In 1975, 72% of the population of East Timor are animists. Until today Animism spiritualism is very influential among the Timorese.

Animism is a doctrine that the vital principle of organic development is immaterial spirit ;attribution of conscious life to objects in and phenomena of nature or to inanimate objects; belief in the existence of spirits separable from bodies as defined in Merriam Webster's Dictionary. Animism is spirit worship; it is to live with or manipulate worship.

There are different ways of animism through manipulation of spirits. These ways are the power of words, deception, appeasement, protective measures, and direct demonization.

Despite the spreading of the Catholic religion brought by the Portuguese in East Timor the Timorese maintained high beliefs in spirit worship.

Animist religion in East Timor revolves around the spirits of the dead who are both feared and worshipped.
These spirits are materialized through stones, animals, wells, streams or objects endowed with mysterious magical powers that can be either good or evil.
In Timor these are called ‘Luliks’, which means sacred and intangible

Sometimes we don't realize that we also believe in animism or even support it by buying stuff like anting anting, agimat, gayuma, etc.. Let us be careful and watch-out that we do not be deceived by animistic practices. Remember Joshua 24:15, "And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Are you going to choose to serve our real God and choose to believe what He says or are you going to believe in these animistic practices. I hope you will do what the people of Ephesus did when they found about God and believed Him, those who practiced magic, burned their books and the Word God prevailed (Acts 19:19-20).

What do you choose? As for me I choose to believe what God says in His Word and I will serve Him only.

It starts with ONE thing: FAMILY

The Filipinos of the Ancient times had great moral values. But now we ask the question, "What has happened to our society today that the morality of the Filipino people degrades?" It all starts with one thing the FAMILY.

According to our guest in our class this morning, Dr. Narciso V. Matienzo, the reason why the Filipinos of the ancient times were of good character and values (hard-worker, respectful to the elderly, obedient, kind, etc. ) is that because their parents trained and disciplined them to be. During those times the parents train their children about household chores and raised them up to be hard working. Prov. "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he shall not depart from it." Because the parents of the ancient times did not neglect to train, teach their children, and direct them to the right path the children grew up to be well-mannered, having good moral standards, and has very great potential in doing job well done.

It grieves me whenever I think of the way of life of the Filipino children of today. IT ALL STARTED WITH THE FAMILY. Today there are many dysfunctional families composing of single moms, divorced parents, abusive parents, young parents, etc. I believe this happens not only in the Philippines but also in other parts of the World but we must start with our country. Many people enter marriage unprepared which causes them to be permissive, authoritarian, and neglectful parents. We cannot put back time for these dysfunctional families but we can prevent more from coming by starting the change.

To restore the degrading moral values of the Filipinos, the change must start in our own families. It is never too late to change for the better.

God bless the Philippines....Go for a restored sense of morality!

The Missing Ingredient...

I have always been interested in cooking ever since I was young. I have many experiences of successful and unsuccessful cooking but nevertheless I enjoy it all the time because I learn a lot. Through cooking I am able to express my feelings of creativity, love, passion, dreams, and hopes for the future. There's just some kind of joy I feel whenever I cook. Unexplainable. On the other hand I feel disappointed if the people that tastes the food I prepared did not look happy after eating; it feels like failing to give them a share of the joy I have.

Did you know that...

CHICKEN RICE is the closest thing to comfort food for many Singaporeans - a pale but deceptively flavorful rice dish served with ginger mash, chili lime sauce, and sweet black soy sauce.
Chicken is poached in a broth containing herbs, garlic, chicken bones, and assorted spices. When the chicken is done, the broth is then used to cook the rice together with pandan leaves and garlic. The resulting rice is yellowish and fatty, thanks to the juices left over from the chicken.
Chicken rice usually comes with cucumbers on the side, and (for an extra charge) you can also have it with braised beancurd, braised egg, chicken liver, or vegetables in oyster sauce(http://goseasia.about.com/od/singaporepeopleculture/ig/Ten-Singapore-Dishes/Hainanese-Chicken-Rice.htm) P.S. Just Check the picture in this website, can't post it.

Have you tasted any food that seemed to miss an ingredient? You feel like looking for some kind of spice to complete that GREAT TASTE you were expecting.

I believe cooking is just like building relationships; all ingredients must be intact and none should be missing. In building relationships whether it be at your home, your work, abroad, your school, if there's a missing ingredient the relationships won't end up GREAT. Love is one of the ingredients we always forget to use when our relationships end in conflicts and misunderstandings. You have to have enough LOVE which can only come from God to build good relationships and heal wounds. You especially need this when you're doing a ministry cross-culturally. 1 John 4:11 tells us about loving one another because God loved us. If you will read the whole chapter you will find out that true love comes only from God because He is love. Remember this,

"Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. "-1 John 4:11-12

Singapore is one of the places we can share our love to others. If you visit this place you will find it very interesting because it is composed of the Chinese, Malays, Indians, etc. (http://www.everyculture.com/Sa-Th/Singapore.html)