Through the Fire: 14 Years and Counting

Our family almost lost our lives when our house burned down fourteen years ago. I can still recall how the Lord graciously led all of us out of the house before the roof fell to the ground.

Sometimes, I still wonder what it would be like if we weren’t around anymore, after November 19, 2004. We wouldn’t have been able to: 1) develop the relationships that we have right now, 2) discover skills and desires that God has placed in our hearts, 3) invest in both material and eternal things, and 4) experience God’s faithfulness and goodness the way that we did in the past decade!

Although, I have to admit, there are times when I do long for the day when I finally get to meet God face-to-face and start spending eternity with Him in Heaven. However, only He knows when that would be and as long as He wakes me up each day, by God’s grace, I will choose to seek and serve Him — no matter how difficult the struggles in this life may be. God, being the sovereign God that He is, allows me and my family to continue living here on earth since the fire incident. Indeed, it is a humbling reality!

I’ll be sharing a part of Psalm 71 which reflects what is in my heart as I remember God’s faithfulness today. 

“As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long— though I know not how to relate them all.

I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.

Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.

Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God?

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.”

Thank You, Lord, for waking me up today… and for the 14 years (and counting) of being able to know You and experience You in deep and new ways here on earth. 

 

Nutella S’more Waffles

Every November 19, our family celebrates our fire anniversary. We have this special occasion because eleven years ago, our whole house burned down at 1:30 in the morning. But, by God’s grace, He saved us from the fire and allowed our family and helper to get out of the house just in time. You can read more about the experience HERE.

s'more waffles
s’more waffles

Whenever we celebrate our “fireniversary”, we usually eat out at a restaurant with grilled food (since it reminds us of the fire) or we sometimes have a special meal together at home and remember God’s faithfulness. However, last Thursday (Nov. 19), we couldn’t meet up and have dinner as a family since we had prior commitments that we couldn’t postpone. We also tried to have breakfast or dinner together last Saturday, but some of us needed to attend other important activities too.

waffles cooking in the Krups waffle machine
waffles cooking in the Krups waffle machine
s'more waffles
s’more waffles

Hopefully, within the week, our plan to have dinner as a family will push through. (Hello, family! If you’re reading this, you know what to do. Haha!) In the meantime, I’ll be sharing one of my favorite snacks when we were still living at our old house in Kapitolyo. The lovely, gooey, and yummy S’MORES! But, this time, I made a little twist. Instead of using whole graham crackers as the base, I added crushed graham crackers to my waffle recipe and used the waffles to complement the toasted marshmallows and nutella spread. I hope you can try this one soon! It’s really a simple snack that can be prepared in 20 minutes or less. Enjoy!

Special thanks to my Dad and Mom for lending a helping hand (literally. hehehe.)

crushed graham crackers
crushed graham crackers
Nutella
Nutella

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NUTELLA S’MORE WAFFLES

Recipe makes 10 square waffles

 

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

4 tsps. of baking powder

½ tsp. of salt

½ tsp. of cinnamon powder

1 tbsp. of white sugar

1/3 cup of crushed graham crackers

 

Wet Ingredients:

½ tsp of vanilla extract

1 ½ cups of whole milk

2 eggs

½ cup of vegetable oil

 

S’more ingredients:

Nutella (or other chocolate spread)

Big, white marshmallows (4-5 marshmallows per pair of waffles)

 

Steps:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl.
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients in another bowl.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine well.
  4. Cook the batter in the waffle machine.
  5. Once the waffles are done, you can spread the nutella chocolate on each piece and top them with toasted marshmallows.
  6. In case your waffles cool completely, you can heat them up in the toaster for 3 minutes. Make sure to spread the chocolate on the waffles and add the marshmallows before toasting them.

Note: Waffles can be stored in a sealed container in the freezer for a week. When ready to eat, you can bring them out from the freezer, store at room temperature for 5 minutes, and toast for 3-5 minutes.

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s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
nutella
nutella
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles
s'more waffles
s’more waffles

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Thursday Tune #29: You Are My Rescue by Royal Tailor

As I was crossing the street from our office around 3:30 pm today, I saw four fire trucks quickly driving by and heard their sirens ringing. My heart suddenly beat faster as I and the other people on the street watched them hurry to their destination. It reminded me of the time when our house in Kapitolyo, Pasig city burned down. It happened 10 years and a day ago.

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Our helper woke my parents up when she noticed that the house was burning. It was around 1:30 in the morning when it happened. Then, our parents rushed to our bedrooms and gathered us all in the master’s bedroom. At that time, dad tried to fill up large pails with water and he ran to the family den (where the huge fire was) and back to the master’s bedroom to get some more water. After a few seconds, I think he realized that the fire was getting worse so he instructed everyone to leave the house immediately.

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The smoke already filled the air by that time, so we couldn’t clearly see our way. My mom, siblings and I  lowered our bodies, held each other like we were one big caterpillar, and immediately walked towards the main gate. Dad stayed behind to get a few things and after a minute or two, he got in the car that was parked in the garage and he drove it out to the street.  I remember seeing the ceiling (that was covered with fire) collapse and fall to the ground a few seconds after dad got the blue car out. Whew! It took a while (maybe 20 to 30 minutes) before most of the fire trucks came, so the house was pretty much gone by the time they arrived. But, God still allowed this to happen because it was for the best.

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Despite the loss of most of our material things that day, one of the major highlights that our family experienced together was the peace that God placed in our hearts while we were watching the house burn and crumble into ashes. It was a different kind of peace. We didn’t cry nor worry. We were just amazed and hopeful at the same time. God was in control and He will always be in control no matter how terrible the situation is.

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When I saw the fire trucks drive by the street a while ago, I thought about how difficult it is for those who are experiencing a similar situation today. I still don’t know where the fire came from or what their situation is right now. But, seeing these things again reminds me of God’s love for us and how He graciously sent His son, Jesus, to save us from experiencing eternal death in the **fiery lake of burning sulfur. Jesus died and rose again to save us so we can spend eternity with Him in Heaven.

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**“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

I learned about this many years ago, even before our house burned down. By His grace, I repented, acknowledged my sins before Him, and I asked Jesus to be my personal Lord and Savior. He has changed my life and heart ever since. It says in John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

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Whenever our family would remember November 19, 2004, we would always thank God for his grace and faithfulness. We could have died 10 years ago, but God didn’t allow it to happen. And maybe one of the reasons why He added 10 more years to my life was because He wanted me to take this opportunity to share His love and grace to you, dear reader.

He loves you and I want you to know that.

He loves you more than you can imagine and wants you to have an intimate relationship and an abundant life with Him too.  Don’t wait for a ‘fire incident’ to happen before drawing near to God. Don’t wait for the next day. :)

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Before I go to bed tonight, I want to share a song that touched my heart recently. It’s called “You Are My Rescue” by Royal Tailor. :)

 

Encourage yourself one tune at a time. :)