Ever had those times when you just want to eat all the food in the world without having to worry about gaining weight and growing those love handles? Even if I’m huge on vegetable smoothies and salads, I have to admit that I get tempted when I’m faced with sweet desserts, pasta, crispy pata, bagnet and tender ribs. I have to battle with that inner voice that says “Come on. Just once.” But I know full well that that “Just once.” can lead to me using that as an excuse every single time I’m at a buffet spread. It takes discipline, doesn’t it?
Dave and I checked out the NU SKIN Expo held at the NU Skin Philippines HQ. We got to try out the Galvanic Spa (which helps combat aging!), their Epoch Essential Oils, their Trimshake and their body analysis machine which revealed that my body age is 5 years younger than my real age!
The S3 Biophotonic Scanner also revealed my skin carotenoid score which is an indicator of the tissue carotenoid concentration and antioxidant levels of my body. If you get a 10,000-19,000 score, that means 1) You don’t consume enough vegetables, fruits and supplements 2) You’re under a lot of stress; high sun and pollution exposure and 3) You smoke or are always exposed to someone who smokes.
If you get a 30,000-39,000 score, you 1) Get a moderate amount of fruits and vegetables 2) Have regular supplementation 3) Moderate stress, sun, and pollution exposure.
40,000-50,000 means you consume huge amounts of fruits and vegetables, have optimal supplementation, low stress, sun and pollution exposure. I was surprised that I got 60,000! 😀 All that vegan food is doing me good! Watch the different stations we visited in the vlog below
Another one of those “driving all by myself” adventures. I’ve been to Tagaytay Highlands several times but never got to drive on my own to the Midlands–so this is a first! It was scary going up because it’s mostly uphill and I was getting paranoid that my car would break down or something. Eep! Thank God it didn’t.
I’ve been in radio for fourteen years. I started out as a student jock, became a traffic reporter (after my segment producing stint), worked at Mellow947 for a decade, had a short stint on News FM and now, handling executive producer and announcing duties for NOW XD. Radio may seem like a fun and easy job (I do enjoy it) but there’s a lot of things that go on off-air that contribute to the mounting of a radio program. With social media and video being a huge factor now, it’s no longer just the audio output we consider. In this short VLOG, I’ll take you through our week-long radio training held at Cebu.
I met Ruthie a little over a year ago when she was putting all the details together for her wedding. Though it was a bit early, I already discussed the program with her. Over the next few months, we’d send each other messages along with updates on her other suppliers. We only got to meet again on the wedding day itself but I didn’t worry because I was working with the very able team of Agnes and Jeo Odulio (Empire Weddings). They’re one of the best coordinating teams I’ve partnered with in my years of hosting weddings.
Nicco and Ruth’s engagement session was shot by Team Benitez in Tokyo, Japan:
Below is the VLOG of their big day which includes my duet with Emil of the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra:
Team Benitez Photo
Von Lazaro Design
Manila Marriott Hotel
Shrine of St Therese of the Child Jesus, Newport City
Dey Caisip Professional Hair and Make-up Artist Pampanga
After several years of studying the Bible inductively in BSF and being reared by the expository preaching at GCF, I still find myself in awe and overwhelmed with God’s Word. We can never settle with what we already know. In school (like I have shared with a lot of you), there are a lot of things I needed to unlearn and that is very humbling.
Upon entering seminary, we were told that we’ll have to put off the pre-conditioning we’ve grown with. Now that doesn’t mean that our previous understanding of the Bible is entirely bad or wrong. There’s just that reality that there are certain positions we’ve come to accept as true but when you get to the nitty gritty of the text, you’ll be surprised that the original intended meaning isn’t so similar with how a lot of people have been interpreting it today. We have to keep in mind that when people read and interpret the Bible, biases come along with it–intentionally or unintentionally. These biases may have been ingrained in us through culture, education and the church.
A common mistake we make is taking one verse alone and interpreting it without the passages before and after. There’s nothing wrong with using verses from the Bible and making them a personal, motivational reminder. However, we have to make sure that we know the context of the passage and the book. For example, a verse that is often misused is Matthew 18:20:
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
When you look at this verse, it does look very encouraging in terms of prayer. So many times, I’ve heard this recited in sermons and prayer gatherings. The passage in Matthew however, talks about dealing with sin or conflict in the church. It discusses rebuking a fellow believer in private about the sin.
If the fellow believer takes heed, then “you have won him over”–>this phrase can also take on so many meanings. “Won him over” meaning you won the argument or “won him over” meaning you have won his confidence? In the literal translation from Greek to English, it reads “you gained your fellow believer.” So the “winning the argument” angle is not what the passage meant.
This is just an example of the many verses taken out of context. I would love to share more but each verse might require a separate blog entry each. 😀
LEVELING UP MY HERMENEUTICS SKILLS
I’m amazed that with just a few verses, you can unpack a ton of things. Context. Main clause. Subordinate clauses. Key words. The words in the original language. Did the author use the word the same way we use it today? The intended audience—who were they? Where were they located? What was life like for them at that time? So many questions. We were doing termal, grammatical, literary and contextual analysis yesterday when my classmate David told me “Nasa exegete talaga yung trabaho no? Yung exegete yung mag-tatanong, siya din hahanap ng sagot sa text.”
And it made me think, as one person I can only ask so many questions. I cannot ask all the possible questions that may arise from the text and THAT IS HUMBLING. For me, it means that as a community of believers studying the Bible, team work is essential. One cannot do it alone. Our pastors, before they preach their sermon, present their outline and manuscript to a group of other pastors and church leaders and they discuss the text, the interpretation and what it means for us in the present day. In school, I like that we are also usually in groups when we do our Bible exercises for it broadens the way we observe and interact with the text, allowing us to see things from a different perspective.
There’s still more for me to learn and unpack. The Bible is truly a wonderful book and our God–though He is infinite and incomprehensible is definitely KNOWABLE.
God bless you! Until the next seminary diary…when I finish with my reading assignments! 🙂
I love midday weddings, specially when they’re held at cool, open spaces that are close to nature. There’s something so charming about Clear Water Rest House–the green open lawn, the quaint cottage where preps can be done and the spacious patio that provides an excellent view of the Taal Volcano.
After the morning ceremony at Caleruega Chapel, guests arrived a little before lunch and entertained themselves to the brim by taking photos at the patio, posing for snaps at the photo booth and enjoying the candy bar. The weather cooperated so well. It didn’t rain and the sun gleamed with just the right intensity. Got to work with Jeo and Agnes Odulio again of Empire Weddings. More on the vlog below
Ceremony: Caleruega Church
Reception: Clear Water Rest House, Tagaytay
Coordinator: Empire Weddings (Jeo and Agnes Odulio + team)
Emcee: Ingrid Nieto
Photographer: Myio Okamoto Photography
Videogapher: Aisle 1401
Caterer: Towns Delight – The Caterer
Wedding Cake: Tourist Cakeshop
Flowers: Green Purple
Hair & Makeup: Diane Coles
Music: Symphony Rhythm Strings and Milet Abrenica
Lights & Sounds: Artuz101
DJ: Rammy Bitong
Bridal Car: JCA Bridal Car Rentals
Tent: Tent King
This made me reflect. Often, when we encounter something like this, we think “Yes! Somebody hates me but I don’t know why he/she hates me!” then I realized, we have to ask ourselves too:
“Have I hated on somebody for no apparent reason? Like they haven’t really done anything to me nor harmed me, but I hate them?” Hah. The answer wasn’t surprising for me: Yes, many times.
Why do we have the tendency to hate on some people even if they haven’t done anything to us directly? Sometimes these people don’t even know us or have a relationship with us.
“I hate him because he’s annoying.”
“I hate her because she’s such a loudmouth.”
We can come up with a million reasons but we have to get to the root of things—WHAT FUELS THE HATE? Hate is also such a strong word but sometimes when we don’t guard our hearts, a simple dislike could grow into full-blown hatred.
When I recently came across a crass celebrity, I admit I got miffed and some of you my dear friends, have seen me express my utter distaste for her behavior.
But I thought to myself—this girl doesn’t know me. Even if I told her that she has such crass behavior, would she actually listen? Would she take my advice? Maybe not, because we are not friends. Also, even if she goes on with that behavior—that is her issue. She is accountable for that. Will it affect me? Will it impede my daily living? The answer is no. So yeah. I may have been annoyed by her but I had to catch myself quick so it would not cross over to hatred.
What fuels hatred for others? Let us search our hearts.
Is it envy?
Oh the green-eyed monster. Envy can oftentimes lead us to be highly critical of those who have what we think we deserve. Instead of being happy for them, displeasure breeds and it can progress into a desire to destroy them.
“It’s unfair. I deserve what they have! I deserve the life they’re living.”
“They don’t deserve to be happy.”
Take time to ask yourself today: If I don’t like the thought of someone HATING ME for no reason, have I at any point also HATED ON SOMEONE for no reason? Why do I hate them? What is the underlying issue? What do I need to change about myself?
Now if you find yourself on the receiving end of seemingly unwarranted hatred, search your heart as well.
“Is there a valid reason for the person to hate me? Is it something we can talk about?”
“Have I directly and intentionally hurt the person to illicit a response like that?”
If you don’t know the person and you know in your heart that you didn’t intentionally hurt him/her, if the person still hates you, then let the Lord deal with them. Pray that the Lord would enlighten and convict them, bringing to the surface deep-seated issues such as envy and insecurity.
14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
Have a great day, friends!