Monthly Archives: November 2010

Servant Master

When he entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”  He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” Matthew 8:5-7

The Master serving his servant.

He calls his servant to do this or to do that. He tells him to go or to stay. The servant waits for the master’s hands when to point and where to point. This master directs his servant. The servant serves his master. Yet at this instance, the master serves his servant. The servant is powerless, paralyzed at home. The servant has no comfort, suffering dreadfully. The servant can’t stand and can’t come. The master comes to his aid, he serves the supposedly serving.  The master thinks more of his servant more than himself.

And he came to Jesus, the ultimate Master. He prayed to him, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” The Master did not have second or third thoughts on this as he said to him, “I will come and cure him.”

Is Jesus familiar with this situation?

He is our Master who is serving his servants. He comes to our aid. When we are powerless and paralyzed, Jesus carries us and walks the way for us. When we are dreadfully suffering, our Master comes to be our comfort and stronghold.

He gives us the ability to preach his word. He supplies the wisdom to proclaim. He provides the hands to work. He gives us the pen to write. He maintains in us the passionate heart to be committed and consistent. He provides us with the strength to win over temptations so we may be loyal to him. When we are in lack and scarce, he reaches out his hands and provides our needs. He gives us the grace for us to be robust hearted for him. He blesses us with courage in our fear and uncertainty. He is a master who thinks more of his servants. A master who came and comes to our aid.

Jesus is our Master. Yet, he serves us, his servants. He is our Servant Master.

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Swing God

Then will the LORD create, over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her place of assembly, A smoking cloud by day and a light of flaming fire by night. Isaiah 4:5

The swing bus. In my profession, it is a generation source that adjusts its output for the system to keep its balance. The balance is between the output of generation sources and consumption of load sinks. When power is more than the demand, the swing bus adjust its supply to keep the system balance. When there is an imbalance due to the fact that load consumption is greater than the generation, the swing bus boosts its provision to bring the system into equilibrium.

The logic is simple yet significant. The swing bus adjusts itself to create balance. Give more when there is less, give less when there is more.

Is God a swing God? He knows when to give more when there is less. He knows when to give less when there is more.

The verse above proves this – Then will the LORD create, over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her place of assembly, a smoking cloud by day and a light of flaming fire by night.

When there is more sunlight, he gives a shade. When there is darkness around us, he gives light.

No. He is not a God whose like an automatic dispenser.

He is a God who knows what is our need – a smoking cloud or a flaming fire. He is a God who knows when is our need – day or night. He is a God who knows how much we need – over the whole site, over the assembly.

When there is too much sun burning our hearts with pride, he gives us humility. When there is too much light in us stealing his glory, he sends shadows. When we take control of the day and not him, he provides smoking clouds so we know he drives our lives.

When there is weakness, he provides strength to overcome. In our dimmed hospital rooms, he sends fire of healing. To the gloomy alleys of the homeless and forgotten, he gives refuge and stronghold. To the shady place of the alone and lonely, he makes his presence felt. Look into your night, wait for the light of flaming fire he holds.

All from God for us to keep us in balance.

God knows our needs. What it is, when we need it, how much we need it. And he dances swing.

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Simple Prayer, Great Answer

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:42-43

It was a simple prayer, “Remember me….”

You do this, you keep calling cards. You bookmark the webpage. You allow a space in your brain for that specific name, time of meeting, place of meeting, event of meeting and all. You remember the face and the faces associated with that face. You remember the name and the names related to that name. You take notice of what he or she wears. You mark those facial markers. You high light the body built and maybe the mannerisms.

Yet you do further than that. Before you were stepping into the airport, you heard them tell you, ” when you get there, remember me, remember us.” You don’t only keep them in your mind, you give them what’s in their mind. You send them gifts, you give them what you have. When you remember, you extend something. You have something, you remembered he needed that something. You got something, you remembered he ain’t got that something.

Jesus remembers. The man beside him prayed, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” You see, Jesus can remember him when Jesus reigns in his kingdom. Remember the way he spoke. Remember the way he made a case for Jesus. Remember he was crucified at the same time he was. Remember he was deserving of the cross and he was not. Remember he was the last one who prayed to him before he died on that tree. Well, Jesus did not. But Jesus did. He does further than keeping him in his head. He gave him what he does not have. He handed to him what he ain’t got. Jesus gave him salvation.

When God remembers, he extends his hands. When he remembers we are in need, he provides. When he remembers we are unhealthy, he heals. When he remembers we are jobless, he promotes us. When he remembers we are weak, he strengthen us. When he remembers we are in doubt, he gives us faith.

We give him a simple prayer, Jesus gives us a great answer.

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Studying His Word

Rather, the law of the LORD is their joy; God’s law they study day and night. Psalm 1:2

You thought you must be a bible-toting person to do this.

You carry the Word everywhere you go. You have it in your back pack. You have it in your home desk, in your office cubicle. You look at those missionary guy with their handbag armed with the Word as your model.  You thought the pastor passes this verse. You thought that would be it. Carry it. Read it. Have it in your bag. Have it whenever, wherever you might be.

As you reflect about it further, it convinces you there’s more than that.

Do you experience joy when you follow the Lord’s law? When you are up to something yet you know you will violate his Word, do you have joy or sadness since you did not attain what you should have achieved? Are you joyful when you follow him or do you feel this great depression since you think you are not free to do or say what you want to?

This is God’s law as your study all day and all night. You don’t keep it in your bag, you keep it in your heart. You just don’t carry it, you carry it on the way you live, the way you speak or the way you accomplish things. Those things above will surely help, yet what matters is you put his Word into action.

In your day or night, do you study his Word? No, I’m not saying you keep on reading the Bible, which surely is good, but in your every gesture or each of your spoken word, do you consider his laws? Wait, I know what you are thinking. You think it’s like tip-toeing in life. Maybe. However, consider his Word before you do something or say something. This is studying his Word day and night. Yes, it is possible to study his laws day in and day out. It is like shaping a sculpture according to his Word. Step by step. Word after word. Action after action. Your life being shape by God’s Word.

Consider this. We sin, most of the time, because at that instant we let go of our study of his Word.

The psalmist encourages us, may God’s Word be our joy and when we follow it may it produce joy in us. The psalmist calls us, may we study God’s law day and night, keeping it in our hearts and in our minds.

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Perseverance

By your perseverance you will secure your lives. Luke 21:19

41-0.

This was the final score in my very first basketball game in a formal league. Impressive right? Yes, our opponents are. We were crushed, to the very meaning of the word. We were shattered into pieces. Imagine, playing 40 minutes without a single basket. We know how to make a play yet did not make a shot.

If you think that have ended my unheralded basketball career, you’re wrong. I still played games. I still was shooting hoops. I still love the feel of the ball on my hands. I still desire the thug of a dribbling ball on a hardwood. Sometimes, my team wins. Most of the time, my heart is broken. If I add up my victories in playing this game, it won’t just compare to the mountain of defeats I have to face at the sound of the buzzer. Up until now, I play the game. Yeah, I know I suck in this game. But I still come into the rectangular court with two vertical holes at the end and play.

If my Christian life has a score board, I would be surely at the cellar in this game. If you compare my victories over sin to my succumbing to temptations, you are looking at a dwarf compared to a giant. I know, I suck in living as a Christian. I still sin. I still am tactless and would hurt someone with my insensitive words and selfish actions. I am vulnerable with difficulties. A little hump in my journey, becomes a hill in my heart. My faith always is shaken, my loyalty always at check. My temper is still a suspect. The lust in my heart is still my first challenge.

However, this does not stop me from living for God. I still follow him. I still pray. I still pray for forgiveness. I still come to him and ask for grace and strength.  I still read the Bible. I still serve. I still go for counsel among brothers and sisters. I still attend church. I still participate in community.  I still drink from Jesus’ cup and share his meal. I still want to love others. My heart regains joy in being with him. The touch of his book gives me peace as I roll my eyes on its pages. My soul pounds when I hear someone preaches with fire in his Spirit. I know, it won’t be easy. It’s hard. It’s difficult. It’s a daily struggle. But I still come into his heavenly court where a perfect God meets his imperfect follower.

This is perseverance. And this is what secures our lives.

 

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Eighteen

They shall never be shaken; the just shall be remembered forever.  Psalms 112:6

CYA. Graduation. Danny. Joseph. Jazmin. Emmaruth. Young Professionals for Christ. Saturday nights. Old Holy Angel Chapel. Kamayan. Christ’s Tenants in the Vineyard. Ilo-ilo. Lingkod-Angeles. Ming. Francis. Michelle. Emy. Jazmin again. Branch. Unity Games. Holy Family. CLP. Carmelite. Women for Christ. Jocas. Herman. Carlos. Ding. Ecs. Chas. Natna. Glo. Rhods. Sassie. April. Sto. Rosario Elementary School. Outreach. Olongapo. Dennis. Joseph. Chas. John. Office at Sto. Entierro. National Leaders’ Training Conference. Fontana. Dexter. Mayona. Beng. Office at L&S. Romin. Gagay. Outreach. San Fernando. Nars. Mitz. Jun. Eighteen.

God. Call. Workplace. Single. Working. Conversion. Commitment. Community. Culture. Commission. Vision. Mission. Brothers. Sisters. Servanthood. Yesteryears. Present. Future. Grace. Strength. Mercy. Courage. Confidence. Consistency. Faithfulness. Holiness. Refuge. Stronghold. Loyalty. Passion. Love. Service. Ability. Availability. Of God. From God. For God. Never shaken. Never forgotten.

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You Can Do Something

Secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free; the LORD gives sight to the blind. The LORD raises up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD protects the stranger, sustains the orphan and the widow, but thwarts the way of the wicked. Psalm 146:7-9

Today, I read a line from Max Lucado’s book “Outlive Your Life” which is “One cannot do everything, but one can do something”.

As Christians, we are one with the Lord in looking after his children. The psalmist echoes God’s heart for the poor. God’s eyes are big on the small. He longs for us to take our place in his work among the unfortunate. Look at those statements:

  • Secures justice for the oppressed
  • Providing food to the hungry
  • Giving prisoners their freedom
  • Enabling the disabled
  • Raising up those who are lowly
  • Welcoming unfamiliar faces
  • Spending time with the parent-less and spouse-less

Someone will say, “How can I help when my family needs more help.” Well, everybody needs help. It’s just a matter of managing your resources.

Another will comment, “Others are already doing that, I have my family to feed.” If we are always looking internal and not external of us, we are missing the point. You always have a place to occupy in the scheme of things.

“It’s not my type of ministry, I am busy with other services.” Wrong. We are all called to respond to the needy. Every follower of Christ should put their hearts and hands on this ministry.

“Let the rich do just that, we are not rich.” There is no mention in the verses above that only the rich should do something for the poor and needy.

One can do something. You can. May I suggest the following?

  • Pray for the poor.
  • Don’t buy a new shirt or clothes once in a month and allot those funds for the poor.
  • Give up your trip to Starbucks, enable a poor child to reach his dreams.
  • Buy energy efficient appliances, the money you save in energy can energize the weak.
  • Turn off electric devices in your home when not in use, the money you save the money you save can turn on somebody’s life.
  • Cancel your late night strolls to bars, provide for those who have no bed at night.
  • Give up your I-Phone plan and settle for a low tech phone, the savings you get can empower a child’s education plan.
  • Post actions for the poor in your Facebook wall or Twitter account.
  • Volunteer for inner city mission.
  • Participate in your church’ social action ministry.

Yes, you cannot do everything but you can do something. So, do something!

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