Everything to Gain, Nothing to Lose

We have been kidnapped. We are being held hostage on a world which we do not belong to. We are all meant to be with God in heaven. Unfortunately, we have developed some sort of Stockholm syndrome, where we have developed a love of this world.

This world teaches us that to get ahead, we must be ruthless. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. It’s a dog eat dog world, and you gotta keep hustling to make it. Someone once told me that at the end of the day, all that matters is your bank account. 

Then here you have God who tells you to not worry about anything. To not even think about what you will wear. To not worry about what you will eat. He tells about the birds who plant no seed or work the soil to grow their own food, but yet they are fed. And of He takes care of such a small animal, how much more could He care for us, who He made, in His own image.

As I read more of the Bible, the juxtaposition becomes more and more obvious. Whatever this world tells you to do, it is usually the polar opposite of what God wants you to do.

I’ve been asking myself a bunch of questions recently. One of them is, “does God love me?”, and my answer is yes. After that question is, “what have I done to earn His love?”, my answer is, “nothing”. Will I ever be able to earn His love? Never. So why does God love me? An idea popped into my head and I asked a few parents, “did becoming a parent help you understand God’s love?”. They answered yes. 

A baby has no achievements. A baby cannot do anything. Babies poop on you, pee on you, barf on you. Yet their parents feel an overwhelming connection with them. Their parents love them immensely, and the baby has yet to even speak! Most parents will go to great lengths to provide the best for their children. Having a baby taught them what unconditional love is. Unconditional means absolute, not limited by conditions. That gives me an idea, a glimpse of how much God loves me. 

I had been kidnapped by sin. My father in heaven loves me so much, that He sent His only son to pay the ransom so I could be free, so I could live with Him in heaven eternally. 

I don’t have a child, but I cannot even imagine letting my own son die for someone I’ve never met. But that’s what He did for me. The more I think about it, the crazier it sounds. I cannot deny that God exists. I cannot deny that Jesus is real, because He is real in my life. I consider myself a pretty smart person, and from a logical perspective, it’s absolutely ridiculous. But I experience His love daily. I have accepted the gift that is freely given to everyone. While in my head, it makes no sense at all, but my heart knows it to be true. And that is what faith is all about. 

My Top 5 Chicken Delivery Restaurants

Sometimes I get really lazy to cook and so Arianna and I opt for delivery instead, and given all the news articles about how fast food beef isn’t really beef, and instead is full of extenders and whatnot, my go to choice is always chicken, because in my mind, it’s the healthier choice. One could argue that the chicken is also engineered or genetically modified, but this is me so bleh.

Here are my top 5 fast food chicken choices, in no particular order.

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For a pizza place, Shakey’s has some pretty awesome chicken. And it comes with Mojo’s! And they recently released a spicy version, although in my opinion, it could use a bit more kick to it. My usual order, 3 piece with 2-3 orders of rice.

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I don’t know if this actually counts as fast food, but hey they deliver so I’m adding it to my list. If you’re pinoy, you’re bound to have eaten at Max’s. Coupled with garlic rice and banana ketchup and I add Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. My usual order, 1 whole spring or regular chicken (not chopped and well done), and 2 orders of garlic rice. And it lives up to its slogan, sarap to the bones! (because that’s all I leave)

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I was only recently introduced to their chicken fairly recently, hot darn it’s pretty good, their gravy is delicious too! It’s a bit on the pricey side, and you don’t get to choose what part of the chicken you get.

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Of course KFC is on here. While some like theĀ original recipe, I prefer the Hot and Crispy chicken. No minimum amount for delivery is win! My usual order, 2 piece hot and crispy, extra gravy and extra rice.

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And last but definitely not least, Jollibee. 24 hour delivery and affordable. 200 peso minimum for delivery. My usual order, 2 piece with extra rice and gravy.

Yes. I love rice. And chicken. If Andok’s delivered, this would be a single choice blog post. Because Andok’s is the freaking best.

Man. Now I’m hungry. I don’t know how those food bloggers do these kinds of things without getting major food cravings afterward.

Daydreaming

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I love Calvin and Hobbes.

Calvin. Such a crazy imagination. Daydreaming that he’s spaceman spiff exploring the galaxy and fighting aliens when the truth is, he’s stuck at his desk in school, bored out of his mind because school is… Boring.

I don’t know what other people would daydream about but mine are always about flying. Not like in a jumbo jet or an F22 or even a spaceship. Like Superman. To soar in the air defying the laws of gravity. To be able to go anywhere at all, at anytime at all. Instead of getting into a car, you simply will yourself off the ground, speed through the air, into the clouds, dart in between buildings, avoiding the occasional bird or power lines, laughing at the people in their offices who are so absorbed with their jobs and so bound by the hardship of life that they don’t even bother to look outside their windows.

Remember the movie Hook, when Peter found his happy thought again and once again flew around never land, the glee so evident on his face.

As we get older, it becomes harder and harder to use your imagination. Life happens. You get told that you can’t act certain ways in public. In school your imagination is quelled. Your creativity gets stifled. You may argue that you are taught arts and crafts to contend my point, but growing up and if you suck at painting or putting glue and glitter on paper, do you get a failing grade? No you don’t. But you can fail math. You can fail English.

Schools are designed to make you a certain way. Thank God that now there are specialty schools where you can focus on what you want to do.

Not everyone is book smart. Not everyone is meant to be a doctor or a lawyer. If students fail certain subjects, does that mean they’re stupid? Our school system surely make them feel that way, but what if their genius lies elsewhere? What if their true calling lies in the secondary subjects taught in middle school?

Schools teach generic lessons to students who are anything BUT generic.

School works for most people. But what happens to the others?

Schools are factories trying to mass produce specific products but the end results are snowflakes. And they should be treated as such.

Don’t punish the dreamers. We change the world.

I Need to Lose Fat.

Okay. I think everyone is familiar with the joke, “I love my abs so much I protected them with a layer of fat.”

I’m 30. The fat ain’t burning itself and my calorie intake is greater than what my body burns.

I decided that starting today, I’m going to try and run at least every other day, and each time, go further and/or burn more calories than the last time.

So I laced up my shoes, made a beeline for the street, warmed up a little bit, pretended to stretch a little bit, started at a brisk walk.

Now even if I don’t work out regularly, jogging shouldn’t be that hard right? I mean, I play basketball at least once a week, jogging should be a piece of cake.

After 10-15 seconds of brisk walking, I get bored and decide to go faster.

My heart starts pounding, breathing gets harder, and I’m thinking, “yeah this isn’t hard at all”.

First my thighs start burning, and I can almost hear them laughing at me. Then my calves join in, but I grit my teeth and soldier on until I feel I can’t take it anymore, pushing myself as hard as I can.

When I check the time, I’m 2 minutes 48 seconds into my run.

Now let me explain something, I love working out. I love weights, I like sports even if sports don’t like me. But I hate cardio. To me it’s… Blah. Boring. But I need to burn calories so I’ll try almost anything. I’m even giving up rice except on Sundays because Sunday is Saboten day. Ok ok I’m getting sidetracked.

So I check the time, and my first instinct is to go back home. I look at how many calories I burned and it said 20. I had a zinger with cheese for lunch. That’s around 300 calories at least! If I wanted to burn it I would have to maintain that first pace for maybe another 15 minutes?

I could do that, but then I would have to be running straight to the nearest hospital to save time, and it would be more convenient as I would most likely be needing medical attention.

I’m about to turn around and walk back home and I’m thinking to myself, “I got dressed for this and I’m going to quit after 3 minutes??”

Begrudgingly I tell myself to keep going, even if I mix jogging and walking, the fat sure ain’t burning itself, and if I don’t do it no one else will.

And so ends my first ever jog, the next time will be better, as the only one I have to beat is myself, and right now the bar is pretty low.

Tomorrow will be better. It always is.

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Do You See What I See

My dad loved Sherlock Holmes. He had the hard bound compilation of all the books of the worlds greatest detective. And I started reading this fantastic collection of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work at around the age of 13.

I loved the whole character that was Sherlock Holmes. An absolutely brilliant mind that observed and made educated deductions on what he saw.

Everywhere we look, we are surrounded by a bevy of information. How many of us know how many steps it takes us to get from our front door to the bathroom? It’s a walk we take several times a day but how many of us actually know the approximate number of steps it takes to get to point B from point A?

He would see details that other people would also see but their brains would discard such information, categorizing it as useless or irrelevant. But not to Sherlock Holmes. He would observe, not just see.

How much of your world do you actually SEE? How much would you know of the lives of the people around you if you really really paid attention to detail?

Not many people would be able to tell if something was wrong unless the change or disturbance was great enough.

If you care about someone enough, shouldn’t you take the time to pay attention to the details you’d normally ignore?

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Almost everyone is familiar with this line. I first learned of it as a child in grade school. As a way of dealing with insults that were thrown my way. If you’ve never heard it before, what it basically means is “calling me names can’t hurt me”.

I don’t agree with that. My mom always quotes the Bible verse saying that the tongue holds life or death. And I agree with her. The words we speak can have amazing effects on the people around us, especially the ones we hold dear. Words may not break bones but they can break something much worse, the spirit or the heart.

Words can change darkness to light.

Be mindful of what you say. For me it is a lot harder to say good things than bad, but all it takes is practice. Focus on the good rather than the bad.

In the Empire State Building episode of How I Met Your Mother, Ted randomly speaks words of encouragement to a random man passing by and the man stops and says “thank you I was about to jump off the top of the building”. It’s a funny joke but if you think about it it’s really not that funny because there are people like that in our everyday lives. There are people whose hearts are heavy and spirits are broken even if we can’t see it on the outside.

Our words carry so much weight. In every single one of us lies the power to lift someone up or break them down.

Words can save someone who’s struggling in the ocean of existence, someone who’s ready to give up, someone who has been torn down by a hard life.

So the challenge is this, do I add weight to someone who is already drowning, or do I throw them a life preserver?

Chocolate Chip And Nutella Cookies

So I love chocolate chip cookies. But the ones that are really good, are usually really expensive. So I decided to try and make my own.

And I discovered that they’re expensive for a good reason. The best cookies, are almost always made from the best ingredients. Our chocolate selection in Manila is quite limited, and I don’t know of any bakers dream kind of stores as of yet. Though “Dough It All” in BF is pretty awesome, but I have yet to try their chocolates.

How I wish I could get American ingredients here in the Philippines without losing an arm and a leg in the process. There was this one store in San Francisco, at the fishermans wharf, which had over 300 chocolate variations. *sigh*

But thankfully, I’m slowly learning to make a pretty good cookie. It’s the basic chocolate chip cookie recipe which I added a few things of my own to the dough and 3 kinds of chocolate. Semisweet chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, and Nutella.

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