Tag Archives: Pamilya

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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Greatness

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”  Luke 1:38

Greatness does not view consequences – Doug Collins.

Greatness when you don’t view consequences is like saying yes to God’s plan. Even when you are not told what your nod entails.

Mary – she said yes to carry God’s Son in her womb for nine months and be his mother as long as he is here on earth. She was not oriented on the where she would deliver him– manger. She is not informed as early as possible that her son would die a tragic death– on the cross. She had to linger on day and night where her son would be as Jesus hopped from one town to another to preach and reach the broken. She had to wonder if he has taken his lunch or what food he had for dinner. And yet, she said yes and did not view consequences.

Joseph – he said yes to the angel’s instructions from his dream to take care of God’s Son and his mother. He may have wanted the best delivery room for his wife and first born but he had to settle to be with animals and for a while, exchange his carpentry to nursery. He didn’t anticipate that his business would change address from time to time to fulfill what was written long before. His work is to be belittled as Jesus was judged, “He is the son of a carpenter.” And yet, he said yes and did not view consequences.

You can take this first step to greatness.

Say yes to God’s plan.  And don’t view the consequences.

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Economics of Zacchaeus

But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.”  Luke 19:8

Economics is about incentives.

Companies or persons hand their resources if in return they get incentives or benefits above what they gave.

Knowing that this guy Zacchaeus is the chief tax collector, accounting or economics are his daily life. He looks for financial benefits in every transaction. His eyes scans the numbers and says if it’s a deal or not.

Not today.

Look at his economics.

Before meeting Jesus:

Net Worth = Z (this is his total worth, assets minus liabilities)

Moments after meeting Jesus:

Net Worth = Z – 0.5*Z = 0.5Z (this is his total worth after giving half to the poor)

Further moments after meeting Jesus:

Net Worth = 0.5Z – image002 (this is his total worth after giving back 4 times to what he extorted per person, E, from the number of people he extorted, n)

Zacchaeus threw what he learned all his life about economic benefits out of his window. His financial worth decreased moment after moment after meeting the Christ. Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house…” (Luke 19:9) and Zacchaeus, by his economics, replied, “It’s a deal!”.

We don’t know if he came back to his job as the chief tax collector, I bet he resigned! We don’t know if he became a full time follower of Jesus, just like the Twelve, I bet he did in his own small ways! This is what we surely know – his life turned around and he realized it’s not about the money. That life is not about these financial benefits thus he was willing to give almost all he got.

Jesus saved him. And that is an enough incentive.

 

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Strong Arm

Be our strong arm each day and our salvation in times of trouble. Isaiah 32:2b

Each of one of us has this.

You depend on it. When you are tightening a glass jar cap or when you are opening a tight one, you use it. You lean on it. When all of a sudden you fall on the street, you put it first. When you push or pull something or when you go against something, a wall or a box, this arm gives you the foundation. It does your hardest work. When you twist a plumbing or when you get into a hole inside your car’s machine, this arm does the job. It reaches out for you. When you rebound a ball or when you jump to hand off a hanging fruit, this arm extends. It may be your left. It may be your right. It can’t be both but all of us have one – a strong arm.

Isaiah prayed that God be our strong arm, “Be our strong arm each day and our salvation in times of trouble. Isaiah 32:2b“. And God is.

He can tighten whatever is loose in your life. He can loosen whatever is in bondage to be in your personal or family life. He is the one you can lean on to. When you fall, he catches you. As you walk the narrow road and may be about to trip, he puts you on his back. He is your strong foundation, when you aim to pull your dreams or when you push away your distractions, you can ask his grace and strength to be there for you. When at your weakest, he comes up to take on what’s tough and what’s rough. He can and he will open things for you, your ideas, your wildest dreams, anything you thought it won’t be possible. He can close matters if these will hurt you or hurt your relationship with him. He extends his love and mercy to you. He reaches out for you when you are about to divert in your walk with him. He reaches out and extends himself whatever you can’t attain. All for you. You can depend on him. You can lean on him. He is the only one. He is the only one you’ve got.

You have him. He is God. He is your strong arm.

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Bring The Bread

In those days, Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine, and being a priest of God Most High, he blessed Abram with these words… Genesis 14:18

He brings the bread.

In the old and local Philippines, this boy wakes up early. He fetches his goods at the nearest street corner bakery. As he rides his bicycle, the bread within the front basket scatters the smell of fresh baked flour into the morning air. He settles at one home and another and another. At the doorsteps, he puts that sturdy brown bag which is ready to fill the stomachs of families after resting for the night. His work is personal. His work satisfies the hunger. His travel has a purpose. To bring the bread to the households. To fill the hungry with this bread.

Melchizedek did just that. The boy with five loaves did that. You can do it, too.

You don’t need to be a priest, mind you. This call for all of us is personal. As long as you want to satisfy the hunger of this world. Make it  your life’s purpose. To bring life to others as you share the bread of life. To fill the gaps in multiple hearts which can’t be filled by any ideology but by God alone.

May I bring some ways to bring the bread?

  • Be an encouragement in your homes.
  • Always speak God’s word may be in terms of positive outlook.
  • Follow God’s laws and the laws of the land.
  • Do your work well and pay your bills.
  • Be responsible to your promises.
  • Use Facebook or Twitter to spread his love and his words.
  • Show empathy and charity to the needy whose needs may be material or emotional tangibles.

You may be a priest. You may be a small boy with a packed lunch. You may be the clerk at the busiest table or a hotel receptionist. An accountant or an office messenger. A teacher or a student. All of us are called. All of us have the grace. All of us are capable.

Bring the bread.

 

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Catching One Another

Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” John 21:5

Same faces, same names for the past three years.

As a prayer group working to advance the work of the Lord, we have been together for more than three years. We as brothers and sisters aim to spread his love and mercy especially to other people. We have tried to reach out the youth. We have tried our mission to the single working people. We attempted to establish a ministry within a parish. Some will respond but not for long. And at hindsight, we have the same faces, same names after all this work of three years.

As the disciples have experience, we have caught nothing. They threw their nets as we have done. They pulled their nets back to the boat and found no catch, as we have experienced. And yet they still stayed in their boat, as we have stayed in our group. And three years is longer than a night.

If no one is caught, then the Lord has other plans – for us to catch one another. He is teaching us to care, serve and love for the people he has given us to do his work and share his love. He has called us for the meantime to catch one another.

That even though the net is empty, he is giving us grace to strengthen one another by words and actions of love. That even though our toil has no fruits, it seems, we have our relationships with one another as fruits. Maybe a brother is falling, catch him. Maybe a sister feeling down, catch her. Maybe a member has stumbled, reach out to him. God is teaching us to wait upon him as we catch one another.

The picture of catching one another is for any person above you, you must have your hands ready to catch. In other words, no person below will be caught by a person above. You need to be below a person to catch that person. That’s why we need humility to catch one another. We need to be a servant before being a leader. We need to be a brother or a sister before looking at the organization structure.

If you are not catching others, be sure to catch one another.

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As You Are

And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy. Luke 15:5

He sets him on his shoulders with great joy.

No judgmental words were spoken. No scanner to run through the lost soul. He does not inspect the once was lost and now is found. Does it have what it takes to belong to the flock again? Does it have the same wool after it has gone in it’s own way? How much he has changed in his unfruitful journey?

No interrogation was conducted. Why did you leave? Where have you gone? Don’t you know the way back home? Why did you not call or scream? No light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. Only light coming from the Shepherd’s heart radiating on the found.

There was no quarantine needed. No need to wait for waiting hours. No need to fill up clearance papers before going in. The lost sheep gains full access again, not only to the flock but to the Shepherd. The wanderer wonders, “After all, I’ve done and have gone. My Shepherd opens his arms, opens his heart.”

He just puts him near him. He just lifts him up, together with his spirit. He carries him like never before so the sheep knows he is welcome. His search all shadowed with joy, great joy.

Such is our Shepherd, Lord Jesus Christ.

Whatever you are when he found you. Whoever you are where he set his eyes on you. He is just joyful he found you.

He will carry you back. He will take you, as you are.

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