Even the Savior Needed Help

On Good Friday, I was blessed to be a part of visita iglesia organized by our Feast. Growing up in a very traditional, Catholic family, the Stations of the Cross is something that I memorized when I was younger, but eventually forgot when I grew older. It was like a lesson in school, say World History – something I know that happened in the past, but not really sure what I can make out of it.

Until we reached the Fifth Station – Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross.

 Jesus Christ, son of the living God, our Savior, needed help, from an ordinary man named Simon, to carry his cross.

God's Saving Hand reaching for the faithful

It hit me.

I am prideful. I don’t ask for help unless I’m down drowning and hopeless. I won’t bother my family, my girlfriend, or even my best friends, for things that I feel do not concern them, like my work. I don’t like getting them involved because I know that they have their own share of problems as well. I don’t want them to think that I am needy and unable to get things done by myself.

But should I? With that kind of mindset, am I not closing the doors for people who might actually care to listen, to help? Would I rather sink down helpless than slowly rise by asking for a helping hand?

We all have our Simons. Maybe he is that friend who never gets tired of listening to your daily rants; your mother who always asks how your day has been; or maybe a kind-hearted stranger like Simon of Cyrene that you are yet to meet. Help is just around, so long as we admit and acknowledge that we need one. The eyes do not see what the heart does not seek. Never be afraid to ask for help.

The Stations of the Cross is not an outdated, useless piece of biblical history as I first thought it was. It is a timeless story of both suffering and resurrection, of defeat and victory, of pain and love. I realized that it is the story of my life.

 

By Eugene Cruz

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Love Yourself

Ask any Filipino why he chose to work abroad and chances are he would tell you that he did it for the family – for a sickly mother who needs regular treatment, for a father who couldn’t work anymore because of old age, or maybe even for his younger siblings or cousins who need help so they could continue their education. And this is the story of most of us, with tears and a heavy heart, we left our family thinking that someday, we will all be reunited in a better, more comfortable situation.

I am a selfless son. I have been working in Dubai for almost six years now. A few years ago, I utilized my savings to help my family overcome their debt. I helped my cousins so they could get their college degrees. In the unfortunate circumstances when someone had to be hospitalized, they run to me for assistance. Until one day, I realized, I couldn’t give any more – not because I don’t want to, but because there’s nothing more to give.

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At times, I find myself crying whenever I think of the last time I bought a gift for myself. It’s not being or wanting to be selfish. It’s realizing that in my efforts to be selfless for my family, I forgot to love myself. It’s the realization that I cannot give what I do not have.

Self-love and selflessness go hand in hand. It’s finding that balance between giving and holding back. There’s no need to choose, but we have to be careful. Being over-selfless could eventually lead to hurting yourself; and in the same way, loving yourself too much could lead to selfishness.

My love for my family will always be with me. It’s something that I will never be ashamed of. But if I truly want to support them, this time, I should choose to love myself first.

By Eugene Cruz

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Who Would Have Thought?!

A lot of us struggle with low self-worth and imperfection when cupid does not work out the way we hoped it would – and I am no exception. I’ve felt that the world has turned its back against me. But now I realize that it was during those times that God was pouring out His love. He was unwrapping the best present that I could have never imagined.

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Charisse and I first crossed paths in 2007 back in Makati. I was her mentor in a couple of work trainings. We were yuppies back then and have our own partners. In fact, her partner is one of my (and remains to be) closest friends, and we would often go out on double or group dates. We would hang-out, go to different countries and enjoy each other’s companies, without any malice.

Somehow, both our relationships didn’t work out. Things happened, and we decided to let go of the past. We went out on separate dates and tried to rebuild ourselves. As for me, instead of bombarding the world with why’s and what-if’s and involving myself into substance-abuse, I ended up hitting the gym, consciously observing my diet, meeting new people, rekindling old friendships and most importantly, surrendering myself to God’s plan. Until His beautiful plan unfolded…

Fast forward today and voila! In a few months, Charisse, my good old friend, and I will be tying the knot.lgail

God authored our lives to include heartbreaks, pain and anger in exchange of the best gift beyond our dreams and wildest imaginations. Who would have thought that the love of my life is someone beside me all this time?

A lot of times, we tend to be too close to a situation and yet, all we need is to step back and get a little perspective. When we do, we will notice there is a whole forest we couldn’t see before because we were too close focusing just on the trees. We realize that the “trees” are a part of a much beautiful and broader picture.

So, to my brothers and sisters who feel that the world works against your will: Stand up! Shrug off all the pain. Be grateful in your now and trust in God’s perfect plan.

By Bro. LG

Source: Fullness Talk 1: Goals & Gratitude Bulletin

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Embracing the Unknown

We all make plans. Whether it is to achieve our life dreams or simply how we plan to spend our day tomorrow. But it is rare for us to actually set our mind into our plans and do whatever it is to achieve them. Most of us would stop at the slight feeling of fear and uncertainty. We decide to give up and endlessly ask ourselves “What If?”.

I know it’s easy to get lost in the fear, to be hesitant, to fall victim to the voices of uncertainty. It’s so easy to think of all that could go wrong instead of what could go right. There is definitely a chance of things messing up. But life would always teach us that it is better to give in and try than not to try at all.

i can do it

Success might not always be in the things that you have first imagined. You might have failed because you are destined for things bigger than what you first planned. When you fail, work twice as hard as you first did. Anything of significance only comes from years of work and not giving up. We were all born equal, and the only thing you are lacking is a proper road-map… a personal guide to take you from where you are now to where you truly want to be.

If you’ve found your dream, fight for it. Stop yourself from making excuses as to why you couldn’t achieve it because you can. It is better to feel all the beautiful and the terrible—than to be on this earth not knowing how it feels to truly be alive. So learn, grow, love, fall, fail, start over, again and again.

 

By Blair

Source: Full I Have Enough Talk 2 – Protect & Talk 3 – Prosper Bulletin

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#FinancialGoals

“If you will lost your job today, how many days will you be able to survive in your savings alone?”

One of my greatest fears is to not survive.
Or even to survive just for few days and months.

Ever since, I have been following my GRACE formula to achieve my #financialgoals.
That is to Give, to Reflect, to Aim, to Claim and to Enjoy.

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GIVING is receiving.
It may sound absurd for some, but I personally believe in this saying.
Do you want to know a little secret?
I give more to those who cannot give me back. Or even thank me.
God will be the one to bless me instead.

REFLECT about value.
Money is value, thus to earn more money I have to increase value in my career and in my savings.
I do this by taking certifications to improve myself professionally and be competitive in my field.
In my work, I make sure I am valuable and efficient by giving my 101%.
I also do personal finance budgeting to make sure I save and invest every month.
Simultaneously, there are some steams of income on the side for added value.

AIM and CLAIM the dreams.
I have big dreams because I believe I have a big God.
These dreams I have for my family, friends, others and myself will come true in the most perfect time.
I make it specific and visual. Funny, but I thank God everyday as if I already received them.

ENJOY the fruits of my labor.
Work and no fun makes life dull.
I do what makes me happy as a gift to myself for being hardworking.
I set a budget for travel and leisure. Well, everyone deserves a break!

Remember that the goal is not having more money. The goal is living a life on our own terms.

So when somebody asks that question,
“If you will lost your job today, how many days will you be able to survive in your savings alone?”
Sana ang answer natin hindi parang COKE.
Minsan SAKTO, madalas ZERO.
#FinancialGoal is to have enough in our lifetime

By Periwinkle

Source: Full I Have Enough Talk 1 – Produce Bulletin

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Just Love

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I remember a story of a father who had a six-year old son, who once picked up a stone and scratched lines on the side of the car while his father was polishing his new car. In anger, the man took the child’s hand and hit it many times, not realizing he was using a wrench. The child was rushed to the hospital. At the hospital, the child lost all his fingers due to multiple fractures. When the child saw his father, with painful eyes he asked, “Dad, when will my fingers grow back?” The man was so hurt and speechless. He went back to his car and kicked it many times.  Devastated by his own actions, sitting in front of that car he looked at the scratches. The child had written ‘LOVE YOU DAD‘. The next day, that man committed suicide.

Often times, we see people suffering from various forms of abuse, like this child. So much literature has been published that enables us to reach out and accordingly help them but not much on the abuser’s well-being. Don’t get me wrong, but I am not discounting the hurt, the trauma, and the pain of the abused. But have we realized that both deserved to be loved and understood?

The man may be going through an emotional distress or may be having his own traumas from the past that led to inflicting physical pain to his child. His committing suicide infers that he probably didn’t want to hurt his child.

Abuse is never okay, but everyone deserves to be understood and loved, and people like the Dad in the story are the ones who need it the most. You may wonder “Why do I have to love people who hurt people?” The feeling can go from odd to confusing.

As Christians, we are called to strengthen our understanding towards these people without unnecessarily sacrificing your self-worth. We are called to love unconditionally. It is by spreading love that we can heed Christ’s call while helping out in lessening the victims of abuse.

By Cha

Source: Taboo Talk 2 & 3 – Abuse & Addictions Bulletin

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JEWELS – where Queens fix each other’s crowns

In today’s world where beauty and confidence seems quiet relative to how supermodels look, it is a real struggle for most women to boost or even retain self-esteem.

Women changes their entire persona just to be accepted and please people.
Women feels bad about looks and body if it is contrary with what the society perceives to be a beauty.
Women stays in a loveless relationship just to avoid judgement and criticisms from others.
Women grabs a wrong relationship, just to feel loved for a moment.
Women forgets their value and worth as a person.
This is reality. And it is very sad.

JEWELS of Feast Al Barsha is the perfect activity where women gathers and uplift each other.
This is the ideal peer group where women help women stand up and conquer challenges as a daughter, as a wife, as a mother, as a professional, as a sister, as a friend and as a part of the society.
The goal is for ladies to see themselves as valuable and special creation of God.
Women will accept who they are, feel blessed about it and worry nothing on what others may say.
As a result, they will be empowered to love and to serve.

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Ladies, own who you are, and feel free to show the world.
Your JEWELS will surely support.

By Periwinkle

Source: Taboo Talk 1- Ancestors Bulletin

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