Thanksgiving Madness

23 November 2007 0 comments

Boy, am I drained! I hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for my dh's family. There were 12 people in all. Thank goodness I did not have a turkey disaster like last year. I cooked a traditional Thanksgiving dinner: roast turkey, 2 kinds of dressing, green beans almondine, sweet yam with marshmallows, parmesan mashed potatoes, gravy and of course cranberry jelly.

I'm so tired from all the cooking and cleaning. Maybe I'll skip the Christmas dinner party this year. We'll just have a quiet dinner ourselves. That sounds like a great idea.

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The Contribution of Filipino Catholics

20 November 2007 0 comments

The Contribution of Filipino Catholics

Finally, something positive about Filipinos..

Here's something very positive written by a foreigner named Steve Ray, about Filipinos. Steve Ray authored many best-selling books, among which are, Crossing The Tiber (his conversion story), Upon This Rock (on the papacy), and just recently John's Gospel (a comprehensive bible study guide and commentary). Steve is also currently filming a 10-video series entitled, Footprints of God. The first two videos are out: Peter, Keeper of the Keys, and Mary, Mother of God (now available here in the Philippines) .


We stepped into the church and it was old and a bit dark. Mass had just begun and we sat toward the front. We didn't know what to expect here in Istanbul , Turkey . I guess we expected it to be a somber Mass but quiet and somber it was not-I thought I heard angels joyously singing behind me.

The voices were rich, melodic and beautiful. What I discovered as I spun around to look did not surprise me because I had seen and heard the same thing in other churches around the world. It was not a choir of angels with feathered wings and halos but a group of delightful Filipino Catholics with smiles of delight and joy on their faces as they worshiped God and sang His praises. I had seen this many times before in Rome, in Israel, in the United States and other countries.

Filipinos have special traits and they are beautifully expressed as I gazed at the happy throng giving thanks to God. What are the special traits which characterize these happy people? I will share a few that I have noticed-personal observations- as I have travelled around the world, including visits to thePhilippines .

FIRST, there is a sense of community, of family. These Filipino Christians did not sit apart from each other in different aisles. They sat together, closely. They didn't just sing quietly, mumbling, or simply mouthing the words. No, they raised their voices in harmony together as though they enjoyed the sense of unity and communion among them. They are family even if they are not related.

SECOND, they have an inner peace and joy which is rare in the world today. When most of the world's citizens are worried and fretful, I have found Filipinos to have joy and peace-a deep sense of God's love that over shadows them. They have problems too, and many in the Philippines have less material goods than others in the world, yet there is still a sense of happy trust in God and love of neighbour.

THIRD, there is a love for God and for his Son Jesus that is almost synonymous with the word Filipino. There is also something that Filipinos are famous for around the world - their love for the Blessed Mother. Among the many Filipinos I have met, the affectionate title for Mary I always hear from their lips is 'Mama Mary.' For these gentle folks Mary is not just a theological idea, a historical person, or a statue in a church -Mary is the mother of their Lord and their mother as well, their 'MAMA.'

The Philippines is a Catholic nation-the only such nation in Asia -and this wonderful country exports missionaries around the world. They are not hired to be missionaries, not official workers of the church. No, they are workers and educators, doctors, nurses and housekeepers that go to other lands and travel to the far reaches of the earth, and everywhere they go they take the joyous gospel of Jesus with them. They make a somber Mass joyful when they burst into song. They convict the pagan of sin as they always keep the love of Jesus and the Eucharist central in their lives.

My hope and prayer, while I am here in the Philippines sharing my conversion story from Baptist Protestant to Roman Catholic, is that the Filipino people will continue to keep these precious qualities. I pray that they will continue loving their families, loving the Catholic Church, reading the Bible, loving Jesus, His Mother and the Eucharist.

As many other religions and sects try to persuade them to leave the Church, may God give the wisdom to defend the Catholic faith. As the world tempts them to sin and seek only money and fame and power, may God grant them the serenity to always remember that obedience to Christ and love for God is far more important than all the riches the world can offer.

May the wonderful Filipino people continue to be a light of the Gospel to the whole world!

Be a proud Filipino!

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We've Been Married How Long?

05 November 2007 0 comments

On April 18, 1998 at 6 pm, Tim and I got married at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, California. We had 150 guests, friends and family from Massachusetts and Southern California flew in for our special day. It was definitely one of the most memorable moments in my life.

Time sure goes by fast when you're having fun. Tim and I can't believe it will be 10 years next year unless, of course, we look at Amber who's now 8 years old. If someone asks me what is our secret for staying strong and having a good relationship, then I would have to sit down with them. It is not just 'one' thing, it's a combination of 'a lot' of things.

First and foremost is respect. We both respect each other in feelings and in thoughts. We don't talk to the other in a condescending tone. We value and hear what the other have to say, we might not agree with it but we listen. Next is compromise. Pride doesn't have a place in our relationship, we both threw it out the window when we said our 'I Dos'. Compromise is one of the hardest thing to do, we're all human and we all want to get our way. To make a marriage work, you need to find a middle ground on things that you don't agree on.

We didn't live together before getting married so when we moved in after our marriage, we both have to learn to live with each other's habits and quirks. I'm the organized person and he could care less about it. I had to admit that it drove me crazy at first but I never nagged him about it since it wouldn't do any good. He's a procrastinator, big time, while I'm the opposite. So, if there's anything needed to be done and I can do it, I don't wait for him, I do it myself. I'm sure being a perfectionist, I drove him crazy a couple of times although I'm much less of it now, by choice.

Another key ingredient in marriage is communication. I know that Tim is not a 'mind reader' so when there is something that's bothering me, I tell him straight up. I may not like what his response is going to be but at least the problem is out in the open ane he's not caught unawares. There is nothing more frustrating than being upset and your husband knows your upset but has no clue why. Don't expect him to know why you're distressed unless the reason is pretty obvious. Tell him why you're feeling what you're feeling.

We know that we can't change the other person. That's one of the biggest mistake a married person can make, they try to change the other person. I know that he's a procrastinator, so I try to work ways around it. If I need something to be done, then I ask him days in advance which would give him some time to dilly dally and by the time I need it, he's already finished with the work. I have my own way to load the dishwasher, the spoons and forks has to be a certain way, as well as the other things. So when I see him load it wrong, do I say anything? No, I keep my mouth shut, I just fix it afterwards. I don't see the point of calling him on it, it's such a small matter that doesn't even needed to be argued upon.

Which leads us to another: choose your battles. Couples who argue too much do so just because. Why waste your time arguing about small things? You'll both feel bad afterwards and for what, just because he bought the wrong brand of soap? You have to learn when to let go and not stir the pot. Do not 'nitpick' or overly criticize. Remember that you're not perfect either.

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