Connect

I heard a badminton coach say, “Connection is key. People think the drills should come first, but that is wrong. Without connection, your skills are for naught. Work on your connection first. Everything else will follow.” (Paraphrase)
Said the same coach: A player who is “connected” as opposed to being just “ready”, has a bigger chance to return the shuttle over the net; has a better chance at winning a rally; has an edge in excelling. His stance enables him to receive the shuttle at the best possible angle, and on time. The direction he takes with his shuttle is decisive. His shots are a result of wise decision-making that is automatic/like second nature, but not reactive.
Connection is Key!

Connection is Key!

This nugget of wisdom (albeit from a secular source) could not have come at a more opportune time. A group of friends want to take badminton training together so we could compete at a higher level. God blessed me last year when I was asked to facilitate this group. And it is not work at all for me!

More importantly the “badminton connection” he talks about is an excellent metaphor for intimacy with God being of paramount importance. It is more important than ministry work itself. I heard it repeatedly in 2012: “Ministry is the outflow of your intimacy with God.” Not the other way around. So too we must keep going back to our first love, to knowing Him intimately, first and foremost (because  ministry may sometimes take your focus off of God, if that makes sense. Check out Luke 10:38-42.) Jesus gave us a good example of how one ought to jealously guard one’s alone time with God by frequently withdrawing from large crowds to pray and connect with Him.

I am praying for Connection to God more than ever. So many things vie for my attention, and without a Connection, I will tend to set the big rocks aside for the sand to fill up my jar.  I am glad that messages like these find their way to me in the most unexpected of places. I sought badminton skill tutorials, but got doubly blessed by a reminder about connections. Is my God amazing or what?
How do you jealously guard your daily connect time/quiet time with God?

Substitutions

Do you want to watch a live NBA game for free?

Yes please!!!

(Heart starts screaming, jumping up and down and doing cartwheels.)

image

My original date, my dad, who was the one who had been given the complimentary tickets, suddenly had to back out. He wasn’t sure what time he would get out of a meeting. And my mom hadn’t been feeling well and he wanted to be home right afterwards.

That gave me limited time to invite a proxy. But who to pick?

Heart also wants to invite -bleep bleep- (insert name of Christian leader), but the brain is feeling really stupid for even thinking it. (The heart is deceitful! Jeremiah 17:9 Trust in God and lean not on your own understanding! Proverbs 3:5-6)

So I prayed  for the right match.

Immediately, three people came to mind.

I was hoping I would see candidate #1 on Wednesday during D12.

Thursday was the day of the game.

But by Thursday morning I still hadn’t seen her.

A few names were impressed on me but I reasoned with God. The first person  didn’t even like basketball! Could I bless her some other way? It would have been an opportunity to turn the other cheek, but I was hesitant to go through with the invitation. I was so not at peace with it.

Then a perfect shot!

Jamie, who had actually been feeling stressed out that morning, had, unbeknownst to me, been praying for the tickets for weeks! I missed her FB post on this but God sure didn’t!

O happy J!

O happy J, FB-ing that we are here! Or were you texting Shai to ask if we could meet James Harden?

God couldn’t have picked a better sub for my dad when He picked Jamie!

* * *

A lowlight:

Jeremy Lin  came in as a late substitution after the crowd kept asking for him to be fielded in! What I found off-putting was this heckler saying “Wala!” while he was shooting. IMHO, if you want to heckle, do it in your hecklee’s language. Duh.

Linsanity!

Highlights:

Jamie’s reaction when I told her on the phone.

Donald Sloan shooting a free throw and someone in the rafters yelling, “Go Ginebra! Fight, fight, fight!”

Me pointing out celebrity sightings to Jamie. “Hey J, look it’s KC! Hey J, look, it’s Megan!” Jamie, laser-focused on James Harden, saying, “So?! I don’t care!”

Megan who?

Megan who? – J, the NBA snob

This is the guy I've been watching out for -J

This is the guy I’ve been watching out for -J. Guys, check out Larry Bird! -F.

Being the bomb in a photo bomb with Alex Compton post-match.

Seeing the legends all in one place.

IMG_0283 IMG_0284 IMG_0285

And  of course, being blessed to be a blessing!

1st quarter score

1st quarter score

This was my second NBA game. My first was in Key Arena, Seattle, in 2005, because my boss had free tickets and some staff members got to go! The Sonics won (Go Ray Allen! Wooo!) and for being an early bird, I even got a Sonics blanket, which unfortunately, got towed along with Princess when she was totalled in 07. Fail!

Huddle

Huddle

Center Court

Center Court

Seattle Fire Department vs Seattle Police Department (dodge ball at half timel) Fire department won.

Seattle Fire Department vs Seattle Police Department (dodge ball at half time) Fire department won.

Yay, Sonics won!

Yay, Sonics won!

 

Yay! Who’s Next?

I was really young when my paternal grandmother died. When my dad told me this, I imagined she was up in heaven and happy. I couldn’t express this well—all that came out was, “Yay! Who’s next?” Boy was I in trouble after that!

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. – Philippians 1:21 NASB

Jars as a catch-all for organic compost

Hahaha! Here’s what I did to save compost material in the beginning. So crude!

Image

Sandwiches and sandwich spread? Nope! These are my pre-composting containers (PCC) ha! :)

A housemate who was into organic composting kept jars as catchalls for her organic scraps. She was a meat-eater so her jar didn’t fill up quickly.

In contrast, I, a veggie lover, have two days worth of scraps in several containers already! These get emptied when I have the time to bring it to the composting site, which is once a week.

What I put in:

Anything leftover from food prep. If I prepare kangkong, the stalks go in. If I’m juicing fruit, the peels, seeds and the leftover pulp goes in. I’ve also put it in hair, fingernails and eggshells. If it’s hair, I usually include the paper that I wrap it in.  Have you tried keeping organic scraps for future composting? Send me your pictures!

Composting via Direct Soil Incorporation for Good Soil

My Gulay Girl blog has been invaded by something! I’m transferring most of the posts from there to this blog, making updates and comments, then retiring the original blog completely.  Here’s one of my first posts in 2010:

I am really excited to start organic gardening!

We have always had our garden in Alabang, but I never took an interest in it until I started to go hardcore vegetarian, which was 2008. I was vegan, living in Medina, WA, and I had a housemate and landlady who was into organic composting. She was into green smoothies and making salads, all with ingredients from her garden, while I made most of mine from produce from the grocery. (I wasn’t even into smoothies then!) Then a few other friends in the Seattle area showed me lovely, pesticide-free produce from their backyard vegetable gardens. Colleagues and clients at work who were into organic products and farmer’s markets as well, gave me a lot of good advice.

But it was only recently that I discovered  how enjoyable it is to feel the soil in my hands, being out with Vaughn (our half Belgian-mastiff, half-Doberman), watching him eat mangoes and macopa (yes, he loves fruit!).

Vaughn died mid-2013   :(

Vaughn, Gulay Girl, Metanoia

Right now there are parts of the garden that need to be rehabilitated because of some soil problems. It has become a bit rocky and sandy. For those parts, I’ve begun direct soil incorporation organic composting.

In this blog, I’ll posting about how I am getting my garden started, the bugs (literal and figurative!) along the way, troubleshooting, updates on the soil rehab project, and just the sheer enjoyment of  being outdoors in 90-degree weather all year round!

See ya around :)

So obviously, “this blog” meant the Gulay Girl blog, which I will be retiring soon.

I am also no longer vegan. I still eat a mostly-raw diet, not 100% anymore like when I first started in 2010.

Reblogging this post reminded me of a conversation I had with a  friend  going through a bible study series on Growing in our Relationship with Christ. Mark 4:20′s description of healthy soil made an impression on her.

I won’t discuss her take on it as I will respect our confidentiality clause, but I told her that from my experience, the healthy soil that resulted from organic gardening did not only cause my plants to grow healthier, literally bearing fruit, but it attracted new animals to the garden as well. This made me recall meeting Sharron Reece in 2005, and her authenticity as a follower of Christ made me seek out her God.  You could definitely say I was one of those who benefitted from the fruit produced in her life.