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Showing posts from August, 2012

The Butterfly that Refused to Fly

Once, I heard this story of two butterflies - both breaking out from their cocoons and now they suddenly have wings. The first butterfly was so excited to fly. Turning to her friend, she said, "Benny let's fly, we were made to fly." But unlike her, the second one, Benny the Butterfly, preferred the comforts of his cocoon and thought, "Oh no, I'll just stay here." The first butterfly said to him, "But Benny, we were made to fly." Still Benny the Butterfly refused. He watched as his friend, flapped her wings and started the adventure of trying out her wings and flying.

The story is from Chip Ingram, pastor of Living on the Edge. Chip describes two types of Christians. One is free, bearing fruit and flying in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. While the other one received Christ and yet is not living the Spirit-filled wonder of living daily by faith, fellowship and transformation. The other has no difference from when they accepted Christ. People ca…

The Year of God's Favor

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor...
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion --
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins

and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations,

... you will be called priests of the Lord,

you will be called ministers of our God. 
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.

Instead of their shame

my people will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
they will rejoice …

Praying for Nations

Yesterday, I was supposed to be praying for our Single's Camp and I was excited. I started going to the public urban gardens that we have here in Makati City close to where I work. It's such a nice place to pray and reflect amidst the hustle and bustle of work life which takes most of the daily hours in Makati City. I was supposed to pray for the refreshment of the Singles in our church. 
I started with a prayer I knew from my heart. It was the Lord's Prayer:

Our Father,
Thou art in heaven.
Holy be thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.

Suddenly, I had the burden to pray for nations that were being planted in my heart. I would silently bring them to mind and turn them over to God. Some that I could remember where Japan, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Singapore, Malaysia, Namibia, Aruba, Trinidad…

God Cross-Examines Job

Four days ago, I was watching ANC Channel's Square Off debates on the topic of grounds for disqualification of a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The teams that time were law students from the Ateneo University in the affirmative and the University of the Philippines in the opposing side. Each member of the team is given time to present his or her argument and then a member of the opposing team cross-examines the argument made with yes or no questions.

From what I saw, I think both teams were prepared and confident to take on the other team's arguments. Of course, I was fascinated how one can examine the argument of another and try to get the other person (and of course the members of the jury and the audience) to have a different perspective of the argument made.

The Book of Job was written between 2000 and 1800 B.C. according to Biblical scholars. In it, one would see the trials of Job as he strives to remain faithful to God. He lost his children, his possessions, his own…

G-race and F-aith

The "G" word: GRACE

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.(Ephesians 2:8-9)

Salvation is by grace, not by good works. We don't earn it. We receive it as a gift that we do not deserve. 




The "F" word: FAITH

We receive salvation - eternal life - and redemption of sins by FAITH. Faith is believing that Jesus came to save us from our sins to bring us hope of eternal life. Faith is saying, "I turn to you Lord Jesus and I don't trust in myself - my good works - to save me. I trust you alone, not a pastor or priest nor a saint, but YOU alone. I realize that I cannot save myself and I need you to come into my life. Only you can save me."


“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again…

Your Impact Beyond Numbers

In spiritual matters, the impact of your life is not always measured by numbers. Understand  your calling will be tested. Your life will be tested. You won't always get the results quickly. Your perseverance will be tested. Sometimes it will be tempting to quit being good, doing good and serving.

However, God honors the life that has been faithful to Him, even in times of testing. God honors perseverance. God honors that things are not just done right but with the right intentions and the right way in the direction that pleases God. Besides, if your reward is ultimately in heaven, why would the numbers matter.

It's not every time that you will be recognized, serve anyway. It's not every time that people will say, "thank you," do it anyway. It's not every time that people will notice, commit to it anyway. Don't measure the impact of your life by numbers. In spiritual matters, faithfulness, availability and obedience are as important.

It may be different in…

Measuring Our Life Impact

Is the significance of our life in Twitter followers, achievements, title, status? Is it by the weight of the assignment, the decision-making role given? Where do you draw the line between a significant role and an insignificant role? How do you know you made an impact at the end of your life?

These are the kind of questions that unbelievably drew me to the search for God. There are many accounts in the Bible where God used people just as they were - their personalities, interests, career, background, gifts, talents, training. And He used them all to glorify Him. Whatever age they were. Whatever status. Whatever their vocation was. It did not stop God from using them.
The life that God uses is a life that is available to Him. He doesn't require perfection without failures or mistakes which we all agree we cannot achieve. He sent Jesus for that very purpose so we'll be free to live the life we were meant to live, just as we are. We don't have to fit or conform to other peop…

Seeing God from Man's Brilliance and Creativity

I have this theory that the creations people make are sometimes an extension of themselves. I think about Steve Job's products - the Apple Stores, the iPhone and iPad and iPod. I can't help but think how each of these products have an imprint of his marvelous creativity, love for product design and eye for details. He is probably an artist and technologist with a blend of perfectionism. I heard that he wouldn't let a product be released in the market without his personal stamp of approval.

And then I hear of Ray Kurzweil, a known futurist and author of The Singulariy is Near, who created an artificial intelligence character called Ramona, and I admire his brilliant mind and knack for knowing things, reinventing and not being satisfied with the status quo to see how things can get better, made more advanced and at a time frame that is faster and accelerating. Ray Kurzweil is a futurist that has studied the evolution of previous, current technology and has made predictions …