Juancho turns 1!

Our chipmunk turned a year old last November 5, 2014 and together with his birthday, he also received the sacrament of Baptism.

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Juancho Angelios | Baptism
November 5, 2014
Redemptorist Church, Bacolod City

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Let’s go Pocoyo!

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Juancho Angelios | Birthday
November 5, 2014
Event A, The Porch
Lopue’s East Centre, Bacolod City

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Photo: HM Veñegas
Video: Richard Malihan, Roniel Tanguan
Decor: May Lee
Cake: Shesley Adelantar of Shezzles
Clown: Ivan Juesna and Joji Juesna

To that one time we were complete.

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Thank you.

xx

DMV

Thankful in the Midst of Suffering

Sharing Day 160 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

Thankful in the Midst of Suffering

The Bible encourages us to always be thankful. That’s easy when God answers prayer and delivers us from problems. But it isn’t always easy when things go wrong. So how can we remain thankful in the midst of suffering?

We have two choices to make. The first is to praise God in spite of what’s going on in our lives. Or another way to say that is, in the midst of our troubles and hardships, we can rejoice over the things that are not wrong in our lives.

The second choice is to ask, “God, what can I learn from this? What do You want to teach me through this so that I may be closer to You and rejoice more fully in Your goodness?” Those are not easy questions, and the answers are often hard to hear.

Sometimes we can only grasp the important lessons in our lives when we go through difficult times. Thank God that the hard times will lead you to better things.

In the midst of suffering, give thanks to God and trust Him to lead you to bigger and better things.

Prayer Starter: God, I’m thankful for Your love and Your presence. Forgive me for grumbling when things go wrong, and remind me of how many things go right in my life. I want to rejoice in You always.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5‬:‭18‬ NLT)

xx

DMV

What I learned from TV

For those who know me, I’m not a tv or a movie person. I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately though, well, watching what my kids have been watching and it’s amazing how you get to learn a lot of things from these movies. My kids are aged 10 and 9 so I’m not really sure if  they actually learn something or maybe they just watch because it is entertaining or interesting, but, well, it somehow had me thinking.

They’ve recently watched Smurfs 2, Epic, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and Frozen (that’s a lot of movies for me!). And one thing these movies has subliminally pointed out is the importance of family. Papa Smurf going after Smurfette when she was kidnapped by the Naughties; Mary Katherine and her father’s reconciliation; Hermes’ acknowledgement of Luke and his endless effort in trying to reach out to him; Percy Jackson accepting his half-brother despite their differences; Anna continuously pursuing Elsa, never giving up on her sister despite being brushed off and pushed away. Family ties are upheld and applauded in these movies.

One constant point these movies has also captured and I guess is trying to promote is that you never give up on family.

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We all have that one (or two, or more) member of our family who is well, somehow “different“. It could be a husband, a daughter, a brother, a cousin, or whoever you consider as family; there will be that someone who will be called the “black sheep“. Why so? Maybe because this person’s views does not settle well with the rest of the family’s; or maybe this person has done something that would fall between stupid and unforgivable; or maybe this person is confused and drowned his self into intoxicating elements* because he believes the family will not understand or he has really low self-esteem; or maybe this person has done something that shamed the family; or maybe this member pushed away the family, renounced the family, acting arrogant and ungrateful; it goes on.

(*Intoxicating elements doesn’t necessarily have to be alcohol or drug related. Remember, online shopping is also intoxicating, get what I mean..)

And because this person did a lot of undesirable things and hurt us to the extent that you could not even begin to describe what to feel, does this mean that it is right to abandon them and simply give up on them?

Well, it totally depends. It totally depends on what you feel is appropriate. If you feel that you need to cast out the black sheep, by all means, do so.

But let us go back to what God teaches us about sheep.

In the parable of the lost sheep, there was a man who had a hundred sheep. Every morning he took them from the fold (a place where they stayed at night) on a hillside and led them to new, fresh pastures. Later in the day he would bring them to a quiet stream, or, if there wasn’t any stream nearby, he would draw water from a well for them to drink. At night the good shepherd took them up the hill again to the fold. Everyday the sheep followed the shepherd wherever he took them. He called them by name and they came to him. Every night he would count them to make sure they were all there.

One night one little sheep was missing. Somehow it had strayed away and became lost. If the shepherd left it and didn’t go look for it, it would surely be killed by some wild animals. The shepherd did not want to leave it. He left the other sheep and went to find it. He went searching until he found the lost one. (Matthew 18:12-13) When he found it, it was tired, hungry and cold. The good shepherd put the little sheep on his shoulder and carried it back to the fold. He did not scold it, but he rejoiced and was very happy that he had found the little sheep.

(Lesson 44: The Parable of the Lost Sheep)

The Shepherd represents the family and the lost sheep is well the “black sheep”. Do we even know what it’s like to lose our bearing and to be hopelessly adrift in uncertainty? To be alone, lost and disoriented without a sense of direction is one of the worst fears we can ever encounter. Somehow, lost black sheep are very well acquainted with this feeling.

Smurfette is not Papa Smurf’s daughter but he treated her as his own. And when she was lost, Papa Smurf went after her, searched for her to bring her home. When he found her, she was all bad and naughty, just as what she was created to be but he still pursued her, believed that there is a part of her that is good, that she is better than what she is supposed to be. Papa Smurf did not give up on Smurfette.

Elsa froze all of Arendelle. She continuously pushed Anna away. But Anna believed that her sister is not the monster that everyone perceives her to be so she didn’t give up in reaching out to her, she went after her and pursued bringing her home, assuring Elsa that everything will be okay, that she is more than her fears, and that she could undo whatever damage she has done. Anna cared, always uplifting the good she found in Elsa and she loved her unconditionally, to the point that she more so willingly gave up her own life to save her sister.

A Pastor I met for counseling once told me that as long as there is life, there is hope and when there is hope there is a chance for change. If it is still savable, save it. God is our redeemer, and God saved us from all the sin of the world.

Apparently, the family is your loudest doorknocker, they will force you to open your doors. They will scold you or punish you cruelly for the stupidest, unthinkable mistakes, but having said that, the family presumably will never leave you alone or throw you out of their lives. Psychologically speaking, this forgiving nature will keep a lost sheep, a Smurfette, an Elsa, from committing further mistakes.

We are all anchored to our families. They make us who we are. If one wanders lost, search and save. Because ideally, you never give up on family.

Family. Blood related or not, they are your security blanket, your protection, your madness, your home, your unconditional love.

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Well, that’s a whole lot of learning from watching TV.

xx

DMV

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10

“For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and now is found.” Luke 15:24

(Photo courtesy: Tumblr, Goodreads)

Nathalie Simone

Finally a niece, a granddaughter, a princess.

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Having settled with what we are accustomed to for 10 years, something different and extraordinarily beautiful comes along..

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Her brother’s sidekick, her Daddy’s girl and her Mommy’s world.

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Nathalie Simone V. Ko
6.10 lbs, 34 cm
July 1, 2014

xx

DMV

Sunday musings: Parents

For being a parent: a mother, a father, is the greatest accomplishment you could ever fulfill in your life.

Majority of parents would want what is best for their children. No matter how hard the pain and sacrifice each will have to go through, a parent will oversee and go beyond just to see his children well and grounded.

It is our duty as parents to take good care of one of the many wonderful blessings God has bestowed upon us.

We are not perfect, we are only human but human as we are, we are given the power to decide to be our best selves, a self that our children will look up to. A self that they could be proud of.

One of the tough parts of being a parent is knowing we can’t rescue our children from every difficulty in life. Sometimes the pain they suffer has to be their own. In those times, what we can do is walk with them in their suffering and, with God’s grace, see them through it. Even if the burden is theirs to carry, they don’t have to face it alone. (JimDalyBlog.com)

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We do not control our children’s lives, but we are tasked to be their guide, to support them, teach them and encourage them to be the best they could ever be, ready them to face the everyday reality of what we call life, so make time.

As God our Father is there for us, so shall we to our children.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6

xx

DAVJ

What is Love?

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Love is …

♥  a single white rose on a rainy day
♥  a movie with Tater’s major barbecue fries
♥  a box of Reese’s
♥  a book collection
♥  a peck on the cheek
♥  a hug from the back
♥  a foot massage
♥  a bowl of cerelac
♥  a slow dance
♥  a lunch date with your sister
♥  a music soundtrack
♥  a rock concert with your bestfriend

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Love is …

♥  the racing heart and the sweat that breaks from a proposing man
♥  the tears that fall from the groom’s eyes when his bride enters the room
♥  the look of awe on a bride’s face when saying her vows
♥  the house they build and make into a home
♥  the waking hour, the afternoon sighs and the last goodnight
♥  the rise and fall of his every breath while watching him sleep
♥  the 9 months a mother carries her son in her womb
♥  the endurance of a torturous 36 hour labor
♥  the patience in looking after a baby who just recently had his shots
♥  the constant cooing of a 3 month old angel
♥  the ridiculous face a brother makes for a smile from the little one
♥  the proud look of a grandfather seeing his grandson score a goal

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Love is…

♥  the bags under a mother’s eyes for staying up late to feed the baby
♥  the scar on her belly to bring out the life from within
♥  the pain a father feels from not seeing his newborn son
♥  the broken heart of a single mother
♥  the dreams she keeps pursuing in hopeless situations
♥  the faith she puts on an unseen God
♥  the silent prayers for a shattered soul
♥  the forgiveness for the hurt, selfishness, lies and betrayal
♥  the appreciation of the little things that matter
♥  the acceptance of a person despite the differences
♥  the sincere thank you during helpless moments
♥  the fingers locked and intertwined, not wanting to let go

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Love is undefined, indescribable, immeasurable…

LOVE are these moments.

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xx

DMV

…but the greatest of these is Love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13

Photo courtesy: Google images