Friday, November 17, 2017

Preaching Leadership

   It rained all night last night.  It was still raining this morning.  The rain totally washed bird poop off my car, Trixie, that’s the name of my 2008 Toyota Matrix.  As I drove off to go to dialysis I saw a postman walking in the rain to deliver mails.  I realized how the mailmen are unsung.  We all take for granted the privilege of receiving our mails right at our mailbox rain, snow or shine.

Rural mailbox 
   In the Philippines, homes do not have a mailbox.  In Kentucky, I found that I can put my outgoing mail either with Postage stamp on it or some change in my mailbox then raise the little plastic red flag to alert the mailman.  He will then take my outgoing mail back to the post office so I don’t have to go there myself.  Here in San Francisco, we have mailboxes mostly attached to the house and no red flags.  

   Outgoing mails have to be dropped at the USPS collection blue box, another thing we don’t have in the Philippines where you have to go to the nearest post office.  

   Jehovah’s Witnesses go door to door, on foot, to bring Bible literature for free as service to God.  San Francisco is known to have steeply inclined streets.  Now imagine senior citizens, with aching hips and knees, walking up and down those streets to reach every door without exemption, because the Bible said, “And every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus.” (Acts 5:42)

   Every congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses has a ministry coordinator to manage the distribution of doors among the members out preaching on any particular day.  My congregation was blessed with a ministry coordinator who is a retired mailman.  He knows the entire territory like the back of his hand.  He knows the steep streets, the homes with stairway to the front door, the street parking availability against street cleaning schedule and which elderly member can manage those conditions.  He drives the group to the top of the hilly street so they can walk down instead of climb and catch them at the bottom.  He assigns homes with stairways to younger members and the one level homes to the elderly, all while patiently dealing with conflicts among members going through second childhood.

   The result is immeasurable comfort and joy for the members and efficiency in the ministry for Jehovah’s purpose.

See also:
The Art of Preaching 
Talking to Closed Doors 
Google It

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Milestone

   My first book, THE EMAIL ORDERED WIFE was completed in 2012.  I created FILIPINATHENANDNOW.COM in 2013 for the main purpose of promoting my books.  I never realized the blog would provide its own worth until I posted The Shallowness of Youth.  The article gained a few pageviews then, suddenly in 2013, jumped to 3,450 pageviews and all from Ukraine!  That put it at the top of popular post list.

   Ukraine President Yanukovych was ousted on 22 February 2014 followed by Crimea’s annexation by Russia in March.  Crimea was a part of Russia since the year 1783, until 1954, when Crimea province was transferred from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR by a decree of the Soviet Union.

   After the Russian annexation of Crimea, the pageviews from Ukraine trickled down.  Clearly, the political changes affected the territories of Ukraine and Russia putting 5,525 pageviews credited under Russia.  But to this day, The Shallowness of Youth, a totally unpolitical article, remains on top of the most read article list with 3,728 views while overall stats shows a total of 13,587 from Ukraine.  I was fired up by the historical and political impact on my humble blog.

   I was motivated to make the blog a part of my ministry.  I wrote down my personal insights on Bible stories and passages that may or may not necessarily reflect my religious organization’s teachings.  The blog, as an instrument for preaching, is not a part of ministry statistics because I have no way of knowing if the pageview led to  As for pageviews of the Biblical articles, it has reached conservatively 5,190.  Only Jehovah who can read the heart of the readers can judge the merit of my blog preaching.  “For Jehovah searches through all hearts, and he discerns every inclination of the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9)

   Today my blog passed 100 thousand pageviews.  That is nothing to brag about considering the internet can deliver millions.  Four out of ten articles on the list of popular posts are about dialysis.  This blog has given me a venue to give personal knowledge as a patient about kidney disease which remains in the dark despite millions of patients dying from all over the world.

See also:

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Memory is Selective

   Memory is selective.  Sometimes we remember only the good times.  Some people only remember the bad.  When divorce happens, what memories are left behind?  Here are mine.

   He flew me business class from Manila to Kentucky but that's nothing. Even with my Philippine peso salary I could buy that myself.  I'd just have to save up.  That flight kicked off my midlife journey.
   He arranged for our riverboat wedding on board the  Southern Belle riverboat, docked at Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The wedding package required a Tennessee marriage license, so we got that.  We had the ceremony on the promenade deck with the mountains and the Tennessee River in the backdrop.  It was officiated by our Riverboat Chaplain.  The Bridal bouquet, keepsake champagne glasses, buffet dinner for two and dinner cruise were included.  I was 55 years old and he was 60.  The photo shows us looking like  eloping teens in blue jeans.  So I guess, yes, we were happy that day.

   He booked a Honeymoon Hills Gatlinburg Cabin for our honeymoon.  It was in the middle of the forest but had all the amenities of a city home for our convenience, like cable television and a complete kitchen.  There was a red heart shaped hot tub at the foot of the bed surrounded by mirrors like the one on the photo.

   He bought me shiny gray silk pajamas I didn't even want. I'm used to flannel or cotton. But he insisted.  I still remember how smooth the silk felt on my skin.  I looked fabulous with it on me!  

   I'm one of Jehovah's Witnesses.  I told him from the get go that he doesn't have to give me anything for birthdays, Christmas or Valentine's and I can't give him anything either. During the entire marriage, he insisted on giving me $150 for every occasion.  I was to get myself something  and show him what I bought.  I guess because he didn't want to go to the ladies section.  Looking back, that was sweet of him!  

   Funny thing, what I appreciated was the collection of Rascal Flatts hits CD he made for me.  I have moved from home to home, to another state and changed cars.  I still listen to the CD.

See also:

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Pogonophilia, I Plead Guilty

   Pogonophilia is a fixation on men with facial hair.  It mostly manifest in women with love for mustached or bearded persons.  I believe this differs from Trichophilia which is said to be sexual hair fetishism.  Why do I think so?  I have been guilty of Pogonophilia long before there was a name for it.  My condition is more on the fashion statement rather than sexual.  Touching facial hair is not my thing.  

   My Pogonophilia started with Filipino movies in the 50s where the villain always had facial hair to make the good guy easier to spot.  To this day, Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Philippines are dissuaded from wearing facial hair.  It gives householders they meet during door to door ministry an impression of villainous intention. 

   In high school, the guys I dated all had starter mustache Filipinos call “balahibong pusa” which means soft as a kitty’s fur.  After graduation, in college, every guy in campus was a fan of Che Guevara, at that time.  A mere four years from puberty had textured the boys’ facial hair stronger, thicker and trimmable into whatever suits their illusions of manhood be it Che Guevara, Fidel Castro or George Harrison.  
Che Guevara, Fidel Castro

   The first guy I ran off with had a goatee and only a goatee.  One year later the goatee blossomed into a full beard and mustache Filipinos call “balbas sarado”.  He grew it when he was out of town to surprise me although I never mentioned to him my fascination with the mustache.  He came home and blew me away!  From that moment on, I saw him as larger than life.  He was every action star in a movie.  I got pregnant.  To this day, no man real or movie character has ever approached his level of machismo in my eyes.  Two of my ex-husbands after him were clean shaven but both tried to grow a mustache as if they all could sense my Pogonophilia.  They didn’t quite make it. 

   Fast forward to 2006, I remarried to an American with rather long blond hair and mustache.  I still didn’t know back then that my psychological condition had a name nor a cure.  Even if science invents medication, it’s too late for me.  I am now 65 years old.  My ship sailed a long time ago.

See also:
Liam Hemsworth in My Eyes 
Picture of Being in Love 
Losing No.1

Friday, October 20, 2017

With Spirit and Truth

A nativity scene that shows the 3 Magi and Jesus in a manger
   Filipino families celebrate Christmas with getting together, lots of food and gift giving.  It was a practical tradition to hand out peso bills in an envelope to young people.  Other than married couples or sweethearts, adults rarely expected any present from each other.  This is in keeping with the Biblical scenario of the baby Jesus’ receiving gifts from the “three wise men”.  Mary and Joseph didn’t get any. (Matt. 2:1-11).  Every nativity image in calendars, church and home ornaments showed the three Magi in a manger where Jesus was born for lack of available room at the inn.  

   However, the Bible says in Matt. 2:9-11 “the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.  And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.”  The Magi found Jesus a “young child” in his home, not a newborn in a manger.  Filipinos just assumed that the travel in those days was as speedy as today’s mechanized transportation so the “three kings” must have reached Jesus at the manger.  In the Philippines, Three Kings' Day is celebrated on January 6 or in some countries on the Sunday after January 1.  It is amazing how people read the Bible for decades and never see the details that God had put in so meticulously. 

   "the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for indeed, the Father is looking for ones like these to worship him." (John 4:23)

   The Simbáng Gabi masses are held daily from December 16 to 24 from as early as 03:00 to 05:00 in the morning.  In the Philippines that time frame is before sunrise.  The devotional nine-day series of Masses carries a promise of an answer to a prayer upon completion.  The last day mass of the Simbang Gabi, which falls on Christmas Eve, is called Misa de Gallo, Spanish for “Rooster's Mass”.  No one has an explanation for a rooster’s connection to a celebration of Jesus Christ supposed birth date.  It was one of those traditions, like Santa Claus or Easter egg and bunny that people practiced without checking the Bible for historical nor scriptural accuracy.  

   New Year's Day is part of the Christmas holiday.  Noise is made on New Year's Eve with firecrackers and horns to dispel bad luck from the coming new year.  

   "There should not be found in you anyone who ... who looks for omens, a sorcerer,... anyone ...who consults a fortune-teller" (Deutronomy 18:10-11)

See also:

Friday, October 6, 2017

From Banking Fraud to Murder?

   When suffering injustice, imagine how the Native Americans felt.  Their land was taken from them by uninvited white men, who then imprisoned them in Reservations.  Or think about the African-Americans who were taken from their country to be enslaved.  They were forced to work for no pay, maltreated in ways present day animal activists would be in uproar when done to animals.

   The toughest thing about justice is the wait.  Crimes are never resolved in the same year.  Some take decades to get justice if at all.  William E. Gladstone said “Justice delayed is justice denied.”  In governments and courts of mere mortals, justice is so “denied” that many take the law in their own hands.  

   In the Bible, three cried “How long?”  In the Book of Habakkuk, it says: “How long, O Jehovah, must I cry for help, but you do not hear?  How long must I ask for help from violence, but you do not intervene?...So law is paralyzed, And justice is never carried out.”  (Habakkuk 1:2-4

   In the Book of Psalms, King David says: “How long, O Jehovah, will you forget me? …How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2)

   Jesus with all his powers as the Son of God says: “O faithless and twisted generation, how long must I continue with you? How long must I put up with you?” (Matthew 17:17

   The great thing about the above passages is that Jehovah’s faithful servants felt free to ask "How long?"  We can too.  They were not condemned for asking.  That assures us that Jehovah understands when he reads our hearts and see hurt, anger and frustration at being victimized.  

   My father died in August of this year.  Some of us in the family believe he was poisoned by his adopted daughter, a child he raised as his own and put through expensive education.  My interviews with two bank managers from two different banks showed this adopted woman managed to put her name in the bank accounts with the approval of the bank managers.  

   The Philippine banking law states that accounts should be frozen upon the death of even just one of the account owners.  My stepmother died in February, 2016.  The banks did not freeze the accounts and allowed the adopted to continuously withdraw, even closing one of the accounts one month before my father died and more than one year after my stepmother died.  The withdrawal form from the bank specifically states that “WE DECLARE UNDER THE PENALTIES OF PERJURY THAT MY CO DEPOSITOR(S) IS/ARE STILL LIVING.”  

   “The One securing justice for those defrauded…he thwarts the plans of the wicked” (Psalm 146:7)

See also:

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Intro to the Book, Matriarchs of Cavite

  What makes a woman take the reins that drive an entire clan?  Is it sheer will power?  Could it be circumstance?  

   Women across the globe differ according to culture.  Culture is mostly developed out of historical interaction between nations.  Asian women are known to be culturally meek and subservient.  Filipinas are a different breed.  They came out of 300 colonial years under Spain stronger than their men.

   In the revolution against Spain, women were a moving force.  There were sporadic dissent by unorganized individuals throughout the centuries of colonialism.  The women of Cavite used business connections to support the Revolution. The Filipino Red Cross, established in 1863, led by the wife of Emilio Aguinaldo, had divisions from Ilocos Norte to Batangas. (Filipino Women Revolutionaries)

   In 1893, the Katipunan’s Supreme Council included a women's auxiliary section, the provincial council of Cavite later became the most successful council of the society. 

Battle of Imus Monument
   A large organized group with a meager arsenal, to dare confront the well-armed Spanish army was, at first, inconceivable.  Thus, the first big battle of the Philippine revolution called Battle of Imus, or the Siege of Imus in September, 1896 caught the Spanish colonial government by surprise.  The victory gained by the Filipino revolutionaries in this siege showed potential to win.  Two months later, in November 1896, the Spanish military retaliated against the revolutionaries in Cavite province with the Battle of Binakayan - Dalahican.  Those clashes made the revolution official.

   After centuries of procrastinating, the first to draw Spanish blood were the people of Cavite.  That placed the Caviteños’ courage and bravery in history.  Not all of those revolutionaries were men.  A good number of them were Caviteñas, the women of Cavite who earned a reputation for feistiness, vindictiveness, if warranted and only if warranted, downright malevolence.  

   By the time peace and a relative independence was reached in 1899, it was too late to break the Filipina spirit back into domestication.  She has learned to fight for her country, take sole responsibility for her family and make money.  All that took a Women’s Liberation Movement in the 60’s to teach the women of other nations.

   The Caviteñas would be the least likely to become victims of rape, domestic abuse, assault or home invasion.  They are shrewd business managers, assertive in any situation and adapt to the most difficult condition without losing charm and poise.  They make perfect matriarchs.

See also: