Category Archives: Kristyanismo

Eyes on the Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1

We were looking at the sheep.

That was twenty-five years ago. We were starting to build our single men’s and women’s group. Since we were early out of college, we got accustomed on depending with our former student leaders. We looked at them as we were setting to lay foundations of this new group. We waited on them to lead us and just do what they have been done when we were in college. We thought that they can lead our prayer meetings, give us vision and grow our group. There is only one minor problem: they were working out of the our local city and scheduling was very tough on them.

For those early years, the group was basically existing but fledgling. We can’t get out of the funk. We thought we had the same fervor as we had when we were in the university but to no avail.

Until, we set our eyes at the Shepherd.

We realized that depending upon the Shepherd instead on the sheep, enabled us to see who leads the direction, provides vision and sustains the passion. We experienced that banking on the sheep was a limitation while trusting the Shepherd had no boundaries. As the Shepherd led us, we counted on His availability and not on the ability of the sheep. His rod directed our paths and led us to fresh and green beginnings. His staff protected us and by His grace and mercy, the group grew and twenty-five years after, the cup runneth over.

Through all valleys of life, the Shepherd is our constant companion while the flock may change almost every season of life. Don’t focus on the sheep, set your eyes on the Shepherd, and you shall not want.

 

 

 

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Filed under Jesus, Kristyanismo, Psalm

When there’s a gap, there’s God

When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” John 6:5

There’s the gap.

This is the interval when you and I will think, “will I stay or will I go astray?”. Between the time the weird sounds were coming from empty stomachs and the moment the produce touches the wanting tongues.  This is the spell when you look to God and God just looks at you. You are hungry and he knows this. But no food comes, not yet. No multiplication, not yet.  As you wait, your hunger makes you weaker, makes you think twice or thrice.

This gap is very familiar. That time you prayed for healing and you waited for maybe months or even years. This gap is common to all. That time you asked him to touch a family member, but you have to ask him a thousand times before it happened. This gap is a challenge for everyone. That moment when you whispered, will he answer your plea about getting employed after sitting at home for quite some time.

God meets you in that gap.

He stays with you. He knows your needs. He is working on responding to your prayers. He has a plan to satisfy you. He is ordering the order on how to fill you up just like he instructed the disciples. He is asking you to sit back, may be on the grass and let him do his work.

Will you stay with him during the gap? Will you continue to look to him and not on other directions? Will you stay with the other five thousand as you wait for his hand to feed your need?

Don’t lose hope in the gap. Be strong as you grow weaker in the gap.

For when there’s a gap, there’s God.

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Greatest

An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Luke 9:46

Nothing has changed, right?

We still want to be the greatest…the best…the wisest. We still argue.

Have you watch the US GOP Presidential debates? Politicians raising up their seats. Putting down others’ accomplishments. Pointing to their laurels and thumbing down opponents’ honors.

Don’t go too far. Look at the 2016 Philippine would-be presidents. They serve in the same government yet they belittle whatever gains the other candidates have achieved. No one takes the back seat. Nobody has a better platform, than me.

Let’s go nearer. Look at your Facebook newsfeed. One friend or maybe you are better than other friend. The other friend comment back and says he/she is greater than that one friend. “Mababaw ka dahil AlDub fan ka, malalim ako dahil napanood ko ang Heneral Luna”. So, when does watching a movie make you a better person? “Malungkot ang mundo mo dahil ayaw mo sa AlDub.” Happiness is to each his own, di ba?

Well, it’s in our nature to want to be great, to be better than somebody else. Everybody has this thirst to be the best and to be the wisest. Even the nearest persons who walked with Jesus, who ate with him and who talked to Jesus face to face had the same fervor. This hasn’t changed and is happening around us – we are the greater church, we are the better congregation, we are the holier community. And just like us, they argued about this.

The same book provides the key to be great – be the servant (For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is greatest. Luke 9:48). You don’t have to push the person beside you to the lower level when you climb the higher step. Compliment rather than compete. Work together rather than being at war against each other. Understand before being understood. Focus on the strengths of each other and improve on each others’ weaknesses. Lift up, not tear down.

Nothing has changed. If you want change, may be you may want to start with yourself. Be the least. Be the servant.

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Humility (written by a 12 year old)

When Humility walks into the room, the walls rejoice, greeting her with endless joy. Humility appreciates, but doesn’t want anyone to notice, blocking it out. Praise isn’t what she came for. Humility blends in, just seeming like thin air. Going one by one, she studies each person, only taking a short second to check. You’d think she’d be somewhere else, maybe at a party, or a fancy gathering. But she isn’t. Humility doesn’t choose to bask in her glory, to take it all in, and take what she wants. Instead, Humility gives it all away. All of her gifts and most beloved treasures, simply gone in a blink of an eye. Humility has nothing, but gives everything. She gives her love. That boy who no one ever talks to, the outsider, she laughs with him. That old beggar on the street that you always pass by but never noticed before, she’s sat next to him. Even those kids that make fun of everyone, even Humility herself, well, she doesn’t hate them. Humility loves them. She cares for them. Humility pours her heart out to them, and doesn’t stop. Humility uses up all her energy and power to help-and yet is never tired or weak, and keeps going throughout the night. Humility never needs a reason to help someone, whoever they might be. What Humility does know is that she wants to help, to be that outreached hand, and to be that sign of hope.

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He Understands

As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. Matthew 14:13

He has been where you are.

He takes a time out. He separates himself from the flock. He goes alone. After all, he is human. Knowing how precious John is to him, he may have felt in his heart the feeling you may have felt when someone dear to you past away or went away. Sadness. May be despair. Feeling of losing somebody you love, you value. May be the thought that you will never see that face again. May be the thought that you will never hear that voice again.

This is why this passage is so much important for you and me.

For us to know that Jesus had the same feeling. For us to know that we are not alone when we feel this way. For us to know that he has been there. For us to know that he understands our feeling of being abandoned. That he understands our agony. Our need to be alone. Our need to take some time out. A time to cry and may be celebrate the memories of your loved one. A moment to trace the moments with that somebody.

And because God understands, he knows how to comfort you. He knows how much strength and time you need to recover. He knows the path how you will recover. He knows whom he will send for you to lean on. He knows where to bring you to so you can muster yourself altogether. He knows when to give you whatever you need to stay in the valley and whatever you need when you emerge out of it.

So go ahead. If you need to take some time alone by yourself, take it. Jesus did. He understands.

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Filed under Kristyanismo, Matthew, Pamilya, Panginoon, Pilipinas

Tools

Will the axe boast against him who hews with it? Will the saw exalt itself above him who wields it? As if a rod could sway him who lifts it, or a staff him who is not wood! Isaiah 10:15

The main difference with tools and servants is this — one can say no, one can’t. The tools sitting at the garage just wait to be picked up for work and use. The servants in the pew has the power to say to the Master, “I’m a sinner, I’m not good.” “Not now.” or “Not me.” The toolbox occupants are always prepared and ready for the action. Servants have always the option, to go or not. There is a choice to be made by the servant if he or she will allow the Creator to create through him or her. If the servant say’s no, the Master may select another servant to do the work.

The main similarity with tools and servants is this — both can’t claim the glory of the work done. Two of my old uncles were carpenters, but they were not the same creators. With this, they may pick up and utilize the same tools but they may not have the same creation. One does an excellent job, one doesn’t.  Thus, the tools can’t grab the limelight of the work. Yes, they are part of the accomplishment, yet, without the expert guiding hands of the Master, the tools will still be siting in that cold box. Their purpose not fulfilled. Their edges not used. Their skills not displayed.

The lesson you may learn from this is this — be a servant who will trample trunks of challenges and at the same time who will not boast against him who hews you. Be a servant who cuts hearts and minds and who doesn’t exalt himself or herself above the hands who wields it. Be a ready and a willing servant for God’s glory.

 

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Focus

But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.” Matthew 9:34

This is a before and after.

Before the passage above. Jesus drove out a demon from a mute person. Just as the demon came out of the person, the person spoke. Healing. His mission.

After the Pharisees spoke those words. Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness.– Matthew 9:35. Teaching. Preaching. Again, healing. His mission.

This is focus. 

It does not mean there is no opposition to the mission. There was. It does not mean he was not being distracted. I think he was. It does not mean he did not hear those words. Matthew noted them so Jesus may have, too. It does not mean everything will be fine when God sent his Son. He know this. In spite of the opposition, the distractions, the people not believing in him, the disciples turning their backs from him, he continued to walk the way and talk about the Gospel. Jesus fulfilled his mission. 

And this spoke to me. That’s why I’m back writing.

I have oppositions, not other people but myself. I lose sight of the ministry. When nobody was commenting or liking my posts, my passion began to diminish. The call was not to have people comment or like my posts, the call was to write about him and spread the word of God. Just write. No expectations on comments or likes. Just write. 

I have distractions. I thought I was overly occupied with my professional life that I forgot about my missionary life. I replaced my bible reflections with technical articles. I’ve prioritized my personal technical research over my personal search of God. 

Maybe you are in the same road. You lost your focus. Maybe you heard somebody commenting negative about your ministry or work. Maybe health issues in the family is a distraction. Maybe a difficulty in a relationship is pulling you away from your call. 

Oppositions or distractions are here to stay. Jesus had them. So, expect that we will have them. Jesus had focus. Look up to him and pray, he will surely bless us with the same. 

 

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Filed under Jesus, Kristyanismo, Matthew, Pamilya, Panginoon, Pilipinas