GIFT OF ALL GIFTS…

Christmas day…

we had Christmas Candlelight service last night in church, but since my dear husband was at work, i decided to stay home, and listen to Charles Swindoll’s Christmas eve message, “Unwrapping the gift”  (click title to go to the site) and have my own quiet time.

giving, exchanging gifts have been mostly mainly the theme of Christmas year after year. it is when we take our time to go shopping, to pick the best present to give, or buying anything “just for the spirit” of giving.

what gifts did you get? hmmm, first, let us see what kinds of gifts there are.
as recipients, we receive gifts we don’t like, or don’t need… or gifts we will love. as givers, we give gifts just because, or give because we want to make the receiver happy, because we love them..

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isnt it such joy if we give something and it is truly appreciated? and vise versa, if we receive something and we are so happy to have it? my dear sister gifted me with my very first iPod nano (first generation they call it) 8 Christmases ago, and believe it or not, now there are nth generation iPods, but i still am using the one she gave me!! and i always tell her that. i’m sure it does make her feel so appreciated.

what about those gifts stored in my closet? or “recycled” meaning i, in turn, gifted it to somebody else? of course we won’t tell the giver that he he.. lest we hurt their feelings.

imagine how God feels if He is the giver of the gift we keep in our closet or the one we give away because we don’t need it. He gave us the GIFT OF ALL GIFTS, and we tend to forget that even on Christmas Day… but, God said, “my grace is sufficient for you…” despite we forget, we give it away, we turn our backs on the gift He sent us, He still accepts us and still takes care of all our needs.

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with this in mind, maybe i will correct my attitude and learn to appreciate the gifts i receive whether or not i want them.. and if ever i “recycle” SHARE the gift, i make sure it is given to someone i love and whom i know will have better use for it. that being said, i am sharing with you the best gift i have ever had from God, the gift of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, and i received it today, Christmas day… 🙂  

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15

M.

peek at Peak 2 Peak

one of the main attractions in Whistler, B.C. is riding the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. here is a description from wikipedia on what P2P is all about: Peak 2 Peak Gondola.  

image from whistlerblackcomb.com media galleries
image from whistlerblackcomb.com media galleries

(more beautiful photos by coastphoto.com here)

briefly, it is the 11 minute cable ride between Whistler mountain and Blackcomb mountain, beneficial most especially to skiers who want to ski down the slopes of both mountains since it cut the transfer time a great deal. well, i never ski, i am just one of those in awe of seeing them skiers having fun and enjoying what they do. the ride is open even to sightseers like us who just want to enjoy and appreciate God’s wonderful art via snow capped mountains and pine trees all over. such a wonderful wonderful sight.

Thanks to my dear husband for spending his days off to bring me to Whistler Blackcomb. I know he should be taking his rest  but, he did it for me!! 🙂

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another reason to thank him was, riding the Peak 2 Peak gondola with me, despite his fear of heights. yes, he is acrophobic. the few days before our trip, i was praying hard that he will relent to my fervent plea to ride with me..and my prayers were answered :)..
on our ride up there, he would peek and give me a smile for the camera then close his eyes again.. poor Dersky..

we had fun. we stayed overnight at the Delta Whistler Village Suites, perfect location for the village square, just within walking distance to most of the shops, restaurants and the skiing village… the weather was foggy when we arrived before noon, but the sun eventually showed up a little bit in the afternoon.

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this is an early Christmas treat from my Dersky, and it was all worth the trip! would love to visit there again and appreciate another of God’s beautiful handiwork and His gift to us. enjoy some photos i took 🙂

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“God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.” -Genesis 1:31

M.

Hope in not-so-good times…

“O, Holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
it is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth…”

Sang this very beautiful Christmas Carol last night in our church’s Christmas Dinner party, as well as in this morning’s service.. but instead of a calm heart, tears rolled down my cheeks… i apologize for having to share my emotions right now. i know i try my best to keep a positive, cheerful note in most of my blogs, but maybe not so much this time.

>my beloved country, the Philippines was struck by another killer flood due to typhoon Pablo (internationally designated as Typhoon Bopha) claiming about more than 500 lives and still rising. it is a flashback of what happened in Ormoc in November, 1991 (The Ormoc Tragedy of 1991) where an estimated 8,000 lives were claimed.. of Ondoy (Hurricane Ketsana), in 2009,, and many many similar natural calamities all over the world.

photos: inquirer.net & newshour24.com

photos: inquirer.net & newshour24.com

>i never followed Pacquiao’s boxing career, but just this morning, i heard the news that he lost his match against the mexican Marquez, in what they call a cold knock out. this will greatly affect poor Filipinos who tend to idolize Pacquiao despite going through hardship, it’s the one thing that uplifts their spirit especially in trying times, and then this….

in addition, “O, Holy Night” happened to be one of my dear mother’s favorite Christmas Carols.. i can imagine her humming or singing the tune, complete with her waving hand like conducting a choir, with eyes closed and a smile on her face, and hips a-swaying to the melodious tune….. i miss her so much.

“Long lay the world, in sin and error pining,
’til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of HOPE, the weary world rejoices,
for yonder breaks, a NEW AND GLORIOUS MORN….

i pray that rejoicing will still abound this Christmas, despite all sad news that we hear. there is always hope, for a firm ground to stand on, a lesson to learn in every hardship.

May the peace of God be with us always. May HOPE be alive in our hearts as we wait on the Lord. Amen.

Romans 12:12 
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

M.

Why Christmas?

to complete my blog about the purpose of Christmas…
WHO’S COMING TO TOWN  talks about the FIRST PURPOSE OF CHRISTMAS -which is CELEBRATION.
THE X IN X’MAS  talks about the SECOND PURPOSE OF CHRISTMAS – which is SALVATION..
the final purpose of Christmas is for RECONCILIATION..
i think this is the AMEN of all the three purposes… we hear the good news that our Lord Jesus came to earth to keep us out of trouble. i believe that once i allow Him to direct my life, once i surrender everything to Him, then, i have been reconciled with GOD, thus, i am at peace with HIM. and that is where all else will follow, i will have HIS peace, and peace with others as well.
Photo by MTEO_art design
“Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1
having peace in our hearts is the best result of receiving the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ. if i take away the CHRIST in “CHRISTIAN”,, the three remaining letters represent what i will be,,
                          I           -I
                             A            -am
                                  N              -nothing
so, with Jesus in my vessel, i can always smile at the storm… 🙂
i wish each and every one a very peaceful, blessed and merry Christmas.. May God’s peace rule your hearts now and always.
M.

the X in X’mas…

in algebra, x & y represent unknown values… we use them when trying to find an answer, say x = 1 + 1
well, did you know that the X in X’MAS does not represent anything unknown?
X in X’mas is SOMEONE sent to give an answer to my purpose in life!!!
X in X’mas is the CHRIST JESUS sent by God to save me!!
we had our second session of PURPOSE OF CHRISTMAS small group discussion. i thank God that my invitees were able to join us again. GOD is at work! we learned that the SECOND PURPOSE OF CHRISTMAS is that it is a time for SALVATION!
Today in the city of David there has been born for you a SAVIOR, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
Save me from what? He came to save me from my sins, that’s what, and it is by HIS GRACE that i have been freed from sin.
Imagine life without Jesus Christ, i will never have the joy of having my own counselor, free of charge and available at anytime; i will never feel the love of an everlasting Father; i will never experience having peace in my life; and most of all, i will never have one MIGHTY GOD to protect me and to lift me up in one hand in my time of sadness.. He is indeed, a SAVIOR, my SAVIOR, not an unknown “X”.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders,
and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” Isaiah 9:6
Third reason for Christmas to follow…
M.