I am nothing

•July 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I recently read musing from a famous super famous Hollywood actor known for his good looks, hot fiancee, cheaper-by-the-dozen-esque number of offsprings about the Christian faith. He allegedly pondered (I’m paraphrasing), if he had grown up knowing another religion, could he have the same shot at heaven as a Christian? And what seemed to have irked him was how fair this thought was.

The musing ends with easy-on-the-eyes Hollywood actor’s conclusion that his faith is he can handle any situation, and that he is responsible for his one and only life here on Earth.

The first point is an entirely different blog post but I realized while reading his thoughts, we usually don’t have a problem with a Supreme Being/Higher Power/Divine, but it offends us when we are told that we are actually nothing. What?! All those multinational companies on my resume is nothing? What?! My big fat bank account I built from the P1,000.00 maintaining balance to millions is nothing?

It is especially difficult for us adults to accept how the Bible describes us—objects of wrath, having a naturally corrupt nature, spiritually dead—because we have owned up to the responsibility that who we are is our doing. Who I am is because of my choices. I made me. So if we are told that we are, well, nothing, especially in the light of the Divine, we resist. Nothing is bad, it is wrong. Perhaps that is why some of us have to experience painful, ego-shattering circumstances before we come to terms with being nothing.

But that nothingness, I believe, is the beauty of the gospel. Though we aren’t worth it, though we can’t make a way, though we didn’t want it or even think we needed it, Jesus died for the ungodly, rose and returned to heaven.

When we accept we are nothing, we throw our lives to the one who is overflowing. We don’t resist, we follow Jesus.

When we accept who we really are, we have nothing to prove, nothing hide, and nothing to lose.


 


Fashion advice from the Bible

•June 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Photo credit: michelleums.tumblr.com

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for youcompassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.

- Colossians 3:12 The Message

Short, sweet, and simple.

love,

The young and the not-as-young

•June 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of attending the second ever World Prayer Assembly (WPA) held in Bogor, Indonesia, a five-day prayer gathering of Christians from all over the world. To describe the experience as mind-blowing is an understatement. Merely being in the same room with thousands of men and women from all over the world, carrying unique cultural identities and idiosyncrasies reduced to just created humans worshiping one God, was infinitely sobering. Sometimes Most times, we need sense knocked into our heads that we’re really not all that.

Pastor Brian Mills Photo credit: dennissy.com

Day 3 at WPA changed something in me. During the evening session which was focused on the youth, Pastor Brian Mills, an elderly pastor went up on stage weeping, trembling, and struggling with the microphone. Everyone aged 35 and below was asked to gather in front of the convention center just before that to be prayed for. I stood in a crowd and watched Pastor Brian attempt to compose himself to deliver what was evidently an important Word from God. This seasoned man of God, in his neat button down polo, slacks, and tie hit the pause button on all the passionate prayers to apologize to us, the younger generation, in behalf of the older generation for failing as a father, not leading, not protecting. Minutes before those paused prayers shot out, Pastor Jerome Ocampo of Jesusrev showed the horrifying statistics of the assault on the youth including sex trafficking, abuse, abortion, child labor, and suicide. I wept even before Pastor Brian could start his apology.

It is a grave mistake to view the older generation as a generation who cannot understand us. It is wrong for us to think of our fathers, mothers, uncles and aunts as men and women who do not care, or people who are just waiting for us to make a mistake. It is costly not to listen to their input, experience, mistakes, and wisdom.

I have seen older generations lament at how the next generation always wants to “reinvent the wheel”. We are rarely ever humble enough to ask “What works? What doesn’t work? And how can we improve that?” We prefer to charge with full passion first, resorting only to the knowledge of those who have gone before us after plan A, B, and C has failed.

When I saw Pastor Brian breakdown, I realized that the older generation is trying. They want to lead us. They are trying to teach us. They really, really, really don’t want us to make the same mistakes they did.

Are we listening in humility?

***

See other posts on the World Prayer Assembly from Pastor Dennis Sy here and Pastor Joash Paunil here.

Style question: How do I change my boyish fashion?

•June 2, 2012 • Leave a Comment

YSL popularized mens suit for women. Photo credit: http://uk.privateoutlet-blog.com/

Thank you Jessica Rea (@jzcarea) for your question!

First off, let me say I don’t consider myself to be a fashion expert as I’ve had more experience in the beauty department. Whatever I may share merely comes from the things I’ve picked up from working under women’s fashion magazines for a little over five years, so I do hope it helps a bit. I am however, a firm believer in fashion being functional (ditch those sky-high heels if you can’t work in them!), flattering, and aligned to your personal sense of style. And of course, that it helps make you feel like a million buckaroos even if you shopped from DivIsoria (which I love!).

Q: Hope you could give me advice on how to get out of my comfort zone, my boyish style. I was inspired by how Yeng Constantino changed. (Okay, maybe it wasn’t really a question, hehe.)

A: I don’t really know of Yeng’s style evolution so I’ll answer the first half of the question :)

  1. Start small – Most ladies I know who consider themselves to lean towards boyish styles will not put on a dress. So I understand that could be a stretch. Change up your choices little by little, blouses over shirts, ballet flats over sneakers, curvier jeans over straight cuts. Wear one item that’s not your usual pick together with what you normally wear, like a floral chiffon blouse with your favorite denim jeans or basic ballet flats with your shorts and shirt weekend combo. Then when you’re comfy with that, try two at a time, ballet flats, curvy jeans and basic tee.
  2. Brighten up – Try to veer away from a fully neutral or dark ensemble, like navy, browns, grays, blacks, and whites. Those are great basic colors but you can make them look more feminine by injecting orange, purple, green or red into your outfits.
  3. Rachel Bilson in boyfriend jeans balanced with feminine ballet flats and cute purse Photo credit: whataretheywearing.com

    Add some details – Another “small” step can be in your accessories and makeup. I suggest adding dainty stud earrings (pearls or faux diamonds, or real, hehe) and curling your eyelashes, finishing off with two coats of mascara. These always add a ladylike feel to any look. Graduate to bigger earrings, statement necklaces, and stacks of bangles after. Make sure your nails are properly groomed too, with a neutral or opaque light ballerina pink polish.

  4. Bag it – You can also pick out a smaller handbag or purse instead of my-entire-home-is-inside-this messenger bag, it’ll be good for your back too! Or the opposite route of oversized purses you carry on your arm ala famous celebrity. (Think: Victoria Beckham)
Hope I answered your question! If you have any fashion, beauty or Biblical questions for me, tweet me @ronnabonifacio! Do you have any style advice for Jessica?
Love,

I will show you love

•May 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Hi everyone! We had an all-girls event yesterday entitled Once Upon a Time: Can you really have a happily ever after? at Victory Greenhills and we talked about love lives and hearts. I talked about how God our Father’s love ultimately guides how we view and handle our hearts and bodies when it comes to romantic relationships and Yeng Constantino shared her testimony on that aspect as well. Shout out to all the beautiful ladies who attended our event yesterday! :)

Right after the event, I was reminded of this song which I want to share with all of you young women (and men, if it applies! And not-as-young-women, if it applies too!) I found comfort in this song a few years back and every now and then, I still return to it. I actually hope that this gets sung in church one day. (If you’re a singer and your reading this, will you make my dreams come true? Hehe!)

There’s no official music video to this, so I hope you enjoy listening to it anyway. I’m posting the lyrics below. :)

I Will Show You Love

by Kendall Payne

I will show you love like you’ve never loved before
I will go the distance and back for more if you just say the word

You will come alive again and call the trying times your friend
The pain that you have suffered through will never get the best of you
You will hope in something real that won’t depend on how you feel
When you call my name then I will answer, answer

I am on your side though the wind and waves beat against your faith
You were on my mind when the world was made 
Trust in me my child, Trust in me my child

Walk out on the water where you have no control
So scared to death of failure you sacrifice your soul, please let that go

You have climbed an uphill road, You have worn a heavy load
You have cried through endless nights and nearly given up the fight
Watched your dreams like falling stars the heartaches made you who you are
Now looking back you see that I have always been there

Where you gonna hide? Where you gonna hide from Me?
Where you gonna go? Where you gonna go that I can’t see?

I have heard you cry and it breaks my heart for I love you so
I would never lie, this is not the end there is still a hope

love,

Bride diaries: Quick tips on writing your wedding vows part 2

•April 24, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Prince William and Kate exchange wedding rings almost a year ago

Hello! Of course it took me a thousand years (cue: Christina Perry) to write part two of my two-part blog on wedding vows because I’m me. And that just means I’m a reluctant blogger. Since it took me a thousand years (cue: Edward and Bella’s wedding) to write part two, I forgot my last two points! :-|

But because I’m trying to be a woman of my word, here are my two new (and remaining) points for writing wedding vows:

4. A wedding vow is a promise of the future. I learned this from our ninong/blogger/senior pastor Dennis Sy (who blogs at Act Like a Man). A vow is defined by Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary as “a solemn promise or assertion; specifically; one by which a person is bound to act, service, or condition.” Your wedding vow is your promise to your future spouse. I particularly found it difficult to write my promises because I was thinking “Can’t I just do it, and then say it?”, afraid that I would miss the mark as a wife if I made promises that were hard to keep. But I realize that is the point, to publicly make a commitment and be held accountable for your promises. Because it takes work to make a marriage work. Who wants to commit to a lifelong relationship with a partner that says, “Let’s just see how I’ll perform through the years and then I’ll promise to you what I can accomplish. And that might be nothing more than what I can give you now because I ain’t working on it”? Promise what you realistically want to give (loyalty, faithfulness, unconditional love) and who you realistically want to be (best friend, number one fan) to your future spouse. Come on now, be an adult.

On a practical note, the organization of my vow went from honoring, thanking, to promising. It seems to flow better if you go historical and start by thanking who they have been then promising the future, yes?

5. Use pretty material(!) And by material, I don’t mean content. I literally mean what you’re writing on. You will be constantly photographed and video taped when you’re saying your vows and you don’t want to be immortalized with ratty yellow pad paper in your hands. Some subscribe to technology with iPads/tablets and iPhones, but for brides, I personally like smaller codigos so it doesn’t cover too much of your gown in photos ;-) If your handwriting isn’t the most aesthetic, print it out on small cards or have a bridesmaid with good handwriting (you can read!) to rewrite it for you and make a small cue card to hold behind all your cards (again, think of your photos).

Some will advise you to practice it, so you don’t choke on your tears too much on the day itself but I didn’t have time to do that. I did choke at the beginning, but it was smooth-sailing after.

Don’t forget eye contact with spouse-to-be, I assure you’ll want to see their reactions for yourself when you’re saying your beautiful vows :-)

love,

Bride diaries: Quick tips on writing your wedding vows part 1

•December 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Almost two weeks ago, our good friend/ninong Dennis Sy posted Bojo’s wedding vow to kick off his new blog series on great weddings vows by real men (link here: “Wedding Vows“). The next week I met a bride-to-be and gave her a small tip on weddings and wedding vows. After that chance meeting, my friend and makeup artist Hermie (check out her website Bridal Palette) bugged me to post my vows because I apparently promised I would (darn it, she remembered!). So to keep this blog from being too narcissistic, I’m sharing a few tips which I kept in mind when I wrote my wedding vows:

  1. Wedding vows can turn a good wedding into a great wedding. Because the point of a wedding is the ceremony, not the reception. If you have a great ceremony, people will naturally be in a celebratory mood during the reception. Your wedding becomes unique primarily when you allow your guests into your story, the commitment you’re making to each other, and who you are individually. The details (colors, flowers, and all other trappings) are only secondary, and really, are just external. Ever watch wedding same-day edits by videographers? Compare an SDE with unique vows and an SDE with the usual vows—don’t you feel you get to know a little more about the couple and their story when they promise to learn to cook, because bride grew up afraid of opening a gas stove? Or groom says he was such a silly man for letting her go once and he’ll never make that mistake again?
  2. Don’t be pressured to perform. While it does affect your guests, they are not your audience. They are your witnesses. Your wedding vows are for your future spouse. It is your opportunity to publicly thank and honor them in front of those who matter to you both. It is the sacred time during the wedding to commit yourself out loud to your future spouse. There’s no need to feel pressured to make guests laugh at your jokes. A public declaration of love  and commitment in front of your family and friends give your sentiments, gratitude, and promises more weight than a tagged shout-out on Facebook or Twitter.
  3. There’s really no standard for length. To each his own, because what matters is you were able to say what you wanted to say. Some can say it concisely but with impact, while some have much to say because they feel they haven’t said enough during the course of their relationship. Of course ten minutes is probably too long to be talking, or telling the story starting when you first saw him up until the day before your wedding. If you are considering that a lengthy vow might bore your guests, perhaps 3-5 minutes is a good average, because it’ll be duplicated in two as your spouse will share his/her vows too.

Photo from katrinalee.wordpress.com

I’ll continue my two cents worth on wedding vows in my next blog. For now, as a fulfillment of my promise to Hermie, here’s my wedding vows:

Bojo, it was the first time you initiated a visit to my dad when I knew you were the man I could trust for a lifetime. I knew then that you were raised well, to be able to constantly pay respects to a man you never knew. Today in front of our family, and friends, I honor you for mustering up the courage to lead me, for always choosing to love me unconditionally and generously, and for endlessly encouraging me to dream larger than before.

Bojo, your love is steadfast; it is constant. When I am at my worst, you have always chosen to hold on to me, and that is human love I have never known until you. William Shakespeare wrote, “love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.” You, my love, are its embodiment.

You have brought me deep joy and contentment, and made life mostly silly, and sometimes crazy. But always, always a beauty and a delight.

I have always admired your undeniable love for Jesus and unadulterated passion, even when we were just friends and college students. I know that because you love Jesus first and above all, we can boldly take this leap together and make it.

Thank you for taking care of me and protecting me. And thank you for always allowing me to grow as an individual and cultivate my own dreams.

I stand before you today knowing that it is God’s will for me to marry you, and I want every part of that plan. It is because of God’s goodness, sovereignty, and mercies, that we can have this blessed beginning.

I commit to you and our God to love you unconditionally, to be faithful to you, and to be an encouraging helpmate. I promise to submit to your leadership as I submit to God. I promise to be your partner and your sou chef; your personal editor and TV series buddy. I commit to serve you and alongside you, and to always help you live a life that honors our God. Wherever you go, I will go. Because you are now my home.

I bind myself to you today, as your wife, lover, and best friend as long as we shall live. I promise to rid myself of expectations and be filled with appreciation. I promise to sync my steps with yours and not be ahead of you.

Today is our memorial stone of faith. I am overjoyed that we are embarking on a new journey as one. It will always be a privilege to be called your wife.

I adore you, Bojo Bonifacio. And I am yours forever.

***

Movie in my mind: Revenge season 1 episode 4

Currently reading: “House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allende

 
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