December 31, 2011

Songs for the New Year :)

I've been enjoying listening to these songs (thank you Mellow 94.7) and just realized they're quite appropriate as we welcome the new year. One talks of letting go of the regrets and hate of the past, while the other compels us to keep moving toward our dreams.


Let's. :) 


1.Shake It Out by Florence + the Machine 

I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart

I'm ready to suffer and I'm ready to hope
It's always darkest before the dawn

It's hard to dance
With a devil on your back
So shake him off




2. Paradise by Coldplay 

In the night, the stormy night, she'll close her eyes
In the night, the stormy night, away she'd fly

Dream of Paradise
I know the sun must set to rise

New lessons from ye olde year :)

Behold, I make all things new.
- Jesus




This year I grew up.

I'm still disappointed with things that should have been, that are in my "power" to do something about (read: dissertation)...

But really happy about waiting on God, for His perfect timing and direction (read: work). "Work according to the covenant I made with you," He says, and clear commands demand clear obedience.

For this commandment that I command you today
is not too hard for you, neither is it far off...
But the word is very near you. 
It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
(Deuteronomy 30:11,14)


Clear commands also mean I don't have to doubt or second guess or change my mind anymore. It's no longer about what I feel like doing, but what I should be doing, regardless.

Stability. The ability to fix on a particular course of action... Then actually moving in that direction.

Stability also means not going to extreeeeeemes, swinging heavily back and forth. It's about being balanced and healthy and sane.

I'm learning :)


"I am with you *always*," Jesus said, "Until the end of the age."

Thank You Lord for that. We --- I! --- need all the help I can get!

Thank You for this New Year. I'm excited because I'm armed with all the lessons that I'm learning from 2011.

Help me to honor You first, and trust in You all throughout.


WELCOME 2012!

December 24, 2011

The best reason to celebrate (Christmas)

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us.’”

For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.
And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus,
for he will save his people from their sins.

- from the first verses of the New Testament


Why celebrate Christmas?

Why celebrate Jesus?


Because God is with us,
and He saves His people from their sins.

December 17, 2011

Talk it out!

"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift." [1]

"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother." [2]


For the longest time, my favorite (fictional) person was this mutant mind reader. But I'm neither a mutant nor a mind reader, so I need *communication*. When there is a conflict, problem or issue, there has to be a resolution.

A leader of mine says we tend to judge other people by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intentions. When it comes to *others*, I tend to just be judgmental and assume the worst. This should not be.

The Bible talks about satan, the eternal enemy of God and all His works (including us, His children), who accuses us before God and each other. How many times have I agreed with satan when I serve as judge, jury and executioner towards others?

Remember (preaching to myself):
1. I might be wrong. I do not know all the details.
2. I am just the same, or worse. C.S. Lewis says, "My heart — I need no other’s — showeth me the wickedness of the ungodly." (Thanks for the quote Rayda.) Acknowledging my faults makes it easier to forgive others'.
3. I am not The Judge. I do not have the authority nor the power. I am just a fellow sister.

And that is why communication is important. When there is an issue between two parties:
1. Perhaps it was only a misunderstanding.
2. Perhaps one party did hurt/grieve/injure the other, but unintentionally.
3. Perhaps one or both did injure the other, but why?

All these can be resolved if each party airs his/her/their side... and listens to the other side.

We are different people, but let's take these differences constructively. We can learn from each other and grow. Let's appreciate each other, understand, and celebrate. :)

I'm not a mind-reader, but I am a person with one mouth and two ears. May I use them well.

December 12, 2011

Work! Worry... Worship.

The last three labels (tags) in this blog are:

Work
Worry
Worship

How funny. In that order even.

This season I am called to work. And working leads me to my old lifestyle of fussing over everything, multitasking, rushing on a caffeine high...

In other words, doing things in my own power --- being my own god, life before *the* God.

And then I worry because of the tons of problems that pile up. Or is it me who's just shrinking? And drowning? And I panic because I can't do it and I'm done for, lagot, messed up, in so much trouble...


And then...

I remember God.

I remember that it is He who started the good work *in* me, so it is *He* who will finish it.

That it is *He* who causes me to *will*, and to *act* accordingly.

That *nobody* is perfect but Him alone, and nobody can boast before Him.

That He calls me to obey, to please Him, to bless others, and to bring glory back to Him... And that this is an invitation, not to go back to workaholic Teci, but to let God be God in all aspects of my life.

Because all things are possible, through God, and only through God.


Worship is where we lay all our troubles down and remember what --- Who --- is really more important. The One before Whom we and our petty little issues fade away. But it's OK. Would we rather degenerate squabbling over foolish insignificant matters, or be filled with the God of All Things?

Worship is the start of a new, deeper, fuller relationship with our God.

Let us begin. :)

Worship.

Worship takes my worries away.

Keep away from gossip. Go back to Worship.

Worship the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (NOT me, myself and I!)

What am I listening to? Self-glorifying music, trash talk, appeals to lust and greed and laziness... Go back to worshipping the One True God.

Yesterday I was late again for church. I've been regularly missing the part where people sing to, praise, worship, and celebrate God.

But yesterday, thankfully I stayed behind to catch the worship part in a later service. Now I know what I've been missing.


"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."


Remembering the greatness of my God,
celebrating Who He is and What He is doing,

makes living my life --- nay, the life He lent me ---
so much easier.


Have a great week, everyone. :)

December 3, 2011

Thank You (December 3, 2011)

And I want to thank You
For giving me the best day of my life
And, oh, just to be with You
Is having the best day of my life

 - Dido 


Thank You, Lord, for this season of growth. I'm back to (real) work after four years, and it's my heaviest work load ever. The word "transition" is an understatement. :) This season, it seems that every day I have to make a "life" decision aside from the daily issues of what to wear, eat, and teach. Finally growing into myself, eh? :) 


Thank You for the freedom. I'm listening to Snow Patrol's "Called Out in the Dark", over and over again. The phrase "We do not need to be told" suddenly struck me. I've been obsessing about deciding in accordance with *God's Will*, but how much of that is based out of --- again --- fear? Some decisions are clear enough already, while some options are equally good; do I still have to be told? Thank You for the freedom to decide in the present, for my future.

Interestingly, according to the lyrics sites, the phrase is actually "(our rain-washed histories, well) they do not need to be told." That's a different message, but it still points back to God setting me free from my past. Thank You for the freedom to start anew. 


Thank You for them movies :) I got to watch my top two favorite movies of all time (at least for now) - "One More Chance", and "Easy A", back to back. I love a good story, where you get not just feel-good entertainment, but wisdom too. Thank You Lord, for cable TV, and for Your perfect screening times :) (Thanks also to my previous fave movie, "Forrest Gump", and to a future fave --- may it be completed --- "Redeeming Love".) 


Thank You for all things new. A few days ago, one friend of my father's gave him a phone, and another gave him a battery for his current phone. What seemed redundant at first is now simply providential: I just lost my phone with all contacts, pictures and information therein. So just like that, I get a "new" phone, minus all the baggage of the past. Teci, let's not waste this opportunity to start afresh --- in phone contacts and relationships in general, in work, in life. 


Thank You for my body. Cliche but true --- my body (and yours!) is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. What am I doing to take care of it? I'm slimming down due to stress, and the constraints of time and money. My fitness trainer brother keeps on reminding me that regular exercise is a much better alternative. Hopefully, when I board near UP Diliman, I can get to jog, swim, play football, and do aero/tae/bo/dance again. Help me take care of my body Lord, for my sake and Your glory! 


Thank You for the attention. Nowadays I get a lot of attention, including much intrigue and gossip. While I never asked for fame (!), it is rather useful for a blogger like me who believes she has something to say. (A lot actually.) I used to enjoy corrupting people's minds --- it's a good thing nobody paid much attention then! :p 


Thank You for my bro. Dexter graciously gave me his iPod when I needed to fill in the long commute to work (from San Mateo, Rizal, to FEU in Sampaloc, Manila). I'm now listening to his downloaded Joel Osteen podcasts on overcoming fear and moodiness --- that being consistent and stable are acts of faith. My issues right now are about discipline and self-control and taking responsibility for my actions. "The LORD disciplines those He loves," the Bible tells us twice.

Just a month earlier, while I was (am) still wavering in career decisions, Dex also recommended that I watch "3 Idiots". I said I read about it in Wikipedia already. "No, you have to watch it," and I did that same night on his laptop. Yup, watching it is an experience. And so, Ma'am Teci made her students watch it. (All of them, by the way, are engineering majors like the lead characters.) Thanks bro. 


Thank You for my parents. And their unconditional support. (Need I say more?)


Thank You for new relationships. The old ones are great and are still there, but I'm happy because now I have more. After sixteen years (!) studying, teaching and living in the district of Diliman Quezon City, everything and everyone in old Manila is new for me. I'm learning a lot and am being so blessed by the people I encounter - parental figures (who readily share their advice, exams, food and money hihi), peers (who like me are just a thesis away from graduating!), and students (for me, the one thing better than teaching, is the fact that I'm ministering to people). Just like that, I'm going to Iloilo next month with new friends (Lyza, Sharol, Bless), to attend the wedding of a new friend (Emee). And last night, Emee introduced me to her friend Ann, who just might be our newest colleague. Life is good, no, great.

God says, "It is not good for man to be alone". That's true for me too. On my first day in my new work, I also caught our local church's "Singles' Getaway". I got to talk with one of our pastors (Hi Kuya Edge!) who exhorted me to get out of my way to be with other people whenever I find myself alone. I go back to that advice every now and then. When I was boarding alone, in a new city with nothing but the papers I have to check and the life decisions I have to make, I immediately understood why solitary people are more likely to commit suicide. It's great to be alone with God, preferably quality time with quantity, but the rest of the day is for applying what I've learned, what He's sent me to do. Thank You, thank You for relationships :) 


Thank You for my work. I am currently a physics and math teacher in Far Eastern University - East Asia College. I've grown a lot from the time when I taught out of convenience or comfort or just because everyone else (in my field) is doing it. Now I do it because I want to. I've been a teacher since I was in fifth grade so it was easy to take it for granted. But now, I am realizing how special it is to find something (1) you're really good in, (2) that you love doing, (3) that people would pay you to do, and (4) that blesses everyone involved, including me. 


Thank You for my finances. Thank You for providing for me and I am sorry for ever doubting You. Thank You for taking care of me, and enabling me to support and take care of others too. Thank You even for the season of famine, to remind me that (1) man does not live on bread alone but on Your Word, (2) You are in control, not me nor circumstances, (3) You are the owner but I am a manager/steward. May I be more responsible. :) 


Thank You for clear boundaries. "Everything is permissible," the Bible says, "but not everything is beneficial." I thank You for Your boundaries, so I can thrive within my limits instead of wandering aimlessly. Indeed, these are limits that actually liberate. 


Thank You for having a lot of things to thank about. This was supposed to be a quick blog entry. 


Thank You for You. Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man, said that He came here to give life and life to the full. I am living proof that He does.



How about you, dear reader? Would you like to experience God -- The Answer to all your needs and wants... The One Who Is More Than Enough?

Try inviting Him into your life, to make Himself known to you. To show Himself. If you need help, you can ask for it. (A little humility is worth the answers He's going to give.)

May we all find so many reasons to thank Him, that we can't thank Him enough. :)

November 30, 2011

The God of my future

"My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me."


My friend says, "The concept of a future husband is not biblical." I disagree. My whole life is oriented toward the plans that God has for me --- plans, to the best that I understand them. (Indeed, I should be anchored on God, not on the plans! But the point is I trust God, in what He has revealed, and in how I respond.) Thankfully I've never stopped being friends with the person who said that. God speaks (and we move) in different ways.

I don't know if God tells every person who to marry, what job to take, what country to live in... I can only speak for myself. He revealed many things many times, in that still small voice. And those revelations have only drawn me closer to Him.

I can also say that:
- it's not my will (I've gone through issues that I'd rather not have);
- nor self-delusion (well, let circumstances back my words up),
- nor my own knowledge (I usually see the wisdom of the Leader after I obeyed).
(Not that I'm required to justify how I live my life to other people --- it's not their business.)

Indeed, what is biblical? ==> The fact that God is acting on our behalf, and making it known to us! Is not the Bible a compilation of revelations about the past, present and future?

This blog is called "Teci's Testimony". Here I'm supposed to tell of how great, how good, and how amazing God is. Indeed He is great, He is good, He is amazing --- in my past, in my present, and in my future.

Some people advise not to speak about the "revelation" (in whatever area that is) until it already happened. But by then, what's the point? Isn't that silence a show of unbelief? ("I'll say it only when I'm sure, and I'll be sure only when it happens, *if* it happens...") And how would that convince others that "I am God, who speaks before it comes to pass, that you may know that I am He"?


There is a God, the God of Heaven and Earth,
I know because He made Himself known to me.
He redeemed my past
He is lighting my present
He knows my future
(and sometimes lets me in on it)

True, I don't have to say *everything*. For example, in matters of the heart, men are called to initiate and women are called to respond. Suffice it to say that God speaks to us for our welfare, and God speaks through us for the welfare of others.

In the future, I'll be able to say more
about what the God of my future has always known.
:)

October 29, 2011

Which Witch are you?

It's Halloween again. Which reminds me of witches.

But not really this kind...
 Image from here.
More of this.
Image from here.

Joan of Arc led her country to victory, against the odds, and they handed her to the enemy. She was canonized as a saint, but centuries after the same church burned her as... yes, as a witch.

Joan was accused of being crazy ("she imagined she hears voices") and being demonic ("the voices are real, but they're from the Devil"). Was there no possibility that God is real, or that God did speak to her? And even if they denied her story, how could they deny that they owe France's very survival to her?

In Joan's time, countless people were accused and executed as witches. While the Inquisition and the Salem witch hunts were unjust (to put it mildly), it might surprise some that God is against superstition and the occult. Such mystical practices take away from complete trust in Him. (Read this and this for more details.)

The Bible says, "Offer yourselves as living sacrifices." While our traditional concept of sainthood may involve dying a nobly tragic death, it is much nobler to offer each living moment in obedience to God and service to man.

And if that's not enough motivation, think of the lives cut short simply because they were telling the truth, following God even. Our society is relatively more enlightened - people are not really burned at the stake anymore. Let's not compromise, but rather grab the opportunity to serve God all the more.



P.S. Do watch "The Messenger."

Bigger than God?

Eep!


Panic...


Problem?


Yep.


BIG problem?


Uh-huh.


Bigger than God?


...

Not really.




Alright then.

October 17, 2011

My baby turns 6 :)

My baby turns six... And I'm one proud mommy...

It's been six years to the month since I posted my first blog entry.

Which means, it's been over six years since God said, "Write for Me,"...

And over six years that I've been blessed with the insights from Him, and even more blessed that I get to share them with others...

Just today, our pastor said we are sub-creators and co-workers with God. In the context of writing, that would mean I'm a co-author and collaborator with Him in sharing the Good News. (It's easy to determine who says what --- the impulsive, ungracious trains of thought are mine. :p )

A six-year-old child can already think and act for himself, learn independently even. A six-year-old blog, on the other hand, would survive depending on the relevance of the subject matter and the commitment of its 'parents'. Well, God is nothing if not relevant, but am I still available... and inspired?

The same God who told me to write for Him has also called me to do other things: Work as a science/math/everything-else teacher, Research as a PhD Physics student, Love as a patient single woman. Too busy to write? These days I feel like I'm too busy to breathe!


"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42)


But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. (Revelation 2:4)



Back to first things first: LOVE GOD.

Then... LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Then... Obey. Live my life to the fullest! Maximize! Excellence... Carpe diem!

And... if my schedule permits, or if the Spirit compels, then blog about it. ASAP.


Happy birthday, Teci's Testimony. We still have miles to go before I sleep, so be excited ;)

(And of course, THANK YOU GOD for my growing baby. :) )

September 25, 2011

because i'm (already) with the King

For all my worries and troubles...

because I am already in Christ, and He is already in me...

I'm already king. :)





I'm Already King
by Christian Bautista
from the movie Special Symphony


This is the time
I have to believe
No one can take my faith away

And I’m flying through the night
Flying to the sky
And go higher and higher again
And go higher and higher again

I’m already king
In my own empire
I’m already here
I’ve already reached my desires
No one can take my dreams away

And I’m flying through the night
Flying to the sky
And go higher and higher again
And go higher and higher again

I’m already king
I’m already king

And I’m flying through the night
Flying to the sky
And go higher and higher again
And go higher and higher again

And I’m flying through the night
Flying to the sky
And go higher and higher again
And go higher and higher again

I’m already king
In my own empire
I’m already here
I’ve already reached my desires


Cause I’m with You

September 13, 2011

Glory to God in Miss U 2011

Have you caught the Miss Universe fever? :)  I barely saw the replay but like the rest of my countrymen, I'm so proud of how Miss Philippines honored God above all, even her heart.

"If I had to change my religious beliefs, I would not marry the person that I love because the first person that I love is God who created me and I have my faith and my principles and this is what makes me who I am. And if that person loves me, he should love my God too."
- Shamcey Supsup, Philippines


And... she didn't win. It seemed like a repeat of last year when Miss Jamaica gave, in my humble opinion, the best answer in the final round.

But it's great that Miss Angola's answer also honored her Creator:


"Thank God I'm very satisfied with the way God created me and I wouldn't change a thing. I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family and I intend to follow these for the rest of my life."
- Leila Lopes, Angola (and Ms. Universe 2011!)


'Til next year! Indeed, the Gospel is being shared to all nations... including through international beauty pageants  ;)

September 3, 2011

The God of ... Profit?

Today's "Verse of the Day" at BibleGateway.com:

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
"I am the LORD your God,
who teaches you to profit,
who leads you in the way you should go.”
- Isaiah 48:17


It might seem a bit strange getting money tips from "The Holy One of Israel", but then again, He is the God of all things good and perfect. Plus, I believe the word "profit" has just been given a bad turn by those who abuse their fellowmen with deceit and treachery.

But it is possible to do honest, God-glorifying work, that benefits all parties concerned. And it is possible to receive well-earned rewards, and profit even.

When that happens, let's remember to thank the One who gave us both the talents and the blessings. :)


You shall remember the LORD your God,
for it is He who gives you power to get wealth,
that He may confirm his covenant that He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
- Deuteronomy 8:18

September 1, 2011

Mom's (and Dad's) Forgiveness

An unlikely friendship has formed between the mother of a 9/11 victim and the mother of one of its main conspirators. (More stories like this can be found over at The Forgiveness Project.)

"I have come to see forgiveness as more than a word; it's a context, a process. I don't forgive the act, but trying to understand why someone has acted in the way they have is part of the process of forgiving. Forgiveness is being able to accept another person for being human and fallible."


This reminded me of another scene between two mothers - those of 2Pac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. These rappers were based in rival territories (West Coast vs. East Coast), and both were murdered. Here, their mothers made a public appearance together.



We've heard it said that a mother's love is unconditional. How deep that love must be, to extend even to the *enemies* of her children!

Yet we are also aware of how fallen even our moms can be. God says,

"Can a woman forget her nursing child,
   that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
   yet I will not forget you."
- Isaiah 49:15


As we receive the imperfect love of our human mothers, may we appreciate all the more our Heavenly Father's perfect love.

August 27, 2011

When He says, "This Way"

God reveals His will, not to restrain but to liberate us.
So we can stop agonizing over going left or right
and just go on ahead to obeying. :)


August 21, 2011

The Leader/Follower Prayer

I ask for humility and submission
towards family, friends, and colleagues

When I need to lead, may I lead without dominating
When I have to yield, may I yield without compromising my principles

In the mighty name of Jesus,
Amen.

August 20, 2011

The BIG GULP Prayer

In the past, my 'dangerous prayer' was, "Lord, please give me patience."
Nowadays it's humility. (He really grants these quickly.)


Dear Lord,
     Please remove my ego
     and replace it with Your Spirit
     and Your heart
All glory to You
     means accepting defeat and failure
     but also victory and success
     as long as You and You alone are praised

(Big gulp.)

Amen.

August 18, 2011

Too scared to move?

Sometimes in our fear that we might do something wrong,
We end up not doing anything right either

Sometimes we know all too well what we cannot do,
How about looking at the things we can do?

"We can do ALL things through CHRIST Who strengthens us."
:)

August 17, 2011

Teacher's and teachers' roles

"The greatest of teachers said: 'The seed is the word.'
The true teacher stirs the ground and sows the seed."

     - John Milton Gregory, quoted in "Teaching to Change Lives"

August 13, 2011

For our deaf brothers and sisters :)

Reminder! Tomorrow, our friends from Higher Rock church are holding their monthly fellowship service for our hearing-impaired brothers and sisters. More details here.

May there be many lives blessed, and may there be more outreaches like this. :)

Give because you want to :)

Give because you want to. :)


Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give,
not reluctantly or under compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
- 2 Corinthians 9:7

Just giving (back) the glory, the blessings

The NIV Student Bible explains:

David's prayer at the beginning of temple construction shows why he was a man after God's own heart. Despite all his achievements, he was deeply humble. He wanted glory to go to God, not Himself.


Here's the gist of the prayer from 1 Chronicles 29:

David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,


Praise be to You, O LORD,
God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is Yours.

Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom;
You are exalted as head over all.

Wealth and honor come from You;
You are the ruler of all things.

In Your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.

Now, our God, we give You thanks,
and praise Your glorious name.


But who am I, and who are my people,
that we should be able to give as generously as this?
Everything comes from You,
and we have given You only what comes from Your hand.


As for all this abundance that we have provided
for building You a temple for Your Holy Name,
it comes from Your hand,
and all of it belongs to You.


I know, my God,
that You test the heart and are pleased with integrity.
All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent.
And now I have seen with joy 
how willingly Your people who are here have given to You.


O LORD, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
keep this desire in the hearts of Your people forever,
and keep their hearts loyal to You.


And give my son the wholehearted devotion
to keep Your commands, requirements and decrees.

The strong God is looking for...?

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
     nor His delight in the legs of a man;
the LORD delights in those who fear Him,
     who put their hope in His unfailing love.
(Psalm 147:10-11)


The Lord is a God of strength, as this song amply demonstrates. But power doesn't delight Him. More than anything He loves to be in a close relationship to people who respond to His love. - The New Student Bible, NIV (1992)

Redeeming Love ♥

God loves us at our worst and redeems us to be our best.  

If there's one book that defines me --- or to be more exact, my relationship with God --- it has to be "Redeeming Love". (Thank you again to Jenny and Faye for sharing it with me.)

 
From the official site.


What's the big deal, you may ask. If it's inspired by a Biblical story, what's new in this book? How relevant would it be in this day and age... How relevant would it be to me?

The official site is celebrating the book's 20th anniversary. In the online journal contest, you can read how "Redeeming Love" has impacted others, and vote for your favorite testimonies. You can also share how the book impacted your life, and get a chance to win a trip for two to San Francisco, one of the main settings in the book.

The site also features some excerpts from the book. I can repost some of the parts here, but I might just end up transcribing the whole thing  :p  Just read it for yourself. (I can lend you my copy. c: ) And... prepare to be blessed :)

August 9, 2011

Living, Learning, Teaching

Be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that by testing you may discern
what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
(Romans 12:2)


I bought this book years ago, but never got to read it. At first, I was too busy with my actual teaching duties. Then I left teaching completely, to focus on my dissertation. (As a prof of mine used to say, "How's your Physics problem?" Answer: "It's still a problem.")

I bought this book, heartily recommended it to Ron (who eventually became a teacher too), got it back from her, literally shelved it for years... And now, just as I'm returning to the teacher way of life, this book reappears. (This time, I'm ready, willing and able to actually read it.)




Then and now, I'm remembering my love for my students. Back then, I loved them enough to help them rather than myself, i.e., to teach rather than do my research. And when I could not teach wholeheartedly, I chose not to teach at all.

(Some would say, I have poor work ethic and time management skills. That's right, I'm still learning. But given those weaknesses, I am still standing by the career decisions I made years ago. Hopefully my more responsible colleagues would also use their heart every now and then. ;) )

So now I'm teaching part-time. I love the diversity of the subject matter, and the flexibility of the schedule. And, it's easier for me to interact with the students holistically --- asking "How are you?" and really caring about the answer, rather than just checking on one's grammar or punctuation.

So it's funny that unlike "other" matters, my calling to teach came about in a roundabout way. It is God's will for each of us to be good in some things, and have the desire to master those things and impart what we know. Simply put, that is teaching --- whether you are being paid by a university or hired by your friend's mom's neighbor or asked by your little brother.

Back then, I did not want to do anything that was not explicitly God's will for me. Now... I'm learning that teaching is. :) 


"Teaching to Change Lives: Seven Proven Ways to Make Your Teaching Come Alive," by Dr. Howard Hendricks. Simply written yet highly effective. You can order the book here.

Living Sacrifice: Burnin'!

I appeal to you therefore, brothers,
by the mercies of God,
to present your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that by testing you may discern
what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
- Romans 12:1-2


The same God who has told me in various seasons
to be still and to let go,
to keep silent and then to speak,
to rest, and then to work,
... is now telling me to BURN, SHINE, and LIVE!

Let Your will be done in my life. Amen  :)

August 3, 2011

Give to receive: Teacher learns something new

Today I was pleasantly surprised to learn a new study "trick". Especially since I realized it in the middle of teaching someone else. (Thank You Holy Spirit.)

I'm reminded about why maintaining this blog is a delight and never a chore. It goes beyond the urge for self-expression. Sharing about God blesses not just the hearers but the messenger too. 


A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. 
     - Proverbs 11:25 

By this kind of hard work we must help the weak,
remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said:
"It is more blessed to give than to receive."
     - Acts 20:35 


Indeed, ultimately:

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it,
but whoever loses their life for Me and for the gospel will save it.
     - Jesus (Mark 8:35)


Makes me excited about the new things I'll be learning in the next days. :)

August 2, 2011

A Child-Like Faith

by Lee Strobel 

Excerpts:

Jack would always sit near the front. When the service was over, he would amble over to the pastor who had taught that day and begin talking in a low mumble. His brown hair would be tousled, his clothes disheveled, his tie askew. His face would have stubble and his thick glasses would be smudged.

I don't know the diagnosis of Jack's condition, but for the most part his thinking is unfocused and much of the time his speech is a string of disconnected thoughts. Although he's an adult, talking with him is similar to communicating with a child.

Then one Sunday, when Jack came over to me after the service, I saw that his right arm was in a cast and sling. I pointed to the injury. "Did that hurt?" I asked.

Jack glanced at his arm and then at me. He replied in his halting voice: "I come here...and hear...about Jesus...and I think about...all the pain...he went through...for me...and I think...this was nothing!"

That's when I knew that he understood. "Jack," I said as I reached out to hug him, "that's the most profound thing anyone has said to me for a long time."


(Read the rest of the article here.)

Awake. Arise. Work.

Awake.
Arise.
Work.


From the book of Haggai:

Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory?
How do you see it now?
Is it not as nothing in your eyes?
Yet now be strong... be strong...
Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD.
Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts,
according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt.
My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.
 
Consider: Is the seed yet in the barn?
Indeed, the vine, the fig tree,
the pomegranate, and the olive tree
have yielded nothing.
But from this day on I will bless you.

Flooded with blessings (and a healthy reminder)

(Blessings are now pouring down like today's rains. Thank You.)


"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse,
that there may be food in My house.
Test Me in this,”
says the LORD Almighty,
“and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven
and pour out so much blessing
that there will not be room enough to store it."
 -  Malachi 3:10


Beware lest you say in your heart,
"My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth."
You shall remember the LORD your God,
for it is He who gives you power to get wealth,
that He may confirm his covenant that He swore to your fathers,
as it is this day.
- Deuteronomy 8:17-18

July 27, 2011

What Men Live By

Read "What Men Live By" by Leo Tolstoy. (Thanks Yoonhee for the recommendation. :) )


And God said: 'Go... and learn three truths: Learn 
What dwells in man, 
What is not given to man, and
What men live by. 


"I knew before that God gave life to men and desires that they
should live; now I understood more than that.

"I understood that God does not wish men to live apart, and
therefore he does not reveal to them what each one needs for
himself; but he wishes them to live united, and therefore reveals to
each of them what is necessary for all.

"I have now understood that though it seems to men that they live by
care for themselves, in truth it is love alone by which they live.
He who has love, is in God, and God is in him, for God is love."

July 25, 2011

July 23, 2011

This is the day.

And in that moment she realizes,
“This is the day when the promise of God comes true.”
(From the Mars Hill Church blog.)


Tomorrow I'll celebrate my birthday
Monday marks the first day of the 30th year of my life

And I'm celebrating because
     my priorities have shifted
     my direction has become clearer
     my will is becoming more submitted to His


"He must become greater, I must become less."
     - John the Baptist


That is my birthday wish, and I am excited
Because as long as I tag along for the ride,
I get to live for Him (the best possible life)
and He is glorified.

July 15, 2011

Just speak His Word

The Prince of Peace did not come to bring peace
but a sword
Either you're for Him or against Him
Either you're against Him or for Him
There is no middle way


God says,

"There will be times when people will be hurt
Just speak My Word
That is enough."


His Word is His Sword
Double-edged, because both messenger and receiver are fallen
We all realize how far we are from The Holy of Holies
But we all have a choice too
To recognize how far He's come, how much He's done, and let Him save us
Or to make the rescue attempt ourselves (good luck)
Or to say we don't need a hero, thank you very much

When the Sword falls and divides
flesh from flesh and soul from Spirit
on which side will you be?

Seek what they sought.

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise.
Seek what they sought.
- Matsuo Basho


Pursue God, not the godly.
- Teci Pulido :)


Don't get close to me, get close to God.
- bumper sticker :)


I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God."
- John the apostle, Revelation 22:8-9

July 14, 2011

He creates no pests

Have you ever wondered why God created pests like *that person*? Well, how about pests in general? ThinkChristian gives an insightful look at a child's question: "Why did God create mosquitoes?"

Who wants a mouse in their house? (Sorry Mickey.) From here. 


1. Well, who decides what is a pest anyway?

2. Whatever may be a pest to me may be a precious in His sight, a unique special creation.

3. I must admit the many times I was (am) a pest to God and to people... Thank God He hasn't sprayed divine insecticide (yet) in anger and frustration. Thank God He has not given up on me yet.

4. He can turn pests into precious children. Nay, that's what He has always intended for us to be, if we just continue to let Him do His work in us.

5. Makes it *much* easier to deal with the pests in your life, eh?

That the deaf may hear: The Gospel in sign language


Are there people around you who know THE most important life-changing news, yet are muted by fear or laziness? 

What about those who become too deafened by the world's pressures to stop and listen?

Hearing-impaired people have an additional difficulty: the lack of Christians willing to share the Gospel in "their" language, sign. The deaf are one of the largest people groups not yet "reached" by Christianity.

video
Hoping many hearing-impaired brothers and sisters get to "hear" this :)
 
An FSL* Fellowship is held regularly every second Sunday of the month
at Higher Rock Christian Church, 3/F Esna Bldg., Timog Ave., Quezon City. The next fellowship will be on Aug 14 (Sun), 1-3 PM.

Everyone is welcome to join, help out, and invite our deaf loved ones to finally "hear" and receive God's Good News, which is for everyone indeed. God bless you. :)


*FSL = Filipino Sign Language
(Thanks to Ken Bulahan for the video and Cyril Sadia for the link.)

July 12, 2011

When vision is given, action will follow

If you want to build a ship don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery, "Wisdom of the Sands"

Pursue wisdom itself.

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise.
Seek what they sought.
- Matsuo Basho

Natural science and supernatural God

"The scientific explanation for human origins does not admit a supreme being as the creator of life and humans. This is not a rejection or denial of God, merely an acceptance of the limitations of science. By its very nature, science is unable to deal with a supernatural being. Science deals only with nature, with the materials, processes, and life forms of the natural world. God is, by definition, beyond the investigative powers of science."
-  George D. Brown, Jr., "Human Evolution"

July 9, 2011

Empty to Full: Sister Teci

I find it ironic --- but in a funny way, not-cynical-but-more-of-tongue-in-cheek
that I'm more of a nun now that I'm not a Catholic.

Nuns take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience.
And my complete name is Maria Teresa = Mother Teresa ;p

Haha.
And yes, in my past life of godlessness, I never planned on becoming what I am now.
Truly it is His plans and purposes that prevail.

"Throw off everything that hinders..."
In my weak state, I cannot handle romance, money, and my own will (yet)
(But I'm learning!)
And God literally knows what I need to let go of
so I can hang on to Him more
Empty-handed, so I can be full(er)

I'm seeing the value once again of some practices
even those of the Catholic faith, which I left
But in the same way,
again I ask my Catholic brothers and sisters
(and everyone else)
to let go of whatever hinders

Empty hands
Full life :)


Postscript:
All good things come from Him,
and He redeems all things
If there is something hindering you from following God,
set it free and cling to Him
But if obeying Him means standing firm or pursuing something,
then go...  and be filled with more of Himself :)

Ordinary? No such thing.

I believe every one of us can be more EXTRA than ORDINARY. ♥

I believe we all start as seeds that have the ability to grow
But we also have the ability to choose to grow (or not)

If we abide in the Tree of Life
Our source, our literal "roots"
If we recognize our origins
We will determine --- and fulfill --- our respective destinies.

July 3, 2011

That's why we call it "change".

We have a tendency to look for flaws in others... especially if those others are associated with a so-called perfect God.

When something goes wrong (and it will), we find ourselves saying, "Well, well, well... not so holy/good/righteous/perfect (etc.) now, are we? Tsk, tsk..." --- in sinister sneering tones, the condemnation from Satan himself, whose name literally means "enemy".

But should Christians even claim to be perfect? Jesus Himself said, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone." (This passage is further explained here.)

What we follow, we become. The Bible says, we can be transformed more and more into the likeness of God Himself, as we follow Him in Spirit and Truth (the power of the Holy Spirit and the Truth of God's Word).

We don't become gods, with His powers and perfection; rather we become more godly, with His characteristics and character.

There's this common (mis)conception that some people are holier-than-thou: no problems, no fears, no temptations, no sin. Raised on a pedestal impossibly high, the natural tendency is to fall, and the devil laughs.

Yes, we are human, but our God is superhuman:

Following the righteous and holy God means turning away from what is unrighteous and unholy.
  • No hypocrisy --- Yes, sin can be fun but it slowly kills; while living for God can be difficult but is fulfilling and rewarding. If we say God is our God, and we don't follow, isn't that what constitutes hypocrisy?
  • No claims to perfection --- We can only follow Him by His transforming power in us; we can choose to follow, and it gets easier. (The wise man hears God and builds His house of faith on the foundation of obedience.)

That's why Christ is called the Redeemer.

The Cristo Redentor in Brazil. Image from here.


He transforms, He renews, He reclaims the original design.
He forgives, He cleanses, He enables us to draw closer to Him.


We're not perfect. But that's why Christ redeems. That's why we call it "change".

This Cristo Redentor image is from here.

Stress makes His flowers bloom

A typical conversation nowadays:

Person-I-haven't-seen-for-some-time: You're blooming.
Teci: Oh really? But I've been under a lot of stress lately.


All glory to the God who gives us everything we need... plus plus. :)

July 1, 2011

A student's sure answer

A physics major talks about being uncertain (no more) in Christ. (We belong to the same research laboratory and the same local church.)

We finally have a way and right to be certain - no more estimation. We don’t have to estimate whether we have done enough good works to earn ourselves a spot in heaven. We don’t have to worry ourselves to death on whether we’ve believed in Him enough for Him to spare us the pain of hell. Why, because the job is already done. Our sins have been paid at a price (Yes, you’re a sinner and so am I.) Don't get me wrong, there are things that we do have to trust Him for - things in our life that we still do not see. But God will never forsake us. And the one thing that we cannot be uncertain of, he made certain for us already.

Keep on discovering and sharing the truth, Haneka :)

June 30, 2011

This is your LIFE.


This is your LIFE.


1. A picture of mysterious origins. ;)



2. This is Your Life by Switchfoot
(See another good video of the song here.)




3. Meant to Live by Switchfoot

Will Power

Let Your will be done.

But also, let me will Your will

Let Your will be mine as well.

Amen. :)

June 29, 2011

I will wait for You

From "I will wait for you" by Janette...ikz:

"I'll stay in my bed
--- alone ---
and write poems about how I will wait for you." :D


"I will no longer get weighted down...
for my biological clock
when I serve the Author of Time!"


"To my Father...
I desire Your will above mine...
and I will always wait for You Lord." ♥



See Mary's blog for the complete transcribed poem.
Thanks to Cathy for sending me this. :)

June 28, 2011

God's love is patient

How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
     Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
     Take it from the fold of your garment and destroy them!
Yet God my King is from of old,
     working salvation in the midst of the earth.


The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness,
but is patient toward you,
not wishing that any should perish,
but that all should reach repentance.
- 2 Peter 3:9

Revenge vs. Forgiveness

Revenge is bitter.
Forgiveness is divine.

Got bitter friends?

Be a better friend to your bitter friends. :)


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our affliction,
so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction,
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings,
so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

No more frettin'

I keep on forgettin'
That I shouldn't be frettin'
'Coz I already know the (awesome) ending

June 26, 2011

Revived; Single-minded. :)

The apostle James tells it like it is. He starts his letter with:

Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.


Charles Swindoll elaborates on this in his "The Quest for Character" (thanks to Andy for the recommendation):

I suggest we take this passage literally. "Unstable" means unstable. "Driven and tossed" means driven and tossed. Not receiving "anything" means just that. God deliberately holds back when the double-minded person prays. I call that serious.

How much better to be single-minded! No mumbo-jumbo. No religious phony-baloney. No say-one-thing-but-mean-something-else jive. No pharisaic hypocrisy where words come cheap and externals are sickeningly pious. The single-minded are short on creeds and long on deeds.

They care... really care. They are humble... truly humble. They love... genuinely love. They have character... authentic character. 


Mr. Swindoll also includes the following poem (thanks to Nelly for the more reader-friendly format):

Psalm of Single-mindedness
by Joseph Bayly

Lord of reality, make me real
Not plastic, synthetic, pretend phony
An actor playing out his part, hypocrite
I don’t want to keep a prayer list
But to pray
Nor agonise to find your will
But to obey what I already know
To argue theories of inspiration
But submit to your word
I don’t want to explain the difference
Between eros, philos and agape
But to love
I don’t want to sing as if I mean it
I want to mean it
I don’t want to tell it like it is
But to be it, like you want it
I don’t want to think another need me
But I need him, else I’m not complete
I don’t want to tell others how to do it
But to do it
To have to always be right
But admit it when I’m wrong
I don’t want to be a census taker
But an obstetrician
Nor an involved person, a professional
But a friend
I don’t want to be insensitive
But to hurt where other people hurt
Nor to say I know how you feel
But to say GOD knows
And I’ll try, if you’ll be patient with me
And meanwhile I’ll be quiet
I don’t want to scorn the clich├ęs of others
But to mean everything I say
Including this


Truth as fresh as clear living water. I was and am suddenly revived... Matters clearing up... Single-minded. :)

June 24, 2011

Grace + Truth

For the law was given through Moses;
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
- John 1:17


Truth  =>  Humility
Humility  -  Humiliation  =  Grace

Truth - Grace  =  Wrath
Grace - Truth  =  Ignorance

Grace + Truth  <=  JESUS

Be true to your song


Let me remember my song in the night;
let me meditate in my heart.
(Psalm 77:6)


Leave me alone with my song
by Colin Rowe

When there's meaning in the music,
And music in the words,
A song can set the heart at rest
It need not even be the best
Of songs.
As long as it belongs to you alone.

A song is all you need, boy,
The rest is for the birds,
But all the birds have songs of their own
From the highest and mightiest, holiest bird
To the shiest and grubbiest lowliest bird
Each has his own inner song
And that's why I know it's all wrong
That I'm walking away from the song
That is mine ---


I bought  "Tell No Man" by Adela Rogers St. Johns at a secondhand store, not knowing how much it would resonate in my life as a Christ-follower --- then, as a new believer, and now, as a tired person in the world. 
The song above is from a fictional character in a fictional story, but how much can you and I relate? Will we conform to the world and end up as mere shadows and echoes... or will we be true to who we are --- who He destined us to be? 

I choose Your kingdom

Father,

I don't want to be wise in my own eyes.
     I want Your wisdom.

I don't want to judge others and be judged in the same way.
     I want Your grace.

I don't want to earn what I can't afford anyway.
     I want Your love.

Such mindsets that come from the world, I denounce
     I want Your kingdom.

My life; His story

It's hard to compare, even dangerous.
Because there are different callings, but One Source.

Run your own race; live your own life to the full.
HE is its Author and its Finisher.

The Obvious Post

'Obvious,' a teacher of mine said
In our field, the term is near derogatory
It is considered a waste of time pointing out what we all know to be true

But if such a thing is true, and obvious even,
     how come in that person's life
     it's not obvious, but hidden
     perhaps, forgotten

And so I resolve to keep on stating the obvious
     to people who agree with their heads and stop there

I will speak the obvious
     until its truth is seen
     not just in ideals but in actions

The Reward is in the Choice

God is perfectly able to do anything and everything.

It's up to us if we want to join
     and how much of Him we want
     and how much of ourselves we give

Indeed, we can choose
     how much of the rewards (or punishment) we like
     although life without Him is punishment in itself
     and life with Him is its own reward

The tension is here

Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be
I dare you to MOVE
- Switchfoot

A true friend says what is true

Whoever says to the wicked, "You are in the right,"
     will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
     and a good blessing will come upon them.
- Proverbs 24:24-25


Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.
- Proverbs 24:26

Move it!

A little sleep, a little slumber,
     a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
     and want like an armed man.
- Proverbs 24:33-34

False bravado

Surely He scorns the scornful,
     but gives grace to the humble.

- Proverbs 3:34


There are people who act brave and strong
     ... but only in groups
     ... but only towards those who can't or won't fight back

There are people who talk loud and confident
     ... about things they know are lies
     ... about others' faults, instead of facing their own

May you find strength to do what's really brave
     ... to be honest to admit what you have done wrong
     ... to be true to what you know is right
     ... to endure hardship, humiliation, isolation
     ... to take the high road rather than the easy life.

Jesus died on the cross, not because He was weak
     but because He can handle the lies, the pain, and death itself
     all the way to Resurrection Day

May you find real strength when you lean on Him.


For I do not do the good I want,
but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
Now if I do what I do not want,
it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
- Romans 7:19-20, 24-25

But why doesn't that happen to *me*?

In the Bible, or perhaps on TV, or movies, or from your friends, you'd hear of awesome miracles, superhuman tests, or the Holy of Holies or His angels personally interfering in the affairs of man.

"But how come those things don't happen to me?"

Let's make do with what we have;
Let's act on what we do know.

Let's start with the basics. The Bible says spiritual infants need "pure spiritual milk".


The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
- Deuteronomy 29:29

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17


Following God, walking with Him... every step is amazing. We get transformed "from glory to glory", growing to be "more like Christ" as we go along. Just enjoy the ride, relish the process. The wonderful God will do wonderful things with the life yielded to Him. :)

Good Job Passing the Test

Too much suffering? The unfairness of it all? Found something good only to see it fade away?


Naked I came from my mother's womb,
and naked shall I return.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD.
- Job 1:21

Shall we receive good from God,
and shall we not receive evil?
- Job 2:10b

The commentary of my ESV Bible says that the book of Job contains:
- God's loving sovereignty
- the supremacy of divine wisdom over human wisdom
- Believing that God is good despite the apparent evidence to the contrary, Job rested in faith alone.
- I know that my Redeemer lives (Job 19:25).


Centuries after Job prevailed over his test of faith, the apostle James explains:

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

- James 1:12-17

Heart guarded, eyes forward, feet straight

Keep your heart with all vigilance,
     for from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you crooked speech,
     and put devious talk far from you.
Let your eyes look directly forward,
     and your gaze be straight before you.
Make level the path of your feet;
     then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
     turn your foot away from evil.
- Proverbs 4:23-27

For the Insecure

May you find security in the One who made you
     the All-Knowing, All-Powerful, All-Good God

May you recognize your gifts
     that are different from theirs
     but are equally special
     and are equally important

May you find joy in the path He has laid out for you

May your faith in Him increase in good and in bad times

May you find His peace
     for He is with you
     and that's all that matters

May you realize that
     He has already accepted you
     He has already forgiven
     and He is already transforming

In the Mighty Name of Jesus
     Insecurities be gone!
     Be healed!

And may you do unto others
     what God has done unto you.

Amen.

Teci is called to obedience

If I say God is real
     and even that He talks to me
     then why am I so reluctant to follow?

If I say that He is wiser
     then why am I still relying
     on my reason, sense, and judgment?

If I talk about faith
     then why don't I act on it?

Obey not out of fear of hell and other consequences
     obey not to fulfill an obligation

But obey simply out of trust
     that He knows best
     and that He is worthy of my obedience

Light Shines Into Darkness

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
     which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
     they do not know over what they stumble.
(Proverbs 4:18-19)


Light shines into the darkness
not the other way around.

"The kingdom of heaven is advancing."
It is heaven on the offensive
"The gates of hell will not overcome it."
It is hell being defeated

We are on the attack
Forceful men advancing
Aslan on the move

Be not afraid to live and shine. :)
(As a blogger, this means less drafts and notes, and more posts. :D )


You are the light of the world.
A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand,
and it gives light to all in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others,
so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 5:14-16)

June 21, 2011

Straighten out those A's

    ‎"The [general weighted average] is just a measure of being a good student. But does that make you a good person? Does that make you a productive member of society?... It’s not fair to (focus so much on) points... I kind of just forgot it because real life is different. That’s the UP spirit: not just brains, but also a big heart and the hand to serve." - Dr. Gert Gwendale Baron, GWA 1.03 (where perfect GWA = 1). From this article.


It doesn't matter if you got straight A's in school.
Life is what happens outside the classroom.

So what if your head is filled with facts?
Wisdom is making good use of what you know
     --- heck, it's making good use even when you don't know

Has your knowledge guided you in improving your life,
     and those of others, even?
And by "improvement", I don't mean getting rich
     --- we probably all know of people who find more fulfillment
     in giving money than in receiving

Has your knowledge helped you beyond inflating your ego,
     or have you realized that there's no end to erecting that tower
     of pride to the high heavens,
     and that even if you win the rat race
     you're still a rat
?

Straight A's could still lead to crooked living
     (Believe me, I've seen, and I know)

It's one thing to know the right thing and another to do it
     If you're like this
     You probably know this but aren't doing anything about it

Perhaps like Socrates, you only know that you don't know
     and that doesn't help much

If I may just share
     "The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the LORD,"
     where fear means reverence and respect
     for the One who knows all
     for the One who actually knows better than you or me
If there's one thing I know that works, it's this
     Perhaps you know too, or not, or have forgotten

Give Him a try
Test His judgments against yours
And you just might learn something new.

Hurt or Heal?

Hurt people hurt people,
as our pastor would say,
but loved people can love people.

Do we add to the good
or to the evil in this world?

Those who can do better
really do have a responsibility to do so.

To those who don't know the difference, or don't care,
     may you encounter His love and grace
     may His presence fill your being
     may you let Him heal your hurts
Amen.

June 19, 2011

Father's forgiveness

It is much easier to feel a mother's love than that of a father.

But whether one's father has been abusive or absent,
we are called by our Heavenly Father to forgive,
as He Himself has forgiven us.

May we all have a meaningful Fathers' Day. :)

Love given freely leads to freedom

"We celebrate these two occasions today, The Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity and the 150th Birth Anniversary of Jose P. Rizal. May we remember how these transformed a world because of the conscious choices out of love that were made that gave us our freedom in this world and in eternity."


Read the entire article here:
Love–not a feeling, but a conscious choice
By: Fr. Tito Caluag
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Love Chain Reaction

Love yourself and others will do the same
Let God love you completely, perfectly, unconditionally,
... and you can do the same.

How much for the heart?

If a man offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
it would be utterly despised.
- Song of Solomon 8:7

The person, not the package

Jesus loved the rich young man.
Not his riches.
Not his talents, which could be of great use to the kingdom
Not his credentials, his connections,
nor power nor possessions.

Jesus loved him.
But he loved his riches.

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him,
"You lack one thing:
go, sell all that you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven,
and come, follow Me."
Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful,
for he had great possessions.
(Mark 10:21-22)

Another of the disciples said to Him,
"Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
And Jesus said to him,
"Follow Me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead."
(Matthew 8:21-22)

Who --- or what --- do we love the most?