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Where are you heading?

Have you ever pondered on the question, “Where your life will end?”

Every day we get up from bed to go to work, do our chores, pay our bills, settle our insurances and taxes, take some rest, then work again.

Life has become routinary.

To escape the routine, we go on vacations once or twice a year and make sure that we get to celebrate the holidays.

Life has become a cycle.

To break the cycle, some of us head to a full stop such as taking an early retirement or take a detour to make sure that life does not escape us or simply bore us.

Life has become a state where we get stuck, so we do all our best to keep moving and moving, not minding the fact that we don’t have any direction at all.

Is your life now a boring, directionless, routinary cycle? Are you certain of where you are heading? If not, try to look back from where you came from. Are you moving far from it? Or, are you heading back to it?

Looking back does not hurt once in awhile. In fact, looking back reassures us that we have gone so far in moving forward from where we begin.

I don’t know about you, but I believe that if there is one certain path that we will take, it must be the path that leads us to our original design. Our life must begin from the One who made us and it should also end with Him.

Like Ebe Dancel’s song, Bawat Daan, may we be able to sing to God…

Kung ang puso ko ay imamapa

Ikaw ang dulo, gitna’t simula…

Kumanan man o kaliwa

Kung timog man o hilaga

Ang bawat daan ko ay patungo,

pabalik, Sa’Yo.

If my heart will be mapped

You will be the end, center and beginning…

If I turn right or left,

If I go south or north

All my road will lead

back to You.

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Let’s talk about Murder

War there. Killing here.

Corpse there. Bullets here.

Evidence there. Drugs here.

What made killings and illegal drugs so rampant and popular these days is that we are officially talking about it. Illegal drugs and injustice has long been an issue of our country. But, we only talked about it out in the open when the elected-President speaks about it like it is a common, usual topic. He talks about killing people like it is a normal thing to do.

BUT, isn’t it really normal?

Even before he won, there were killings everywhere, but we don’t talk about it. The media doesn’t put it on the headlines. We’re not informed about it, so we can not talk about it. We were silent.

How many innocent blood have been shed and lives lost that we have not heard of? How many children, mother, father, and old people who died a tragic death but were not mourned and prayed for? How many families cried for justice but were never heard in the past years and even decades?

Yet, we scream now #SILENTNOMORE

Why only now?

Where were us when the Prison Guards of Bilibid where shoot down by gunmen hired by those rich druglords in prison? Where were us when fathers raped their daughters and mothers sold their children to foreigners? Where were us when bodies were chopped and thrown in the ocean or locked in a luggage? Did we mourn for them? Did we cry foul? Did we say ‘enough’? Did we even blame anyone for it?

If we look at our crime rates, we can probably enumerate a lot of instances that we have been silent for the past decades, yet we only speak now.

During his presidential campaign, Mr.President said that if ever he wins, “it’s gonna be bloody”, and so it is now. It’s bloody because we can openly see it, hear about it and talk about it. Killings do not happen in the dark and shootings are not done in secluded areas anymore. Public areas such as malls, highways, streets, and homes are now the murder arena. There are bodies left dead out in the open. There are those who were killed and are mourned by a number of Filipinos because “we are silent no more”.

If we can talk about it in the open, then openly and collectively, we can address it. We are not to tolerate murder (because it appears to be normal now), rather we can confront it straight to the eye and condemned it as a sin, a thing that only the devil does.

Let’s talk about murder. Isn’t it what God has done when he faced Cain? He knows what Cain did, but He still asked of his brother. Do you think God was not there when Cain murdered Abel? God was there, but He also wants to hear it out from Cain, himself.

How about us? Aren’t we supposed to be talking about the murders of our brothers?

I just hope that before we open our mouths to be silent no more, may we also remember the deaths of those who do not make it to the news and our knowlege.

May we not neglect the fact that we are our brothers keepers and that the things we did to them and what we failed to do for them are still our accountability to God.

May we not blame one man alone, just because he was the first one to talk about this in public. You can call me bias, but this is a democratic country with millions of people who are supposed to be responsible for each other.

May we all remember that it is the Lord who gives and takes away life. He is the Author of everything. He allowed such things to happen from appointing the President to what’s happening in our country today. He was, is, and will always be in control.

This is not just the time to be silent no more, but this is the time that we confess our sins – a thing that Cain failed to do, even when God asked him to.

God said…

“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14

Photo grabbed from Google images

The Proposal

It was not on a romantic place

It was a place of death and sorrow;

He was not well dressed

He was almost naked;

His face was not handsome

It was beyond recognition;

He does not look composed

He was wounded, bleeding and bruised;

There were no cheering friends around him

Only a mocking public;

There were no roses on his hands

But there were thorns on his head;

He was not kneeling

But he was hanging;

He bought me no diamond ring

He was a persecuted King;

He laid down not just a wedding proposal

But his very own life;

It may not seem pleasant

But, it was the grandest of all;

I know I’m not worthy of such love

– a love that bleeds, a love that completes,

a love that’s unending,

But I will always say “Yes” to my nail–pierced lover.

cross of christ

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RYOM: Respect Your Own Mother

RYOM: Respect Your Own Mother

If you happen to be a daughter who cannot find enough reason to respect your own mother, go and watch an actual normal birth delivery, and see how a mother endured such pain for you to be born. If you happen to be a CS baby, do not be so proud sweetheart because FYI your mother endured more pain than the one who delivered normally. Your mother suffers memory lapses, abdominal pain/cramps especially during cold season and she got a scar until now all because of you.  (I know this because I am a Registered Nurse.) 

 

To read more of this blog, Click here.

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Who Is God? (Part I)

I attended an all-girls event last Friday for all the young girls in Grounded. The event is called True Beauty, and we were blessed to have Ms. Carla Bonifacio (Rica Peralejo) as one of our speakers. During the question and answer portion, a girl asked, “What can you say about those girls who post almost everything in Facebook and other social media sites?” Ms. Carla’s response is that if the post is worth seeing for a lifetime then let it be but if not, then why post it? She even mentioned that when you post something, it should be worth showing your future kids and grandchildren.  After the event, I checked my Facebook timeline, and I am happy to find out that some of it will be the first lessons I will teach my future sons.

Here are my Facebook posts for the month of June 2o12 – the month when I decided to empty my mind of my knowledge of who God is and allowed Him to reveal Himself to me not as a subject of my study but as my sole desire. Thanks to my NIV Bible, Zondervan for the 30-days-with-God guide for these daily devotions.

June 1, 2012

Today, God reminded me that He is a COVENANT MAKER.

Rainbow

“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”

– Genesis 9: 13

God never said that there will be no rains, storms, or floods, but He made the rainbow – a covenant that He will never give us anything more than we can bear. There will be light and colors in the darkness.  There is hope as God promised.

Thank you Lord for the tiny seed of hope that you gave; by faith and Your words, this hope grows.

June 2, 2012

Today, God reminded me that He is a THWARTER OF EVIL AMBITIONS.

“God did not allow the creation of the Tower of Babel because the desires of the people were for their own glory.” – Genesis 11:1-9

But even if God thwarts the evil desires, He also promised that He will give the desires of those who fear and put their delight in Him.

When an evil thing grows in us, let’s  ask God to pluck it out immediately. God knows the desires of our hearts, and only Him can give it to us. Whatever we desire, let’s pray that it will please the Lord.

June 3, 2012

Today, God reminded me that He is a WRESTLER.

Wrestler

“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak…Then the man said, ‘Your name will not be Jacob but Israel because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.'” – Genesis 32:24, 28

Jacob  was a deceiver, a stubborn man, and a man who never gives up. When faced with God, he wrestled with Him, but when he knows he will never succeed, he surrendered.  Who can win over God? Like Jacob, no matter how determined we are to win, when God intrudes, we must learn to give up and surrender. Let God wins over us and let Him overcome not against us but with us , for God doesn’t want us to become victims but victors in Him.

June 4, 2012

Today, God reminded me that He is a PROVIDER OF ANSWERS.

EvenGooglecan't

“‘I cannot do it’, Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.’”

– Genesis 41:16

I may have a lot of How’s, Why’s, What’s, Who’s and When’s at this moment, but I count only on God for the answers. To have an open mind, an understanding heart, and listening ears are my desires to hear His answers. Yes, Google is handy, but God is unlimited. Google may feed me with knowledge, but not wisdom.

June 5, 2012

Today, God reminded me that He is NOT FORGETFUL.

“God heard their groaning and He remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and with Jacob.” – Exodus 2:24

Indeed His promises are sweet, and with Him, we shall put our trust, keeping in mind and in faith that He will not forget all that He has promised.

June 6, 2012

Today, God reminded me that He is a PROTECTOR OF THE FAITHFUL.

The Shield

“When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the door frame and they will passover that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.” – Exodus 12:23

The shield of Captain America seems good in battles, yet God is the only shield that could protect and cover us from all forms of evil and harm, not just with bullets and swords. God is the best shield and protector.

June 7, 2012

Today, God reminded me that He is a CATERER PAR EXCELLENCE.

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God’.” – Exodus 16:11,12

Every meal that we had eaten, it comes from God alone. Let us thank the Lord, for every food that comes in our mouths, and in exchange, let our mouth speaks of overflowing praises to Him. Let’s thank the Lord for being the best caterer not just of food but for everything that we need.

June 8, 2012

Today, God reminded me that He is a LAWGIVER.

“For I, the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments” -Exodus 20:5,6

Let us thank the Lord for reminding us that He is not just a lawgiver but He is a just lawgiver, punishing those who disobeyed and loving those who keep His laws. Let us please Him with our words, thoughts, and actions as we keep and obey His commandments, so that He will not hate us and our next generation will be loved by Him.

June 9, 2012

Today, God revealed Himself to me as the PUNISHER OF REBELLION.

The punisher

“The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished…” – Numbers 14: 18

We could have sin day after day and not repent if we didn’t know that God punishes sinners, and so let’s thank the Lord because as He punishes the sinners, He also forgives those who repent. Punishment and forgiveness are two opposite things, yet He can give both. Indeed, there is no one like our God.

June 10, 2012

Today, God revealed Himself to me as the OPENER OF EYES.

“Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.” – Numbers 22:31

 Our eyes aren’t blind, but if there are things that we couldn’t see clearly, let’s ask God to open our eyes to see. Let us see the directions that we have to take, the decisions and actions we have to make from His perspectives. Let’s thank the Lord for all the majestic and wonderful things that we have seen. May our eyes be blessed. May it be holy and pure, so that when we face God, we won’t be like Balaam. We won’t face down, but instead, we will have the confidence to see His glorious face.

To be continued... Part II

 

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Why and Why Not? Because I am not the same anymore.

I had battled my emotions last week, my faith was somehow shaken and tested, and I keep on asking God a lot of Why and Why Not.

Here are some of my Why Lord? questions:

  1. Why do innocent people gets accused for the wrongs they haven’t done?
  2. Why do we have to ask for forgiveness for the wrongs that we haven’t done?
  3. Why do we have to be humble?
  4. Why continue to love those who have hurt us?

and here are my Why Not Lord? questions:

  1. Why should I not be confronting?
  2. Why not tell all my feelings?
  3. Why not hate them?

I have a lot of questions right? But God answered me just once, He points me to the cross, and all the answers are there – Jesus.

Whys?

  1. Because an innocent man was crucified not for His sins (Matthew 27:32-44). Jesus was innocent, yet He was accused. Did He justified Himself? Did He reasoned out that He was not guilty? No, He didn’t.
  2. Because even though the people condemned Him, He asked God to forgive them, saying “Forgive them father for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
  3. Because He is a God yet for my sins He became a man, to save me and rescue me. He humbled Himself. (Philippians 2:8)
  4. Because He endured the cross for my sins for He loves me and that I love Him too, and He said, “If you love me keep my commands.” (John 4:15) His command was to love your enemies (Luke 6:27), and so I must obey.

Why Not?

  1. Because Jesus too remained silent. Jesus could have reasoned out to Herod yet He remained silent. (Luke 23:9)
  2. Because as the prophet Jeremiah said it “I know, O LORD, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.”(Jeremiah 10:23), and so I let God lead my decisions and actions, and lean not own my understanding and feelings.
  3. Because Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)

Come Tuesday last week, I had my T4V class and a privilege to talk to my mentor, Ate Rina, she reminds me that Jesus humbled Himself for me, and as a Christian I must also live the way Jesus live. “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. (1 Peter 2:21). Pastor John, our teacher for last Tuesday session, said “If you have experienced true forgiveness then it will be easy for you to forgive without effort.” And my classmate and VG sister, Jeanette, reminded me of “Be slow to anger and be quick to forgive.”

Looking back in my past life, the word SORRY was out of my dictionary, but then now, sorry came out of my heart naturally when I found out that I have hurt someone without me knowing why and how.

If I am still living in my past life, I wouldn’t say sorry then I am sure I could have hurt more and that I am still hurt. Pride could have eat me inside and consumes me little by little that anger could grow and overflow in my heart.

But I thank the Lord (and will be forever grateful) that I have been saved and forgiven in Jesus; and because of that forgiveness, I could forgive easily “Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13). My heart was and is still free of pain, anger, and hurt. “For if the son sets you free, you are free indeed” (John 8:36).

I must forgive because I have been forgiven.

Pride and bitterness may knock at my door a thousand times, but Jesus is in me and with Him and like Him, I will ask for forgiveness, pray for those who have hurt me, and love those who hate me.

God didn’t said that as I follow Him I will become lovable and there will be no enemies along the way. Its the same as saying we will live a storm free life in Christ, but God didn’t promised that kind of life. However, He equipped us with the blood of Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:2), and in Him, we will be storm proof. Life with Jesus will not be easy, but it is worth it.

I am not the same anymore, in Jesus I am a new creation. My old unforgiving, greedy, and pride-full life is gone, I may look back it, but God called me to fix my eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and remember what He has done for me on the cross. With this thing that happened to me last week, indeed, all I could say is that the old me was gone and the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I am grateful for this change of heart, attitude, and actions, but above all, I’m glad that God never fails to let me feel loved despite there are times just like last week when my faith in Him was shaken. In times like this, prayers, His words, and Godly people that surrounds me is all that I need to stand firm and be reminded that I am not the same old me, but I am new.

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The Manager, The Rich, and My Questions

Chapter 16

The story of the not-so-good Manager

Allow me to cut this story into pieces and the way it reaches me.

“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.

“Dealing with our own kind” this for me means treating others the way we want to be treated. Jesus once said, “the measure you used will be the measured to be  use on you.” This is why I keep on asking God  why do I cry every time I see injustice and inhumane treatment? God always reminds me that I cry because I care and because I love; and because He Himself, a God, treats us equally. As humans, we must also treat each other equally as well, but do we?

10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?

Are we worth the trust? All of us have been given, all of us have received, big or small as we see it, we are blessed. We are not worthy  to receive these blessings, yet we are still blessed. The question is, Are we trustworthy of what has been given to us? The world is a wealthy place and God entrusted us with a lot of things, How do we handle our riches here on earth?

13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

Two lines did hit me  here 1.) Hate the one and love the other 2.) what people value highly is detestable to God

I believe Jesus is asking here, what do we love? The things pleasing to every one, which is detestable to His sight? or Him, the one who was detested by men?

The Rich Man

25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.

This scares me, honestly. Why? Because I have live a life of comfort. I have a family, which is not perfect but at least I have them; I have a home, which is not a mansion but at least I’m safe and comfortable; I eat three times a day, which is not a feast every meal but at least I’m satisfied and full – these are just few of my comforts and good things here on earth but then I saw this line from Abraham, I asked myself, “Will he say the same words to me?”

I believe what this message means is that, How do we live our lives of comfort? How do we share it with our fellows, those who live an uncomfortable life? The prisoners, the sick, the poor, the orphan, the homeless, and the food less? Do we just let them live outside our mansions?

I believe all of us are like Lazarus – filthy, poor, and beggars but Jesus came out of His comfort zone just to offer us the fullness of life in His Kingdom. The question now is, Can we do what Jesus did to our neighbors?

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

That was Abraham’s answer to the rich man, when the rich man said that his family will only repent if they see someone who was raised from the dead. Many people know that Jesus died and was risen from the dead for even death couldn’t hold him down, yet why are still so many people who have an unrepenting heart? Many people knows the cause of His death and resurrection but why still their hearts aren’t changed?