Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The one with Love Won't Leave You cracking Top 25

As you can see, Avalon's new album, Stand, is currently #1 on the MusiChristian.com charts! Praise God!

As of January 31, 2005, Avalon's Love Won't Leave You has cracked the Top 25 on Billboard Radio Monitor's Hit Predictor, rocketing up five notches to #22 from last up nine notches from last week's #27. These results may just reflect on the actual Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart this coming Friday, so keep calling local radio and requesting Love Won't Leave You!

With Love Won't Leave You reaching #22, it becomes the first Avalon single to make the Top 25 since All, from the album The Creed made the Top 10 in 2004. Subsequent singles from that album include You Were There and I Wanna Be With You, neither of which made the Hot Christian Songs chart's Top 25.

Meanwhile, the rest of America and the world continues to pick up Love Won't Leave You, including Radio and Records, where Love Won't Leave You is at #28; in Champaign, Illinois, 91.7 ninety-one seven; Calvary 88.5; KOBC 90.7; GoForthMedia in Mobile, Alabama; ReachFM in Newark, Delaware; CHRI 99.1FM in Canada, where Love Won't Leave You at #1 for a SECOND WEEK; The Rock Across Australia; Ultra106.5; 1WayFM; and Kingfisher 103.8.

Call your local radio stations and request Love Won't Leave You, and buy your copies of Stand, now out in your favorite record bars and Christian bookstores across the world!

Monday, January 30, 2006

The One with a Tribute to Bro. Andrew Gonzales, FSC

Bro. Andrew Gonzales FSC, President Emeritus of the De La Salle University System and former Department of Education secretary, died January 29, 2006 from complications due to diabetes. It is a sad day for many Lasallians who see Bro. Andrew Gonzales (not Bro. Andrew Gonzalez) as a visionary. Aside from being an indispensable consultant for education, a prolific researcher and expert in linguistics, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde where I work, is Bro. Andrew Gonzales' brainchild.

I remember very distinctly what Bro. Andrew Gonzales said to me when he handed me my cum laude medal in 1997. Bro. Andrew said with a big smile: "Congratulations. Keep it up!" Bro. Andrew FSC was already weak at that time since he was seated during the whole ceremony. Nevertheless, he leaves quite an impression to the graduates. I had the pleasure of reading some of Bro. Andrew's writings and he was truly a brilliant man. In conferences, his booming voice and straightforward energy never failed to amaze his audience. Many a times, he would give spontaneous speeches that are brief but memorable. The Lasallian family will surely miss the energy and wisdom of Bro. Andrew.

For those interested to visit Dr. Andrew Gonzales FSC for the last time, there will be an alumni mass for Bro. Andrew today, January 30 at the La Salle Main Chapel, 7PM. The memorial wake starts today at the La Salle Main Chapel. There will be 7PM masses on Tuesday and Wednesday. There will be a mass at the Chapel of the Resurrection at 9AM on Thursday, after which Bro. Andrew will be cremated. Bro. Andrew's ashes will then be brought to the Brothers Mausoleum in Lipa. In lieu of flowers, the Brothers will appreciate donations to the DLSU Charity Hospital in Apalit, Pampanga. You may make your checks payable to the "DLSU Science Foundation (for Br. Andrew Gonzales FSC)."

Goodbye Br. Andrew Gonzales. I will miss your energy.

The one with how everything's falling into place

When 2006 started, Cathy and I challenged our faith by joining the rest of the folks at Victory Christian Fellowship to a seven-day fasting and prayer period. It was my first time to fast for a week - Yes, Virginia, I know how to fast! - and Cathy and I were certainly blessed by it. Here's a rundown of how God's power is making itself manifest in our lives since those fateful seven days in prayer:

1) We're almost out of debt. Launching LIVEtheLIFE Magazine was a leap of faith that just didn't pan out. Maybe the timing wasn't right. Maybe my heart wasn't right. Maybe the layout or content wasn't right. Whatever the reasons, we plunged into debt as a result of this endeavor, and God continued to remain faithful in those dark times. Now, we are on the verge of finally breaking into the black, and we couldn't be happier. God be praised.

2) Lifted! The Contemporary Christian Music radio show I've dreamed of and kept in prayer for so long is about to come to fruition, but this time around, no more announcements until it's actually on the air. Suffice it to say that God works in the most mysterious ways - and Jam 88.3 is the coolest radio station on the air, BAR NONE. Talagang your kind of mix!

3) Perfect Proposals: Popping the Question the Pinoy Way. The book will finally come out - but no announcements until two weeks before the publisher says it's scheduled for release. I've learned my lesson about pre-emption.

4) Our marriage rocks. There is no such thing as a perfect couple, and Cathy and I are perfect proof of that. However, I will say that these past few weeks have found us getting closer and closer - perhaps closer than we've ever been before. I haven't been the greatest husband, but I know I'm trying, and with God's grace, I can be the husband He wants me to be, for the woman He's given me. That is the biggest gift.

5) My son loves me. Cathy's being away from us four days have resulted in my trying to spend more time with Nathan. I'd like to believe I did most of that reasonably, spending the whole of Sunday with him, as well as most of Saturday and Friday.

6) The opportunity to draw closer to Him. This Friday, hopefully, I'll be able to join the Victory Men's Weekend. I am looking forward to this with a mix of excitement and fear. Excitement because I know it's a wonderful opportunity to draw closer to God and really, really experience Him. Fear, because I know I am going to have to face up to some demons I'm not sure I'm ready to face. One thing is for sure: I will have to face these demons sometime to serve God fully, and I know I will emerge victorious by God's grace and love.

The devil cannot condemn me because Jesus' blood has set me free.

7) The opportunity to serve. Cathy and I haven't served since we joined Victory, which means it's been almost six months that we haven't served in a church, and we're itching to be of service. I registered Cathy for Kids' Ministry, and I signed up for the Music Ministry. Cathy's sure to get in, but over at music, there's a training period and audition (plus, I'm not sure what He really wants me to do there... vocals? Songwrite? Keyboards? Trombone?). Well, God will be glorified, regardless of whether or not I get in, so praise Him!

8) The courage and boldness to witness. This is the one thing I have prayed for, for the longest time. The one thing we are called to do is the one thing of which I am most fearful, but I know He is working mightily to bless me with faith, courage, and boldness. I've been a Christian for almost seven years (wow!), but have always lived in fear of sharing the gospel. Please pray for me - this is what God wants of all of us, and I want to witness. God has already been moving in me slowly, and opportunities to share are starting to make themselves known in my office and in my family.

As you can see, 2006 is starting to fall into place, all by God's grace. Praise His Name! Thank You, Lord!

Friday, January 27, 2006

The one with Love Won't Leave You's progress - Jan 27

As of January 27, 2005, this is the progress of Avalon's Love Won't Leave You at radio in the United States, Australia, and the rest of the world.

Love Won't Leave You is now at #27 on Billboard Radio Monitor's Hit Predictor, up nine notches from last week's #36. It scored an 80.10, good for 4th overall!

Overall, on Radio and Records, Love Won't Leave You has broken into the Top 30, debuting at #28! It's the higher of two debuts, ahead of Newsboys' I am Free, new at #30. Please call your local Contemporary Christian radio stations and request to hear Love Won't Leave You! The #1 song, Third Day's Cry to Jesus, is receiving five times more airplay, so we need to burn those phonelines!

In Omak, Washington, Morning Light continues play Love Won't Leave You (as well as George Huff's A Brighter Day, another spectacular track)!

In Champaign, Illinois, 91.7 ninety-one seven has Love Won't Leave You as a top pick!

Calvary 88.5 has Love Won't Leave You in medium rotation, although its position is higher than last week's; I don't know if that means a change in ranking!

KOBC 90.7 has Love Won't Leave You at #14, up 3 from last week!

GoForthMedia in Mobile, Alabama, has added Love Won't Leave You to its playlist!

Love Won't Leave You is already a hit-bound pick for ReachFM in Newark, Delaware!

I love Canada! CHRI 99.1FM has Avalon's Love Won't Leave You at #1 for a SECOND WEEK! I love Canada!

Christians in Australia can vote for Love Won't Leave You on The Rock Across Australia, where Love Won't Leave You is now knocking on the door of the top 10, #11 in its 4th week.

On Ultra106.5, Love Won't Leave You is in heavy rotation (you can vote here)! 1WayFM has been playing Love Won't Leave You for three weeks running.

In South Africa, Kingfisher 103.8 has Love Won't Leave You at #18!

Buy your copies of Stand, now out in your favorite record bars and Christian bookstores across the world!

The one with opposite ends of the spectrum

Two celebrities I respect for trying to make the world a better place, made headlines this week, albeit for slightly different reasons.

U2 frontman Bono has teamed up with several big companies to launch a designer brand called Red, with 1% of profits made going to ease poverty in Africa. That's the kind of mathematics most big-name groups can understand. I hate his having to gussy up to these corporate sharks, but how else are you going to get America to give money to those who need it most?

Oprah Winfrey, on the other hand, found herself "embarrassed" when she learned that significant portions of A Million Little Pieces by author James Frey, a purported memoir, were embellished. Prior to a live taping of her show Thursday, she defended Frey, even calling up Larry King to downplay the evidence shown on The Smoking Gun. She's since changed her tune, reprimanding both Frey and Doubleday, the book's publisher, for "duping" her and millions of viewers into believing that the entire tale was true.

I appreciate Winfrey's honesty and sincerity in apologizing to the American public; she's certainly shown more honesty than Frey, although she has also tried to wash her hands of the stink a bit, placing fault also in some of her readers who defended the book.

Whether Frey's career will continue to flourish remains to be seen.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The one with yuga and the magic words

Yuga is blogging for charity. Go do great things for Christ, brother.

The magic words: v7ndotcom elursrebmem!

Disclaimer: Those aren't really magic words. The only words I know that come even remotely close to magic are "In Jesus' Name."

The one with Cathy leaving Nathan and me

Before you get all "What in heaven's name?!" on me, don't let the title fool you. Cathy left this morning for Cagayan de Oro on the Philippine island of Mindanao for a four-day sojourn to administer entrance examinations for DLS-CSB.

So for the next four days, it's Nathan, his nanny, and me against the world. We're staying at my Mom's house so she can spend some time with him and play co-nanny while I'm at work.

Please say a quick prayer for Cathy's safety in Cagayan. Thanks much - expect a lot more blog updates in the next four days because Nathan sleeps a lot and I have little else to do. LOL

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The one with the Nicole C. Mullen interview

When LIVEtheLIFE was still struggling to get off the ground (never did, *sigh*), I wrote a letter to Tunstall Management, who handled Afro-American Contemporary Christian superstar Nicole C. Mullen, asking for an interview for Philippine youth. Ms. Mullen and Tunstall were gracious and fast, and delivered an interview to us. Unfortunately, as many of you know, we didn't last long enough to publish the interview.

Nicole C. Mullen, however, is a truly amazing woman, and I'm sure that many youth who visit Superblessed would be indeed superblessed by her insights, so I've decided to just publish the interview here. Be superblessed, and go out and request Always Love You on your local CCM radio stations!

LIVEtheLIFE: You've been blessed immensely, having been in the music industry for at least six years, three albums, Dove awards, and countless accolades to your credit. What is, in your opinion, the best thing you've got going for you right now?

Nicole C. Mullen:I believe that my greatest assets are my faith in Jesus Christ, family, friends, and fans. With this combination there should never be a shortage of song ideas and inspiration.

LtL: You've had several hits written by yourself, including the worldwide smashes Redeemer and Call on Jesus. How does Nicole C. Mullen begin to write a song?

: Everytime is different; sometimes it starts with a simple idea of a message that I want to get across, or a melody that might just come into my head, and then I fill in the blanks by adding lyrics like a puzzle. Sometimes a song is sparked by a conversation, an encounter, a scripture or
an emotion.

LtL: It's interesting that the first single off your new album, Everyday People, is a track not written by you. How does it feel to release a cover for the first time? And what was your motivation for choosing a track by Sly Stone, of all people?

NCM:The album was already writtened and titled 'Everyday People" before I ever knew the song called Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone. I remember hearing it from a car commercial and about three weeks from our scheduled mixing time, I asked my husband about it. After investigating the lyric and hearing the song in its entirety, i thought that this would be a
fun, non-threatening way to remind us of the serious message of loving each other in light of our God given differences.As far as it being the first single...well that originated with the record company. (smile)

LtL: By the way, we don't have much access to CCM charts here. How well is Everyday People (single and album) doing?

NCM: The single has been and in being played on three different formats (AC, CHR, and Black Gospel), because it's not a praise and worship song it has had its challenges. It's so funny because some people are like What? and others are like wow! ...That's my jam! Over all the album is doing well and has been nominated for a Grammy...we are excited!

LtL: You're also known for your willingness to take a political stand, something most other CCM artists are hesitant to do. What is your motivation for doing so?

NCM: I believe that one's political views should be built upon principle and for me, principle should have its foundation in the Bible.Sometimes, there are issues that are beyond the grey and are clearly black and white, right or wrong. If I do not speak up or sing out for the truth, defend those who cannot do so themselves,and present hope to those in need, then who will?As
a follower of Jesus Christ, I am told that faith without works (or corresponding action) is dead...simply put, if I say I believe a certain way, then I am called to live and act like it.

LtL: Your producer and husband (respected CCM producer David Mullen) is more known in the Philippines as a VeggieTales collaborator, and you've collaborated on children's music too. Would you say that you both try to keep in touch with your inner child, or is it more a
joyful expression of the love you have for kids?

NCM: I really think it's all the above! We love children and we want to do our part in providing them with quality entertainment.

LtL: Tell us about the Baby Girls' Club.

:Baby Girls Club is something I've been doing unofficially for about 12 yrs and officially for about two. It's a club for girls ages 6 to 17, from every walk of life. We meet once a week and dance, sing, sew, do crafts, study homework,eat, talk, encourage and pray for each other, etc. We have lots of fun and are seeing these baby girls grow socially, academically and spiritually.

LtL: Thank you so much for your time, Nicole! We're humbled and honored. Do you have any message for your teen and young adult fans in Manila? God bless you!

NCM: Enjoy your youth and serve God with your whole heart while you are young...you will find life to be more exciting and adventurous than you could have ever imagined.Take a bold stand for Christ this year and my prayer for you is Psalms 20.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The one with Reuben Laurente

For years, I've followed The CompanY for the breathtaking voice of baritone/tenor 1 Reuben Laurente. His new album's out, titled Langit (Filipino for "Heaven"), a gospel-pop album that you just know I'm going to get my grubby little hands on and play until the disc cracks. :

I'll pass on a better review for Reuben's album once I get a copy and give it a good listen. Meanwhile, check out what my friends Faith at 96.3 WRock and Rick at Jam 88.3 pulled off for me!

Monday, January 23, 2006

The one with the lyrics of I'll Be Remembering You by Stephen Curtis Chapman

We're getting good hits for people looking for the lyrics of Stephen Curtis Chapman's I'll Be Remembering You off the album Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia. Since the I'll Be Remembering You lyrics are rather hard to find online, I listened to the Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia album and took the lyrics of I'll Be Remembering You down. Enjoy!

Stephen Curtis Chapman

I found you in the most unlikely way
Really, it was you who found me
And I found myself in the gifts that you gave
You gave me so much and I

Wish you could stay
but I
I'll wait for the day

And I watch as the cold winter melts into spring
And I'll be remembering you
Oh, and I'll smell the flowers and hear the birds sing
And I'll be remembering you
I'll be remembering you

From the first moment when I heard your name
Something in my heart came alive
You showed me love where no words could explain
a love with the power to
Open the door
to a world I was made for

And I watch as the cold winter melts into spring
And I'll be remembering you
Oh, and I'll smell the flowers and hear the birds sing
And I'll be remembering you

The dark night
The hard fight
The long climb up the hill knowing the cost
The brave death
The last breath
The silence whispering all hope was lost
The thunder
The wonder
The power that brings the dead back to life

I wish you could stay
but I wait for the day
Though you've gone away
You'll come back

And I watch as the cold winter melts into spring
And I'll be remembering you
Oh, and I'll smell the flowers and hear the birds sing
And I'll be remembering you

And I watch as the sun fills the sky that was dark
I'll be remembering you
And I'll think of the way that you filled up my heart
I'll be remembering you
I'll be remembering you
I'll be remembering you

The one with Little Manhattan

Over the weekend, Cathy and I took time to watch Little Manhattan, a charming ode to puppy love starring child actors Josh Hutcherson and Charlie Ray, ably supported by Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon and The West Wing's Bradley Whitford. Little Manhattan made a paltry US$251,000 at the US box office, a shame because Little Manhattan has heart and humor deep within its soul, and deserved so much better.

"New York City is the most romantic place in the world, especially when you're falling in love for the first time. Little Manhattan is a romantic comedy about life, the Big Apple - and that mysterious, maddening and wonderful phenomenon known as first love." - synopsis off the official Little Manhattan website

Little Manhattan helped me revisit my first few years with Cathy, because when I think about it, the love I experienced with her really was my first love. Not to say that my previous relationships prior to hers weren't love, but the kind of love that really made me say, okay, Lord, I'm done searching, this is it, thanks for the gift!... that came with Cathy, and the film did make me see that.

Spectacular performances by Nixon and Whitford, woefully underused in the film, underline the stellar work of both Hutcherson and Ray, who deliver honest, believable performances (unlike a lot of these other child actors today, who sound like they're rattling off their lines, ehem, kid actors in Barney, eherm).

Little Manhattan is pleasant, pleasing, and thoroughly enjoyable. You must see it.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The one with Love Won't Leave You's progress - Jan 21

The analysts over at Billboard Radio Monitor's Hit Predictor predict Love Won't Leave You is going to be a major hit, scoring an 80.10, ahead of other Christian tracks, including hits by Aaron Shust and Sonicflood! You can listen to three snippets of the track!

Overall, on Radio and Records, Love Won't Leave You is set to break into the Top 30, so please call your local radio stations and vote! Love Won't Leave You is currently at #27 on the Billboard's Hot Christian Songs charts, so please call your local Contemporary Christian radio stations and request for Love Won't Leave You!

In Omak, Washington, Morning Light has begun to play Love Won't Leave You (as well as George Huff's A Brighter Day, another spectacular track).

In Champaign, Illinois, 91.7 ninety-one seven has Love Won't Leave You as a top pick.

Calvary 88.5 has Love Won't Leave You in medium rotation.

KOBC 90.7 has Love Won't Leave You at #17, up 3 from last week.

GoForthMedia in Mobile, Alabama, has added Love Won't Leave You to its playlist.

Love Won't Leave You is already a hit-bound pick for ReachFM in Newark, Delaware!


I love Canada! CHRI 99.1FM has Avalon's Love Won't Leave You at #1!

Christians in Australia can vote for Love Won't Leave You on The Rock Across Australia, where Love Won't Leave You is now #16 in its 3rd week.

On Ultra106.5, Love Won't Leave You is in heavy rotation (you can vote here)!

1WayFM has been playing Love Won't Leave You for three weeks running.

Meanwhile, the Aussie magazine Sight Magazine has Love Won't Leave You at #16.

In South Africa, Kingfisher 103.8 has Love Won't Leave You at #18, a hot debut!

Four days to go before Stand hits stores! Pre-order your Avalon album now and be blessed by this incredible vocal group!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The one with lyrics of Always Love You by Nicole C. Mullen

I've gotten a significant number of hits from people searching for the lyrics to Always Love You by Nicole C. Mullen, off the OST of the independent film End of the Spear. Nicole's website doesn't seem to have it up, and a searches on Google, Yahoo, and MSN don't quite give you what you're looking for, so I watched the video on the End of the Spear website and wrote the lyrics down.

I'm pretty sure these Nicole C. Mullen Always Love You lyrics are accurate except for the third line of the chorus, which seems vague to me across all four times the chorus is sung. If you have hold of the correct words, please leave me a comment and I'll change it.

Nicole C. Mullen

Tell me if you break the hourglass
Can you hold to what you have?
Can you make the moment last?

Tell me if you give away your heart
and the life tears you apart
is it the end or just the start

Well, no matter how far you go
I will always love you
Like a thousand rivers from my soul
I will always love you

I miss you and the funny things you say
I remember every day
in a hundred different ways

I miss you being here with me
Though you've been set free
I hold you in my memory

Coz no matter how far you go
I will always love you
Like a thousand rivers from my soul
I will always love you

No body is too wide
Across the great divide
and if soul to the skies above
can conquer the earth below
There's one thing I want you to know
I want you to know is

No matter how far you go
I will always love you
Like a thousand rivers from my soul
I will always love you

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The one with Two Chinese Boys

Normally, I don't recommend blogs not decidedly of a Christian nature, but you guys have GOT to see this. I know I'm late, joining this particular bandwagon, but this is by far one of the funniest blogs I have seen. Go, you two Chinese boys! Do Savage Garden!

Monday, January 16, 2006

The one with how objectivity is relative

Yuga of Yugatech posts his thoughts on what make blog awards credible, given the reaction of Kid Flash X to the results of the 2005 Philippine Blog Awards.

Podcaster Kid Flash X mentions rather often that the awards are "a joke," not knowing the criteria for the selection of winners, and that "there's nothing really special about" the winners. He calls the awards "dubious," hinting, though, that he'd be all praises if he were nominated and won, and muses about the temptation to create his own awards.

Please feel free to do so, Kid Flash X. :) You'd be thrilling people whose blogs make an impact on you. That's all that matters - to you and to the recipients of your awards.

Speaking as a creator of a personal blog award, the Superblessed Christian Blog Awards, I acknowledge that the sites selected as winners by the SCBA are winners - for me. They bless me. I like them, and that's all there is to it. Not all Christians will agree with me (and for that reason, I, too, have gotten flak throughout the years for leaving out some blogger or other), and that's their right and choice. As Yuga points out, it's the same thing with the PBA, or the Philippine Webby Awards, for that matter; you can't please everyone.

People blog for a reason, whatever that reason may be. Superblessed, for instance, is a family blog, and Cathy and I choose to blog to tell the world of how much Jesus Christ has done for us and to testify of what a great life we now have because He watches over us and protects us. Ironwulf blogs for his photographs. I can't even begin to fathom what the Philippine blogging community would be like without Manuel Quezon III or SassyLawyer, Wifely Steps or Dr. Emer. Everyone has their own set of blogger friends, and how often have we stopped to say "thanks for blogging, your blog is [insert positive adjective here]!"?

As an extremely happy finalist, I must say that both Cathy and I were honored to have made the finals of the Philippine Blog Awards. It's nice to know we don't live in a vacuum, and people are visiting Superblessed, and enjoying what they read (especially the coverage of the Miss World 2005 pageant, which is largely responsible, I think, for our runner-up finish in the Most Informative Blog category). Thanks to Yuga (who I admire for his perseverance in creating PinoyTopBlogs), we are extremely surprised (and deliriously happy) to learn that Superblessed is #21 on the Philippine Top 100!

Award or no award, at the end of the day, it's nice to be acknowledged, especially by someone with whom we may not have had relationships but was helped somewhat by our blog. That's what awards are about - recognition when someone's done something outstanding.

The Deens may be "nothing really special" to Kid Flash X, but 136 other bloggers think we are special enough to link to. (",)

I will gladly defend the integrity of the Philippine Blog Awards insofar as it is an independent body that takes time and effort to recognize and bless Filipino bloggers. God knows there's enough negativity out there without people stopping to thank each other for simply being around and doing what they do so well.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The one with the CCM roundup for January

You can vote for Avalon's Love Won't Leave You on the official website of WGRC 90.7 Lewisburg and Ultra106.5 in Australia! Go and vote for Avalon! Hey, Avalon Street Team, send me the package so I can promote Love Won't Leave You in Manila! Hello?

Oh, and Melissa Greene's pregnant! Congratulations, Melissa! You and Ben deserve the world!

Aaron Shust
Here's another great song: My Savior, My God, by Aaron Shust. Give that song a listen (you get it in full!) here, along with Matchless, another winning track. The latter debuted at #14 on the Billboard Christian charts. Why isn't Love Won't Leave You charting? Vote! Vote! Vote!

Anthony Evans
Thanks to the webmaster of the Anthony Evans MySpace page. What a beautiful voice! Glad I was linked by MySpace. Awesome, God-blessed voice!

Mark Schultz
Mark Schultz's DVD/CD, Mark Schultz Live: A Night of Stories and Songs, has been certified GOLD! Congratulations, Mark!

Nicole C. Mullen
Nicole C. Mullen's new single, Always Love You, is lifted off the official soundtrack to the independent film, End of the Spear. You can view the video on the site! Great song, and you look good, Nic!

I'm listening to a lot of great CCM, thanks to Yahoo! Launchcast. Praise be!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The one with our latest family shots

Gather round, y'all!

You look silly! And you do too, Nathan!

Mom and Nate in the car!

Monday, January 09, 2006

The one with Once in a Blue Moon

Last Saturday I watched Once in a Blue Moon, an entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), with a close friend. I read in the newspaper today that it actually won the Best Picture award. I didn't see any other MMFF entry but I'd say that I enjoyed this movie. I watched it largely because of it's marketing tag "a Palanca award winning screenplay".

Indeed, the writing was good. I really liked the transitions and the symbolism used by the writer (who incidentally won the Best Screenplay and Best Original Story awards). Joel Lamagan, who is questioning the jurors' choice for Kutob's Jose Javier Reyes to win for Best Director, did an incredible job directing this movie. I never thought that Mark Herras and Jennilyn Mercado can act that well. I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of these two as well as Dennis Trillo and Polo Ravelas. Of course, legends like Eddie Garcia, Christopher de Leon and Boots Anson Roa increased the acting credibility. This movie is indeed one of the better Filipino movies I've seen so far (but, I've only seen a few).

The story is divided between two time periods in the life of Manuel--the young Manuel (Mark Herras) and the old Manuel (Eddie Garcia). There are several other subplots in the person of Manuel's son played by Christopher de Leon and Manuel's grandson played by Dennis Trillo. The theme of second chances is threaded through the movie and the song "Blue Moon" serves as a symbol and a unifying factor for the two time periods as well as the other subplots.

I'm not so sure if men will appreciate this movie since it is quite a chick flick. Still, the film gave me a chance for a good cry.

The one with the fast

Cathy and I are now on the 4th day of our seven-day fast with Victory. In the past three days, I've witnessed myself rise and fall as I seek His will and learn more about what He wants me to do to bring glory to His name.

Yesterday's 3PM message at the Fort was given by the inimitable Ps. Robert, whose giftings are really in sharing God's Word. Yesterday, He talked about exactly that - God's word: the why's and the how's.

This particular time around, I forgot both Bible and notebook at home, and Robert chose to gently rebuke those who didn't bring their Bibles. ("It's like going into battle without a sword.") What I loved about this sermon that stuck with me were the following:

1) Read His Word. Reading the Bible has not really been too much of a problem for me (especially the bloody Old Testament - man, those were scary yet exciting times) - but I confess to skipping certain chapters. I really should get around to completing the Bible from cover to cover. Book of Hezekiah! LOL

2) Meditate on His Word. Not the ummmm... type of meditation. The type where you make it nilay-nilay. The type where you chew on it and pray on it and think about it. I'm looking forward to doing more of this. :)

3) Memorize His Word. Always a challenge for me, but I've picked up two more over the weekend: "Cast your cares upon the Lord, and He will sustain you" (Ps 55:22) and "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (Ja 4:7). Ps 119:11 was shared yesterday by Ps. Robert, and I'm going to try to memorize that one, too, because it's beautiful - "I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." I love that - when God's word is relevant and always present in your heart, the temptation to sin is significantly lessened.

I've prayed for much these past few days - including prayers for others given through the MySpace and Friendster accounts - and I trust that God will reward your faithfulness with answered prayer in His time and according to His will.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The one with my doppelganger

I opened the proverbial can of worms this afternoon at work. This is the image that got everyone all worked up.

What? Is there a similarity between me and Star Records artist (and former child star) L.A. Lopez?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The one with more Love Won't Leave You

Have you ever been abandoned by someone you genuinely loved? Didn't it hurt? I'm sure it did - conditional love can be painful sometimes, if you're the one doing the loving.

Thankfully, God's love is not conditional! It's an unconditional love that knows no wrong and accepts everyone into its warm embrace.

God is love, and love won't leave you. God is love, and God won't leave you!

If you need encouragement, I strongly recommend you call your local CCM radio station and request Love Won't Leave You by Avalon. A pop-rock song with an infectious, irresistible beat and vocals that'll burn a hole right through your care group's worship time, Love Won't Leave You is that start-of-the-year single that will revive your youth group, rejuvenate your relationship with God, and remind you that Jesus Christ is truly all you need!

Visit the official Avalon website and listen to the snippet of Love Won't Leave You. You can also visit the Avalon MySpace page and be added as a friend!

What are you waiting for? Join the bandwagon of this great, great song and help take Avalon and Love Won't Leave You to #1 on the overall Contemporary Christian charts!

I think I caught you just in time
I caught you trying to survive
Broken pieces in your heart, never mend
But every hope you’ve ever had
Can breathe again

Love won’t leave you empty-handed
Broken down and somewhere stranded
Love won’t leave you hanging on for life
Cause love is
Love is always true
God is love
And love won’t leave you

I wanna say you’ll be okay
Always doing things the hard way
Living paralyzed by fear
But you know
You can let it go today
And save tomorrow

Love is gonna free your mind
Love is gonna steal your pride
And even though the hard times come
Love is gonna make things right

I think I caught you just in time
Love is gonna save your life

The one with the year-end Billboard Christian song charts 2005

The following list contains the Top 40 Christian songs for 2005, according to Billboard.biz. The Christian songs in bold type are Christian songs whose Christian artists have the albums containing these Chrsitian songs available in the Philippines (and those in yellow are songs I've actually heard and enjoyed, even had enter my Top 20 chart on the right bar of this website). As you can see, there is a dire need to bring and distribute more contemporary Christian music locally.

By God's grace, more CCM will be available in time to bless believers in Asia.

1. TAKE YOU BACK Jeremy Camp
2 VOICE OF TRUTH Casting Crowns
3 HEAVEN Salvador
4 HOLY IS THE LORD Chris Tomlin
6 WHAT IF Jadon Lavik
7 HIDE Joy Williams
9 HELD Natalie Grant
10 BRAVE Nichole Nordeman
11 YOU'RE WORTHY OF MY PRAISE Big Daddy Weave & Barlowgirl
12 LIFESONG Casting Crowns
14 THIS IS YOUR LIFE Switchfoot
17 MIRACLE John David Webster
19 HE WILL CARRY ME Mark Schultz
23 MORE Matthew West
24 WHO AM I? Point Of Grace
25 YOU The Afters
26 MUCH OF YOU Steven Curtis Chapman
27 FRIEND OF GOD Phillips, Craig And Dean
31 WALK BY FAITH Jeremy Camp
34 YOU ARE MINE Third Day
35 OPEN MY EYES Jeff Anderson
36 WHO AM I Casting Crowns
37 DEVOTION Newsboys
38 WE LIVE Superchic[k]
39 LIVE FOR TODAY Natalie Grant

Monday, January 02, 2006

The one with the Superblessed Podcast: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!

To welcome in the new year, I'd like to invite y'all to listen to the 3rd Superblessed Podcast: The One with New Year 2006
  • Fireworks
  • New Year's food
  • I love sugar
  • I made new year cookies!
  • The Man God Uses
  • Do great things for God in 2006
Title: The One with New Year 2006
Length: 10:12
Format: WAV file
Download here or visit Ganns' Ourmedia page.