Category: Relationships

More Thanks!

A month ago, this website was deactivated by bluehost.com due to phishing. I don’t know much what phishing is but apparently someone was able to get in the website and used it to launch malicious stuff in the web. The love of money (being the root of all evil), was the cause. People who don’t want to work commit crimes for easy money. Movies make it seem like this is cool to do, but in reality it is called stealing.

I was downhearted for a while, then a few days later I contacted my web host (bluehost.com). They referred me to a third-party malware scanner and cleaner and told me to have them scan the website and then let them know so I can reactivate it. I did just that and it cost a bundle for the cleanup and now for protection, for the next few months.

I am thankful to God that I was able to do something about it. I’d hate to lose the contents because I believe it will help my grandchildren in their character building and future endeavors. I got the website back so now I will have time to move the contents to Word or a pdf file so I can make an e-book out of it.

I thank sitelock.com also for fixing the problem. Normally I don’t endorse any commercial entities in this site but I think this should be a good exception.

For the next few months I will be downloading and converting the contents to a pdf file. When I get done, I will close this website. For all of you who spent your precious time and reading my posts, many many thanks! I enjoy writing it because it may have helped some of you in one way or the other.

I plan to post as much as possible for the next few months. Hopefully, five posts a month. Then just before you know it, it’s time to say farewell. I’ll let you know what website my contents will be posted before I close this account.

Many thanks to you, dear readers. And May you have your best year in 2018, and 2019 and so on.

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Thank You, Lord!

Today is probably one of the most important holidays in good ol’ U.S.A. A day of Thanksgiving for many blessings: good health, prosperity (a subjective term), divine protection – among the thousands of blessings I’ve enjoyed this year.

My grandchildren are both in good health. My kids and their spouses too. My wife and I are in relatively good health – and we feel we are more physically fit than last year. My wife and I are still employed even though we have been expecting to be laid off for a few years now, because our office is transitioning to employing the younger generation.

I’ve gone closer in my relationship with the God of Heaven, thanks to a two day stay in the hospital. In the end, it was not something that was really alarming, but every time I go to a hospital, I often wonder if it’s my last days or is God guiding me and my medical providers to make changes to my medication and/or diet.

My wife and I live a boring life. We stay home when we are not working, do a little chore in the house, tend to garden plants once a week, read, babysit, watch movies on TV, eat out (less often now). I’m content with a boring life and then a few days ago – I read that boring lifestyles is what make a marriage last. Oh, so that’s why we’ve been married for over three decades now. Just kidding. God guided us throughout our marriage in ways hard to explain. My wife is a good wife, phenomenal even so that helps.

I’ve faced some life challenges: family separation during navy deployments is one of the most stressful. Military life is stressful but the structure makes it easy to handle. Money was scarce and not until we went on a closer relationship with God that we figured out how to be wise financially.

Ever since I was a young child, I felt thankful for every little material thing I get – my first bell bottomed pants for example. For every little victory – finding a ride after walking four kilometers in flooded streets when I was a teenager. I always thanked God and always asked for help. When I got busier I made my prayers shorter and infrequent but I now try to pray and be thankful more.

Today is Thanksgiving Day, Lord – but You know I’m thankful to you for every second of my life!

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Love Thoughts

It’s the new year! I can’t believe it’s now 2017. It’s the second month already. I still remember 2007, even 1997 – but that seems too long ago now. I thought of making some notes on LOVE to start the new year. Why Love? Because LOVE makes the world go round (literally – I’ll explain later).

These notes are random thoughts. Every paragraph is a different thought than the next. They may interconnect or they may not. Whenever a thought comes to mind, I write it down. Then I made this post.

The whole universe can be summarized in one word:  Love. It is the reason why human beings exist. It is the same reason why we continue to thrive despite the imperfect world we live in. It will be the reason someday to keep loving.

A difficult form of love is Tough Love – people think that if you are tough on someone that means you don’t love them. Au contraire! Some people still think that loving someone means telling them only what they want to hear – instead of what’s good for them.

Love is like a drop of water that creates outgoing waves. The outpouring of our personal love should reach the persons closest to us first:  spouses, children, grandkids, parents, siblings, friends and relatives, employees, employers and finally, other people. It can’t be the other way around.

Someone said that the opposite of love is not hate, but apathy or indifference. How about selfishness? Most of the problems in the world would be solved if 99% of the people are unselfish. That would be impossible in this world. But the ones that LOVE make a big difference.

God’s love for us is what turns the world. Yeah, there are forces (gravity, centripetal and centrifugal, etc.) there that makes it possible. But who made those forces? The same forces can be changed by God – in fact the world can literally turn back in time and it did happen. Not convinced? With the world wide web, it’s very easy to research.

This is the month for Valentine’s day. I always think why do we have to designate a day for Love? Does that mean it’s ok not to love our spouses, etc if it’s not designated as the day for Love? And why wait for that day to spend quality time or give gifts. Every day is a day fit for loving. Let’s love daily!

I like this format so much that I will cut it short, that way you may read it now instead of waiting for another 200 words before I post.  That’s loving, isn’t it?

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My Need To Improve

I started writing this just before the last few days of last year. I might as well title this as “New Year’s Resolution” but that would be too obvious. Days passed by, I still could not figure out how to organize my thoughts but I kept on coming back and editing and finally, four weeks later…

We all need to improve, right? What do we need to improve on? There’s many facets of our lifestyle and behavior that immediately comes to mind. However, it’s only us that can honestly say which ones are subject to improvement. Without an honest assessment, it would be regression on a slow slope to mediocrity and below.

Let me start by patting myself of the back for improving on a few aspects of my life last year: namely, going to bed early and getting up early. I also got rid of watching sports on TV (I don’t watch sports in person either because it is an expensive undertaking). We got rid of cable TV also which gave us hours of productivity.

It took me years to really get into the changes stated above. I always had it in the back of my mind that to do those changes but it still took me approximately 2-4 years before I changed each habit. The intent was there, all I needed was the proper timing to make it work. It finally happened after we moved to a new place because I got so tired from moving that I chose sleep over activity.

For this year’s improvement, I had to figure out what I really wanted in life:  Time, Health, Relationships, Financial Independence (in no particular order).

From those values, I picked a few things that will enhance it.

Here’s my short list. Short so it’s doable, yet has significant positive impact.

Bible Reading

I need to read the bible more because this is one of best ways to get closer to God. I used to go cover to cover every year. Did I think I will be able to fully understand it after the first two years? No, I thought that it would give me a little familiarity for future intensive reading. The last few years I handpick the books (mostly New Testament) I want to read each year. Problem is I give myself too little to read. Goal:  One Chapter of 3-5 Books per night.

Exercise Consistency

We started a comprehensive exercise program a few months ago by joining a gym. This is just a matter of maintaining our physical fitness by going a few times a week. We do mostly 30 minutes sessions – any longer takes too much time and any lesser does not do much. Bottom line: one year at a time – consistent physical exercise by gym workouts and bicycling.

Austerity

I have discussed how we managed our finances and given advice on how to save on things and to spend wisely. I want to dive deeper. Why austerity? Because we really don’t have control on our income. But we definitely have control on income received. We become financially better off by strictly controlling our expenses. Target:  Concentrate on saving and cutting expenses daily.

There, I laid it out in the line for all to read. That makes me accountable for those goals. I’ll give you an update just before the year ends.

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Praying How

In the past few months, my family and I have prayed almost relentlessly for my granddaughter Addy who was born prematurely. It was a hard experience and I can tell you that many hard experiences is what my life seemed to specialize in.  Only this time it was harder.  Almost everyday was a harrowing experience and it took a toll on our health.

Thank God that she’s now better. There are still issues that a normal baby goes through but I believe the scary phase was over. In the last few months I did the most intensive praying ever in my whole existence. Dozens of people did the same thing (some of them unsolicited). Thank you to all who prayed!

How did I do the praying? There is a pattern which is outlined in the Book of Matthew. It is also known as the Lord’s Prayer, or simply “Our Father”.  I have prayed it dozens (hundreds?) of times in the past yet I only learned the pattern not too long ago from Pastor Doug’s sermon.

I only copy the pattern but I don’t repeatedly pray the Lord’s prayer itself. I try to vary my vocabulary as if I’m composing a love letter to my wife (but I still have ways to go in this area).

The first thing is praising and thanking God for the major things. Anyone’s list will be significantly different from mine but one common thing to be praiseful/thankful for is Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name, Thy Kingdom Come – These phrases emphasize that we are praying to the only true God who resides in Heaven; Hallowed means Holy; His Kingdom will someday be here on Earth.

Thy Will Be Done – God’s will is to give us eternal life – His enemies have the opposite objective. But He gave us free will so we’re free to love Him back (or love His enemies).

Ask for forgiveness. For what? There’s quite a few things we do that offends God.  We can start with the Ten Commandments. Which ones did we break? Contrary to popular opinion, we don’t need another person to ask God for us to forgive our sins. We go straight to God for forgiveness, with a contrite heart. And yes, we must forgive our offenders too.

More gratitude for things that went right – for the day starting and ending productively with minor glitches. Also, gratitude for the things that went wrong – at least we now know how to fix those mistakes and avoid it in the future.  More thankfulness for life events, accomplishments, ideas, materials things – there’s literally hundreds of things to be thankful for.

I ask for strength, wisdom, guidance, protection and endurance. I even pray for my daily subsistence even though I know that He will provide – because I want Him to know that I’m totally dependent on His grace.

The prayer list next: Pray for spouse, children and grandkids (if you’re blessed with one or a dozen already). Your Family first before everyone else. Then your parents, siblings and their families. Then more families and friends and whoever else requested you to pray for them. I ask for them the same thing that I asked above: wisdom, guidance, protection, endurance. I also add enlightenment and a softening of the heart to accept the Truth.

Prayer lifts us up closer to God. Like I told my wife, my granddaughter drew me closer and made me love God even more.

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With Great Gratitude

This year was the most hectic year in our lives.

We started the year with my wife and I getting sick at the same time. It lasted about a week. It’s bad enough to get bedridden. It’s worse when your spouse is also bedridden and not able to take care of you. We passed that one, thank God!

Plentiful blessings went our way. The amount of blessings we receive year after year are unbelievable sometimes. Not in a materialistic sort of way but rather in amazement that were getting blessed with so much.

We’re thankful (with credit to my sister in law M.A. who texted this last night) for the things that we didn’t receive. It is a truly a blessing.  For example, if I won a $100M lottery – I consider it more of a curse than a blessing. Of course, I might change my mind if I actually win. I don’t buy lottery tickets so there’s zero chance it will happen!

We are thankful for having a rather pleasant life. I mean many things can go wrong yet they don’t. The other day I had a flat tire while driving at fast freeway speed. I still drove for another 7 miles before deciding that it’s time to pull over because there was a “blap-blap-blap” noise coming from the tire.  Eight years ago was my last flat tire before this one. The 2008 flat tire event happened within 50 feet of a tire shop. How cool is that?

Among the many highlights of this year was the birth of my granddaughter who was born prematurely. Premature babies need an immense amount of care and love just for them to survive. Everyday we experienced peaks and valleys of emotion. By God’s grace and through the prayers of numerous prayer groups, churches, friends and families, our miracle baby got through those trials and is ever improving.

We’re grateful for the trials that God allowed to happen in our lives. Without it, we won’t have patience, perseverance, wisdom and an understanding of how God operates. It helped (and is still helping) us to optimize and prioritize our time and resources. It allowed us to be completely dependent on the Lord

Trials give us character. Prayers lift us up to God. Every good thing comes from Him. We have nothing but Praise!

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

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A Fresh Start

It’s been a few days now after the national election – and we have a new President. Mixed emotions are all over the news – from joy to shock and anything in between and beyond. That’s the beauty of a democratic society – we all agree to disagree in our choices but in the end the guy we elected will run the show and we either love or despise him or her for the next four years. Then it’s time to pick another one hoping our candidates will be elected.

When I first arrived in the U.S. I was happy that the President was Reagan. He started the process to build a 600-ship navy.  That means I’ll have plenty of choices for duty stations.  I think Reagan was a good president especially because I compared him to the President of the country that I just left. We’ll call him President X for reference. He was proven to be corrupt and gathered so much wealth even though his official pay was less than my pay while in boot camp.

I was super happy to have left my old country because the President X’s government was corrupt and there’s no checks and balances. If you’re poor you can be a victim anytime. If you’re rich and you’re not in their inner circle, they take away your possessions. Armed military ran the show and there’s no freedom for regular folks.

Before I came to the U.S. I already had this intense desire to live here someday (just like millions of people around the world). I read up about a thousand magazines/books/publications about the U.S., excelled in my U.S. History and U.S. Government classes, and (you’ll love this one) I watched only U.S. made movies for years just before my feet touched the LAX tarmac.

When I arrived, I felt like I was part of the culture already. Of course, since English was not my first language – I had to think what I have to say first in my old language, do a quick translation in my head and then talk. After a few years, it’s the other way around.

Now back to this election – I have an unwritten rule of not saying who I voted for so I won’t. To me it is a fresh start again. I personally prefer that every four years, we have a new President, as well as members of congress, mayors, etc. – I think it’s more dynamic that way and better for the nation.

In my humble opinion, the U.S. government is the best government in this flawed world. Is it perfect? No!  Is it the best form of government? No!  Is it less corrupt than most government? Probably. However, the U.S. will not be the most powerful nation on earth if its government is just average.

The local and national news are full of people with different reactions to the newly elected officials, especially the President.  I don’t control other people’s opinion but I had to be accountable for my action. In short, what should I do?   Let’s refer to the Bible’s teaching on how to deal with leaders:  Treat them with proper respect and pray for them. I would do that regardless of any country I’m in because that’s what my Maker wants me to do.

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