This was taken last October 2015 at the Kuhl Concert. Kuh Ledesma shared and she asked her guests, Christopher de Leon, Fernando Carillo, Gary Valenciano, Jaya, Isabella Gonzalez, Kuh Ledesma, Perkins Twins, Regine Velasquez, and Tirso Cruz III their answer to “Why did you fall in love with Jesus and how?”
Individual Interviews during the concert:
God has only one (1) standard: Excellence. He is completely perfect in every sense. He also commands us that we should dwell and practice excellence in the way we think and do because this pleases Him. “In whatever we do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” – Colossians 3:23In contrast, “Pwede na” and mediocrity is man’s invention. It is natural for us to do “petiks” because it is more comfortable and easier to do.Excellence could have any interpretations, what is excellent to one may be mediocre to another. So what is critical is to set standards of work and deliverables. Once standards and expectations are clear and measurable, the more critical issue ishow I respond when the output/deliverable does not meet agreed standard.In pursuing excellence at work, I clarify expectations. I also clarify the standards/quality of the deliverable.If things don’t go well (and the employee commits an error, I resist from speaking harshly or speak in very high decibel!The first person I should handle is MYSELF. I need to calm myself first.When there is a mistake, I ASK… I don’t blame. I ask the person the basic questions the kindest way I could: What happened, why it happened, where did it happen, what procedure was not done properly, etc.Once the person realizes that there was an infraction in the work standard/behavior/procedure and he/she admits that he/she committed the mistake, then I ask how he/she will do it next time… This way, I am able to preserve the dignity and self-esteem of the other person but making it clear that he committed the error and there may be consequences to the error.In all likelihood, he/she will not repeat it again. Why, because we have clarified the reason why the mistake happened and he/she already knows how to do it better next time.
The better way of responding to mistakes is to ASK, not to TELL… and then FORGIVE.
This is God’s way … remember, when Adam ate the fruit, God did not immediately strike them with lightning! He asked Adam: “Where are you? … Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” And then He clothed them with garments of skin … to cover their nakedness, sin and shame.
Even as ISIS continues to terrorize to pursue its goal of seizing land and take over the entire Earth, as France retaliates to ISIS Paris attacks saying, “We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless,” on the other side of the world, my husband’s favorite goose might be harder to find. Hong Kong’s famous Yung Kee Restaurant might be forced to close down… the difference of 10% more shares from this billion (Hongkong) dollar business between brothers became the root for the family fallout. Human Trafficking survivor, Karla Jacinto, said she was raped 43,200 times. That’s not even nearing the tip of the iceberg. Current events sometimes incite the question, “What is the world coming to?”
Anne Graham Lotz, Billy Graham’s daughter, discusses spiritual signs, national signs, environmental signs, personal signs, global signs based on Scripture that point to the stage being set for the return of Jesus Christ.
“What are you, Shaman King?” my son asked me.
[I was in the middle of something when a golden teachable moment came. My son mentioned to me a situation wherein telling the truth would mean that there would be a setback for him.
We encounter those sometimes… Like when we went on a campus tour trip to Boston a few years ago, our hotel bill got slipped under the door on checkout day and I noticed that they forgot to bill us for the extra trolley bed we used.
Telling the truth to the front desk officer would inconveniently mean additional $30 per night on our bill which we could perhaps use for some ice cream or whatnot. But I had this conversation with the Lord, “Lord, following You is more important to me than pocketing $30 per night. Because You are most important to me. You can easily give me a hundredfold of that amount and You can easily also take away a hundredfold of that amount. I don’t want to profit wrongly and shortchange myself of the blessing of being in Your will.”
I can’t remember exactly how or when the Lord rewarded me for that act of obedience but I know that I feel a million times richer and more joyful and more blessed today than I did at that time not just moneywise but in growth of inner being, healing, relationships, etc.
Best of all, by God’s grace, my sons saw an example of telling the truth even when it has a consequence.
I just now belatedly recalled that after telling front desk about the unbilled trolley bed, the lady told me it was ok, the trolley bed would be complimentary! God was going to give me the freebie but He blessed me with a clear conscience as well! In addition, we got a free train ride because we got on the last car of the train and even with our fare money ready to pay, we already had to get off but had no idea who to give it to.
I read what my fingers typed in a hurry:
“Always tell truth. It’s the simplest and most liberating of all choices. Sometimes truth has consequences but better kind than the consequences for lie. Truth also receives more mercy. Usually lies don’t.”
I thank Holy Spirit for a way to promote truth without sounding like a lecturer. This time it’s sounding like a tv character.
I’ve heard the story from her mom and dad. I’ve watched the 700 club feature. I’ve read the book, When A Good God Allows Rape. But it was different watching her speak live at the Ikaw Na Ang Maganda event at CCF Marikina yesterday.
Joy walked in wearing a short, elegant, floral duchess satin dress that looked like fresh spring. She also looks like spring with flawless skin, beautiful long hair, a picture of feminine beauty, joy, and godly purity. Her voice is gentle yet confident. She gets real and straightforward even while she talked of what was lost and broken.
In front of us, the picture is a restored whole person even as the process of healing continues throughout our lives; this is her now, post-tragedy, the spring abundant after winter gloom … an awesome living example of God’s restoration from ruins and brokenness.
If you find yourself or someone you love at a place of discouragement or devastation, this is a powerful encouragement for you:
Malu Tiongson-Ortiz invited me to guest with her at CCF Marikina yesterday for the IKAW NA ANG MAGANDA Event, the name coming from Malu’s OMF#1 bestsellingbook of the same title.
Thanks to Waze, my friend Ann Dy and I made it to the venue quickly!
Joy Tanchi shared her testimony. I just read her book, When a Good God Allows Rape. I know the details but hearing it straight from her is just such a powerful not-to-be-missed story of God’s healing and restoration in brokenness.
I sang two songs, Blessings and Defying Gravity, Malu’s two favorites.
Malu and I discussed about makeup, inner and outer beauty, and women’s issues.
I had to get back to work and unfortunately missed the talk from Dra. Maria Rosario Sagrado-Luzod, MD, MHA on women’s health.
Malu did a makeup demo on five styles of makeup for the ladies. The event was supposed to end at 1pm but the ladies so enjoyed that they stayed on for almost another hour!
Sasa Felipe, Pastor Roy’s wife, was so glad that a lot of women came and were blessed!
It was an inspiring, relaxing, refreshing day of beauty.
Last Sunday, I had the privilege to once again partake of the legacy of a child I have never met. Her name is Lauren Santos, the firstborn of my friend and fellow parent, Dedet “The Lechon Diva” dela Fuente. Lauren was born with cerebral palsy. She lived a too-short span of thirteen years but her life continues to make a huge difference in the lives of others today.
Glimpses of her life which Dedet shared gave me a higher appreciation for the meaning of the event which Dedet, her younger daughters Lileya and Liyora put together: Project Wheelchair, a fundraising dinner to provide wheelchairs for the underprivileged.
This was Dedet’s speech that night:
Dedet’s sharing tugged deep in my heart. Looking at Loren’s pictures and hearing of those precious moments, my heart felt the longing of a mother for her child, the loss of a precious loved one, the helplessness and limitation to change a situation.
Some time ago, Dedet had shared with me her life journey and to say that it was challenging is an understatement. Understanding the back story moved me to see that Dedet chose to channel her pain from what must have been a cavernous loss into a far-reaching blessing. I asked her how she overcame; her reply came:
“It was one big hardship after the next but my parents instilled in me how much God has taken care of me. Even in the lowest points of my life, I always knew He was there for me. I always tell my children, ‘Life is not easy. You can have all the money but if you don’t have faith in God, you will never be able to survive.’ One of the turning points was when Lauren was about to pass on… I was able to overcome because I knew that God will be there for her… … It’s all about faith.”
In this article that sisters Lileya and Liyora wrote for the Philippine Star, they said that they wanted to “give the gift of mobility” [the ability to move forward] which in turn gives the opportunities for “the transformative experience…. second chances, and renewed hopes.”—– a metaphor for the very ministry of Jesus Christ for each one of us.
From Isaiah 61 which Jesus read in the synagogue , He describes His ministry to proclaim good news to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, release prisoners from darkness, proclaim the Lord’s favor, comfort all who mourn, provide for those who grieve, rebuild the ancient ruins and restore and renew what was devastated and ruined, to bring joy and beauty instead of mourning and ashes.
That is a parallel on a higher realm of the twelve-course degustacion menu I was taking in. First course: good news. Second course: healing . Third: freedom from bondage; fourth: light; favor, comfort, provision, restoration, joy, beauty… The unli degustation doesn’t end… Each day, more…
Dedet’s faith in God gave her hope “to keep going no matter the cards you’re dealt.” Dedet helped her daughters five years ago, the year that Lauren passed on, to join the Best Food Forward Bazaar to sell Liyora’s butter beer and Lileya’s Chocolate Happiness. That year, Lauren’s sisters were able to raise funds to buy two second-hand wheelchairs to give away.
Fast forward to November 15, 2015, with God’s favor, the wheels for Project Wheelchair turned and how! Held at the gorgeous Champagne Room of historic Manila Hotel courtesy of the generous Yap Family…
…Eighteen people from the culinary industry came together and prepared a degustacion menu.
With Spanky Enriquez hosting the event, around one hundred fifty guests braved the APEC traffic and heightened security to come and support the cause. [Many more supported the cause but were unable to attend.]
Delicious, beautiful food after the next— the labor of love of different chefs— were dished out for the guests.
The preceding photos brought together by different people to complete the whole picture resonated the contributions of people coming together in the bayanihan spirit, a noteworthy Filipino practice.
Behind the scenes, more people volunteered their time anonymously… among them, Lea Stroem to do administrative organizing work, Leo Nemenzo to put together the slide show for Lauren, Sharwin Tee to manage the food flow on the night of the event, and many other kind-hearted men and women who genuinely wanted to help even without any credit. Lord, thank You that You are the Great Rewarder/ Repayer and You don’t miss anything.
The goal was reached and will perhaps be surpassed! One hundred fifty wheelchairs with the gift of mobility (and as the two sisters wish, to give opportunities for “the transformative experience…. second chances, and renewed hopes.”) will be distributed to those who need them. Dedet wants to help not just the person with disability but his family and caregivers, the people around him whose caregiving burden will be much eased. This will help them to move on as well.
Of Project Wheelchair, Dedet says, “This entire mission would not have been possible without our beloved Lauren. This is for you, Lauren, and for all those who keep moving forward in life.”
Dedet posted this on her Facebook timeline on the night of the event:
It had this caption:
“Tonight, with the help of so many, there will be at least 150 people who be thanking the Lord above for having a new wheelchair. – Dedet dela Fuente”
Thank You Lord!
More photos from Project Wheelchair which turned out to be a lovely reunion with friends, old and new. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take photos of everyone but I’m blessed to see every single person I met that night.
There are so many blessings to count. My staff members’ talents are put to use and I see them develop in their jobs. Creativity is called forth in the day to day.
Even though I’m an unschooled ordinary girl in the culinary world, the Lord has allowed me to see what His grace can enable me to do. When my brother in law, Kirk, suggested that I take up a culinary course, it really appealed to me to officially be a chef. But after attending three sessions at ISCAHM, several acts of God happened. My father passed away and I was absent three weeks from the wake, burial, and mourning. Then Typhoon Ondoy came. Then the unique phenomenon of a Fujiwara storm—the departing storm is pulled back by the incoming storm so the resulting Typhoon Melor came back with a vengeance. I had so many absences that I pondered God wasn’t prospering my quest to have a title. This way, I couldn’t credit a school but it would point to Him as the Enabler.
He’s been giving the joy and privilege to help people celebrate wonderful milestones and tributes for loved ones.
It is truly a delight to witness not just the overt celebrations but also the quiet reconciliations, the father-and-daughter bonding over homework, an adult son taking his elderly mother out for merienda, people getting a refreshing break from their routines, and all the wonderful sharing and caring that bread-breaking provides the platform for.
I get to meet people from the North, South, and from outside the country.
At times, I feel like a Cheers bartender. Sometimes the Lord allows for people to share with me their struggles or circumstances— a young man is struggling with a drastic change in circumstances, a mother worried for her faraway child, a grown daughter saddened to see a usually strong mother weak, sisters who haven’t spoken to each other for years, a wife experiencing a turbulent season in her marriage. It becomes an opportunity for praying.
The family kitchen is usually where these exchanges could take place in a home. I’m blessed to have the humble little shop as the venue for life to turn with graces from God.
Part 2: Here’s the radio interview of the episode