What can I do?

I was browsing through a blog today and stumbled on this graphic designer‘s book cover design and this title immediately got my attention.

What can I do? by David Livermore {published by Zondervan}

Isn’t it amazing how God speaks to us in so many ways and not just once?  I remember Him asking Peter “Do you love me?” three times and Him answering Peter “Feed my sheep” thrice, too.

Today was the third time God spoke to me particularly about something this week but one’s that been burning in my heart for years now.  I’ve been meaning to blog about, ponder and plan about but never got around except to praying about it which is the first step, actually.

I’m talking about homelessness and poverty.  For years, I’ve always teared up or felt so down whenever I see a child or families sleeping on the sidewalks.  I’m teary-eyed because I don’t know what to do or where to start from.

The closest thing I’ve ever done to help them was almost 7 to 8 years ago when I required my Rizal classes in USC {University of San Carlos} to go out to the streets and help someone in need as their final exam requirement.  We went out distributing food like sandwiches, food packs like noodles but it was only a one-time thing.  What is in my heart is a long-term solution to this, something sustainable and one that can truly uplift and change the lives of the people in the sidewalks.

The first thing that God used to remind me of this desire and dream of mine was a video posted by zerothreetwo in tumblr about this certain, middle-aged man in his briefs washing his shirts in dirty, canal water in the middle of the streets with nobody even approaching him to hand him a shirt or do something to help him.

What should we do?  We must do something.

Second wake-up call was last night’s prayer during our cell group meeting.  Tita Nene, my cell group leader, shared how she noticed more people and families sleeping/living on the sidewalks.  We prayed that God would give us solutions and answers to this social problem.

I was crying last night because I didn’t just want to stop at praying.  I was asking God for a clear-cut solution to this.  I know our prayers were already moving the hand of God but I’m asking that God would awaken individuals, organizations, businesses and politicians to look at them through the eyes of compassion and DO SOMETHING.

I did not write about it last night when I got home even when I’ve been meaning to until this afternoon when I stumbled on this book cover and I knew – without a shadow of a doubt -that God was again reminding me of this.

The book was the third and last wake-up call.  Yes, I will continue to pray but starting today, I am going to write about it, discuss this with my dad {for the nth time} about what we can do and I’m going to start talking about this with my friends.

I don’t really know what to do but my eyes and my heart are on God because I know He has the answers and I know that He loves these homeless people and has great plans for them.

The world is groaning for redemption. Fatherless children long
to be loved. Trafficked women hope for freedom. Hungry families
crave food. There’s something desperately amiss in our world, but
there’s hope. A global perspective combined with your God-given
interests, relationships, and experiences is a part of how Christ will
redeem the world we share. – David Livermore, What Can I Do?

the art of planking

Yen sends an SMS to Jim (the youngest brother) in the middle of her Child and Adolescent Development {CAD} class yesterday.  Jim’s a 2nd year BS Agriculture student in the University of the Philippines Los Banos in Laguna.

———————-

Yen:  So, dong (lad), did you also do the planking yesterday? 🙂 – {of course, with a smile – I kinda knew what his reply would be)

Jim:  haha ‘saon.  Nako class yesterday. (haha Duh or what the heck [can’t find the literal translation to ‘saon].  I had a class yesterday)

Hmm…Interesting.  I had to check dictionary.com for the definition of planking since I know that it has a different meaning for this generation.  As expected, I didn’t find the modern definition in the site.  I only found its meaning in the urbandictionary.com site.

Just as fashion comes and goes and changes through time and historical context, the method of protests have changed too in keeping with the developments and changes in social media and the way we relate with each other.  My instructor in CAD yesterday said it was amazing how a single SMS could mobilize students from different UP campuses all over the country – from Luzon down to Mindanao.

As a history instructor, I am constantly amazed at how young people can mobilize different kinds of protests and complaints in so many creative ways.  If only they could channel that much energy to “stand up” or “plank down” for child trafficking, child pornography, social injustice and corruption in the government.  Think about that.

This is a favorite line of mine in my history class lectures.  Rizal and Bonifacio didn’t have Facebook pages but they changed a nation’s history.  They did not have Sun Unlimited Call and Text loads but they mobilized the Filipinos to stand up against the colonial masters.  Just imagine what a generation armed with Facebook, Twitter, Sun, Smart and Globe and countless blogs can do to stand up and fight against the giants our nation is up against.

But I think this will only happen if hearts and minds will be awakened by God to rise up and fight against the specters we’re fighting today.  There must be a Jesus revolution in our hearts and minds first.

*Also posted in my Philippine History wordpress site and STC History Facebook page

PLANKING from the urbandictionary.com

The art of planking is to lay horizontally across any object or the ground with their arms by their sides, aiming to occur in daring situations or a brotherly display of core-strength..

weekend bits {red velvet}

Just a thought:  If God answers our prayers for such a small treat (i.e., Starbucks’ Red Velvet cake and KFC) as a break from work and school, how then will He not answer our prayers and petitions for breakthroughs for the things that are important to Him like putting an end to child trafficking, child prostitution and pornography?  Selah. Check this headline last Friday on Cebu Daily News.  A historical event.  This is what happens when we pray.

This is the season FOR BREAKTHROUGHS AND VICTORIES!  Now this thing about child trafficking was a burden that was placed by God in our senior pastor’s heart last January and it has been an amazing, exciting ride to see our God expose what has been in the darkness for so long to come into the light in the past 8 months!  No month has gone by that there is no news about people being exposed and young people rescued from this horrible plight.  These days, it’s almost an everyday thing.

God’s heart is for the children and, in our time, He has awakened His people to intercede and cry out for those who cannot cry any longer because of their oppression. Let us pray and fast to end this form of slavery in our generation!

 

Read about the story here.

P.S. – So why a post titled Red Velvet?  Think about it:  If God answers such a teeny weeny request for a break how then will He not give the greater things like winning this war on child trafficking, prostitution and pornography? 🙂  Thank You, Jesus! More, Lord!

broken thoughts

I just have to write this, to let it out. My heart is broken. I was in tears when I read the news in Yahoo Philippines after a co-teacher told me that Angelo Reyes had shot himself. No, I am not a fan of the guy. I even doubt his innocence but I’ll honor what my Dad often tells me when it comes to issues like this – “innocent until proven otherwise” in court. My heart broke for the Philippines. Tears came to my eyes (my co-teacher was looking at me, surprised) as I read about the generals’ houses and their wives’ travels.


I grieved because the evening before Reyes shot himself, I had lain awake deep into the night with the line playing in my mind like a song in Repeat mode: “What will it take to change this nation, Lord?” What will it take to awaken the Filipinos from their cynicism, hopelessness and acceptance of what’s in front of us? How long will we tolerate what’s in our land? So Reyes’ death was a shock for me. Even for someone who didn’t know him personally. The first thought that rushed to my mind was “he’s guilty or why would he kill himself?” The next one was “he didn’t even think of what this will do to his sons and daughters.” I don’t know. I don’t want to judge him because I have no right. Only God can do that. More than anger at the AFP corruption, my heart was broken at all these revelations. Jesus, help us. The Philippines really needs you at this time. I know that we are at the brink of a deep change in the land.

Reagan on letting go, letting God

Today is Teachers’ Day at DC and so we had a one-day break. I had a good talk with Nap in Banawa this afternoon and afterwards read a very loving albeit wisely put email from my spiritual mama – Tita Nene – straight from Dubai. The former’s spoken words and the latter’s written words bore truth, wisdom and good sense seasoned with love. Yes, it’s not always easy to accept truth especially when it hurts but if we accept it, it will make us grow up and see the things we never saw (or perhaps did not want to see) or rather, our blind spots as Ate Sal calls it.:) It is good to be covered and to stay under cover.

Tonight I chanced upon an article written by Patti Davis (President Reagan’s daughter) in the Time Magazine website about her dad and the last paragraph about Reagan struck me hard. She wrote that: He was not a perfect man. He was not a perfect father. But he tried to reach higher, to understand what God wanted of him. This strongly reminds me of the verse Acts 13:36 – For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers…(English Standard Version). Think about if at least 1/4 of our politicians thought that way. That they ran for office because they wanted to serve the purpose of God in their generation in our nation. JUST IMAGINE THAT.

But this thinking is not only for the politicians but for every son and daughter of God. Think about if every day of my life, I’d go to school thinking how I could serve the purpose of God in my generation. It would absolutely revolutionize this nation if every single disciple thought like this. Oh, God, help me think this way instead of being caught up with side issues.

Patti also shared about a coin her father often kept in his pocket that had the words “let go and let God.” How apt! 🙂 To read that line in a secular magazine such as Time tells me God is telling me something very important – forgive and let Him be the one to justify and take care of some stuff. Okay, Lord.

So the next time I’m tempted to…, I’ll just remember Reagan’s coin.  Oh, by the way, I loved My Amnesia Girl! 😉 Thanks to Jazz’s post about watching it, curiosity got the better part of me. My mom and I had a great time bonding last night listening to Toni and John Lloyd’s really corny lines.  😉

okay, okay, I would have loved to throw that red-circled line at the person...but God...okay Lord I get it.

mishmashed thoughts

This would look good with a yellow or green or pink cardigan -- sigh

Just got back from the mall where Mitzil and I spent a good two hours looking for the perfect dress for this Saturday’s Art Exhibit at DC.  Alas, I could not find the dress that could make my heart beat faster.  I’ve started looking for this full-skirted, bustier 1950s style of dress that I could wear with a black bolero since last December to no avail.  Instead, I found what I wanted in a Wedding website here in the internet tonight. 😉  I’ve until tomorrow evening to find that elusive dress. Maybe I’ll find that in my ever dependable and surprising downtown store. *wink!*

It’s a blessing how real, covenant friends allow you to let your hair down and just be.  I am reminded of the line from Proverbs “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  Thank God He connected Mitzil to Happy and me not just spiritually but by affinity now.

Dream BIG. What dream did God give you?

While I was pondering on the previous post about Rebecca St. James getting engaged at 33, I could not help but think about the many dreams I have that I’ve been praying for.  One big dream I have is to see this nation change.  Second, is I’ll say this out loud now ‘coz God’s teaching me to be real with myself these days:  I want to marry that person whom I can fulfill God’s purposes in our generation together.   So this simply means that our purposes would have to be aligned.

I chanced upon this site: Delightfully Engaged 🙂

...as finding the right color board! LOL!

If only finding the right one was as easy...


Sweetly Delightful!!!


What a fresh motif! Soothing!

Like my prayer for my personal life, I’ve always asked God that my life would bring honor to Him even in my mistakes and weaknesses.  Likewise, I want Him to be glorified by every decision and choice I make.

Third, I pray that this country’s educational system would be revolutionized.  That a new generation of teachers who know God would rise up.  And that the public schools and its students would see new school buildings, a wide array (array jud!) of instructional materials and more classrooms and more classrooms!  Imagine that!

An abnormal normal

Waiting for my turn to vote last May 10, 2010 opened my eyes to the everyday circumstances that most of the Filipino schoolchildren face. While some of the more fortunate kids get to study inside airconditioned rooms, carpeted floors and newly-painted walls, the students in public schools still sit on the very desks that my parents sat on while they were in their elementary years.

I find it ironic that most of the Filipino populace flock to public schools every three or six years to choose a new batch of leaders who have vowed to serve the people but yet fail to act accordingly by coming up with programs to improve the public school system. Is it apathy or just the usual turning of the head to escape reality? Have we become callous and desensitized to the abnormalities of the public schools and have called them normal? It pains me to see that what should be called a horrible reality is a part of normal, everyday school life. Poverty, corruption and the political situation have all blinded us and allowed us to accept these worn, tired, rotting wooden desks inside shabby classrooms manned by tired and underpaid teachers.

There is a different reality out there for these Filipino kids. We must seek to see that change and reality take place in our generation today.