Spiritual Reflections

Was It A Morning Like This

For some reason, the music in my head that kept ringing from Christmas Eve to Christmas Morning was an old Sandi Patty song called Was It A Morning Like This — which was in no way a Christmas song.

But isn’t it?

Today, I’m reminded that this season of Christmas is all about Christ’s sacrifice: not just miraculous birth, or His redemptive death, but of His powerful resurrection as well as His imminent return.

And so, with a bit of creative license, I thought of making my own Christmas version of the song: Continue reading

Nativity Scene at Pacific Star
Spiritual Reflections

Then I Could Wish You Merry Christmas

I stare at the ATM display screen. My heart leaps. Finally, I can pay my bills! But just like a beautiful falling star, it fades away. Just barely enough to pay the bills. There goes my Christmas plans.

I stare at the computer screen, browsing through posted Christmas photos. People and pets in costumes, nice and odd presents, and food. Lots of food. I try not to be envious. I wanted to sour-grape, but even that is something I can’t afford.

I grin as I overhear an officemate’s Spotify play an old song from Christmas with the Chipmunks album. I sang along as the crittery caroler crooned about his lost two front teeth, as it brought me back to a happier time, a happier Christmas. Continue reading

Spiritual Reflections

Just Saying

This is the original draft of what I submitted to OMF Literature for the ebook “What About Justice”. To the editors, thank you for accepting and including its excerpt.

To the readers, especially to those of us who believe in the Bible as Christians, let us be reminded: “We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.” Ephesians 6:12 CEV

In our pursuit of justice, let us not lose sight of His Light as well.

• • •

Continue reading

Thanks Mrs Ukita for the pasalubong!
Spiritual Reflections

Learning to Stand

“Your swings are good,” our dojo’s sensei said, “but where’s your footwork?”

Two months into training, I still find myself frustrated: how can something so basic and simple as a proper stance be so difficult to memorize? I practice in front of the mirror and whenever I can. I get the feel of it. Then training sessions come, and my feet forget what it was supposed to do. Sometimes, I just awkwardly execute the footworks; most of the time, I lose focus and at worst, my balance.

At the end of each sequence, I glance at my feet, adjust them back to their proper places, annoyed. Ugh. I just want to swing my shinai like Kenshin Himura; why do I have to do this boring routine every time?


Even when I was doing Muay Thai, I had the same problem: my strikes were good (I think), my balance was bad. I’d get reprimanded over and over again about it— and for a good reason. No matter how powerful my punches or kicks were, it’s useless if I lose my balance and fall down whenever I move or block a hit. And the same was true with kendo: even though my swings were improving, I still trip on my footwork.

Practice at home, our trainor keeps encouraging us. Practice wherever you can.

I stare at my ugly toes, wriggling them into position. How can something so simple as standing become so complicated? I can’t help but remember that oft-neglected phrase at the beginning of Ephesians 6:14— Stand firm then. Continue reading