Google+ peggy aplSEEDS: April 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

An Easter Season Wedding

I, too, had an Easter season wedding.  After being a widow for 9 years, I got married a second time; a new life, spring after winter, Easter after Good Friday...
"My beloved said to me,
‘Come then, my love, my darling,
The winter is over;
The rains have stopped;
In the countryside the flowers are in bloom.
This is the time for singing...
Song of Songs 2:10-12

Yes, a time for singing.  And this is the song that we sang as I walked down the aisle that day nine years ago...

We are the children of Easter morning
We sing to celebrate our new lives
The dawn of an eternal morning
The fulfillment of our ageless desires
We sing with joy in our hearts overflowing
We sing to beckon those who dwell in the dark
We'll keep on singing till all men celebrate
This Easter morn

We are the children of Easter morning
We sing to proclaim the Lord's might
Now there's meaning to our life of dying
For the Lord, our God, has conquered the night
With joy we dedicate our lives to the service
Of the God of Life whose goodness we've known
Until our lives be themselves our song of Easter morn

May our simple lives be a song of praise
To the goodness of the Lord
May the Lord delight in this song we sing
This song we live with joy
If we had to sing just one song
To the Lord, Creator of life
May our lives be that song resounding in praise
To the goodness and glory of God

As I watched the Royal wedding yesterday, I was struck by some of the words spoken by the Anglican Bishop of London, Dr. Richard Chartres (Excerpts copied from this post)...

"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves...

In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.

William and Catherine, you have chosen to be married in the sight of a generous God who so loved the world that he gave himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ.

And in the Spirit of this generous God, husband and wife are to give themselves to each another.

A spiritual life grows as love finds its center beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this; the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed. In marriage we are seeking to bring one another into fuller life.

It is of course very hard to wean ourselves away from self-centeredness. And people can dream of doing such a thing but the hope should be fulfilled it is necessary a solemn decision that, whatever the difficulties, we are committed to the way of generous love...

Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another their work of art...

As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We are all incomplete: we all need the love which is secure, rather than oppressive, we need mutual forgiveness, to thrive.

As we move towards our partner in love, following the example of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is quickened within us and can increasingly fill our lives with light. This leads to a family life which offers the best conditions in which the next generation can practice and exchange those gifts which can overcome fear and division and incubate the coming world of the Spirit, whose fruits are love and joy and peace...

Indeed, in marriage we must die to ourselves just as the song says, and "wean ourselves away from self-centeredness."   More important than a lavish wedding ceremony is how we live out our marriage.  And indeed, no matter how simple, "every wedding is a royal wedding!"

April 20, 2002

Thursday, April 28, 2011

David Wilkerson and the Cross and the Switchblade

Today, I finished rereading "The Cross and the Switchblade," a book I first read when I was a young girl coming to know the Lord in a deeper way.   At that time, when I read about how the author, David Wilkerson, experienced God's guidance and power, I was amazed!  Was it still possible, in this day and age to experience God in this way?  I asked myself.  Was it possible for me?  (Yes, it is!)  This book encouraged me to continue to seek God and know more of His ways.

The book tells of how David Wilkerson started a Christian ministry to young drug addicts and gang members in New York City in the 1950s and 1960s.  The ministry was eventually called "Teen Challenge" and many young people's lives were changed because of it.

Today, I googled David Wilkerson.  I was wondering what had become of Teen Challenge (Global Teen Challenge now has more than 1000 Teen Challenge programs in 80 countries.)  To my dismay and amazement, I found a news article that had just come out saying David Wilkerson had just died in a car accident.  Wow, it felt so strange.  I am saddened at the news but at the same time, I rejoice in a life so well lived.  Til the end, he served God, even writing an amazingly appropriate blog post on the day he died.

"Well done, good and faithful servant... Enter into the joy of your master."  Matthew 25:23

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday: I'm an Artist!

On my desk today...

my Madonna and Child work in progress and the One World One Heart prize I received from Bridget of  Stitchety Grub...(a "handmade textile bookmark made out of dispersal dyed fabric- with shiva/Markel stick embellishment, a butterfly and 3 Couronne (needle lace technique) dangly rings and a small mixed bag of textured threads and fabric scraps")...

a few pages of my childhood poems and drawings which I plan to scan...

two of my ATCs and the one on the right side is from Doone (thank you so much!)...

and the art materials I received from my hubby for our wedding anniversary last April 20!

This is what I came home to on my anniversary!  Surprise!  An easel and a canvas...

oil paints, acrylics, brushes, spatulas, Linseed oil, turpentine and even the funny shaped wooden palette that says to me, "You are an artist!"

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Good Friday Reflection

"But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?” They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!”John 18:39-40

Reading through the part in the bible where the crowd chose to save Barabbas over Jesus, I asked myself, why would they do that?  And yet, when I read the words of St. Alphonsus de Liguori, I realize I have done it too...

"My Lord, this I have done when I committed sin, I had then the choice of loving Thee or a vile pleasure, and I have answered, I wish for the pleasure, and care not to lose God.  This I then said, O my Lord, but I now say that I prefer Thy grace before all the pleasures and riches of the world..." (from "The Passion and the Death of Jesus Christ")

More excerpts from the book...

"As Jesus and Barabbas were proposed to the people, so it was proposed to the Eternal father to save his Son or sinful man.  The Eternal Father answered, Let my Son die, and let sinful man be saved." 

What great love the Father has for us!

O executioners, you have erred; this man is not guilty, it is I that have deserved these scourges..."

"...Oh my soul, wilt thou be one of those who look with indifference on thy God torn with scourges?  Reflect on his sufferings, but still more on the love with which thy sweet Lord submits to so excruciating a torture for thy sake. In his scourging, Jesus certainly thought of thee..."

Indeed, my beloved Redeemer, your passion is all about your passionate love for us, unworthy as we are.  May I never be indifferent or take for granted the great sacrifice you made for me.  Thank you, Lord, for the victory you won for us on the cross!

Linking up with Then Sings my Soul Saturday and Spiritual Sunday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maundy Thursday: Celebrating the Christian Seder Meal

From Wikipedia
Today we remember how Jesus and his disciples celebrated the Passover meal.  He washed the feet of his disciples and said...

In the Philippines, the next three days are holidays so it is a good time for me to meditate about what he did.  I ask myself, how can I complain or drag my feet when I have to serve or do things I would rather not do, when Jesus himself gave me this amazing example of service and humility?

Today we will be celebrating the Christian Seder meal, somewhat like the Jews celebrate their Passover. Have you ever celebrated the Seder meal?  It is a wonderful ceremony for Christians to celebrate Maundy Thursday meaningfully as a family.  It makes the story of the Israelites, our story too.  After all, Galatians 3:29 says, "And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise."

There are different ways to celebrate the Seder meal, with all its of symbolism.  Although I could not find a link to the exact way we do ours, here are some sites you can look up if you are interested in trying it out...

The Seder Meal as a Christian Home Celebration: Preparing and Celebrating the Holy Thursday Meal
A Christian Passover Seder for Holy Thursday
Introduction to a Christian Seder

May you have a meaningful  Easter Triduum!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday: Celebration!

Today, I'm celebrating my 9th year wedding anniversary!  What a precious blessing!  God is good!

I got the image from my altered book title page (erased the title) and added a greeting for my hubby, and printed it our for him (that is what my profile looks like).

I started on a Mother and Child...

and I finished a mixed media piece I entitled "Gentle"... 

Maybe I will give it away when I have a 300 followers giveaway. (Whaaaat? Some people other than my sisters follow me?! Another great reason to celebrate!)  And you can see the finished ATCs for my Lenten project (only a few more days to go!)

I also found an old book when I was organizing the library last weekend (dated 1909!) and plan to scan some images from it...

And that's what's on my desk today!  What's on yours?  Come and join us in What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Madonna and Child

Have I shown you this painting before? 

This is a 5.8" x 8.3" mixed media painting I made last year for a charity art auction organized by the Kidney Friends Foundation to benefit families of kidney patients.  This is one of the few original paintings I have sold.  I was surprised and delighted when someone actually wanted to buy my painting!

I made this using my favorite technique of watercolor and colored pencils on a gessoed background (tutorial here).

Have a lovely Sunday!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday: ATCs

Not much that is new in my workdesk today but you can see I decided to display my altered book and open it up to the page which illustrates Matthew 6:33...

Some ATCs in the making...

my Lenten ATCs...

and those of the previous weeks...


On the top shelf,  some of my old books,
my favorite antique doorknob and a childhood bunny...

And you?  What's on your workdesk?  Join the party and take a peek around the desks of the world.  Here's the list

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday: My Sewing Machine, A Furoshiki and ATC Trades

After an afternoon of altering clothes (such as cutting long sleeves to make them short), my sewing machine is still at the center of my desk (it is usually stored on the far end).

And at the back, you can see a "furoshiki," a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth, that I received from some recent visitors from Japan...

It is a square piece of cloth which can be used in many ways, from wrapping gifts to carrying groceries, the eco-friendly way.  Each year billions of plastic bags end up as garbage and so I always carry a reusable bag with me.  I haven't tried using the furoshiki but they say it can wrap almost anything regardless of its shape or size...

Then, there are also some wonderful ATCs that I received in the mail from trades I made in ATCs for All...

There are two collages and a textile one which makes me think about trying to make a textile one while my sewing machine is out.  But then, I also have those three backgrounds (underneath) that are waiting to be painted on.  Oh well, there are always so many projects I want to do and just not enough time.

And if you want to take a peek at what going on in other desks or if you want to show us What's on YOUR Workdesk this Wednesday, hop on over to Julia's Stamping Ground.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Another Drop of Hope

Last January I shared about our visit to the Aeta Community in the province of Pampanga.  This is a community of indigenous people who were relocated from where they used to live after Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991 (the second largest volcanic eruption of the twentieth century).  Unfortunately, the relocation site in Nabuklod, Pampanga (around 2 1/2 hours away from where I live) doesn't have running water.  They have to walk at least an hour to fetch water, and sometimes in the summer, around 3 to 4 hours!  And since the people are so poor, they don't even have good water containers to fetch water in.  Visiting them reminds me to be grateful for everything we take for granted, like running water.

Last March 20, we visited again and distributed a hundred water containers, taking part in the Patak ng Pagasa (Drop of Hope) project...

We had a medical mission where doctors prescribed and gave them medicine, as well as vitamins...

We had an eye doctor who gave them eyeglasses...

a dental mission...

and even surgery for two cleft lip patients.  Here is my wonderful hubby doing one of those operations.  He was one of those who planned the whole mission...

 We gave some gift bags to the children...

and gifts of food, slippers and clothes to the families...

Some people from our community provide English lessons and spiritual nourishment once a week (as well as water delivery) and we are also trying to look for livelihood opportunities for them.

Sometimes, if we are so comfortable with our lives, we can forget that there are so many people in need.  But I remind myself that I could have been born in that place, I could be in their shoes (or rather, in their slippers, since many of them don't have shoes).  Or I could have been born in one of those badly affected areas in Japan, so comfortable one moment, and heartbroken the next.

There is a joy in being able to help make this world a better place even in just a little way, a joy in being able to share with the less fortunate even for just a day.  Every little thing we do counts.  "Our deeds are like a stone cast into the pool of time.  Though they themselves disappear, their ripples extend to eternity".

And for Christians, there is also the added encouragement in the words of Jesus...

There is so much we can do to share our blessings, even from the comfort of our homes.  One click in the Hunger Site gives food to the hungry, play a game in Free Rice and each correct answer gets 10 grains of rice donated, or there are so many charities we can find through sites like Just Give or Charity Navigator.  Do you have a favorite way to share your blessings?
Related Posts with Thumbnails