Walking is the New Running For Me

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Manifesto

A pair of trainers to run the earth,

With people I hold dear;

A pair of sunglasses to watch the sky

As the day is drawing near,

A prayer in my pocket, the Word in my heart

And love to tell me why —

These are the things that I must keep close

And all I need to get by.

It was in 2009 when I wrote the above “manifesto”. I was ready to take on the world. I was single. I was smart. I was strong.

It’s 2018. I am not that young anymore. I am married. I have a loving husband. I have the sweetest daughter.

I still have people I hold dear, sunglasses to watch the sky… And the prayer in my pocket is still there, and the Word, it still burns my heart.

But I am not as strong as before. And my trainers, well, I use them for walking now. No more running like a girl.

In fact, I cannot jog. I cannot jump. I cannot run. Those have been the restrictions emplaced upon my person by a doctor who has studied my spine.

 

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I was talking about my condition to a woman who’s out to conquer the world (like I was in 2009). She expressed her surprise. The health buff in her couldn’t see how anyone can still be okay.

The feeling I had when the doctor told the news was nothing close to sadness. Instead, it was gratitude, and a little bit of uncertainty — but not sadness. The medicine for whatever heaviness I was feeling then was a vivid memory of happy days under the sun.

I remembered my childhood. Climbing trees, wading through rocky rivers, hiking steep terrains, and catching grey tadpoles with my sisters and friends — life was an adventure when I was in the outdoors!

And though I can’t jog, jump, run, I can cook. I can prepare a good meal for my family. I can encourage my husband. I can read to my daughter and sing a lullaby.

I can work with my hands (though there’s a challenge there, sometimes, due to referred pain), but that’s not frequent, yet.

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And I can type on this keyboard. I can write letters, verses, songs. My lips can shout or whisper a hymn for my Creator who does all things well. I can help someone in need. I can pray for them. I can serve the Lord where He leads. How can I complain?

My manifesto may have been changed in the running part, but it is a change that is welcome. If anything, I’d say that my life now is slower, and there is time to “smell the roses”. I am looking back with gratitude, and looking ahead with hope in the Lord — come what may.

Come to think of it, the Turtle won the race! The Hare was running, but was distracted. But yes, the Turtle —- what an encouragement from Aesop! Slowly, but surely, that’s it. But Solomon had already thought of it in Ecclesiastes 9:11 long before Aesop did:

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to me of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Now what happens to my manifesto? It still holds. Walking is my new running. And now, by God’s grace, here I am! I am loving my life for what has been given, and what has been taken away.

The walkathon continues and the finish line is still ever before me, calling out to me — “Run with patience! Don’t give up!”

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Ecclesiastes 7:10

(KJV) Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? For thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.

(NASB) Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.

Replaying: I Am Jonah by Lion of Judah

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There are a few songs in my list that I consider hauntingly beautiful. This song is like a Littmus Lozenge. It’s sweet in that it tells you about Jesus and His love. But it also reminds you that your love for Him often falls short. You feel sad about this.

And there’s a good balance between sweet and bitter in this song. The sweetness comes from the promise that the Lord’s redemption is free and available, and by God’s grace you’ve been forgiven.

But like the Littmus Lozenge, it is balanced by the realization that you’re not going to the world to preach the good news as you should be. There are people out there who must have Jesus, too — your family, your neighbor, your friends.

I’m guessing if it’s all too sweet you didn’t get the message of the song.

If it’s all too bitter then I think you’re getting it all wrong.

(For several days now, my husband and I have been enjoying the vibe and the verse of Lion of Judah’s I Am Jonah. This song is one of the songs we love playing in the background during those long trips. It’s a source of encouragement, rebuke and hope. Plus we love the bass notes.)

I Am Jonah Song Lyrics

You have forgiven

You were willing to call my name

Now You call me to love the same

As one of Your children

Displayed Your love to me recklessly

I see Your passion upon a tree

You won me a kingdom

And I will live in a paradise

I will worship You day and night

You gave the commission

That I should seek to love the lost

Show the love of the King whatever the cost

[Chorus]

I am Jonah, I keep running away

Three nights in darkness, three days in the grave

Without Your grace Lord, that’s where I would stay

But there’s golden shores where washed-up sinners lay

I’m undeserving

A broken mind and a heart of stone

Another Pharaoh upon his throne

I am unworthy

You drown my sin in a sea of blood

Then lift me up with the cords of love

You tell me to love where there’s none

Where it’s dark to preach Son

To speak life ’til it’s done and your kingdom has come

You tell me to go but I run

So give me Your courage

Make me willing to count the cost

To take my place on my knees in the shade of the cross

[Chorus]

I am Jonah, I keep running away

Three nights in darkness, three days in the grave

Without Your grace Lord, that’s where I would stay

But there’s golden shores where washed-up sinners lay

[Bridge]

There’s golden

There’s golden

Where washed up sinners lay

There’s golden

There’s golden

Where washed up sinners lay

[Chorus]

I am Jonah, I keep running away

Three nights in darkness, three days in the grave

Without Your grace Lord, that’s where I would stay

But there’s golden shores where washed-up sinners lay

Where washed up sinners lay…

A Bit of A Background

Jonah according to Bible scholars is a type of Christ, for Jesus Himself likened three days in the grave with the three days spent by Jonah inside the big fish.

I love the story of Jonah. If he were in the New Testament times, he could be friends with Peter.

Jonah writes his story with utter truthfulness. No sugar-coating there. It’s like standing behind a pulpit Sunday morning and talking about your sin and the salvation of the Lord. Or writing a memoir without leaving out the shameful details. He’s not ashamed of his sin, but he exposed them, for he knew the grace of God is greater.

Jonah’s story is not his story. No, not really. And it’s a tiny part of the metanarrative of grace that like a thread connects every event in Scripture.

If you look closely at Jonah’s displeasure at the salvation by the Lord of the Ninevites, you may be reminded of how sometimes, you want your enemies to suffer. But wait, God is not finished with your enemies, and he’s not finished with you! God redeems Jonah’s ideas about God, redemption, and forgiveness. And He even redeems Jonah from himself!

Why do I love this Band?

I am always in the lookout for great Christian bands with integrity. I love bands that sing Jesus as Savior and Lord. And this band is unafraid to sing Jesus. No, they’re not! I love it when they just live their love out for Christ loudly, through music, and their testimony.

I also appreciate the fact that they have posts where they talk to their pastor. In one video, it was mentioned that the pastor acts as a trustee of the band. This band I believe is holding itself accountable and that is just great!

I do hope and pray that their ministry would continue. Don’t change your message, guys. Some bands do on their way to stardom. Please don’t. God bless you.

Click here to head straight to their YouTube Channel.

Click here to watch a live recording of the song.

I’ll be reviewing other songs of Lion of Judah when I’m tired of this. Perhaps Treasure is next. Next.

My Darling May Bud

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pexels-photo-1007228.jpegMy May Bud

How precious you are, dear daughter of mine,

And if my heart were a garden of roses —

The Lord planted you in its bosom where

The rays love

to sit first thing in the morning.

 

Ruth Solitario

Last night, I told my daughter a big truth. It is this: Her life is not her own. And this is good for her. Even in bad times knowing this would be good for her.

Before you were born I set you apart to serve me. Jeremiah 1:5

Someone Almighty, it’s God, the Lord of heaven and earth, is orchestrating the events of her life, and this is something to be thankful for, eventually, everything should end in gratitude or despair…

Before I was born the LORD chose me to serve him. He appointed me by name. Psalm 139:16

That she is not the master of her fate, she’s not the captain of her soul, and this is good for her, although this truth may not be appealing to men and women who are doing great, but I want her to remember this, and if it takes me my entire life to teach this to her I would do it — and learn with her for I am still in this school of learning this myself, that even when life is great or we are in pain, I want her to know that life is more than pleasure, life is more than pain, there’s more to life than what we feel, or think, eat or possess.

I am sure that the One who began a good work in you will carry it on until it is completed. Philippians 1:6

I guess not a lot of people who are on the road to self-actualization will like being not in control. I didn’t like it. But one day, things changed. I gave the control to the God I trust. I began to hate that road and I am thankful I left that road before I crashed.

My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

I know, I’ve been there, it sure feels good to gain a little bit of credit for what we have become, are becoming…

Lord, I know that people don’t control their own lives. They don’t direct their own steps. Jeremiah 10:23

Or, it might be wonderful to have the cosmos to blame if they are on a downward spiral from bad to worse, or, they to justify self-inflicted pain when they turn to themselves and attack themselves for their misfortunes, or for the sake of having to attribute the evils of their life, they can turn to their idea of God and raise their fist against Him if they believe or profess to believe a supernatural being who is almighty, omniscient and omnipresent. That is rebellion, but it would be pointless, actually.

Those who trust in themselves are foolish. But those who live wisely are kept safe. Proverbs 28:26

And another thing, I tell my daughter that she was not born a good person. A lot of people, well-meaning ones, of course, would probably try to cheer her up or boost her ego one day. I hope she will not fall into the trap of believing them. I hope she remembers the Word of God.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Proverbs 6:23

 

 

 

 

Good Old

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I know, the effects are WONDERFUL in new movies, but hey, let’s set that aside for a while.

Yesterday, I had to tell my child that what she considers “new” things (whether stories, toys or ideas) have been lifted/patterned/inspired by/from the old, so the old is just as important (and in many ways, more important) as/than the new.

Just go to the website of Project Gutenberg and browse their “Children’s Literature Bookshelf” to see what I mean. Here’s a link.

We were watching Jungle Book and we were debating on whether the new version is better for watching than the old version. I explained to her that the story by Rudyard Kipling is pretty much the same in both the new and the old.

And on its third or fourth run (the Bare Necessities song already ruining my concentration in the kitchen), she argued that she needed to watch the movie (again) to be creative (’cause she was going to draw something), and my wise self was quick to hand her the book from our shelf to end the argument.

I love homeschooling because I get to be so close to my child as to address her questions when I need to. (*wink)

Here’s the thing:

Just like any meticulous parent who’s got an old soul, and see a good reason for it, I don’t want her to grab the newest trends without thinking. Many of us are being programmed actually to take what’s new over what’s been written or made years before on account of the criterion of AGE alone.

Likewise, I am careful she won’t be caught in the trap of buying new stuff when we have an older version (say, of books) no matter how updated the freshly pressed ones may look for commercial purposes.

I was preparing her for a lifetime of learning, actually, and literary appreciation, and creative pursuits. Wells of ideas for any endeavor flow steadily from classics. Just check out Project Gutenberg and you’ll know that the old are still good and a plus for a frugal mom like me, they need not be purchased.

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The old is constantly given new garb, so don’t be fooled! If you have a good printer, you can print the books of Thornton W. Burgess and save money. You can also print readers, phonics sheets, etc. and other books that interest you or at least read them in ebook form if you don’t want to print them out.

So why defend the old? (Not everything of the old needs to be defended, though, but only the good ones! Choose wisely!)

As a Christian mom, I want her to see the beauty of good, old things, and in this category is the Word of God. The latter can be read afresh and anew daily regardless of how antique it may seem to some.

God’s faithfulness is new every morning to His children, and through the Holy Spirit, God’s Word is new every day and is valuable to us TODAY. God still accomplishes His salvific work through His Word as we speak.

That last one was really the point of the conversation, really.

***

Isaiah 55:10-11

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

 

 

Gladness in the Valley

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Though I walk through death’s valleys, I will fear no evil.” – King David

 

Will you drink the cup with gladness

Or would you rather complain of the trifles

of existence, the inconveniences,

the nonsenses and caprices or whimsicalities…

Will you raise your hands in adoration even

when they are heavy with age, tumors, boils, or chains…

Or when arrows pass by and you are taunted by the spears

of friends who are singing elegiac songs…

When a cross adorns your shoulder

And your eyes flush out tears in the presence of your captors

When your flesh is a bag for thorns

And your enemies step on your gardens

Will you drink the cup with gladness

Or would you rather complain of the trifles

of existence, the inconveniences,

the nonsenses and caprices of your life?

Remedios

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Walang perpektong sitwasyon, panahon, o pagkakataon — asahan mong lagi na along the way, may mangyayaring hindi kanais-nais. 

Ganyan ang buhay.  Isang aspeto ng pagiging tao ang pagkakamali, ang problema, ang kawalan ng patutunguhan at sari-sari pang problema dahil sa pagkakasala ng unang Adan.  Dinala niya tayo sa sitwasyon ng pagkahulog sa kaluwalhatian ng Diyos — dinala niya tayo sa sitwasyong anuman ang gawin natin upang mapabuti ang ating abang kalagayan, sa huli, kamatayan pa rin ang ating kahahantungan.  Wala na bang pag-asa ang tao sa kahabag-habag niyang kalagayan?

Noong nakaraang buwan, naintindihan ko ang kahalagahan ng kaalaman, kapakumbabaan, at kahinahunan sa aking trabaho.  Sa paghubog ng Panginoon sa aking isipan, sa pagpapahintulot Niyang ako ay mabigo sa ilang mga pagkakataong pinaghirapan ko, at sa pagbubukas Niya sa aking mga mata sa pamamagitan ng Kaniyang Salita, nakita ko ang kahalagahan ng may matatakbuhan.  Sa legal parlance, remedios ang tawag doon.  Noong nagtake ako ng bar, bagsak ang grade ko sa Remedial Law.  Iyon ang subject na 20% ang bigat kumpara sa iba na 5%, 10% o 15% lamang.  Mahina ako doon at iyon ang sanhi kung bakit nahila pababa ang aking average at hindi pinalad na maging abogada.

Gayon na lamang ang kahalagahan ng remedyo sapagkat kung ikaw ay isang abogado at ikaw ay nagkamali sa iyong mga hakbang, makukulong ang iyong kliyente, magbabayad siya ng malaking halaga, o hindi maibabalik sa trabaho, etc. —- at lahat ng nabanggit ay may mga matitinding implikasyon sa buhay, estado at hinaharap ng iyong kliyente.  Bilang isang abogado, katungkulan mong pangalagaan ang life, liberty and property ng taong iyong ipagtatanggol. 

Isang matandang abogado ang nakaharap ko sa isang hearing.  Nais niyang ipadismiss ang kaso dahil aniya, matagal nang natapos ito. 

 To make the long story short, nagkaroon kasi ng sabwatan ang dating abogado ng mga manggagawang ilegal na pinagtatanggal at ng abogado ng kumpanya, at sa halip na bayaran ng tama ang mga manggagawa, kumita ng husto ang mga nasabing abogado at kakarampot na lamang ang naibigay sa mga pobreng manggagawa.  Inilapit ng huli sa aming opisina ang hinaing nila.  Kaharap ko ang isa sa mga abogado ng kumpanya.

 Sa unang paghaharap, wala ang aming abogado at natural, napagutusan ako upang mag-attend at ipa-postpone ang hearing na iyon.  Postponement lang naman dapat iyon, pero nagkaroon ng tila ba “hearing on the merits” dahil galit na galit ang abogado ng kumpanya.

 “This case has been closed and terminated and the complainants have each received what they are due under the compromise agreement,” sabi ni Atty. ______.

My turn. 

“Yes, your honor, but the compromise settlement was voided by the fact that the former counsel for the complainants, Atty. ___ exceeded the authority given to him by entering into a grossly unconscionable settlement, for which he was not authorized under the SPA” sabi ko naman.

 Ganoon ang takbo ng balitaktakan.  Nagtataas siya ng boses dahil siguro (a) ganoon siya talaga, (b) may hypertension siya, (c) dahil sinasayang ko ang oras niya, or (d) dahil bata at hindi naman abogado ang kaharap niya.  Sa awa ng Diyos, naging mahinahon ako hanggang natapos iyon, at nanatili ang aking paggalang sa kaniya, bagamat hindi ko maiwasang manginig ng kaunti.

“And remember, tell your lawyer that it is unethical for him to represent the complainants without a withdrawal by the former counsel… ” 

Ang withdrawal of appearance na binabanggit niya ay isang pormalidad na lamang dahil kung titignan niya ang kaniyang paligid sa oras na iyon, nandoon ang humigit kumulang dalawampu sa mga taong nagsampa ng kaso at nang sila ang tanungin ay mariin nilang ipinangalandakan na wala na silang tiwala sa dati nilang abogado kaya’t lumapit sila sa aming opisina.  Maaaring pormalidad na lamang iyon, pero tama siya, dapat ngang isabmit muna iyon.

Ang ibang mga nabanggit niya na medyo below the belt na at hindi na material sa kaso ay hindi ko na rin isusulat dito.  Natigilan na lamang ang lahat matapos niyang sabihin ang mga iyon.

Tumingin ang Labor Arbitration Associate sa akin, at nakita ko sa kaniyang mga mata ang tila pagkaawa sa akin.  Kung maaari siguro ay siya na ang magtatanggol sa akin, ngunit sa tingin ko hindi rin niya alam kung ano ang sasabihin.  Nakita ko rin ang mga mukha ng mga complainant na naghihintay kung mayroon pa ba akong alas. 

“Yes, attorney, you can say that, but we have our remedies…” Yun na lang ang aking nasabi.

Hindi ko alam kung ano ang tumakbo sa kaniyang isipan sa mga sandaling iyon, ngunit ang nahalata ko lang ay natahimik siya nang bahagya.

Remedies.  Isang simpleng salita na makahulugan at nakapagpatahimik sa maingay na silid na aming kinalalagyan. 

Aaminin ko, may punto siya, ngunit mayroon kaming remedyo.  Napakaraming remedyo sa ilalim ng Rules of Court, at sa Rules ng NLRC. Iyon ang isang bagay na hindi dapat mawala sa isang abogado — ang kaniyang mga remedyo!  Sa oras na iyon, nagpasalamat ako sa Panginoon dahil sa mga remedyo na maaring sandalan! 

Hindi ko maalis sa aking isipan ang kaugnayan ng aking karanasan sa kalagayan ng tao dahil sa kaniyang kaugnayan kay Adan, kaya’t nagpapasalamat ako sa Panginoon dahil sa kaugnayan ko kay Hesu Kristo na ipinagtanggol ako sa krus.  Bagamat hindi ako karapat-dapat, namatay Siya para sa aking kasalanan at nabuhay sa ikatlong araw.  Oo, dahil sa ating kaugnayan sa unang Adan, nakatakda ang tao upang mamatay, but we have a remedy in Jesus Christ.

 http://niv.scripturetext.com/1_corinthians/15.htm 

Natapos ang hearing at nang magpipirmahan na sa constancia, magalang akong ngumiti sa kaniya.  Ginagawa lang niya ang kaniyang trabaho, naisip ko.  Pinirma ko ang aking pangalan bilang representative ng aking boss, habang pinipigilan ko ang panginginig ng aking mga kamay.  Inabot ko sa kaniya ang papel at sinabi, “Eto po, attorney.”

Pinilit niyang ngumiti.  Tangan ang bolpen, nakita ko ang kaniyang kamay na nanginginig din habang ipinipirma ang kaniyang pangalan.  Nangiti ako.  Bagamat hindi ako isang doktor, naisip kong marahil may gamot din para doon.#