The Presence of Love

Notes from today's service at New Life Church:

What is it that you really want for Christmas?

What will your focus be this Christmas?
...Presents? Or, Presence?

lyrics to:
Presence (My Heart's Desire)
by Furler, Taylor, Hughes

Come O Lord and fill up my life
With the light of Your presence
This is my heart's desire
Oh Father come and let Your Spirit abide
I long for Your presence
This is my heart's desire

Verse 2
I long to be washed
In the well of Your mercy
I long to be warmed
By the fire of Your glory
I long for Your presence
I long for Your healing touch

Lord You're my desire

1. God is the source of love

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world tocondemn the world, but to save the world through Him. John 3:16-17

2. Love responds with compassion

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

3. Compassion brings glory to God

Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Matthew 5:16 (NLT)

{Simply Grateful} 11/24/2007

for the discipline of solitude and silence (much needed especially during times when I get caught up in overwhelming projects)

for the strength to carry out a vision for an improved kitchen

for not losing sight of my ultimate divine vision allowing balance and joy along the way

for an intimate thanksgiving lunch, full of grace and love, with my wondeful family

life begins at 40

Wow I can't believe I haven't blogged since I turned 40. Well, it's been said, life begins at 40...and, I guess for me, it means decorating; starting with repainting the kitchen cabinets. That's what I've been enjoying these days...or should I say laboring at these past couple of weeks. I didn't know it was going to be so very time consuming...but I'm halfway done and I can already see it will be all worth it. Stay tuned for the photos once I'm done (too bad I wasn't able to take a "before" photo despite friendly reminders from my BFF...sorry I couldn't find my camera and I was so eager and too excited to start my kids say it's the result of watching too much HGTV). The thing about starting some sort of renovation or redecorating, sometimes it's hard to stop as you begin "seeing" other "possibilities"...there's the "vision" of stone countertop and tile backsplash, sink and faucet, refrigerator, mosaic effects, etc., etc....wish me strength to carry it to completion (to think that's just the kitchen not to mention the holiday why did I pick this time of year to start my projects?...well, my life is just beginning, right?!). I have a tendency to get overwhelmed... thank God for the discipline of solitude and silence when I can refocus and be reminded not to lose my balance, my joy along the my new life 40!

Just for Laughs

from a seasoned shopper

whoever says money can't buy happiness
does not know where to shop

the only thing better than a great store
is a great store with a great sale

when I get tired of shopping
I sit down and try on some shoes

from a seasoned homemaker

this is a self cleaning kitchen
clean up after yourself

if you want breakfast in bed
sleep in the kitchen

both of us can't look good
it's either me or the house I said, just for laughs...or as we say in the Philippines...joke only:)

{Simply Grateful} 11/01/2007

....for a sweet 40th birthday in the company of my whole family
....for touching well wishes from friends and family closest to my heart
....for a fun time trick or treating with Belle, Ian and Russ
....for a nice bonding time with Ian
....for Immanuel's safety on halloween night away from home
....for Phil's continued diligence and pride in his work
....for the twinkle in my mom's eyes

I am 40!

Things I have learned...

Don't think less of yourself...think of yourself less

Humility is confidence rightly placed

Prayer is not a way to draw God's attention to our needs.
It is a way to draw our attention to how much we need God.

a fave verse from Philippians 4: 6-7
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Peace is not the absence of conflict
but the handling of conflict without loss of balance
-Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro

It's all about love

Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Matthew 22: 37-40

Without love,
our words are noise,
our spiritual gifts amount to nothing,
and our greatest sacrifices lose their meaning.

Love is the bottom line

I am 40!

I turned 40 today!...and I am very blessed. I have been celebrating all week delighting in everything and everyone around me, going shopping with my mom, enjoying going to the gym, and most especially immersing myself in the presence of my Creator through prayer, meditation and journaling...I am truly blessed.

My dear husband arrived yesterday in time for trick or treating. We took Belle out with Ian while Phil and grandma stayed home to give out candies. Immanuel went out with friends (or so he says:)). Ian and I joyfully watched dad and Belle rang doorbells as we enjoyed hugging and massaging each other by the sidewalk (it was a chilly halloween night...just a bit...perfect for hugging).

I spent the morning of my birthday doing my regular schedule of taking kids to school, meditation, and some housework. Then I took mom to her physical therapy. Russ took me out to lunch at Yanagi Sushi while Phil picked up grandma. After lunch I did some paperwork then it was time to pick up Ian. Russ picked up Belle, and I took Ian to get his long overdue physical clearance for his wrestling requirement (though we waited for over an hour at the doctor's office, it was a nice mother-son bonding time). When we got home, mom was preparing pansit and there was a cake and present from Russ and Belle. Then we had a joyful family dinner when Immanuel got home from school. The day was ended with Russ and Belle singing in the karaoke...and oh! sweet well wishes from friends and family closest to my heart...what a blessed 40th birthday!