Old

When was the last time you had a chance to talk to your elderly parents? When was the last time you said “I love you” to them?

When I saw this pic, it triggered me to remember the kindness of my grandparents?

Old

Photo credits to the owner.

I never had a chance to know them more, to share my achievements and to let them feel that I love them so much.

Hopefully you are one of the many who experienced a great relationship with your grandparents and probably have hundreds of stories about them.

Perhaps you have wonderful memories of sleepovers at their house—maybe they even watched cartoons with you the next morning.

Maybe they taught you something like how to tie your shoes, make a breakfast treat or catch a fish. Or maybe you remember the time they slipped you Php100 just because you were their grandchild.

In most cases, grandparents love you unconditionally. They’ve been proud of you since the day you were born. You’re truly blessed to have them in your life.

So, with Grandparents Day approaching on Sunday, what can you do to honor them?

  • Visit them on your days off: Stop by and say hello as often as possible. If you have children, let them spend time around Grandma and Grandpa, just to hear their stories.
  • Take them groceries when you can: If you’re shopping, buy them two or three items you know they’ll use. You may never know if they always have money for special things they enjoy, but by taking them a surprise occasionally, you’ll know they’ll have an additional treat during your visit.
  • Call them often: A simple hello is a blessing and shows you care.
  • Ask if they need a ride anywhere: Grandparents usually have many places they’d like to go; and enjoy the pleasure of your company.
  • Hug and kiss them every chance you get: This is the most important thing you can do to show them your affection. Never pass a chance to say: “I love you.”

Grandparents are a gift to be cherished. Learn from them and let them know you love them every chance you get.

Cape

When I was a kid Papa Ramon was my superhero, he was like Batman, Superman, Flash and Thor rolled into one.

Last Sunday, during the Awesome Kids Ministry service, the children were able to honor their dad with a special craft activity.

Cape

If the scientific study of fatherhood has taught us one thing, it’s that there are data-driven, biological, and psychological reasons why kids seem to do better with dads.

We also had our Light Group (LG) meeting where we discussed the value of our father’s presence in our lives.

According to the Parenting.com website, even dads with average parenting skills can make a real impact on their children’s lives.

Four decades of research and hundreds of studies have proven what should be obvious to everyone: The more involved a dad is, the more successful his children will be. A father’s influence can determine a child’s social life, grades at school, and future achievements.

Involved dads = Successful children
The dad effect starts as early as birth. A review of studies by the Father Involvement Research Alliance shows that babies with more involved fathers are more likely to be emotionally secure, confident in new situations, and eager to explore their surroundings. As they grow, they are more sociable. Toddlers with involved fathers are better problem-solvers and have higher IQs by age 3. They are more ready to start school and can deal with the stress of being away from home all day better than children with less involved fathers .

At school, children of involved fathers do better academically. For example, a study by the U.S. Department of Education found that children of highly involved fathers were 43 percent more likely than other children to earn mostly As and 33 percent less likely to repeat a grade. They are also less likely to have behavior problems at school and to experience depression.

According to the Father Involvement Research Alliance review, girls with involved fathers have higher self-esteem, and teenage girls who are close to their dads are less likely to become pregnant. Boys show less aggression, less impulsivity, and more self-direction. As young adults, children of involved fathers are more likely to achieve higher levels of education, find success in their careers, have higher levels of self-acceptance and experience psychological well-being. Adults who had involved fathers are more likely to be tolerant and understanding, have supportive social networks made up of close friends, and have long-term successful marriages.

Everyday activities are important
A study by Brigham Young University researchers finds that involvement in everyday activities, such as eating dinner together, watching TV, playing in the yard, and playing video games are even more important to share with Dad than big outings or trips, although those contribute to children’s development as well. Fathers and youths in the study experienced more satisfaction and cohesion in their family when fathers were involved in everyday core activities.

W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, says that fathers’ special input differs from mothers’ in at least four ways: playing, encouraging risk, protecting and disciplining.

Playing
By asking parents of 390 families how they play with their children, psychologist Ross Parke found that “in infants and toddlers, fathers’ hallmark style of interaction is physical play that is characterized by arousal, excitement, and unpredictability.” Mothers, on the other hand, were “more modulated and less arousing” in their play. This became glaringly obvious to me when my husband left home for a year and a half to work in Afghanistan. My modulated play was not cutting it. Several months into the experience, our three kids began complaining to me, “You never tickle us.” I had to take a page from my husband’s playbook for a while.

A manual from the U.S. Children’s Bureau explains the impact of fathers’ play this way: “From these interactions, children learn how to regulate their feelings and behavior. Roughhousing with dad, for example, can teach children how to deal with aggressive impulses and physical contact without losing control of their emotions.”

Encouraging risk
Where mothers tend to worry about their children’s safety and well-being, fathers encourage their children to take risks. Psychologist Daniel Paquette’s review of scholarly research found that dads are more likely to encourage their children to overcome obstacles, to talk to strangers, and to go in the deep end during swim lessons. One study in the review (J. Le Camus, “Les interaction pere-enfant en milieu aquatique”) focused on a group of parents teaching their children how to swim. It found that “fathers tend to stand behind their children so the children face their social environment, whereas mothers tend to position themselves in front of their children, seeking to establish visual contact with the children.”

Protecting
Perhaps it’s their size, strength, or inclination to protect, but fathers appear to be better at keeping predators and bad influences from harming their children. Psychologist Rob Palkovitz said in The Atlantic, “Paternal absence has been cited by multiple scholars as the single greatest risk factor in teen pregnancy for girls.” When fathers are more involved, they can better monitor what’s going on in their children’s lives, including interaction with peers and adults.

Disciplining
Although mothers discipline more often, fathers discipline with a firmer hand. In their book Partnership Parenting, Drs. Kyle Pruett and Marsha Kline Pruett write, “Fathers tend to be more willing than mothers to confront their children and enforce discipline, leaving their children with the impression that they in fact have more authority.” Mothers, on the other hand, try to reason with their children and rely on kids’ emotional attachment to them to influence their behavior. Although Mom and Dad may not seem to be on the same page, this diverse approach can be very effective in disciplining children.

The good news about being a dad is that you don’t have to be spectacular at it to make a major positive contribution to your child’s life. W. Bradford Wilcox looked at data on delinquency, pregnancy, and depression in adolescents and compared the statistics with how the teens rated their fathers or if they lived with a single mother. He found that outcomes for teens in single-mother homes were about the same as those living with both a mother and a poor-quality father; teens had higher levels of delinquency, pregnancy, and depression. But teens living with their mother and father, with whom they had an average-quality relationship, experienced much lower negative outcomes. Teens who had a high-quality relationship with their father had even lower rates. Wilcox concludes that “great, and even good-enough dads, appear to make a real difference in their children’s lives.”

Eid Al Fitr 2018

Eid Mubarak to our Muslim friends!

I miss the Eid Al Fitr festival in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Communities and families usually gather to mark the start of Eid al-Fitr with a meal.

Eid Mubarak is a traditional Muslim greeting used during festivals such as Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr.

The word Eid means celebration and Mubarak translates as blessed.

Therefore, people wish each other a blessed holiday by using this greeting.

I celebrated this special day today with a thanksgiving lunch hosted by a dear friend and a brother servant whose love and passion for providing financial investment advice goes beyond earning commission but a call to mission.

Eid Al Fitr 2018

Cheers to long life! To more years of loving and serving the Lord – my dear friends from Riyadh, KSA.

Bro. Rommel Orpiada said that a good financial advisor is driven by a mission and not only by commission. Or someone who has more concern on your welfare and benefits, and of your loved ones rather than just marketing the products. He/she is someone that you can trust and has a good background and discipline, education, trainings, skills and experience. He/she can advise you on risk management and capital preservation, and can provide a financial solution personalized to your needs.

He aims to empower OFW around the globe in spending their hard earned money efficiently and effectively.

If you need any assistance, please feel free to contact Bro. Rommel for a “Let’s talk!” meeting and call him at 09176557477.

Tons

Few years back, I’ve never imagined that I will experience the blessings of travelling to the city of love but God has a way of surprising me with His loving angels sent from heaven to remind me of His greatness.

Special thanks to Ninang Racquel Reyes and Ninong Wilbert Reyes for their generous sharing of blessings. I will not mention the details but from the ampula of my pancreas, I appreciate all the love.

To a dear sister, fellow servant and co-pilgrim in World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid who toured us in Iloilo and gave us a taste of the Ilonggo hospitality at its finest, thank you so much Sis. Jo-An Mendez!

I felt God’s love in action.

Love and more love

The ‘pilapil’ walk going to the humble abode of Sis. Jo-An Mendez in the middle of a rice field and so many wonderful memories in Iloilo

May God reward you a hundredfold for sharing your blessings and valuable time.

Such kindness and caring gesture will forever be etched in my heart.

And I offer this simple prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus – every good and perfect gift is a blessing from You and You have blessed me with so much and I ask that You would use me to be a blessing to others who are in need or facing difficulties.

Make me a channel of Your blessing – a channel through who You love and peace and joy and love flow out from You through me to others. May I be Your hands to bless others – may You guide my feet to places where I can go and be a blessing… May my speech be seasoned with salt so that I may speak words of comfort and encouragement – and speak the truth in love, and give me the grace to be available when others are in need.

Lord that You may increase in my life and I may decrease – so that the blessings that You pour through me to others may draw each one closer into the arms of the Lord Jesus, in Whose name I pray,

Amen.

Beup

The highlight of my Iloilo journey happened today. I hosted the beautiful wedding of our fellow servants Bro. Mark & Sis. Rebecca’s reception ceremonies.

The overflowing love and support from their friends, familes and relatives were a witnessing experience of God’s love.

Beup Wedding

Dear God, thank you for this joyous day. Thank you for Your Light that has entered Bride and Groom’s life. Thank you for all the miracles and blessings. Please bless this union. Help Bride and Groom find the perfect place in this world for their love to flourish. Let the radiant light of their love shine on all those around them. May all their future creations be blessed. God, bless them with the inner gifts of trust, compassion, forgiveness and truth that they may live and grow together in love and peace. Amen.

During the homily, Msgr. Joemarie Delgado highlighted the importance of having God as the center of the newly wed couple’s relationship.

It’s a love triangle for life.

Bride, groom and God.

To our newly wed couple, my wife and I offer this prayer:

Father, we pray that you nourish and encourage Mark and Rebecca’s marriage.

We pray that their marriage to be filled with friendship, joy, and love. May their life together embody warmth and affection, with the deepest love and intimacy between them.

Falling in love is not a choice, but being in love is. It is a choice that requires renewal day after day, year after year, lifetime after lifetime.

Love, deep love, is simple. It is a simple choice between kindness and generosity, or blame and criticism, moment to moment.

Our choices become our habits. When we make kindness and generosity our choice, our vision becomes clear — we see with clear eyes, the good intent behind actions, the pain behind harsh words, and the fear behind untruthful speech.

Father, we pray you help them make this choice day after day.

Father, we pray for a marriage that makes both Mark and Rebecca feel cherished, understood, and validated. To feel love, your love.

A marriage where they may argue, but they will never fight.

May they show one another only kindness, generosity, and patience, and in light of their own human frailties, offer the same heart towards themselves.

And in this spirit, may their joys know no decline, may they inspire confidence in one another, and may the beatitude they experience continue forever and ever, world without end.

May their love be like Juliet’s love, as boundless as the sea,
“My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.”

A marriage does not exist alone. It is a marriage of families, friends, teachers, and communities.

Father, we pray that we will uphold our duty to Mark and Rebecca’s marriage.

May they be there for one another when the going gets rough — and be there to celebrate with one another when things go right — sharing joy in the day to day vicissitudes of life.

Children will come, careers will take up time, in-laws will take up patience, and petty grievances, left to fester, will tear lovers apart.

The highs of marriage will wear off, but may they always remember their love for each other. May their marriage endure in a spirit of kindness and generosity.

Falling in love is not our choice, but being in love is. It is a choice that requires renewal day after day, year after year, lifetime after lifetime.

Father, we pray you will guide them, and with us, their family, friends, and community, help them make this choice and renew it day after day.

In good times and in bad, for better or for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.

In Jesus name.

Amen.

Trinity

Sunday is family day celebrating the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

From Awesome Kids Ministry, Couples Light Group (LG) to my dear cousin’s family celebration – more meaningful events added to my memory bank.

Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday urges us to constantly strive for the unity and peace of God, Jesus, and their life-giving Spirit. Sometimes we spend a lot of time trying to figure this mystery out. While understanding has some importance, ultimately we are meant to put this relationship of unity, peace and love into action in our own lives and in doing so we come to know the mystery not theoretically but by our own very experience of peace, love and unity.

Today’s feast invites us to live in the awareness of the presence of the Triune God within us: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The mystery of the Holy Trinity, a doctrine enunciated by the ecumenical councils of Nicaea and Constantinople, is one of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity and the greatest mystery of our Faith, namely, that there are Three Divine Persons, sharing the same Divine nature in one God.

Fr. Antony Kadavil shared the life messages of Trinity Sunday:

1) We need to respect ourselves and respect others. Our conviction that the Triune God is present within us always should help us to esteem ourselves as God’s holy dwelling place, to behave well in His holy presence, and to lead purer and holier lives, practicing acts of justice and charity. This Triune Presence should also encourage us to respect and honor others as “Temples of the Holy Spirit.”

2) We need to be aware of God as the Source of our strength and courage. The awareness and conviction of the presence of God within us gives us the strength to face the manifold problems of life with Christian courage. It was such a conviction that prompted the early Christian martyrs being taken to their execution to shout the heroic prayer of Faith from the Psalms: “The Lord of might is with us, our God is within us, and the God of Jacob is our helper” (Psalm 46).

3) We need to see the Trinity as the model for our Christian families: We are created in love to be a community of loving persons, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are united in Love. From the day of our Baptism, we have belonged to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. How privileged we are to grow up in such a beautiful Family! Hence, let us turn to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in prayer every day. We belong to the Family of the Triune God.

4) We are called to become more like the Triune God through all our relationships. We are made in God’s image and likeness. Just as God is God only in a Trinitarian relationship, so we can be fully human only as one member of a relationship of three partners. The self needs to be in a horizontal relationship with all other people and in a vertical relationship with God. In that way our life becomes Trinitarian like that of God. Modern society follows the so-called “I-and-I” principle of unbridled individualism and the resulting consumerism. But the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity challenges us to adopt an “I-and-God-and-neighbor” principle: “I am a Christian insofar as I live in a relationship of love with God and with other people.”

St. Francis Xavier’s favorite prayer was: “Most Holy Trinity, who live in me, I praise You, I worship You, I adore You and I love You. Let the Son lead us to the Father through the Spirit, to live with the Triune God forever and ever. Amen.”

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To the woman who taught me how to love, to commit and to sincerely dedicate one’s life in serving God – happy birthday to the most selfless, supportive and caring wife in the world – Jude Borja! Thank you for showing me what true love is. More years of life, hope & faith together! #blessed #grateful #toloveandtohold #tocherishandhonor #tocallmyveryown #bodyheartandsoul