How I Started Reading for Pleasure

I’ve started 2018 right by reading a couple of books despite my busy schedule. It’s difficult to squeeze in time for reading when I’ve got other activities, but I’m sooo loving the feeling of being encouraged, empowered or inspired after reading a book so I’m going to keep on this pace.

Last year, a friend of mine recommended that I use Kindle just so he can give me the book he recommended. It was easy to download the app, but quite difficult to actually receive the book if it’s purchased in the US and I’m here in the Philippines. After so many back and forth, I was able to receive the book, and the rest is me buying a bunch of books from Amazon, and getting encouraged. 😁

I love reading fiction whether romance, suspence, science fiction or a thriller even before I became a Christian. However, after becoming one, it has been a struggle to read books I know would not help me in my walk with God. So, when a colleague recommended a Christian fiction novel way back when I was in GenSan, I started devouring on these kinds. Since then, I always set aside part of my income for books to read during free time. And now with ebooks, not reading a book will just be some lame excuse.

Here’s the books I’ve read and I’ve been wanting to read, for my future reference:

Legend:

Read, Wanting to Read

Left Behind Series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

  • series of Christian novels dealing with the End Times
  1. Left Behind
  2. Tribulation Force
  3. Nicolae
  4. Soul Harvest
  5. Apollyon
  6. Assassins
  7. The Indwelling
  8. The Mark
  9. The Desecration
  10. The Remnant
  11. Armageddon
  12. Glorious Appearing
  13. Kingdom Come

Loren Legacies by Pittacus Lore

  • series of young adult science fiction
  1. I Am Number Four
  2. The Power of Six
  3. The Rise of Nine
  4. The Fall of Five
  5. The Revenge of Seven
  6. The Fate of Ten
  7. United as One

Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers

  • series of five historical fiction novellas about the women of the Bible
    • Unveiled
    • Unashamed
    • Unshaken
    • Unspoken
    • Unafraid

Sons of Encouragement by Francine Rivers

  • series of five historical novellas about the men in the Bible
  • The Priest
  • The Warrior
  • The Prince
  • The Prophet
  • The Scribe

Elizabeth Elliot books

  • Passion and Purity
  • Let Me Be a Woman
  • Mark of a Man
  • Quest for Love

Eric and Leslie Ludy books

  • When God writes my Love Story
  • The Set Apart Woman

Joshua Harris Books

  • I Kissed Dating Goodbye
  • Not even a Hint
  • Boy Meets Girl

Other books by Francine Rivers

  • Redeeming Love
  • Atonement Child
  • Mark of the Lion Series
  • The Masterpiece
  • Bridge to Haven

Dan Brown Books

  • Angels and Demons
  • Da Vinci Code
  • The Lost Symbol
  • Digital Fortress

The Year we Became Invincible by Mae Cuito

Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Gateway to Dreams by Teresa Ward

Journey to Heaven by Marvin Besteman

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Vol. 1 & 2

The Smuggler’s Quest by Lily Bear

A Warrior’s Faith by Robert Vera

Relationship Rules

β€œThey may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
β€” Carl W. Buechner

The past few weeks have been very busy in work, and there’s less time for me to write my thoughts here. However, I still made the conscious effort to read after work so here I am, sharing bits and pieces of what I learned about the book I’ve read.

First off, my reason for reading this book is to obviously understand how romantic relationships work. I thought, maybe I need to learn about this aspect of life before I actually try to dive into it. I think I’m ready for a relationship, but after reading this book, I realize there are lots of things to learn! Haha!!! Plus, most of my girl friends are in a relationship so it’s really hard when they’re going through a tough time and I don’t even know what to say to console them. So here I am, admitting I’m very rusty in my idea of dating and romantic relationships so I’ve scouted books about it.

After scanning Amazon, I’ve bought Relationship Rules by Janice Hoffman for just about $5 (kindle version). It is quite a quick read, with about 12 rules about relationships discussed by the author. It is more like a guidebook for both men and women on how each can wiggle through the world of their romantic relationship. This book includes advice on what to do specifically addressed for men, and then women afterwards.

I’ll be sharing the 12 rules mentioned in the book here, and if you’re quite interested to specifically know more, you can also buy the book. I’m not affiliated in any way with the author, but I guess her guidelines about romantic relationships helped me a lot as I’ve used her book to give insights to a friend who recently went through a breakup. While reading the book, it was also easy for me to pick a verse or two from the Bible that might relate to those rules.

So, without further ado, here’s the 12 Relationship Rules outlined by Janice Hoffman in Creating a Love that Lasts:

  1. Help your partner succeed in making you happy. Leave hints, notes, or wish lists. In this way, a woman can get what she wants without asking directly, and a man can feel successful in making his partner happy.
  2. Listen without interrupting. Refrain from giving unsolicited advice or suggestions. Practice putting yourself in your partner’s shoes.
  3. Help your partner relieve stress. Women relieve stress when they can talk freely about their emotions and feel heard and understood. Men relieve stress by disassociating themselves from their thoughts and feelings.
  4. Appreciate your partner for their efforts, big and small. Men are motivated by being appreciated; women are motivated by acts of caring.
  5. Know how men and women keep score in a relationship. Women grant points for the positive things men do, say, and give. Men give women big points for being let off the hook and for being appreciated.
  6. Every day, pledge to give your partner one loving act, one affectionate gesture, one kind word or compliment. Never miss an opportunity to tell your partner how much you care.
  7. Know when to take a time-out. Make sure you schedule time to talk later. Women especially need to know they won’t be forgotten or blown off.
  8. Set aside time to spend together at least once a week. This is your time to reconnect, not to discuss finances, children, or careers.
  9. Be aware of how you spend your sexual energy. How you behave around the opposite sex will have an effect on how you relate to your partner.
  10. Take responsibility for your own happiness. By doing this you will find more peace and joy in your life.
  11. Actively practice forgiveness, both for your partner and for yourself. We all make mistakes. Forgiveness is the foundation of a strong relationship.
  12. When you love someone, tell them. Never assume they already know.

The rules I’ve shared here are exactly the points of Janice Hoffman in her book, but she also added specific advice for men and women on how these guidelines can be applied in real situations. To be honest, these concepts are eye-opening for me and once I’m in a relationship, I’ll be sure to refer to these rules. 😊

How about you? Do you agree with these rules? Do you have experiences that may relate to one or more of these rules? Hit the comment button below if you do! 😁

My 5th Climb: Treasure Mountain Experience

The choices we make lead up to actual experiences. It is one thing to decide to climb a mountain. It is quite another to be on top of it.

Herbert A. Simon

Reaching the top of any mountain is a goal reached for me. As for other people, they climb for various reasons — to gain experience, to take their mind away from stress, to challenge themselves, to heal from a broken heart, to be near to God, or to prove that they can make it. For me, my sole reason I’m climbing mountains is to see the stars at night when we do overnight camping, and be in awe of God’s majestic creations. When I reached Treasure Mountain, I was surely not disappointed.

A quick backtrack: Year 2013, my officemates who are part of the Buhawi Mountaineering Club invited me to hike Mt. Pico de Loro in Cavite. I was excited, yet a bit nervous. Back then, I was going in and out the hospital for checkups. I remember I was not able to walk for longer distance without having difficulty in breathing. So, I accepted the invitation to challenge myself and prove one thing: that I can reach the summit with my lungs still intact. I did reach the summit of Mt. Pico de Loro and marveled at the beauty of God’s creation. Since then, I promised myself to join mountain climbing trips at least once a year.

Going back to Treasure Mountain, I cannot consider it a major or minor climb since we have easy access to the summit. My Buhawi friends and I made a commute — van from Cubao to Cogeo (35php), then jeep from Cogeo to Kurambai (46php) in Tanay, Rizal. Once we are in Kurambai, we rode a motorcycle at the trail going to Treasure Mountain (50php) and was dropped off at the entrance of the place. It is actually a private area but the owner took advantage of the place and made it a tourist destination. We paid overnight camping fee (200php/head) and then pitching fee (300php/tent). We don’t have a car, but those who do also have a parking fee (50php). The place is easily accessible by car and reaching the summit will only take you about 15 minutes from the entrance, so I cannot fully say it’s even a minor climb. Hmm, I can safely say you have a 15-minute hike at that.

Once we’re on the summit, we pitched our tents and fortunately, my other Buhawi friends already pitched theirs and were already fixing dinner. I did help a bit, but once it’s dark and the food’s ready, we started our night socials.

It has been a tradition for Buhawi members to introduce ourselves for the getting to know portion. I did introduce myself and was a bit astounded upon realizing that this is already my 5th climb. I already made friends that I only see once a year (only every anniversary climb) and that my introvert self has now become comfortable in their company. (I think it took me three years before I actually memorized their names!).

After the socials, I had time to gaze up at the heavens and talk to God. I thanked Him for a wonderful creation, with the stars so many and I feel like it’s so easy to grab one. The wind’s getting cold, and I was enjoying my alone time. I remembered those times when I cried and I just didn’t feel God hearing my prayers, but at that very moment, I was just in awe at the beauty of the heavens. The moon was so bright, the stars so many and so beautiful I couldn’t take my eyes off the picturesque view of the universe. I remembered the scenes I’ve read from the book “Every Soul a Star” by Wendy Mass and wondered where could be the North Star, and if the brightest stars were actually talking to me. I just felt peace. I’m hoping for things in my life and at that very moment, I just felt so close to God and felt everything would be alright. I wonder if this was also what Jesus felt whenever He went to the mountain to pray during his time here on Earth πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”.

As the night went deeper into the darkness, I again joined the group for more socials. It was very cold this time, good thing I brought my sweatshirt with me. We shared stories and by around 3am, we called it a night.

Early in the morning, I heard voices outside our tent. I didn’t want to get up yet, but I remembered I wanted to witness the sea of clouds. Treasure Mountain is famous for its sea of clouds so I immediately fixed my things and grabbed my phone. As I went out, I saw the beautiful mountain ranges, without the sea of clouds πŸ˜”πŸ˜”πŸ˜”. Nevertheless, the view was breathtaking so I took some photos. In case you’ll visit Treasure mountain, don’t forget to bring jacket as it’s cold especially at night. 😍

So there. Basically, after the breakfast, we fixed our tents and started our way home. We didn’t have a major nor climb for Buhawi’s 15th anniversary celebration. However, the fact that we met together and shared stories about the mountains for an overnight camping is already a relaxing time for quite a busy and stressful week at that.

If you haven’t climbed a mountain, maybe this is the time to challenge yourself and experience the beauty of nature. πŸ™‚