Thanksgiving Log ‘18 (the November Checkpoint)

(Thanksgiving Morning, Manila Time)

I’m thankful.

Gurus suggest you begin a day by being thankful. Well, my day is winding down and I don’t see why I can’t do it now as much as they say I should when I wake up.

Besides, my ‘day’ ends at the usual start for the rest of the world (or, at least the majority of those in the Manila/Taipei time zone).

I’m thankful. I’m thankful for my job. I’m thankful for the fact that I can literally work anywhere and everywhere. I’m thankful for the opportunities to test out this fact – at home, in hotel rooms here and in Manila, in the homes of friends and family, whether in Manila time or Pacific time or even Eastern time.

I’m thankful for my bosses. I’m thankful for their extraordinary patience with me, and their naturally friendly and tolerant vibe. I’m thankful for the energy and precision that they show, and their unique ways of encouraging those of us who work for them online to match their enthusiasm.

Speaking of enthusiasm, I’m thankful for the fact that every day is a new day to do better than yesterday. Whether I stumble in my eating, exercising, and/or internet browsing preferences, I can boldly stand up again, knowing (1) that Christ continues to be expressed in and through my life absolutely and (2) even my mistakes are made into opportunities to learn and to be a better version of myself.

Speaking of diet, I’m thankful for the Unicity Metabolic Reset Program, which has changed my life dramatically since earlier this year, when I lost and kept 20 pounds off. I still have a bit of a muffin top (well, more of a small pizza crust top now? Or better, I guess), but it just feels good to see myself with confidence in front of a mirror regardless of what I have on (or not lol).

I’m thankful for the fact that by a new system I can aim for a lower fat percentage, seeing as I have kept that weight off despite two testing trips to Israel and the USA. I’m thankful to have been in a program that has had me enjoy middle eastern and western cuisine, without putting on weight.

I’m thankful. Gosh, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Right now, I’m thankful for the end of this shift. I’m thankful for the fact that I could just keep on going, especially since apparently the melatonin hasn’t kicked in yet. I’m thankful, just so thankful to God for these moments that I absolutely need to write, and when I do, it just keeps flowing. I’m thankful for spontaneity, and for the confidence in just baring my heart and soul, no matter how these words I post and publish are interpreted (or misinterpreted, even).

I’m thankful that though I do have my own personal share of moments that I am misquoted or misinterpreted, that I have an Advocate who always speaks truth towards these matters, especially when it results in my being left vulnerable. I’m thankful for a living Truth, a living Word which dwells in me, fighting my battles for me, especially when I have no clue of what is going on.

I’m thankful for the fact that I have a Savior who lovingly watches and guards each and every aspect of my being, including what I am and am not aware of, and even things that I would rather not touch, even with a ten-foot pole. I’m so thankful that I can rest in Christ and His finished work, moving naturally and effortlessly as Christ inspires and motivates me each and every step of the way. I’m so thankful that by Christ everything has His perfect grace and time embedded in it.

I could go on. Obviously, I could go on. But I suppose this is where I start. It’s still technically Thanksgiving here in the Philippines, so I’m gonna keep going throughout the day.

For now, I’m thankful for rest, sleep, recovery, and peace.

(Thanksgiving Afternoon, Manila Time)

I’m thankful. Yes, I’m thankful. For life in general. I’m thankful and appreciative of the layers and absolute depth of this reality; I’m thankful that I am able to understand with confidence that what we may see is the tip of the iceberg… I’m at peace with that, knowing that our union with Christ has us ushered into eternal life and everlasting love, both of which totally saturate, engulf the entire iceberg, indeed, the entire ocean and all that is seen and unseen.

With that said I am thankful for the truth of the matter – that all matter, all creation has the glory of the Truth shining through, and that there is no excuse for any of us to say that we haven’t seen God. I am thankful for Romans 1:16, and I am thankful for the scriptures – for the countless men, women, and children who have risked their lives to ensure that we have a Bible today.

Actually, I go back to Christ again, because I’d like to say that I am thankful for His grace and mercy, and for by His faithfulness He has allowed countless generations to access and read such scriptures. I’m thankful for new perspectives, such as those from Andy Stanley, who skillfully pointed out that while we act as if there would be no Christianity without the Bible, the Truth of the matter is there wouldn’t be a scripture lasting this long in the first place if not for the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ.

I’m thankful. Dear God, am I thankful. Life is tough as it is, but thank God, Christ makes it so easy. Christ has us resting in the green pastures, walking by the streams. He truly prepares a table for me in the presence of all the forces of this fallen day and age that care only to tear us apart. By His finished work, I am esteemed before the Creator, whom I can call Father. My cup runs over. I am thankful.

I’m thankful for the house I live in. I’m thankful for everyone who chooses to dwell here. For Manang Irene, who knows the ins and outs and the details of this property, and cares about all of it still. I’m thankful in more ways than one for my Mom, who has her own perspective on a lot of things, but chooses to grace this household with it, not because she has an agenda, but out of love, love which was birthed and developed into a raging flame by none other than the Holy Spirit.

I’m thankful that though I have my own plans in redefining ‘home’, they remain as vigorous as ever in enjoying and upholding this house. They may not know this but they teach me a lot, still.

(Thanksgiving Evening, Manila Time)

I’m thankful for tools such as WordPress & Evernote. I have been thankful for Blogspot, but times have changed, and I’m thankful that WordPress has been quite accommodating to my style. Speaking of which, I’m thankful for whatever style has developed over the 10+ years that I’ve been maintaining a blog. I’m thankful for the availability and development of the tools over the years, which have made expressing and clarifying my views and perspectives through the medium of typed media easier and easier every time.

I’m thankful for the Archives. All of my posts since ’04 are here. All the childish cussing, all the ramblings of my Beta version, all for you to see, and possibly for you to be offended by – only remaining here for you to hopefully see how much God has been so faithful and gracious to me ever since, even when I wasn’t looking for Him.

Shifting gears, I must say that I am thankful for my trip to Israel this year. Travelling to what can be seen from at least one perspective is the centre of the universe, I have seen (1) the pinnacle of human striving and the eventual fall of all self-righteousness, and (2) the absolute power and love of our Creator, for each and every one of us. I am thankful for hummus. And that one time at the Wailing Wall. That was a literal, hardcore ‘I love you’ from God, especially for me.

I am thankful for my time in the USA with my brothers, their families, and their friends. I’m thankful for new connections, and the bolstering of existing relationship. Sharing a home with my brothers for a short period of time has opened my eyes to new perspectives on Christ and His finished work. I have seen first-hand how our God knows each and every one of us to the core, and how He loves each and every one of us with an exclusive, custom-made love, specific yet as deep and as close as can be for each and every human being, regardless of age, size, and colour.

Right now I’m thankful for the opportunity to actually go to my mom and tell her upfront about how thankful I am to God for her. I’m thankful for the initiative to go out and reach other people with the intention of honouring them by thanking them. Something which I am going to do tomorrow, actually, as I go to Manila and spend some time with Paola.

And I am thankful, especially thankful to God for Paola. For everything I learned for, from, and through God’s exquisite and elaborate love to me through her. We didn’t have a perfect relationship, but as in all things imperfect (and all that is in this reality is certainly imperfect), there exists an opportunity to see, no, behold God’s perfect glory in all of it. This was certainly the case with Paola and myself.

I’d say more about it but I’d rather tell her to her face first and foremost.

I’m thankful for provision, and for opportunity, and for time to do all this – Israel, USA, Unicity MRP… while I’m at it I’m thankful for the strength and focus to finish Athlean Xero and the Mindvalley SuperBrain course. Im thankful for Jim Kwik and Jeff Cavaliere, for the mastery they have in their specific craft, shown even more in their willingness to share their knowledge to the rest of the world. I’m thankful for unpretentious and open brothers in the faith – Andrew Farley, Andy Stanley, Joseph Prince, etc. – for the great impact they have in our world with the pure gospel of Grace, the truly good and great news of Jesus Christ and His finished work.

Really, this is starting to sound like an Academy Award acceptance speech, and I’m starting to get uncomfortable. I’ll just end this by saying I’m thankful to have my eyes open to be thankful. Granted, there’s a lot more to work on, but it all gets brighter and brighter, unto the new day.

It’s not like it’s going to stop here. Actually, it starts here. I’ve been struggling as of late – I mean, it must be something like November syndrome or something, where I downplay everything that’s happened during the first 10 months, saying that I didn’t really accomplish much in the face and pretense of a false perspective which inflates what’s not done or what’s yet to be started.

Thankfulness is a way for us to bring ourselves back to earth. It’s a way for us to put everything in their proper perspective. I said something like that in an earlier post. Thankfulness is another way for us to praise God and to focus on His goodness, seeing as He alone is the good that makes everything else good.

So thank you for making it this far. There’ll be a lot of thinking, and thanking, moving forward.

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