"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." (Albert Einstein)

Monday, June 27, 2005

My Birthday Dinner, the Golden Wedding Anniversary, then Off to Boracay We Go! God Bless Our Trip!!!

I spent the whole Saturday (my birthday) working, then I had a scrumptious dinner w/my family to celebrate my birthday! I was too busy that I had to catch up w/them in the restaurant, but I really enjoyed their company.

Then yesterday (Sun.), I went to the beautiful, solemn, touching, festive & joyous occasion, that is the golden wedding anniversary of Cacof's parents. Aside from the delectable buffet, my friends & I really enjoyed that reunion w/her family & w/each other! After the party, we stayed overnight at the Sulo Hotel (where her family also happened to stay), and had more bonding.

Today (Mon.), I went home, went to work, then I had to pack up my things. Coz tomorrow (Tues.), I'll fly to boracay w/three long-time dear college friends: Atinna, Cacof & Joyacs. I'm certain that it will be a grand & riotous (long overdue) reunion indeed! And this will definitely be a much-needed break for me! I guess the pictures will really speak for themselves, I can't wait! So I'll surely post the pictures as soon as I can! Mis amigas, vamos a la playa! God bless our trip!

We watched Cacof's parents dancing "The Tennessee Waltz" on their beautiful golden wedding anniversary at Fernwood Gardens!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Blaise Pascal

As a fitting tribute to my Creator, Savior & Lord Jesus, I pondered on the testimony of BLAISE PASCAL (French scientist, mathematician, physicist, philosopher, moralist & writer). The article cited below is found on this website: http://poptop.hypermart.net/testbp.html

These testimones are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the role model! These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!

His Life Before Jesus Came In:
Blaise Pascal [1623-1662] (the French genius who in his brief lifetime made numerous world-changing discoveries) knew there was much, much more [last name sometimes carried as paschal...a word meaning of or pertaining to the Passover or Easter].

His namesake may have been St. Blaise, a Jesus follower & probably a bishop of Sebastea in Armenia who was martyred under the reign of Licinius in the early fourth century. Many Catholics might remember Saint Blaise's feast day because of the Blessing of the Throats that took place on this day. Two candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is said. Saint Blaise's protection of those with throat troubles apparently comes from a legend that a boy was brought to him who had a fishbone stuck in his throat. The boy was about to die when Saint Blaise healed him.

Blaise Pascal grew up in Paris, schooled at home by his father. He showed early promise: at age eight he wrote his first scientific paper; at 16 he wrote a mathematical essay that broke new ground in the field of geometry.
When he was 19, Pascal invented a calculating "machine", a forerunner of modern computers. At 23, he made major discoveries in physics and proved the existence of the vacuum. This paved the way for hypodermic syringes, barometers, and hydraulic devices. Pascal also came up with the mathematical theory of probability and helped shape the field of calculus.

From his teens, he often suffered great pain in his legs; as an adult he became partially crippled. One night, unable to sleep due to the pain, he arose and wrote down the solution to a problem that advanced a very difficult area of mathematics.

Yet, though Pascal knew very well the power of the mind and the potential of human reason, he also knew that people cannot solve the deepest mysteries and needs of life with their minds alone. He understood that mankind is at the same time very great and very flawed.

Through various personal trials, Pascal became more and more a religious man. He was much affected when his niece was miraculously healed of a tumor. After he was nearly killed in a carriage accident, he was converted in 1654 (age 31) to a deep relationship with Jesus Christ.

His Life Since Jesus Came In:
The day on which he found peace with God was so important to him that he wrote a reminder of it on parchment and sewed it into the lining of his coat. He kept this coat for the rest of his life, and the note was found there when he died at age 39.

In it he told how he had come to know "the God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob." He ended by writing, "I will not forget thy word."

In 1662, from the room where he lay painfully dying, Pascal observed the plight of the poor in the streets, having to trudge long distances while the rich comfortably rode. One of his last great ideas was the bus--public transportation. Among the many quotable quotes of this greatest of all French thinkers is, "There is a God-shaped vacuum in every heart."

He also constructed a wager as to the truth of God & Christianity called Pascal's wager: Either Christianity is true or it's false. If you bet that it's true, and you believe in God and submit to Him, then if it IS true, you've gained God, heaven, and everything else. If it's false, you've lost nothing, but you've had a good life marked by peace and the illusion that ultimately, everything makes sense. If you bet that Christianity is not true, and it's false, you've lost nothing. But if you bet that it's false, and it turns out to be true, you've lost everything and you get to spend eternity in hell.

His wager is an attempt to say to doubters that belief in Jesus is a can't lose situation...if Jesus is a lie (the "bet" for Jesus is lost), yet you live according to His teaching, you can't help but live a "good" present life; and whatever atheists believe will come to pass eternally. If the bet for Jesus is won (Jesus believers/followers actually do have hold of THE TRUTH), then you get the "good" current life AND eternal dwelling with God when you die. Since you get a good current life by following Jesus (whether the facts of Jesus are true or false), then it only make sense to follow Jesus.

Then I would add: the only true power in life comes with true Jesus belief as Savior which causes the incoming of the Holy Spirit to empower the truly fulfilled & peace-filled life of the true Jesus believer.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Musings on My Birthday! And What Do You See on This Picture?

Today is my birthday! Especially today, I am reminded of what's most important to me! Thus, I remember the picture that was emailed to me by a good friend a few years back (file name: whatdoyousee.jpg). After a few minutes of looking at this picture, you will see something indeed!

What do you see?

And here's an article I received by email (from http://www.chickensoup.com/) on my birthday a few years ago. Talk about perfect timing, and it really struck a chord in me! I hope it will inspire others, as it has inspired me. God bless!

"Who Is the Tutor? Who Is the Student?"
By: Nancy Waller

I helped a fellow student learn to read when we were in fifth grade, and I've wanted to do it again ever since. Well, some thirty years later, through a long series of events that had to be more divine intervention than coincidental, I finally had my chance. I took a tutoring course through Literacy Volunteers of America. As I neared completion of the course, the local student/tutor coordinator called me and asked very hesitantly, "You wouldn't be interested in tutoring a prisoner down at the jail, would you?" I paused for a moment, thinking of my busy schedule and the requirement to meet away from the student's or tutor's home. By teaching a prisoner, I'd only need to consider one person's schedule - mine. The prisoner should be available virtually any time, and we'd have a perfect place to meet - the jail. So, I agreed to take on a convicted felon as a student.

Being a self-righteous, Miss Goody Two-shoes, I thought, "What a great opportunity. Not only will I have a chance to teach someone to read, but I can also set a good example for this guy and let him know someone cares about him. Maybe all this would make the difference in turning his life around. Wow!"

A few weeks later we met and began to work on his reading. At the end of the second lesson, he asked me if I would teach him to read his Bible. I had to stop myself from laughing out loud. I hadn't been to church except for weddings and funerals in more than twenty years. Furthermore, did he really think I was going to be suckered into believing he had had a jailhouse conversion? I told him, "I'm not sure that's something we could work on just yet. The Bible is a hard book to read with a lot of big words, but I'll see what I can do."

While I wasn't convinced he really wanted to know God's word, he had expressed an interest. I had been taught in the course to use material the student was interested in learning, so I located some Bible study material designed for adults at a low reading level. Near the end of each lesson, we'd turn to the Bible study material, and surprisingly, he would read it consistently with greater accuracy that the easier material we worked on earlier.

After many weeks of working together, occasionally I began to take him things such as brownies, cookies and pens. I always brought small amounts because I heard prisoners will use most anything for trading purposes. The next session after receiving these tokens, he would always thank me, tell me how much he had enjoyed them and who he had shared them with. Shared? I thought. I brought barely enough for one person, much less two or three. But, regardless of how little I brought, he told me how he shared. This prisoner who had so little shared it all.

After we had completed several of the Bible studies, he asked me where I went to church. When I told him I hadn't attended since I was a teenager, he scolded me and told me I ought to go. Interestingly during that same time period, several people invited me to visit their church. As we studied the Bible lessons, we read one section on making choices, and we talked about the poor choices he made in his life that resulted in his incarceration. More was going on in my head than what he was saying. I had made choices, too, most of them good, but one in particular wasn't. I had consciously decided not to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior. I was a good person and could get by on that very well, thank you very much.

Fortunately, more and more "coincidences" happened over the next few months, and I began to attend church. Through working with this young man, in whom I could see Christ's qualities, I saw the need to rethink my previous decision. I feel very blessed to have had this prisoner touch my life and bring Christ into it. Who do you think was the tutor and who the student?