March 30, 2011

The Good News in sign language - May 8

The deaf are one of the largest people groups not yet "reached" by Christianity.

Higher Rock Church in Quezon City will be sharing the Gospel to our deaf brothers and sisters on May 8. Details below. Please pass :) (Thanks to Rayda Gammag for the info.)

March 28, 2011

You first believed

We make a big deal about *our* faith but it's all about God, including *His* faith in seemingly hopeless people like you and me.

You first believed
by Hoku
(listen here)

How many times did I pray You'd find me...
How many wishes on a star,
Gazing off into the dark
Dreaming I'd see Your face
Safe at home unafraid,
Captured in Your embrace.

So many times when my heart was broken,
Visions of You would keep me strong.
You were with me all along,
Guiding my every step.
You are all that I am
And I'll never forget.

It was You, who first believed
In all that I was made to be.
It was You, looking in my eyes.
You held my hand and showed me life.
And I've never been the same,
Since You first believed.

There were times when I thought I'd lost You,
Fearing forever was a dream.
But it wasn't what it seemed,
Placing Your hand in mine,
You could see in the dark,
You were guiding my heart.

It was You, who first believed
In all that I was made to be.
It was You, looking in my eyes.
You held my hand and showed me life.
And I've never been the same,
Since You first believed.

It was You, who first believed
In all that I was made to be.
It was You, looking in my eyes.
You held my hand and You showed me life.
And I've never been the same,
Since You first believed.

How many times did I pray You'd find me...
How many wishes on a star...

March 23, 2011

The Call :)

"The Call" by Regina Spektor, featured in "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian". This video features the lyrics and I hope you take the time to listen.

"Just because they can't feel it too doesn't mean you have to forget." :)

Are you being called? What are you going to do about it?

Take a look around. Each one of us has a unique combination of gifts, personality, background, and sphere of influence. Answer your call and the world will be a far richer place than when you first met it. Don't answer your call and the world wouldn't know what it's missing.

Moreover, if we say we follow God, wouldn't we do what He says? At the end of our life, do we want Him to applaud us as "good and faithful servants", or to cast us out as "wicked and lazy"?

But it's not just about avoiding punishment. I only have one life --- wouldn't I want to live it in the best way possible? Well, the One who gave me life is also giving me directions (the call) and ability (the power) to live that life. He knows the way to having life to the full, in this life and the next. There's no other choice for me but to answer the call and follow. :)

Scripture references:
Luke 6:46-49
Matthew 25:14-30
Philippians 2:13

Worship - worthy

I love the hard-rock worship style of Third Day especially in this song. It emphasizes and reminds me that God is Power and that He is absolutely worthy of our worship.

I especially like this video because it's a compilation of Bible verses matched with contemporary images (taken from Heartlight). Be blessed :)

March 22, 2011

Help Japan - here's how

Please go to Google's Japan Crisis Response for the latest information and the many ways we can help out. And, please do pray. Thank you.

On the road to a righteous nation.

See the official story here: House votes, 212-46, to impeach Gutierrez

The Philippine House of Representatives voted 212-46-4 in favor of impeaching the Ombudsman. Merceditas Gutierrez "betrayed the public trust by inexcusably failing to act promptly on the complaints filed and to file the appropriate cases in court against high ranking government officials.” The many issues of corruption that haunted the previous Arroyo administration could have been addressed and even justly punished, had the Ombudsman done her duty. To add to the drama, the main beneficiary of the Ombudsman's neglect, former president Arroyo, now sits as a representative where the Ombudsman's fate is being decided.

My family "accidentally" tuned into the live coverage of the Congress impeachment vote around midnight yesterday. It seemed important enough: the nation's legislators were still around that late; something important must be going on. True enough, the deputy speaker started calling off the representatives one by one to cast their vote. The reporters said at least 90 votes were needed to advance the impeachment to the Senate, but we lost count. What's happening? How many "yes" votes do we have?

A landslide 212 representatives voted to impeach the Ombudsman. In a country where corruption is widely practiced and even encouraged, such events are truly miraculous. Thank You Lord for bringing righteousness to our nation. The prayer (and the fight) continues. :)

March 18, 2011

Life gives back to Life

I live my life
I do what I do
to give back
to the One who died
so I can be free

I was actually thinking of the people who lived in older times... Those who did not have the liberties I now have. I can choose to take their sacrifice for granted.. Or I can choose to make the most of it.

I choose to honor the dead
(including the One who rose again),
by living...
by living to the full.

March 17, 2011

Born to do it: Writing

It's confirmed. This online quiz tells me what I was born to do.

You Should Be A Poet
"You craft words well, in creative and unexpected ways.
And you have a great talent for evoking beautiful imagery...
Or describing the most intense heartbreak ever.
You're already naturally a poet, even if you've never written a poem." 

But wait, there's more... I took the quiz again and got this:

You Should Be a Film Writer
"You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.
You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.
Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.
And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!

Interestingly, five years ago this same quiz told me I was a romantic writer.

"You see the world as it should be, and this goes double for all matters of the heart.
You can find the romance in any situation, and you would make a talented romance story writer...
And while you may be a traditional romantic, you're just as likely to be drawn to quirky or dark love stories.
As long as it deals with infatuation, heartbreak, and soulmates - you could write it."

Hmmm. Confusing? :) Not really. It seems each of these options are equally possible, equally exciting, and equally fulfilling for me. 

Which simply confirms that I was born to write, period.

I entered college fixed on getting a graduate degree in physics. Physics was my calling --- it still is --- so imagine my surprise when I felt God tell me, 

"Write for Me."

I had enough previous experience to confirm that it really was God speaking to me. But what happened next served as even stronger confirmation --- ideas started to appear, skills started to develop, my voice (my personal writing style) began to take shape. Eventually I even remembered that I used to write for the student paper in elementary and high school --- the talent and the desire were there all along, I just forgot.

And now, this blog is five and a half years old. :)

Dear Lord,
Thank You for revealing Your plans for us, and for me
Thank You for showing me that all gifts come from You alone
Thank You because You give us the desire and the ability to do Your will
Thank You because the greatest fulfillment is in following You

(And now, back to doing the work I love. :) )

March 16, 2011

Love + Justice = Forgiveness

Maybe forgiveness is where love and justice finally meet.
- Angels in America (please see my disclaimer here.)



FACE your fears

and make NEW memories.


March 12, 2011

Why did You let them die?

Whenever we are faced with death and dying, whether it is a loved one getting a terminal disease or a massive disaster like yesterday's tsunami, we might find ourselves asking why. "Why did You let them die?"

But God doesn't want anyone to die. He'd rather everyone return to Him.

God's Word says,

"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming." (2 Peter 3:8-12a)

A clear, in-depth analysis of this passage can be found here.

We cannot control nature and many other circumstances. We cannot avoid death and dying. But we can choose to trust fully in the One who is in control, the One who is Lord of both the living and the dead, the One who died and rose again. 

God is patient with us, giving us countless opportunities to return to Him before our life's candle finally snuffs out. With Him, there is salvation and fullness of life in every way. Without Him, there is only darkness and despair and death, even before one's last breath. Back then, I was dead but didn't really know it. Life --- meaning, purpose, destiny --- only began when I dedicated my life to Him.

What are we waiting for? Tomorrow might be too late.



"Sabi Ni Lord." (Filipino for, "Thus says the Lord.")


March 11, 2011

Appreciate... and Celebrate!

If you only knew how special you are...
you might not be so eager to change.

Who you are is a gift.
Appreciate... and Celebrate. :)

March 8, 2011

Fighting a battle that isn't really ours

People have different beliefs. How far will we go to defend them? When do we submit to authority, and when do we continue fighting?

Here are two perspectives from the article: Transsexual coed tells UP prof: I am not a ‘he’. (Thanks to Cyril Sadia and Michiko Alcanzare for the heads up. :) )

"She also told me that she cannot separate being a Christian from who she was as a teacher. She then continued that she believed that homosexuality was a sin, and it was due to this reason that she cannot allow herself to address and accept me as female...
"My pronouns are MY pronouns. I don't care who your God is, but I will not let you take my gender identity away from me."
- Hender Gercio, transsexual student, "Stop Transphobia/Homophobia in UP Diliman!"

"While it is true that Ma’am Nikki [Del Corro] is the authority figure in the classroom, she has never used her authority to influence the class or Hender herself. Her own address of Hender as il did not stop the rest of the class from referring to Hender as elle and, again, neither did she try to...
"Language and speech have immense power. For Hender, not being addressed as elle is the denial of her identity, her sense of self, the sacredness of her belief, whereas for Ma’am Nikki [Del Corro] words that she chooses, the words that come out of her mouth, this same address of Hender as elle, is a violation of her own sense of self as an evangelical Christian, which puts above all else the authority of the bible.
"If we don’t understand either of these beliefs, if we think one or the other is ultimately wrong, we attempt to inform each other. Failing conversion on either side, we agree to disagree."
- Gercio's classmates, “On Mutual Respect"

The other main character in this issue, professor Dominique del Corro, chooses to remain silent for now as Gercio is still her student this semester. I think she shows much wisdom in tackling a very controversial issue: balancing her personal beliefs, academic authority, and respect for her fellowmen. Even her silence right now shows considerable tact. May we all do the same.

I can relate to this issue on so many levels: as a former UP Diliman teacher, as an undergraduate in the same campus, and yes, as someone who was previously confused but now relies on the Bible's teaching regarding gender and sexuality.

As Christians, we hold on to Jesus as the Only Way, Truth and Life. How does that apply to homosexuality? What about all other issues? How do we point out "sin" while obeying the command to "Love one another"?

"Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not." - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Such issues need to be addressed. Either we are for God or against Him. The good news is, following God does not mean fighting everyone else. We Christians are fighting for our fellowman, by fighting beliefs that run contrary to God's revealed Word. Even better news:

"But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." - Jesus, John 14:26

It's not our battle, not our war. The enemy is not the people we are sharing to, either.

Christians, we have a King --- let's use His weapons: the sword of the Spirit (the word of God, the gospel of Peace), the breastplate of Faith and Love, the helmet of Hope of Salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:8, Ephesians 6:10-17)

Besides, the outcome of the war is already known. The only question is, "Whose side are we on?"

Happy anniversary to the trial that purified me

Being still in these small hours...

Happy anniversary to the trial that purified and refined me... like a blazing fire. :)

What the enemy intended for evil
God intended for good
(Genesis 50:20)
Hallelujah. =)

I posted this song before, but I just have to sing it again. =)

These Small Hours
by Rob Thomas

Let it go
Let it roll right off your shoulder
Don't you know
The hardest part is over
Let it in
Let your clarity define you
In the end
We will only just remember how it feels

Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate
Time falls away
But these small hours
These small hours still remain

Let it slide
Let your troubles fall behind you
Let it shine
Till you feel it all around you
And I don't mind
If it's me you need to turn to
We'll get by
It's the heart that really matters in the end

Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate
Time falls away
But these small hours
These small hours still remain

All of my regret
Will wash away somehow
But I cannot forget
The way I'm feeling now

Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate
Time falls away
But these small hours
These small hours still remain

Time falls away
But these small hours
These little wonders still remain

Happy anniversary
To the One who is Faithful and True
Thank You God. =)