Angels are so real: that old man and his penny

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Angels are real. Yes they are. You can see them, talk to them, hear and touch them. How do you define angels? White? Feathery? Halo? Good looking? Done with brainstorming?

Yesterday, I’d seen an angel. You must believe me. He wasn’t actually my own guardian angel; he’s just an angel sent from above for a purpose: to accomplish SOMETHING.

At the airport, some domestic flights were cancelled –this I thought was a blessing in disguise though I paid much for my cargo shipments and taxis all the way. The weather is fine, the people were so nice plus there’s a bonus—the absence of one of my pet-peeve: in queue.

Let’s go back to the angel I’d met. Maybe you’re wondering how he looks like. Actually he’s not tall as how you visualize angels with Jeremy Lin, Yao Ming or Michael Jordan’s height; he’s petite. He don’t have glossy white skin but younger enough for a man of old age. His face looked so pleasant though he appeared to be worried and ashamed when he approached me. Later did I realize that I did not even notice his coming when in fact I was facing that side of the road while waiting for a ride. Did he came from nowhere or am I just blind that I was slipped in?

If hypnotism as a modus for robbing was used then I was victimized for giving in his plea right away. But it’s not. Friends, how would you attend to a stranger who’d ask for help? Will you look at him from head to toe to find out if he looks pitiful and deserving of your help? Or if he does look so poor, will you waste time interrogating him to know if he really is telling the truth?

To HELP you answer, I’ll give you choices:

a. ignore (with a doubtful heart)

b. ignore (with I-don’t-talk-to-stranger principle)

c. ignore (with this-is-my-money-so-I-have-the-right-to-say-no principle)

d. ignore (with you-better-start-looking-for-a-job-now principle)

Was I able to help you answer?

. . .

. . .

Alright, I’ll add more choices…

a2. Certainly help (but I-need-the-media-first principle)

b2. Certainly hep (but facebook/twitter/instagram-status-this-later principle)

c2. Certainly help (if he’d-promise-to-pay-back principle)

d2. Certainly help (with no-buts-and-ifs principle)

I can still recall my oral-recitation question in grade-school: “If you could invent a machine, what would it be and why?”

Really. What if there’d be a machine invented to test one’s honesty by reading his mind and heart then how many possible answers would you mark from the choices above if that machine is used to you?

Here in my country, it’s not unusual to see beggars in the street yet there are still unsympathetic people prejudicing them as criminals.

How do you describe angels?

Does he/she smile or wink at you? Is he or she shy or friendly? My eagerness to share this experience was fueled by that SOMETHING accomplished in me. It started with that old man appeared in front of me holding his all one-peso coins amounted to nineteen. While he was approaching, he’s still glancing on his palm with coins in it, counting and then later showed it to me. At first, I thought he’d give me those coins. He seemed he had just arrived from Manila and speaks fluent Tagalog. His voice sounded as if he was left with a single choice and that was to beg alms. “Pasensiya ka na… kulang kasi ang barya ko, pamasahe ko sana pauwing Danao, na-short kasi ako, merun ka bang kahit kunting pandagdag sa pamasahe ko? pasensya na talaga.” Translation: “So sorry to bother you but my money is not enough to go home, I was ran out…do you have little amount to add my coins here? Really sorry, I don’t have other options.” My heart was tendered by his facial expression and statement. He seemed hopeless at that moment. Danao City was situated in the Northern Province, too far to be hiked from the airport. You’d have to hike miles away that could left you dog-tired.

Otherwise, my mind shouted, “It was your privilege to help and now is the time.” I knew he was a bit embarrassed for doing so but his face glowed when I asked at once, “How much do you need?” “Fifty!” I was impressed. That amount was exact for him to arrive to Danao by L300 van. If he could be one of Salisi gang, a group of syndicates popularized by their manipulative way of stealing using hypnotism, then he could had asked much more and I would had been willing to give any amount as demanded being under his spell. But he was too honest and polite that I was humbled. I felt I could not accept his thank you. I don’t feel I deserve it. I’m nobody and it’s just a little amount and I don’t deserve such grateful treatment from his end.

He kept on thanking me and I was also repeating my line, “Don’t mention it.” when the yellow passenger cab finally arrived. He hurried to cross the road to ride in it. I could still see him waving and smiling at me as if we knew each other for so long and we need to part ways. It’s so strange that I almost forgot that I was also waiting for a cab to ride. So I rushed towards the cab and got in but couldn’t see him inside. I thought maybe he’s too shy to ride with me on that passenger vehicle after he bid goodbye. But when the car U-turned, he’s nowhere to find. It happened with a blink of an eye. Or maybe I must really wear better glasses next time.

. . . . .

Whenever you have the chance to help, grab it. The proverbs “It’s better to give than to receive” and “Be a cheerful giver.” were not only quoted to inspire you to act but for you to realize that SOMETHING needs to be accomplished in you. Personally, that SOMETHING was learned through giving. It’s better to give because by doing so you’ll be freed from the 7 deadly sins. I can’t really explain the happiness, it’s pure happiness. Who says giving lessened a portion from you? Certainly not. It adds even more. It’s like it filled the cup too much that there’ll be no room enough to receive it. As of tithing it teaches us not to be selfish and greedy. Those proverbs relate not with material things returned to you after you give but with the internal, pure, full and lasting amount of happiness you gained.

I was not the one who helped, but the one who was helped. I was reminded of the essence of giving and I was then set free from the seven deadly sins (wrathgreedslothpridelustenvy, and gluttony.) especially greed. As the result, I gained the happiness I did not even expected.

That old man and his penny would never ever be forgotten. It’s totally a different story from his end from other beggars I’ve met. Theirs was for survival which made their stomach their master. And that they actually don’t need to explain why you need to help them because you’ll immediately notice they’re hungry and need to be fed. If those beggars beg for spiritual food, how many of us would be willing to give? Or is there enough supply in our storehouse to combat their spiritual hunger?

I hope you will, one of these days, meet an angel. He or she might just be your neighbor, your co-worker or even your enemy. Who knows! Angels are among us; perhaps you had already met one of them. Remember, they’re God’s mighty soldiers guarding each one of us.

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To revenge is an evil thing

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READ: 2 Samuel 1 and 4; 1 Peter 2:13-18; Romans 13:1-2 ; 1 Peter 3:1-2; Hebrews 13:17; Ephesians 6:1-3; Exodus 1:17; 20-21

MEMORISE: “Everyone must obey state authorities, because no authority exists without God’s permission, and the existing authorities have been put there by God. Whoever opposes the existing authority opposes what God has ordered; and anyone who does so will bring judgment on himself.”(Romans 13:1-2)

KEY POINTS: forgiveness

                    : not to pay evil with evil

 

To revenge is an evil thing for there is a great judge, wiser and mightier.

For the price of wickedness is death.

Ecclesiastes 12:14 says: “God is going to judge everything we do, whether good or bad, even things done in secret.”

In 2 Samuel chapters 1 and 4, King Saul attempted to kill David twice and he’d been pursuing David because of jealousy. Yet, every time David had the chance to get rid of his perpetrator, he would simply just let sleeping dogs lie; instead, had spared the king’s life.

1 Samuel 26:21-25 says:

Saul answered, “I have done wrong. Come back, David, my son! I will never harm you again, because you had spared my life tonight! I have been a fool! I have done a terrible thing!”

David replied, “Here is your spear, Your Majesty. Let one of your men come over and get it. The Lord rewards those who are faithful and righteous. Today He put you in my power, but I did not harm you, whom the Lord made king. Just as I spared your life today, may the Lord do the same to me and free me from all troubles!”

Saul said to David, “God bless you, my son! You will succeed in everything you do!”

 

There are two lessons we can learn from David:

1. He highly respect authority and honor God’s anointed king/ruler.

In 1 Samuel 26:8-11, Abishai said to David, “God has put the enemy in your power tonight. Now let me plunge his own spear through him and pin him into the ground with just one blow—I won’t have to strike twice!”

But David said, “You must not harm him! The Lord will certainly punish whoever harms His chosen king. By the living Lord,” David continued, “I know that the Lord himself will kill Saul, either when his time comes to die or when he dies in a battle. The Lord forbids that I should try to harm the one whom the Lord has made king!”

2. He strictly abided God’s law and wanted to please Him all through his lifetime by not doing evil or displeasing his lord.

If you would be David, would you do the same? Would you forgive the one who’d been pursuing you in spite your innocence?

And friends, how do God judge us if He is the only great judge?

1 Samuel 16:7 says:

The Lord said to him, “Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him, because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.”

Yes, God who is Israel’s majestic God does not lie or change His mind. He is not a human being—He does not change His mind. (1 Samuel 15:29)

Which does the lord prefer: Obedience or Offerings and Sacrifices?

Answer: It is better to obey Him than to sacrifice the best sheep to Him. Rebellion is as bad as witchcraft, and arrogance is as sinful as idolatry. (1 Samuel 15:22-23)

I was then amazed by this Sunday’s topic when the pastor preached about submission-Hypo Tasso. Truly God is in charge! How did that servant of God ever discussed the same story in David’s life right on that very moment after I myself was inspired to write the series of David’s life on my blog? What a coincidence! Or is it or He’s just a God of perfect timing? Certainly. God is ahead and of course He will do the lead. All we just have to do is to follow.

In College days, I didn’t realize that I had been doing the wrong thing when I joined groups of young activists against our government. I shared my countrymen’s plights. I empathise with them wishing to help in whatever way is. When helpless, I just cried for them at night as if crying could stop the raging war or violence or inhumane treatment. At my young age, I’ve witnessed the unjust, unscrupulous society we have, worsened because of the leaders leading the country selfishly and dishonestly. Most of my friends thought I must be so happy for achieving those titles, awards and recognitions both inside and outside the school. They didn’t know that deep inside I was suffering because I feel so weak and useless.

But, why would I have to share this experience when it takes guts to face possible prejudices?

Well then because I wanted to share the blessing…God’s blessing in my life. He had rescued me from destruction, agony, and frustrations. Those days were full of wrong aspirations. I can professed that happiness can’t really be found in achievements, medals, prizes not even on cash at hand! Yuppies must not get me wrong with what I’m saying. It’s not wrong to be excellent in your career; what makes it wrong is when you are making it as your idol if you’re depending your sole happiness from it.

MEDITATE: “For the sake of the Lord submit yourselves to every human authority: to the Emperor, who is the supreme authority, and to the governors, who have been appointed by Him to punish the evildoers and to praise those who do good. For God wants you to silence the ignorant talk of foolish people by the good things you do. Live as free people; do not use, however, your freedom to cover up any evil, but live as God’s slaves. Remember everyone, love other believers, honor God, and respect the emperor.” (1 Peter 2: 13-17)

Isn’t it ironic that my first job after I graduated college is in the government? Who could have imagined that a leftist could be given privilege to work in the government office? See God works and give chances.

GOD IS IN CHARGE: HYPOTASSO…

Hypotasso means submission and honor to the authority.

I often hear this phrase, “A bad government is better than anarchy or no government at all.”

God may give you an unreasonable or bad boss or family or co-worker or friend in order to humble you and mold your character. Like David being shaped and tested by hardships before he finally become the king of Israel, in due time your character will also shine as brighter as how God wants His glory shine upon you today.

 

Are you praying for someone?

Dancing On My Ashes

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by Heather Spring {Gilion}

I’ve heard some of the saddest stories lately. The kind of suffering that you can barely say aloud. I know it’s nothing new that people are hurting… but sometimes the tragic experiences of another leave me in a heap emotionally. A father taking his life while his family is in the home. A toddler raped and now in the arms of Jesus. A grieving widow giving birth to her child without her husband by her side. A friend I’ve spent years praying for, hearing his cancer is growing… again. A dear friend of mine endured a mastectomy. My phone alerting me that there’s an AMBER ALERT nearby. Another email from a widow… and then another. An acquaintance reaching out because she’s walking through a divorce.

I pray.
Or I want to.
Sometimes I don’t know what to say.
I just sit there, teary, saying, “I don’t…

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Living in the light

 

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(photo taken by me 01/19/2014 by the house terrace)

 

Memory verse: Ephesians 5:1-11; 16-18

“Since you are God’s dear children, you must try to be like Him. Your life must be controlled by love, just as Christ loved us and gave His life for us as a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice that pleases God.

Since you are God’s people, it is not right that any matters of sexual immorality or indecency or greed should ever be mentioned among you. Nor it is fitting for you to use language which is obscene, profane or vulgar. Rather you should give thanks to God. You may be sure that no one who is immoral, indecent, or greedy (for greed is a form of idolatry) will ever receive a share in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Do not let anyone deceive you with foolish words; it is because of these very things that God’s anger will come upon those who do not obey Him. So have nothing at all to do with such people.

You yourselves used to be in the darkness, but since you have become the Lord’s people, you are in the light. So you must live like people who belong to the light, for it is the light that brings a rich harvest of every kind of goodness, righteousness and truths.

Try to learn what pleases the lord. Have nothing to do with worthless things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead bring them to the light.

Make good use of every opportunity you have, because these are the evil days. Don’t be fools then but try to find out what the Lord wants you to do.

Don’t get drunk with wine, which will only ruin you; instead be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

 

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For the first time in four years, I decided to witness the parade on the street as one of the highlight of Cebu’s biggest religious festival Sinulog. The yearly festival highlights dancing on the street of devotees with their wooden sculptured Sto Niños in hand. In Catholicism, Sto Niño means holy child Jesus and Senior Sto Niño means the adult Jesus.

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Though I can’t endure heavy crowd, I managed to add myself alongside the viewers at the street. I wanted to feel the spiritual act of devotion of those people towards Jesus though I personally dislike their diversion of faith from the spiritual being to a mere symbol, an image made of wood designed by human hands just to honor the holy child Jesus.

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While observing the sacred procession, I wondered why I couldn’t hear them shouting your name Lord. Your name is Jesus! Can those sculptured image perform miracle? Is your spirit filled those wooden-sculptured Sto Niños’ I’ve seen? Why are they worshipping those images, kissing and dancing with it to show they really are devoted entities of saints? That so called wooden icon as what they call it, isn’t it likely similar to Buddha’s statue or monuments of saints being worshiped by people of other religions? Didn’t you tell us to worship you in spirit and in truth? Didn’t you tell us not to worship other gods aside from you? Didn’t you tell us not to worship or patronize saints? That you are a jealous God and that you hate idolatry? That worshiping images is a form of idolatry? That our body is your temple?

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Last night after work, I cried out to God. I asked why those people (my own people) were celebrating their so called religious festival that way. It’s all bunch of worldly activities! Concerts, dirty dances, party in night clubs/pubs, drinking alcohol, playing card games, body painting (henna tattoo), all sorts, you name it! A neighbor even persuaded me to join them drinking and merry-making at the street corner.

Hence, not so long after I slept, I woke up from a dream. In my dream, I can see a very calm see but suddenly big waves were enormously growing. My cousin and I were talking outside her house (her house is facing the sea). When we’re walking along the shore by the seawall, we noticed that the waves are rising showing a long gap between the crest and the trough. The waves were in rage. My cousin then shared occasionally that she’s hit by waves from her window. “Waves these days are growing bigger and bigger and are getting tougher and tougher. They can’t even be angrier.” Before she could finish talking, the current of water were increasing suddenly from low to high tide. The wind was blowing so fiercely. I can even see a leopard coming forth from the sea and some birds flying for refuge. They were panicking as if danger is coming. I wondered where that leopard came. It suddenly appeared from nowhere. The huge body of water was approaching us so we managed to run. “This is no joke,” I told myself while big waves were increasing its wavelengths as if ready to swallow us up by its strength. We knew that we were witnessing a storm surge in front of us. That storm surge could wash out villages along and near the shore and could extend further more.

<Next scene > There was a scarcity of food.

<Another scene> Due to some daily tasks, I forgot my breakfast. When I arrived home, they reminded me to have brunch instead. I’m getting hungry and I can see plenty of food on the table but I had the urge to wait for my mom so we can eat together. I needed her presence. She’s been out for a long time since day break and I wondered what took her so long. My cousins arrived and chatted with me. I was so hungry and was about to cry. “Where’s my mom?” I protested silently. One of my cousins was trying to comfort me when her girlfriend arrived naked. I was shocked when they kissed each other in front of us unmindful of some minors present at that scene. They were about to have sex when I was blown by my temper and threw them out from the house.

Finally, my mom arrived. She’s so busy. She even forgot to take care of us; she’s prioritising other people than our welfare. That dream made me so sad.

 

Thoughts to ponder

On that same day, breaking news of typhoon that causes heavy flood and physical destruction to some cities and provinces in Mindanao, cancellation of classes and flights alarmed me. I thought of my dream about the water in rage.

God was angry with premarital sex and He is showing how young people were acting these days out of control. He is not happy with it. He’s condemning the action.

He also shows me that I don’t have to be totally dependent to my biological/earthly parents. That scene in my dream when I almost cried out of frustration to see my mom because I needed parental love reminded me of my supposed first love—God. When I wasn’t yet born-again in the spirit, I used to consider my parents number one in my heart like they are my life, I can’t live without them, it would be useless and miserable if I’ll lose them. Moreover, though my mouth agreed to my Sunday school teacher whenever she mentioned about the 10 commandments that you must love God above all things, those were actually an act of lip service; not genuine. Yes, I regularly went to church at those times but I also participated in worldly affairs. I had a form of idolatry inside me like self- gratification, fondness of material things, self, self, and self…and it takes a lifetime to fight with oneself, I tell you.

Our greatest enemy is ourselves because when we are weighing which is right or wrong, we’re actually battling with ourselves. Originally, before our lord and saviour Jesus Christ came, we are sinners. That sin is growing every day, multiplying it. Now the work of the enemy, the serpent is to deceive us, making sure that we would believe that our human nature (a sinner) is an excuse to do sinful acts, making us believe that it’s okay to sin over and over again since we could just asked God to forgive us.

But Jesus tells us that when we are born again, old things will pass away…

1 Corinthians 13:11 says: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child…

2 Corinthians 5:17 says: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life has gone; a new life has begun!

Ezekiel 36:26 says: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Isaiah 43: 18 says: “Forget the former things; do not dwell in the past.”

John 3:3 Jesus replied,” Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

Romans 6:4 says: “We therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

John 14:20 says: “At that day you shall not know that I am in my Father and you in me, and I in you.”

Matthew 9:16-17 says: “No one patches up an old coat with a piece of new cloth, for the new patch will shrink and make an even bigger hole in the coat. Nor does anyone pour new wine into used wineskins, for the skins will burst, the wine will pour out, and the skins will be ruined. Instead new wine is poured into fresh wineskins, and both will keep in good condition.”

Romans 8:9;10 says: “But you do not live as their human nature tells you to—if in fact, God’s spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. But if Christ lives in you, the spirit is life for you because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin.”

Ephesians 4: 22-24 says: “So get rid of your old self which made you live as you used to—the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, and you must put on the new self who is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.”

Colossians 3:1-3 says: “You have been raised to life with Christ so set your hearts on the things that are in heaven, where Christ sits in His throne at the right side of God. Keep your minds fixed on things there, not on things here on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Your real life is Christ and when He appears, then you too will appear with Him and share His glory.”

Colossians 3:5-10 says: “You must put to death the earthly desires at work in you such as sexual immorality, indecency, lust, evil passions, and greed (for greed is a form of idolatry). But now you must get rid of all those things: anger, passion and hateful feelings. No insults or obscene talk must ever come from your lips. Do not lie to one another, for you have put off the old self with its habits and have put on the new self. This is the new being which God, its creator, is constantly renewing in His own image in order to bring you to a full knowledge of himself.”

And when we pray, we must directly pray to Jesus raising our head up on heaven since He is in heaven or holding our chest while feeling our heartbeat since His spirit dwells in us, in our heart. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We don’t need to use mediums like saints, statues or any graven images; not even Mary (Jesus Christ earthly mother) to be heard by God!

For those who pray “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of you womb Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and on the hour of our death, amen.” to tell you, Jesus is not pleased with you at all. Jesus wants you to stop praying to Mary. She can’t have the power to save us; only Jesus can save us! If you pray, you must pray to Him and Him alone. Don’t pray to saints. Don’t pray to stones or rocks.

To God be all the glory, honour, praise and adoration!

 

Christian Tagalog Blog: Motivated To Move On In 2014

ChristianBlessings

Philippians 3:12-14, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13, Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

If you’re like me you probably ask yourself, “I wonder what will happen in this New Year?” or “What unexpected event will take place this year?”

 Are you more moved by your past or are you more motivated about your future? Well, today I want to motivate you to move on in 2014! Move on and face the future with strength, security and success.

The only person who…

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