Life as it happens. Time as it passes.

Archive for March, 2010

XXVII

There’s a fundamental difference between men and women as far as their birthdays are concerned. For the ladies, asking them “how old are you now?” is harder to answer than “what’s your plan for today?” It’s the other way around for the men.

I agree.

After all, it’s been a very long while since my birthday fell on holy week. How do you come up with a birthday bash on Wednesday ash? Oh well, maybe I’ll figure that out a little later.

For the best part, I get my 9-year old wish granted this year: a birthday with Cess all to me. This is my first birthday as a married man, and I am loving it! How would you like to have a beautiful angel waking you up on your birthday with a kiss, a hug, and a morning-just-waking voice greeting, “good morning ga, happy birthday! I love you!” Nothing’s sweeter than that.

I literally blanked my planner for today, just to make sure I’ll be flexible enough for anything, or even for nothing. Well, birthdays doesn’t have to be the same every year. What matters is that it comes, it passes, and it should be made meaningful.

To all who have jump-started this day with their early greets, thank you very much. Have a great Bash Wednesday ahead!

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Reflections On the Lenten Season

Please don’t get me wrong: I am not judgmental. And please don’t misunderstand me: I am not condemnatory. Neither should you be mad at me: I am not holier than anyone else. I just can’t understand why every time the Lenten season comes, almost all God-fearing people undergo a week-long process of cleansing, repentance, and reflection.

And this only happens every Lenten season.

That is, by Easter Sunday, some people revert back to their old self.

I think what the Lenten season is all about is not just the week that Jesus gave His life: it’s about the life that Jesus gave that week more than 2000 years ago. And the life that He gave not only brought hope, change, forgiveness of sins, and new life for a week. He gave His life so that we get to experience ETERNAL life.

Ultimately, Jesus died so that you don’t have to wait every year for holy week to come and be penitent for your wrong doings. He died so that you will be forever free from the bondage of sin. And not only did He die, He rose again, so that our hope will be forever as well.

Here’s a song for the season, courtesy of FFH.

ON MY CROSS

How wide is Your love
That You would stretch Your arms
And go around the world
And why for me would a Savior’s cry be heard

I don’t know
Why You went where I was meant to go
I don’t know
Why You love me so

Those were my nails
That was my crown
That pierced Your hands and Your brow
Those were my thorns
Those were my scorns
Those were my tears that fell down
And just as You said it would be
You did it all for me
After You counted the cost
You took my shame, my blame
On my cross

How deep is Your grace
That you could see my need
And chose to take my place
And then for me, these words I’d hear You say

Father no
Forgive them for they know not what they do
I will go
Because I love them so.


Blog Pulse 6

My life and work depends a lot on PC’s. It would be very hard to imagine without one on hand for me to accomplish my work. This blog owes a lot to the speed, precision, and durability that my PC provides–things that are everyday under threat from viruses.

I know what it means to have your PC crash, especially on a specific moment that you need it the most. It happened to me 6 years ago, when I was submitting my thesis. The week before the deadline, my PC crashed, and everything on it was wiped out. I had to retype my three-month old thesis in 2 days. By God’s grace I pulled it off and managed to end up with a 1.25 on my final paper.

Some say they are the best, while others equally claim domination as the best antivirus in the world. Here and now, we’ll let you decide on which of these are the best:


Prayer For The Day_03282010

Dear Lord,
Thank you once again for another beautiful day you have given to us. This day is special, because this is Your day. Thank you for the privilege that we could gather together in Your place of worship, and sing praises that glorify Your name. Thank you for your grace and mercy that continues to abound in our lives each day.

Today, the whole world is set to remember the day that you triumphantly entered the walls of Jerusalem. People are preparing their palms for this day’s celebrations.

My prayer is that they will fully understand the true meaning of what palm Sunday is all about. I realized that 2000 years ago, when you entered Jerusalem, the people who were waving their palm leaves and clothes to welcome you, were the very same people who condemned you to the cross days after. Lord, my prayer is that more than just this celebrating this day, people would truly have the meaning of all of this–that they will come to know you as their Lord and Personal Savior.

Bless the message that You have prepared in me for Your people. May they understand what Your death, burial and resurrection is for all of us. May this season be significant not just for this week, but for the rest of their lives.

In Jesus’ Name.

Amen


Napag-uusapan Lang Naman 24

Campaign season for the local elections officially started yesterday. While the campaign for the national elective positions had been going on 45 days ago, the feeling of the campaign at the local level is a totally different story.

A friend of mine has branded the campaign season as the season of deception. Deception, because the candidates, in the attempt of wooing the voters to favor them with their sacred vote, will do, say, sound and look like anything other than the truth. Of course, no one running for an elective position would want to engage in a conflict with his patrons, especially if he knows he’s way down there in the ratings. Compromise is the name of the game, if not fraudulence.

As for me, I have my own opinion about the validity, or to say the least the integrity, of this campaign stretch. I believe there are sincere, honest and dignified politicians out there who deserve something else more than just being branded as a lying candidate. There are people who DO say the truth. There are people who have strong character enough for them not to give a half-truth or a white lie. There people who are man enough to admit that he is mistaken, weak, incapable, or infamous–words that spell doom for any candidate. Nobody wants to lose, but not everyone is willing to win dishonestly. There are still those who value integrity.

It’s just that some voters don’t.

I don’t think deception is brand that only the politicians deserve. I think even the voters themselves can be guilty of beguiling their candidates so that they, too, can ask favors from their politicians. If you think the politicians are the only ones whose corrupt, I suggest you take a long, hard look at those citizens who, either consciously or subconsciously, push their politicians to be corrupt.

I think politics is not necessarily dirty. And I don’t think all politicians are dirty as well. There are some who obviously are, and they can infect even the clean, honest ones to be like them. Even the ones who attempt at cleaning up the dirty system are swallowed up whole themselves.

After all, you can’t clean up something so filthy without getting messed up yourself.


Kids Say The Darnest Things!

I’m supposed to do a congratulatory blog for Timothy. But the pictures aren’t up for downloading yet. So, I decided to push for another blog post instead of coming with Tim’s but lacking the visual aids. Anyways, I thought of putting up this youtube video of a classic compilation of the show Art Linkletter’s House Party hosted by Art Linkletter, as a prelude to my kid brother’s post next time. He is my closest proof that indeed, kids say the darnest things!


Silver Is Not Second Best

(This will be my inspirational message this afternoon for the recognition ceremonies of my alma mater, the Metropolitan International Christian Academy. My kid brother Tim is also graduating today from prep! Congrats bunso! I’ll give you a blog post on Tim tomorrow. For now, here’s my message to the graduates of MICA for this year’s Recognition Ceremonies, with the theme, “Refined As Silver for the Master.”)


Today, medals and trophies were given out to some of our deserving students who did their best in their studies. Some were awarded the most coveted of all awards—the gold medal awards. Maybe some of those who were awarded with a gold medal this year were awarded also of gold medals last year. Wouldn’t you love to have your picture taken with a gold medal hanging in your neck?

And for others, well, they got the silver medal.

Some of those who received silver medals must be thinking, “I was this close to making it gold this year!” Some of you must have received gold last year, and this year, your medal is silver. You’re probably thinking, “Sayang naman, ako dapat yung may gold medal!”

I know the feeling of receiving a silver medal. On my last day here at MICA as a student 14 years ago, I got the silver medal as the class salutatorian. I worked hard to try to earn the gold one, but our class valedictorian must have worked doubly harder than me, and that’s why she got the gold medal. I would have been a lot happier if I got the gold medal.

But, I wouldn’t be sad at all for getting silver.

Some would say silver is always for second placers. And they say that second placers are the first losers. Well, I disagree. I don’t think silver is necessarily just second best. And I am not the only one who disagrees with the concept of silver as just second best—even the Bible disagrees. Why? Because the Bible itself uses silver in so many illustrations, object lessons, and symbolisms, to highlight its worth and value.

In the text that we read silver is used to symbolize the Word of God. Silver is known for its purity, solidity, and duration. That is why long before gold was minted for coins, silver has been the primary mineral used for minting the earliest known currencies.

Wisdom is also likened unto silver. Silver is one of the most valuable minerals in the world. The quest of searching this material is not an easy one. While abundance favors gold with more value, it is the difficulty of removing the dross out of the silver that makes it a high valued precious stone. Finding wisdom is hard these days, because people no longer take heed of God’s word. A person who has found, and continues to search for wisdom is like a person who will labor with all his strength to find the silver he has long searched for.

In Proverbs 10:20, “The tongue of the just is as choice silver…” A person whose lips has been sanctified and is being used to utter godly words and testimonies is said to have something as precious as silver. But the true reason for a person’s “silver lips” is his character. What pure contents there are in a person’s heart, the same is revealed as he opens his lips.

Silver is also one of our enduring rewards as believers on that day that we shall be judged by God Almighty. It is an enduring reward because the Refiner’s Fire cannot destroy it. In fact, because fire cannot destroy silver, all it will do is purify it even more. This reward will reveal that our work here on earth is not in vain.

And finally, as to the believer’s service to God, silver is used to characterize the sanctified servant, a believer whose life has been purged from the clutches of worldliness, and is not being used as an instrument fit for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

Silver is valuable, but it is only so once the impurities have been removed. A tarnished silver item is always ignored and set aside—what masters are looking for are pure, untarnished silver. In the same fashion, we, the silver vessels of God, are being tarnished by sin, worldliness, and the working power of Satan. He wants to put in ungodly admixtures in our lives so that we cannot be useful to God anymore.

The beautiful thing about God is that as our Master, he patiently and steadily purifies us each day from the dross of sin, so that one day we would shine as pure silver before Him. Then, He will now put us into good use—a vessel unto honor.

The challenge for us today is to be the best. Silver does not always mean you are second best. Being a refined silver for the Master means being excellent, steadfast, firm, and determined in anything that you do.

Be the refined silver the Master wants you to be today!


Oo Nga Naman 26

1. Two old friends met one day after many years. One attended college, and now was very successful. The other had not attended college and never had much ambition. The successful one said, “How has everything been going with you?”

“Well, one day I opened the Bible at random, and dropped my finger on a word and it was oil. So, I invested in oil, and boy, did the oil wells gush. Then another day I dropped my finger on another word and it was gold. So, I invested in gold and those mines really produced. Now, I’m as rich as Rockefeller.” The successful friend was so impressed that he rushed to his hotel, grabbed a Gideon Bible, flipped it open, and dropped his finger on a page. He opened his eyes and his finger rested on the words, “Judas hanged himself.”

2. A backslidden Christian was spotted by his pastor walking past the church. The pastor with calm and composure tapped the guy and said, “You should join the army of the Lord!”

The Christian said, “But pastor I am part of the army of the Lord already!” The pastor remarked, “But I only see you here during Christmas and Thanksgiving services!” to which the guy said, “well, pastor, you see… I’m in the secret service.”

3. The pastor announced one time, “After the service today, we are going to meet with all the Board members of the church.” Apparently, a backslidden member of the church had attended the service that time, and joined the meeting. The director of the board noticed the guy and told him it was the meeting of the board members.

“Oh, but I am a bored member, sir!”