose, one pursuit, one preoccupation and one passion. "One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:  That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple (Ps. 27:4).

Lord, thank you for the goodness You have shown us and the blessings You have showered us in 2011.  Thank you for the clean slate that you offer, not just every new year but every day. I pray that Your will be done in my life this year... that I may know You more and understand Your ways.  You are enough for me,  Lord. I just want to be where you are.

credits: Gottapixel-A fresh start kit, border by Mye de Leon