Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Meet the Monk

I remember the first time I saw monks way back 2006 in Bahrain airport. I don't know why I am afraid to them, maybe because I was just shocked because that's my first time to see people who dressed like them and they seemed so serious and doesn't know how to smile.
Out of curiosity during our tour at Tooth Relic in Kandy, Sri Lanka I was one of the four campers who entered the temple. I asked first one of the campers if its possible to take photo with a monk. She told me we should ask permission first since like any other not all monks are friendly and will give way.

As form of respect, you can see some signs that selfie is not allowed inside and your back should not in front of their statues when taking pictures. And when they caught you to disobey the protocol, oh my immediately they will get your camera or phone, check it and if found selfie photos taken inside, they will immediately ask you to delete. When you are visiting anywhere, whether its a religious complex or anywhere, the key word should be obey and respect.
Its quiet inside the temple and though I really want to take a photo with the monk, I was hesitant to do so. I'm thinking - maybe its not allowed also since we're inside or what if they will reject us. So after roaming inside the temple, we go out as usual. But behind my mind I really need to have at least one shot of photo with a monk, since I may not have an opportunity to have one.
Good thing I have the boys - I don't know exactly who approached the monk. The next thing I know is Nan is asking me to stand beside the monk and taking picture.
I want to ask questions to him but obviously (flower on his hands) he needs to go inside the temple. So I just asked the help of Wikipedia to answer the questions on my mind :) The traditional Buddhist wear robes. The robe is generally called civara. Antarvasa is the inner robe covering the lower body while for the upper body its uttarasanga. Other items that may have been worn are: the kushalaka - the waist cloth and the samakaksika, the buckled belt. 

Guys if visiting temple is part of your tour, my advise for you is not to wear loud color shirt or dress. Believe me cos the guy next to me experienced it already, right William? Isn't William and the monk has some resemblance? Just thinking bagay siguro yung robe kay William hehehe.

And see those policemen in the background, they are not just standing for nothing they really working and their eyes are rolling to all tourists. Guys be an law abiding tourists. Respect and obey their policies or else in the end you'll be in trouble like what our fellow tourist experienced.

Thanks to our tour guide Mr. Brandy for talking to these not ordinary policemen cos according to Janix they have stars on their uniform or else maybe William will sleep on the cell :)

Monday, September 25, 2017

Who I am - A Call to Grow Beyond

If someone asks you "Who are you?" what will be your answer.
That's the first question we encountered on the Grow Beyond Family Camp Sri Lanka 2017. The question sound so easy to answer. 
Here's the exact answer I wrote on my paper:
I am Jennifer Cleofe Arellano
I am a child of God
I am a daughter of a King
I am the eldest & the only daughter in the family
I am an expectant from the Lord on this camp.

Its common to start by telling our name. Our name is our first identity for others to know us. But sometimes even our name is a duplicate of someone. I tried to search my name in google and voila there are some people holding exactly the same name that I have. How can our identity be our own if someone has it also?
The question is "Who are you?" We usually answered that I am a graduate of this course, I am a manager or employee, etc. or sometimes even stating our possessions and the like. But is that "who are you?" or "what you are?"

Sometimes we see and define ourselves on how others see and define us. We tend to forget that we are unique, we are peculiar and we are created in the image of our Maker. 

"I am not what I think I am and I am not what you think I am. I am what I think that you think I am"

Before, I really avoid looking at the mirror. I am afraid to see the image - the distorted image in front of me. But after the assurance I received from my Maker that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and that I am created from inmost being and knitted together in my mother's womb, I know I have nothing to fear on the image that I see on the mirror. Through God who strengthens me and give me enough daily dosage of His grace, I can stand and conquer the fear that I have - the fear of rejection, the fear of being outcast, and so on. People may judge us for what or who we are and not, but Jesus will not. He love us for who we are. He is always ready to embrace us, all we need is to surrender ourselves to Him, have faith and give Him our full trust to manage our lives.

Until you do not overcome your earthly identity then you'll never be free and to overcome it, there's only ONE WAY - to accept JESUS as your PERSONAL SAVIOR.
Our God intended us to be who we are for a purpose. By our strength we cannot live on that purpose, only through His grace, only through Him we can do it.
GOD DESIGNED ONE COPY OF YOU, make sure you live on it.

A Call to GROW BEYOND our Earthly Identity
" For this favor I bend my knees before the Father, from whom every fatherhood in heaven and on earth is named, in order that He may grant to you- according to His riches and glory - power to become strong through His Spirit in the Inner Man, for Christ to dwell in your hearts through faith, to become firmly rooted and established in love, in order that you may become strong (enough) to apprehend together with all the saints, what is the breadth, the length, the height, and depth, to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, in order that you may be filled to all the fullness of God" Ephesians 3:14-19

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Love Letter to Self

Dear Jen,

Its been 36 years that we known each other though sometimes we doubt each other - capabilities, strengths and even our feelings towards situations, people and even to our own. We been together from the start, you heard my first cry and saw the first tears on my eyes You are with me on my first step and even on my first fall. You witnessed how I tried to get all my achievements in life - its not easy by the way especially to live on the expectations of others and more harder to stand on your expectations. But we surpassed it together through the help of our Maker.

Its been more than three decades but I seldom thank you for what you've done. Sometimes I forgot to appreciate and admire you and to tell how much I love you. If there's one person that should care and love you more than others, it should be me. Forgive me if sometimes you whisper to me to stay away from those people who will only cause me pain but I still insist to be with them. Forgive me if there are times that you want to take rest from a busy schedule but I still insisting that I should, I must finish everything within the day. Forgive me, if instead of listening to you I listened and cared first to other people. 
Through the years we're together I learned a lot . I thank the people who molded us, people who been our guide and inspiration to go on with life. People who are not selfish in giving their admiration and care. 
As we continue to step forward, always remember that I love you and I will always care for you. Our battle is not yet over. We still have fears to conquer and struggles to win.  Don't be afraid of what future will bring us, our God, our Savior is always with us. Let's just keep the faith in Him and continue the good fight of faith.

Stay strong...
You are loved...
You are cherished...
You are beautiful..
You are a daughter of a King...
And therefore no one can harm you.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Stuck in the Lift

May 21, 2017, around 11:20 pm after YAM in the church, feel so tired physically but my heart and spirit are fully recharged of His words and encouragements.
The topic on the service is about Mastering Emotions: Conquering your fears with the Lord. I didn't expect that at the same night, last night I will be able to apply what I've heard. I was stuck in the elevator. Tuwang tuwa pa naman ako kasi naka-zero so I will not wait for that long. I pressed 3 then wait to go up while browsing my phone and after a minute I stared at the screen since naramdaman ko na parang hindi nagli-lift, still on zero. I keep pressing the number but di sya nagfufunction, I pressed the open button but its the same. I keep on praying - Lord na-stuck po yata ako. The first that I asked sana Lord wag magblackout sa loob and I asked Him to give me peace and calmness. I saw a mobile number of the guard on duty and he anwered. While waiting for help I keep reciting Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear for I am with you". I was reminded also by what we have discussed in YAM - where to look when you are in fear. I called my siblings in YAM to ask prayer and its one way also to have someone to talk with so I will remain calm. After I think almost 15minutes the elevator was forcefully opened. The struggle in getting up from inside (yung parang nahulog ka sa balon na kelangan mong umakyat). Thanks to the lives of AMNCO security guards in our compound, they responded fast. The first attempt to get up was failed, maybe dahil na rin sa ilang minuto na ako na nasa loob at kulang sa oxygen parang wala na akong energy pa na umakyat. So I asked them to get a chair, so after na makakuha ng chair I tried pero di pa rin, so one of the guard go down inside the elevator and after few attempts, I was up. 
Ang bilis ng application ng lesson about mastering emotions :-)
God is good all the time. If we will seek Him and run to Him first, everything will always be fine.
Glory to God