Presenting… Christian Version 2.0!

Philippians 2:12-13

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Everyone wants to change for the better.

But did you know that this can only be possible with eyes wide open? And we have to work hard for it because it is never automatic.

According to the Pastor, there are five things we must do to be able to change ourselves for the better.

1. Abide

John 15:5-6

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and I withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”

To abide means to submit. We must submit and connect to God because without Him, there will be no overflow in our lives, no blessings that’ll come our way.

If we want to change, hope is in each of us. The first step is that we must submit ourselves to God.

2. Align

John 7:15-17

And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?” Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.”

The pastor said something interesting: “What blows on my face often has my name on it.” And it’s true. Usually, our problems are inflicted by no one but ourselves.

And the question is, when are we going admit that we are the ones who blow the bombs on our own faces? Remember, we cannot change with eyes closed. We must turn self-indulgence to self-awareness. And how do we do it? By aligning ourselves with God who has the power to change us for the better.

3. Absorb

Mark 4:24-25

Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

There are two hindrances to growth, said the Pastor:

a. Indifference

b. Distractions

And if we don’t open our ears along with our eyes, there’ll be no way these two will be wiped out from our lives.

Be an eager listener. Especially of the Word. So that we’ll hear God’s revelations that will help us a lot.

4. Apply

James 1:22-25

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in the mirror.

Matthew 7:24

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.

Romans 8:12-13

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Of course, all those abiding, aligning, and absorbing are nothing if we don’t apply everything in our lives.

The Pastor also reminded his audience that in changing, we erase all our failures and mistakes. Change is a new chance to do better, thus, our past should not cripple us and define our future.

“You worst moment does not define your life,” he said. “Failure is an event, failure in not a person.”

5. Accountability

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

Ephesians4:22-25

That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

Ephesians 4:14-15

That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.

There may be people who proclaim that they’re independent (like me), but still, seeing and doing things merely on our own isn’t enough. This is where accountability enters.

These people that we should share with can be a close friend, a family member, your spouse or significant other, or those from join support groups that can help us monitor how we’ve been progressing in life and can see if we’re doing things right.

If you’re not yet part of any caring group, maybe it’s time for you to join one. I, myself, will be doing it soon.

 

Are you ready for a better you? Since growth is not automatic, always keep in mind two things: Plan to grow by applying the five things in your life, and of course, always make time for it. 🙂

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3 Comic Books, 1 Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day gets more and more exciting in the Philippines!

Beginning 2002, Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) has been an annual promotional event done on the first Saturday of May by the North American comic book industry in an effort to introduce comics to new readers. With its popularity, it reached the Philippine shores and now, Filipinos get to enjoy the same freebies as long as they are patient enough in falling in long lines at their favorite participating bookstores.

Last year, a friend and I accidentally participated in the FCBD of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street since we were really headed to the store, got a free comic book each, and met some of the great graphic artists of the country together with their sketches. Not on the first, though, but third Saturday of May (That was a May 19 and I don’t have any idea why).

Our free comic books each and the FB stamps on our wrists at last year's Free Comic Book Day  of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street

Our free comic books and the FB stamps on our wrists at last year’s Free Comic Book Day of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street

This year, I went with another friend, Claa, a fellow blogger, at National Book Store Quezon Avenue, Quezon City for the Free Comic Book Day of National Book Store (NBS), CASTLE GEEK, and Neutral Grounds wherein we received not just one, but three free comic books! With the theme “Setting the Record”, the event aimed in setting the highest number of sketches done on a blank cover comic, a record they hope to beat every succeeding year.

The three establishments combined seemed so hyped-up with this event. In fact, aside from the increased number of freebies, they also came up with a Survival Guide, which was used for the event’s promotion, great discounts on comic books, and added comic-related items and more on sale, to make it more exciting to the fans and would-be fans.

The Survival Guide to Free Comic Book Day -- Setting the Record (Photo grabbed from National Book Store's Facebook page)

The Survival Guide to Free Comic Book Day — Setting the Record (Photo grabbed from National Book Store’s Facebook page)

Claa and I arrived at the NBS branch at 9am and were surprised by the number of fellow participants already waiting outside. This just proved that comics in the country already established a wide fandom, and of course, the industry is ready to welcome more.

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The line around 9am, outside National Book Store Quezon Avenue

The line continued on the registration area

The line continued at the registration area

Right after writing our details on the registration form, the freebies started with these:

First set of freebies: FCBD 2013 tattoos, sticker, and well, I don't know why, but a lollipop. :)

First set of freebies: FCBD 2013 tattoos, sticker, and well, I don’t know why, but a lollipop to brag about. 🙂

Then we headed toward another long line for, what else, but our much awaited three free comic books! Yey!

Another line for the free comic books! ^_^ Patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue...

Another line for the free comic books! ^_^ Patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue…

The comics were spread out on a long table and the participants chose three from this collection.

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FCBD 2013 (31)

My free comic books: Ugly Doll Comics (vizkids), Scratch 9 (Hermes Press), and Kellerman L’Amour (Bantam). Oh, I’m such a girl! LOL.

After checking the number of items we got, we were stamped with CASTLE GEEK logo and we were good to roam around the area.

The first to see upon entering the place was National Book Store’s discounted local and international comics. Great deals to greet everyone!

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20% off on graphic novels!

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Manga, or Japanese comics, were also available for less than 100 pesos.

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I found Fushigi Yuugi manga! I didn’t buy them, though.

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Then on the stack of 200-peso comics was where I found Stephen King’s N., which was from the author’s short story collection, Just a After SunsetIts original price was 789 pesos and I can’t wait to read it!

Stephen King's N.

Stephen King’s N.

Back issues were also on the event for only 75 pesos each, courtesy of CASTLE GEEK.

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Aside from the comic books, souvenirs, and comic- and movie-related stuff were also sold at the event.

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FCBD caps

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T-shirts sold for around a thousand pesos each

Pop figures or something. hehe

Pop figures or something. hehe

Want some popcorn? Darth Vader wants to serve you while you watch your favorite movie! :3

Want some popcorn? Darth Vader wants to serve you while you watch your favorite movie! :3

V for Vendetta masks for around 1,000 pesos. I love it!

V for Vendetta masks for around 1,000 pesos. I love it!

Faber-Castell joined the fun, too, and featured its artist pens which anyone can try by sketching for free!

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Faber-Castell’s artist pens!

Sketch for free and feel like a professional artist with every stroke!

Sketch for free and feel like a professional artist with every stroke!

Speaking of sketches, an FCBD isn’t complete without any graphic artists in the vicinity, especially in this one since the record to be set was about drawing. Because of that, an area was allotted for the artists, although at the time we were there, there were not that many of them yet.

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One of the artists

One of the artists

Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street also gave three free comics this year, while its other participating branches (SM Mall of Asia, Greenbelt 5, Power Plant Mall, EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Greenhils’ Promenade, Gateway Mall, and SM North EDSA) gave only one. Establishments Druids Keep and Planet X Comic Shop also took part on this exciting day. Hmm… Looks like the FCBD competition of our local bookstores are getting fiercer and fiercer.

I don’t know if NBS, CASTLE GEEK, and Neutral Grounds reached their goal, though, but I hope they do.

May the third be with you on next year’s Free Comic Book Day! 😀

 

 

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REFERENCES:
Wikipedia
FLIPGEEKS
Fully Booked
Free Comic Book Day Philippines Facebook page

Yin & Yang

A few months after escaping from Mr Negative, Ms Positive thinks that her life is finally at peace and is doing better without him. She is happier, wiser, and stronger, actually. But then suddenly, there he is again, entering the picture. Now Mr Negative is slowly creeping his way toward her, and Ms Positive, with her overflowing thoughts about the bright side, has been somewhat helping him crawl back.

But then some people woke her up from stupor, which made her consider her options. Ms Positive can open the door and welcome him back, with another possible round of pain, confusion, and negativity, or close the door for good, save herself from another wave of destruction, and perpetually regret the day she locked the door.

She pondered and thought hard. Finally, she chooses the latter, but does the former.

On Wisdom in Matters of the Heart

“What blows on my face often has my name on it,” said the pastor just this Sunday’s service at Word for the World, Makati. And he was right. Most of the time, we, ourselves, are the causes of our own problems, our sufferings.

Recently, a guy friend shared to me that he got turned down by a girl. Sure, that was unfortunate, and I would have sympathized with him deeply, but after telling me the story, I didn’t know what to feel anymore. I understood the girl’s decision and I couldn’t seem to get what went on this friend’s mind (Sorry, friend, if you ever get to read this. Yikes).

The story went as simple as this: The two got to know each other well in March. They went on a date once where he told her he likes her, but after two weeks, the girl flew to Dubai (I guess it’s safe to assume it’s for work). He continued wooing her but the girl stopped him saying she doesn’t want to be distracted.

Seemed like the girl’s a little harsh, right? How dare her not give my friend the chance to prove himself to her?! Who does she think she is?! Err… Not really. ‘Cause here’s the thing: He knew right from the start that she’d be leaving but he still decided to court her. BOOM. So who’s at fault now? And I think the girl was just being polite when she agreed to go on a date with him.

Of course, I am a friend to my friend so although he didn’t ask for any advices, I tried to point out to him his area of mistake–‘cause it bit me like a snake upon reading the story on chat, and it should bite him, too—and with a lot of smileys so as not to be hard on him.

What was the error? He lacked Wisdom. I knew I was right when he said he didn’t get it so I produced a 411-word explanation for him.

I told him I think he loses wisdom when he falls in love. He’d been devastated by love twice and in a span of 3-4 months and it was because of no one but himself. And I think that’s something serious.

The first has a boyfriend. Oh, yes, you read that right. They met when he visited his province, got her number with the help of one of his sisters, and exchanged SMS for a few months until he fell for her. When he came back to the province, he told her he liked her only to be indirectly rejected with the words, “You may have to wait long,” in which he responded, “I’ll wait.”

Oh, did I mention that all along she already has a boyfriend and he perfectly knows about it? When he told me the story, I got pissed off immediately so I was reluctant to help him. Still, I kept my cool and I said, “Sometimes, girls don’t say things directly. You have to read between the lines.” And he was asking for an advice for a very obvious baloney (I’m sorry for the term): “What am I going to do, the girl I like has a boyfriend?” He said it was complicated and the girl’s words made it hard for him because by then he didn’t know if he’d just let go and look for another girl or just really wait. Complicated? I wanted to uncomplicate things for him then by smashing the table on him. BAM!

Photo grabbed from http://www.memecenter.com

Photo grabbed from http://www.memecenter.com

And the worst part there was I could see him in pieces while being in a state of limbo. He is the kind who can look straight in the eyes of the person he’s talking to, but during the time I was reprimanding him, he was reduced into someone who busied his hands fumbling nothing and kept his gaze on the table while trying to answer my questions the whole time. He was like a kid I was scolding for breaking the vase. But since he isn’t a child anymore, the scene was both sad and irksome.

Then there came a new girl after three months. I think she turned him down because she could already see that it won’t work, apart from the part that she said she didn’t want any distractions. And well, honestly, it was obvious she was not into him.

I have a friend who has a very successful long-distance relationship, but that’s rare, most of the time, its survival rate isn’t exactly okay, so what more the long-distance courtship that doesn’t have any foundation yet? I think the girl has wisdom and I admire her for that. She didn’t want the two of them to waste time anymore for something that’s bound to die down sooner or later.

But then one may say taking risks is important and we may be missing a lot in life if we don’t get out of our comfort zone (Oh, I’m so boring!). But the thing is, in this recent situation that my friend was in, it was quite obvious that he was gearing toward disaster lane. It was like insisting on stepping forward when it was crystal clear that it was the edge of the cliff right in front of him. I don’t know, but with my friend’s short story, I felt for the girl. In fact, I would have done the same if I was in her position.

If my friend let his wisdom work, she didn’t have to turn him down and he didn’t have to be rejected. So now, she’s tagged the heartbreaker and he’s the person with the bleeding heart (Oh, so now I’m slowly getting unsure if he really likes her!). And again, that was the obvious outcome right from the start. But she could move on easily, big time, and since my friend was the one that got rejected, he is having the rough time. Why? Because rejection bites and viciously gnaws on one’s pride. So who dug his own grave?

My unsolicited advice to him was to work on his wisdom. He should make wise decisions especially when it comes to love and avoid rushing into it like it’s some limited edition collectible. It’s wiser to sit down first and mull over it. Especially with him, ‘cause he’s supposed to be analytical and he’s proud of it, but he lets his heart govern himself when in love. Mind shouldn’t be set aside at all cost no matter how hard it is when it comes to love. It’s important and it can help him heaps.

And I hope he won’t let what I said above about getting devastated by love in a span of 3-4 months be his norm. He’s turning into an embarrassment. We weren’t born for constant suffering but for happiness.

Lastly, I told him that love isn’t supposed to make life complicated, it should simplify it. So he should stop looking for love that could turn his world upside down in a very messy way.

I sent the lengthy explanation to him, got a “Wow” as a first response (prolly because it’s long), and then “Well said! Hehe.” as the second. I simply scratched my head as I understood that he doesn’t have any plans on taking my advice. But oh well, it’s his choice, at least I was able to tell him what I think about his decisions in love. 🙂 Besides, it’s better to tell it to him first before putting it on this blog. LOL.

P.S. I would like thank Ramon Baustista’s Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo? for a wonderful insight about the mind, heart, and “bird” as the decision-making bodies of people, Pastor Raymund of Word for the World for teaching about wisdom, insight, and understanding, one meaningful Sunday service, Kuya Kevin’s Basta Lovelife for telling about the importance of wise decision-making in love, and of course, my little experience in love which made me seek friends’ and self-help books’ advices about it, take them to the heart, all of which somehow made me wiser and stronger. hehe