MattAndJojang's Blog

God. Life. Spirituality.

Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude

Christmas Letter 2013

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How lovely on the mountains are the feet of Him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, “Your God reigns!

~ Isaiah 52:7

This verse keeps repeating in my mind as I contemplate on the lovely Cordillera mountain from where I sit at a coffee shop situated on the top floor of a mall here in Baguio City.

Where does this serenity in the midst of turbulence come from?

You see, the past year has been a tumultuous year for Matthew and I. We were faced with so much stress that it has taken its toll on our health.  Twice, Matthew had to be confined in the hospital, while I suffered some setbacks as well (weakened by my hospitalization around this time last year).

However, although unpleasant, this difficulty we recently faced turned out to be a faith building exercise for us. We stand witness to God’s faithfulness as big and small miracles happened… before we knew it, our concerns were being addressed… issues resolved and very slowly but surely problems solved.

To say that we are awed and humbled is an understatement … Thank you, Lord!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our doctors who patiently and lovingly take care of us. In spite of Matthew’s stress related hospitalization, he recovers much faster now than before — a marked improvement.  I, on the other hand, am grateful for my home based work wherein I do what I immensely enjoy doing.

I cannot end this letter without mentioning this blog which is a source of joy for us.  As of this writing, we have 134 followers and have reached 192,963 hits. All in a span of 5 years. Never in our wildest dreams did we ever imagine that we will be able to reach out to so many people through this blog. It excites us that we have developed friendships on cyberspace too.  We got to meet like minded individuals who share our beliefs, convictions and interests. A wonderful blessing!

Let me end this Christmas letter with a quote from one of Matthew’s favourite authors:

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.

~ Meister Eckhart

And we say, “Thank you, Lord” … Indeed, you are good!

Here’s wishing you a meaningful Christmas and a grace filled New Year ahead.

Matthew and Jojang

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Written by MattAndJojang

December 16, 2013 at 1:54 pm

The Little Monk and the Samurai: A Zen Parable

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Photo: seamlessgem/Flickr

Photo: seamlessgem/Flickr

A big, tough samurai once went to see a little monk.

“Monk!”

He barked, in a voice accustomed to instant obedience.

“Teach me about heaven and hell!”

The monk looked up at the mighty warrior and replied with utter disdain,

“Teach you about heaven and hell? I couldn’t teach you about anything. You’re dumb. You’re dirty. You’re a disgrace, an embarrassment to the samurai class. Get out of my sight. I can’t stand you.”

The samurai got furious. He shook, red in the face, speechless with rage. He pulled out his sword, and prepared to slay the monk.

Looking straight into the samurai’s eyes, the monk said softly,

“That’s hell.”

The samurai froze, realizing the compassion of the monk who had risked his life to show him hell! He put down his sword and fell to his knees, filled with gratitude.

The monk said softly,

“And that’s heaven.”

~ from the book “Conscious Business: How to Build Value through Values”

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May 15, 2013 at 10:07 am

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Promise

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jeremiah 29_

 

‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

~Jeremiah 29:11

Written by MattAndJojang

January 30, 2013 at 9:32 am

Thanksgiving Day Prayer

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Photo: CubaGallery/Flickr

For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thornbush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

~ Walter Rauschenbusch

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November 23, 2012 at 9:42 am

Happy Birthday, Matthew!

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Matt

14 June 2012

 

Dearest Matthew,

God is so good that He gave you to me as my husband.

Indeed, we are just the perfect match! And to you, I am grateful…

…. For loving me in spite of my weaknesses

…. For constantly being there for me.

…. For understanding me, even when I can really be so silly.

…. For not mocking me for my fears.

…. And so much more.

Today, on your birthday, I sincerely pray that the Lord will grant all that your heart may wish for.

Looking forward to many, many more years together!

I love you…

 

With all my heart,

Jojang

Written by MattAndJojang

June 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Every Breath… Every Moment…

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Photo: mechtaniya/deviantART

Every breath we draw is a gift of God’s love; every moment of existence is a grace.

~ Thomas Merton

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May 9, 2012 at 9:10 am

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The Vision at Louisville

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Yesterday, in Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, suddenly realized that I loved all the people and that none of them were or could be totally alien to me. As if waking from a dream—a dream of my separateness, of the “special” vocation to be different. My vocation does not really make me different from the rest of men or put me in a special category except artificially, juridically. I am still a member of the human race, and what more glorious destiny is there for man, since the Word was made flesh and became, too, a member of the Human Race!

Thank God! Thank God! I am only another member of the human race, like all the rest of them. I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.

~ Thomas Merton

Written by MattAndJojang

March 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm