My response to Christians who are boycotting ‘The Shack’ film. 

Crystal Olmos

I was recently contacted by a precious woman from a marketing firm that works for Lionsgate films. She liked my mommy/lifestyle blog and also saw I was a Christ follower. She gave me VIP seats to attend the advance screening of The Shack and also allowed any of my followers to come for free as well!

I was really excited about this opportunity as I read the book years ago and really loved it. Unfortunately, my excitement was put at bay a little once I started seeing articles circulating around about how “anti-Christian” and “blasphemous” the book, and now film, was, in some Christian’s opinions.
Friends, can I just tell you… can I please just tell you… how wrong these people are.

I am a person who takes blaspheme against God and reverence towards Him VERY seriously. I will walk out of a theater with actors who are cursing His…

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You Say You’re Pro-Life – But Are You Really?

ourbulgarianadoptionstory

I don’t do politics. Politics is ugly. Especially this election, yeesh. It seems, that one of the major divisive talking points is the pro-choice vs pro-life argument. The more and more rhetoric I hear, I want to ask you (challenge you even) Pro-Lifer, are you truly truly pro-life or are you simply anti-abortion?

What happens when this child you fought to be born needs routine well checks and immunizations and their parents need help affording it? What happens when the child turns out to have more complex medical needs like Down Syndrome, congenital heart defect, or osteogenesis imperfecta? Are you supporting programs like Medicaid? Are you supporting or contributing to local doctors who provide free or reduced services for low income families? You should be. Access to healthcare greatly increases one’s quality of life. And you said you were pro life.

What happens when this child you fought to be born grows into a toddler…

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Faith at Work: When You’re Asked to Do Something New

“Leilani, we would like you to build a web site,” My boss said.

“I’ve never built a web site,” I replied.

“If you have to take classes, we’ll pay for the classes. You’re very creative and quick to learn new things so I know you can do it,” he reassured me.

I had just finished producing a video with animation, historic footage and top-notch narration. I taught myself how to write a script, how to storyboard scenes and how to direct. How hard could it be to create a web site?

Today there are all sorts of WYSWYG or web-based site building platforms such as Wix. Back in the late 90s, you had to know HTML and some code. I’ve always enjoyed learning new things and I believe this ability is a gift from God. He has no limits on our skills, ability or knowledge.

When I’m asked to do something I’ve never done, I pray. I pray for God to send me the right person who can guide me. I pray for wisdom in choosing the right classes and resources. I pray for insight into the methods and processes of accomplishing that task.

The benefits of having a relationship with God is that we have access to wisdom beyond our ability or experience. This is when walking by faith gets fun! He can connect you to a key person who can move your project forward 50 miles down the road after one phone call or meeting.

The difficult IT person that I blogged about was that key person. Harriet gave me my plan of action in one meeting. I believe God sent Harriet to dramatically launch the project forward.

What are you believing for on your job or at home? God loves to solve problems and riddles. I pray that God sends you someone who can open the door you need opened or help answer your problem. Remember that He usually sends people. So don’t ignore people in your life. He may be trying to send you help now but you’re too prideful to take it.

Receive His help. Receive His wisdom and counsel. Receive Him in the middle of your problem.

6 Ways Christians Lost This Week

Yeah what he said…

john pavlovitz

regret

We who call ourselves Christians lost a great deal over the past few days, though it’s probably not in the way you might think.

1) We lost the chance to be loving.

So many professed followers of Jesus spent the last week on the attack, desperately fighting a battle long after it had already been decided. Instead of simply looking for ways to personally affirm our faith in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, too many of us frankly just lost it. We spit out vitriol and we cursed strangers and we lamented America’s demise and we threatened with Bible verses and we treated others with contempt. Our response to the LGBT community and those who support them wasn’t compassion and decency and peacemaking, it was sour grapes, damnation, and middle fingers.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

2) We lost the chance to be good neighbors. 

Rather than using…

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3 Words I Would Say to My Dad if He Was Alive

dad 001

My father Leonardo Aquino Corpus Sr. once wielded a bolo knife – a Filipino style machete used by farmers and warriors in the Philippines. He waved his bolo knife in the dark wee hours of the morning looking for my ghostly tormentor. I was a toddler who tried to climb into bed between him and mom. He leapt out of bed in his underwear when I told him I was scared of the boogie-man.

“Where’s the boogie-man?” He whispered while waving the giant knife. “Come out boogie-man! I’m going to get you!” He shouted into the dark while wildly waving the bolo sword and standing in a fighting stance. The comic scene made me feel safe, protected and secure. I wish that bolo knife was enough to keep away the demons that haunted us in years to come.

While he searched for the boogie-man, I crawled into bed next to mom. He realized that the scared little girl wasn’t following him and he put the bolo knife underneath the bed and laid down next to me. That was one of the happiest nights that I remember with my dad.

My dad was complicated, passionate and ruthlessly intelligent. He had a degree in accounting but couldn’t find a job in central California. There was a lot of prejudice against Filipinos at that time. Prejudice might have shut that door or his bluntness.

My dad standing in front of St. Mary's Catholic church where I was baptized as a baby.

My dad standing in front of St. Mary’s Catholic church where I was baptized as a baby.

He was handsome in a Bruno Mars way with a petite build. He had the wide smile, curly hair that women liked and a sense of humor. Yet underneath the charm was a temper that was legendary.

This temper ran in the family. You didn’t mess with my dad and I was afraid of him. He never hit me, but I remember the screaming matches between him and mom. And the visit at my aunt Juanita’s house where I was stretched between mom and dad.

Dad wanted me to stay with my aunt and mom wanted to take me. I felt like I was going to bust in half as they both pulled my arms from opposite directions. I think he let mom win because she scooped me up in her arms and fled the house with my brother in another arm.

He was in and out of my life because he didn’t pay child support. Mom started living with my stepfather, Celes when I was 8-years-old. Celes was another Filipino man with long black hair and a blue Mustang. He raised me but my dad made the greatest impact on my life. My brother, Leo and I spent summers at his house in south Stockton.

I learned to type on his typewriter when I was 10-years-old. Leonard had married Connie and settled into a life of gardening. I think this was the happiest I had ever seen him. He loved to plant and pick vegetables and fruit.

Far left, my half-brother Leonard, my dad and his brother, Sammy.

Far left, my half-brother Leonard, my dad and his brother, Sammy.

At night, I turned on the radio and listened to big band music and wrote stories on the typewriter. My brother read his comic books while dad watched boxing on the little black and white TV in the livingroom. During the day we worked in the garden and at night I read or wrote stories.

Leonard faded from my life at 12 and I hated him. I don’t know why but I didn’t want anything to do with him. He never hurt me, yet this hatred towards him consumed me.

My stepfather, Celes, also tried to reach out to me. I resisted his attempts at being a father and ignored him. Later I would call Leonard to apologize for pushing him out of my life when I was in college. And I would send a card to Celes asking for his forgiveness for the years I had shut him out.

I wish I could turn the clock back and say what I wanted to say to my dad. Instead, the last conversation with my dad was a fight. He insisted that I needed to send my kids to private school. I was already sending them to a private school and vehemently told him.

When I got off the phone, my husband shook his head. “Honey, let the man win,” he said. “He’s old. Let him win.”

If dad was alive, I would let him win the argument. Mom told me that I was just like him…smart and blunt. Then she would follow that with how much of a rat he was for not paying child support.

But for all of the children whose parents are deceased, here’s what I would say to my dad if he was alive.

I love you.

I never said these 3 words.

I miss you.

Another 3 words I never said to him when he was live.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry I was wrong about you. I’m sorry that I shut you out. I’m sorry that I belittled you. I’m sorry that I was condescending. I’m sorry that I made no effort to spend time with you and you died in a small apartment alone. You were dead for a week before anyone discovered you.

I’m sorry that I call myself a follower of Christ but you never saw it. I’m sorry.

Thank you for making 2014 a rock star year for me!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,100 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

What Suffering? The Down Syndrome Advantage

Whoopsie Piggle

I see you and Max acting so bravely, but nobody asks for a child with Down syndrome.

Lyra watching the polar bears with her brother, Claude, at the Toledo Zoo Lyra watching the polar bears with her brother, Claude, at the Toledo Zoo

I recalled those sugar-coated words of sympathy, spoken by someone a few weeks after our beautiful, healthy daughter was born, when I posted on my Whoopsie Piggle Facebook page an article about Richard Dawkins, an Oxford professor of evolutionary biology and ethicist, who is perhaps best known for his 2006 book, The God Delusion. Dawkins describes in his book, which seems largely written to contend with those who deny the existence of evolution, his position that it is highly improbable that a supernatural being planned out and created the universe. Last August Dawkins tweeted his thoughts about what a woman should do who has discovered that the fetus she is carrying has Down syndrome.

“Abort it and try again. It…

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