Sunday, March 31, 2013
Just yesterday, me and my wife, Olive have gone through some sort of petty argument over something which made us not talk with each other for a while. You know, we’ve been married for almost seventeen years now and I’ve already discovered that marriage life is not always that smooth every day. Though we’ve always wanted to, things don’t frequently come that way. Irritation do really come, and I surmise that’s just part of God’s way in making relationship grow and truly work as long as everything is seen in the perspective of love.
Thank God that as of this writing, everything is getting better and things were all settled by now. Consequently, the incident inspired me to write something about marriage.
Experts say that there are about eight (8) wonders in the world today. As we all know, among the list is the Great Wall of China, the towering pyramids of Egypt, another two (2), of course, here in the Philippines, including the Rice Terraces in Banaue, etcetera.
Authorities may be right, but would it be fair if I give my side preference by saying that there are actually nine (9) wonders in the world today? And the last but not the least, please fasten your seatbelts, is the union of two (2) persons, male and female, in marriage.
What are you talking about, Mr. Ed? How could that be since such union is normal and just a usual occurrence anywhere in the world since time immemorial? Well, you might be right in that observation but would you believe if I tell you that the woman was actually a part of a man, a part of his ribs, being taken by God and formed into a woman predestined to meet the man, who owns her, at an appointed time? Are you now wondering of what I’m talking about here? Well, I suppose this is a mystery.
To make it clearer, I now invite to the scripture where it says, “So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” (Gen. 2: 21-22)
Mr. Ed, if you’re accurate in what you’re saying, why is it that lots of marriages now-a-days end up in failure and turned out to be unsuccessful? Well, that maybe what makes it as the ninth wonders of the world I suppose.
It is really amazing to think that since marriage is divinely orchestrated by God uniting two souls to be one, why is it that successful marriage is still elusive considering that it should be perfect already since God, Himself, designed it?
Marriage is supposed to be one of the most wonderful gift of God to man. It is through this union that the divine purposes of God for both the husband and wife could be achieved easily and smoothly assuring them of attaining complete meaning and fulfillment in life. However, because of the ultimate mistake committed by the original couple, Adam and Eve, this original intent of God for bliss in marriage was ruined. The original couple committed treason against the Lord by virtue of disobedience thereby giving access for the enemy, the devil, to cut-off the stream of blessing from the LORD and further giving him license to sow discord in marriages.
But thank the LORD, for God is still God! Nobody could ever thwart His purposes and original intent. In the book of Isaiah, it says, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, 'My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.'” (Isa. 46: 10)
Though the man had committed an ultimate mistake, God in His loving mercy, made the way to resolve the issue by making an ultimate remedy, a complete answer, to restore God’s original intent for both the husband and wife.
When God incarnated Himself through Jesus Christ, a great rejoicing of heavenly hosts was exhibited in the heavenly realms, and it was during the Easter that God made a fatal blow upon the head of the serpent that crushed his head and lost his grip and power upon the affairs of men especially of those who declared their allegiance in the lordship of Jesus Christ.
Finally, it was during the resurrection that the ultimate victory was manifested. The works of the enemy to steal, kill, and destroy, was finished, because the Son of God brought back life once again in its full abundance in favor of the children of God.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – Jn. 10: 10
The good news now is that the benefit of the Easter has also paved the way to bring life again to every married couple whose relationship had been marred by the enemy’s deceitful schemes.
My friend, the word of the LORD says in Ecclesiastes, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Eccles. 3: 1). This is now the time and the right season to re-dedicate your marriage to God. His plan is to bring life again into your marriage and having it to the full.
Married couple, may I ask you to join your hands together as I usher you to utter with love this simple prayer:
“LORD Jesus, we humble ourselves before You, acknowledging that it is only through You that life can be restored in our marriage. Forgive us from all our sins, and as we surrender our lives before You, we ask You to bring complete healing to our marriage. And right now, we do believe and claim the full benefits of Your resurrection. Amen.”
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The Lenten season is one of the few things cherished by most Filipinos. It is during this period that they take a long break and enjoy their vacation from tedious work especially that this season falls right during summer. They love to spend the holiday in beaches, resorts, and other pleasant places where they invest time with their families, friends, relatives, and loved ones.
It is also during this season that some Catholics, tourists, and observers throng in known places like Pampanga to witness the traditional re-enactment of the passion of Christ. They enjoy seeing plays that portray the suffering Savior represented by individuals who made a pre-arranged vow to be beaten, whipped, hanged, and nailed on a tree/ cross. Other devotees visit familiar places like Pangasinan to pay homage on what they believe to be of sacred value. These practices, along with other rituals, were believed to be observed to gain favor from Deity.
I don’t want to question the motives nor prejudge the intention of my fellow Kababayans (Filipinos) who regularly observe certain rituals as mentioned. I love my fellow Kababayans so I don’t want them to be deprived of this opportunity to point out some valid reasons as to why certain practices are being observed, thereby giving them a fair chance to evaluate some matters and find a cordial middle ground where, in one way or another, truth may come into sight.
Why certain rituals are observed?
Most rituals are generational in nature. They had been passed from generation to generation, and things of these nature were believed to be good and acceptable regardless of the source of its origin.
Leaders, priests, and elders who happened to be the spiritual figure of the community can evoke strong influence to the people that every word they say is considered true and acceptable.
People are comfort-oriented by nature. They love to stay in a familiar tradition and what is conventional rather than try the new but unfamiliar one. Truth is based solely on tradition and on what is customary.
In this regard, can we really blame the people for observing certain rituals and practices considering that everybody does them anyway? Just because everybody does certain things doesn’t necessarily mean that such practices are right. We still need to make careful study based on what is really authentic and true, so that people may truly be enlightened and released from the bondage of wrong belief.
In the book of John, the scripture says, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8: 31(b) - 32)
The truth of the matter is that, the Lenten season should be the time for us to ponder, meditate, and appreciate the goodness and love of God for saving us all through the death and resurrection of His dear son, Jesus. It really doesn’t matter whether you commemorate it at home or anywhere else you want to, as long as you can internalize and capture the real essence and meaning of the season, that we may now live a fruitful and abundant life by surrendering our lives and allegiance to the only Savior, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His life because of His wonderful love for the whole of humanity.
There is actually no need for us to succumb ourselves to pain by duplicating, imitating, and repeating what Christ did on the cross, believing that by doing so, we can gain special favor from God. This is a blatant lie considering that Jesus Christ has already offered the ultimate sacrifice for the salvation of mankind and no other sinful human being can impersonate what Jesus did, for He is the only Savior and Lord.
The book of John is clear when it says, “I (Jesus) am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn. 14: 6)
The time to gather our family and friends together to celebrate the season is laudable and good, and we can do better than that by not forgetting the real significance of the season and not just use the occasion for mere vacation, relaxation, and worst, dwell on unfounded beliefs brought by tradition.
The time to visit sacred places and witness Lenten plays is quite admirable. But why not consider doing a better option, by praising, worshiping, adoring, and thanking the Man of the Season, no other than Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God!
Have a blessed Lenten Season!!
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
In a free nation like U.S. whose government embraces Democracy, it’s really a great privilege for the citizens to choose their leaders to run the government by exercising their right of suffrage through election. Through this event, the people shall have the opportunity to vote for leaders of their choice. This is also the chance to remove from power politicians who were proven incompetent and ineffective. Citizens are hopeful that through this exercise, their lives will get better once the leaders they elected got the majority of the votes, declared winners, and shall soon govern the nation.
But what are the usual scenarios once the election has been held and elected officials already sat in power? At first, the people’s expectation is high, confident that the promises made and given to them shall be delivered. But unfortunately, sooner or later, promises made to them become all fairy tales, broken, and they end up frustrated, exploited, and disappointed.
This summer in May, my beloved country, the Philippines will have the privilege for its citizens to take hold of the benefit of Democracy through the historic election. Filipinos will once again have the opportunity to correct their mistake of the past by a wrong choice of candidates elected for position of offices. This is now our chance to be more prudent in our selection of future leaders who will not pretend to be somebody they are not, thereby
betraying the trust of the people. God-and-nation loving Filipinos shall now ensure that they are fully aware of their eternal accountability should they be negligent, indifferent, and self-serving on their choice of leaders in this coming election on May 13, 2013. It is now time for Filipinos to rally behind justice and righteousness in governance, and this can only start out through the sanctity of the ballot.
I just remember the book of Proverbs, which says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Prov. 14: 34, ESV)
It is in this context that I, a retired military, support a certain candidate on his senatorial bid. This man is known for his love of God, country, and the people. Though he didn’t make it to be in the Presidency during the last elections of 2004 and 2010, divine intervention, coupled with his tenacity, placed him officially to be in the senatorial race. And I’m very confident and hopeful that this time, Eddie Villanueva (a.k.a. Bro. Eddie) is going to make it and will be able to join the core of senatorial winners who will shape the nation for the next six years.
Bro. Eddie, if elected as senator, shall satisfy the aspiration of the people, whom their expectation will not be placed in vain. As one traces this man’s track record, it will be found that his competence and integrity shall not be questioned. He shall be a catalyst that will boost the nation to move forward in genuine progress.
As the election draws nigh, my team, led by a former lady school teacher, continues to storm our town, Bgy. Villamor, campaigning for this man whom we know shall not betray the trust of the people.
Bro. Eddie’s winnability for this coming election is not far from reality for we, ourselves, witnessed the positive comments and affirmation of the people in the community. I still vividly remember one comment from a retired Colonel who quipped, “Pasok na ‘to!” which means that this is now the time for this guy to win. I also overheard a lady saying, “Pasok na pasok na ‘to si Bro. Eddie!” which means that the guy will now surely win.
People are now tired of broken promises made by traditional politicians, and this election in May shall be the answer for the people’s dream to come into fruition.
Consequently, we will continue to work campaigning for Bro. Eddie, as though everything depends on us. And we will also pray as though everything depends on God.
In the meantime, we humbly ask all our friends around the world to support us in prayer so that this election will be peaceful, honest and orderly. We may also solicit for your help to, likewise, ask your Filipino friends to support Bro. Eddie for Senator.
God bless America! God bless Israel! God bless the Philippines! God bless all the nations of the world!
Saturday, March 16, 2013
The story is told about a certain lady named Mila. Mila is working in a company for two years. Sensing other opportunity outside, she resigned from her job and grab the one opened up for her. After a year of working from this job, she again left her second job and look for a third one, then for a fourth one, fifth one and so on.
Not finding real satisfaction from her job as an employee, she put up her own business and started out excited as an employer. However, after less than a year of running her business, Mila wants to leave and go to work again as an employee.
Anyone you know like Mila? The story looks familiar, isn’t it? In fact, there are a lot of Milas in the world today, running from one job to another. After encountering a little hardship here, a little friction there with their boss and co-workers, they immediately run. A little irritation would trigger them to escape and take the shortest route. What they thought to be an easy road,
however, would actually turn out to be a “rotunda” circle giving them no direction at all.
On the other side of the coin, there are those who stayed on a job they do not like. Even if they don’t love it and are not really enjoying it, they have no other recourse but to stay on it. Their main reason for remaining is because the job provides for their needs, so they would just bear all the unnecessary stress just for them to earn a living. When opportunities arise for a change, they won’t venture out for the unfamiliar.
Both of the above cases are the condition of a lot of people today. They are really confused, burdened, dissatisfied, unfulfilled and without direction.
Just like a roller coaster they just keep on rolling and spinning in the avenue of life, going nowhere.
If you find yourself in the same condition, don’t worry! Don’t lose hope! Rejoice! It may be that the Providence allowed you to find this blog for you to find your niche in life. You see, a lot of people today have lost their track especially now that emerging gurus are proliferating everywhere giving advice of various kinds causing people to sway from what is really intended for them.
You are not alone this journey. In fact, I, myself, have the same experience
before. That’s why I’m so eager and have the courage to share with you what I did to find the right direction again.
You see each individual person is created unique and especial. Whether you believe it or not, you have a purpose especially intended for you and until you find that purpose, you’ll never find the right direction, the way towards a fulfilling in life.
Just like any gadgets you have in your house, the manufacturer has intended a purpose for each of them. You will only find the exact and complete purpose of a gadget through its manufacturer. There is no better way who could guide us accurately except him.
Just so with us as human beings. There is no other way we could ever find our purpose except through our Manufacturer, the Sovereign Lord. I might be sounding religious here but that’s the way it is. No other option could lead us towards an authentic direction.
In the book of Matthew it says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (Matt. 6:33)
I firmly believe without any iota of doubt that the Sovereign Lord, Himself, is the way not only towards heaven but also the way towards our life’s purpose, direction, and the elusive fulfillment in life.
If we can really capture this Truth, everything else in our life will fall into its proper places... Why not ask Him?
Have a blessed day!
Friday, March 15, 2013
GOD is really good He uses various ways to speak to us and give His message to His people. Usually, God speaks to us through His Word in the Bible and sometimes He taps other people to bring to us what He wants us to know. In other times He even utilizes dreams to make us aware that He has something important to tell us.
Just while ago I was awakened by a dream. In my dream I was in a place where I was taking a course/ schooling along with my friends/ classmates. As we were taking our break for the next subject, I noticed that it’s already time for us to proceed and attend the class but to my surprise, some of my classmates, in fact majority of them, did not even lift a finger to show that they will go and attend the next class.
Five minutes have passed and they are still busy doing their own thing seemingly unmindful that we were on schooling. Another five minutes have passed, and this time I decided to go ahead of them and attend the class, anyway, even without them.
As I was walking towards the place, I was suddenly awakened realizing that I was only dreaming. To tell you frankly, I was a little bit upset over this, shall I say, cut-off dream. Who would ever want such, anyway. I think, not even you.
As we were taking our breakfast with my kids, Johanna & Caleb, I told them about this dream and jokingly related to them that maybe there is a moral story here. And truly indeed, there was and it was not only a story with a moral sense but in fact ... the LORD seems to be speaking here.
It’s good that I could still chew my food while contemplating about what the LORD seems to be saying here. And thankfully, I got the message as I excitingly told them to my kids. This is the message:
Sometimes, God will bid us to do something that doesn’t make sense with our friends, peers, churchmates, and even loved ones. These are things that seem to be awkward to them at the present. However, if we have the conviction and the confirmation that the thing is really from God, we shouldn’t allow these well-meaning people to deter us from obeying Him even if we are the only one to believe and do it. Oftentimes, the LORD is in the minority and not in the majority... I am just reminded of what the apostle Paul has said to the Galatians:
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Gal. 1: 10 (NIV)
Have a blessed day!
Thursday, March 14, 2013
By: Z. Ziglar
Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD! – Psalm 27: 14
WAITING IS INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT. Author and pastor Charles Swindoll says it’s the hardest thing Christians have to do. Because we live in an instant society, we’re not used to waiting for anything. But God uses the discipline of waiting to teach us lessons we can’t learn any other way.
Sometimes God puts the brakes on our plans because He wants to teach us an important lesson and He has to get our attention. Occasionally, God puts up a stop sign to keep us from going in a certain direction because He wants to redirect us. Quite often, we’re so sure we’re headed the right way that we won’t listen unless He stops us dead in our tracks. Of course, we sometimes need God to grab us and stop the runaway train of our lives because we’ve sinned and we need to repent.
Waiting can be especially difficult when it seems as if everything in our lives is stuck at a red light, but He may be preparing a person or a situation so that when we proceed again He can work even more powerfully.
To us, waiting seems like a waste – or worse, it feels like things will never be right again. When we have to wait, we shouldn’t just sit and fritter away the time. We should pursue God with all our hearts, try to determine the reason God wants us to wait, and trust His goodness and timing because He is, after all, God.