Mad over Nori
I called it unusual because I used to take Nori for granted whenever I encounter it on my plate. I used to regard Nori as an additional spice on my cup of rice or ramen but I’ve never really treated it as an tasty snack until a colleague showed me how Nori can be enjoyed as a snack.
Think chips but with a healthier take.
Ever since that day, I must have already bought 20 packs of Nori in different brands and different packaging. I’ve been putting a generous amount of it on my rice, my soup, and of course, as a welcome snack after a day’s work.
Call it temporary insanity but I don’t think I’ll get over it soon.

Mad over Nori

I called it unusual because I used to take Nori for granted whenever I encounter it on my plate. I used to regard Nori as an additional spice on my cup of rice or ramen but I’ve never really treated it as an tasty snack until a colleague showed me how Nori can be enjoyed as a snack.

Think chips but with a healthier take.

Ever since that day, I must have already bought 20 packs of Nori in different brands and different packaging. I’ve been putting a generous amount of it on my rice, my soup, and of course, as a welcome snack after a day’s work.

Call it temporary insanity but I don’t think I’ll get over it soon.


 God’s gifts
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8: 10


Last year, God gave me an opportunity to pool together a group of people with big hearts to help a sick boy have a new orthopedic bed.
We gathered our resources and set forth to bring joy to a kid we’ve never known before. In our hearts, we knew God called us to bring his blessings and we simply answered God’s call.
Because He is mighty and powerful, God not only made it possible for Lemuel to have his orthopedic bed, God made sure there is enough money for his medicines and for his little brother.
Our hearts were filled with overflowing happiness having been used by God to bless others.  We were contented by that act of faith knowing that we have put a smile on a young boy’s face.
But God is so good and gracious that He made sure we get our reward too.
This year, I received a journalism award and I was able to buy a car.
A friend of mine received a fellowship grant abroad.
Others also experienced milestones and breakthroughs in their lives that only God can bring.

Thank you Lord.
Bracing for more opportunities to serve and be blessed in 2014.

 

 God’s gifts

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8: 10

Last year, God gave me an opportunity to pool together a group of people with big hearts to help a sick boy have a new orthopedic bed.

We gathered our resources and set forth to bring joy to a kid we’ve never known before. In our hearts, we knew God called us to bring his blessings and we simply answered God’s call.

Because He is mighty and powerful, God not only made it possible for Lemuel to have his orthopedic bed, God made sure there is enough money for his medicines and for his little brother.

Our hearts were filled with overflowing happiness having been used by God to bless others.  We were contented by that act of faith knowing that we have put a smile on a young boy’s face.

But God is so good and gracious that He made sure we get our reward too.

This year, I received a journalism award and I was able to buy a car.

A friend of mine received a fellowship grant abroad.

Others also experienced milestones and breakthroughs in their lives that only God can bring.

Thank you Lord.

Bracing for more opportunities to serve and be blessed in 2014.

 

(Source: mannaforjenny)

Second Place, Best News Story. Burgos Jr. Journalism Awards for Biotechnology. 
Century Park Hotel Ballroom. November 28, 2013
All Glory and Honor Belong to God.

Second Place, Best News Story. Burgos Jr. Journalism Awards for Biotechnology. 

Century Park Hotel Ballroom. November 28, 2013

All Glory and Honor Belong to God.

Traveling and God’s grace

I love traveling. It is my ultimate stress-reliever. 

Every year, I look forward to traveling to a place I’ve never been to. It gives me a bigger view of the world. It drowns my worries because I am reminded of how vast God’s creation is and that nothing is permanent except change and God’s grace. 

This year, I have opted to postpone my traveling schedules because my sister entered medical school. As a dutiful older sister, I help finance her expenses and I am pinning my hopes on her to become a compassionate and intelligent doctor someday.

One night, I silently told God that I am sad not having any travel plans this year but I am surrendering it all  to Him. 

In that prayer, I cast all my cares upon Him and I never gave it a thought anymore. I went on with my life just as happily. 

But God is so good and He never runs out of good surprises.

He gave me free travels soon after that prayer. In one of those travels, I was able to turn an old friendship stronger and in the second one, I saw how intricate human relationships are and the tremendous amount of grace He has given me to understand it. God gave me the protection that I needed in one of the most confusing situations I’ve ever been to. He made me see how strong and mature I have become over the years but I also felt His instructions on what I should do next. 

 ”Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Traveling and God’s grace

I love traveling. It is my ultimate stress-reliever. 

Every year, I look forward to traveling to a place I’ve never been to. It gives me a bigger view of the world. It drowns my worries because I am reminded of how vast God’s creation is and that nothing is permanent except change and God’s grace. 

This year, I have opted to postpone my traveling schedules because my sister entered medical school. As a dutiful older sister, I help finance her expenses and I am pinning my hopes on her to become a compassionate and intelligent doctor someday.

One night, I silently told God that I am sad not having any travel plans this year but I am surrendering it all  to Him. 

In that prayer, I cast all my cares upon Him and I never gave it a thought anymore. I went on with my life just as happily. 

But God is so good and He never runs out of good surprises.

He gave me free travels soon after that prayer. In one of those travels, I was able to turn an old friendship stronger and in the second one, I saw how intricate human relationships are and the tremendous amount of grace He has given me to understand it. God gave me the protection that I needed in one of the most confusing situations I’ve ever been to. He made me see how strong and mature I have become over the years but I also felt His instructions on what I should do next. 

 ”Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

(Source: 500px.com)

Friend or foe? Examining your friendships

Do you have a friend who makes you feel uncomfortable with her remarks or jokes making you feel like she’s purposely putting you down in some way? It hurts doesn’t it? It hurts even more especially if you have that ‘friend’ in your inner circle.image 

I have been too busy since I can remember so I did not really have the time to think about this sensitive topic until recently. 

I just came back from a beach vacation (thus, my blog photo) and I had quite a few hours to listen to my spirit and digest some of the things that it is telling me. 

One of the things that struck me was the way this friend has been treating me for the past few months. I love this friend. I have her in my inner circle. We have known each other for quite a long time and we’re really close. But lately, I realized, she’s been dishing out some hurtful comments masked as jokes every time she gets the chance to do so.  

…And she did it again recently. TT_TT

At first, I felt like I should come up with a strong answer against her exaggerated statements. I felt that I should tell her right there and then that I am feeling ridiculed and that she is getting way out of line. 

But I waited…I took a deep breath and in true Jenny fashion, I let it go. 

In fact, I sort of laughed along with her.  

I contemplated on that episode during my vacation. I wanted that negative emotion to leave me because I love her. 

So I prayed…I poured out my heart to God. 

And last night, here is what He told me: 

"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." Romans 12:14

After meditating on that verse, I suddenly remembered that my friend has flaws too. She may be jealous of me because of the good things that are coming my way recently. When I thought about that, I felt compassion for her. I suddenly had the heart to understand her even more.

My favorite preacher Joel Osteen said something about not having all our friends in the way we’re supposed to go. When we move forward, not all friends will understand us. In fact, some may even try to discourage us thinking that our choices may not be the best for us.

Painful as it may seem, some friends will really not understand how you are changing especially if the change is strongly from within. 

I still love that friend but I realize now that there has to be some changes in our friendship in order for me to really grow. 

Surrendering my life to the Lord is the best decision I have ever made in my life and if that friendship is making me doubt all the strides I have made since that day, I believe I have to choose what my spirit is telling me. I love her and I will always treat her as a close friend but I think it is time to loosen up the strings so I could fly a bit higher than before. 

"The mark of a mature relationship is that you can relax if your friend is moving away. In all our relationships, we move together and apart." Pastor, author and counselor Alan Loy Mc Ginnis

 
A lovely thank you note 
 
“We are simply God’s servants…each one of us does the work which the Lord gave him to do: I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plant, but it was God who made the plant grow.” Corinthians 3:5-6 (TEV)
 
I received a message in my Facebook inbox recently about a girl whom I’ve known for quite some time now. 
The girl, C, was one of those who attended a two-hour lecture I gave to a group of campus journalists some years ago. She was then a wide-eyed high school senior contemplating on what to take up in College. 
During my lecture, I knew that C enjoyed it so much judging from how she enthusiastically participated in the activities. The look in her eyes also made it clear to me that she is interested and very much eager to learn.  
A few days after my lecture, she told me that I have helped her to decide that journalism is right for her and that it is her calling in life. She said she enjoyed my lecture so much and that I inspired her to pursue a life-long dream. 
Fast forward several years later, Cheska has attained her college degree with flying colors. She became the editor-in-chief of the school organ and a highly-respected school leader. I also gave her a few writing assignments to work on in my lifestyle website. Needless to say, she gave me good write-ups.  
I have forgotten much about our early interaction but she surely reminded me of everything with her simple but sweet message. Here is one of the letters that I will always cherish:
Hi po Ms. Jenny. Kamusta po? Inform ko lang po kayo shortly after i submitted applications i got an offer from… Now I’m working as a copywriter for their new department…. Magpapasalamat lang po ulit ako for all the things you’ve let me experience writing for you. Have good days ahead po. God bless po…Thankful po ako sa inyo ng sobra. Salamat po ng marami.
 
To C: I am more grateful to the opportunity of somehow becoming your mentor.  I am amazed at how God uses imperfect people to help other people in attaining their dreams. All for the glory of the Lord. 
 
***Once I had a friend who dreamed of becoming a TV host. Realizing that she has the beauty and talent for it, I encouraged her to audition in various shows. To make the long story short, she was able to get a part in a provincial TV show and I was truly happy for her. I have forgotten what I told her, the words that I said to her so she would go after her dream. Suffice it to say that, I do not have any pressure in me to push people where they should go. If I see a dreamer and I see a strong potential in them, it is almost automatic in me to shower them with words of encouragement hoping they would see what I see in them. This friend of mine told me later that I was one of those people who helped her reach for her dream. My heart was flooded with joy when I heard that. I was happy because I was doing something unconsciously that was giving people hope and encouragement. 
 I pray that the Lord would give me more opportunities to help people rise up and achieve their dreams. I pray that the Lord would strengthen the ministry that I joined recently in our church and that He will equip all volunteers to effectively spread His word and enlighten many hearts. 

 

A lovely thank you note 

 

“We are simply God’s servants…each one of us does the work which the Lord gave him to do: I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plant, but it was God who made the plant grow.” Corinthians 3:5-6 (TEV)

 

I received a message in my Facebook inbox recently about a girl whom I’ve known for quite some time now.

The girl, C, was one of those who attended a two-hour lecture I gave to a group of campus journalists some years ago. She was then a wide-eyed high school senior contemplating on what to take up in College.

During my lecture, I knew that C enjoyed it so much judging from how she enthusiastically participated in the activities. The look in her eyes also made it clear to me that she is interested and very much eager to learn.  

A few days after my lecture, she told me that I have helped her to decide that journalism is right for her and that it is her calling in life. She said she enjoyed my lecture so much and that I inspired her to pursue a life-long dream.

Fast forward several years later, Cheska has attained her college degree with flying colors. She became the editor-in-chief of the school organ and a highly-respected school leader. I also gave her a few writing assignments to work on in my lifestyle website. Needless to say, she gave me good write-ups.  

I have forgotten much about our early interaction but she surely reminded me of everything with her simple but sweet message. Here is one of the letters that I will always cherish:

Hi po Ms. Jenny. Kamusta po? Inform ko lang po kayo shortly after i submitted applications i got an offer from… Now I’m working as a copywriter for their new department…. Magpapasalamat lang po ulit ako for all the things you’ve let me experience writing for you. Have good days ahead po. God bless po…Thankful po ako sa inyo ng sobra. Salamat po ng marami.

 

To C: I am more grateful to the opportunity of somehow becoming your mentor.  I am amazed at how God uses imperfect people to help other people in attaining their dreams. All for the glory of the Lord.

 

***Once I had a friend who dreamed of becoming a TV host. Realizing that she has the beauty and talent for it, I encouraged her to audition in various shows. To make the long story short, she was able to get a part in a provincial TV show and I was truly happy for her. I have forgotten what I told her, the words that I said to her so she would go after her dream. Suffice it to say that, I do not have any pressure in me to push people where they should go. If I see a dreamer and I see a strong potential in them, it is almost automatic in me to shower them with words of encouragement hoping they would see what I see in them. This friend of mine told me later that I was one of those people who helped her reach for her dream. My heart was flooded with joy when I heard that. I was happy because I was doing something unconsciously that was giving people hope and encouragement.

 I pray that the Lord would give me more opportunities to help people rise up and achieve their dreams. I pray that the Lord would strengthen the ministry that I joined recently in our church and that He will equip all volunteers to effectively spread His word and enlighten many hearts. 

(via windycitymissy)

Do not worry

This is the first time I’m blogging using my clever little technological contraption.
Cute, huh?:-)I was in a rough time recently. Sometimes, the enemy really knows which button to push - or who to send to make us feel down or depressed.In the past, I would mope around and maybe allow myself to drift into the negative thoughts. Today, however, I already recognize the attack coming from the enemy, the words he uses and the circumstances that he puts me in. However, there are times when I do not recognize his attacks. Suffice it to say that I still get deceived every now and then.This is why we all need to increase our dependence on God - this means we have to read His word even more, to pray even more and to be around Godly people frequently.Truth is, we cannot really make everyone  agree with us. 
I recently fell into a disheartening situation after someone misinterpreted my words because someone else tried to explain what I meant.I had a feeling it hurt the other person who received the explanation but it hurt me more because I really did not have any intention to hurt anyone. 
I prayed to God several times and asked for help about the situation. I told Him that He sees my heart and He knows what I truly meant. I lifted it all up to Him and He has promised that the solution is on the way. 
The devil will still try to deceive us but if we have enough ammunitions (Bible verses) to fight back, we have an increased chance to overcome every trial.
Here are helpful verses or ammunitions that we could use to avoid or repel deceit from the enemy
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25-27"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34PS I have received quite a number of questions in my inbox from my readers. I am sorry if it took me a long time to answer them. I check my blog not as often as before due to an increased workload. I appreciate your interest in sending me your thoughts. If you have questions, you can also tweet me at: @I_will_flourish or through facebook.com/mannaforjenny. (^_^)

Do not worry



This is the first time I’m blogging using my clever little technological contraption.

Cute, huh?:-)

I was in a rough time recently. Sometimes, the enemy really knows which button to push - or who to send to make us feel down or depressed.

In the past, I would mope around and maybe allow myself to drift into the negative thoughts. Today, however, I already recognize the attack coming from the enemy, the words he uses and the circumstances that he puts me in. However, there are times when I do not recognize his attacks. Suffice it to say that I still get deceived every now and then.

This is why we all need to increase our dependence on God - this means we have to read His word even more, to pray even more and to be around Godly people frequently.

Truth is, we cannot really make everyone  agree with us.

I recently fell into a disheartening situation after someone misinterpreted my words because someone else tried to explain what I meant.I had a feeling it hurt the other person who received the explanation but it hurt me more because I really did not have any intention to hurt anyone. 

I prayed to God several times and asked for help about the situation. I told Him that He sees my heart and He knows what I truly meant. I lifted it all up to Him and He has promised that the solution is on the way. 

The devil will still try to deceive us but if we have enough ammunitions (Bible verses) to fight back, we have an increased chance to overcome every trial.

Here are helpful verses or ammunitions that we could use to avoid or repel deceit from the enemy

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25-27

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

PS I have received quite a number of questions in my inbox from my readers. I am sorry if it took me a long time to answer them. I check my blog not as often as before due to an increased workload. I appreciate your interest in sending me your thoughts. If you have questions, you can also tweet me at: @I_will_flourish or through facebook.com/mannaforjenny. (^_^)

(Source: pinterest.com, via windycitymissy)

A Victorious Weekend

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36

The scorching summer heat pierced through my skin as I moved toward the pool to position myself in the best spot for taking photos. I was assigned by our Victory group leader to take pictures that day for one of our members who will undergo water baptism. The searing heat did not douse my excitement for my friend who will be making a public declaration of her faith and love for Jesus.

As I took snapshots of MR and the other participants of this quarter’s Victory Weekend, I remembered myself feeling the same excitement after making a heartfelt decision to truly surrender my whole existence to God in May last year.

I participated in Victory Weekend just a few weeks after coming out of a challenging episode that wounded my heart as much as it wounded my soul. Back then, I already had my mind set that God would lead me out of the dark pit soon and that He has given me the grace to overcome the obstacles that He allowed in my life. I saw baptism as a first step into ‘sealing the agreement’ with God that He would deliver me from the pain and that I would come out of it polished and better in many aspects.
It has been a year since the challenge and God has been faithful with His promise of healing and restoration. Not only did I come out of it better off than I thought I would, there were bonuses and perks along the way. God is more than amazing. I wish I could illustrate how many times ‘He showed up in my life’ to comfort me and to assure me that I am loved. God ‘hugged me ’ several times through His word and through the loving words spoken by some friends.
Interestingly, God has increased my friends too. Truly, the Lord has several ways to make sure His plans will come to pass.

Victory Weekend is a two-day seminar or retreat that includes worship, Bible teaching, prayer, and personal ministry. One2One is the prerequisite for the Victory Weekend. One2One is a six-lesson discipleship guide that includes discussions on salvation, the Bible and Prayer and repentance.  Water baptism is a public declaration that God now lives inside us and that we have allowed God to have control in our lives.

As MR descended into the pool, two Victory group leaders prayed over her prior to her water baptism. I am especially proud of Kai, who was one of the people who baptized MR. Kai has turned into one of the most innately beautiful persons I have known. Young as she is, Kai’s maturity in emotions and in the spiritual aspect inspires me.
MR and I are in the same Victory Group that gathers every Sunday to pray and encourage each other. Yes, we also talk a lot about girl stuff. (^_^)

I almost became emotional when it was MR’s turn to be baptized because I remembered my experiences last year.
At a time when I was still hurting and coping from the pain of a failed love, I saw Victory Weekend as the most logical and most important decision I have to make if I want to move on happily sans anger or emotional baggage.

After the leaders prayed over me and I was dipped in the pool, I imagined myself rising from the pain and receiving God’s healing, restoration and blessings. Back then, I was already certain that the day will come when I will be completely healed and restored. I knew in my heart that God will use my story to serve Him - that someday, I will help people who are going through the same dilemma. 

Here is my photo after my baptism. I believe my smile made me look like the happiest girl in the world. MR, I also think these are our best photos - second to our future wedding photos. (^_^)

**if you have a twitter account, I’d like to connect with you at @I_will_flourish <3

I Love Sundays. 

On Sundays, I am able to wake up late, that is 8 AM, so that I could attend the 10 AM church service. 

On this day, I am able to just take it easy, unworried about deadlines and other stuff that torment my mind on a regular day. I don’t know if it’s just me but every Sunday, I feel like everyone is also unhurried and relaxed. 

It is on Sundays that I am able to realize how crazy that week has been. 

I recharge and I connect to the Father. I have more time for God. I have more time to listen to His voice and instructions. 

This is why I look forward to Sundays. 

                                                          ***

I recently read a tweet that talked about idol worship in modern times. 

When we hear about idols, our mind usually goes back to those mentioned in the Bible – the golden calf, the statues that were made to be worshipped as gods. But what does idol actually mean these days? 

According to the author, idols are those that we hold on to for security and comfort. These could be our jobs, friends, fame, money and all earthly possessions. 

I actually forgot reading about this until I ran into a minor misunderstanding with a friend. After I had agonized about it for about an hour, this tweet came to mind and I suddenly thought that I may be putting much of my trust in some friendships because they are making me comfortable. Some friendships seem to give me the &#8216;assurance&#8217; that I should seek only from God. 
My friend and I were able to sort things out in a matter of two hours but the whole experience had me thinking I should assess my relationships and be especially mindful about how I look at them.  

I felt sad upon realizing this and I immediately asked God to forgive me and to show me areas in my life where I may have been turning to idols unknowingly. God is faithful and has been walking me through this issue. 

How about you? Ask God to reveal what’s in your heart so may know if you are also having the same issues in your life. 

"You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.&#8221; Exodus 20:3-4 (NIV)

*If you want to read more scriptures about idols, I recommend the books of Ezekiel and Deuteronomy   

*You could follow us on twitter: @I_will_flourish and in Facebook: www.facebook.com/mannaforjenny
 

I Love Sundays.

On Sundays, I am able to wake up late, that is 8 AM, so that I could attend the 10 AM church service.

On this day, I am able to just take it easy, unworried about deadlines and other stuff that torment my mind on a regular day. I don’t know if it’s just me but every Sunday, I feel like everyone is also unhurried and relaxed.

It is on Sundays that I am able to realize how crazy that week has been.

I recharge and I connect to the Father. I have more time for God. I have more time to listen to His voice and instructions.

This is why I look forward to Sundays.

                                                          ***

I recently read a tweet that talked about idol worship in modern times.

When we hear about idols, our mind usually goes back to those mentioned in the Bible – the golden calf, the statues that were made to be worshipped as gods. But what does idol actually mean these days?

According to the author, idols are those that we hold on to for security and comfort. These could be our jobs, friends, fame, money and all earthly possessions.

I actually forgot reading about this until I ran into a minor misunderstanding with a friend. After I had agonized about it for about an hour, this tweet came to mind and I suddenly thought that I may be putting much of my trust in some friendships because they are making me comfortable. Some friendships seem to give me the ‘assurance’ that I should seek only from God.

My friend and I were able to sort things out in a matter of two hours but the whole experience had me thinking I should assess my relationships and be especially mindful about how I look at them.  

I felt sad upon realizing this and I immediately asked God to forgive me and to show me areas in my life where I may have been turning to idols unknowingly. God is faithful and has been walking me through this issue.

How about you? Ask God to reveal what’s in your heart so may know if you are also having the same issues in your life.

"You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” Exodus 20:3-4 (NIV)

*If you want to read more scriptures about idols, I recommend the books of Ezekiel and Deuteronomy   

*You could follow us on twitter: @I_will_flourish and in Facebook: www.facebook.com/mannaforjenny

 

(Source: codysimpsonfilm, via mmmchild)