Monthly Archives: February 2011

Never Forgets

Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. Isaiah 49:15

I am keeping my old cellphone.

It is not activated now. It does not receive call or text. It can takes pictures but blurred ones. It has my contacts and some important notes. If I need to call somebody, I grab it for my reference. I use it for morning alarms so I can wake up our daughters to rise up and get ready for school. More than these, I am keeping my non-working cellphone because of some text messages.

They come from a brother in Christ who never forgets to greet on each of our family member’s birthday. Each year, the cellphone has received his greetings on the dot. March, May, August and December with all the specific days, the man sends his good wishes for the birthday celebrants. He never forgets.

I believe Isaiah. He said, “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15). God’s promise of remembrance of his children is important.

Knowing you have a God who never forgets gets you going in life. A God who does not only remember your birthdays but who takes note of all your days. He knows your jobless days. He tabs your unhealthy moments. He records your days of mourning on death. He knows your low lonely days to which he made his presence felt. He gives you strength during your trying rough days. He bountifully bless you with grace to overcome times of temptations. A Father who brings you joy in your days of sorrows and who gives you uncommon resolute in your days of common difficulty. A God who bookmarks your seconds, minutes and hours. He highlights your days through the years.

He knows you. He knows your days. He never forgets. Keep this.

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Keys

I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 16:1a

It’s not named Alicia.

Keys should fit into the lock to open a door or anything that is close. It should crack the curve in order to bring you inside. Compared to the material to be opened, nowadays, keys are small. It can be duplicated yet it must be an identical twin of the original.

All of us have keys to the kingdom. Gifts or skills for people to see God’s glory. Some are seen upfront, some are always at the background. Some keys are using words with eloquence. Some openers are serving with administrative management. Others do it with blue collar service. Small or big keys have the same one purpose, to open his kingdom for others. People with front office keys have the same equal responsibility with people who have keys for the back door. In one way or another, any key will give you an entry inside his kingdom.

In this earthly life, some keys don’t fit now  but will fit later. They are what you may call difficulkeys. God designs keys of this type for our lives. These maybe trials, family problems, job concerns, relationship issues or eroding of health. You don’t see now how do they open God’s door yet surely later you will. You just have to keep on trying using these kind of keys in order to see God’s face and his plan amidst your messy life.

So, whatever keys you are holding now, use it. Cherish it. Praise God for it. Serve with all your heart. Your family can come to God’s house through your keys. Your friends may see what is like in the Lord’s abode by the keys you have.Your co-workers might use one of your keys some day. Duplicate keys in your hand by training and trusting people.

Peter utilized his keys to open God’s kingdom faithfully. May God, the key giver, bless us to do the same.

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Example

Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. 1 Peter 5:3

Show them not tell them.

This is one principle I applied when I was teaching in the university or when teaching professional power system seminars. I teach electrical engineering courses thus it is highly technical stuff. I’ve got lectures, books and journals to refer to. I would cite the theories and even the practical applications for each section. However, students would consider all of the above but would really appreciate what I am talking about when I give examples. They would understand fully when an example is thrown into the discussion. The students would have a good grasp of the lesson when I give not just another example but a very good example.

Examples are very important. They show the theory plus the reality. As one would say, “Christianity is caught not taught.”

You can be the best speaker of the Word. You can be the prolific writer about the Word. You are this magnetic person who can stand in front of people and make them mesmerize about God. Yet, if you don’t live the Word to show an example, you are all talk.

Paul is right on the money. When someone lords over the flock, he usually uses his words or authority to drive the ministry. He doesn’t serve mainly based on the way he lives his life. He lords when he asked the followers to do something he is not willing to do. He lords when he points to a direction he is not willing to take. He lords when he sings a different tune whereby he conducts another song.

You must lead and live by example. Serve with the flock. Serve in the most unwanted ministry. Spend time with the most unloved member of the church or community. Get your hands dirty with the most blue collar service. After you preach, take time to help out in setting down the meeting place. Pray when you want your child to pray. Let the flock get a grasp of the Word with your life. Live a very good example.

St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” When necessary use words, only when necessary. What is necessary is to lead and live by example.

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Bullseye

At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” Mark 8:33

Some seconds may make a big difference.

After Peter had his grand moment, via “You are the Messiah.” statement, he is addressed as Satan by Jesus. This comes only some seconds apart. Short time indeed. According to Mark, the change came after only three sentences. Short distance indeed. After hitting the bullseye, Peter is way off God’s line of thinking.

Quite revealing. How a man can change to an earthly head from a heavenly thinker.

No wonder Paul admonishes, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8. You can hit the bullseye, Paul suggests. Think the way God thinks. Perceive things the way God looks at matters in your life.

A human thinks you are a hypocrite, God thinks you are persevering.
A person beside you thinks he has no value, God loves him unconditionally.
You are laid off from your job and you think you have no worth to the company, God is thinking what is best for you.
A friend is insecure about  his past, God will use his past for the present and for the future.
A family member is thinking his physical condition is hopeless, God alone is our hope and healer who can make miracles happen.
God considers you as precious in his sight and that he has a plan for you, when humans conclude you are part of their waste basket.
God turns your bad moments to good events, man dwells on the worst of the bad circumstances.

Make each second count. Think as God does. Always hit the bullseye.

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Christ Over Culture

You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. Mark 7:13a

No wonder the church holds on to the Word.

It is too much radical when others mention that the teachings of the church must change with the change of times, but it is not. It is only right. Right to secure the right definition of marriage. Correct in upholding the sanctity of life. Steadfast in guarding the usage of artificial contraception.

The Word of God does not change a bit. Times will change. Cultures will evolve. Traditions will dress differently. But Jesus’ message will not.

Centuries ago, abortion is not acceptable. Today it is legal in some countries. Same sex marriage is not allowed, today it is conducted in some places. Use of artificial birth controls are not known centuries ago, now they are bought at your nearest pharmacy. Prostitution is a public sin in the ancient times, go to some countries and see this is a legal profession.

If you don’t hold on to the Word of God, your children or your children’s children will live accepting the changes any culture will provide them. Let them know what does not change. Let them be educated in what is lasting and founded. Pass on to them what gives life in abundance and in fullness. Hand on to them the Word of God rather than the culture they are born to or they live with.

Jesus warns us about this. Never nullify the Word of God in favor of tradition. Never put culture over the Word of God.

Choose now. Choose right. Choose Christ over culture.

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Solution to Hunger

In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat, he summoned the disciples… Mark 8:1

Hunger. Two thousand years have passed and the same problem is still with us.

According to this website, in one day alone twenty four thousand (24,ooo) dies of hunger. That is a size of a village in the Philippines. So in one hour, there will be a thousand (1,000) under six feet because they have nothing to eat. If you read this post in two to three minutes, there will be more than thirty five (35) people who will stop breathing for no food is serve at their tables.

If you want more eye-popping data on world hunger, go and visit Think Quest.

Anti-hunger organizations, economists and politicians have solutions to world hunger. Distribution of economies and wealth, cancellation of debts, preventing war and keeping peace in under developed countries, education and technology, and government taking an important part to the solution. These are clear cut processes to eliminate hunger.

You know your problem with this problem? You wait on the action of others (governments, social organizations, charities). You let others do the solving. You just sit and watch. It’s not your problem anyway. You are burdened with your own problem, so why bother?

One thing is still clear. Jesus is still summoning his disciples. He calls for action from his followers. He is asking you to appear to where the problem is. Jesus is calling out for you to be part of the solution and not be part of the problem. He is commanding you to do what you can do without hesitation. Jesus knows you can do something:

  • Pray that all solutions to world hunger may be implemented without selfishness and delay.
  • Set aside part of your income for providing food for others.
  • Look around for hungry people. At your family tree. At your streets. At your offices. Feed them right there and then.
  • Take risk. If you are walking down a street and find a beggar along the way, give them your lunch money or your lunch bag.
  • Make it a daily habit to solve hunger in your own world.

He is summoning you. Jesus is confident you can beat this problem for you are one of the solution.

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What Are Humans?

What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them? Psalm 8:4

Let me try to answer that.

We are perfect. We love one another. We care for one another. We give our all for God. We serve God with our all. We don’t do wrong. We are kind to one another. There is no hungry man in the streets since we look out for each other. There is no abused in homes or any other places because we respect each other. There are no homeless in our world, we shelter our brethren. We give way to others at the ATM lines or at the intersection. We affirm each others works. We accept each others limitations. We don’t gossip of each other. We pray for the welfare of all, even the ones we don’t get along. We don’t compete, we complement. We always think positive about other people. We don’t doubt the goodness of God and man. We hold out temper and have tremendous patience in times of distress.

I can continue all day and all night. But I won’t. Bottom line is this, we are like as enumerated above thus God cares for us.

Wake me up!

Because in reality, the first two paragraphs are just a dream. Maybe you can satisfy one or few sentences but not all.

Humans are imperfect. We fight each other. I don’t care, you don’t care. We are selfish. There are hungry people in our sight. There are homeless. There are abused in our midst. We outdo one another to be on top or be first. We disrespect each other. We falter. We do wrong. We sin.

You know why? Because we are mere mortals. Only an immortal being would care. Only an immortal God will.

God cares for us. God loves us, mere mortals.

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