Reigned by ‘Millennial’ Name to Named in the Millennium Reign

By: Amara Sims

I had embraced my true identity as a Millennial – having an unhealthy addiction to the entertainment industry. I would constantly absorb worldly messages by listening to the popular secular music of the day, by watching the popular Hollywood films of the day, and by reading the popular dystopian novels of the day. I was most definitely not interested in guarding the avenues of the soul. One book series, in particular, got me in severe trouble. Choosing to neglect to help my mother with the many duties and chores about the house, I would read behind my bedroom door; so should my mother venture upstairs I would slam the door shut, leaning all my weight against it to prevent her from entering. I knew full well of her great displeasure with my obsession, and it made me feel guilty.

Though my relationship with my mother was empty on my part, she continued to uplift the Lord’s standard in our home. The battle against the entrance of Satan through the media was revealed to me, and in its place, I reflected on the beauty of holiness and desired to have the purity of Jesus. In this tender moment, the Lord worked through my humble mother in teaching me how to guard the avenues of my soul, lest Satan should gain victory over them. Jesus has won the victory for me every day since. Many youths today also struggle to free themselves from Satan’s snares, but the victory I gain over his temptations daily by faith in Jesus is the self-same victory anyone can claim through Jesus.

No more will I identify myself as a ‘Millennial’ by the world’s definition, but for the hope of living and reigning with Jesus for a millennium in heaven, and forevermore on the earth made new.

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Backstory: Amara came to Thailand as an Adventist Volunteer Services (AVS) missionary immediately after her pre-med graduation in Canada. This is her paper for Contextualized Witnessing, part of the Southeast Asia Union Mission teaching certification course that we attended recently.

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PROUD MAMA

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I am blessed with children who needs little motivation to learn. They are the type who would grab any given situation to learn. Not entirely academic which I am so glad they are not so much into, but practically everything worth retaining for future use. Some are actually mundane and insignificant like watching life hacks on youtube.

I would always tell them to wonder and often time be inquisitive so their memory bank will come in handy when in need. Lately though, I learned that it is not enough to ask but it would yield meaningful results if we ask the right questions. So I have been training them towards that highway of inquiring.

Backstory : Twice in a row for my Sam as gold awardee. I missed the first one because I was in Seoul for another kind of learning.

Morning walk

Today I decided to revive my morning habit of walking to familiar places but expecting to experience and see things differently.

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Backstory : Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” (source google)

A date with Sebastião

He is legendary, iconic, and insanely creative. He is an activist and economist who breath art. In his TED talk he shared that photography is his life and so much more. He did  not only take fleeting moments, he has live his art. His photograph turned into books, tv shows, movies, and powerful advocacy that impacted his country and the world.

“So many times I’ve photographed stories that show the degradation of the planet. I had one idea to go and photograph the factories that were polluting, and to see all the deposits of garbage. But, in the end, I thought the only way to give us an incentive, to bring hope, is to show the pictures of the pristine planet – to see the innocence.”

Sebastião Salgado

I was blessed to personally witness up close his amazing and impressive body of work now on display at the Bangkok Arts and Cultural Centre. Like all other art exhibitions, cameras were prohibited to protect the copyright of the artist and while my eyes were feasting on the photos, my shutter thumb was restless.

He is an inspiration, my art peg not only for his brilliant captures but also for his passion to make a difference in other people’s lives.

Backstory : Sebastião Salgado is a Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist. He has traveled in over 120 countries for his photographic projects. Most of these have appeared in numerous press publications and books. (source:wikipedia)

Sweet Sixteen

I was clueless how to raise you 16 years ago. There was no parenting manual, I was not fully ready to embrace the fact that I am going to be responsible for another human being. But you and I made a great team. You helped me in ways I could never imagine. You assured me many times that you and I will be just fine. Even if at this point you still couldn’t sleep in your room or fold your own clothes, you always had your ways of showing how responsible you are.

You taught me a plethora of growing up stuff I could never learn from someone else. I wish to be that same person who will excitedly listen to your stories at bedtime or during meals. Even when I am white and gray, I wish to still own your pains or carry your burden.

I love you more than what love means. Happy birthday Chi!

Backstory : Chi got her name from  Goo Goo Dolls

Accidental Artist

My husband is an artist, I am not.

We used to work together as graphic artist-copywriter, and it was during those extended hours in the advertising department of APGC that my curiosity for palettes and pantone came to life. I had no formal training but I was armed with a desire to pursue something that is not within my comfort zone. It was all I needed.

Fast forward to today, I am not even sure if I qualify to be called an artist, designer, and whatever else it’s labeled, all I know is that I am having one amazing ride.

 

Backstory : Ekamai International School is the first international school in Bangkok Thailand.

The best president PH never had

Dear MDS,

We chatted over onesies during a 3-day store-wide sale in the bustling SM Cubao. You had three close in security escorts but I managed to get into you because I needed something not for myself but for my friend Ton who adored you big time. You even asked me if green would be good for a baby boy, and I replied “I am not sure because my kids never wear anything except white.” “I will go for white then,” you said.

You held my hand, leaned in to ask what I needed and gladly obliged to my request for an autograph. “What is your friend’s name?” I blurted Ton. “Is he Antonio, can I write Antonio instead of Ton?”

We parted with big smiles and even wished me well for my master’s comprehensive exam. That swift but sheer encounter led to extensive research and reading of your past and present papers, books, journals and even your love and downtime with Heart Evangelista.

We had more than a minute encounter but for some reason I felt connected, encouraged, and valued. This could be a good enough reason to miss you and your love for justice, education, and the law.

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grabbed from web. CTO

P.S.

I voted for you twice as president, by the way.

Backstory : Mirriam Defensor Santiago or MDS served in all three branches of government in the Philippines. Her resume is incredibly awesome. She died in her sleep today. Even in death she never fail to amaze.

Monochrome

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There are days I only see either black or white. Not that I am grieving as what those colors normally suggest but because even if there are abundance of hues, the blacks and the whites of certain situations are sometimes overwhelming.

Be your BEST today for the potter designed you to be.

This morning’s staff devotional was an eye opener. A beautiful reminder that I should always strive for my inner colors to shine not for myself but for my Potter’s glory.

It’s comforting to know that we were designed in His image and likeness. That despite our imperfections and stubbornness, God will love us just the same.

Backstory : Subin Hyun, my korean journalism student captured the above image as her submission for the monochrome class project for SY 2015-2016.

THE 16TH PRESIDENT

I did not vote for him but 15,970,018 did, making him the 16th president of my dear republic. Today is his first day of work in the palace hailed as the most powerful place in the whole archipelago.

Like any big event the media both traditional and digital were on their toes ensuring that every citizen get bits and pieces of the historic inauguration, detailing the distinguished guest list, tight security, interesting first family’s fashion and glam. All these are of lesser interest to me because just like previous inaugurals, I am more determined to know how the new president will speak to me, and how his words will directly impact me as a single mom/OFW/registered voter.

I was grateful that his almost 15 minutes speech was exactly timed during my lunch break in Bangkok and so I had the opportunity to concentrate and digest most of his narratives. Here are some lines that personally hit me:

 “No leader, however strong, can succeed at anything of national importance or significance unless he has the support and cooperation of the people he is tasked to lead and sworn to serve”.

So even if I did not vote for him, he acknowledged that he needs my support (however that small) to succeed.

“Erosion of faith and trust in government – that is the real problem that confronts us”.

One of the reason, I left my flourishing corporate career in the Philippines was because of my love-hate relationship with the bureaucracy.

“Indeed ours is a problem that dampens the human spirit. But all is not lost”.

I have ten thousand reasons to give up due to numerous challenges being a single working mom, and at times I am pushed to the brink but hope always finds me.

 “I serve every one and not only one.”

Now I feel elated that I am part of the 102,234,130 people that he will reach out in the name of public service.

Carry on your excellency!

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Grab from web. Credit to owner.

Backstory : Rodrigo “Rody” Roa Duterte, popularly known as Digong is the first president from Mindanao.