Remember the Tsunami After the 8.9 Magnitude Earthquake in Japan

 

 

For us who are far and safe from where the 8.9 Magnitude Earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on 12 March 2011, we can only imagine the terror and destruction that the people of Japan felt two years ago.

As I would always contemplate, our daily lives are manifestation of God’s mercy and grace. Each morning, when we wake up and as we draw our first breath we must thank God that His mercy has allowed us to live today.

Because God’s love is steadfast and everlasting and His mercies are new every morning, it is just fitting that our praises and thanksgiving be expressed in a renewed spirit and humble attitude.

One cannot be proud of the riches and top position that one has attained because we are not sure of what would happened next. Even the strongest of kings and rulers have their day of defeat.

All we can do is to ask for God’s abundant grace…it is always enough.

As Japan continues to recover from the calamity two years ago, let us also bear in mind that for every trials that come our way, we can always overcome and rebuild through the love and mercies of God.

Footage of actual tsunami onslaught:

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Had He Ever Lived?

Had our brother, Ivan ever lived?

In our memories perhaps…  Thinking of our brotherly fellowship, helping him grow, sharing and supporting his dreams, listening to his good singing voice, arguing, fighting, reconciling, forgiving, thoughtfulness, and knowing his struggles and frailties, we can say that our brother, Ivan, indeed had lived.

Memories will forever remind us of his existence, but for how long?  Memories fade!

Still had he ever lived?

If I could turn back time during whenever I’m clean, I thank the Father above because when I yearn for something more in my life but I cannot identify what it may be, I know you are the answer” Ivan wrote on his short journal dated November 22, 2009.

He continued to write: You renew my spirit so that I am aware of You and aware of myself as whole and holy person—spirit, mind, and body.  As I commune with You in prayer and as I observe Your presence everywhere my spirit is renewed.  The renewal of my spirit enriches my mind and body.  I am wise and healthy, strong and SECURE.  Ivan.

So with his life filled with purpose he became a good friend, perhaps to everyone, if time had been generous.  He was a passionate leader…even if it means taking risks and compromises. 

He was a soul with an inner struggle striving to go somewhere.  He was a person who grew up with faith in God, patience and perseverance—to win the test of time but his inner struggles would often overpower him like a dark cloud enveloping his being.  Through all these…Ivan had indeed lived!

And his early death surprised us and his friends.  It was so sudden, so unexpected.  We were all praying and waiting for God’s miracle on him.  He was still at his prime when he died; his life a great loss?

Now think had he ever lived?

Ivan was in a moment in the hearts of those who knew him.  We mourned his passing, expressed our moment of sorrow, our bereavement for the loss of a friend, a brother, a son. 

Yes, in a moment he had lived.  He was in a moment amidst us and little did we know of his understanding of life.  “Returning to the simple truth of my divine nature, I appreciate life anew” – this was Ivan’s opening statement he mentioned in his December 10, 2009 reflections.

This was his last entry on the short life journal that we found among his things.  Reading through his reflections gives great comfort and assurance to us that after all that he had gone through,  he is holding on to his faith in God.

Ivan’s complete December 10, 2009 journal entry says: 

After two days of joyous celebrations, I still survived the obstacles and hindrances that came.  As I quiet my mind, I become aware of the here and now moment.  I breathe deeply relaxing as I exhale.  Then, I smile, enjoying the miracle of being alive.  I appreciate the new surroundings taking in every vibrant sight and sound.

I enjoy consciously being a part of life, instead of being distracted by mind’s endless list of things to do.  For now, breathing and smiling are the only things on my “to do” list.  In these moments of renewal, simply being alive with the spirit of God is enough.  I pause now, aware of my nature as a living, breathing child of God, and I smile as I enjoy life at the purest level of being.  Ivan.

AFTERTHOUGHTS

For those who don’t know, Ivan had epilepsy.  We learned that he had it when he was nine years old.  Despite his illness, he tried to live a normal life.  He finished AB History and Public Administration at Central Philippine University. 

He was active in sports.  He was a high school varsity athlete in the long distance running event.  He joined the college soccer, softball, and basketball teams.  He had skills in organizing events, like sports and camping. 

He could cook for a large group.  He had a good singing voice and he could enthrall one’s feelings by the way he sang.

Ivan had his last pause on the evening of June 22, 2010 at the beach of Concepcion, Iloilo, Philippines. 

There is no doubt that he had lived indeed and he is now smiling and enjoying life at the purest level of being.  ‘Til we meet again, Bro.

From Worry to Glory

Queenstown by Karl Hipolito with Bible Verse

I can see the drops of tears on the letter that you sent me
Telling me how lonely you were and forsaken
Every night you were crying aloud, wishing that I was by your side
To lend a hand, to lift you up and be your guide

Don’t be scared, trust in God, He will carry you through
Hold on to His promises, He’ll be faithful to you

From worry to glory, let Him be your guiding light
He will take you out of darkness, He will cast your fears aside
From worry to glory, just take His gentle hand
He will hoist you to His mighty throne
And forever you will never be alone

You clearly said all your fears in the letter that you sent me
Telling me you’re slipping away and about to fall
Every night you were praying aloud, hoping God would find a way
To lift you from the ledge of sin and make you pure

Don’t be scared, trust in God, He will carry you through
Hold on to His promises, He’ll be faithful to you

From worry to glory, let Him be your guiding light
He will take you out of darkness, He will cast your fears aside
From worry to glory, just take His gentle hand
He will hoist you to His mighty throne
And forever you will never be alone