Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving in the Philippines, By Noemi Rabina

While our Thanksgiving holiday is now past, it is never too late to give thanks. This story from Noemi is a reminder that thankfulness is an encouraging  practice for people all over the world.


           Thanksgiving in November is not a public holiday. Only the Americans give their employees a day off. The main point is to thank the Lord for everything that He has done. People go to church with their gifts and prayers and have fellowship with friends.

           People celebrate Thanksgiving any time of the year when there is something special that happened in the family. It could be that somebody graduated from college. Passing the Board Exam. or Bar, is something to be thankful for. Success at work, safe travel of family member coming home from abroad calls for a thanksgiving celebration. To have a new house is also a good reason to celebrate with thanksgiving. A minister may bless the home to fill it with Christian love among the family members and friends. To have a new car is most exciting especially to the middle class. Having a car is not common among the Filipinos for there are lots of public transportations and people can go where ever they want. To have a car is only for the rich and the famous.

           It is good to be thankful always for whatever happens. When trouble comes, be thankful for God's precious presence is always available and sufficient to heal and to comfort.

           Over the years, as Filipinos came to the United States, they joined the Americans in celebrating Thanksgiving Day on the 4th Thursday in November. It is a big affair, and it should really be, considering all the blessings that most of the people enjoy. Families get together, feasting over the traditional roast turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potato, and pumpkin pie. To add the Filipino touch, we have our favorite dishes of pancit, egg rolls, and much more. But what is important is keeping the perpetual attitude of loving fellowship of kindred minds and hearts on Thanksgiving Day, not only among ourselves but also with others of different nationalities. We are all one big family under One God.

           What else is popular? It is the "After Thanksgiving Sale."  People lined up in the stores very early in the morning to avail themselves of the door busting sales, hoping to get the biggest discounts for their Christmas Holiday gift shopping. We stretch our hard earned dollar for more presents to put inside the "balikbayan" boxes to be sent to our loved ones in the Philippines for Christmas. "Freely we receive, freely we also shall give!"

           And to all people around the world, may your Thanksgiving last for more than a day, or week, or month, for the grace of God has no end!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving ABC's, by Jacqueline Smith

One of the things I love about our class is the endless variety of writers and thinkers. This is Jacqui’s ABC list – an expression of the way she thinks and lives.


Angels that are always watching over me.

Beauty of colorful trees and falling leaves in Autumn.

Compassionate and caring people in my life.

Doors of opportunity that God opens before me.

Experiences that have made me who I am today.

Friends and family members who I love and cherish.

Grace to accept all people just as they truly are.

Hope of a home on high when this life is finished.

Inspirational moments when my imagination soars.

Jesus, who is my Savior and the Lord of my life.

Kind and gentle words spoken at just the right time.

Love and laughter and time spent with special friends.

Many precious memories for which I am truly grateful.

New friends who are like jewels in my treasure chest.

Oh, "Nothing says lovin' like something from the oven".

Prayer, peaceful music, pumpkin pie and playful puppies.

Quiet evenings of serenity when my neighbors go to sleep.

Understanding others, and being understood as well.

Voices of my wonderful, chatty pals on the telephone.

Warm and cozy blankets on a cold, Winter's night.

Xcellent life that fills my heart with joy unspeakable.

Years spent with the best parents and siblings in the world.

Zeal for what lies ahead because "the best is yet to come".



Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving ABC's by Kacie Cooper

Thanksgiving is only 3 days away. Have you written down your thankfulness list yet? Here is Kacie’s.  Read and enjoy.

Anyone who will listen to me
Benny-Michael Benny, my 2nd born, beautiful son
Cool breezes on warm night and catsup-(didn't they used to spell it that way?)
Dill pickles, door knobs and daylight
Elijah Abraham-my 8th month old beautiful Grandson
Fingers, flushing toilets
God and girlfriends from "Memoirs"
Humor and hunger (sometimes) to remind me how blessed I am to live in America
Intuition, internet
Jokes, Jingle Bell songs, Justin Bieber (for my granddaughter Tiana)
Knowledge, know-it-alls
Love, laughter, life, I Love Lucy, leeks and Looney Toons
Mimi Marissa and Monique- my two beautiful daughters
Nieces and nephews, nails, new life, new experiences, new friendships and noodles
Oregon and my final trip there with my beautiful, late Brother Michael
Patti- my precious baby sister
Quirky friends and quick forgivings
Restoration of depressed and broken hearts
Sun light that leads our way
Tony-my beautiful 1st born son and Tiana Kathleen my beautiful Granddaughter
Underwater scuba divers who save lives underwater...somewhere
Violin I still have from childhood but can't play-will handdown to Tiana now
Wuzzy, the Fuzzy Wuzzy Bear- even though he truly wasn't
X-even though it's the least used alphabet we've got
Yolanda, my big sister- even though I think I'm older than her
Zilch-(just the word, not the real meaning)

Thank you and I thank God for each and everyone of you in our "Memoir" class-you make me smile!

Friday, November 16, 2012

I am From, by Peggy Knorr

Another guest writer this week – this “I am From” poem is from Peggy Knorr, writer extraordinaire ~ .

I am from…..

a thunderstorm; 

not an ordinary one,

but a ferocious Indian monsoonal cataclysm

that split the skies and drenched the earth 

and panicked my tiny body in its effort to escape claustrophobic devastation.


I was not ready to leave my private little heaven,

my mother's peaceful growing place, it wasn't time; 

I wanted more of that calm acceptance, 

but now the very muscles that had supported me 

were pushing me hard out into the world, 

and many frantic hands were puling at me 

to break the suction of its cavernous hold;     

each thunderous explosion dissolving one more strand of my insistence to stay behind,  

loosening my pain-wracked determination not to be born. 


"Look out, Here she comes" the storm was shouting

"We'll get that little bugger yet.

She needs to know what wakening to the world is like)

It is no small deal to prepare a life for stalwart strength.

We've gathered up our energies in all their immensity

so we can give her fitting start to weather the rough storms of living 

as she needs and as they come.. 


"Mis-shapen body, yes, because we are not soft, we did as little damage as we could,

but that will only add to her strength.

The trials she will encounter will be fashioned in the belly of disturbances of mighty forces

and she will have grown used to hard happenings when they come along 

and will welcome them from the beginning for her growth."


So spoke the mighty storm, and now since many years have passed 

I hold in honor those tremendous energies that chose to be the beginning of my worldly existence.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Thanksgiving ABC's by Bonnie Mansell

For the last few years my class has been sharing our Thanksgiving blessings in the form of an alphabetical list. It's a fun (and a little bit challenging) way to think about the things we are thankful for. Although I generally publish only one or two posts a week, if you send me your ABC list, I'll be happy to post them each day in the order I get them. I'd love to hear from you :)

This assignment allows for only VERY SHORT explanations, so you may not understand each item on someone’s list. That’s okay. Just enjoy the expression of gratitude.

Autumn ~ in California

Babysitting Adaya ~ What a precious gift!

Cousins and almost cousins ~ the blessing of reconnection

Date nights ~ with Steve

Eucharisteo ~ Ann Voskamp’s reminder to give thanks

Facebook ~Yes, I’m thankful for Facebook

Guarding the heart of your marriage ~ retreat planning and participation
Hospitable kids ~ what a joy to see them welcome others into their lives!

Ice cream ~ on Friday nights

Jury duty ~ inconvenient, but a reminder of our rights and responsibilities

Kids who love each other

Learning to golf

Mountain retreat ~ in Arrowhead with the family

New hearts ~ physical and spiritual

Outdoor music ~ in the park, Hollywood Bowl, Irvine, Downtown Disney

Pebble Beach ~ Golfing with Steve at Peter Haye across from the good golfers!

Quarters ~ (and nickels, dimes, and pennies) saved in our World Vision jar.

Renovations ~ Disrupting our lives, but bringing out the best in my family of hard workers.

Seventeen mile drive ~ breathtaking beauty and time together

Thursdays ~ my weekly blessing!

UCLA ~ Cardiac and Thoracic surgery gave us both a longer and better life

Volunteering~ opportunities with World vision

Walks ~ with my husband as he recovered from surgery. Sweet, tender times.

Xing ~ off my “to do list”

Young-at-heart friends and family ~  

Zzzzz’s ~ especially Sunday afternoon naps