Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oktubre 28 sa Buhay nina Jim Elliot at Micah Tarlit

Micah Rosario Tarlit
Micah, unang-una ay ipinaparating ko ang aking pagbati. Bagamat ako'y 'di makakadalo sa pagdiriwang ng iyong ika-18 kaarawan dahil kailangang may maiwang mag-aalaga sa iyong lola, nais kong ipabatid na ako'y nakikigalak sa iyong espesyal na araw. Tiyak ika'y puno ng pag-asa at ng mga mararangal na adhikain para sa kinabukasan. Nawa'y ang lahat ng iyan ay matupad ayon sa kalooban ng ating Manlilikha. Wala akong ibang hangad para sa iyo kundi magbunga ng maraming kabutihan ang iyong buhay. At dahil 'yan ang hangad ko, hayaan mong banggitin ko ang pangalang Jim Elliot.

Maraming puwedeng sabihin tungkol sa kanya, subalit wala akong balak pahabain ang mensaheng ito. Tutal, ang mga detalye sa kanyang buhay ay madali namang mahalukay sa panahong ito na may Google at Wikipedia.

Taong 1927, ang life expectancy o inaasahang haba ng buhay ng mga bagong silang na kalalakihang Amerikano ay 'di kukulangin sa 56 na taon. Oktubre ng 1927 nang ipinanganak si Jim Elliot, subalit ang haba ng buhay niya ay umabot lamang sa kalahati ng 56. Enero ng taong 1956 nang tumarak sa kanyang katawan ang isang sibat na agad kumitil sa kanyang buhay. At hindi lamang siya ang dumanas ng ganito; maging ang kanyang mga kasama ay ganun din ang sinapit: Ed McCully, 29; Roger Youderian, 31; Pete Fleming, 28; at si Nate Saint, 32. Ang tanging atraso nila, tinangka nilang ibahagi ang ebanghelyo ni Hesus sa Waodani tribe, isang marahas na tribo sa Ecuador.

Makatuwirang tanong: bakit kailangang mangyari iyon? Malakas pa sila at marami pang puwedeng gawing kapaki-pakinabang sa ating daigdig. Sa mata ng sanlibutan, nasayang ang kalahati ng buhay ni Jim Elliot. Ngunit nasayang nga ba?

Sa kamatayan ng limang misyonerong ito, ang pangamba ng marami ay manghihina ang loob ng mga kristiyano at mababawasan ang bilang ng mga hahayo bilang mga misyonero. 'Yan pala ay isang maling akala. Sa halip, naging inspirasyon sa marami ang buhay nina Jim Elliot at ng kanyang mga kasama. Marami ang naglakas-loob na ibahagi ang ebanghelyo sa mga lugar kung saan 'di pa ito naririnig. Marami rin ang nakakilala sa Panginoong Hesus, ang ilan sa kanila mula sa Waodani tribe.

Ang petsa ngayon ay Oktubre 28. Sa araw na ito noong taong 1949, may isinulat si Jim Elliot sa kanyang journal:
 

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

Si Jim Elliot ay isa lamang sa mahabang listahan ng mga martir. Sinimulan ni Stephen (Acts 7:59-60) at sinundan ni Apostle James (Acts 12:2). Silang lahat ay nagbuwis ng buhay dahil sa patotoong si Hesus ay namatay at muling nabuhay at nararapat kilalanin bilang Panginoon.

Oktubre 28, 2012. Eksaktong 63 taon na ang lumipas, subalit ang diwa ng isinulat ni Jim Elliot sa kanyang journal ay nananatiling sariwa sa ating kapanahunan. Kaya naman ito ang hatid kong mensahe sa iyo: Ang buhay na ganap ay 'di nasusukat sa haba nito. Hindi rin ito nasusukat sa kaginhawaang tinatamasa ng katawan. Ang buhay na ganap at kasiya-siya ay ang buhay na ginugol sa pagsunod sa kalooban ng Diyos anuman ang maging kapalit.

Isang pinagpalang kaarawan!



Sulat-kamay ni Jim Elliot sa kanyang Journal


Monday, October 22, 2012

Soundtracks for the Redeemed


Play Eye of the Tiger and people will remember the boxer named Rocky.
Sing The Moment of Truth and The Karate Kid comes to mind.
Scenes from the Titanic flash before people's memories when the disc jockey cues My Heart Will Go On.
 
(paumanhin, panay luma alam kong mga pelikula. LOLz )

Part of good film making is composing its appropriate soundtrack, that when the song is played, people will remember the film long after it was shown in the cinemas. If there are enough number of songs, they compile it into an album and is sold separately from the film itself.

When DreamWorks released the animated film The Prince of Egypt, three albums were prepared: The Prince of Egypt OST, The Prince of Egypt Inspirational, and The Prince of Egpyt Nashville.  Yet the Bible itself provides the  most appropriate soundtrack for that grand event-- the parting of the Red Sea for the salvation of Israel and the destruction of the Egyptian forces. This song is Exodus 15.

Do you have a song in your heart? If you have experienced salvation from the Lord, I guess you should have one, or even multiple songs. In one of his last sermons, James M. Boice described music as: “a gift from God that allows us to express our deepest heart responses to God and his truth in meaningful and memorable ways. It is a case of our hearts joining with our minds to say, ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ to the truths we are embracing.” (cited in P. Ryken, Exodus: Saved for God's Glory)

But if you are going to compile a soundtrack album for your life story, what kinds of songs ought to be included? Let me offer two guidelines.

1. The Soundtrack of Our Lives Must Include Songs About Who God Is.

Exodus 15 is replete with words describing the character and the attributes of God: his eternity, his power, his wrath, his supremacy, his holiness, his glory, his love, matchless deeds. As we sing about who God is, we are also describing the kind of God we need.
  •    We are mere mortals, so we exalt the eternal God.
  •    We are a needy people, so we praise a God who is self-sufficient and able to provide for our needs.
  •    We are weak, so we worship God for his matchless power
  •    We live in a world full of hatred so we rejoice in singing about a loving God
  •    We live in a world full of lies and liars, so we sing about God's truthfulness
  •    We live in a world full of injustice where evil people go unpunished, so we sing about the God of justice, a God who expresses his wrath against wickedness.
  • We sing about a forgiving God because we are sinners in need of forgiveness.
  • We sing about a God who saves because we are bound to destruction without a savior.

2. The Soundtrack of Our Lives May Include Songs About What God Has Done.

Just as the Israelites sang Exodus 15 because of their experience of deliverance, we too may sing of the mighty acts of God in our lives. Some don't like this suggestion fearing we may end up singing songs which are purely built on the subjective rather than on objective biblical truths. But if your experience is in harmony with God's revealed truth and if our responses to those truths are appropriate responses, I see no reason to prohibit experience based-songs.

God is alive, therefore he is active. He is doing things in the lives of his redeemed, both individually and corporately. We cannot divorce our experiences from biblical truths. In the Bible, believers' dramatic personal experiences with God result in a gladness that overflows into singing: David in 2 Samuel 22, Hannah in 1 Samuel 2, Zechariah in Luke 1;67 ff. and Mary in Luke 1:46 ff. to name a few.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

BORN THIS WAY: Pastor John Macarthur's Compassionate Yet Uncompromising Response to Gay activist Chad Allen

No matter gay, straight or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born to survive

I'm beautiful in my way
'Cause God makes no mistakes
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way

~ Lady Gaga



KING: All right, John, let me -- let me move to other members of the panel. We have four  members of the panel. I want to get everyone in. John, what do you say to those who say, What about Chad and the love of his life being together? Isn't that better than, say, the heterosexual marriage where one of the partners cheats? Who is contributing more to the moral decay of the society, the adulterous husband with the female wife or the loving gay couple who don't do that?

MACARTHUR: Yes, well, you're asking me to do something I really can't do, and make a judgment on which sin is better or worse than the other. We've suffered in this country from adultery, divorce, the abuse of children, pedophilia, you name it. I'm not going to classify those in rank. They're sins, and they destroy the family.

KING: And homosexuality is...

MACARTHUR: And homosexuality...

KING: ... a sin to you.

MACARTHUR: Yes. And...

KING: Therefore, it's a choice.

MACARTHUR: It's a choice you make. It's a sinful choice.

KING: Did you make a choice to be heterosexual?

MACARTHUR: I don't think I had to make a choice to be heterosexual. I think that's a natural thing.

KING: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. In other words, one is a choice and one is not?

MACARTHUR: Yes.

KING: So he was unlucky and you're...

MACARTHUR: Because -- because you're not talking about -- because it's natural to be heterosexual. That's built...

KING: What do you mean by natural?

MACARTHUR: Well, I mean, that's the way God made us. That's the normal...

KING: But if he doesn't feel that way, what is he, then? He's not a sinner. It wasn't his decision.

MACARTHUR: Yes, I think it was his decision.

ALLEN: I would love, absolutely love for the pastor to point out for me when in my life I made that decision because I have to tell you, it caused a lot of pain in my family. It caused a lot of pain to me. It's a very, very tough thing that I had to go through. I don't remember making that decision. If I did, maybe can you point it out, but that wasn't the case for me.

(CROSSTALK)

ALLEN: It's who I am. You also said that it was in the fabric of the human being that -- to understand that marriage was between a man and a woman and that's what family was. It must not be because it's not in the fabric of what who I am. It's not the way I see it. I think families come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

MACARTHUR: Well, let me respond this way, Chad, and say it had to be in the fabric of humanity or you wouldn't be here.

ALLEN: I believe that reproduction is. I'll give you that. I absolutely believe that reproduction is. However, I think family, the definition of family and the definition of reproduction are very, very different things.

KING: All right...

MACARTHUR: Well, what I said earlier is the DNA, the genetic structure of humanity, of civilization, of society is family. Everybody knows that. That's in the heart. That's how it works. You're coming along with others who are homosexual in their perspective and overturning what is natural to everyone.

KING: Could they also be asking to the privilege of something you have preached for years? Marriage is a healthy, wonderful thing, and they're saying, Let us in...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Why would you deny it to them?

MACARTHUR: Let me respond to Chad, too, just on a personal basis, Chad, by saying, I don't think at some point you said, OK, I'm going to be a homosexual. I got two alternatives. You know, I'm going to go be a homosexual. But I do think whatever sin patterns show up in our lives -- and it may be different for us -- we can choose to continue down those paths of sin, whether it's adultery or whatever it is, or we can say, Look, this is sin, and I need to deal with this in my heart. If this is the way I'm being led, it's not right. It doesn't honor God. It's not according to his word. It's not going to ultimately bring blessing on life. I make the choice at that -- I can't make a choice to be a sinner, OK? I am. We all are. But once you start down the path of sin, if you recognize that  it is that, then you look to the Lord for the remedy to that.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Birthday Greetings for Joni Eareckson Tada!

 FOOLISHNESS
"Sickness does not belong to any of us. The Bible declares if the Word of God is in your life, there will be health, there will be healing-- divine health and divine healing. There will be no sickness for the saint of God. If Moses could live such a healthy life, so can you."
(Benny Hinn)


WISDOM
"I am certain that I never did grow in grace one-half so much anywhere as I have upon the bed of pain."
(Charles H. Spurgeon)


FOOLISHNESS
"The religious idea that God chastises His own with sickness and disease and poverty is the very thing that has caused the church to go 1500 years without the knowledge of the Holy Spirit."
(Kenneth Copeland)


WISDOM
"God's strength is perfected not in His delivering His Messiah from crucifixion, nor in delivering His apostle from physical suffering, but is seen in the crucifixion itself, and in the apostle's weaknesses."
(Gordon Fee)


FOOLISHNESS
"How can you glorify God in your body, when it doesn't function right?... What makes you think the Holy Spirit wants to live inside of a physical body where the limbs and the organs and the cells do not function right?"
(Frederick K.C. Price)


WISDOM


Joni Eareckson Tada on Larry King Live!


Books by Joni Eareckson Tada:


Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Short Note on the Anti-Cybercrime Law (R.A. No. 10175)

Of course I'm for improving the laws of the land. Let us repeal bad laws or at least revise/amend them. Yet I guess there were more oppressive laws in the first century and the Apostle Paul wrote:


"For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer." (Romans 13:3-4 NIV)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Things that Haven't Changed Before and After the Flood

Photo Credit: Answers in Genesis
In a game show, the participant chose bag #17. When she was asked by the host why, she replied it is the date of her son's birthday. A politician willingly paid a large amount just to acquire a license plate with the figure 777 on it because he believes it is his lucky number. This is numerology, the occultic belief that numbers have special meanings and that they have influence in our lives.

Even bible-believing Christians can fall into numerology. This happens when they ignore sound hermeneutics and exchange it for preoccupation with the alleged meanings of numbers in the Bible. One such case is when Bishop Dan Balais of Intercessors for the Philippines (IFP) added the product of 70 X 7 to 1521 (the year Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippine Islands) to arrive at the interpretation that 2010 is the Philippines' Jubilee year.

Recently, we have witnessed another case of numerology applied to the bible. Heavy habagat rains brought damages to Luzon. People checked the date and it was August 7, 2012 or 08-7-2012. They turned their bibles to Genesis 8:7-12 and concluded that God has a message for us and it has something to do with the Noah's ark. But for us to hear God's message in the Bible, we must not resort to numerology. We must instead read it through the lens of proper biblical interpretation.

I have read the story. I did not start with 8:7 and end with verse 12. I read the whole narrative and here I offer three things that haven't changed before and after the flood.

1. The Sinfulness of Man hasn't changed
The people of Noah's day were all descended from Adam just like us. Eversince sin entered the world through our first parents, every member of the human race are all born with an inherent moral corruption. So it is recorded that before the cataclysm: "The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." (Gen.6:5).

Though Noah's son's were flood survivors, they were not left untouched by the sin that originated in Adam. So after the flood, the Psalmist declares: "Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies." (Psalm 58:3)

You may think that because of the advances in civilization, man's heart has improved. No! The malady of man's soul that made him reject Noah's 120-year period of preaching righteousness hasn't changed.  Don't be surprised then if only a few are accepting the gospel message today.

2. The Wrath of God Against Sin and Sinners Hasn't Changed
In the flood account, we we see a God who was furious against sin. He decisively judged that world, and after it was done, there was no hint of regret in him.


Imagine how ugly the world was when the waters subsided. No one would sing All Things Bright and Beautiful then with the sight of mess all around. No surviving forest. No more beautiful gardens. The seas were a mixture of water, mud, sediments and perhaps dead bodies. Everything was ugly. To the survivors, it would have been a testimony of how God deals with sin.

If the sinfulness of man hasn't changed, what would a holy and righteous God feel about it? Was he wrathful against sin and sinners then yet somehow there is a change in his character that makes him indifferent towards wickedness now? Is he not the same yesterday, today and forever? Let post-flood Scriptures speak:

Deuteronomy 9:7-8
"Remember this and never forget how you provoked the LORD your God to anger in the desert. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the LORD. At Horeb you aroused the LORD's wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you."

Psalm 7:11
"God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day."

2 Peter 3:10
"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare."

3. The saving grace of God hasn't changed
Genesis 6:9 testifies to the fact that Noah was a righteous man in that age of wickedness. Yet that must not be taken as to mean that Noah was sinless. I have a strong proof that Noah was a sinner just like the rest of us. My proof is 9:28 where we are told that Noah died at the age of 950. The wages of sin is death, right? (Romans 6:23). He too deserved God's wrath yet he was shown favor; he was given a way of escape, and righteous Noah obeyed by building the ark.

In our time, God still saves by grace. Just as all who were inside the ark were kept safe and sound, so all who are found in Christ are free from God's wrath.

Romans 5:9
"Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!"

1 Thessalonians 1:9b-10
"They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath."