Wednesday, February 27, 2013

You are my Hiding Place

"My God is my refuge and strength;
A very present help in trouble."

Psalm 46:1

At around 1:00pm today, Bim and I were alerted  about a bushfire going on nearby.   I received a text warning in my phone about having to seek shelter and actively defend.  Bim had to leave for work but I stayed at home,  vigilant.  Then, I decided to  quickly  pick up the girls from school.  The wind was going fast the westerly direction towards the bush belt along the hills which covers our area.   I wasn’t scared then, not until two young policemen came knocking on my door advising me to evacuate the area within 10 minutes as the fire is now being fanned by easterly winds with gusts up to 50km an hour and spot fires are starting up to 200m ahead of the fire.   

THREAT: A Helitac water bomber fighting the fire near The Vines

I was in a panic.  I have never had this experience before.  I picked up 3 baskets of newly folded  laundered clothes and dropped them in the van.  I couldn’t think well but I was quick to pray.

I turned on all the retic (water sprinklers) around the house and left my home with the girls.  I met up with Jed, my second born at our local library; texted Bim who was at work and CJ who was at Uni.  I called up a Filipino neighbor who didn’t know anything about the fire as she was attending in her classes.  I texted my Perth family that if worst happens, we might be squatting in their homes for shelter.  Then, me and the kids prayed again for protection and guidance.  I told the kids that no matter what happens, God still  reigns sovereign. 

At around 4:30 today, I received a text message again, while on monitor with the local news on the radio, advising us that  the fire has been contained.  A bushfire emergency warning was downgraded to a "watch and act" alert for people in the surrounding suburbs including our own.  Thank God no one was hurt, no homes were consumed by the fire.

We are home now.  I am so grateful we are safe.  I only see these things on television.  But a few hours before really struck me with the harsh reality that my family could lose a home;  It could happen to me and my family!  It was a scary thought.  

Disasters like this are inevitable.  Right now, as I am writing this,  tropical Cyclone Rusty has intensified to a category four and is set to move south across the WA coast near Port Hedland.  Massive flooding from heavy rains is rising in the area  south of Brisbane, and probably more others around the globe:  political unrest, hunger strikes, war, or a burglary right in your neighborhood,  etc.

Can we really say, we are safe?  

Wherever you are, and just when you think you live at the safest place in the world, you can never ascertain your safety.  Only in God’s arms can we truly say, He is our hiding place.  Thank you Lord for YOU are our greatest protector, always!

"My dear Lord, thank you that I can ran to you. 
You are my refuge and strength.  
Thank you that You are my hiding place.  
You are my rock and fortress that shields me from all danger.  
Indeed, You, my God, the great Protector is our
 ever present help in trouble!  Amen."

The  bushfire seen from just a few kilometers 
down the road where new housing developments are being done.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

To my "Fantastic Four"

Looking at this picture, gives Oh so much delight in my life
It brings deep joy, my heart can’t express much, words are not enough 
The day each of you were born, I knew my world will forever change
I still recall the endurance I have to take, for each labor and pain.

Each of you taught me so much, about unconditional love and such
Your lives showed me life’s meaning, to live for everyday.
You brought me so much more than I can ever dare to dream
Pop and I are so proud of you in each and every way.

CJ, our firstborn, so ambitious, determined, strong and focused
You’ve led a good example to your siblings, one for being courageous.
Jed, fun- loving, creative, hardworking and persevering
You are becoming the man of great honor, what great joy you bring!

Our Daisy, sensitive, pure, as delicate as the lovely flower
You’re amazingly beautiful inside, you bring forth great power.
The lovely Caila, demure, so serving, keen and mature
Your words bring healing, the tightest hugs makes everyone secure.

More often you fight, you disagree, and the unending whine
But  you forgive with words and you forget with a tight embrace.
You are siblings, don’t ever forget, you were knitted in my womb
You’re one, same blood one vine, you're Pop’s and mine, our very own.

Your personalities are so different yet, at times you are the same,
You all love Jesus, hearts are quiet, actions are confident, tongues are tamed,
The one thing I know for sure that will keep you upright and true
You will love each other so and treasure the godly values we taught you.

You hold such strong kinship that transcends the ties of blood
Honor it, nourish it, protect it, keep it alive, keep it always new
Watch out, support each other always, remember you are one
God will bind and bless you through each life journey as you go.

You have grown so fast, we wish your youth had remained
Your parents’ love so profound and deep, so difficult to explain
Someday you’ll be gone, maybe far away, you’ll have families too
Our precious ones, simply know we’re just here, and that we love you so.  


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thank God, I am a Filipino

I may be swearing in as an Australian citizen but there’s not a doubt that my heart is and will always be a Filipino. My country, The Philippines, the land of the morning, the land of the free, is composed of 7,107 beautiful islands, the largest known archipelago in the world- is the center of my affections. It is my true home. I do feel desperate, frustrated, and much so sad that my home country is suffering.

But I thank God for suffering! No nation or individual in the entire course of human history has become great without suffering. Thank God for the pollution, the crime, the poverty, the squalor and the misery. Thank God for all the people who moan and complain, thank God for all the people who get down on their knees to pray, and weep and proclaim: “Something has to change!”

So to rubbish with what the world, the media, the millions of cynics may say! Because “yes, the Filipino can” and soon the Filipino will! I refuse to lose hope in the Filipino, because I refuse to lose hope in my family and friends, I refuse to lose hope in myself. Thank God, the Filipinos can change. Thank God, we, Filipinos can work, inspire, lead, act and care!

Whatever else the future brings, thank God, THANK GOD I am still, and forever will be a Filipino!

I am attaching herewith a moving video of a poor Filipino boy who finds a paper Philippine flag in the dirt, dusts it off and climbs up an abandoned flagpole with it. It shows the true heart of every Filipino; resilient, committed, love of country, dedicated and strong to the end. The song in the background is the "Lupang Hinirang", our national anthem, simply delivered by a choir of innocent voices. It made me cry. Everything I love about my Philippines is represented in that boy. When he reaches the top of the pole, he raises and waves the Philippine flag. He is like the eagle, with wings spread out shining, strong, young and free!

God bless the Philippines!

Mabuhay ka Pilipinas!

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land".