“See, upon the palms of my hands I have written your name; your walls are ever before me.” Isaiah 49:16
Today, I received the Philippine Star printed newspaper issued on December 30, 2008. I asked my brother to send it to me for my name is printed in the column “Sporting Chance” of the Dean of Philippine Sports, Quinito Henson. Please see this link. It was something BIG for me that a well known personality in the country wrote down my name in his precious space. I even commented in his column that day was a personal milestone on my part.
Long ago, God stated the fact that His remembrance of us is too much significant on His part that He wrote our names on His palms. He did not write it on the water. He did not write it on an office or a school pad paper. He did not write it on a bark of a tree. He wrote our names on a body part, His palms. This is not only big, this is HUGE!
This is the God who will never forget us. He will never miss our micros and macros. He carefully observes the immaterial worries and important concerns in our lives. And when He says that our walls are ever before Him He is saying this – your world is His world, my world is His world. Your name and my name are etched on the palms of the Lord who is the God of the universe and beyond. Having our names on His hands is more than a milestone but a sign that this God is a personal God.
“He will sit refining and purifying (silver), and he will purify the sons of Levi, Refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD.” Malachi 3:3
Ernest Hemingway wrote stories which are nowadays considered as American literature classics. When we read or hear about Hemingway’s work, we are always in awe how this man can shape words into stories that turned into literature. There is a story behind each book by this great author. The story behind each book is that each book was carefully edited before they were published. Story said that there was one of Hemingway’s books that have 100,000 or more words revised or cut out before the final version was presented to the reading public. When we read Hemingway’s work, we should understand that each word was not done in one sitting but a matter of careful refinement by the author.
Let us thank the Lord God for refining each and one of us each day of our lives as a careful author. Most of the time, discouragement and disappointment can reside in us due to challenges and difficulties as we move closer to Him. And when we go forward in our relationship with Him, we observe our unworthiness before His presence. It is good that we have to realize that we still need Him to refine us. Let us not get impatient in our walk with God for He is not finish with us yet. It is good that we have to understand that we still have dirt in our hearts that needs His purification. Let us not have the feeling that we are great hypocrites for He came for the sick and unrighteous. Our Christian life can not be done instantly; that is why daily, our Master refines and purifies us for the day will come we are to be presented like gold or like silver as due sacrifice to the Lord.
(Batay sa Juan 1:35-42)
Lumapit at dumikit
Buksan ang nakapikit
Masdan ang tirahan
Saan Siya nakatahan
Sa sawi at madumi
Paghawak walang pili
Sa lungkot at gabi
Hikbi maging ngiti
Sa tigang na lupa
Maganang aning biyaya
Sa isang ulila
Balikat ang handa
Sa pagkalunod aahon
Manatili kay Kristo
“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Tears left my eyes as I drove away from my parents’ home. This was the day when my daughter Praise asks me that she will be left in that place for the rest of the day. This was the moment which I feared, that there will be a time when she won’t need her father anymore. That she can do stuff on her own. That she become independent from her father. Don’t get me wrong, but there are things which she supposes to have her own mind. And as a father, I would hope that she would continue to depend on me. Tell me her plans and ask me what I think. Give me her blueprint and I’ll give her my pointers. Pass me her rough draft and I bring her refinement.
Without the Lord Jesus, we can do nothing that will bear good fruit. In Him alone, we live and breathe to bear fruit. With Him in our lives, we overcome every difficulty with His strength and not on our own might. We remain in Him and we will see that our labor in His vineyard will not be in vain. As His children, we depend in our Father. He is our vine that sustains the life in us, the branches. Life-changing decisions and daily routine activities must be anchored in this relationship. Do you place your trust in your education and experience and not on His Lordship? Do you hang down on what you can do and not on what God can do? God is our Father who gives His all for us to prosper in our lives by depending in Him. Ask Him about His plans, let Him show you His blue prints, and be watchful when you see His final draft. You don’t need to go through life on your own. Friends, declare each day a dependence day.
“I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6
Those were the days.
When I was in college, I was part of a youth movement called Christ’s Youth in Action (CYA). Please see this link. This movement is all over the Philippines. God has placed in our hearts the grace and the desire to live for Him throughout this earthly life. Kay Kristo buong buhay habambuhay. With the brothers and sisters we moved on to join a group of single professionals namely Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon (Servant of the Lord) or known as Lingkod. Please see this link. After Lingkod, we started to build our own community which we called Bale ning Guinu (House of God). Please see this link.
As we grow old in the Lord, some stayed for good. Some went into some places, to build their career and/or build their families. Looking back, we have experienced God’s mighty favor on His people. We have experienced being under His flock when we were students, when we were single working professionals and now that we are taking care of our own families. There is no space for doubt that God will continue His work in our lives. There is a history of faith for those who are just starting. God never fails to amaze me in the way He works in my life, in my family and in the lives of many brothers and sisters. We get excited knowing we have a God who will not leave us hanging. We get curios for we have a history that continues His story. We get prayerful so we might hold on to His promises. And we get unswerving through the grace of a God who began and who will complete.
That will be the day.
“Fight the good fight for the faith. Keep holding on to eternal life, to which you were called and about which you gave a good testimony in front of many witnesses.” – 1 Timothy 6:12
They call him Daddy Lo because some identifies with him as Daddy and some younger folks call him Lolo, to prevent from confusion, they called him Daddy Lo. I do not know his age but a 50 plus something addresses him as Daddy and he has grandchildren of college age. The first time I attended the Bukas-Loob sa Diyos (BLD) prayer meeting in our area, Daddy Lo was one of the prayer leaders. He had to sit once in a while because he had difficulty in standing for some minutes. I cannot even hear his voice when he was saying prayers as he can’t raise his voice that loud to be heard even with a microphone. In the past prayer meetings, he would come with his oxygen tank handy. Tsup…tsup…tsup…tsup, his oxygen tank sounds as it provides air for him. This old man continues to attend holy mass and prayer meetings even he is gasping for air and continues to serving God even his physical capacity prevents him to do so. Daddy Lo died this week. I have not known him personally but those in few times, Daddy Lo was a living witness. Daddy Lo, I believed, is faithful until the end; he has fought the good fight of faith.
Paul exhorts the young Timothy to hold on to the faith until the end. To fight the good fight of faith. If we are young or old, our direction is to hold steadfast on what we believe is worthy to live for. We must be faithful up to the point our breathing is hardly a contestable exercise. We must continue to be servants of God up to the point that our hands and feet can’t make some mobile movements. We pray that the Lord bring us to that place. To a place where our fight for our faith is weathered by time. To a place where in our weakness, we find God as our strength. To a place where our weak voice echoes the glory of the Lord. To a place where in our challenged physical being, we delight in spending our diminutive potency in loving and serving God alone. Let us fight the good fight of faith.
Read Matthew 2:1-12
They did not receive any invitation from the family. They were not invited but went to see the King. They followed a star that directed them to the Savior of the world. And when they reached the place, they gate crashed the solemnity of the birth of the Son of God. The family that they intruded does not even know any of them. They were not asked to leave but rather were welcomed thus they had time to offer their gifts to the new born King.
Jesus welcomes His people at anytime. You do not need to receive a special invitation from Him to visit Him. We can come anytime to His presence. He will not shun a gatecrasher; He loves to receive guests in His kingdom. We may not be worthy to pay homage to the King, but in His great love for us He makes way for us to enjoy His company. And when we come to Him, offer all your joys and success, give Him your sorrows and failures.
Visit Him during Sunday mass or First Friday mass, daily holy rosary, daily personal prayer, weekly prayer meetings, daily or weekly company holy mass, etc. Friends, do not hesitate to come to His house. We are always welcome to embrace the King. Allow Him to nurture your time with Him during your visitation. After you read this, it might be great to take some time to visit Jesus.