Bridging the gap from hope to faith

Hope (/h??p/), noun, “a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.”

When I was younger, I hoped a lot of things for myself. I hoped I’d have a long career in education. I hoped I’d become an award-winning or bestselling author. I hoped I’d become a successful stand-up comic. I hoped I’d become a successful YouTuber.

The dictionary tells us hope is a feeling. The thing about feelings is that they, like movie schedules or the cellulite on your thighs, are subject to change, and sometimes without prior notice. This is why it’s important to know the difference between hope and faith.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

When all we have is hope, our foundation is feelings, and that’s not always the most stable foundation to have. When we have faith, we have more than just feeling, we have an assurance of that for which we hope, and conviction in something that has happened yet.

The context for Hebrews 11:1–where in the previous chapter, we learned the early Christians were able to sacrifice and love others and accept the seizure of their property as part of the persecution they were experiencing–is essential to taking in the full weight of this verse. In Chapter 10, people were called to sacrificial love; in Chapter 11, we are introduced to several people whose lives showed the impact of a great faith, that is, the assurance of things hoped for.

They were able to overcome their current circumstances because they had faith–not just hope–that God would see them through. And no matter what happened, that for which they were expectant–the glory of the Father through their situation, whatever it was–would happen, either in this lifetime or the next.

Thing is, the transition from hope to faith is a journey that every person takes at his own pace. The fact that I’m older–with so much more white hair to prove it–sometimes makes me question if these hopes are still worth nurturing in my heart. Then, when I look at these hopes through the lens of faith–will it glorify God?–it becomes clear what hopes need to be nurtured and what hopes need to die to themselves.

Whatever you’re hoping for in life, I have faith that God will open your eyes to see which are worth praying for, and which need to be laid to rest. Have a great day!

#InspireEncourageCheerUp

Richard Marx, “Another One Down”

Today, I was looking at the new website of MB Logistics when my Spotify Release Radar started playing a voice I recognised from way back.

To my surprise, it was Richard Marx! He’s back! His new song “Another One Down” sounds very contemporary, but that chorus is vintage Marx, and immediately likeable! Absolutely loved this song, and any 80s or 90s kid should totally check it out!

Australian Veef is a win!

Last night, Nicola and I tried Fenn Foods‘ Australian Veef.

This is a vegan burger patty that promises great texture and heaps of umami.

Well, guess what? We were BLOWN AWAY. My twelve-year-old is a little picky with her food but she liked the idea of trying a vegan burger. I airfried the patties to reduce fat content, but the burger stayed relatively moist. The texture of the burger was pretty close to beef, but what won both of us over was the flavour of the patty. It was spot on. As I try to introduce my little girl to more vegetarian options, this one was a clear winner. Yay!

Glad for saviors

Over the past few weeks, I’ve struggled with several work-related tasks that were assigned to me because the person who’d previously done them was no longer affiliated with the company.

When assigned these tasks, the first objective obviously is to try to secure information that will help me complete this tasks. But a few of them are simply beyond my ken. Today was one such task, when a particular client requested pfx files for his SSL certificate. (Sounds Green to you? Yeah, me too.)

After several attempts to try to figure it out, I shouted for help on Facebook, and one friend helped me through it. We were able to make it happen, and I now have a method to help me replicate it should another request for it come through in the future.

I was very, very grateful for Jakob’s help, and relieved that this was yet another task I was able to knock out of the ballpark. It’s a great feeling.

What a blessing to know we have people who can come to our rescue when we need it. Fewer things remind us of how blessed we are than when friends come to our rescue in times of deep need.

Yay for the ‘Sagip Saka Law’!

Just learned that President Duterte signed the “Sagip Saka Act” into law last month. All I can say is, “Wow.”

The impact of this law is potentially massive, because it provides farmers and fisherman assistance in skills development, wider access to financing in the form of credit grants and crop insurance, and access to improved technologies for research and development.

The big-ticket items here are 1) education/training, 2) government support towards modernisation; and 3) credit guarantees on uncollateralised loans, implying our kababayans won’t necessarily have to give up livelihood or property just to pay back the loans.

It also provides tax incentives and exemptions to encourage assistance for farmers and fisherfolk. YAAAAS.

The law also creates the Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development Council to ensure the proper implementation of the program. It is tremendously encouraging because these men and women form the backbone of our ability to feed the nation, and we need to sow back–pun intended–into their lives so they can continue to do their great and noble work.

I will give the man credit when it’s due. Great big thanks to President Duterte, to the fine men and women of the Department of Agriculture, and to principal author Sen Kiko Pangilinan. Masigabong palapakan.

Rape is never funny, Mr President

All my life, I’ve worked hard to fine-tune my own brand of comedy. It’s still a work very much in progress: puns, real-life stories, and musical parodies make up the cheap laughs I offer.

But to me, what isn’t funny are jokes aimed to make light of the distress and trauma experienced by others.

Like rape.

If we knew the horror of rape,
how deeply it wounds,
how shamelessly it scars on the outside,
and leaves inner trauma that takes forever to heal,
how it replaces one’s joy with fear or anger,
how it changes one’s life forever,
we would not find rape jokes funny,
nor support those who dare tell them.

We must NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER let the telling of rape jokes become something acceptable.

We must voice our displeasure, for the sake of our mothers, our wives, our sisters, and our daughters, and for that matter, for the sake of any of our fathers, our husbands, our brothers, and our sons, for rape knows no gender and does not discriminate against anyone.

Speak up and do not let our nation’s president, Rodrigo Duterte, or any of his apologists including Salvador Panelo and Oscar Albayalde, brainwash the nation and our nation’s protectors, this graduating batch of the PMA, into normalising rape jokes and undermining the worth and value of our fellow Filipinos.

I don’t care if this is calculated. I don’t care if this plays into his playbook. I don’t care if this is intended to draw our attention away from some other underhanded plan. We cannot let this become our reality, our new normal.

Duterte may be president, but he does not speak for me, and if he does not speak for you as well, I challenge you to say so. Write your congressmen, tell your families, do not be quiet.

We are men and women of the Philippines, the Pearl of the Orient Seas, known for our warm smiles, our hospitality, our integrity, and our love for family. Over and over, this man threatens to ruin the reputation of our proud nation.

And that is not funny.

Step out of your bubble!

The Congress website poll on same-sex marriage is just a poll; it doesn’t influence policy in any shape or form. We’re just faceless voters in an online abyss.

People who want to really make their opinion known on this can contact their congressmen to voice their concerns. That’s what they’re there for, and if you feel passionately about a particular issue, you can try to reach out to their office and schedule time, or write a letter.

If you doubt you’ll get their attention, you can try to post it online; you never know if someone you know knows someone he knows, and somehow you get connected.

I just think that the time to play it safe politically has passed. So many are unhappy with the results of the elections, but few are willing to get out and do the legwork needed to get their chosen leaders elected, or hold the actual elected accountable.

If we want change, we need to also step out of our bubbles and do something… offline. My two cents. No need for a poll on that.