Upgrading the Filtration System on Our HVAC System

Our house has forced air heating and cooling. The most annoying parts of it are dust and spreading of odors. You could just be finished dusting in our house and see a fine layer of it on furniture just a few hours later. Plus, if I was cooking something with garlic or onions, you could smell it all throughout the house when the heat or AC was on. We have a good stove vent, but our filter system in the furnace and AC was not the best. I called a place that upgrades HVAC in New York City after my neighbor told me about the HEPA and electrostatic filtration system he has. It is like those room air purifiers, but it works throughout the whole house.

The system has a HEPA filter that traps particulates that are very small. The filter before it is electrostatic and grabs a lot of dust and bigger particles.

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The Laws Work in Our Favor

A lot of people have been able to benefit from the new electricity options that have come up in the past year. The state has gone through some changes with the laws, which has made it possible for more companies to be able to provide energy to anyone who is willing to pay for it. It’s so weird that we were living with an energy monopoly for so long, and no one bothered to do anything about it. The people decided to finally do something and let their voices be heard. They cast their vote and now the results of those votes have become a reality.

I couldn’t wait to get away from my old energy provider. They were one of the worst companies that I’ve ever seen. The company has terrible customer service, when you can actually reach it.

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We Demand More Competition from Cable

I wasn’t surprised when I went to go find a cable TV provider and who I found ended up being Comcast. I mean, it’s just shocking isn’t it? As someone who has lived in three different states thousands of miles apart from each other, I would have expected there to be some sort of different company to choose from! Alas, this has not been the case. I try my best not to hate Comcast. I love cable television for all the great premium content that they have but I really dislike this company. Sometimes I think it might be best to just pick a state that they don’t service.

I don’t want to have to do that, though. I shouldn’t have to do that! It’s really mind blowing that there is so very little competition right now.

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God Authored My Life

I had a wonderful birthday celebration yesterday. It was a very nice celebration which causes me to stress out thinking how I can write a post about it that would really show what a great day it was, how blessed I am, how I appreciate all my family and friends who remembered my birthday, how I love my life, how I am thankful to God. I do not want to miss any detail.

There are so much to post, so many photos to upload, many people to thank. And this is one of those times when I get overwhelmed and just don’t do anything at all. But I really don’t want another day to pass without doing a birthday post.

I turned to the devotional book my friend Cassie K gave me last Christmas. It’s one of the best devotional book ever put together. It’s by Max Lucado titled “Grace For The Moment”. Oh, every page pours out grace indeed!

I read the June 12 devotion – it’s perfect for my birthday! I decided that instead of stressing out trying to come up with a perfect post about my birthday celebration yesterday, I will just share this wonderful devotion with you. Here goes:

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depth of the earth.
Psalm 139:15 NIV
David emphasizes the pronoun “you” as if to say “you, God, and you alone”. The “secret place” suggests a hidden and safe place, concealed from intruders and evil. Just as an artist takes a canvas into a locked studio, so God took you into his hidden chamber where you were “woven together”. Moses used the same work to describe the needlework of the temple’s inner curtains – stitched together by skillful hands for the highest purpose (see Exod. 26:1, 36:8; 38:9). The Master Weaver selected your temperament threads, your character nature, the yarn of your personality – all before you were born. God did not drop you into the world utterly defenseless and empty-handed. You arrived fully equipped …
What motivated you, what exhausts you … God authored – and authors – it all.

Prayer Cures Anxiety and Stress

Stress and anxiety often stems out from: 1) doing something that we are not supposed to be doing or 2) not doing something that we ought to be doing.

When others look at my life from the outside, I am doing very well. When I look at my life in terms of counting my blessings, I am doing marvelously well. But deep inside, there a longing for perfection. Deep inside there’s something that I feel I ought to be doing but not doing, or not doing well. And that’s when my stress and anxiety comes in.
I was at a loss on how to handle such stress. It’s not good to ignore it for at some point it comes out like a monster and I find myself snapping at my husband or kids.
It’s crazy how we Christians worry too much when there’s a source of power and comfort that is readily available to us ….. if only we ask .. and ask accordingly to His will.
I decided that since I was at a loss, and I really do not have the power to change my situation at this time – that I would depend on God’s power to do it for me. I am worried about my kids? hey – God holds their future! What I need to do is to do the best I can (even though in my standard I feel like I am not doing the best), and let God do the rest.
This weekend I bought myself a book. It’s called “The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer”. I have always been a fan of E. M. Bounds books on prayer. I owned several of them, although I do not have those books anymore because I tend to share it with people who i know can benefit from reading it.
I now have this book next to my bed and read it before I sleep. It inspires me to trust, to have faith, to be persistent in prayer, to hold on to the promises of God, to pursue righteousness, to simply let go and let God. It motivates me to cultivate a prayer life deeper than a “give me” kind of prayer, and yet it allows me to express my desire through prayer without any guilt that I am being selfish or demanding.
I hope to share with you some of the nuggets I find here. However, I recommend that you get yourself a copy of this book. Let’s revolutionize our Christian walk with the power of prayer. Let’s do it now.
I have not participated in Works For Me Wednesday for a while. I think this is a good post to go back in. For more Works For Me Wednesday, visit it’s new home at We Are That Family.

Mission to The Philippines – Bradley is going

The following is a copy of the letter my husband sent out today to our family and friends. I thought I should post it here too. I will be covering their mission so stay tuned …

I am writing you to request your prayers during my two week outreach to the Philippines. I will be part of a five person team from Hope Chapel that will be working with Derek and Jenn Van Ryckeghem, with Hope For The Island. I will be leaving Maui on (date withheld by me – it’s for security purposes, it’s sometime in August).

Hope For The Island is an established ministry in the southern part of the Philippines, in Burgos on Siargao Island. They have a children’s ministry, youth ministry, discipleship training, livelihood training, medical mission clinic, a preschool, and a mercy ministry. Google “Hope For The Island” and check out their website.

This will be my eighth trip to the Philippines and my second to Hope For The Island. Last fall I was part of a team that focused on the youth. We conducted a sports camp, movie nights, art outreach, surfing outreach, surfer Bible study, Sunday Bible teaching for kids, and assisted with the ongoing ministries. This year we have a 5 member team that will be focusing on a sustainable agriculture project, an art school, and teaching the Bible.

During the last outreach we saw the need for a strong Biblical foundation among the people of Burgos. They love the Lord but did not have a strong foundation in the Word. I discussed this with Derek and decided to bring Hope Chapel’s School of the Bible curriculum down and to teach the first few classes. It is a comprehensive seven section, 52 week lecture course designed to give a strong biblical foundation to a person’s faith. I will bring down the teachers notes and sets of the student handouts for the staff. My goal is to share with them so that they can share with others. Where I stop teaching Derek or Jenn can easily continue – or the staff will be able to use the MP3 audio files that are included. I will also be helping on the on-going ministries and the other team ministries; art, agriculture, building, and just hanging out with the kids.

I would greatly appreciate your prayers from now until we return. Specifically that God will be preparing the hearts of those we’ll be meeting, for eyes to see the people as He does, and for me to walk in His strength and not my own. I know that at this time finance support may not be possible – but if you are able; please send any support to Hope Chapel.

To follow along during the outreach please go to my wife’s blog… she has promised to spend most of the time while I’m away on line (ha, ha…)


I will be providing some links on this letter and will be adding a lot of photos after work today. Please come visit often and support this Philippines Mission. I will be back…

Works For Me Wednesday: Encouragement

We received a sad news today.  Someone we know committed suicide.  A few weeks back, I readCindy’s post about one of their friends also committed suicide. I do  not know what the real cause or reasons where – there could be some clinical depression associated with it.  But  the question that comes to my mind is “would some words of encouragement have stopped them from committing suicide?” I do not know. But one thing I know is that words of encouragement is a powerful force.  It works for me – all the time. When I am down or stressed and someone gives me some words of encouragement, it makes a huge difference in my ability to overcome whatever difficulty I have.  And if you add to the words my love language which is “service”, then it’s golden

Have you spoken a word of encouragement to someone today? Or maybe you need to send a note of encouragement. Maybe a comment on a blog (hint! hint! – he he).
Let us not procrastinate. Let’ us encourage someone now before it’s too late . I will.
“We Are That Family” is now hosting the “Works For Me Wednesday” blog posts sharing. Go there for other tips on what works.
P.S. and if you are on the other side, of you need he encouragement, please do reach out and let us know how we can encourage you.
In March of 2007 I wrote a post on suicide. I thought I should link it here too. Click here to read it.

Time Management – Are You Good At It?

Since becoming officially unemployed, I had been “privileged” to to have “more time” in my hands than what I used to when I was employed. One might expect that my house will now be squeaky clean, our laundry always folded promptly, our dishes washed right away and dinner on the table are always homecooked and healthy – Ha! in my dreams!

It seems like I am busier than ever. The only difference is I am busy with different things other than what I was busy before. I guess I should be thankful for the flexibility I have. I am. However, I need to be careful. I need to always watch how I use my time because I need to use it wisely.

For example, today, Thursday, there are many things in my list that I wanted to do. The dishes, laundry and cooking are really not a priority. Blogging … well… it’s sort of a priority. Don’t raise your eyebrows. I know… it sounds like an excuse to do the things I like to do. But you see, I have a goal … and if I am to accomplish that goal for this blog then I need to put this blogging thing on top of my list. My husband would argue but he does not read this blog anyway so he can’t really argue (nah, he’s been more supportive lately – he now reads occasionally so he might see this).

Back to time management, I really have to watch myself and discipline myself to accomplish the tasks that are important and urgent. Not just urgent, but the important and urgent.

One of those is making sure that my son’s Middle School arrangements are in place. That said, one of my goals for today is to write a “viewpoint article” about STEM to be sent to Maui News. I have not done that yet. It’s already 1:30 in the afternoon. So… I am logging off for now and I won’t check my blog, twitter, facebook, or e-mail until I have a decent draft of my viewpoint article. Fair enough? OK, logging off for now….

(When I come back I would talk more about time management. I know… I know…. I need to log off. A hui hou!)

Totally Random Thankful Thursday Post

I have been logged in the Internet for almost an hour it was all totally random.  Quick visits on some blogs I follow (left a comment or two), quick look at new blogs I discovered, quick peeks at Twitterville (did about two tweets myself), then moved on to quick scanning of the e-mails that arrived in my in box from the last time I looked at it. Random.  Totally random.

I meant to type a Thankful Thursday post last night, but fell asleep instead.  It was a busy Thursday. Good busy but still busy enough for me to neglect posting on my blogs that day. Posting on my blogs has never been a burden for me, it’s more a relaxation actually.  However, like what I mentioned in my previous posts, I need to guard myself and make sure I don’t neglect other important tasks in place of blogging.
Today is Prince Kuhio Day, a holiday on Hawaii. Hubby is off work. Kids are on Spring Break.  I think  I would use this time to “re-focus”.  Speaking of re-focus, didn’t I just said this is a “Thankful Thursday” post? Before I continue to ramble I think it’s time to share my thankfulness or else I would get distracted again. So here’s a random list of the things I am thankful for this week:
1. Unemployment Benefits – this is making it possible for me to spend more time at home.  A blessing in disguise so to speak.
2. Joe and Karen – Thankful for their friendship. I am sad to see them move far away.  But I cannot be selfish – I think it’s the right move for them.
3. Husband – oh I whine about him every now and then, but when I really think about it God picked him perfectly for me. Iron sharpens iron so to speak.
4. Spring Break – enjoying it. Enjoying G and N
5. My family in the Philippines are doing well. I am thankful that my brother Joseph is blogging too so I get the updates from there
6. My brother and his family in LA are doing well. So thankful for my nephew Elijah – already a year old – wow!
7. Todd and Laura and their kids – nice to see Laura and the kids yesterday and nice to read Todd’s comments here every now and then.
8. For my Mac computer – loving it!
9. Sonny, the Italian Greyhound. This dog is getting spoiled and I’m the culprit!
10. For the Keplers
11. For the Spencers
12. Thankful that I am living on Maui.
So glad I am able to list some of the people and things I am thankful for. Now it’s time to face the day and continue to be productive.
For for thankful hearts, visit the hub for Thankful Thursday here.

The Problem With Worry

Sunday Scribbling’s prompt this week is “worry”.  Questions were asked to help us come up with a creative scribbling, but I feel the urge to reply uncreatively, at least for a start. Here goes:

Are you a worrier?  YES!
Know one?  Aside from me? My Dad
Is there a particular worry that you can’t shake?  A lot
Ways of coping with worrying? Prayer and Meditation on God’s sovereignty and goodness
It’s interesting that this prompt came up this week, just as worry’s ugly head kept on intruding my thoughts this past couple of weeks. 
I am a worrier. I told you that already.  There are a lot of things I worry about.  If I try to scribble all about my worries, I would wind up writing a book instead of a scribbling.
Worry is unhealthy. It strips us of a lot of things, like joy, sleep, physical health and even friends. Did I say friends?  I did. And let me zero in on that  because that’s one demon I am dealing with right now. Worrying about friends and friendship. Not a good thing.
Lately I am finding myself avoiding a lot of church friends.  I am noticing it on myself more and more. After Sunday services, all I want to do is go home. I didn’t want to stay in the courtyard where we are supposed to be “fellowshipping” with one another. No, the word fellowship is not enjoyable to me, it actually worries me. 
My husband once said that he thinks the reason why I blog a lot and spend so much time in the internet is because I am lonely. I vehemently opposed him. I told him he was wrong.  And yet, right now as I am typing this I am thinking there must be some truth to that observation.  I think I am a bit lonely.  I think I am feeling displaced.
One big problem is that I avoid people who I think do not like me, and people who I think is bored with me and do not enjoy my company. This is a dangerous thing because I base it all on my perception on whether a person likes me or not.  I also based it on my intuition. It is very subjective.  This is really not a good thing. And maybe that is why I am scribbling about it – to let it out of my chest. To release it and not let that seed of insecurity grow.
I am feeling displaced and disconnected and a lot of it is my fault.  I worry about friendships but worrying about it will not do me any good. 

What’s Up? Not Much

Both G and N are on a Tweens Camp organized by Hope Chapel. I dropped them off last Saturday morning and the pick up is not til Monday noon. That means my husband and I are alone in the house! What to do? what to do? One suggestion was for us to run around the house naked and do the husband and wife thing. What thing? You know (gosh, this is a G rated blog, you don’t expect me to write the details here do you – LOL!).

But there’s laundry to fold, clutter to clear, project to do, taxes to file…

But then again, this is a rare moment. When was the last time my husband and I had the time to be alone – just us? I can’t even remember. So we took (are taking) advantage of this “honeymoon time”.

I am ending my post for now. Hubby is taking me out to dinner to our favorite Thai Restaurant. Not too fancy, but with the recent news of my job termination and our present economy, eating out is already a “fancy” thing to do. We are just going to enjoy our time together.

I really have a lot to “talk about” and had been itching to post more but I guess I’ll save them all for tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day tomorrow!

Me Talk Politics?

It’s Martin Luther King Jr Day today. It’s also a day away from the historic Inauguration of our new President, Mr. Barrack Obama. Something inside me is compelled to come out of my “shell” and talk politics today. Nothing too intense or analytical, just a musing to express my views (afterall this is a Liza’s Eyeview blog).

I don’t know what is it that makes it very difficult for me to talk about politics. It could be the fact that I grew up in the “martial law era” (Marcos’ regime in the Philippines) and was trained not to speak against the government or I’d go to jail. It could be because I am way too much of a pleaser and I do not want to disappoint any of my friends who is not of the same view as I have about a certain issue or political figure. It seems to me like if I vote someone that my close friends do not like, I am betraying them. I know that is not true, but sometimes I feel that way. So really, why don’t I like talking about politics? I do not know, but it’s a choice I made.

And yet today I am choosing to talk a little bit about it. Because the more the presidential inauguration comes close, the more I get excited about it. You see I voted for President Barrack Obama. And that was a “hard thing” for me to do. It did not come easy because of some moral issues that I do not agree with him (like abortion). I have always been a “republican” by heart. I adhere more to their principles than the principles of the democratic party. But for some reason, this election I could not get my self to vote for Mr. McCain. Not that I do not like him. I highly respect Mr. McCain and if it was not Mr. Obama running against him, I would have voted for him.

But there is something about the upcoming President Obama that gives me hope. Sure I disagree with him about the “abortion issue”. But there are so many other issues to consider – it’s almost like I had to lose a battle to win the war. No one leader is perfect. Even King David was flawed. I just need to continue praying for Mr. Obama on these issues. But the fact that he chose Rick Warren to do the inaugural blessing despite opposition is a sign of hope for me.

What makes President Obama so charismatic? In my opinion, one of his greatest attraction is his love for his family. That was one of my drawing points to him. The big and little things they did together, not just his immediate family but the extended family as well – that speaks something to me. I know that his Toots is so proud of him while she’s smiling at him from heaven. When I read that he is bringing along his mother in law to live with them in the White House (if she wants to) to help take care of their precious girls, that spoke a lot to me. When I read that he wrote a letter to his girls prior to the inauguration, that touched my heart. And what about that bumping of knuckles thingy that he and Michelle did during the campaign? For me, that is such nice glimpse of how fun their marriage is.

And then there’s also his clever use of technology that made me smile. During the campaign, he used Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and all sorts of Social Media Networking to reach the masses. How cool is that! Last night I told my husband excitedly “hey, I found the official blog for the inauguration – they are live blogging it!” Of course my husband didn’t care, but knowing how he feels about my blogging, I had to rub it in – LOL!

Oh, I guess we just have to wait and see how our country will be under his leadership. There is a lot to do. There’s a lot to re-build. The economic issue alone is enormous. For now, I have hopes, I have high hopes. And that’s good enough for now.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Let’s live the dream!

Thankful Thursday

There are so many things I am thankful for. Where do I begin?

1. Thankful for my parents for their unending support and encouragement. The older my kids get and the more complicated parenting gets, the more I appreciate my parents on how they lovingly raised me and my brothers. They are not perfect, but they sure tried their best, and I love the for it.

2. Thankful for my employer. I am also thankful for the many contact, colleagues and friends I’ve made through and by work. Today I sent out an e-mail informing them of my last week at work. I had gotten several e-mails containing sweet words on how great it was working with me and how I would be missed. The e-mails were touching, and I am thankful for it.

3. Thankful for N’s ballet class and G’s taekwondo class. They both enjoy their respective classes and their respective instructors are so wonderful. They have such great rapport with the kids.

4. Thankful for the house we live in. And the food we eat.

5. Thankful for Elle (Free Range Media) for all the work she’s putting in to make my A Maui Blog beautiful and functional.. She helped move A Maui Blog on WordPress, and soon my new design will be up. I am so excited!

6. Thankful for the presidential inauguration this week. It was inspiring.

7. Thankful for the weekend that the kids had at Tweens Camp. Thankful for the dedicated workers who helped, out and thankful for the Children’s ministry staff who worked so hard to get this camp organized.

For more Thankful Thursday, Click Here.

show me the money

My postings on blogs are a bit scarce and my participation on bloggy carnivals are not as active as it used to be. In fact I can’t believe I missed participating at the Bloggy Giveaways. The reason? I was busy Twittering! Not that I will give up my blogging for twittering. Blogging is my first love (on internet social networking that is) but recently Twittering is bringing me a lot of excitement and inspiring me to pursue Internet Marketing as my “work at home” career.

Last weekend I organized a “Maui-Tweet-up” and met with some Twitters from Maui, and well as Jeremiah Owyang who is a web strategist and web analyst with Forrester. Joey Johnson, my marketing genius friend, would have been so proud of me! The tweet-up went well and I am now organizing another one. This whole social networking thing at Twitter amazes me. I would never have thought in my wildest dream that I will venture into a marketing career but my passion for blogging is leading me there. The neat thing is that the Lord is opening windows of opportunities! I really believe He is leading the way. I started blogging for personal selfish reasons, then starting blogging as a ministry, and now it has come full circle, I am blogging and twittering for me to be able to have income while I stay at home and it’s ok (not selfish at all).

I can ramble on and on about my excitement on this new endeavor. But I won’t. I do not want to scare you dear readers and friends away. My Liza’s Eyeview blog will remain my personal blog where I talk about me, my family, and my personal walk with God. My other blog,A MAUI BLOG will be more of my “business blog”. A new design just got uploaded! We’re still doing some tweaks to make it nice but it is nice already!

Now you are probably wondering why my title says “Show Me The Money”. Well, it’s a joke (but not really a joke) from my husband. Last Sunday when I was rambling on and on about how excited I am about the Maui Tweet-up and my A MAUI BLOG blog, he patiently listened with a grin in his face. Then he said, well… remember that movie Jerry McGuire? Remember what Cuba Gooding keep on saying? “SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!” Apparently he is very much aware that my A MAUI BLOG has not bring in any income at all. Well, not yet anyways. But it will. I know it will. But I am not focused on that right now. I am just so passionate about using this A MAUI BLOG to promote Maui that I know I do not have to worry about the income it should bring. As Zig Ziglar said, find a need, help fulfill the need, and you will become successful. I think that’s the secret of my success – I like fulfilling a need. It comes natural to me.

I got to get ready for work. Aloha!

From Vessel to Vessel, All For His Glory

Pastor Dominic announced on Sunday that he and his family are moving to England.  The first official announcement was done last Wednesday night. (listen to it at God of New Things podcast) .

We just started attending Calvary Chapel South Maui about a month ago, and I was truly enjoying pastor Dominic’s teachings. I was being ministered to in a way that I needed to.  So, deep inside of me I wanted to be very  disappointed when I first heard the news. Obviously, for selfish reasons. I wanted to feel betrayed or let down.  I wanted them to stay.  But the other part of me knows it’s all in God’s hands and it’s all part of the plan.  I knew he is following God’s will.

The last 4 weeks that we are going to Calvary Chapel I kept on thinking how much the Sunday messages were designed specially for me. Each Sunday I come home feeling encouraged by the Lord through pastor Dominic’s words. The truth is, the message was designed for all of us, including pastor Dominic’s family. God has a way of working together everything for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I am sad, yes. But life will go on and God will use another one to minister to me, to us. And he will use pastor Dominic and his family in England.

Last night I listened to the podcast of the Wednesday Bible Stody (God of New Things)  where he poured out his heart as he announced this move.  The story is all too close to my heart.  Many events in my life were similar in a way (even way back when I was still in the Philippines).  I thought of blogging about those stories, but can’t even find the energy or the words to do so. All I know is that there is a common thread in the stories: that sometimes God pour us from vessel to vessel to accomplish the will that He has for us and for the world.  What I had learned is that if we are sensitive to His leading, if we obey His words, and if stay close to Him, He will lead the way and blessings will be poured upon us.  It’s not always easy, but the peace of God would always be there.

One of the church member helped pastor Dominic set up a website for him and his family. And there’s a blog in it it. Talk about getting connected.  I always believe that a blog is one of the best connecting tool available out there, and I am glad a blog was set-up for him.

So what’s next? I don’t know.  Are we staying at Calvary or are we supposed to attend Kumulani Chapel? I think we are going to take it day by day, Sunday by Sunday, until we (my husband and I) know for sure where the next vessel we should be….