Only Calendars Change

Calendars change, but old ways seldom do. The morning after welcoming 2013 with a bang, the streets are littered with the usual New Year’s trash. Same old story. The party hits the streets but no one cares enough to clean up after.

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We have complicated our New Year’s celebrations to ensure that we welcome prosperity and success. But after the party winds down, we’re back to our old ways for the next 364.5 days.

We won’t change for the better if we:

  • allow superstition to imprison us, believing that certain colors, shapes, sounds, and practices are to usher in luck and prosperity
  • disregard the other’s welfare in exercising our freedom to do whatever we want
  • do not follow the rule of law and sweep violations under the rug

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We need a change of heart. A change for the good. Let’s clean up our act. If we really consider the Philippines as the only Christian nation in Asia, then let’s be that – a nation truly under God, Whose Word alone can change the course of one’s life towards all that is Godly and good.

 

 

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A Taste of Humble Pie

Manny’s defeat devastated us. After eight world titles, millions of dollars in prize money, years of fame and political influence, Manny Pacquiao kisses the floor following a vicious shot from Juan Manuel Marquez. Yesterday, the best fighter left the ring a winner while the other suffered a humiliating defeat.

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His courage and dedication to the sport has been tested and his world titles prove it. But now is the time for his much publicized faith in God to undergo testing. If it is real, it will pass the test. And the first part of that test is to become NOTHING.

Nobody. In the world’s eyes, a loser or a has-been. From someone of influence to anonimity. Because in God’s scheme of things, a person full of himself and his achievements is useless in Kingdom work.

Many believe that a person’s power & influence would get you into the highest places where the Word can be preached. That people will listen to your message because of who you are. If that’s the case, then they’re saying that God’s Word and God’s Spirit are insufficient to reach out to the lost and God needs the help of millionaires and politicians.

But the Message is sufficient because “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, (1 Timothy 3:16)”. 

God’s concern is the condition of the vessel by which His message is sent. God uses empty vessels. And, yes, even cracked pots.

John the Baptist could’ve made himself a brand name but willingly stepped aside in favor of the coming Christ, who in John’s words, “… is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals.”  The religious leaders of their day considered Peter & John unschooled and yet these two ministered in power because the religious noted that these men spent time with Christ. The apostle Paul considered all his accomplishments and pedigree pure rubbish compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ. And there are other relevant models we can learn from.

As for many boxers, answering the bell was easy for Manny. He trained long and hard for that. But the call he must answer now is God’s, and if Manny is the Christian he says he is, he will have to train long and hard in God’s camp, according to God’s program, before God can effectively use him for service.

Yes, service. Because there is a higher calling than being world champion – and that is being God’s Servant.

"for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. (1 Peter 5:5b)" 

There’s A Point In Here Somewhere…

I love pointed shoes. I don’t know why, but pointed shoes appeal to me.

When shopping for shoes I’d get very frustrated if pointed shoes for men were not the fashion trend.

I always appreciate a woman who knows how to walk elegantly in stilettos. When asked to draw anything as part of a psychological exam, i’d draw a woman with long hair, long pants, and with pointed high-heeled boots or shoes.

I never did get the meaning of my drawing. Maybe I was told what it meant for me to have drawn that but I wasn’t listening. Maybe if I listened carefully I would’ve learned that I’m such and such or some other thing. But at my age, I don’t really care to know their interpretation of my drawing a long-haired woman wearing pointed shoes. I just know that I love pointed shoes.

I also know this – that God made each of us uniquely, with different tastes and traits. Therefore, my tastes do not actually define who I am, rather, it is God’s will and design for my life that defines me.

As pointed shoes were designed for a purpose, God designed me for a purpose – far greater than anything that I have to spend the rest of my life living it out, otherwise I miss the whole point of my existence.


I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14)

who are we fooling?

 

we had a ‘wild’ monkey in catholic seminary.  good that it was chained and not rabid.  this one’s different – a lot bigger, well-behaved, and dressed up.  but still just a chimp.  even if you cover him with designer clothes and bling, he’s still a chimp.

how many times have we tried to cover up what we really are?  we say the right things, dress the right way, but inside we’re really just a fine mess.

the heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; who can understand it?”  (NASB : Jer 17:9)

God isn’t fooled by outward appearances.  He looks at the heart.   “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. …”

i hope we see that clearly because it can’t get any plainer than that.

 

 

 

nine lives

taken with a pentax K55/1.8 manual focus lens

my cat sleeps most of the day, is picky with his food, doesn’t catch roaches and is a virgin.

he was one of the many kittens i had seven years ago.  his mom always managed to get pregnant.  i never managed to throw the litter out,  not until my honeymoon.

i chose to keep him because he was sick then. ingesting rat poison screwed him up for a couple of years.

he’d walk around the apartment dripping all over and his eyes would always need wiping.  he also developed an appetite for spoiled food (!), not caring for fresh leftovers.  you’d wonder how he managed to stay alive.

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but look at him now.  he’s strong, has good toilet manners,  and loves to curl up on our laps.  we still don’t allow him out of the apartment and so his social life is nil.

if cats did have nine lives,  he’s proof.  but cats don’t have nine lives.  nor do we.

the Bible teaches that “… it is appointed for man to die ONCE, and then face the judgment.”

we only have one life to live.   we can either live entirely for God or we can be against Him,  wasting it  in fruitless, sinful living.  we need not fear death but God.  we’ll come face to face with God in the end.  then He’ll judge us according to how we lived and give us what we deserve – eternal life (through Jesus Christ) or eternal damnation in hell.

how do we live?


 


 

 


Hello world!

i just turned 45 yesterday.

celebrating at burgoo gateway

but i’m wondering where the past thirty years went.  everything’s a blur.  i can still remember the highlights, though, but i won’t be able to talk about the in-betweens.

i’ve been to places and tried a lot of things.  some right, but mostly the wrong stuff.  and i’ve hurt a lot of people in the process.  i also remember that when i hit forty, i began considering insurance and memorial plans more than the latest places to eat in.

but i’m here now.  forty-five years and a day old.  i’ll be done paying for my insurance in a couple of months.

for whatever the in-betweens were and for all the highlights and milestones, i thank God Almighty that His hand was and is still upon me.

given the chance to relive the blurred past, will i change anything?

knowing what i know now, YES.

yes, i’ll be more caring, loving, unselfish, frugal, self-less, respectful, responsible, inquisitive, brave, trustworthy and truthful.  at this age i guess one gets to see the past better through the eyes of the present.  someone said that we have “twenty-twenty vision in hindsight.”  was he so right.

i know that i won’t get to relive the past and be all that i want to have been.  but there are the tomorrows that, God willing, will add up to many years – an everyday chance to be what i should be, what God wants me to be.

so to the thirty blurred years i misplaced somewhere, let it be so.  i’m ready to go beyond the forty-five i’ve lived and start living on to the next thirty, at least.

if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  the old has gone, the new has come.