Monday, March 26, 2012

Maraming Salamat!

Sa mga kapatiran sa Guiding Light Dagupan na personal na bumati; paumanhin po at hindi ko nailista mga pangalan ninyo. Maraming salamat!

Kay Nanay, kahit hindi na niya alam kung ano ang petsa sa kalendaryo; kaya kailangan kong sabihin sa kanya na petsa bente-sais ngayon at tanungin, "Antoy okasyon natan?"... Tugon niya. "bertdi nen Manny"... Follow-up question, "duwara may anak yu ya man-bertdi natan. Siopa may sakey ey?"... Nahirapan ang kanyang kumukupas na memorya subalit sa dulo ay naalala rin niya na kaarawan rin ni Ate Virgie.

Kay Tatay na hindi naman bumati pero nagsabi nang maaga, "bertdim manaya natan"

Kay Sheryll Yap, unang bumati sa pamamagitan ng SMS, na may kasama pang dalangin. Balbaleg ya salamat!

Sa mga sumunod na bumati sa pamamagitan ng SMS: Ate Virgie Caoile, Ate Imelda Tarlit, Ate Araceli Cristobal, Ellen Ariola, at Carolyn M. Asuncion. Maraming salamat!

Sa unang bumati sa aking Facebook timeline, Bernard Rosario. Maraming salamat! Salamat rin sa mga bumati bilang comment: Ricky Rosario at Creselda Canapi. Salamat rin sa mga nag-like sa kanyang post kung saan ako'y tagged.

Sa ibang mga bumati sa aking Facebook timeline: Ate Cynthia Imus, Ate Virgie Caoile, Brenda Cayabyab, Cathylyn Martinez, Tina Nevado, sa mag-asawang Myke at Pevi Dela Cruz (at sa kanilang supling na si Mish), Jessa de Vera, at Donnie Manuel. Pati na rin kay Ate Alice Rosario na isinabit sa pagbati ang mga pamangkin kong sina Danielle at Sam. Sa mag-asawang Jojo at Blessa Victorio; at kay Jasmin Rosario.

Salamat kay Ate Cynthia Imus sa hatid niyang pagkain sa tanghalian.

Salamat sa mag-asawang Ato at Brenda Cayabyab sa hatid nilang pagkain sa hapunan.

Sa mga naghandog ng kaloob-pinansyal: mag-asawang Ed at Filipina Llena; mag-asawang Louie at Cynthia Santos, kay Ate Cynthia Imus; at sa isa pang piniling ilihim kung sino siya.

Pasasalamat na walang kapantay sa Kataas-taasang Diyos! Bago pa man niya ako hinubog sa sinapupunan ng aking ina ay itinalaga na niya ang aking buhay sa kaligtasan kay Cristo Hesus. Itinakda niya ang araw na ito bilang aking kapanganakan at sa nakalipas na tatlumpu't limang taon ay nilunod ako sa kanyang habag, biyaya at pag-ibig.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thoughts on a Slandered Boxing Referee

"For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.
How can I let myself be defamed?"
~ Isaiah  48:11 (NIV)

One of the most important duties of a boxing referee is to protect life. He must exercise discretion in determining when to stop a fight to prevent further damages to a severely hurt man. A referee's failure on these area may cause lifetime physical handicaps, or worst-- deaths.

With more than two minutes left in the 10th of a 12-round bout, the wobbling Juan Manuel Lopez could have had received more heavy blows from Orlando Salido. Referee Roberto Ramirez Sr. did him a favor by declaring a technical knockout (TKO) just at the right time.

It is a common thing for losing boxers to complain about TKO's. Warriors would like to continue fighting till the end and they usually accuse the officiating referees of prematurely stopping the fight. Yet in the post-fight interview, Lopez went further. He arrogantly told the worldwide audience that Ramirez prematurely stopped the fight because of his gambling problems implying of course that the referee ruled a TKO for self-serving financial gain.

A day or two after the fight, news started circulating that the World Boxing Organization (WBO) is about to suspend Lopez for such a behavior. Lopez then, perhaps in damage control, apologized for what he said. His problem however is, as of press time, neither Ramirez nor WBO accepts his apology. The verdict was pronouced: Lopez is suspended for a full year.

Slander is a serious offense. Everybody seems to understand that human dignity must be honored by all. Yet most people don't realize that there is a higher being whose honor is infinitely higher than us mere men. We get offended when someone mars our reputation, yet we are tolerant, even indifferent when the glory of God is mocked. We treat all religious views as equal, and label those who would stand firm on what the Bible teaches as bigots.

Think about all the lies man has uttered against the persons of the Trinity. Here are a few samples:

"As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become." 
(~Lorenzo Snow, 5th LDS President)

"They claim we killed the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, the apostle of God.
But they killed him not, nor did they crucify him" 
(The Koran)

"No, the holy spirit is not a person and it is not part of a Trinity.
The holy spirit is God’s active force that he uses to accomplish his will.
It is not equal to God but is always at his disposition and subordinate to him" 
(~Watchtower Bible and Tract Society")

I am appalled by the assertion that all beliefs are equally valid.
I abhor any idea which says that all religions lead to God.
God is zealous for his glory and honor and so should we.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Some of my favorites landed on Worship Leader Magazine's "Top 20 Worship Songs Of The Past 20 Years"

Heart of Worship (Matt Redman)
The Sonic Flood rendition

Breathe (Marie Barnett)
The M.W. Smith rendition

In Christ Alone (Stuart Townend and Keith Getty)
The Newsboys rendition

Blessed Be Your Name (Matt and Beth Redman)
The Orig version

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Terrifying God and His Forsaken Son

He was terrifying when he wiped-out the world's population with a global flood.

He was terrifying when he showered Sodom with burning sulfur.

He was terrifying when fire came out from his presence to consume Nadab and Abihu for their experimental worship.

He was terrifying when he instantly struck Uzzah dead for rescuing the ark of the covenant from touching the soil.

The presence of the holy God then is not a safe place for us unholy ones. Isaiah understood this well that when he saw a vision of the Holy God, he thought his doom has come.

Yet when his beloved Son was arrested, none of the arresting team fell dead. Where is the terrifying God?

On trial, while answering the question of the High Priest, one of the officials struck him in the face and asked, "Is this the way you answer the high priest?". He was concerned about the honor of the High Priest yet trampled upon the honor of the Son of God. But he remained alive. Where is the terrifying God?

While on trial, a false witness appeared. He testified that Jesus forbids people from paying taxes. This was a big lie for when Jesus was asked on this very issue, he replied "Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar..." Yet the liar remained alive. Where is the terrifying God?

They made him wear a mock royal robe; made him wear a crown of thorns. The King of glory was made a laughingstock. But they remained alive. Where is the terrifying God?

Blindfolded, they struck him repeatedly and asked, "Who struck you?". Yet they remained alive. Where is the terrifying God?

They spit on him. Probably some drops of saliva and phlegm landed on Jesus' face. Yet the offenders remained alive. Where is the terrifying God?

They stripped Jesus naked subjecting him to public shame. Nails were driven through his feet and wrists. Yet they remained alive. Where is the terrifying God?

The crowd taunted, "He saved others, but he can't save himself!". But no one in the crowd fell dead. Where is the terrifying God?

Where is the holy and terrifying Father who sent the global cataclysmic flood, burned Sodom, killed Uzzah and burned Aaron's sons?

He was there. In fact, the Heavenly Father was not passive in all these. He was actively involved:
This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. (Acts 2:23)
His wrath was poured out exclusively on his sin-bearing Son. When Jesus shouted "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?", he wasn't merely reciting the words of Psalm 22. This was a heartfelt outcry from an abandoned soul who for the first time since eternity past was separated from the presence of his Father to suffer for sins not his own. By this one sacrifice, we who believe won't have to fear the wrath of God anymore. The presence of God is now a safe place for those who believe in his Son. (Isaiah 53:3-6; Romans 3:25; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone? (Paula Cole)

Photo Credit: Simon Santos, owner of

"Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."  (~ 1 Peter 3:7 NIV)
Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?
Paula Cole, 1996
lyrics HERE

Sometime in the past, a woman envisioned a happy marriage with the man of his dreams-- a sort of a hero. When she found him, she naturally said 'Yes' to marriage. Now it's too late; she discovers that she is married to an irresponsible and insensitive man.

The lines "I will do the laundry if you pay all the bills" and "I will raise the children if you pay all the bills" seem to indicate that the woman was compelled to look for ways to cover family expenses sadly  leading to the neglect of her domestic and child-rearing responsibilities. It is not because her husband's income is not enough but because he squanders much on his vices:

We finally sold the chevy
When we had another baby
And you took the job in Tennessee
You made friends at the farm
And you joined them at the bar
Almost every single day of the week

And at home, the wife feels neglected:

"I am wearing my new dress tonight
But you don't, but you don't even notice me"

This wife is not perfect for sure. It sounds to me that she is considering divorce ("Say our goodbyes") which in her case is not biblically justifiable. Yet the ones I would like to address in this post are my fellow brothers, especially the husbands out there. In 1 Peter 3:7, husbands are instructed to be considerate to the wives' physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Furthermore, husbands should treat them with honor and respect.

Photo Credit: Simon Santos, owner of
We can never be Leon Guererros or Daniel Barrions, but by the Spirit of God, we can all pursue biblical masculinity.