Monday, September 28, 2009

Gratitude: Relatives Safety in Recent typhoon in the Philippines-Monday, September 28th of 2009

I'm just thankful that my relatives are "alive" and "safe" with the recent deadly typhoon ("Ondoy") this past weekend in the Philippines. I didn't know how serious ("deadly" and "catastrophic") it was until I read the headline while checking my e-mail this afternoon when I got home from work. When my mom told me that her relatives (dad side unknown yet) are "alive" and "safe", I was very grateful. My mom told me that a couple of our relatives had some "water issues", but I'm just thankful and "bless" (see CNN article down below) they are "ok" as "things can always be replaced, but lives cannot"!

140 die in Philippine storm, toll expected to rise, from Monday, September 28th of 2009
Philippines flood survivors count blessings, from Monday, September 28th of 2009
"...Still, Lim, 28, is counting her blessings. Her power is back on and she believes she can salvage most of her furniture. In addition, people she knows are still searching for missing friends and relatives in the flooding....
The floodwaters were beginning to subside in some areas Monday after a weekend that saw Manila hit with torrential rainfall caused by Typhoon Ketsana, which has since strengthened into a typhoon. Officials said the Philippine capital saw its heaviest rain in more than four decades. The water swallowed whole houses and buses. At least 140 people are dead, officials say...
"Right now the challenge is to find out how many people have actually died and how many people we have to take care of in terms of people who've been displaced," said Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Philippines National Red Cross. He estimated up to 300,000 people have been displaced on the island of Luzon alone...

Philippine Flood Typhoon Ondoy UERMMC footage, September 26, 2009

Please keep the Filipino people in prayer as they are expecting some more rain with the latest forecast.

Any similar stories, prayer requests, etc.. from this typhoon or related "natural disasters" out there?


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gratitude: Many Blessings-What I'm thankful for on Wednesday, September 16th of 2009

I spend the last 1+ hour trying to catch-up on the blogs the past several days. I'm thankful today that the Minnesota Twins (Major League Baseball team) won their 4th straight game to keep close behind the first place (Central Division-American League) Detroit Tigers. Unfortunately, the Tigers defeated the Kansas City Royals 4-3, to keep the 4 1/2 game lead.

I'm also thankful for another beautiful sunny warm (80's) day. Unfortunately, I had to spend the "later" part of the day indoors. However, it was for a "good cause"-teaching GED to the large number (around 8) of students. I'm blessed to have 2 great volunteers (Chris G. & Jen )to help with the busy evening!

I had the opportunity to chat with my cousin online on Facebook unexpectedly! She's all the way from the Philippines, which I didn't really have the opportunity to see her when I was last there in October of 2001. At the same time I was chatting with her, my older sister called about her too! Talking about perfect timing!

Lastly, I'm thankful for a great "girl-friend" (Ry L.) from California as she has been a blessing in many ways (e.g. prayer partner, giving me good advice, etc...)!

Ok, it's past 1am and I need to go to bed! May you all have a good night sleep and don't forget to count your blessings.

Q: Have you counted your blessing for today? What are they?


Gratitude: Social-Physical Exercise-What I'm thankful for on Tuesday, September 15th of 2009

We've been having some great weather the past several days, which I wanted to take advantage of it after work this afternoon-evening. I called a buddy (Eric B.) of mine if he wanted to go out and play soccer (e.g. taking turns kicking the ball to an open net, dribbling, keeping the ball in the air, etc...). Both of love spending time on the computer, which I told him that we need to get out. Eric and I spent a good 1/2 hour playing soccer. We used this time to catch-up on what we've been doing lately. This is another great way to catch-up instead of calling on the cell phone, chatting online, etc... Here you get some good exercise, absorb some Vitamin D, etc... Eric had to leave, but I ended-up staying longer to enjoy the weather and get some exercise!

Nike Soccer Commercial - Good vs. Evil

"This is a commercial for nike where the good guys (the allstar players of Europe) take on devil figures and beast them. "

Q: What are some great ways to exercise while socializing with a friend?


Gratitude: Teaching and Learning-What I'm thankful for on Monday, September 14th of 2009

I went to Alexandria with my supervisor that oversees the Morris Literacy Project I coordinate in town. We met with other teachers of Adult Basic Education-GED & ESL (English as a Second Language), which we get "equipped" for the new 09'-10' academic school year. It was a blessing to be part of this program where we help "dropouts" get their high school diploma and others learn English as a second language. We sometimes don't realize how we are thankful for the education we have until we meet others that are not as fortunate as us. We might "not" be "smart" as our "next door neighbor" (e.g. co-worker, classmate, family member, etc...), but we are "gifted" in different way. As the Bible states that "we should not compare (measure) our selves with one another" because God created us all unique. Like my previous blog, we all have something to share and we can also learn from each other too. It's a "two way street" in learning when it comes to teaching students. I challenge you to get involve in teaching someone out there what you know because we are all in this together. We can teach everyone and learn from everybody on something "new".

Volunteer with Adult Learners!

"Features volunteers and learners discussing the importance and benefits of adult literacy volunteers."

Q: Have you had any experiences where you were teaching someone and you were also learning from them too?


Gratitude: Gift of teaching-What I'm thankful for on Sunday, September 13th of 2009

I taught Sunday School (a.k.a. "Super Church") this morning at my local church, which is the beginning of the new "academic year". It's been a blessing teaching to young children at church over the past 2+ years now. I feel it's important to share what we "adults" know with the "next" generation. I'm still learning, but it's important to share what I already know in my growing "personal" walk with God. Our topic today was "helping your family members", which we used the prepared lesson sample of "Aaron & Moses". Many don't know about this, but Moses suffered a public speaking disability. He was just not known as a great public speaker, so Aaron (his brother) would help him with this skill. This shows that God gives us different gifts to help depend or rely on one another. This is why it's important to use your "God-given" gifts, talents, skills, etc.. to help one another (especially family members). I'm thankful to use my gift of teaching-sharing what I know with the younger generation of my local church.

Sunday School Rock - Carman - Christian Music Video

"Carman - Sunday School Rock - "I Love Jesus". A classic Christian Music Video "re-mixed"."

Q: What are your talents, skils, and/or gifts that you would like to share with the "next" younger generation?


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gratitude: Part-Time-Job-What I'm thankful for on Saturday, September 12th of 2009

Today, I started the day with my laundry-cleaning my bed sheets (with the electric washing machine). I'm thankful for "little technology" like this, where I know in some parts of the world this is a "luxury". I then had to go to work (part-time job) for my 10a-4pm shift, which my boss was "desperate" for someone to fill-in this weekend shift. I'm thankful to just have a part-time job, where I can make some "extra" money. With our current economy, there are folks without a job! In addition, this is a job where it's fun! I was able to take some of my residents out of the group home and get paid to have fun with them. I took a couple of them to this monthly event called "Special Touch"
, which we: did various interactive games, sang some great praise-worship church songs, and visit familiar faces from around the community. It was such a beautiful day, which I would later walk with a resident and our house puppy around the block. Again, as summer comes to an end, I like to take advantage of the "warm" days! I'm so thankful for this part-time job, which I've worked for over 10+ years now! I would end-up coming back to work later in the evening (10p-10am sleep shift-another blessing to get paid to sleep!) to help fill-in a shift for a friend-coworker that had some "family obligations". I spent the evening with a buddy (Chris G.-see post 2 days earlier) transferring our "homemade" video to DVD format-enjoying our soon to be published video on!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Gratitude: 9-11-01 Lessons?-What I'm thankful for on Thursday, September 11th of 2009

It's been over 8 years since that tragic event in our country. What have we learned? It depends on each individual depending on their previous and current circumstances when the 9-11 tragedy happened. For me, here are some excerpts from my reflection I shared 7 months after...

Where were you during the September 11th attacks?

Many people have, is, and will be reflecting on this "infamous" day. As I (Sal) write this on Monday, March 6th 2002 (6 months since the attacks) watching "9/11 Remembered" (in New York City) telecast special on televsion, I still remembered how the 9/11/01 developed=>

I was getting off from work (Ravenwood Home-group home for disabled handicapped adults) after my early 6-9am shift. I had to get some groceries at the local Willies in Morris, MN. As I was walking around, I notice immediately the thick air of tension and sadness. When I got up to the cash registrar, I did my usual "Minnesota Friendly" greeting, "Good Morning", and the lady at the cash registrar said, "Oh, it's not really a good morning". I then look up to her with a confusion, and she told me "oh, you haven't heard...a plane crashed into the World Trade Center in N.Y." (paraphrasing). I immediately turned my radio in my blazer to MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) and heard the sad news. I arrived home around 9:15am and my roommate-Juan told me the news. I asked, "How did you know?". He told me Dan Specht (former roommate that lives now in Fargo, ND) called after he got up earlier because God told him to get on his knees and pray. Juan said, "I wasn't sure what to pray for, so I started to pray". In my heart and mind, I thought it was God intervening at this moment. Juan and I continued to listen to the live reports going on in the East coast of the U.S. (plane crashed in the World Trade Center, another crashed into the Pentagon, and a couple other crashes later on that morning). I couldn't stand hearing it on radio, which I wanted to see it with my own eyes on television. I then went over to my neighbors (3 apartment same level house) and asked if they got their television on. They told me they don't have t.v.,which I briefly shared the sad news to them. I went back to my house and ask Juan if he wanted to go with me to the Student Center T.V. Lounge to watch the live broadcast of all these events. We watched the events unfold at the UMM Campus: Student Center T.V. Lounge (basement) with many others (faculty, staff, students) as everybody's eyes were glued to the t.v. set with silence, despair, and pesimistic anticipation on what else might happen.....

I had to work at the group home in town (3-10p), which I wasn't really up to working. However, it feels good to be with folks that I can call "family" as I've been working there about 2 years now during these times. The staff was a little down too, but we had to pick ourselves up and focus on our work. We talked together before the consumers/residents of the group home arrived. One of the consumers kept on mentioning "plane crash", which was obvious they knew what was currently going on. To focus on our work, we decided to shut the televsion off and really got together closely spending quality time.

I went home and talked more about the todays events with my roommates. I would later found out that over hundred people from the campus/community came for a prayer vigil at the Campus Mall that evening....

Final thoughts: It's really sad that events like these have to happen to get families or communities come together. I really value the relationships (family, friends, acquaintances from work/school/ etc...) I have now because you do not know when they will be taken away from your life like a "blink of an eye".

It’s been over 8+ years, have we learned? What have you learned?

more about "I Believe - A 9/11 Tribute", posted with vodpod


Q: What lessons did you learn from this tragedy? What are you doing now?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gratitude: Sunny Weather-What I'm thankful for on Wednesday, September 9th of 2009

Wow, 9-9-09, what a significant day! It's going to be like this until 12-12-12 (e.g. 10-10-10, 11-11-11, etc..)! Sorry, I haven't posted on this blog for a long time (last year!). I decided to come back here after someone in my local church shared about being thankful/grateful no matter what daily challenges/circumstances we currently and will face in the future. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 11)! This helps reminds me that God is with me (Emmanuel) where ever I go!

Well, today I'm grateful for the sunny weather we had that came later in the day. It was perfect weather for my friend (Chris G.) and I to do our planned outdoor video project (Coming soon on !)....

Morris, Minnesota Tour Video 2009

We drove around town videotaping our beautiful small rural college town and a local attraction (gardens). May you all have a blessed night, morning, or afternoon (whenever you read this). I would like to share this great video to go along with my theme of “Count your blessings” before going to bed…

Bing Crosby - Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)

Q: How many blessings can you count before you go to bed tonight? What are they?