“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.” I asked God for His leading on my venue for my silent retreat. I wanted a place in nature, full of trees. The leading was this certain Augustinian retreat house in Tagaytay. I googled it, didn’t like it (not enough trees), so I chose another retreat place instead. We have free will to choose, I reasoned. But friends pointed out— you asked God and God already gave you His choice. Are you still going to go with something else? So I begrudgingly booked the Augustinian retreat house even though it was not MY choice. But I choose to go with whatever God chooses for me. I didn’t find out why the retreat house (which wasn’t my type— it was along a main road, it was noisy, it didn’t have enough trees, the place wasn’t conducive for writing) was God’s choice until the end of my retreat. The spiritual director there encouraged us to check out a place of prayer on our last day— Missionaries of Charity. So my friend and I went. And THERE I saw the trees, the silence, the beauty of nature I was looking for. They had two chapels, one of which was small and cozy and there in the silence, surrounded by pine trees, I was able to concentrate and go deep in prayer. And after, we just stood outside enjoying the grounds in Missionaries of Charity. It had just rained and the flowers and leaves were glistening with moisture in the cool Tagaytay breeze. I couldn’t stop smiling like a dork. It was exactly the kind of place I wanted. And I realized then why the original Augustinian retreat house I booked was God’s choice: because it would lead me to His best for me. It was a stepping stone and a test of obedience to get to where I should be. We can always, always choose to go our own way (free will) and God will honor our choice, but choosing God’s way, even though we don’t understand, is always best and His plans and His ways are far better than ours. I read a devotional before I left for my retreat. The title was, “Choices Determine Destinies.” Keep choosing God’s choice for you and He will lead you to where you need to be. Lord, thank You.
It must’ve been 2008 or 2009 when I googled the lyrics of I Will Possess Your Heart by Death Cab (one of my favorite bands). One of the links I saw was a blog post about how the blogger imagines its lyrics as God speaking to him, resistant and stubborn to God’s reality in his life, particularly these lines: “How I wish you could see the potential The potential of you and me It’s like a book elegantly bound But in a language that you can’t read just yet” Ironically, the song is about a stalker-ish, one-sided, obsessive love, but if you SWITCH your mindset and listen to the song from a godly perspective, you’ll recognize God speaking and showing you what His love is like: relentlessly and obsessively pursuing us, even those (and especially those) who resist Him. The song goes on: “You reject my advances and desperate pleas I won’t let you let me down so easily So easily You gotta spend some time, love You gotta spend some time with me And I know that you’ll find love I will possess your heart” I was reminded of when I myself was resistant to God’s advances and would turn Him down outright— I wasn’t ready to comprehend a language I couldn’t understand just yet. It was only years later when God pursued me that I accepted God into my heart and it came when I made a decision to seek Him and be intentional in spending time to know Him. The song has creepy and dark undertones and was inspired by the negative experiences of songwriter Ben Gibbard’s friends, but switch your mindset and see Romans 8:28 manifest: that God can use ALL things, good and bad, for His purpose. Indeed, unbeknownst to pareng Ben, God used his creepy and dark secular song as His unlikely vessel to speak of His love for us. Listen to I Will Possess Your Heart by Death Cab for Cutie (the first 4+ minutes are all instrumental): https://youtu.be/pq-yP7mb8UE
When you’re aware of the nature of God, His attributes, His Word (the Bible)… you have a better perception of Him in all things. And when you’re aware, you will see God’s fingerprints in the world— even in secular things like The Lion King. Simba knew his father was dead but was told he was still alive. As Simba looked at his own reflection in a pool of water in search of his father, a giant vision of his father’s lion face appeared behind him. Rafiki was singing the song He Lives In You: There’s no mountain too great Hear these words and have faith… He lives in you He lives in me He watches over Everything we see Into the water Into the truth In your reflection He lives in you The song’s composer might not have intended it, but the lyrics (and the entire scene) reflect several Bible verses (1 John 4:4, Matthew 17:20, John 14:6), God’s character, and Scripture-based symbolisms (the lion of Judah as God the father, Him watching over you, reflection, the Holy Spirit living in you, truth, faith moving mountains, etc). Yes, we can take and enjoy the scene literally for what it is, but it’s also a wonderful way to illustrate how God reveals His oftentimes hidden self (an agnostic who’s seeking God recently complained to me why God seems to be so hard to find)— He is always with us, even in secular things like a play. And we will learn to recognize His presence in our lives better if we are AWARE of His nature and His Word and if we’re willing to read between the lines and see things from a different perspective. May we take the time to spend time with Him to better recognize God all around us.
Since 2011, at the end of the year, I would assess the things that happened during the year and I would sum up my entire year in one word. In 2016, I switched gears, thinking to be intentional and set a word before the year started. Unbeknownst to me, I was not the first person to think of doing such a thing, as my other friends were doing the same thing, too. In fact, it was something that a lot of other people were doing, in lieu of setting a whole slew of new year’s resolutions that would eventually end up being broken.
I originally shared this article as a post on my personal Facebook profile on September 24, 2017. I’ve shared this story to some friends but also want to share here on FB. This is a lesson I learned on being specific in prayer. *** True to being part of the Intercessory Ministry, I don’t pray for myself as much because I don’t really “need” anything for myself. But when I do, I ask God for wisdom, guidance, and not much else. A few months ago I kept getting the message over and over (via conversations with godly friends and my devotionals) that I had to be more specific with my prayers for myself (prayers for other people weren’t a problem, though). It was a recurring message so I took note of that and decided to “challenge” God and try it out. On June 29, 2017, I wrote a journal entry to God in my journal app. I thought of asking for something really specific, difficult, but INCONSEQUENTIAL in the grand scheme of things— something not out of greed or gain. I wrote, “I want a blue, pink, and yellow cotton candy in the shape of an elephant. I want it in real life. Something I can hold in my hands and eat.” (Haha parang bata lang, candy ang hinihingi 😅)
This is a repost from my personal Facebook account, from November 21, 2017. I parked near St. Jerome church for the free parking, then I walked over to Alabang Town Center to run errands. I was already in the middle of the mall when I realized I forgot my other bag so I walked aaaaallll the way back to the car to get it… only to realize, when I got to the car, that I left the bag at home. *facepalm*
The last I’ve written extensively on this blog was in 2015. If you look through my posts in 2015, you’ll notice that: 1) I took a break from my client work 2) I went through what I call a “creative rut” 3) I stopped writing in my blog
No big blog relaunch, no bells and whistles for now. I’m dusting off this blog (my last post was in 2015!) and moving in to this domain, RegSilva.com (all my blog entries used to be on wedgienet.net, which will now be a portfolio-only site). My primary aim is to get back into blogging. This blog is currently bare bones– I will be adding bits and pieces of functionality as I see fit and when the need arises. For now, just words 🙂 Stay tuned to my updates by: 1) Signing up for my email list here. In return, I’ll give you my sketchbook for free. 2) Liking my Facebook page, Reg Silva.
Coloring books for adults are all the rage these days. Coloring is supposedly meditative and relaxing, but I’ve never gotten into the whole adult coloring book craze. I assume it’s because I already color as it’s part of my work as an illustrator, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to color outside of work for leisure. I can see how others would gravitate to coloring as a way to pass time and release stress, though. Riding on the adult coloring book wave, Summit Media and Studio Dialogo extended an invitation to me to be part of a local coloring book publication, along with 40 other Filipino artists. I was honored to be asked and to contribute two pages to Hue Can Do It! and Hue Can Do It, Too!, which launched with a book signing last August 29, 2015 at the Philippine Literary Festival in Raffles Makati.
I’m in a creative rut, and have been for the past several months. It’s the reason why I’ve missed uploading two of my monthly wallpapers this year and frankly, I don’t foresee myself posting the rest of the wallpapers for 2015. I’ll have to rethink my wallpaper strategy, sorry. I’ve been uploading wallpapers monthly for two years now and I think I’ll stop. I might start up the wallpapers again in 2016. Maybe, maybe not. I haven’t been doing personal art for several months now. I’m going through creative brain drain. I’m just… stuck, I guess. For a long time now, client work has been dominating and perhaps I forgot how to “art.” I haven’t been in the mood to do anything creative at all. I guess I’ll just have to wait out this rut until I feel like picking up a pencil/brush again. Who knows when that will be.