Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.
(2 Timothy 2:23)
Relate: I was tempted to pull out some quotes. I was really tempted. It would have been really easy. You see, at last check, I’ve got 970 facebook friends. I figure at least fifty of them have no business owning a facebook account. Why? Because they just can’t help but get involved in all kinds of foolish, ignorant arguments and facebook is a breeding ground for such nonsense. I’ve got fundamentalist friends who will post nonsense about how all pentecostals have bought into the kundalini spirit. I’ve got pentecostal friends talking about how all dispensationalists don’t know how to read their Bible. I’ve got republican friends trying to convince the world Obama is the antichrist and liberal friends who say all republicans are…
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The cry of Father’s heart from Genesis to Revelation
You may not know me,
but I know everything about you…(Psalm 139:1)
I know when you sit down and when you rise up…(Psalm 139:2)
I am familiar with all your ways…(Psalm 139:3) Even the very hairs on your head are numbered…(Matthew 10:29-31) For you were made in my image…(Genesis 1:27) In me you live and move and have your being…(Acts 17:28) For you are my offspring…(Acts 17:28) I knew you even before you were conceived...(Jeremiah 1:4-5) I chose you when I planned creation…(Ephesians 1:11-12) You were not a mistake…(Psalm 139:15-16) For all your days are written in my book…(Psalm 139:15-18) I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live…(Acts 17:26) You are fearfully and wonderfully made...(Psalm 139:14) I knit you together in your mother’s womb...(Psalm 139:13) And brought you forth on the day you were born...(Psalm 71:6) I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me…(John 8:41-44) I am not distant and angry, but am the complete of love…(1 John 4:16) And it is my desire to lavish my love on you…(1 John 3:1) Simply because you are my child and I am your Father…(1 John 3:1) I offer you more than your earthly father ever could…(Matthew 7:11) For I am the perfect Father...(Matthew 5:48) Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand…(James 1:17) For I am your provider and I meet all your needs…(Matthew 6:31-33) My plan for your future has been filled with hope…(Jeremiah 29:11) Because I love you with an everlasting love...(Jeremiah 31:3) My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore…(Psalm 139:17-18) And I rejoice over you with singing…(Zephaniah 3:17) I will never stop doing good to you...(Jeremiah 32:40) For you are my treasured possession…(Exodus 19:5) I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul…(Jeremiah 32:41) And I want to show you great and marvelous things…(Jeremiah 33:3) If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me…(Deuteronomy 4:29) Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart…(Psalm 37:4) For it is I who give you those desires…(Philippians 2:13) I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine…(Ephesians 3:20) For I am your greatest encourager…(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles…(2 Corinthians 1:3-4) When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you...(Psalm 34:18) As a shepherd carries a lamp, I have carried you close to my heart…(Isaiah 40:11) One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes…(Revelation 21:3-4) And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth…(Revelation 21:4) I am your Father and I love even as I love my son, Jesus…(John 17:23) For in Jesus my love for you is revealed...(John 17:26) He is the exact representation of my being...(Hebrews 1:3) And He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you…(Romans 9:31) And to tell you that I am not counting your sins…(2 Corinthians 5:18-19) Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled…(2 Corinthians 5:18-19) His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you…(1 John 4:10) I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love…(Romans 8:32) If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me…(1 John 2:23) And nothing will ever separate you from my love again…(Romans 8:38-39) Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen…(Luke 15:7) I have always been the Father and will always be Father…(Ephesians 3:14-15) My question is…Will you be my child?...(John 1:12-13 ) I am waiting for you…(Luke 15:11-32)
…Love, Your Dad
(used by permission Father Heart Communications copyright 1999 www.FathersLoveLetter.com)
Thank you so much for you always take care of our health. I am so lucky to be healthy. Today, my heart was shattered upon my student’s story. I realized I overreacted when I felt self-pity over the small illness I had had or unmet expectations. The truth is, I am so lucky compare to their fatal disease. When she told me that her brother and sister-in-law both have Cancer, I didn’t know what to say. I felt so pity towards them. Her brother’s wife was ever so tough in spite her condition when she still manage to live a normal life with her Ovarian Cancer alongside her husband who have Lung Cancer. How much more must we?
Lord create in us a thankful heart that in every circumstances, we won’t miss the chance to be reverent to you. Thank you for giving us wonderful lives.
Book review: HEAVEN IS SO REAL
“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same spirit gives them. There are different ways of serving, but the same Lord is served. There are different abilities to perform service, but the same God gives ability to all for their particular service. The Spirit’s presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all. To one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, through another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same spirit works all these things, distributing one individually as he will.” (1 Corinthians 12:5-11)
MY DISCOVERY OF THE BOOK
It was Friday the 25th of September 2013 when I went to National bookstore to look for some devotional uplifting food for the soul kind of reading material. After I was saved, I choose the best option of diverting my gloom into reading worthy Holy Spirit inspired books than just playing, eating out, drinking or doing other stuff as common defense mechanism. While I was roaming around the bookshelves, my feet directed me to the place where this book stood up with its cover page inviting me to read it. HEAVEN IS SO REAL— printed onto its cover. Its golden castle and blue sky had struck my eyes and there’s seemed to be some kind of supernatural voice telling me “There’s something in this book, you better take some time to read it.”
As I open the book, my fingers directed me to open page 76, chapter 9 with the title “Worry is a Sin.” I told myself, “How could this book know how I felt today?” It’s like this book was directed by my guardian angel to me and was sent from heaven to cure my pessimistic feelings. Unfortunately, though the price was fairly affordable, I hadn’t got cash at hand. Instead, I promised to really buy the book not later than a week after. So, Sunday right after the church service, I went to the bookstore and bought one for myself. I was so excited to buy it and since I knew it was My Heavenly Father’s gift to me.
GOD’S PERFECT TIMING
Our God, the ever present omnipotent and omniscient Father had taken care of everything. He allowed the situation for me to file my leave of absence just to focus on reading this book. Surely, this book must have been so important to Him for allowing me skipped from work for weeks. He doesn’t want any human intervention and destruction. I hardly had communication with my mom. No matter how we tried to contact each other, there would be some technical problem or interruption that’d occurred on our call over the phone. We found it so strange. Somehow, I completely read the book for 13 days. A day before that, my mom called. Her phone was already fixed and no more technical problems. See, what a perfect timing! God really is!
DREAMS AND VISIONS
Before, during and after the reading and meditation of this book, I had been experiencing some vivid, strange, frightening and overwhelming dream and vision from God usually from 1 to 6 in the morning.
a. Walking along the crystal-clear water
My grandfather had died months ago. I love him so much. He always visited me in my dreams usually if I felt so sad. However, the dream that left me wonder was when he brought me to a seemingly paradise where water and natural resources abound. He held my right hand so tight and we walked along a narrow river that seemed endless and boundless. At first, I was afraid to walk along the river fearing I might fell onto it and drowned. But, my grandpa never left me. He held my hand so tight without saying a word. The water is so clean, clear and full of life. It overflows but our feet never get soaked. Our walk seemed never-ending. We follow the flow of the river and then went back our way again. It’s as if the course of that adventure is merely walking and enjoying each other’s company. We never had the chance to talk. He simply smiled at me. He looked so happy and contented and his face got a little younger than his current age as I remembered two years ago. After that dream, I felt so refreshed and hopeful.
RELATE: When I read this book, I was shocked to find out that it mentioned the existence of a river and a body of water in heaven which is closely similar to what I’ve seen in my dream which Jesus called “the Living Water”. (See page 69)
b. The Big Black Bible
After I graduated college, I dreamed about me on heaven. How I get there is a long story to tell. Well, allow me to focus only on what I experienced there. I was inside a big, wide, endless room (since I can’t see any wall). My eyes can’t find the ceiling though I know there is and I am inside a room all in white. The floor is so shiny made of marble and it’s also very white. I am wearing all white. Next thing, I sat on the floor and a Black book appeared on my hands. I’m not sure how big it was but I know it was handy that I can able to grasp it by one hand. I understood that it’s a BIBLE which amazed me. Oh so there is a Bible in Heaven?
Then, some unseen force opened it and right before my eyes I could see my name written in it. Some letters and words were fading away and unreadable. Other words appeared which read as “KEEPER OF THE APOSTLE”. The words were addressed to me so I was puzzled then. I didn’t know what those words mean. Of course I literally understood but it’s hard to decide what to do with it. I know there was someone along with me, a man with long white beard wearing all white. Strangely though, he didn’t utter even a single word to let me know what was happening.
Then, another name appeared from the Bible. I knew whose name it was. Along with it were some adjectives describing the person and giving me a warning not to trust and hence stay away from that person. I felt sad about it because that person was my co-worker. He was so nice and friendly to me. Later, I realized that my dream about him was a warning. I don’t have to mention what it was but I really thank God for saving and protecting me from danger. Truly Jesus loves me; He never wants me to be harmed.
However, what greatly disturbed me were the words “KEEPER OF THE APOSTLE”. It seemed a task to be accomplished; the reason that heavenly person accompanying me told me to get back to Earth saying “You still have some things to do.” I told my mom about it and she asked me to continually pray to God so He would reveal what it was.
RELATE: Before I dreamed about the Bible in heaven, I used to believe that there is none at all in heaven. I thought the Bible is only created on and for this world. Therefore, its existence is limited on the face of the earth and it can’t reach the heaven’s gate. I used to have this opinion: “What’s the use of the Bible in heaven when all the people living there are holy and pure? Thus, no need for corrections and guidance from the Bible since it was created especially for sinners of this world.” God then corrected me. That belief I used to have is an obvious fallacy after I come to read about “THE BIG BLACK BIBLE” being mentioned in the book Heaven Is So Real. (Please see pp. 67-68)
Allow me to include some of what it says:
“The huge black Bible I had seen on the previous visit was directly in front of me. It radiated with the power of the Holy Spirit who spoke to my heart: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that then man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
I noticed that the writers who were inspired to write the Bible had notebooks in their hands, and then I realized that the Lord was showing this scene to me for the second time so that I would fully understand the importance of His word in my life. I knew He wanted me to read and study and take notes as I focused on His word.”
That dream I had four years ago about the Bible being shown to me has something to do with my present life. From March to July 2013, I left my full-time job due to my desire to focus on studying God’s word. I did not regret. In fact, God bless me more than I expected during those four months I studied His word. In my part-time job, He gave me so much joy, humility and contentment. I did not lack finances. My father in heaven is so true to His promises in Matthew 6:33. I know that during those four months, God was testing my patience and humility. He gradually had taken away my earthly desires and replaced it on its own Godly-desire. He taught me to be totally dependent on Him. And when He found I am worthy of the test, he released me. I resumed my full-time job. On July 15th, I completed the whole new testament of the Bible at 2 am. It was an accomplishment. Then days after, I received an e-mail from my current employer asking me if I’m ready to work again. My friends, housemates and part-time colleagues told me I’m so lucky to have as much of the leave of absence I wanted to because other companies don’t usually allow such.
I knew it. I’m so confident that God is sending me back to a busy working life again since He had shown me couples of vision about it. At first, I wasn’t happy about it. I pretended that the vision and dream I saw can’t do anything with my future since I get used to my daily habit focusing only on my scriptural reading and studying and part-time job. Having two different jobs again means B-U-S-Y (Being Under Satan’s Yoke). I was not given the right to be stubborn since God did not allow me to rest for so long to study His words just for my own sake. I need to share it and to make disciples among the people so that they would know what God’s desire is and will for them.
My cousin who is a missionary once told me that if I had the desire to preach God’s word, I don’t need to enter any Bible school. She told me base on her personal experience, “Just let the Holy Spirit teach you. He is the best teacher. Bible school just emphasized and present biblical principles and philosophical truths but still when you are studying His word, it is so impossible for you to understand its mystery if the Holy Spirit don’t reveal itself. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t discourage anyone from entering Bible school, but if you have a strong desire to learn about His word, let the Holy Spirit be your guide and believe me He is more than any anointed teacher or preacher.”
RAPTURE AND TRIBULATION
Since childhood until now, I have had repetitive experience of seeing rapture in my dream with different settings, time and situation.
a. Jesus Christ and the white stairway
I saw Jesus wearing white long robe floating above the white stairway. All around Him were so bright though as I could remember the sun was not shining at that moment and the sky was covered with clouds. Each staircase was spectacular white. It’s so shiny and bright. I never seen such kind here on earth so I couldn’t say exactly what’s it made of. Its material kind’ a made up of fluorescent lamp but much thicker, harder and stronger. The steps have long gaps. I wonder how a mortal man could step up on it when each gap doubled the length of our legs. I don’t even know how to split because it seemed this is the last option from a humanly perspective. Below the stairway, I could see many people wanting to climb on it to heaven. Then, there’s a commotion. People were battling and fighting each other just to climb the stairs. I could see their selfish intentions practicing crab mentality. Finally, I saw me pushing myself up. I really tried hard to stretch my legs to climb each steps on top. Before I knew whether I successfully propel myself, someone’s hand grip around my legs which woke me up. On bed, I cried because I wasn’t able to finish the course of my dream. I was really eager to climb each step of the staircase to be saved. I know that the scripture is right. It really is so hard to enter into heaven. The road is narrow and not straight.
READ: Matthew 7:13-14 “Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate of hell is wide and the road that leads to it are easy; and there are many who travel it. But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard, and there are few people who find it.”
BIBLICAL VISITS TO HEAVEN (See page 96)
READ: 2 Kings 2:11 “Then it happened as they continued on and talk, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”
Elijah flew to heaven by way of a whirlwind and I knew through my dream my spirit had experienced the same. I did not experience the fire. I only was bellowed by the strong whirlwind and the next thing was seeing me being tossed in the air. The whirlwind was like a vacuum pulling me from the ground. It was a horrible experience because my body at rest lay breathless. I never had experience flying myself up and I didn’t find it exciting knowing its adamant force was killing me. I didn’t want to die yet at that time so I firmly cried out to God. “Lord, I don’t want to die yet…not now.” Then after an hour of experiencing heaven, my spirit flew back like a bullet and went back straight into my body that was still lying in bed. The force was so strong that my physical body bounced back. I woke up choked, exhausted…crouching for relief. Over two weeks, I couldn’t breathe well from that supernatural experienced. My chest was ever so painful. When I shared this to my mom, she said I had experience cardiac arrest while sleeping. The physical experience with my heart stop breathing for seconds, minutes or even an hour is natural since I inherited it from my dad and grandma, but my spiritual and supernatural experience was so extraordinary. My mom, a faithful Christian told me that the dream and my supernatural experience were reminder from God for my faith and salvation. She cried while saying that Jesus loves me so much for showing me all those I had seen. At the same time, she cried out of fear of me dying at young age. My mom really cried hard. And I think she was so happy that I am still alive. After that incident, my faith in Jesus grew stronger. I remembered I became so busy in worldly ways and I become so hateful to the world, to our government. Yes I know my mom was right. It is a reminder for my salvation that I must not forget God, in everything that I do, I must acknowledge Him.
RED STRUCK ME
While I was praying in bed at around 1 am, some unusual things happened. I remember the feeling I’d been bearing the whole day: empty, sad, thirsty of my lord’s presence and hungry of His word. I badly was seeking for His encouragement. The feeling was so strange because I expected to be happy knowing I accomplished a significant task Jesus asked me and that was reading His end-time book “Heaven Is So Real.” I was with Jesus the whole time I was reading the book. But how come He seems so far away that day. My negative feeling outgrow His presence.
I realized the feeling was not from me, it’s from the devil so I rebuked calling out “In Jesus name!” and then suddenly I saw a vision. I saw a thick pure red blood. Seconds after I saw it, I felt sharp pain in my chest. Some unseen force struck and entered into my physical body. It was so strong that I bounced back along with my body sideways and my right limbs against my bed. Right then, I felt so happy. The negative feelings were all gone. Then I continued to pray. I know it was God’s power.
“Call to me and I will answer thee”
“Your father knoweth the things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.” (Matthew 6:8)
Matthew 7:7-8“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
My God is an awesome God because He showed me supernatural experiences that no man can explain, only Him. He always speaks to my heart that I must walk by faith and not by sight. I must wonder because I am an extraordinary person who had experienced extraordinary from JESUS, my lord and my GOD.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, there is a power in your blood. Your blood covers all our inequities. I know it was your blood I saw. You are reminding me again of your shedding of blood in the Calvary to save us and forgive our sins. Your blood symbolizes LOVE which struck right into my heart. Your love healed my broken-heart.
What do you think of when you think of surrendering your will to God? What images run through your mind? I was talking about this in the comments of another post so I thought it would be good to put some focus on this subject here.
What I see now as my somewhat religious images of surrendering my will used to run along the lines of me in a painful struggle, wrestling with God, or some Medieval monk prostrate on the floor crying out, “Okay, God, I give up! I give my all to You!”
But this attitude of surrender seems to be quite subjective. For some it can be real life changing or even life threatening decisions, others not so much.
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A Rebellious Nation
New International Version (NIV)
1 The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2 Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth!
For the Lord has spoken:
“I reared children and brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knows its master,
the donkey its owner’s manger,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.”
4 Woe to the sinful nation,
a people whose guilt is great,
a brood of evildoers,
children given to corruption!
They have forsaken the Lord;
they have spurned the Holy One of Israel
and turned their backs on him.
5 Why should you be beaten anymore?
Why do you persist in rebellion?
Your whole head is injured,
your whole heart afflicted.
6 From the sole of your foot to the top of your head
there is no soundness—
only wounds and welts
and open sores,
not cleansed or bandaged
or soothed with olive oil.
7 Your country is desolate,
your cities burned with fire;
your fields are being stripped by foreigners
right before you,
laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.
8 Daughter Zion is left
like a shelter in a vineyard,
like a hut in a cucumber field,
like a city under siege.
9 Unless the Lord Almighty
had left us some survivors,
we would have become like Sodom,
we would have been like Gomorrah.
10 Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom;
listen to the instruction of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!
11 “The multitude of your sacrifices—
what are they to me?” says the Lord.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
12 When you come to appear before me,
who has asked this of you,
this trampling of my courts?
13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals
I hate with all my being.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!
16 Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.
18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good things of the land;
20 but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
21 See how the faithful city
has become a prostitute!
She once was full of justice;
righteousness used to dwell in her—
but now murderers!
22 Your silver has become dross,
your choice wine is diluted with water.
23 Your rulers are rebels,
partners with thieves;
they all love bribes
and chase after gifts.
They do not defend the cause of the fatherless;
the widow’s case does not come before them.
24 Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
the Mighty One of Israel, declares:
“Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes
and avenge myself on my enemies.
25 I will turn my hand against you;
I will thoroughly purge away your dross
and remove all your impurities.
26 I will restore your leaders as in days of old,
your rulers as at the beginning.
Afterward you will be called
the City of Righteousness,
the Faithful City.”
27 Zion will be delivered with justice,
her penitent ones with righteousness.
28 But rebels and sinners will both be broken,
and those who forsake the Lord will perish.
29 “You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks
in which you have delighted;
you will be disgraced because of the gardens
that you have chosen.
30 You will be like an oak with fading leaves,
like a garden without water.
31 The mighty man will become tinder
and his work a spark;
both will burn together,
with no one to quench the fire.”
Matthew 24: 6-14“And you will hear wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of the sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you; and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the entire world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come.”
WAKE UP CALL
8:00 a.m. on the 15th of October, 2013– while we’re supposed to savor our holiday in line with the Muslim festival Eid al Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), we experienced tremendous earthquake that reached 7.2 magnitude. I was still sleeping before the incident happened and since our room is located on the 3rd floor of the building, I really felt the shaking of the earth that woke me up and instantly resulted into numbers of falling debris both breakable and unbreakable all over the house. It was the second time Cebu city got hit with the high intensity quake. The recent 6.9 magnitude quake was in February 6, 2012–a year ago wherein Cebuano overreacted for false alarm tsunami alerts.
It is undisputed to say that repetition of natural calamities may add to human beings’ resistance to such and similar events including emotional and mental stress and coping mechanism. That is why, I did not panic the second time this major natural calamity rocked us. Honestly, the first thing that came to me was not on how to survive or escape from that unpredictable situation but to rebuke and whisper “Lord, have it your way.” My adrenaline rush was as obedient as ever. Needless to say, I knew the terrible event would happen. Days before earthquake rocked Visayas and Mindanao, I dreamed about it. Huge tractor-bulldozer with red lights was heading towards a high building and violently hit it. The building got damaged followed by commotions on the street. People were panicking, afraid and emotionally restless. I’m at the corner of the street, knowing what would happen, I suddenly thought about my family and relatives living in other islands. I was so worried then.
When I woke up, I ignored that dream thinking that it’d be far happening. Now, I am more disturbed every time I dreamed of something bad as of calamities or death because it always comes true. I oftentimes complain to God for showing me all those before at hand, but I know He just wanted His children to be prepared for His coming is so near. That He hated some misleading churches, idolaters, lukewarm and disobedient Christians.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Since 20th until 21st century, the Philippines have been facing different crises: economic, political, social justice and natural and man-made catastrophes.
Luzon – Typhoon
Visayas – Earthquake and Fire
Mindanao – Earthquake, Flash flood and War
Why is this so? There are lots of international media comments base on facts about Philippines degrading or declining social and spiritual values, becoming less patriotic and having pathetic political and justice system. Corruption is the number one problem to address poverty in the country. It always is the culprit. Even politicians are throwing dirt at each other. Were these factors enough to gain all these mishap?
READ: Malachi 3: 8-10 “I ask you, is it right for a person to cheat God? Of course not, yet you are cheating me. ‘How?’ you ask. In the matter of tithes and offerings. A curse is on all of you because the whole nation is cheating me. Bring the full amount of your tithes to the temple, so that there will be plenty of food there. Put me to the test and you will see that I will open the windows of heaven and pour out on you in abundance all kinds of good things.”
Two days after the earthquake hit Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and other parts of Mindanao, the lord was so prompt when He answered my query through dreams and visions. I saw myself, my mom and unknown people inside the church. We’re wearing our best suits. We entered into a separate room inside the church building before the Sunday service began. I saw a white envelope appeared on my hand. Inside it was an amount of money. I supposed it was my tithe. Same goes to my mom and other members of that church. We stayed longer inside that solemn room. I’ve never seen that place before and the people were all strangers in my sight. I learned that most of them were in their middle age. Inside was so peaceful but I wondered why we need to wait a little longer. We’re isolated from the other church members. I felt we’re asked to wait for instructions.
When I woke up from that dream, I realized that I had forgotten to prepare my tithe (10 % of my salary received) due to the manic earthquake. I usually prepare my tithe right after I received my salary, so I learned that because of the incident, God reminded me not to forget my obligation. Thank you Lord! I knew how important tithing is to God. Thus, my dream conveyed that aside from tithing, we must recognise the importance of isolation, of isolating ourselves from the crowd in order to fully focus to our lord Jesus Christ. He wants our heart, sincerity, purity and full submission to Him whenever we come into His presence.
The famines that we‘ve had won’t be the last. There will be numbers of famines, pestilences and other calamities and destructions coming on our way.
READ: Revelation 22:12-13 “Behold, I am coming soon, my reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the alpha and omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
CATHOLIC CHURCHES COLLAPSED
Why did God allow Catholic churches to be destroyed by earthquake? Can’t He spare it? And why do some Virgin Mary and Sto. Nino statues (stone sculptures) had turned its back from its post after the strong quake? Can those handmade idols move itself just to turn its back? Most devoted Catholic Filipinos who had witness this event inside their own houses had asked these questions but were still hopeful clinging into their spiritual beliefs.
Almost all of the Old Catholic churches in Bohol (Baclayon, Dauis, Loon, Maribojoc, Tagbilaran) and one in Cebu got fully and partly damaged from the quake’s impact. These churches were ancient historical landmarks mostly made up of corals which don’t have modern structures and defences to stand against strong ground shaking.
READ: Acts 17:22-32 “Paul stood up and said, Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you. 24. The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25. And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man He made every nation of men, which they should inhabit, the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us…29. Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill. 30. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent. 31. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed. He has given proof to this to all men by raising him from the dead.
7 IS GOD’S PERFECT NUMBER
READ: Revelation 16: 15 “Behold I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keep his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”
This “Old church bulldozer 2013 Earthquake” (my way of calling it since unlike typhoon, we can’t name them) that hit Visayas and Mindanao tremendously, particularly in Cebu and Bohol had enlisted itself to the facts and figures in Philippine geophysical catastrophes with the highest intensities.
In November 30, 1645, Manila Cathedral and other newly-built churches in Manila were severely damaged by a 7.5 quake in Luzon. Similarly, the recent Bohol quake which was considered the fifth worst seismic that rocked the country as it registered 7.2 in the Richler scale had beaten old churches in Bohol and Cebu city. It pulverized most of those in Bohol and destroyed the bell tower of Cebu’s.
These comments caught my attention:
“The earthquake and other calamities will come inevitable, because they are signs of the coming of Christ. God will allow these things to places where idolatry and other sinful deeds are given greater attention by people rather than God.” – alex duransky
“This is the warning to all people not only in the Philippines. It reminds us not to worship graven image because Jesus is God, the jealous God. God is spirit so worship Him in spirit and in truth. Not the idolatry and made in the hands of man.” – TheTRUTH-SET-YOU-FREE
“Now it is obvious that God’s protection was not in that place. It means that if we worship the true God, let us worship Him in spirit and in truth…worship Him alone. You’re not going just to pray but repent your sins and turn to God and seek Him with all your heart and you will find Him. God allowed such things like earthquake to destroy even the church buildings because God was hurt by the deeds of the people…like worshiping idols instead of Him. – alex duransky
GOD’S PERFECT TIMING
Not in a school and working day but in a holiday the catastrophe happened in the daylight. What could have been its effect if it shook us in the night wherein most people are asleep? How many children could have been panicking, injured and psychologically distressed and traumatized if it took place in regular school days? Truly God loves little children. The children’s rhyme “Jesus loves the little children” keeps on echoing inside me as I pondered upon these events. Jesus always reminds us that His kingdom in heaven is made especially for His little children.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord; offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” (Psalms 127:3-5) A concern faithful Christian has just shared this verse to me and it’s so amazing how timely she did so since I’m looking for the verse that best defines this. She’s like an angel sent from above. Of course, she didn’t know that I’m in need of a verse suitable for every example or situations that need spirit-filled inspiration. I wonder how coincidentally things fall into its right place at the perfect time. Truly God knows everything our hearts’ desire. He even knows our requests before we could have uttered it in prayer.
On the other hand, why do this catastrophe coincide the Muslim festival? Despite the fact that the Muslims in Visayas experienced turmoil on their festivity, they remained hopeful and undisturbed saying that the earthquake is celebrating with them. Their intention for the festival is good so how they took the outcome whether good or bad reflects by how graceful they must be for it.
CONCERN IS WORRY AND WORRY IS A SIN
I had filed the leave of absence two weeks from my day-job. At the end of the week, I went to get something from my classroom. I was shocked, irritated and totally concern upon seeing my classroom disorganized, dirty, some personal things missing, and generally speaking, yeah it was really a total mess. Hence, I don’t want to blame the teacher who was temporarily occupying my classroom. I don’t even want to complain to the office about it so I just sealed it myself except that I told the secretary that my pen and pencil were lost while I’m not around.
Well, friends, what seem to be the importance of all our earthly properties to us? Of course, we’ll say some were of great importance and have sentimental value especially if received from loved ones or any person close to our hearts. But when we say sentimental values, do we have the right to claim of putting or casting down our emotions over these earthly things?
The day after the earthquake rocked, I received an information that our workplace got destroyed resulting to have it closed temporarily. Whether the damage is major or minor, the fact that the ceiling had collapsed, I’m certain that our office and school properties were damaged. I could imagine how my personal belongings inside that building which once made me peeved had now gone totally ruined more than just a mess.
REACT: humbling ourselves
While I am meditating, I gradually realized the less value of things in the world since we already knew that all things in the world will come to pass. It’s true that GOD made the world out of love for His people to enjoy everything on it. However, He doesn’t want us to immerse ourselves into loving it more than Him. His words says, “Those who love their own life will lose it; those who hate their own life in this world will keep it for life eternal.” (John 12:15)
Thank you lord Jesus for being with me all the days of my life. Thank you for guiding me in every word to use in writing this. Thank you for the Holy Spirit that you let my mind, my heart and my hands do as what it commands. Thank you so much for the assurance that if we put our trust unto you and our total dedication for accomplishing your work, we will not be put into shame, in vain or in agitation. Glory to you and the highest praise!