Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Unpretty (TLC)

I used to watch TLC's official music video here:<>. But it is now blocked from Philippine viewers due to copyright grounds, so I have to settle with the one above (audio and lyrics only). I was still able to view the official video last week. I was then surprised by the significant increase in the number of views. The reason: younger audiences became interested in it because the teen-oriented TV series Glee featured it's own version of Unpretty.

There were several vignettes of stories in the original TLC video. What's portrayed in one of the more prominent vignettes are the emotional pains of the ladies caused by the pressure to look beautiful according to the standards of the men they love. Women do all their best to look pleasing in the eyes of their partners yet they always fall short of the standard set by magazine models and TV stars. Hence, ladies' hearts are broken feeling unpretty.

Brothers, let us serve as instruments in building up the faith of our sisters. We have to pull them away from worldly standards and direct them to a biblical view of beauty. Could we commit our selves to give less compliments for our sisters' physical features and commend them more for their pursuit of Christlikeness?

Many of our sisters are spiritually weak; they often succumb to ungodly influences. They need us to remind them that physical beauty will be here today and gone tomorrow. Let us tell them that what matters most is how they appear in God's sight.

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." (1 Peter 3:3-4)

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." (Proverbs 31:30)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Apples of Gold in Settings of Silver (09-18-2011)

 in place of "books", I would like to substitute the word "blogs"
 "Books may preach where the author cannot, when the author may not, when the author dares not, yea, and (which is more), when the author is not."
~Thomas Brooks
 The heart's throne and Christian living
"Your heart is the central aspect of your being and what you treat as holy there cannot help but have a massive impact on the rest of your life: how you speak, how you act, how you respond to tragedy, persecution and difficulty, {and} to death itself.."  

~James R. White
The Sinful Man and His Labors (Psalm 90:17)
"The Lord's acceptance of his own assures a certain permanence of their work. Life under the sun may be vain. The man under God's judgment can accomplish no ultimate good. However, the godly and wise pray that the Lord will accept their work and "establish" it as having value . Frail, limited, and sinful as man is, the love of God can transform what is weak to his own glory." 

~Willem VanGemeren
 Personal faith and social concern
"Personal faith in Jesus Christ comes with a set of social obligations. A Christian who lives in the awareness of what the Savior has done for her also asks what she can do for Him. We are not merely objects of grace but instruments of grace." 

~Haddon Robinson
 On forgiveness
"To return evil for good is devilish. To return good for good is human. To return good for evil is divine" 

~William Temple

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Soundtrip Sabado (09-17-2011)

Precious Blood
Those who read Boy Meets Girl may remember that Joshua Harris
married an aspiring recording artist.This is Shannon's voice.

Sugar Hiccup

Let's All Go Down to the River
I was only about 10 years old when Jimmy Swaggart was at the peak of his popularity.
I can only remember three things about the TV broadcasts:
1. Swaggart's singing voice while playing the piano;
2. Swaggart's dynamic gestures while preaching on the return of the prodigal son
3. the voice of John Starnes

Friday, September 16, 2011

GUEST POST: A Life of Prayer

by Sheryll O. Yap

Her preferred introduction: 
"Sheryll is a Young Adults Ministry volunteer of Soli Deo Gloria Christian Ministries in Davao City. She is also a government worker  in her non-spare time"
Photo Credit: Homemaker in Progress

A Life Prayer
April 7,2007
The Lord taught me to pray:
"Lord whatever may happen to me,
may I never forget
who You are in my life."

When He lifts me up before the eyes of men
When His favor makes me a blessing to others
And I am tempted to take the credit for myself,
I remember who He is in my life,
That apart from Him I am nothing,
Then my pride is crushed
and am humbled before Him.

When I am afraid and want to run away
When terror seem to eat me up
And I cannot move..
I remember who He is in my life
and I am calmed
For the Lord is my refuge
I shall not be shaken.

When I am discouraged and bowed down
And laid low in the dust because of my sins,
When I feel most unworthy to serve Him
Especially before the eyes of men
I remember who He is in my life
And I am renewed--
For the Lord chose me not because I was good
But only because of His mercy and grace.

When I feel so weary and long to depart
When the struggle I have to face
Seem to come up over me
I remember who He is in my life
And I am restored.
For it is He who gives me wisdom
and the strength to move on.

Lord, who are You in my life?
You have become everything to me
Ever since the time
when you showed me Your love
You have made me treasure it above all
...above all pain
...above all tears
...above all sorrows
...above all joys
...above everything.

For when I see the Son I tremble
Not with terror but with awe
I wonder how You could include me
When You hung upon that tree.
Who am I that You should love me?
Who am I that I should be spared?
You don't need me, O God,
You don't need me.
And yet You have loved me
And cared for me as Your own.

How I long for the day
When Your purpose for my life
Will be accomplished
When the mission You have assigned
For me is done.
For it is then, I know,
You shall take me to be with You
To make me finally see
the God of my life.
On that blessed day with the saints
I shall say before You:

"Thank You, O God, for always reminding me
Who You really are in our lives."

Amen and amen.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Kapag binato ka ng bato, batuhin mo ng Tinapay" VS. "Lintik lang ang walang ganti"

Basahin muna: Genesis 50:15-21

Dalawang kasabihang magkasalungat ang mensahe. Ang una'y mahirap gawin. Ang pangalawa'y natural sa makasalanang tao. Pero bakit nagawa ni Joseph ang una? Siya na ipinagbili ng kanyang mga kapatid bilang kalakal; Siya na naging alipin sa Ehipto; siya na nabilanggo nang walang katarungan; siya na sa loob ng maraming taon ay nagdusa sa sakit ng damdamin at lungkot ng pag-iisa. Paano niya nagawang gantihan ng kabutihan ang lahat ng kasamaang ginawa sa kanya?

Siyempre, kasama diyan yung kanyang pananaw na ang Diyos na may kontrol sa lahat ng naganap ay may mabuting layunin. Kayang-kaya ng Diyos na baligtarin ang masamang hangarin ng tao para sa kabutihan (Genesis 50:20).

Bukod diyan, isa ring dahilan ang kanyang pagkakilala sa Diyos bilang Tanging Hukom. Sagot niya sa pag-aalinlangan ng kanyang mga kapatid, "Am I in the place of God?' (verse 19) Para sa kanya, ang Diyos lamang ang nasa posisyon upang magbigay katarungan. Hindi nararapat na ilagay natin ang batas sa ating sariling kamay. Kung kailangang sungkitin ang mata ng tao, ang nagbigay ng mata ang siyang may karapatang manungkit. Kung kailangang putulin ang daliri ng tao, ang pinagmulan ng daliri ang may karapatang pumutol. Kung kailangan pumatak ang dugo, ang nagkaloob ng dugo ang siyang dapat magpapatak nito. Kung kailangang kitilin ang buhay ng tao, ang may bigay ng buhay ang siyang may karapatang magpataw ng parusang kamatayan.

Romans 12:19-20
19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
   “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
   if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

If wrath is needed, it must not come from sinful beings like us but from the one who remains perfectly holy even in his expression of wrath.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Apples of Gold in Settings of Silver (09-11-2011)

  Before and after hearing the sermon
"Come to your knees to the sermon, and come from the sermon to your knees"   
~Joseph Alleine 
 Preservation and Perseverance
"The reason true Christians do not fall from grace is that God graciously keeps them from falling. Perseverance is what we do. Preservation is what God does. We persevere because God preserves."  
~R.C. Sproul Sr.
The man of God and his task
"God fits the man for the place, and the place for the man;there is an hour for the voice, and a voice for the hour." 
~Charles H. Spurgeon
 Engaging in Controversies
"Controversy for the sake of controversy is sin. Controversy for the sake of the truth is a divine command." 
~Walter Martin
 On Influences
"Some books and teachers leave their indelible fingerprints on our souls. And when those fingerprints are left, it's as if our DNA has been changed." 
~Ravi Zacharias
"All Christians are at once beneficiaries and victims of tradition-- beneficiaries, who receive nurturing truth and wisdom from God's faithfulness in the past generations; victims, who now take for granted things that need to be questioned, thus treating as divine absolutes patterns of belief and behavior that should be seen as human, provisional, and relative. We are all beneficiaries of good, wise, and sound tradition and victims of poor, unwise, and unsound traditions.." 
~J.I. Packer

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Soundtrip Sabado (09-10-2011)

Hungry (Falling on my Knees)

 Cynthia Alexander 
inspired by the Book of Proverbs, Christian songwriters
Laverne Ducut and Cathy Carlos collaborated to write this song.
The result: the song placed 2nd in the 2001 Metropop Songwriting Festival

No Doubt

Friday, September 9, 2011

Earth's City Lights

Click HERE for larger image
Matagal-tagal na rin ang pagkakagawa ng imaheng nasa itaas subalit kamakailan ko lang ito namasdan. Gamit ang satellite, ito ay pinagtagpi-tagping mga kuha ng larawan upang maipakita ang liwanag at dilim sa iba't ibang panig ng daigdig sa oras ng gabi.

Sa mga mauunlad na lungsod, kitang-kita ang ningning ng mga ilaw. Matingkad na kadiliman naman sa mga kagubatan at disyerto ng Africa. Natural na madilim din sa Antartica kasi wala namang taong nakatira doon maliban sa mga scientist na nananaliksik.

May tuldok ng liwanag sa gitna ng Palawan kaya nasabi ko sa aking sarili, "Ah! yun siguro ang Puerto Princesa!"

Sa Asya, walang papantay sa Japan. Mula dulong hilaga hanggang dulong timog, nakakasilaw ang liwanag.

Sumagi lang sa aking isip, hindi lang naman industriyalisasyon at pag-usbong ng ekonomiya ang palatandaan ng pagpapala ng Diyos sa mga bansa. Maunlad nga ang Japan subali't ayon sa datos ng Joshua Project:
  • 1.56% lang ng populasyon ang professing Christians (kasama na diyan ang mga Romano Katoliko, Greek Orthodox, at sari-saring mga kulto)
  • 0.5% lang ng populasyon ang professing Evangelical
  • 67.6% sa kanila, ni walang access sa pakikinig sa ebanghelyo.

Sa mapa ay kitang-kita rin ang liwanag ng mga mauunlad na lungsod sa Europa; subalit ayon sa 2005 Eurostat Eurobarometer Poll, hindi maikakaila na dilim ang naghahari doon. Ang mga naniniwalang may Diyos ay
  • anim lamang sa bawat sampung katao sa Espanya
  • lima lamang sa bawat sampu sa Germany
  • apat lamang sa bawat sampu sa United Kingdom
  • tatlo lamang sa bawat sampu sa France
  • dalawa lamang sa bawat sampu sa Sweden

Kung meron lang sanang satellite na may kakayahang kumuha ng mga larawan ng ispirituwal na liwanag, makikita na ang pagpapala ng Diyos ay nasa mga dako kung saan nananahan ang kanyang mga tunay na anak. Kung nasaan ang mga sumasampalataya kay Hesus, naroon ang liwanag.

Eph. 5:8
"for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light" (ESV)

Phi. 2:15
"that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

John 8:12
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Matt. 5:14-16
"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."

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Apples of Gold in Settings of Silver (09-04-2011)

  On Friendship
"Friendship that includes a common commitment to the gospel is something completely different than friendship without it. I may have cordial relationships with non Christians, but I cannot think of anyone I would call a true friend who is not a fellow believer in Christ."  
~James R. White
 On God's goodness
"He is infinitely good; the creature's good is but a drop; but in God there is an infinite ocean."  
~Thomas Manton
On spiritual illumination
"both the Father and the Son have absolute control over what revelation is understood, who understands it, and who doesn't." 
~Bruce Ware
 On the state of evangelicalism
"There are many who call themselves evangelicals who have abandoned either the formal or material principle-- that is sociologically they do belong to a certain kind of club called Evangelical but that does not mean that they hold to any of its historic distinctives or still less to biblically defined priorities." 
~D.A. Carson
 On General and Special Revelation
"People often say that it is difficult to argue ethical issues from Scripture in a society that does not honor Scripture's authority. But it is even more difficult to argue from natural law. For the natural law is not a written text." 
~John Frame
On Polemics
"Men tell us that our preaching should be positive and not negative, that we can preach the truth without attacking error. But if we follow that advice we shall have to close our Bible and desert its teachings. The New Testament is a polemic book almost from beginning to end." 
~J. Gresham Machen
On Influences
"... God wills that we have heroes. Hebrews 13:7 says, "Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith." It seems to me that the Christian leaders today who come closest to being heroes are the ones who had great heroes. I hope you have one or two, living or dead."  
~John Piper

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Soundtrip Sabado (09-03-2011)

Sojourn's reworking of Isaac Watts' hymn
Death Has Lost It's Sting



Gary Granada
Saranggola sa Ulan

Indelible Grace
O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
A rehash of George Matheson's hymn