For the love of Filipino food: Sisig recipe

Before I begin my “love talk” series tomorrow at Christian Tagalog Talk section, I’d like you first to revisit your love for Filipino food. Fine cuisine is one of the many gifts God has given us FIlipinos. So here’s a recipe of the greatest pork dish on earth – Sisig! You might want to include this in your weekend menu 🙂 Enjoy and pass it around! Teach a friend how to cook Sisig 🙂

ChristianBlessings

Good morning from Philippines! Before I begin with my ‘love talk’ (spiritual) series tomorrow on this same section, Christian Tagalog Blogs, I thought of cooking a lighter write-up for you today–love for food.  God has been very generous in blessing Filipinos with gift of good food.  I know, for those of you who are far away from home, you probably miss our local dishes…the food varieties that make up the Filipino cuisine! (When was the last time you ate or cooked a genuine Pinoy dish?)

This is perhaps the perfect time to try your hand again at cooking a Filipino dish (even if you are of other nationality, try this one!).  You might want to do it this weekend.  So, I thought it might be nice to share with you the recipe of one of our standout food that recently made it to international news through the New York Times — guess…

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Guilt, Grace : Driving wheels of Gratitude

Let’s talk about 3G connection. (Guilt, Grace, Gratitude)
Here’s my Saturday post on ChristianBlessings – Christian Filipino Blog. 🙂
God bless!

ChristianBlessings

Last Saturday, we talked about practicing the attitude of Gratitude, and one of the tips we can apply is to keep a gratitude list (see previous post).  This time, let us look back and find out what motivates us to give thanks, or the reason for living our lives full of gratefulness to our Lord.  Again, this is not new to us I’m sure.  You most probably know this, primarily because you have gone through it all.  It’s just that, maybe to some, it hasn’t been presented with this easy outline: 3G (Guilt, Grace, Gratitude).

Guilt, Grace, Gratitude image source: gratisography.com

I first heard this concept in one of the session of Doctrines of Grace in our church.  Then eventually, as our pastor embeds this outline once in a while in his sermons, and now in our sessions of Heidelberg Catechism, my understanding of it has grown deeper.  I come to appreciate it more and…

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In retrospect: My life’s landmarks

I remember our pastor’s advice in one of his sermons: keep track of our life’s landmarks – these might be some major decisions that we made, life’s turning points, or some really good, unexpected stuffs that the Lord brought in to our lives.  He said, it would help us remember how good the Lord has been, and see that from the beginning, He has been orchestrating things to happen in our lives to shape us into the people He wants us be.

That Sunday, I began recalling past events which I think, are the wheels that drove me to what I am now.  I have to say there are many.  But let me share with you 3 major things I saw, which I guess were very vital in transforming me and enabling me to do what I am presently doing for the Kingdom of God.

Course in College: Mass Communication

I can still remember how pressured I was in deciding what to write on my college freshmen application form: BS Nursing as my first choice, or AB Mass Communication.  My parents wanted me to take up Nursing, like my sister did.  But I wasn’t really inclined to any medical stuffs then.  It was clearly stated in my aptitude assessment in highschool that my strength is in communications and liberal arts.  I am well aware of it.  I love reading, writing, speaking.  I love communications.  So I took the courage to tell them what I want to study.  Thankfully, with my sister’s support too, they agreed to let me take AB Mass Communication.  I excelled in my studies.  Every subject included in my curriculum, I took seriously (media, communication, advertising, public relations, film,theater, journalism, etc.) With the Lord’s guidance, I graduated with honors.  And now, he provided me with a job that’s related to my course (Media Production Specialist, which mostly entails writing tasks).

In our church, I can apply my learnings in worship leading.  How? The way I craft my exhortation pieces, and my confidence to stand in front of many people (though of course, we know that our ultimate confidence comes from the Lord).  I am also an occasional actor, sometimes for kids’ program, or special illustration.  And now, I write/blog about #Christians #Christianity #inspiration etc. 🙂 Specifically, I write for ChristianBlessings blog now! Gratefully, I find peace in what I am doing.  I am planning to delve into another study of Communication which I’m sure will help me better use my gift in communications for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

My Music Journey:  Moon as a chorister

In college, I did not confine myself to academics only.  I explored and searched for an organization that would suit me.  Then I saw the university chorale.  I love singing, whether in church or outside, but I want to learn more about singing, and I thought that joining the choir was really a good way to enhance my musicality.  It is! I learned a lot from our conductor.  I learned the art of singing in a group.  I learned different techniques and other technicalities of singing.  But, eventually, I got too excited and got so immersed into chorale music and to our gigs outside that I could only give God my spare time—shame on me.  But His grace never let me go.  Just when I was about to start my last year with the choir, accompanied by a full cultural scholarship, and the prestige of singing in the graduation rites, the Lord poked me and called me back into His ministry.  It was a divine intervention, that no matter how appealing the idea of staying with the choir was, I did not hesitate to give it all up and returned to God’s calling. And from then on, blessings upon blessings dawned upon me.  Because my Saturday and Sunday schedules were cleared when I left the choir, I was able to attend session on the Doctrines of Grace (what our church believes in) and was revived in bible studies.  Now, I am still able to use the skills I got from the choir to the Praise and Worship ministry.  I teach kids voice lessons and I also trained worship leaders from another church.  We are now planning to conduct more similar trainings for other churches.

First Job: Property Specialist / Real Estate Agent

Before I got my job as a Media Production Specialist, I took risk in entering the challenging world of sales in the field of real estate.  I must admit I was easily attracted by my friend who was then an agent to the real estate company I applied for and of course, by the financial reward she gets with the job.  Who doesn’t find money appealing? But at the back of my mind, the reason why I want the job is for me to extend instant help to my family, and to our church which at that time, wasn’t getting enough collections to compensate to its monthly expenses, plus its plans of expanding the church building.  So I got the job (that was in 2012), and I excelled too! During my first contracts, I exceeded my quotas.  But since my clients would always get the ‘no downpayment’ scheme, commissions were coming a long way from the next 2 to 3 years.  I had to wait.  Then during my stint as a Property Specialist, something went wrong with my Christian calendar.  Sometimes (or should I say, often times?) I would give up Sundays to meet with clients whose only free time was Sunday.  Then I remembered how that same thing happened when I entered the choir back in college.  And I said to myself, “This can’t be.  There’s something wrong.” Another thing which I think God caused to happen was, my parents started advising me to look for a job with security of tenure and where there’s career growth (because as we know, sales agents are contractual, and bound by quota).  You know, even though they wouldn’t tell me upfront, I know I disappointed them the moment I decided to work as a real estate agent.  They don’t regard the job as something reputable, or simply put, they didn’t think it’s for me.  And again, even if they didn’t complain in front of me, I would feel their embarrassment whenever I’d ask them to help me tap their friends to invest or to invite to our showroom. They mentioned this vacancy in a government agency (where I am currently working) which is very much related to my finished course.  I prayed for it and God immediately answered my prayer.  I passed the test and series of interview, and eventually got hired.

So what happened to my commissions for my previous sales?  Just recently, my father reminded me to follow-up on it, telling me “Asikasuhin mo. Sayang naman. Kung alam mo alam, mamatay-matay kami ng mama mo nung pasukin mo yan.” (Work on it.  You have no idea how your mom and I almost died when you decided to enter that kind of job) He confirmed that I didn’t make them proud for that decision.  But thank God, He made a way to stop my parents’ pain for that job.  But I would never regret it.  Now, God is pouring out the blessing of that job on me.  I’m starting to reap my commission.  And it couldn’t come in a more opportune time than this.  Our Praise and Worship Team is about to have its retreat next week and we don’t have enough budget at hand to make it happen.  But thankfully, the Lord’s just in time.  I got my first check last week. Now I am praying that the Lord would give me wisdom on how to manage these blessing wisely, as there will be more to come.

Indeed, God moves in mysterious ways.  Even what the enemy means for evil, God turns it for the good of those who loves Him.  He is in full control.  He is sovereign.  He is the architect and engineer of our lives.  He orchestrates things to happen in order to shape us.  We just have to pray for the Holy Spirit to give us discernment and wisdom on what God wants to teach us on a particular life circumstance.

And we know that for those who love God

I believe more landmarks await me on the road.  I just have to trust and obey Him because He knows what is best for me.  God’s plans are always for the best!

How about you? What are your life landmarks?

Tagalog Talk for Filipinos everywhere

See you every Saturday on ChristianBlessings site – Tagalog Talk (not actually purely Tagalog, but crafted our of a true-blooded Filipina’s heart). This section is intended to encourage our Filipino brothers and sisters in Christ around the globe. Let us grow together in God’s loving presence as we share our experiences, struggles, and inspirations over this blog site.
Salamat sa Panginoon! Ingat po kayo lagi kung saan man kayo naroroon! 🙂

ChristianBlessings

 ChristianBlessings has a new Lead on our Tagalog Talk.

Tagalog Talk Tagalog Talk

Calling Filipinos from everywhere, the north, the south, the east and the west

Workers on land and on the cruise ships at sea,

The Lord is where you are – so be reminded on Tagalog Talk that He is near and interested in you.

MoonMoon our Lead on Tagalog Talk  is your new friend on the blog. Let’s hear what she is about

Do support as she endeavors to bring all her compatriots together on the Tagalog Talk , having fun, sharing struggles, encouraging, empathizing and above all raising Christ Jesus for all to see, hear,  trust and obey.

Join her every Saturday .

Enjoy and be encouraged with shared blessings from above with just a bit of home away from home.

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The ‘c’ in Christian submission

In my recent post, Christians spell SUBMISSION with an ‘h’ and a ‘c’, I first discussed the ‘h’ – HUMILITY.  It takes humility to submit.  We should deny ourselves, swallow our pride, and acknowledge that the Lord has full dominion over us and over all the things on earth and in heaven.  I cited Jesus as the perfect example for both submission and humility.  Now, we won’t change our model for ‘c’ – courage.  Let us now complete the thesis:

It takes humility to submit; and it takes courage to humble oneself.

Why courage?  Have you thought of an instance when you needed courage to humble yourself? Or to be more specific, can you recall a time in your life when you thought that your self-made plans would go smoothly and would be for the best? but then, God poked you and asked you to follow His direction, instead of yours?

Let us admit it.  Humbling ourselves is sometimes painful.  We are too proud.  We even say to the Lord, “Show me first what will happen if I obey you; then I’ll see if I’ll obey.”  But the Lord is telling us “Obey me first, then I will show you what will happen.”

Our pastor’s wife shared us her testimony of one of the crossroads in her life: career.  She was then working with a Christian company, holding a high position, and was nearly expecting for promotion to the next higher rank.  But the Lord suddenly spoke to her through her devotions that there was something else God would want her to do.  God wanted her to leave the company and transfer to another.  At first, she was really confused and frustrated because she already had plans well mapped out in her mind.  But the Lord did not stop speaking to her.  It took 2 years for her to follow.  She was really afraid at first because she it wasn’t that clear to her where God would lead her, but she eventually followed. God used her in ways she never expected.

Now, let us see the perfect example of courage – Jesus! When his time was near, he prayed to the Lord at the garden of Gethsemane.  His prayer goes like this:

…he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will”…for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”…he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. – Matthew 26:39, 42, 44

Jesus prays in Gethsemane
Jesus prays in Gethsemane

 

We can see here that even Jesus felt fear of what was waiting for him – death on the cross.  In the earlier verse, it was even stated that he was “distressed and troubled”.  It was too painful to bear, so he appealed to God the Father in a form of intense prayer.  The ‘cup’ he was referring to was the wrath of God.  God would pour out His wrath for mankind on His only Son Jesus, and the plan was irreversible (see Psalm 75:8).  Jesus knew from the beginning that it’s impossible not to die on the cross.  But, he took courage to humble himself to the Lord.  He took courage to submit to His will by saying “not my will, but your will”.  He took courage to face God’s grand plan for salvation – the cross.

This leads me to remembering the post that triggered me to add ‘courage’ in Christian submission.  Last week, I stumbled upon the blog post, Pray for Christians in Iraq.  We know what has been going around there because of the rule of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).  Our brothers and sisters in Christ are literally suffering from persecutions, physical assault, and all the most inhumane things we could ever imagine.  Since the takeover of the city of Mosul, the militant group has given Christians an ultimatum: Convert, Flee, or Die.  So we assume that those they killed were the ones who refused to convert and flee.  They stood by their faith till death.  They knew that they could be killed, nevertheless, they chose death over conversion.

It is hard to say that this is part of God’s plan.  But as far as we can see, it is, primarily because it happened.  Nothing happens in this world without God knowing it or without God allowing it.  But one thing’s for sure, one thing we know: He knows what He is doing.  He is our mighty, sovereign God.  For those who have been persecuted and killed for the sake of His name, great is the reward that awaits them in eternity.  What really struck me was their humility and courage to submit, NOT to the ISIS militants, but to the Lord.  They did not kneel before other gods.  They fought for their faith.

If we look into our own lives, of course there are areas that we find difficult to submit to the Lord.  But let us be encouraged with the example of Jesus Christ and of today’s Christian martyrs, they submitted to the Lord even to death.

How far can we go in submitting our lives to the Lord?

Jesus obeyed - even death on the cross


Related links:

Tagalog Talk – MN 1 – Keep a Gratitude List

Thank God for letting me be a part of ChristianBlessings blog (through Ms. Evelyn Goh), specifically for the section dedication for Filipino expats/overseas workers. He has given me this another opportunity to share my gift for His kingdom. Another venue to work with God’s people. I am so grateful! Here’s my first post. More to come!

ChristianBlessings

What is the first thing you do in the morning?  And what is the last thing you do before going to bed? For Christians, I guess it is pretty obvious that we’d mention ‘morning prayer’ and ‘evening prayer’, but the question is, do we really-truly-genuinely-faithfully do it on a daily basis?  Regardless of how tiring the day might be or no matter how late we’re running for work or school?

The  psalmist in Psalm 92:2 said, “It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening…” and in 136:6, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.”

Thank you
Sa isang araw, may libo-libong paraan ang Panginoon para ipadama sa atin ang kanyang pag-ibig at katapatanIlan dito ay mga bagay na marahil hindi natin napapansin, seemingly too small for us to notice,

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