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see you at the finish line

For the love of driving, those who just like joy rides or are born with a healthy (or even slightly unhealthy) sense of competition, here’s one for you:

the Northern Adventure Race is a Point to Point Race with Checkpoints. (Manila – Baguio – San Fernando, La Union – Dagupan – Subic)

The goal is to reach the Finish Line with the least time and within the limits of the law. A minimum time from point to point shall be set by Race Director using a theoretical computation between distance and maximum speed limits.

Every minute under theoretical time will mean incurring a penalty of plus 5 minutes.

Anyway, here are the Mechanics:

– Interested participants can fill up Registration Form at http://www.m150unleashed.multiply.com
– Email separately soft copies of the following requirements to m150unleashed@gmail.com (a) 2×2 individual photos of Team Members, (b) scanned valid license of appointed driver and co-driver, (c) pic of car to be used for the Race, (d) scanned car registration. If Team doesn’t own car, submit authorization from registered owner.
– Attend the Aug 29 Project Launch in Greenhills Shopping Complex, 9pm. Bring car and photocopies of required documents.
– No Registration Fee for the first 50 Cars who will be approved to join.
– After 50 Cars, Registration Fee of P1000 will be imposed. Reg Fees shall be made part of the Grand Prize
– To determine if you are part of the first 50 Cars with no Registration Fee, an email will be sent back to you confirming your Registration Number. A slot will be reserved for you pending final confirmation on August 29 during the Launch Celebration.

GUIDELINES

– Map & Route will be emailed to Participating Teams 5 days before Event Day.
– Checkpoint Locations will be given on the day of the Event
– There shall be one minute interval for the start of each car
– Competitors will be issued score cards to keep track of route and times
– Gas for the Race & Accommodations in Subic shall be to the account of the Participating Team

SCHEDULE

August 29, 2009 (Sat) Launch & Screening in Greenhills Shopping Complex, 9pm
September 19, 2009 (Sat) Northern Adventure Race (Actual Event)

GRAND PRIZE

P 50,000 cash
Special Edition Jacket
5 cases M-150 Energy Drink
Special Gift Packs from Partners

Grand feast awaits all finishers in Subic!

FOR INQUIRIES: Call M-150 Secretariat. Ask for Kat Corpus

Hotlines: (632) 707.9859 / (632) 393.0288
Cell: (63) 9193292013 / (63) 9228808805
Email : m150unleashed@gmail.com

Godspeed guys. I wanna join this race too. I love to drive!

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moving again…

after three or so years, stef is moving her blog again, hopefully to a permanent home in www.stepiphanies.com. wordpress has been a great host all these years.

i’ll see you guys on the other side. 🙂

Tough Life

From last week’s Station One message
TOUGH LIFE
Station One: 24 June 2008
Speaker: Rainier Pagcaliwagan

Hello people,

It hasn’t been a good week for me, folks. I just had to say that. Not all weeks are cut out to be great, I guess. Reviewing Rainier’s message last week on Joseph helps put things in perspective for me. So, I hope this helps you too, whatever kind of week you have been having.

In our last Station One sermon summary, we talked about how God, in His wonderfulawesome grace, always gives us the chance to make faith, patience, compassion, trust—all of the good stuff that we already know—real in our lives by putting us in situations where we have to make use of them… It’s never as easy as it looks on the page or heard from the pulpit, doesn’t it? But still, God is faithful, He will never let us be tempted and tested beyond what we can bear, He always gives us a way out.

Of course, my week has nothing on Joseph’s 13 years of slavery and imprisonment in Egypt, and I’m here thinking how did he do it? Was there ever a time where he just buried himself under a pillow and just wished that he would just wake up from that nightmare that was his life, or at least thumped the ground a bit? But the Bible doesn’t say anything on whether Joseph complained or shook his fist at the heavens, literally or metaphorically, but just that the Lord was with him and he prospered wherever he was placed.

In Genesis 41, the Pharaoh had two dreams. This was two full years after Joseph had told the butler to remember him to the Pharaoh when the butler went back to his master’s service. By all appearances, Joseph seemed to have been forgotten, but everything was in going with God’s perfect timing. See, this was finally it—the fulfillment of Joseph’s dreams back when he was home with his family. Joseph was given great power over all of Egypt and that he was only answerable to the Pharaoh himself. God used the 13 years between the dream and its realization to purify, hammer, and strengthen Joseph’s faith in Him, and add to that the wisdom learned through experience, to prepare Joseph. It took this long for Joseph to get there so he would have integrity, because power corrupts, especially when acquired so easily.

Joseph was already thirty years old when he finally stood in front of the Pharaoh and told him that God’s the One who can give him the answers. He pointed all the glory to God, Joseph knew that he only made it that far because God was with him. From affliction to exultation, Joseph glorified God!

And Pharaoh, who worshiped other gods, recognized the presence of the true God in Joseph’s life. That was why he put Joseph in charge of everything. Joseph got a wife with the promotion (heh) and when he had two sons, he honored God with them. He named his eldest Manasseh, because God had made him forget all his troubles and his father’s entire household— not that he forgot his family, but Joseph did not let his past hinder him from moving forward, he kept his eyes on God. He named his second son Ephraim, because God made him fruitful in his suffering—Joseph recognized God’s hand in everything.

And now, here we are. How’s our Godspotting doing? Do we see God’s hand in our own tough life? Or are we always ready to whine and moan when things aren’t going our way and we don’t know what to do with ourselves? God knows that we are very shortsighted people with bad memories (hence, we’re often called “sheep”) so He has filled the Bible with reminders and stories for us to REMEMBER that He is always faithful and He always pulls through.

Remember the Cross—the permanent evidence of God’s love for us! When we look at life through the world’s lenses, we just take it as it comes, and it’s blurry and unfocused because we can only see it through the perspective of the present. When we view life through God’s lenses, everything is seen clearer in the full view from eternity. Let’s not preoccupy ourselves with the things of this world because we won’t be staying here very long, but seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

This was Joseph’s secret—he saw life through God’s lenses that’s why he stuck with Him no matter what. Joseph knew that God, in all His power, can take even the evil plans of men and use them to bring His purposes to pass. And he only saw that at the end of his story— after everything that he has been through! Most of the time, God reinforces our faith after we trust Him, not before.

So no matter what kind of day we’re having, this is the secret to getting through it, just stay with God. Be transformed by the renewing of our minds and see just how He has worked out our past, our present and even the unknown future, into his perfect masterpiece. He didn’t promise that it would be easy, and even if we don’t see it at times, He did promise that He will be with us. REMEMBER that He is faithful. Because whose name is on you? It’s His. He won’t let His name be put to shame because this is all about Him.

So, stick with God through everything and anything. Do this, and even other people who don’t believe in God won’t be able to help but see His presence in our lives.

I hope you guys learned from the life of Joseph as much as I have. For more on Joseph, just turn your Bibles to Genesis 37-50. This month, we embark on a new series called Elemental, every Tuesday night of July, at 7:30 p.m. at Station One [Basement 2, Union Church Manila, cor. Legaspi and Rada St., Legaspi Village, Makati City].

I’ll see you guys tonight.

Godspeed,

Stef

P.S.

Rainier also pointed out that Joseph wholly gave his life over to God that God used him as a foretaste of Jesus’ ministry here on earth. Here are some of his notes on the correspondence between the lives of Joseph and Jesus from Genesis 41, this actually makes for a very interesting study. Look them up!

  1. Verse 16 – Joseph points to God for the credit and interpretation of the dreams; Jesus points to the glory of God (Matthew 5:16)
  2. Verse 27 – Joseph prophetically reveals a 7 year famine; Jesus is prophetically revealed in the 7-year famine (Rev 5).
  3. Verse 38 – Joseph is a man with whom is the Spirit of God; Jesus was given the Spirit of God without limitation (John 3:24).
  4. Verse 40 – From dungeon to the throne; Jesus went from the tomb to the throne (Rev 5:1).
  5. Verse 43 – Joseph was given authority over all the land of Egypt; Jesus was granted authority over everything (John 17:2; Matthew 28: 18)
  6. Verse 45 – Joseph was given a new name when he was raised up; Jesus was given the name above every name. (Philippians 2:6-9; Revelation 3:12)
  7. Verse 46- Joseph was 30 years old when he started to serve the Pharaoh; Jesus was 30 years old when he started his public ministry. (Luke 3:23)
  8. Verse 55 – Pharaoh commands the people to go to Joseph for advise on what to do; Mary in the wedding at Cana told the servants to go to Jesus and obey him what they tell them to do. (John 2:5)
  9. Verse 57 – All the nations came to buy food from Joseph in order to be saved in the physical sense; Jesus is the only way to salvation.

on calling

A calling is simply God’s shaping of your burden and His beckoning you to your service to Him in the place and pursuit of His choosing. Finding your home in your service to Christ is key to noticing the threads that God has designed just for you. When you find it, you inevitably feel that hand-in-glove sensation. Finding it gives you the security of knowing that you are utilizing your gifts and your will to God’s end first, not yours. When you align your will with God’s will, His calling on you has found its home. A true call of God puts a tug on your soul that you cannot escape, no matter how unattractive the cost of following it may feel. And what is the starting point for this process? The Bible leaves us in no doubt: do what you know to be God’s will, and then watch how He will lead you into what you do not yet know. you are God’s temple; so act like it. God reinforces his call as your respond to His nod.
(Ravi Zacharias, in
The Grand Weaver)


I wish…

I am what people say I am.
that i am braver than this.
i don’t cry so easily.
that i am as strong as people expect me to be.

but only sometimes.


then He told me,

“My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.”

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size– abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

(2 Cor. 12:9, The Message)

photo by the Law.

Truth Thursdays, people. Time to dig deep again.

Remember, you don’t have to directly answer the question, you could just be “inspired” by it. but better if you do directly address the prompt/question. remember the mechanics:

  1. Every Thursday, i will post a question or a prompt on this blog and participants will write something that answers the question or was inspired by it. (or post pictures or artworks!)
  2. Participants who wrote something for that Thursday must leave a link on the comment box of that day’s prompt to let people know that they have posted.
  3. TRUTH THURSDAY must be on the Title of your entry, followed by the question (so people will know).
  4. This does not have to be emo– although these things tend to be a bit on the emo side, but TRUTH THURSDAYS are meant to be a fun way to bond through blog, and to get people writing and posting something meaningful and real. (disclaimer: this isn’t to say that you’re not doing so already!)
  5. No pressure. Just be inspired and post something!
  6. Be TRUTHFUL!

This week, it’s

I Wish…

Trapped?

(on Ro’s message at Station One last week)

I’m sure, at some point in all our lives, we have felt, one way or another, trapped. By that itchy dress that we never wanted to wear in the first place, but mom thought lace and frills look so cute; while in between buses during rush hour traffic; being in a job you no longer enjoy; or while stuck in a relationship or a situation you don’t have any control over—and you just want to trust that any time now, God will just swoop in and take you out of that situation, but you’re already at that point where it’s been months already and you’re asking, “Why is it taking so long, God?!”

But enough about me. (heh)
Last week, Pastor Ro focused on Genesis 40, the chapter where Joseph was still “prospering” (see last week’s summary of Rainier’s message) in the Egyptian jail for a crime that he did not commit. It’s been more than a decade already since he was sold into slavery by his brothers.  If anyone had the right to feel trapped, it would be Joseph, his life was mostly being moved from one form of prison to another– from the dry cistern, to slavery, to an actual prison– even if he never did a thing to deserve it! If anyone had the right to cry out to God and demand for an explanation, it would be Joseph. But there was never a record of a grumble or complaint from him!

In this episode in Joseph’s life, the Pharaoh’s butler and baker came into the picture when they too were thrown in prison and was put in Joseph’s charge. These two had dreams that Joseph interpreted correctly. If we remember, Joseph had two dreams too! Way back when he was still at home with his family. So, all this time, God had given the Joseph the ability to interpret dreams—which could mean he must have known what his dreams had meant even way back then!

Imagine, knowing that God had promised that he would be placed in a position of power, where even his family would bow down to him, and yet everything that had happened since those dreams seem to be taking him to the opposite end. Slave for ten years, and now a prisoner, didn’t he ask himself if the dreams were really from God, or if he had interpreted the dreams correctly? Yet, Joseph said, “Do not all interpretations come from God?” Joseph was patient. He stayed with God because he knew that it was God who gave him those dreams.

When Joseph asked the butler to mention his situation to the Pharaoh, Joseph wasn’t desperate, he was simply stating facts. He wasn’t complaining, but while he knew that God had everything in control, he din’t just passively wait for God to do something to get him out of jail. And when time passed and the butler seemed to have forgotten him, Joseph didn’t despair, because he knew that even if man forgets you, God will never forget you.

Joseph was a man, albeit an exceptional man, he is still human, subject to time and the passing seasons, to pain and discomfort and despair. Yet he didn’t feel trapped, even if his circumstances said otherwise, because he knew that his life was in God’s hands.

We know this too, right? Our lives are in God’s hands! That He loves us; that He is in control; that GOD IS FAITHFUL. So why do we still feel trapped? Why do we grumble?

The thing about hardships, they help build patience by letting us put our patience into good use. No temptation has seized us except what is common to man. God is faithful, He will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear (1 Cor. 10:13). He created us and He knows us inside out, so He knows what we can and cannot handle. In His awesome grace, God gives us opportunities to put everything that we know of Him and make them real in our lives by putting them into practice. We say we love God, then let it happen! The Fruits of the Spirit aren’t there to just be memorized and enumerated, they’re to be lived out in our lives! God doesn’t want us to have weak minds, but to have renewed minds that see Him in everything, including in suffering. We say we know this, then let other people see it in us by living it!

Whenever you feel impatient or trapped, remember that God is faithful and He loves us. The proof is not found in situations that we find ourselves in at the moment—because situations change—but in the Cross of Calvary. God had exchanged His Son for us. And it’s done already. That will never change, and that is why that’s the foundation of our faith. We have been saved by God’s grace! Not by anything that we have done or will do.

We look to future grace, even if we can’t find it now—although, as Ravi Zacharias has pointed out in the Grand Weaver, even in the silence, and in the darkness, God moves in the shadows, weaving events in our lives into this beautiful design He has for our lives. We are made for eternity—so what’s a year? A decade? A lifetime? Hebrews 11 is a list of people who died without seeing God’s promises come to pass, yet they still held on to Him! Because God is their portion; because they know Him, they know that He is faithful, and that His faithfulness extends to all eternity.

Wow.

Doesn’t that just blow you away?!

Come to Station One for more on the “Tough Life,” this June, every Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. UCM Basement 2. Rainier’s up next.